Top 7 Must-Play Handheld Games

Playing on the go is always nice. Whether you’re waiting at the bus stop or sitting on the airplane, a good variety of handheld games is sure to keep you entertained… At least until the battery’s dead. With the big Next Gen games dominating the mainstream market, the hidden gems of the portable variety are often overlooked. We have all heard of the ever-popular Pokemon series, but are there any other games that might warrant buying a DS, Vita or a PSP? Check out the list below and decide for yourself.


1. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (PSP/Vita)



Does a Battle Royale murder mystery sound interesting to you? Well, it should! A group of teenagers find themselves trapped in their new school where a twisted murder game takes place. In order to be set free, one of the students has to murder someone else without getting caught.

As far as gameplay goes, Danganronpa is similar to the Ace Attorney series. You go around investigating crime scenes, gathering evidence and talking to the wacky characters. There is a whole lot of reading – definitely more so than interactive gameplay – but the unpredictable story is bizarre and intense enough to keep you unraveling the mysteries. From start to finish, it’s a smart and fun game that challenges the player to think like a detective, but never takes itself too seriously. There is a lot of dark comedy to alleviate the atmosphere just enough to make you shoot Truth Bullets with a maniacal grin on your face.


2. Persona 4 Golden (Vita)


“Golden” sounds about right. This JRPG is a remake of the PS2 version with added bonus content. The baffling story’s central theme is Jungian psychology and you definitely have to give the series credit for originality in many regards. The game places a huge responsibility on the player’s shoulders right off the bat, giving you the duty of rescuing kidnapped people from the deadly TV World before their time runs out, all the while balancing your studies and social life. You raise various stats by joining clubs, studying, reading different books, and making and strengthening your social bonds. If you never played the original Persona 4, this is definitely worth checking out.


3. Murasaki Baby (Vita)


This visually stunning little game’s only major problems are the short length and lack of replay value. Nevertheless, its surrealistic, nightmare-influenced art style and full use of the Vita’s front- and rear touch screens as well as the tilt-detection makes it one of the most unique handheld titles to date.


4. Ace Attorney (DS)


This one probably needs no introduction. From the lovable characters to the silly humor and intense court sessions, Phoenix Wright has rightfully earned his spot as an iconic title character to represent the cream of DS gaming. Who knew being a defense attorney could be so exciting?


5. Castlevania Dracula X Chronicles (PSP)


If you prefer the old-school sidescrolling 2D Castlevania games, this will be right up your alley and then some. Dracula X Chronicles includes a remake of Rondo of Blood, previously unreleased outside Japan, AS WELL as the PS1 classic, Symphony of the Night. That’s two great Castlevania games in one! The Rondo of Blood remake truly shows off PSP’s graphic capabilities, and both games offer hours of challenging whipping-action with some fantastic music.


6. Corpse Party (PSP)


This Japanese horror game for the PSP is a little less known than the other titles on the list, but there’s no question it deserves some recognition. For one, Corpse Party is one of the few pure horror games on handheld consoles. The story is about a group of friends who get trapped in a haunted school after a failed ritual. Most of the gameplay consists of navigating through the school, avoiding evil spirits and finding items to help you progress. Nothing revolutionary or even that interesting. However, it is the extremely oppressive atmosphere and the unraveling of the horrific mysteries of the school that makes Corpse Party a hauntingly gripping experience. Be warned that it is definitely not for the faint of heart.


7. Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days (DS)


Disney films and the Final Fantasy games are nostalgic for many of us, which is why the popularity of the Kingdom Hearts series should not be a surprise to anyone. What makes 358/2 Days unique is that it’s the first game in the series where you don’t play as Sora. Also, since the 1.5 HD remix for the PS3 only includes the cutscenes from the game, the only way to experience the thrill of fighting with Organization XIII is to get the original DS game.

That’s all, folks. Keep in mind that I’ve only included the best of the games that I have personally played, so I may have missed some classics.

There are 6 comments

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  1. TysonJ

    Huh…only ever played one of these games, and while I did enjoy it, I think of the handheld KH games, Chain of Memories might be the best. But 3D wasn’t bad either.

    Again, not that 358 was bad, but I thought it was the weakest of the handheld KH games.

    • Karri

      The reason why I didn’t include Chain of Memories is because you can play the remastered Final Mix version of it in KH 1.5 HD Remix. I didn’t include Birth By Sleep for the same reason. 358/2 Days you can ONLY play if you own a DS.

      I haven’t played Dream Drop Distance yet, so can’t say anything about that one.

  2. Guest

    Lol, this is by far the weakest list of “must play” games I’ve ever seen- do yourself a favor ignore the hell out of this garbage list and pick yourself up a 3DS, you won’t regret it 😉


      only someone who hasnt played many of these titles would say this. Danganronpa is a downright amazing title and everyone should have a chance to play it. Persona 4 golden is easily the greatest game I have ever played to date, so I disagree with you this list is pretty good

  3. BoyBigEyes

    Good list…. but games like God of War: ghost of sparta (for example) are missing in that list and i don’t know why….

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