The best PS Vita games to play on the greatest portable ever (2023)

By Kes Eylers-Stephenson,

The best PS Vita games list is stacked with PlayStation Studios games, indies, and JRPGs of the highest quality to grace Sony's underrated handheld.

The best Vita games list is full of amazing titles even in 2023. The hand-selected selected games come from the editorial staff and the community, who — having scrolled every inch of the Vita games list — have over 15 games for you to play on Sony's underrated handheld. Welcome to Vita Island!

Best PS Vita gamesBest PS Vita games

Here is how the selection process occurs for the best PS Vita games list. Editor Kes and Staff Writers Lee and Sean all put together their favourite PS Vita games in separate lists. Then, using those 30 as a foundation, we narrow down the 15 best games on the handheld with an emphasis on genre and gameplay diversity where possible. We are in the process of adding five more games as selected by the community in a poll.

Staff Picks

Persona 4 Golden

Where do you even begin with this absolute masterpiece? Persona 4 Golden is unlike any other gaming experience you will ever have. With an incredible storyline that will keep you guessing till the very end and a roster of characters who you will fall in love with and then struggle to decide between them who your favourite is — it’s Kanji. You can spend over 100 hours trying to get all of those Persona 4 Golden trophies as it will take at least two playthroughs to be able to snatch up all the different trophies.

On top of that, you have an amazing OST that you can sit and jive to while you explore the wonderfully designed dungeons that you will spend a good chunk of your time in. Then throw in the slice-of-life element and you have a truly unique JRPG experience that no other game can really provide. Well, maybe one of the other Persona series games. That darn 'Hardcore Risette Fan' trophy will always keep many of us from that beautiful platinum trophy. We almost added Persona 4 Dancing All Night on this list, which would have also been a great contender, but, you just can’t beat the classic P4G. Thank you, Atlus, for this brilliance!


Danganronpa Trigger Happy Havoc

Taken at face value, we wouldn’t blame you if you played a little of Danganronpa Trigger Happy Havoc and concluded that it was tonally and design-wise a mismatched Frankenstein of a game. It’s a little bit Ace Attorney, a little bit of a visual novel, a little Saw, a little Persona, and, with all abundance of respect, very Japanese. Yet, as you engage with that conceptual soup, completely overwhelmed by the number of named characters you need to grow accustomed to and aching from the whiplash of the game’s moment-to-moment shift between comedy and abject cartoon horror — somewhere in that overwhelm, your brain goes limp and the value of Danganronpa is laid bare before you.

Danganronpa pulls off a trick only truly accomplished before by the Metal Gear series, in that, by completely overwhelming you with information, it actually enables you to see through its busy surface to the sweet, earnest, uniquely positive philosophy it preaches beneath. The overload of info makes replaying for those Danganronpa Trigger Happy Havoc trophies worthwhile despite being a single-path visual novel as you’re never likely to take it all in in one run — plus, there’s something perfect about the mishandled brilliance of the Vita that makes it the perfect home for Danganronpa.


Gravity Rush

Very few console launch games burst onto the scene exuding Gravity Rush-level confidence, and far fewer leave such a lasting impression on its console’s legacy. Gravity Rush was immediately emblematic of everything the Vita strived to deliver in its initial run — a big, bombastic, home console-quality game with an air of experimentality and an undercurrent of messiness that, to the right player, only added to the charm of the thing.

The unique gravity-defying movement mechanics (literally, Kat defies gravity) in Gravity Rush are the big sell here, but they would only have left half as good an impression if Kat weren’t such a likeable character and her world so architecturally fascinating. While your basic combat options could get a little tedious, exploring Rift Planes to earn Gravity Rush trophies helped connect us to Kat’s fractured world and cement it forever in our memories.


Zero Escape Virtue's Last Reward

Ignore the 3DS branding in the trailer above, Zero Escape Virtue's Last Reward is best on PlayStation Vita where I think it manages to outplay the visual novel aspects of Danganronpa. There is less game in this middle entry in the series (followed by Zero Escape Zero Time Dilemma on Vita), but there is a stunning amount of good puzzling and gripping multi-timeline story-telling. Strong writing sells a game that does ultimately have a familiar premise: many people are stuck in a compound and have to kill or be killed to get out. However, with multiple possibilities to play out and an easy timeline-swapping function, it gets a very high concept very quickly.

Visual novels are a dime a dozen on Vita and this hardly pushes the boat out of the genre box, especially with an easy set of Zero Escape Virtue's Last Reward trophies. However, this again sets itself above many of the rest with such gorgeous artwork and really solid escape room puzzles. The characters are incredibly well characterised too, with the baddy being cruel rather than humorous like a certain black and white teddy bear names Monokuma. No, Virtue's Last Reward is a must — even for those who don't normally like visual novels — and a showcase of the variety of genres that are actually best played on the magnificent handheld.


Uncharted Golden Abyss

Let's keep this short and simple because we all know why Uncharted Golden Abyss from Bend Studio is on here: the game is a show-stopper. It is the AAA game that should have boosted the console into stardom (if Sony hadn't had a horrible launch), given that it matches the rest of the Uncharted series from Naughty Dog in tone and quality. The PlayStation Studio managed to match its compatriot in voice work, graphical style, gameplay style, and quippy dialogue.

Indeed, the Uncharted Golden Abyss trophies ask you to explore every inch of the game and you will not mind one bit given how good some of the environments are. The only thing that they missed out on in this Drake prequel was consistency because there is a definite pacing issue alongside some irritating use of Vita functionality. For more on the behind-the-scenes, you should check out The Adored Explorer: An Uncharted Compendium which details why this game is so underrated, but know that those minor quibbles don't stop Uncharted Golden Abyss being a must play adventure on Vita.


Motorstorm RC

When we talk about making room on our list for genre picks, it can seem demeaning. However, in the case of Micro Machines-style arcade-racer Motorstorm RC, there is no need to be concerned: this game is utterly incredible. In fact, we cannot believe it doesn't get talked about more along with the rest of the Motorstorm series as one of the best racers around. This top-down variant is sticky, stylish, and so sublime is should be registered as a Class A. The controls are tricky to begin with, but over time the better cars open it up to become quite dexterous and deep. They make you tackle every corner with the complexity of a sim-racer while churning up dirt, gravel, and all manner of homemade bits as you skirt around perfect little outdoor tracks.

The music is bumping and the dinky cars are weird but perfect. The leaderboard setup is simple, so you can hop in and get competitive. The Motorstorm RC trophies have two tricky bronze beasts, but will otherwise ask you to max out your potential by hitting the maximum grades and times. The DLC packs happen to be wonderful, too. Just make sure you are standing up while playing this incredible game, you will want to throw things in a fit of competitive spirit. Glorious.



As we move our heroine Sasha through her devastated family home, eventually we find a mirror. We look into it and see that Sasha’s left arm has been completely Severed, and she becomes overcome by flashes of violence — silhouettes encased in red and a many-mouthed beast. Regaining composure, we see a creature behind Sasha in the mirror. The creature gives her a sword, informs her she followed her family to another world, and by finding them she may live.

What follows is a brutal, heartbreaking tale of rage, grief, and desperation, as Sasha embodies more and more of this decayed world in order to recover her family from the grotesqueries that ensnare them. As dramatic as it all sounds, Severed is also an absolute joy to play and earning the platinum for all the Severed trophies is satisfying without being chorish and long-winded. Its unique touchscreen sword-slashing rhythm-game-esque combat is like nothing else, particularly in execution, and it remains an unstated masterpiece on the Vita.


Killzone Mercenary

Where to begin with this neat little FPS? Killzone Mercenary is arguably the most successful in the Killzone series barring Killzone 2 — that is worth celebrating. It dispensed with the complexity and made this PS Vita version about bombast and money. From every headshot to ammo pick-up, you will be rewarded with a V-buck or three. From there you can outfit yourself with an arsenal of weaponry to rival the Helghast with satisfying carnage.

Shooting with dual analogues feels wonderful, especially in the online modes (which have since faced server closures). The morally ambiguous story has a bit of Army bru-ha-ha to it that might not be always tonally concrete, but with exciting set pieces, you cannot be disappointed at this fantastic game. The Killzone Mercenary trophies will test you, too. This is a superb and unique Vita game.


Samurai Warriors 4II

Samurai Warriors 4II is one badass hack’n’slash game, something Koei Tecmo is a master of creating. There were also the options of Dynasty Warriors Next and Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3, but we felt that Samurai Warriors 4II brought all the best elements together for a fun, fast-paced, good time. The hack’n’slash experience has never felt more fun than with this Samurai Warriors game, which runs smoothly and provides a mountain of fun that you can take with you anywhere in the world thanks to the Vita! Who doesn’t want a portable Musou game?

The Samurai Warriors 4-2 trophies are actually some of the more lenient trophies when it comes to musou games. The platinum trophy sits with a completion rate of 6.8% on PSN, and I can’t believe I am saying this, but our TT users are falling behind here with only 5.6% of you guys actually netting this platinum goodness. Come on gang, show the world what you are made of and earn yourself this awesome little platinum trophy!


Hotline Miami

Some games are just made for handheld experiences, and Hotline Miami was made for the PlayStation Vita. The beauty of the game’s primary loop — utilising quick restarts to trial and error your way through a series of connect-the-dot combo brawls — certainly suits the hunched-over, curled-up, glass-eyed habits of the handheld player, rather than the somewhat adroit TV-adjacent console player.

Getting an A+ on all chapters to earn the 'Get a Life trophy' feels like a gift when you can try, try, try again to get that perfect combo, all from the comfort of your bed. Trophy hunting can often feel extraneous, an exercise in game designers knowing technically what their game is capable of, but knowing not to force those capabilities on the uninformed gamer. Gunning for the platinum for all the Hotline Miami trophies feels like the intended way to play the game, and that’s a very rare thing indeed.



Imagine making the incredible, masterful, charming platformer that is Guacamelee and knowing that the Vita, of all places, is actually the best place to play it. That experience must have been infuriating given Vita's rough launch, but also a fantastic dirty secret to sit on. This platformer is sensational from start to finish. The level design and art style are unique and captivating. The actual gameplay is pixel-perfect. The difficulty is tantalising and satisfying. There is little else to do than to recommend you Drinkbox Studio's superb Mexican-oddity — with the warning that the Guacamelee trophies will test your abilities to the max.


Akiba’s Trip Undead and Undressed

What a wild ride Akiba’s Trip Undead and Undressed is for anyone lucky enough to pick it up. While the title alone may raise a few eyebrows and when you hear what the gameplay entails you may be inclined to run the other way. However, we promise if you give it a try you are in for one hell of a good time. While the story is fun, it is nothing groundbreaking, the gameplay is where this game thrives. There is something so fun and engaging about battling against a bunch of vampires and your main objective is to strip them down to their underwear in order to defeat them. The chain strip mechanic is also insane and hilarious to pull off (pun intended).

On top of the game just being a good time, the Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed trophies are also super fun and easy to unlock. Meaning that you can be earning the sweet platinum trophy
with only a small amount of effort required. If you are looking for a fun game that will help take your mind off your worries, then Akiba’s Trip is the game for you.



Fez is an all-timer... an all-timer that is also best on Vita. A 2D platformer? Yes. A 3D platformer? Also, yes. With a bumper press, every level in this deeply captivating world reveals three more sides of a cubic design. It's a genius game design element that is somehow emphasised by the ingenuity of its puzzles. There is an entire language to learn buried away in this game and it will drive you bonkers in the best way possible. Then there is the simplicity of having to collect cubes to progress... well, the thing you have to do is simple.

The ways you have to get them are devious, cunning, and some of the most brain-teasing platforming you will ever have to do in your life. Don't even start us on the Fez trophies, which will max you out big time if you have no guide. This game is a corker, so give it a go on Vita and see it work its magic yourself.


Freedom Wars

Freedom Wars is a fantastic little PS Vita exclusive and very reminiscent of games like Monster Hunter but with even more anime flare. The game takes place on Earth, in the year 102014, only slightly off the real date for all of us — I'm sure you'll agree. The game world is bleak with the Earth's surface being completely inhabitable and the current population having to live underground as they try to figure out how to reclaim the surface once more. On top of the already grim world, corruption runs high, with people being found guilty of crimes they did not commit. Overpopulation has become an issue and thus, even existing is considered a crime, with more than 100 million people being considered criminals.

Now the only way to freedom is to fight for it, literally. To earn your freedom players will need to battle against giant monsters called Abductors, defeating these beasts will reduce your sentence. While an incredibly fun little game, the Freedom Wars trophies might provide you with a bit of a challenge. The platinum trophy called sits with a completion rate of 3.7% on PSN. Expect a little bit of a grind, but that's no bad thing in one of the best JRPGs around!


Lumines Electronic Syphony

Lee: Every great handheld has its Tetris — it’s killer puzzle game. The Game Boy had, obviously, Tetris. The Nintendo DS had Brain Age and Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training (also the excellent Tetris DS). The PlayStation Vita had Lumines Electronic Symphony. Yes, this does mean I think there have only been three great handhelds, and yes, I don’t think the PSP was one of them.

The Lumines Electronic Symphony trophies might need some work, but rhythm blockbusting to absolute jam after absolute jam never got old. Frantically scrambling to line your blocks up in the right colour order in time for the next bar to sweep in and clear up your screen was as satisfying to nail as it was stress-inducing to flub. For those who missed out, any player with PS Plus Premium can at least check out Lumines Remastered to get your rhythm-puzzle fix. However, when we think of where Lumines’ impact was felt the hardest, we’ll always think of the Vita.

Community Picks
TearawayTearaway is the first community voted best PS Vita game



The beloved Tearaway was so close to our top 15 best PS Vita games, but we knew that our community would dig us out and make sure Media Molecule's creativity was represented. This paper-world platformer garnered 8.59% of the vote, making it the most popular contender in our community.

For our money, this is the most Vita game that ever did Vita. It utilized every function well — unlike Uncharted Golden Abyss, as much as we love that game — by having you interact with the cute paper messenger called Iota or Atoi (depending on the messenger's gender) running across a variety of paper craft stages. Sometimes you are helping him or her jump by using the rear touchpad to poke a hole into the world, sometimes you are using the camera and touch screen to help them on the way. You have playful music, a tangible, textured environment, and super intuitive environmental storytelling.

tearawayBehold, your champion.

Throughout its five-hour runtime, you will experience more ingenuity, creativity, and charm than in many games 100 hours longer — not that time should ever be the exclusive metric for value. That helps keep the Tearaway trophies deliciously easy while also having you explore the whole world first. Indeed, even once your time concludes Tearaway will feel bright and fresh — this game should be in the top 15 by my reckoning, so we are delighted to say the TrueTrophies community has voted this as one of the best Vita games.

Rayman Origins is one of the best games on PS VitaRayman Origins is one of the best games on PS Vita


Rayman Origins

Getting all the Rayman Origins trophies is just such an addictive voyage. Yes, okay, it's another platformer on a platform that had a lot of amazing platformers — but the PS Vita was born to make these games sing. In fact, with a massive 8.56% of the community vote, we know many of you think so too. This effort is colourful and playful, with music to die for and a level of creativity rarely seen on display. It has a brother on PS3, sure, but Vita is where everything shines as you try to perfect levels and get all the collectables. While often relaxing, don't mistake momentary breathers for an overall lack of challenge. Your thumbs will be tested here, especially when running away from a demented boss and trying to nail every jump and hover. We can't believe it, but Rayman Origins is sublime and nigh on perfect: a fine addition to the PS Vita best games list.

So, those are our best Vita games with some chosen by the community. Did you agree? Have any picks of your own? Let us know in the comments. See you there!
Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Written by Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Editor Kes is our resident expert in PlayStation and other gaming news. He writes about PS5 exclusives like The Last of Us and Horizon, PS Plus news, and his favorite games — The Witcher, Assassin’s Creed, and God of War — before an evening swim.
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