Sony’s PlayStation Vita lived a long, but ultimately quiet life. Sony’s second attempt at a handheld PlayStation system was well received by many who owned it, but factors such as overpriced memory cards held the Vita back from reaching its true potential as console gaming on the go (a goal that was later realized by the Nintendo Switch).
Thanks to the frustrating lack of first-party support, it’s easy to overlook the strong library of games the Vita actually has. Not only does the Vita have access to most of the original PlayStation and the PlayStation Portable’s libraries, but it received a great deal of support from AAA and indie developers. Many of the great games on the system were forgotten ports of successful console games.
10 Injustice: Gods Among Us Is Among Many Great Fighting Games On The Vita
One of the most underrated and underappreciated aspects of the Vita’s library is the number of fighting games it received. One example of a Vita version that may have slipped the minds of players is DC’s Injustice: Gods Among Us. The Vita received the Ultimate Edition of the game that included all the content and characters, allowing Injustice players to stay connected should they take the fight on the road.
Other fighting games that made their way to the Vita include Mortal Kombat (2011), Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extended, Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus R, Street Fighter X Tekken, Dead or Alive 5 Plus, and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.
9 World Of Final Fantasy Contains A Lot Of Fanservice In Its Tiny Cartridge
The Final Fantasy series has been revered throughout its 35 years run. For the series’ 30th anniversary, Square-Enix developed World of Final Fantasy to celebrate the series catalog of characters, summons, and monsters in this fun RPG title. World of Final Fantasy was released simultaneously on the Vita and PlayStation 4 in 2013. However, the Vita did not receive the expanded Maxima version of the game.
In addition to World of Final Fantasy, the Vita also received a port of the remastered version of Final Fantasy X and X-2, which included its own exclusive quick recovery mechanic using the Vita’s touchscreen.
8 Undertale Filled The Vita With Determination
Upon its release, Undertale quickly became one of the most celebrated indie and RPG games. In the process, it built an extensive and passionate fanbase along the way. Undertale takes an inventive approach to the genre by allowing players to talk their way through fights as opposed to using brute-force.
Undertale also has a fantastic script full of humor and quotable characters as well as an enjoyable soundtrack. After years on the PC, Undertale made its way to other systems in 2017, releasing on the Vita and PS4 simultaneously. A follow-up to Undertale, Deltarune, is currently in progress. However, a Vita version will not be in the cards.
7 What A Thrill The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection Is
The Vita had its fair share of PS2 remastered collections. While the God of War Collection or the Ratchet & Clank Collection were first-party releases, Konami joined in on the fun by releasing the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection. This collection contained both Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3. These weren’t simple ports as this collection utilized the Vita’s touchscreen and adjusted the user interface to better suit the system. Players can also play the original Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker through the PS1 and PSP libraries.
6 Whether Setting Sail Or Coming Home, Players Can Take Bastion With Them
Supergiant Games has made a name for itself over the years by releasing one stellar game after another. Each of their games sports beautiful visuals and some of the best soundtracks in gaming. Supergiant Games’ first title, Bastion, made its way to the Vita in 2015 and tells the tale of “the Kid” who traverses a fractured world in the aftermath of the Calamity.
Bastion would remain the only title from Supergiant Games to reach the Vita. Despite this, Vita players can still play Transistor, Pyre, and Hades through the Vita and PS4’s remote play function.
5 Borderlands 2 Was Ambitious To A Fault
In a push to bring in third-party support to the Vita, Sony launched an initiative called “Third Party Productions.” The flagship game in this program was Borderlands 2, which brought the entire experience on the go as well as allowing players to transfer their saves back and forth between the Vita, the PS3, and PS4 versions of the game.
Borderlands 2 would prove to be too ambitious as the game struggled with slow frame rate. The ability to co-op with just one other player, was one of many limitations. Updates were made to the game to improve the frame rate, but it remains problematic. While it’s far from the ideal way to play Borderlands 2, it can still be a fascinating play for fans.
4 Need for Speed: Most Wanted Was Given Out For Free By EA
This reboot of the classic 2005 racing game was released in 2012 for the Vita alongside PC, console, and mobile versions of the game. This iteration of Need for Speed: Most Wanted was made by Criterion Games and is often seen as a spiritual successor to their highly successful and beloved Burnout: Paradise.
Most Wanted features exhilarating racing, complete with the original’s police pursuits, in a populated open world. In 2014, during the PlayStation Experience celebration, EA offered players the Vita version of Most Wanted for free alongside Mirror’s Edge for PS3 and Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare for PS4.
3 Stardew Valley Continued The Vita’s Cultivation Of A Marvelous Indie Library
There are some games that are meant to be played anywhere, whether it’s on a handheld system or mobile device. Stardew Valley is one of them, and thankfully the addictive farming simulator made its way to the Vita in 2018. In Stardew Valley, the player is tasked with keeping their recently deceased grandfather’s farm afloat.
Players can tend to their farm as well as explore the surrounding region, including procedurally generated areas. Stardew Valley has sold over 15 million copies across all platforms, making it one of the most successful indie titles in gaming history.
2 Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath Is One Of The Best First-Person Shooters On The Vita
The Oddworld series has long been a cult favorite among players. With its oftentimes brutal gameplay and hilarious writing, it’s easy to see why. The Oddworld series has made itself at home on the Vita, giving players access to Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee HD, Oddworld: New ‘N’ Tasty, and Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD.
Stranger’s Wrath, is noted its first person gameplay. One of the early appeals of the Vita was its inclusion of a second analog stick, creating many possibilities for console-like games, specifically shooters. While the Vita’s history with first-person shooters is messy, Stranger’s Wrath provides players with a fun and engaging experience making it one of the best first-person shooters on the system.
1 Ninja Gaiden Sigma And Its Sequel Were Playable On The Go Long Before The Switch
Before the Soulsborne genre took off, many players looked to the Ninja Gaiden series for intense and difficult action combat. Ninja Gaiden was rebooted for the original Xbox in 2004 and received a remaster in Ninja Gaiden Sigma in 2006. The game was followed by Ninja Gaiden II in 2008 (later reworked into Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2) and Ninja Gaiden 3 (later reworked into Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge) in 2012.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus was released as a launch title for the Vita in 2012 and was shortly followed by Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus in 2013. Both of these Vita versions come with exclusive features such as touchscreen and gyroscope functionality as well as an easier difficulty setting.
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About The Author
Michael Colwander (49 Articles Published)
Michael is a gaming list writer for CBR who has been gaming for as long as he can remember. Some of his favorite series include Uncharted, Final Fantasy, the Legend of Zelda, and Mario Kart. He is an avid trophy hunter who is no stranger to writing trophy guides to help fellow trophy hunters. Beyond gaming, he’s a big fan of his beloved Detroit sports teams, for better and for worse.