It's almost time for the PSP to give away to the incoming NGP, but Sony's portable system is churning out some worthwhile titles in what could be the beginning of its last years. As usual, God of War continues to tighten its grip on the top of the PSP hill, but other companies like Square Enix have made some strides this year with Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep. 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.
Check out our updated lists to see where new games like God of War: Ghost of Sparta rank among perennial contenders like Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars and Tekken 6 -- did one of your favorite PSP games manage to break the top 10?
10 | Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep
Over the years, transferring the fast-paced, frantic action of the Kingdom Hearts series from its PlayStation 2 roots down to handheld titles has met with plenty of mixed results. Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep is arguably the most successful game to do this yet, with graphics that benefit from the PSP hardware, as well as combat that mixes together elements from various other Kingdom Hearts games. And rather than one main story, you get three solo angles.
Working as a prequel to all the other Kingdom Hearts games, Birth By Sleep tells the story of Aqua, Terra, and Ventus -- a trio of Keyblade wielders. Throughout the game, the groundwork is laid over three different campaigns as the plot explains who these three friends are and how they affect the later roles played by Sora, Kairi, and Riku. As with all the other Kingdom Hearts, BBS has cameos aplenty, with various Disney icons like Mickey Mouse and a few Square Enix characters, revamped gameplay, multiplayer modes, and more brand new worlds to visit.
9 | UFC Undisputed 2010
Ultimate Fighting Championship's follow-up title for UFC 2009 Undisputed is the MMA king on consoles. While decent competition on the PSP has yet to step up to the plate, UFC Undisputed 2010 is already going to make it hard for other competitors to take cage fighting into the portable space. Even though the visuals have been given a weight cut, UFC 2010 on the PSP still possesses a deep roster, varied modes, and several ways to dish out a beatdown.
Like the console versions, UFC 2010 on PSP also boasts a career mode that lets you work your way up through the MMA rankings, training drills to work on your ground game, and title fight modes for a straight shot to the championship belts. For a PSP game, it manages to pack in a substantial amount of gameplay without losing a ton of features. Considering UFC 2010 the sports title you should have if you want to play against a buddy with his own PSP.
8 | Tekken 6
Although it's been compressed into a portable title, 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. Tekken 6 on PSP also trims down the experience by eliminating the "Scenario Campaign" mode, and replacing it with a more traditional story mode that features fighter-specific ending scenes for each character.
Of course, it's clear the polygon count had to be noticeably downgraded, but each of the 41 King of Iron Fist participants still retain their flashy and acrobatic martial arts moves from the console and arcade versions. And once you're done with the main story mode, there's still "Ghost Mode" and a challenge mode to polish your skills. For gamers that like to customize their chosen fighters, you can also spend hours racking up in-game currency in the Arcade Mode. Not only will you gain higher ranks as you clear tougher opponents, but you'll also unlock a wide variety of unique (and weird) costume pieces to stylize your fighter of choice.
7 | Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together
An almost pixel-perfect remake of the original PSOne title, Tactics Orge: Let Us Cling Together is possibly the deepest and most engrossing tactical RPG on the PlayStation Portable -- and considering that the PSP's library includes Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions and the Disgaea series, that's staying quite a bit.
In fact, the story alone is a good tread for mature audiences, as the line between good and evil are never explicitly drawn in the sand during the extensive campaign. No matter which of the three factions you play as, the actions you take in the Valerian war are largely up to you -- and with the PSP exclusive "The World" system, you can even retrace your actions in the plot to find new scenarios and plot twists. It's a morality system that predates most modern games, and for the tactical war buff in you, Tactics Orge is just as relevant now as it was when it first released.
6 | Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy
For Square Enix to develop anything like the Dissidia is highly unusual. Character cameos in other video games are one thing, but pitting all of Final Fantasy's most famous heroes and villains against each other in one single action game is another beast altogether. Throwing out the turn-based battle system all together, the Dissidia series' combat is more Matrix than RPG.
And to boot, Dissidia adds enough new gameplay tweaks and character additions to make the sequel more than worth it for returning fans. For those who haven't played the first game in the series, Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy also includes the original game, doubling the amount of content in one UMD disc. With Lightning, Tifa, and Yuna joining the returning cast -- including Cloud, Sephiroth, Kefka, Kain Highwind, and Zidane Tribal, just to start -- it's one of the most replayable Final Fantasy games you'll get on the PlayStation Portable.