Although the PS Vita is discontinued, we'll never forget the memories we made on one of the first and foremost portable gaming systems. Even if the market is now dominated by the Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck, the PS Vita's time in the limelight is not forgotten. That's why we're revisiting some of our favorite PS Vita games from the past. Better yet, we're ranking the best PlayStation Vita games of all time, and trust us when we say it wasn't an easy decision.
Let's just say, they don't make them like they used to. But, who knows, maybe the new PlayStation “Project Q” handheld gaming device will take over like its younger sibling the PS Vita, once did. All we can hope for is that the games on it are as good as, if not better, than the ones on this list that made the PS Vita such a memorable experience.
8. Uncharted: Golden Abyss
From 2007 to 2011, Naughty Dog dominated the action-adventure gaming market with their Uncharted series. On PS3, no other developer appeared to be able to match their graphical and performance levels. But it was granting an Uncharted spin-off for the PS Vita with Uncharted: Golden Abyss that really demonstrated their prowess. Despite the fact that there are countless other factors to consider, we consider this one of the best PlayStation Vita games of all time solely because of the studio's mechanical ability to deliver a great AAA spin-off on a portable console, when no one else thought it was achievable.
7. Shovel Knight
Although it was not originally a PlayStation Vita title, it is difficult not to consider it one of the best games ever released for the portable gaming console. The retro 8-bit 2d side-scroller Shovel Knight drew inspiration from the oldest and best in its class. Yet, it managed to surpass them with a captivating narrative that just got more intriguing as we dug deeper. Even now, Shovel Knight is a breath of fresh air, and its time on the PS Vita will not be forgotten.
Because the PlayStation Vita was such a revolutionary concept at the time, many games attempted to match it with innovative concepts. Few games succeeded, but Severed was one of them. Using the Vita's touch screen, Severed delivered a tense and chaotic hack N slash title that had us hooked from the start. Each enemy was equally unique and grotesque in its own right, and we couldn't get enough of its absurdity. All in all, it was just such a unique concept that pushed the envelope, something we rarely see nowadays. Because of that, we consider it one of the best PlayStation Vita games of all time.
5. Hotline Miami
It's not often we get a top-down game that completely dominates the market. Hotline Miami by Dennaton Games, on the other hand, did exactly that. First making a splash as an indie game on PC, this game was just calling to be enjoyed on the PS Vita. And, to no one's surprise, when it finally arrived it excelled even more. The quick and fast-paced retro levels were constantly engaging, and they were matched by an upbeat and memorable soundtrack. It's just one of those titles you wish you could experience for the first time again.
It's titles like Guacamelee! that we just don't see done anymore. However, we hope to see something along these lines with the games released for Project Q. Nonetheless, Guacamelee! was a natural fit for the PlayStation Vita, and it's no surprise that it's one of the system's best games. This quirky non-linear beat-em-up knew exactly what it was. Furthermore, you knew you were in for a wild and random ride. But that's exactly what made it such an enjoyable experience, one that was enhanced on the PS Vita.
One of the main reasons for the PS Vita's success is that it opened up new mechanical possibilities for games. With the built-in camera and touch screen, games could do more to make their titles more engaging and interactive. Tearaway was one title that fully exploited these features. Using the camera, you could add your own pictures to the 3D paper world or draw them with the touchscreen. It made for such an organic and memorable experience that we just can't help but consider it one of the best PlayStation Vita games of all time.
2. Gravity Rush
Speaking of using the PlayStation Vita's unique mechanics to open up gameplay, we have Gravity Rush. Using protagonist Kat's powers to manipulate gravity, you could freely express yourself in the game's levels by running on the side of buildings and finding unique ways to engage in fights. Already a cool concept, it was made even better thanks to the PS Vita's tilt controls. Although it made us dizzy at times, Gravity Rush is without a doubt one of the best PlayStation Vita games of all time, and it would make an excellent remake for Project Q.
1. Persona 4 Golden
Although there are a lot of arguments to be made for the best PlayStation Vita games of all time, no one has a better one than Persona 4 Golden. Considered to be one of the JRPGs of all time, Persona 4 Golden delivered on every front, from gameplay, art style, music, story, and characters – especially characters. It was an irresistible experience that hooked every player from the moment they picked up the game. Even if you weren't a fan of JRPGs at the time, it had the ability to attract players from outside the genre, which is truly a special achievement.