PlayStation Portable is an old, seventh generation of video game console that was released initially in 2004 for Japan and in 2005 worldwide. Although it might be old, but the phrase “old but gold” is best suited to this classic handheld. It has a decent graphics quality, on the same level as PlayStation 2 back then and it also has several signature games that make people remember this handheld always.
When you can play decent RPG such as PlayStation 2 RPG, in a portable size, what else do you need? I think that many PlayStation Portable games have successfully left marks in player’s heart. With a very small, compact size this handheld is able to bring you good RPG just like what PlayStation and PlayStation 2 have back then. So here are the top 7 PlayStation Portable RPG that you will love for sure.
7. Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep is an action RPG developed and published by Square Enix for PlayStation Portable in 2010. This game is the sixth game in the series to be released, but is set first chronologically. Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep was developed by the same team that created Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, and uses the same main theme “Simple and Clean” sung by Utada Hikaru.
The game’s premise is the origin of the series’ hero and villain, Sora and Xehanort. It delves deep into the mysteries of Xehanort bleak past and forgotten memories as well as how Sora and Riku came to wield the Keyblade in the first place. This game tells the story of the three Keyblade wielder and close friend, Terra, Aqua, and Ventus who trains under Master Eraqus to become Keyblade Master.
6. Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions is a remake of Final Fantasy Tactics for PlayStation Portable. It is very popular in its era where RPG lovers lack of tactical games with good storyline and nice gameplay. What is so good about this game is that you can change your character’s job like in early Final Fantasy games, but this time it involves skill combination which makes the game even more exciting.
The story sets in Ivalice, a unified kingdom of seven territories which is caught in the middle of war (War of the Lions) between two opposing factions vying for rule of the kingdom. We will play as Ramza Beoulve, a member of the respected House Beoulve, who finds himself caught in the middle of the war and later trying to uncover the truth behind a sinister plot to save the kingdoms from destruction.
5. Ys Seven
Ys Seven is an action RPG developed by Nihon Falcom and the seventh installment of the Ys series which was released in 2009. Same like in the prior games, players had to switch between elemental weapons to attack monsters and enemy bosses. Not much gameplay mechanics is different this time around, but now players can change party members and use different attacks.
The story follows the event of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, where Adol and Dogi reached the capital of Altago in an attempt to find more adventure. While exploring, they get into trouble after trying to save two sisters who were being harassed by the local Dragon Knights. After being released by the king, he requested the party to help him investigating the strange earthquakes caused by the Five Dragons.
4. Star Ocean: Second Evolution
Star Ocean: Second Evolution is the remake of the Star Ocean: The Second Story for PlayStation Portable. Although the original version has been ported to some platforms, this amazing game started its debut in the simple console such as PlayStation. This game gives the player a choice to play as Claude C. Kenny or Rena Lanford (the two main protagonists) with all its consequences to the story in-game.
This game gives different sensation in playing RPG where you choose which character’s scenario you will play on; resulting in different possibility of recruitable characters. Star Ocean: Second Evolution has the real-time combat system that tri-Ace is famous for, and making it as a pioneer of the modern RPG’s real-time battle system. This game is one of tri-Ace’s most critical and commercial successes.
3. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky is a RPG developed by Nihon Falcom as part of The Legend of Heroes series. This game is also known as Trails in the Sky (First Chapter), which followed by Trails in the Sky SC and Trails in the Sky the 3rd. The game initially released in 2004 for PC (Japan) and later ported to PlayStation Portable in 2006. A high-definition port to the PlayStation 3 was released in 2012 in Japan.
The game takes place in Liberl Kingdom, 10 years after being invaded by the Erebonian Empire from the north. The story begins with the main protagonist, 11-year old Estelle Bright who was waiting for her father Cassius, to return home for the night. When he came, he brings back a boy named Joshua whom later grew up together with Estelle. Their journey after becoming bracers becomes a journey to save the world.
2. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is an action RPG developed and published by Square Enix in 2007 and exclusive for PlayStation Portable. The game is a prequel to Final Fantasy VII and the fourth entry to the compilation of Final Fantasy VII saga. The story set seven years before the start of Final Fantasy VII, and encompasses the events that take place until just before its beginning.
The game’s hero is Zack Fair, who was a minor character in Final Fantasy VII and the previous owner of Buster Sword before Cloud Strife. Zack is a SOLDIER working for Shinra Electric Power Company under director Lazard Deusericus. This game tells the tale of Zack’s battle against the villainous SOLDIER defector, Genesis Rhapsodos and the other products of the Jenova Project.
1. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3
This game is the fourth installment of the Persona series. Released in 2006, this game initially was made for PlayStation 2 console. An enhanced version titled Persona 3 FES was made on the same console with bonus chapter: The Answer (this version also available for PlayStation 3). There is also a PlayStation Portable version with an optional female protagonist titled Persona 3 Portable.
The story follows a group of high school students with the name of SEES who were trying to cooperate with each other in a world where death is acceptable. Together, they investigate a mysterious time period called Dark Hour and found out Tartarus, a huge tower containing Shadows. To fight them the members of SEES summons Persona as a manifestation of their inner self.
Read also: #ThrowbackRPG – Top 7 PlayStation RPG
Old but gold is the best term to describe PlayStation Portable and its RPG. They might be an outdated handheld and games, but we all should admit that the classic console holds the most important value in RPG development. And if I have to choose, I will go with Star Ocean: Second Evolution. The others are also great, but I’m a fan of tri-Ace so I’ll stick with Star Ocean series.
Which one do you think is the best PlayStation Portable RPG? Do you have another suggestion? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.