Oh, the PS Vita. A worthy successor to the popular PSP handheld, but one that never quite found a player base to match its potential. And now, with the Nintendo Switch and DS family dominating the handheld market, and Sony quietly closing down production of PS Vita game cards, what place is there for the console?
Even as the end seems nigh for Sony’s portable console, the past six years of its lifespan have seen plenty of worthwhile titles make its way to the platform – not to mention a Remote Play feature that lets you stream titles from your PS4 over your local WiFi.
A gorgeously designed dungeon-crawler using touch-based controls to slash your way through psychedelic enemies. Originally a Vita exclusive, it made the move successfully to iOS and Switch, but developer DrinkBox studios just brought out a lavish physical collector’s edition for the PS Vita version to celebrate their illustrious history on the console.
This thrilling and eccentric action game lets you manipulate gravity to navigate obstacles and take down enemies. The plot is incomprehensible, but the rush of walking on walls or soaring through the air more than compensates. Last year’s sequel stuck with the PS4, but the original Vita experience is well worth a visit.
Guacamelee! seems like harmless fun on face value, but underneath its silly exterior is a brutal 2D platformer-cum-fighter built for the hardcore. Your luchador hero has a wide range of attacking manoeuvres, from suplexes to butt-stomps, which you'll never tire of performing. He can also, er, transform into a chicken.
An exquisitely presented platform adventure by the Media Molecule team, and a reminder of just how talented the LittleBigPlanet team is. Tearaway uses every facet of the PS Vita's functionality in a way that doesn't feel it's been shoe-horned in, but more importantly it's a 3D adventure with very high standards.
Persona 4: Golden
This port of the PS2’s Persona 4 was credited with a huge boost in sales for the Vita, and it’s not hard to see why. Persona 4 took the series to a murder mystery in rural Japan, while retaining all the paranormal adventure and quirky high-school dressing we’ve come to expect from the iconic Japanese RPG.
Don your rooster mask, turn off the answering machine and gun down the Russian Mafia underneath the neon lights of 80s Miami... This ultraviolent top-down shooter blends fast action with a retro aesthetic and a wonderfully surreal humour, all of which made Hotline Miami a must-play cult hit.
Metal Gear Solid HD
A fantastic package that can easily stretch beyond 50 hours. The stars of the show are Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 – iconic games of yesteryear now resplendent in wondrous HD – but as a bonus you also get the original Metal Gear (1987) and Metal Gear 2 (1990). Why fling a bunch of angered birds or point at candy on the train when you can take part in high-functioning espionage action?