Sony’s PlayStation TV is a curious thing.
It’s pocket-sized, but must be connected to a television. And it’s effectively a PlayStation Vita turned into a home console, albeit while not supporting a large number of the top-tier Vita favorites.
But why dwell on the games that won’t function? If you’re set on bringing Sony’s smallest-ever PlayStation into your home, you’ve got hundreds of Vita, PSP, and PSone titles from the past two decades to peruse and download. And to make that process a whole lot easier for you, we’ve picked the 12 games you absolutely must start with, most of which are exclusive PlayStation experiences. Enjoy!
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1. Metal Gear Solid
Utterly iconic, absolutely essential, and forever intertwined with the identity of being a PlayStation gamer, PSone classic Metal Gear Solid can be downloaded for a pittance on PlayStation TV. While the 16-year-old game shows its age, the seminal stealth action holds up, and the storyline – as weird and convoluted as it may be – remains memorable and exciting. Discovering (or rediscovering) the classics is one of the best reasons to get a PlayStation TV. Begin here.
On the opposite end of the cheeriness spectrum lays LocoRoco, a warm-hearted PSP original from 2006 that has you rotate vibrant stages to guide a group of singing, bouncing blobs to the goal. You can combine and split the little creatures to solve puzzles and get around, although LocoRoco is rarely all that difficult. Rather, the pleasure is in enjoying the creative level designs, mind-numbingly cute graphics, and wonderfully unforgettable songs.
3. God of War Collection
God Of War and God Of War II are fondly remembered as two of the all-time greatest PlayStation 2 games, but they were recently ported to Vita and remastered in HD for plenty of awesome, blood-drenched combat on the go. Thankfully, the set works on PlayStation TV as well, delivering a couple of dozen hours of revenge-fueled violence as the titular warrior, Kratos. And if you love these, check out spinoffs Chains Of Olympus and Ghost Of Sparta – both great PSP prequels now on PS TV.
4. PixelJunk Monsters: Ultimate HD
If you’ve enjoyed the tower defense strategy genre on mobile with games such as Kingdom Rush and Fieldrunners, you owe it to yourself to play one of the earliest and best entries in its most complete form. PixelJunk Monsters started out on PlayStation 3, but this Vita version compiles all of the levels and bonus content from various ports into one set. It’s an amazingly well balanced and addictive take on the genre, with a wonderful cartoonish aesthetic and so much to play.
5. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Some of Konami’s greatest work was on the PSone, as this list will attest – first with Metal Gear Solid, and now Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night. The legendary retro action-platform franchise was reborn in the 32-bit era by taking cues from Metroid-style adventures and role-playing games to create a large, enrapturing experience. It remains the high point for the franchise, and for many fans, the so- called "Metroidvania" sub-genre of action-platform games.
Recent indie sensation Fez isn’t a PlayStation exclusive, but we can’t help but throw a strong recommendation its way all the same. This brain-tickling puzzle platformer looks rather traditional at a glance, but press a button and the 2D world rotates on the fly, shifting routes and puzzle elements in the process. It’s the key mechanic in a truly trippy, engrossing experience full of secrets, charm, and indeed, frustration – but the good, determination-building kind.
7. Persona 4 Golden
Here’s another PlayStation 2 favorite that made its way to Vita in an expanded edition, and for anyone seeking a long-term, deep-dive kind of role-playing experience, Persona 4 Golden is the one to beat on PlayStation TV. Despite the naming, it’s a self-contained quest, like Final Fantasy games are. In this beloved adventure, you’ll play a high school student investigating murders, summoning creatures in battle, and working part-time jobs. You know, typical teen stuff.
8. Sound Shapes
One of the most recent games on the list, Sound Shapes is an alluring blend of simple platform action and an interactive music video, with a focus on soaking in the aesthetic experience rather than confronting significant challenges. You’ll roll a ball through an array of side-scrolling stages, avoiding hazards while the song builds with each passing screen. It’s mesmerising stuff (the Beck songs are particularly memorable), and you can even make and share your own stages.
9. Wipeout Pure
Vita’s Wipeout 2048 is one of the weird casualties of the PlayStation TV’s selective compatibility, but no big worries: PSP launch title Wipeout Pure is even better, despite the less-crisp visuals, and it’s one of the best entries in the anti-gravity racing series. You’ll pilot a hovercraft through all manner of twisting, stomach-churning tracks, snagging and launching weapons to down your opponents. Nearly a decade later, it’s still a remarkably thrilling racing affair.
10. LittleBigPlanet PSP
Rather than port the excellent original LittleBigPlanet from PlayStation 3 to PSP, Sony tasked a different team with creating an original handheld adventure – and it really is about as strong and satisfying as the console debut. Granted, this version of the platform-hopping affair is strictly a single-player quest, but it’s no less charming or enjoyable, as you guide the burlap-bound Sackboy through colourful stages made with various knick-knacks and real-world-inspired items.
Like LocoRoco, Sony’s Patapon is another oddball PSP original, and it’s one that never spread to consoles – until now. This hybrid affair blends music, strategy, and god games to let you command a group of cartoonish tribal fighters by tapping in various drum beat patterns. Each sequence results in a different action, and how you arrange and upgrade your eyeball-like fighters will help determine your success in battle. It’s weird and wonderful, and two similar sequels are also available.
12. Tekken 2
Tekken 2? Yeah, Tekken 2. We would’ve probably gone with Tekken 3 were it on the compatibility list, and you can pay quite a bit more for the expansive, modernised Tekken 6 from PSP. But this PSone fighting classic still holds a place in our hearts, making us recall the hours spent trading blows as jagged warriors way back when. It’s simple by today’s standards, but still a lot of fun, especially considering the bargain-basement price. Just make sure you have a second controller!
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