SLIDESHOW

The 10 Best PSP Games

We take a look at the Sony PSP's entire library of video games and handpick the 10 best titles it has to offer.

The 10 Best PSP Games

Sony's PSP may be a bit behind the Nintendo DS in terms of sales numbers, but there are still plenty of reasons to own a PSP, which features a constantly growing library of quality titles from nearly every genre. The PSP also showcases some of the best graphics you'll find on a handheld device.

Even years after its initial release, the PSP continues to roll out plenty of addictive and original titles, with expected additions to huge franchises like Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, smaller hits like Space Invaders Extreme, and underrated titles like the Disgaea series. While there are plenty of games worth checking out beyond this list, the following round-up narrows down the vast library of titles to the 10 best PSP games that you can buy today. (To view this slideshow in its original format, visit GamePro)

The 10 Best PSP Games

There are many reasons LocoRoco ranks as one of the best PSP games around, but its success really boils down to simplicity and originality. More than anything, though, LocoRoco's main theme has always been about having fun -- and it might even tug at your heartstrings a bit as you'll likely form a bond with your LocoRocos.

Interestingly, you don't really "control" the LocoRocos at all, but the environment that surrounds them.

LocoRoco 2 retains every ounce of the charm that made its predecessor popular, featuring much larger levels. LocoRoco 2 can be bought at a download-only price of an affordable $20, or even cheaper if you go with the UMD option.

The 10 Best PSP Games

Some RPGs are too complicated, too time-consuming, and too daunting for busy gamers. Half-Minute Hero cuts a lot of the fat out of the traditional role-playing game experience by giving you a mere 30 seconds to save the world.

At the core of the game, your quest involves a constant race against time to prevent an incoming apocalypse. For the most part, you'll be challenged by 30-second missions that use a variety of gameplay elements, from tactical group battles to frantic puzzle solving.

More than anything else, Half-Minute Hero is more a parody of RPGs than a serious, hardcore offering. It's not just one of the best PSP games around -- it earned GamePro's coveted Game of the Month award.

The 10 Best PSP Games

Patapon and Patapon 2 clearly share the charm factor with LocoRoco, but the innovative gameplay couldn't be any more different. For characters that are little more than black-and-white eyeballs with arms and legs, the Patapons have just as much personality -- and they're more aggressive.

Playing the role of the deity that oversees the actions of the tiny titular tribe, Patapon uses rhythm-based commands to put you into control of the small army.

Patapon 2 packs in new character types, as well as continuing the Patapons' quest for world domination against new foes. Both games are also available for mere pennies -- especially if you buy Patapon 2 via download through the PlayStation Store.

The 10 Best PSP Games

Many gamers missed Final Fantasy Tactics the first time around on the original PlayStation, and tracking down a copy of this rare game is a bit difficult. Now, this undervalued classic finally has the remake that it deserves with The War of the Lions. It's not just the bonus content that makes this fantasy adventure a solid purchase for the PSP, but the complex and engaging tactical RPG system still manages to impress after all these years.

Whether it's the updated dialogue, classic gameplay, or widescreen ratio of the PSP screen that gets you to try this game, The War of the Lions is one tale you'll traverse for many days.

The 10 Best PSP Games

Tekken 6 is just as fast-paced as its bigger console brother. While the PSP version doesn't have the technological flex room that can be found with the PS3 or Xbox 360, all of the fighters from the console package successfully make the jump to the smaller screen.

For the fighting game purist, you could probably say that the PSP port of Tekken 6 is a much more streamlined version of the massive console release. Core elements like the intricate juggling system are reproduced with only slight changes, while memory-consuming features such as massive background stages with large set pieces have been largely downsized for smoother play. Either way, Tekken 6 isn't just one of the best PSP games to hit shelves this year; it's the best fighter on the system, hands down.

The 10 Best PSP Games

Early in its development, Peace Walker was actually codenamed Metal Gear Solid 5. That fact alone makes an interesting statement about the role that this PSP game plays in the story of Big Boss, a.k.a. Naked Snake, and his eventual creation of Outer Heaven.

Peace Walker makes quite a few changes to the Metal Gear formula. For one, you don't have to fight this war alone -- with the new "Co-Ops" missions, you can join up with a friend to tackle missions as a team.

Aside from the main game, Peace Walker also has production values that rival its console counterparts. Hours of quality voice acting, a fully orchestrated soundtrack, and over hundreds of missions are present.

The 10 Best PSP Games

What Tetris was to the Game Boy, Lumines is to the PSP. Where the former established the now-common puzzle genre, the later continues the trend with vivid visual flair and a collection of music that would be commonplace in any dance club.

It's a simple puzzle game that feels like Tetris on acid. Starting with an empty screen, you'll be tasked with stacking a steady wave of 4-by-4 blocks side by side. Lining them up in the right formation will delete some blocks as a "timeline" bar sweeps across the playing field.

While the original UMD release of Lumines is a downright rarity -- selling for no less than $50 a pop online -- Lumines II won't dent your wallet by nearly as much running at $10 used.

The 10 Best PSP Games

LittleBigPlanet, like the real world, is always changing. When it comes to customization, LBP stacks the deck in its favor with a deep and intricate level building system that employs realistic physics and varied gameplay.

Even though Sackboy flies solo in the PSP port of LittleBigPlanet, all the tools he needs are intact, despite the fact that this admittedly huge game has shrunk.

LittleBigPlanet PSP also lets you customize your Sackboy mascot in hundreds of way. Along with that, every creation you make in the game can be shared online. It's a single-player game that shouldn't be played alone, and with a PSP, there's hours of content that can easily make time fly by.

The 10 Best PSP Games

Chinatown Wars on the PSP may not look like more familiar Grand Theft Auto titles but looks aren't everything.

The PSP port of Chinatown Wars sets itself apart even further from its DS counterpart in a few ways. With updated graphics and a modified control scheme, Chinatown Wars on PSP also contains extra missions that expand on the original version, alongside with bonus content exclusive to the PSP port. Chinatown Wars can be found anywhere for $20 or less -- so get it before it's rare.

The 10 Best PSP Games

Kratos may have made a name for himself on the PlayStation 2, but his PSP adventure also features high production values that make Chains of Olympus one of the best PSP games on shelves right now.

Going back to the early days of his servitude to the Gods of Olympus, the story starts with Kratos obliterating the entire Persian army (in true Spartan fashion) and centers around a mysterious plot to destroy the world.

Since God of War: Ghost of Sparta is on the way, Chains of Olympus won't be Kratos's only venture to the PlayStation Portable. Whether you own an older version of the PSP system or the new PSP Go, a mere $20 will net you this title via UMD or online download.

The 10 Best PSP Games

Honorable Mentions:

Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep
Kingdom Hearts, Birth by Sleep introduces a new trio of heroes who seek to become Keyblade masters.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
Crisis Core expands upon the story of FFVII in an RPG experience.

Wipeout Pulse
Fans of the series can agree that Wipeout Pulse brings a polished theme to racing games unlike anything else.

To view this slideshow in its original format, visit GamePro.