As the year ends, it's only fitting to reveal the top ten PSP games of 2005. Despite having less than a full year on the market, the PSP has made quite a splash, and these top ten PSP games played a big part in it. The PSP library was heavy on racers and light on RPGs, but rumor is the PSP lineup for 2006 will be more balanced. Remember, any of these games is a winner, and a great gift to give or receive, so don't be shy about printing the list and leaving it in an inconspicuous place.
Lumines is to the PSP what Tetris was the the GameBoy. It's surprisingly simple and deceptively addictive. You make four-by-four blocks and more drop down, pretty simple. Here's the trick, the better you do, the better the music gets, and Lumines has great music. It's part puzzle game, part rhythm game, and all gorgeous gaming goodness. Even non-gamers like Lumines... now that's saying something.
If there was ever a game to cause controversy, GTA is it. Not that there aren't other violent games out there, just none this good. GTA: Liberty City Stories takes you back to the classic GTA: III Liberty City. The place looks better than ever, and the game translated shockingly well to the small screen. The gunfights, the car chases, the random oddness... it's all here and it plays great. The only drag about GTA: Liberty City Stories is that now it goes with you everywhere, there's no escape!
I first fell in love with Virtua Tennis on the Sega Dreamcast. It not only proved you can make a deep, yet fun tennis sim, but it ended up being one of the best games on the system. The same is true for the PSP. Many people overlook tennis games, but make no mistake, Virtual Tennis is one of the best sports simulations you can play, and it's a perfect match for the PSP. Great graphics and gameplay make Virtua Tennis an easy pick.
The PS2 versions of Burnout are superb, and so is the small screen version. Just like the bigger boys, Burnout Legends is all about destruction. It's the one racing game that actually encourages players to crash their cars, and you'll have a heck of a time doing it. Just don't play and drive... please?
Bizarre hardly captures the idea of Metal Gear Acid. It's Metal Gear, but now it's turn based, and you play with cards... I was a skeptic, but after the first mission I was hooked. It was like Pokémon, but fun. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy the game was to figure out, yet thanks to a wide variety of cards and missions, how deep the game got. Looking for something original? Metal Gear Acid is your pick.
I am golfer, not a good one, but one none the less. I'm also an avid Tiger Woods fan. I sit here as shocked as you recommending a silly golf game with giant eyed cartoon character over Tiger Woods PSP. But it boils down to the fact that it just plays better. Hot Shots Golf is silly, but it is fun, and once you get past the first few levels, it can be quite a challenge. Tiger Woods PSP was good, but Hot Shots was just better.
Untold Legends is pretty much Champions of Norrath, only with no Norrath. The good news is Champions was a great game, and Untold Legends is as well. It is also one of the most popular games on the system, showing the need for more RPGs. Untold Legends is a fun dungeon crawl. If it moves, it's deadly and you have to get it before it gets you. Straightforward? Yes, perhaps to a fault, but the character leveling is fun, and the graphics were sharp. It's a great multiplayer game, as well.
Madden NFL 06 is a great football game. It features most of the features of its older brother, the PS2, but get this, you can transfer your season, or dynasty from the PS2 to the PSP and continue playing on the go. Whoever though of this, please stand up and let us bask in your genius. Not only is it a great sports game, but it lets you take you addiction with you. Boom! It's NFL 24/7, baby.
I like retro gaming as much as the next guy, but let me tell you, it is idea for the PSP. Quarter munching games from the '80s were meant to be short, to make money. How perfect is it that all of the games you know and love, such as Dig Dug, Ms. Pac-Man, and Galaga are the perfect length to play at a bus stop or in the car? Add to that rare classics such as Rolling Thunder, new 3D versions of Pac-Man and other classics and you have a fun flashback session ready to roll. Totally radical.
Now you may be scratching your head over this one, but know on every top ten list there's always one that made it there for a special reason, and this year that's Infected. Don't get me wrong, Infected is fun enough, and it feature zombies, that should be enough to warrant a purchase. But here's the trick, it's a decent game with superb production values. It has full length music videos, laugh out loud commentary, and the cut scenes are amazing, more than worthy of PS2-ness.