Carrying on from my previous post, here’s the middle section of my top 50 Vita games – 30 – 11:
Insanely addictive given its apparent simplicity, the Japanese-developed 2D platformer has that pick-up-and-play vibe that has made so many handheld games successful. It might not be much to look at, but it’s loads of fun to play and chip away at.
29. PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
Probably the best porting effort in Vita’s history, managing to maintain 60FPS consistently yet with perfectly tweaked controls and menus for the handheld. The game itself is a love letter to PlayStation history that has some glaring holes in the roster that can’t detract from the fantastically enjoyable nature of the gameplay.
28. Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Criterion Games manage to squeeze their open-world racing game onto the console providing some fantastically fast-paced boosting & crashing action. More ambitious than nearly anything else on the platform yet it remains fantastically fun to play and come back to thanks to a wealth of content.
27. Code Realize: Guardians of Rebirth
Don’t let the fact that this is an otome visual novel put you off – it’s an engrossing story for anyone thanks to its fantastic plot in a beautiful steampunk version of London; incredibly love-able characters and overall laid back nature. An under-rated gem.
26. Gravity Rush
The early poster child for the Vita is an impressive feat of open-world design with an interesting gravity-shifting mechanic, that stalls thanks to an under-developed story (presumably resolved in a sequel we aren’t getting!) but is still an absolute blast to mess around with thanks to impressive levels an a gorgeous world.
The spiritual successor to tube-shooter classic Tempest manages to be a psychedelic trip full of interesting gameplay quirks; impressive visual design and a beautiful graphics. Flew under the radar but well worth checking out for some high-score chasing fun.
24. LEGO Marvel’s Avengers
LEGO take on the biggest IP in film with an impressive title. Formulaic, sure, but full of neat twists such as the franchise’s first fully open world on Vita; co-operative moves and a whistle-stop tour through the franchise’s storyline alongside the usual slapstick LEGO comedy and collect-everything gameplay.
23. Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions
A great revival of the twin-stick shooter classic franchise, full of frentic gameplay; testing challenges and a heap of content to sink your teeth into. Doesn’t hurt that the game is very impressive to look at and runs extremely well on the Vita too.
A thoughtful 2D platformer starring a young boy in a Soviet-inspired world, the game features a touching minimalist story but most notably presents a well-thought out magnet mechanic that allows you to manipulate the world around you. A really pleasant surprise.
21. Ratchet & Clank: Up your Arsenal HD
The duo at their rip-roaring best, featuring all the crazy weapons; platforming challenges and zany storylines of the previous games but polished to perfection here. Although online play was stripped out, it’s still well worth experiencing this classic again on the go.
20. Trillion: God of Destruction
Part raising-simulator; part rogue-like, that shouldn’t work anywhere near as well as it does. The emotional, well-told storyline alongside addictive gameplay make this an incredible surprise that went under the radar in 2016.
19. Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. Force
Taking the well-honed 2v2 fighting gameplay of the Extreme Vs. series and adding its own attack/defend twist with Force mode, this Gundam game nails the execution to create one of the best action games available on the Vita. Beautiful to look at and well optimized, a fantastic game.
18. Tales of Hearts R
I’ve often seen the Tales games described as ‘comfort food’ – you know exactly what you’re getting with them and they’re never mind-blowing, but always consistent. Hearts R is another solid entry in the franchise with incredible combat; an enjoyable save-the-world storyline and plenty of content to keep you occupied.
17. Jak II HD
A mammoth game by PS2 standards that’s equally impressive on the Vita. As with the other games in the collection, it’s plagued by slowdown problems, but that doesn’t stop it being a frustrating yet beautiful, massive and epic game.
A well-honed 2D metroid-vania featuring an interesting Mexican aesthetic, Guacamelee! maintains a jolly sense of humor yet manages to tell an interesting and sometimes emotional story while maintaining some fantastic exploration-led gameplay.
15. Lost Dimension
A massive surprise – a tactical RPG clearly made on a shoestring budget, yet it outshines any criticisms by telling a compelling story and establishing fun and varied mechanics to keep you playing through multiple runs. Well worth checking out, an under-rated gem from 2015.
14. Ys: Memories of Celceta
Falcom have done a lot to evolve and change the Ys franchise over the years but very rarely have they put a foot wrong – Memories of Celceta is a polished, fun, party-based entry in the franchise that prioritizes exploration of its huge world map while maintaining the franchise’s signature skill-based combat.
13. Super Stardust Delta
Fine-tuned to perfection, the seminal twin-stick shooter franchise made a fantastic launch title for Vita by providing gorgeous graphics and a banging soundtrack with Housemarque’s fast-paced shooter action that made it an instant classic.
Consistently one of Sony’s finest franchises, this Vita entry takes everything that made the previous games great and added even more – touch screen controls improved the experience greatly and there’s a fun new campaign, but the core of Play-Create-Share gameplay was definitely in tact and still amazing here.
11. DanganRonpa 2: Goodbye Despair
Ramping the zaniness of the original up to 11, DanganRonpa 2 doesn’t quite maintain the consistency of its predecessor, but the highs it hits are phenomenal in this tale of murder and mystery in a beautiful island resort. A thrilling investigative visual novel and well worth anyone’s time.
To be continued…