PS Vita turns 10: Sony’s 10 best handheld games

PS Vita turns 10: Sony’s 10 best handheld games

On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the PS Vita today, we wanted to come back to the games that marked the little sister of the PSP which never really found its audience. A look back at ten of the console’s best titles that will bring back memories to Vita owners.

A few points before starting

In this list, we will above all focus primarily on titles released exclusively on PS Vita, or released on very few other media, and which have therefore marked the machine. So don’t be surprised if you don’t see obvious titles like Minecraft because of its cross-platform aspect, while the game was one of the drivers of the console’s success in Japan for example.


  • Gravity Rush
  • Killzone Mercenary
  • Muramasa Rebirth
  • Persona 4 : Golden
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves Through Time
  • Soul Sacrifice
  • Tearaway
  • Uncharted : Golden Abyss
  • WipEout 2048
  • Ys: Memories Of Celceta

Gravity Rush

We start this list with one of the most iconic titles (if not the most iconic) of the PS Vita: Gravity Rush, or Gravity Daze in Japanese. Developed by Japan Studio, one of Sony’s first-party studios, this is a project initially directed by Keiichiro Toyama, known for having been the director of the first Silent Hill but also of the Forbidden Siren series. Far from the horror genre, Gravity Rush is an open-world action-adventure game in which the player embodies Kat, an amnesiac girl who can control gravity thanks to an accompanying cat. With a simple pull of the trigger, it was possible to easily fly through the streets of Hekseville. Despite its moderate success, the title had been recognized by critics for its particular graphic style, with a universe between Franco-Belgian comics and Japanese anime, which give a unique charm to the game, especially thanks to the masterful compositions of Kohei Tanaka. Despite gameplay with sometimes messy mechanics, the game also sometimes tended to make you dizzy because of a crazy camera and gyroscope controls that don’t help. Note that the title was released in a Remastered version on PS4 in 2016, before being entitled to a sequel on the same console in 2017.

Killzone Mercenary

After an episode on PSP with Killzone Liberation, the Killzone series had offered a second episode on portable consoles with Killzone Mercenary. Developed by Guerrilla Cambridge, it was one of the most beautiful games of the machine which offered an impressive rendering for a portable console. Despite a really short campaign (only four to five hours of play), the title offered a clear experience thanks to controls perfectly adapted to the Vita, with the front touchpad used to give attacks in melee or to zoom with a sniper, while just tapping on the back pad to run. But once the campaign was completed, the game did not stop there since the great strength of Killzone Mercenary also resided in its multiplayer mode which allowed you to play with eight other players online.

Muramasa Rebirth

The least we can say is that Vanillaware has given an important place to the Vita in its productions between Dragon’s Crown, Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir and especially Muramasa Rebirth. A small independent Japanese studio, Vanillaware has made a name for itself thanks to the unique graphic style of its games which have forged its reputation over the years, including a certain Muramasa: The Demon Blade originally released on Wii which was then entitled to a port improved on PS Vita. Halfway between beat’em up and RPG, Muramasa is a 2D game that takes place in the heart of feudal Japan where we follow the fate of Kisuke, an assassin, and that of Momohime, a princess possessed by the spirit of a diabolical swordsman, who roams the country in search of the legendary 108 cursed sabers. The player is then led to cross tables all more beautiful than the others to engage in fights that are always more nervous and full of effects. In addition, this Vita version benefits from some gameplay adjustments as well as new content, making Muramasa Rebirth the definitive version of Muramasa.

Persona 4 : Golden

Released initially on PS2, Persona 4 was entitled to a port on PS Vita in an increased version entitled Persona 4: Golden which notably adds new events as well as the character of Marie. Beyond that, we find everything that made the charm of the original game: we follow the adventures of a high school student who moves in with his uncle in a small town far from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. But as mysterious murders multiply, a legend spreads that strange things happen when you watch television late at night. Quickly, our hero will become friends with his classmates and together they will try to discover what is hidden behind this mystery. On the gameplay side, the title alternates between management of daily activities, dungeon phase with turn-based fights at night, but also dating-sim sequence with those around you. An essential J-RPG for the PS2 which therefore offers an improved version on PS Vita, before being entitled to its port on Steam much later in 2020.

Sly Cooper: Thieves Through Time

A classic PS2 platformer from the early 2000s, Sly Cooper returned to the limelight with a fourth new episode released on PS3 and PS Vita following the release of The Sly Trilogy. This time, Sly is following in the footsteps of his ancestors for an adventure under the sign of time travel. The opportunity to involve the distant cousins ​​of the raccoon who will each have the opportunity to prove their worth at one time or another during the adventure. Indeed, each predecessor has its own gameplay, which offers a variety of game phases and crazy situations, as well as a large number of different playable characters. Finally, the title was one of those games that supported cross-buy / cross-play between PS3-PS Vita, allowing the game to be played on both media.

Soul Sacrifice

Monster Hunter was one of the sagas that gave the PSP the success we know today. Unfortunately, in the 2010s, Capcom’s saga favored releases on 3DS, leaving PS Vita without Monster Hunter. It was then that we saw many games inspired by this formula flourish (Toukiden Kiwami, God Eater Resurrection, etc.), some even showing great originality. This is particularly the case of Soul Sacrifice, developed by Japan Studio with the collaboration of Keiji Inafune, known to be the co-designer of Megaman. It embodies a human being sacrificed by a cruel sorcerer named Magusar whose memories can be relived thanks to a book, the Librom, which allows you to accumulate power to defeat your jailer. The title is based on a mechanic of sacrificing enemies that allow you to regain life or restore some power to artifacts that allow you to cast spells. Indeed, in this Action-RPG, the player fights using spells by sacrificing objects or enemies, but also a part of himself. And if the narration is incredibly well worked, the title could also be played in multiplayer up to four to take full advantage of the experience offered, such as sacrificing your companions for example. Finally, note that the title was entitled to an improved version in 2014 called Soul Sacrifice Delta.


After making a name for itself with the LittleBigPlanet saga, Media Molecule had returned to PS Vita with a brand new license: Tearaway. If it is once again a platform game, this new title offered to take full advantage of all the capabilities of the machine to offer an original universe made of paper. It embodies Iota (or its female equivalent, Atoi), but also Vou, a sort of deity who can help Iota during specific sequence using the rear touchpad of the Vita. Thanks to this clever exploitation of the console’s functions, the title becomes an original and surprising experience that allows us to live a funny and cute adventure full of different ideas. Later, the game was even adapted on PS4 with Tearaway Unfolded, before Media Molecule turned to Dreams.

Uncharted : Golden Abyss

The console’s launch game, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, boded well for the future of the PS Vita by proving from the outset that it could support productions whose rendering is close to that of the PS3. Developed by Bend Studio, which we know for their work on Siphon Filter but especially more recently Days Gone, we follow the adventures of Nathan Drake before the events of the first episode. Of the same caliber as the games on PS3, we always have to do with a mix between TPS and platform phases in order to find a treasure in Central America. The game also takes advantage of the features of the PS Vita with the touch screen which is useful for the puzzles, but also during the shooting phases to throw grenades for example. Despite its short lifespan and lack of multiplayer mode, it features classic Uncharted gameplay for an impressive rendering for a 2012 handheld game.

WipEout 2048

Also present at the launch of the PS Vita, WipEout 2048 was the console’s other technological showcase thanks to its impressive display speed for a portable game. With great fluidity, the title is particularly demanding thanks to an AI at a progressively mind-blowing level, as well as races in which you have to know every curve and every turn at your fingertips. The title takes into account certain features of the machine such as the gyroscope to steer its vehicle, but these are quite anecdotal given the reflexes required of the player. Finally, WipEout 2048 also offered a career mode with progressive difficulty that spans three seasons that can quickly end in a straight line, but will take longer to unlock all the ships available. Moreover, the Career mode was even available online with the same principle of objectives as in solo, which offers a certain replayability.

Ys: Memories Of Celceta

Second remake of the fourth episode of the Ys saga, Ys IV: Mask of the Sun, Ys: Memories of Celceta is an Action-RPG in which we follow the adventures of Adol Cristin, who has become amnesiac, who tries to regain his memory by collecting orbs containing shards of memories. We find there all the elements that made the success of the series, namely ultra-dynamic and nervous fights that gain in energy thanks to the frenzied music that accompanies them. With its old-school RPG aspect, the title manages to remain catchy thanks to its efficient gameplay and its good lifespan (about 25 hours) which makes it possible to forget its somewhat too conventional scenario. Later, the title was entitled to ports on PC and PS4, respectively in 2018 and 2020.

Brent Dubin
Brent Dubin, known as the Gaming Giant among Globe Live Media staff, is the chief Gaming Reporter for Globe Live Media. Having attended all the major events of Gaming around the World, he is sure to give you exactly the update related to gaming world you are looking for.Work Email: