The PlayStation Vita was a great system despite its lack of support from Sony. It had an incredibly strong first 3 years and tons of support from indie and third-party developers over the years. While Sony nailed the hardware down pat, the system was stuck in limbo between mobile gaming and Nintendo’s strong 3DS support. Here are my top ten favorite Vita games of all time. These will not include remastered compilations, HD ports, or anything that wasn’t significantly special for the Vita.
10. Borderlands 2
It may have struggled technically on the small hardware, but there were many patches put in place to make it playable. With that aside, Borderlands 2 is the best shooter on the Vita, and a lack of them didn’t help despite having twin sticks, due to the overall amount of content. We got the entire Borderlands 2 experience, plus all the DLC for $40 which was a steal. While it took a graphical hit, playing with a buddy on the go was never more fun.
9. Gravity Rush
Despite the nauseating camera, Gravity Rush was a treat to look at and featured a full console experience on the system. The characters were interesting, and the anti-gravity gameplay was one of a kind on the system. While it lacked in story and development, the game had gorgeous locales and interesting things going on.
8. Dragon’s Crown
A Vanillaware game is always something to get excited about, but having one on Vita is something more special. The game looked fantastic on Sony’s OLED screen and featured fantastic co-op gameplay with responsive controls and interesting characters. The game may have been short, but the experience was something to remember.
7. Muramasa: Rebirth
Muramasa was one of the best games on the Wii and having it ported to the Vita was a pleasant surprise. Not only did the system get this exclusive remaster, but it played better than the original. With Vanillaware’s gorgeous visual design it played buttery smooth on the Vita with plenty of DLC, challenging combat, and interesting characters. It remains one of the best Vita games of all time.
6. Uncharted: Golden Abyss
While Golden Abyss didn’t push the series into new directions and played it safe, it was a solid Uncharted adventure that showed off the power of the Vita. Very few games achieved this graphical showcase and all the controls, combat, and adventuring were as smooth as ever. The lack of originality hurt the game a bit, but Nathan is as charming as ever in this adventure.
5. DJ Max: Technika Tune
You won’t see this game on most people’s top ten lists. This is one of the few good rhythm games on Vita and it takes advantage of all the hardware. The DJ Max series was a popular Korean rhythm genre on PSP, and its debut on the Vita is fantastic. With prompts displaying over music videos, the game is addictive with various taps, buttons presses, and modes. This game got me into K-Pop thanks to the game’s front-runner group KARA being featured with several videos.
The makers of LittleBigPlanet pull a fantastic game out of their hat that makes this the single most unique game on the system. It cleverly uses all of the hardware’s features with bright, vivid visuals and fun puzzles. Sadly, the game is really easy and extremely short (less than 4 hours long), and sadly we will never see a sequel.
3. Killzone: Mercenary
The single best FPS on the system, Killzone was the first with the budget of the franchises console brethren, Mercenary is probably the single best looking game on the system and plays amazingly well. With a solid campaign and fun online multiplayer and challenges, this is your go-to shooter.
2. Mortal Kombat
One of the best fighters on the system, and the game I got most excited about for this system. While the game took a mysteriously questionable graphical downgrade, the entire 2011 game is intact with exclusive Challenge Tower modes and all DLC characters. The fighting is smooth, fun, and the only MK game on the system.
1.Persona 4: Golden
While I never finished this game, and I don’t know if I ever will, this game probably gives you the most bang for your buck. A whopping 40-50 hour JRPG with remastered visuals from the PS2 game and added content for $40, it’s a damn steal. The story is brilliant, the combat system is amazing, and there’s something here for everyone. Patience is needed, and some level grinding, but once you get into the swing of the game you won’t put it down. This is what we needed more of on the Vita and sadly, we didn’t get it.