8 for 8: The Best PSP Games Pt. 1: Original IPs

The PSP recently celebrated its 8th birthday, as it was released in March of 2005 (in North America).  To honor the occasion, I’m paying tribute to the 8 best games in three different categories:

-Original IPs (Series whose first games were on PSP)

-Sequels and Spinoffs

-Ports and Remakes

So let’s get rolling with 8 for 8: Best of the PSP, starting with the system’s most awesome original IPs.


Now also available on the 3DS, Crush made its debut on PSP.  This was an amazing puzzle game that blended 2D and 3D gameplay, within the same levels, brilliantly.  In some ways, it feels like an early ancestor of Fez.  To get through a stage, you really had to think about when and how to use each viewpoint to your advantage.  The results were amazing, though not for the weak of stomach.  (Note: A new version recently became to the 3DS, though it has a different story and isn’t quite the same.)

Jeanne d’Arc

Telling a fictionalized version of the story of Joan of Arc wasn’t the only unique thing this game brought to the TRPG genre.  The battle would drastically change in mid fight some times, in exciting and interesting ways.  Animated cutscenes and a deep skill binding system lock this one up as a must-play for tactical RPG fans.

Half-Minute Hero

Almost a parody of traditional JRPGs, Half-Minute Hero pays tribute to the genre, yet gives it the attention a lot of games get from the modern gamer: 30 seconds’ worth.  The hero is gonna get up and save the world, but he’s only got 30 seconds to do it.  Players succeed in this fast and fun take on role playing by finding ways to constantly get more time or stop the clock.


This hip, shiny younger cousin of Tetris was one of the best early PSP titles in the same way the third Lumines game is one of the best early Vita titles.  Catchy music and addictive gameplay make each and every new Lumines game more addictive than the last.  If Sony some day makes a third handheld gaming system, it would do well to ship alongside a new Lumines game.

Loco Roco

This was perhaps the first PSP game to officially make you look stupid in public, with its emphasis on rotating the system’s position.  Such technology is now quite popular in handheld games, especially on phones.  While Loco Roco may not have been the first, it was certainly among the earliest titles with this technology to reach high popularity, and to do so on a dedicated gaming device. Yeah, it may have been a little gimmicky, but it was still fun.

Cladun: This is an RPG!

Cladun raises a glass to the dungeon-dives of yesteryear with its mechanics and its 8-bit art style.  This one was only a PSN download abroad, but got a physical release in Japan (as nearly all “download only” games do), where it was known as “Classic Dungeon,” a much more descriptive title to be sure.


Pata-Pata-Pata-Pon!  Pon-Pon-Pata-Pon!  And now, those of you who played this will have that in your heads for the rest of the week.

ZHP: Unlosing Ranger Vs. Darkdeath Evilman

In the same way Half-Minute Hero parodies traditional RPGs, ZHP: Unlosing Ranger Vs. Darkdeath Evilman salutes the Roguelike.  It’s got the gameplay of those old masochistic titles like Rogue and Nethack, but with a little more forgiving difficulty level and more humorous story, and therefore, greatly increased accessibility.

Thanks for reading the feature.  Shout about your own favorite PSP games in the comments below.

Check back later today for the next installment of 8 for 8: The Best PSP Games!