No good games to play on PSP? Here are 10 beauties

If ever a console needed some love, it's PSP. While everyone's getting excited about the next big PS3 or Xbox 360 games, Sony's sleek little black portable just sits there, quietly outselling PS3 in hardware sales (according to US NPD figures), yet failing to light up the internet with the kind of excitement it evoked at its launch.

"It's got no games" we hear people cry. They are wrong. We're playing great games on PSP - here are ten of our absolute favourites.

Tekken: Dark Resurrection
When we first got our PSPs, we really wanted to love the conversion of Street Fighter Alpha 3 on it. But we couldn't. The console's four face buttons and separate D-Pad arrows make the usual quarter-circle fighting movements not only difficult, but physically painful after even moderate play time. So what a wonderful surprise it was to discover Tekken fits it beautifully.

Above: If we had that much gold, we wouldn't let people fight all over it

Looking at it logically, it makes sense. The first Tekken games were around before PSone got analog sticks, and the PlayStation controller has always had separate D-pad arrows and four face buttons. So when you don't need to hook your fingers around PSP's broad shoulders and instead have to tap in memorised sequences on the face layout, everything suddenly falls into place.

Of course it helps that this is a superb version of Tekken, with a few graphical optimisations which ensure it looks even better than its PS2 equivalent, Tekken 5. Seeing doubloons fly up in the piratey stage or the stained glass windows in the church on PSP's beautiful screen is enough eye-candy for any gamer to appreciate. Some games just do what they do, perfectly. This is one of those games.

OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast
Seeing as the first port of OutRun 2 was on the original Xbox, it was impressive enough to see the game running on PS2 when this extended version came out a year later, let alone PSP. And yet here it is with every feature intact, complete with a USB data link between the two Sony machines. You can spend your train journey racking up OutRun miles in the addictive Heart Attack mode or simply try to reach as many of the ten ending scenes as you can, before hooking back up to your big screen when you get home.

Above: See the road past the bridge? 20 seconds and you'll be there

The atmosphere of OutRun has always been a joy and the remixed music tracks here, coupled with the original 1986 tunes, are still as hum-worthy as ever. It's a good-looking game, too, with long winding roads disappearing into the distance and the buzz of that choice at the end of every stage is still as simple and rewarding a pleasure as it was the first time we played OutRun in the 1980s. Seeing as we haven't saved up enough for our real Ferrari yet (we're about 0.0001% of the way there), we're happy to settle for this little pocket rocket for the time being.

SNK Arcade Classics: Volume 1
A lot of people will tell you that the SNES was about as good as 2D graphics ever got, but they're wrong. SNK's Neo Geo and its games may have been way too expensive when they were available in the mid-'90s, but they were also arcade perfect translations of titles which represented the pinnacle of 2D gaming. So in effect, this compilation is giving you an armful of games that once represented that magic, just-out-of-reach strain of wondergame that used to be reserved purely for the pocket money thrill of the arcade.

Above: What this screen can't show you is the superb scaling effects

Nowadays, what used to leave us wide-eyed (and regularly lighter of pocket) has now evened out as a deliciously crisp 2D experience. The hand-drawn art has more character than 99% of 3D games and the emphasis on pick-up-and-play immediacy is perfect for the PSP. That's not to say there's no depth – there's plenty to learn and secrets to uncover, and the challenge of beating levels in Metal Slug without dying is still one of the most hardcore challenges in gaming.

Of this collection, Metal Slug is a clear favourite, though we've also lost hours to Super Sidekicks 3 (pictured) – an arcadey footie game which captures the 'Roy of the Rovers' feel of childhood soccer dreams brilliantly.

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  • CombatCat120 - October 3, 2009 4:18 p.m.

  • camo510 - December 3, 2008 9:19 p.m.

    wait a minute.. i never even heard of half these games.. were u kidding??
  • camo510 - December 3, 2008 9:10 p.m.

    PSP has good games like crisis core, patapon, etc but i hardly playewd it until i got it modded... now i play it non stop... with gameboy advanced games, lol
  • SpicyPoyratez - December 2, 2008 8:59 p.m.

    Like a few others have said before me, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops is missing, and is certainly missed! What a great freaking game and it's not on this list. Unbelievable.
  • kjadf12329 - December 2, 2008 3:19 a.m.

    why are all but 2 games sports/racing?
  • grognard66 - December 1, 2008 2:20 p.m.

    Some other good titles not listed are the 2 Syphon Filter games, Burnout Legends, both Lumines releases, both SOCOM games, Field Commander, God of War and Puzzle Quest. Too bad only Resistance: Retribution is on the radar for 09. Sony should aggressively push PS1 games ported to PSP on their online store.
  • Nintendno - December 1, 2008 2:59 a.m.

    Did nobody here like R&C: Size Matters? I think it is 1 of the best PSP games in existence.
  • Moosebomber - November 30, 2008 11:11 p.m.

    you guys forgot metal gear solid:portable ops and from what iv heard god of war chains of olympus.
  • jamesnash - November 29, 2008 4:07 p.m.

    we can go on about how many great games there are, for me metal gear solid portable ops, killzone, god of war, burnout, gta: stories, Final fantasy crises core. thats just to add to the list above! I'm sure there is more! The thing that is done wrong for me is the marketing the only adverts i have ever seen are the ones currently showing about the new psp3000 re-market the great games already available a lot of games will be missed by new owners and old that never went to buy a game that month!
  • carsonnik - November 28, 2008 7 p.m.

    I don't see why everyone likes Wipeout. I got bored of it in a couple weeks and returned it.
  • KHfan - November 28, 2008 3:49 p.m.

    wat about crisis cores a god of war?
  • RandyChimp - November 28, 2008 3:39 p.m.

    My psp is just completely fucked. I got a usb charger cable, and a piece came off inside, so i can only use that charger. Now, my battery wears down in about half an hour. Is it worth buying a PSP 3000, cus i enjoy playing gta on my psp.
  • paganmandave - November 28, 2008 2:49 p.m.

    How about Patapon, Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror & Logan's Shadow? Three great titles as well. By the way I won my PSP from you guys about a year ago. Thanks again!!
  • Hunter2458 - November 28, 2008 7:22 a.m.

    I have a custom firmware phat version... :3 psx games ftw, I'm playing Tales of Phantasia and Tales of Destiny <3
  • Tasty_Pasta - November 28, 2008 4:39 a.m.

    Ha, I actually just got Star Ocean: First Departure. Generally always been a good series.
  • kstegall - November 28, 2008 2:49 a.m.

    F1 '06? Ridge Racer 2? Huh? How come we don't get these games in the U.S.?! =(
  • Caplen - November 27, 2008 6:54 p.m.

    omg gamesradar i cant believe u have forgotten football manager handheld!!!!! its honestly the best football sim EVER!!!!!!!!
  • GR_JustinTowell - November 27, 2008 4:28 p.m.

    @Dazza15 LocoRoco almost made it onto the list. Very, very nearly. So did Chains of Olympus, Lumines and Vice City Stories. But we just wanted to pick ten that we really love and play regularly, so some had to be left out. Which would you pick?
  • Macin92 - December 2, 2008 7:30 p.m.

    There's loads of good games that they could have included: MGS: Portable Ops is class, as is Loco Roco,Burnout Legends, Sid Meir's Pirates is great as well. They even missed out Daxter. You should have made the list include at least 15 games. I mainly use the PSP for internet and music anyway.
  • Juriasu - November 28, 2008 9:16 p.m.

    Excuse me GamesRadar, what about Patapon???