2005 was quite the year – these 365 days brought us the birth of YouTube, Tom Cruise hopping on Oprah’s couch (here it is for posterity), and the North American release of Sony’s PlayStation Portable.
As the storefront for this handheld shutters its doors on July 2, we take a look at the 5 best PlayStation Portable games on the PlayStation Store that you must add to your collection.
The 5 Best PlayStation Portable Games on the PlayStation Store
Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
Still the reigning champ of strategy RPGs after all these years, the world of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy Tactics got an expanded release on the PlayStation Portable with Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions.
Set within Ivalice, this title chronicles the war between the Kingdom of Ivalice and Ordalia. Each area features a grid-like board, and players can equip jobs to get ahead of the game. While in cities, players can also pick up new equipment, recruit soldiers, and send party members out on automated missions.
New to this release are additional cutscenes, a ratio that takes advantage of the PlayStation Portable’s expanded screen size, and new playable characters like Final Fantasy XII’s Balthier and Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift’s Luso Clemens.
Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles
For those that missed the import-only Akumajō Dracula X: Chi no Rondo (better known as Castlevania: Rondo of Blood), never fear – Konami has localized the series with the release of Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles.
This 2.5 remake brings with it new dialogue scenes fully voiced in either English or Japanese, a rearranged and remastered soundtrack, and a Boss Rush Mode and new character designs.
For those looking to have it all, the PC Engine Super CD-ROM² version of Castlevania: Rondo of Blood and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night can both be unlocked through play. Put simply, there’s no better time to get acquainted with Richter Belmont than through this title.
Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger VS Darkdeath Evilman
NIS America throws players into an adventure on Bizarro Earth with their title Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger VS Darkdeath Evilman. Much like the “Mystery Dungeon” series of roguelike games, this title puts players in control of a single playable character that sets out to explore randomly generated, multi-level dungeons.
However, new to the game is a number of character customization options through its grid-based Body Modification system. Turn-based RPG battles also come into play when players take the fight to Darkdeath Evilman.
Consider this title a good beginner-friendly take on the roguelike genre.
Nihon Falcom’s Ys series of games has long since established itself in the JRPG space, and the release of XSEED Games’ Ys Seven carries the trend.
This title once again follows the journey of Adol and Dogi, which both reach the kingdom of Altago while searching for more adventure. World of a great catastrophe has swept the city, and it’s up to Adol to learn more about the awakening Five Dragons.
Combat includes parrying mechanics, a skill point meter that allows players to perform skills, and maximizing the use of different weapon types. Combat packs depth, and the use of two other AI members just adds to the complexity.
Power Stone Collection
Two titles that were originally released for the Dreamcast and NAOMI arcade boards made the jump to the PlayStation Portable with the release of Capcom’s Power Stone Collection.
Containing Power Stone and Power Stone 2, these two titles allow combatants to pick up and fight with tables, chairs, rocks and bombs. However, those with an eye for the prize best keep an eye out for the Power Stones; those that collect three can transform into a more powerful version of themselves.
Arguably the definitive version of the game, this collection includes 12 new items, Kraken and Valgas as playable characters in the second game and Pete, Julia, Gourmand, and Accel as playable characters in the original title.