Top 10 PlayStation Vita Role Playing Games You Must Play - IGCritic
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Top 10 PlayStation Vita Role Playing Games You Must Play

The PlayStation Vita has been out for almost 5 years now, and looking back at its history one particular genre of games stands out: Roleplaying games. Anywhere from traditional JRPGs to Dungeon Crawlers, Action RPGs and more unorthodox video games, the PS Vita surely has you covered. If you’re looking to finally grab this console on sale, or want just a few recommendations to add to your library, be sure to check out this list of top 10 PlayStation Vita RPGs you should try.

  1. Freedom Wars

Freedom Wars on the PS Vita

Buy Freedom Wars

Freedom Wars is an action RPG that takes place in a setting where you are a prisoner and must fight to reduce your sentence and eventually gain your freedom. Freedom Wars does a very good job of easing a player’s first experience into an action RPG, and plays quite well on the PS Vita. The portable aspect also does well for the console, allowing you to do a quick mission here and there whenever you have free time.

For those who have played the Monster Hunter series, Freedom Wars will seem to be cut from the same cloth, with large monsters to hunt, partying with friends and allies, and multitude of weapons and equipment to craft.

  1. Atelier+ Series

Atelier+ Series on the PlayStation Vita

Buy Atelier Escha & Logy

The Atelier Series by Gust is more of a traditional JRPG experience, but with a special twist. In each of the Atelier games, you play as an alchemist who has the power to create items. The game is unique as it features an in-depth crafting system, alongside a time mechanic. As an alchemist, you’ll need to both procure materials in the field, and then create items either to complete quests or to supplement your own battle equipment.

Besides the traditional JRPG turn-based gameplay, the Atelier series also feature a variety of likeable characters and a light-hearted story. For those looking for a JRPG with a different approach, look no further than the Atelier series. There are currently five Atelier+ games available on the PlayStation Vita, in chronological order they are Rorona, Totori, Meruru, Ayesha, and Escha & Logy.

  1. Demon Gaze

Demon Gaze for the PS Vita

Buy Demon Gaze

Dungeon crawlers have been around for some time, but recently they’ve come back again in full force, especially on the PlayStation Vita. Demon Gaze is one that doesn’t break any genre norms, and is also simple enough that a beginner of the genre can enjoy.

The main appeal of Demon Gaze is the dungeon spelunking nature of the game, and the difficulty involved with taking down bosses. Though the game is relatively simple, you’ll still require a good understanding of tactics and knowledge to bring down the various challenging monsters. One slip-up, and even regular monsters can take you into a game over screen. Add onto the fact that you can customize every aspect of your party members and composition, makes Demon Gaze an enjoyable 40 hour experience.

  1. Disgaea Series

Screenshot of Disgaea 4 on the PlayStation Vita

Buy Disgaea 4

Disgaea is well known for their tactical role-playing games, involving big numbers and essentially a limitless endgame for powering up your characters. For those who enjoyed the turn-based strategy elements of games like Final Fantasy Tactics, Fire Emblem and Tactics Ogre, Disgaea may be a series for you.

Currently there are two games released on the Vita, Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, and Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten. Though they have different characters and plots, in general the gameplay itself remains unchanged between entries in the series.

  1. Ys: Memories of Celceta

Ys: Memories of Celceta

Buy Ys: Memories of Celceta

Ys is an older JRPG series, but with action RPG elements and real-time combat. Memories of Celceta is the release for the PS Vita, and it does a very good job of incorporating elements from the previous series into this new iteration. Although it is set placed after Ys II, and before Ys: The Oath in Felghana, it isn’t absolutely necessary to play those games in order to fully enjoy Memories of Celceta.

For those looking for an enjoyable story with action RPG elements, look no further than Ys: Memories of Celceta.

  1. Danganronpa Series

Danganronpa RPG screenshot

Buy Danganronpa

For a slightly different change in pace, look for the Danganronpa series. Originally released for the PSP, they have been ported and remastered for the PS Vita, under Trigger Happy Havoc for the first game, and Goodbye Despair for the second. The series is known for their murder mysteries and interesting plot, where the protagonist is trapped alongside their schoolmates and must figure out a way to escape, and find the killer.

There is not much actual gameplay in the Danganronpa series, besides the trials where you must piece together clues you’ve found during the chapter, and attempt to pinpoint the murderer. Other than that, the game mostly plays out similar to a ‘Visual novel’, with options to converse or hang out with specific characters during your free time. For those interested, there is also an anime based on this series.

  1. Zero Escape Series

Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma characters

Buy Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward

Similar to the Danganronpa series, Zero Escape deals with individuals trapped in deadly situations, with traps and death around every corner. Though the first game in the Zero Escape series is not available on PS Vita, both Virtue’s Last Reward and the newly released Zero Time Dilemma are. These games deal a bit more with the psychological aspect of putting individuals under high-stress environments. Zero Escape gameplay is mostly focused on escaping rooms, and solving puzzles to that end. Yet besides the puzzles, the game has a very compelling narrative and no shortage of mysteries to uncover.

The game has more of a darker tone than Danganronpa, and Zero Escape has a good deal of science fiction slipped in, possibly making it even more of an interesting game to play if you are interested in those elements.

  1. Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD

Yuna and Tidus in Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD for the PSVita

Buy Final Fantasy X/X2 HD

Though Final Fantasy X is almost a 15 year old game, it has been remastered and ported making it available for Vita, with updated textures and models. The gameplay remains largely unchanged, however those who have never been privy to a PlayStation 2 and have yet to try Final Fantasy X should consider giving it a shot on the Vita.

X is the entry in the main series, while X-2 is sort of an after story that takes placed sometime after the events of X. Those who enjoy a powerful story and interesting characters, with traditional JRPG elements will see why Final Fantasy X is so critically acclaimed.

  1. Gravity Rush

Gravity Rush

Buy Gravity Rush

Gravity Rush is an action RPG game, released for the Vita. Although it has been almost 4 years since it has first debuted, it is still a very enjoyable title that uses the interesting gravity mechanic in both exploration and combat. Gravity Rush takes place in the floating city of Hekseville, and though it’s not quite as open world as Grand Theft Auto or other series, it still has a multitude of interesting things for you to do.

Besides the interesting gameplay mechanics, the game paces your character development extremely well. As you become more powerful and unlock more abilities, not only do you become stronger in combat, but you also gain a higher degree of freedom during fights or exploration. For those looking for an interesting title on the Vita, look no further than Gravity Rush.

  1. Persona 4 Golden

Persona 4 Golden cast

Buy Persona 4 Golden

One of the most popular and highly rated JRPGs on the PlayStation 2 has come back to the PlayStation Vita. In Persona 4 Golden, you play as a student who has just recently transferred into the countryside as a high school student. When mysterious murders start to occur around town, you and your group of friends decide to take it upon themselves to root out the killer.

Persona 4 is already an excellent game with an interesting plot, diverse cast and solid RPG mechanics alongside with a Social Link system that allows you to decide who to spend time with outside of diving into dungeons. However, Persona 4 Golden makes it even better by adding a new character, an entirely extra new segment, game features and character outfits. For those who have yet to discover the Persona series, Persona 4 Golden is as good as any place to begin.

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