The PlayStation Vita is a powerful gaming console packed with incredible visuals, a wide selection of games, and an intuitive control system. Since its launch in 2011, the Vita has been home to some of the best action games of all time. For those looking for intense and thrilling gaming experiences, the PlayStation Vita offers a range of titles that are sure to satisfy them. Here are the top 10 suggestions, along with quick evaluations of each, so you don’t have to spend the entire day in the store after becoming overwhelmed by all the options available.
What Are Action Games?
Action games are a broad genre of video games that involve physical challenges, including hand-eye coordination and reaction time. These games often involve fighting, shooting, or racing. The defining characteristics of action games are their pacing and use of simple controls. Generally, action games require quick reflexes and good problem-solving skills. The goal of an action game is usually to gain points or achieve the highest level of difficulty.
Was PlayStation Vita Known for Action Games?
The PlayStation Vita was well known for its ability to offer gamers a wide variety of action-packed titles. From first-person shooters to platformers and even fighting games, the Vita had an impressive library of action games that could satisfy even the most hardcore gamers. It had the ability to play local multiplayer, so you could play with friends if you wanted to. The PlayStation Vita also had a camera that could be used for pictures and video chatting. Some of the best action games on the PS Vita include.
#10: A Rose in the Twilight
A Rose in the Twilight is an atmospheric adventure game that stands out for its hauntingly beautiful art style and memorable soundtrack. The game offers a mix of puzzle-solving, exploration, and combat, all of which must be used to solve puzzles and progress through the game.
With each puzzle solved, Rose must make it to the next area of the castle, which often requires some creative thinking. The puzzles are challenging and require players to think outside the box. As players progress, they will be presented with more difficult puzzles that test their problem-solving skills. A Rose in the Twilight also has a unique mechanic, where Rose must use her blood to power up certain objects and platforms. This adds an extra layer of complexity to the game and gives a nice variety to the puzzles. Another great feature of A Rose in the Twilight is its beautiful art style and dark atmosphere. Players can expect a deep story and beautiful visuals as they traverse through this mysterious castle. Ultimately, A Rose in the Twilight is a highly enjoyable experience for those who love action-packed platformers and intriguing puzzles.
|Developer||Nippon Ichi Software|
|Available Platforms||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation Vita|
|Initial Release Date||26 April 2016|
- Comes in Collector's Box
- Includes art book
- Also includes A Rose in the Twilight CD soundtrack
- Rose rubber strap with giant stress ball
#9: Shantae: Half-Genie Hero
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is a PlayStation Vita platform video game that features a variety of levels with unique puzzles and enemies. The game features an impressive hand-drawn art style and a wonderful soundtrack. As in previous games in the series, the player plays Shantae, a half-genie who can use her hair as a whip to attack enemies. Shantae can learn dances that allow her to transform into many forms. Each form has unique skills that enable her to access previously inaccessible locations. In addition to returning forms such as the monkey and elephant, new forms include a bat that can traverse great distances, a crab that can move underwater, and a mouse that can navigate small mazes. By adding more skills, these alterations can be made even better.
In past Shantae games, the globe maps were interconnected and freely explorable. On the other hand, Half-Genie Hero consists of multiple action stages that can be replayed to obtain new goods unlocked when special powers are utilized. Some of these abilities are required to advance the plot. The return of the magic meter system from Risky’s Revenge allows Shantae to use unlocked spells whenever she desires, rather than purchasing them individually.
When the game is completed, “Hero Mode” is unlocked. This mode enables Shantae to utilize several of her transformations at the beginning of the game to aid with speed runs. Later, a free update introduced a new mode dubbed “Hard Core Mode” with more difficult adversaries. Players who complete one of the game’s campaigns receive more artwork based on how long and how much they played. This artwork may be viewed in a gallery within the game, which also contains fan art created by more generous Kickstarter backers. The game has 2D vector character sprites on 3D backdrops and is rendered in high resolution. This is a departure from the devoted pixel art aesthetic of the series’ previous games.
|Publisher||WayForward Technologies, Xseed GamesPqube Games, Oizumi Amuzio Inc|
|Available Platforms||PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Google Stadia, Wii U, PlayStation Vita|
|Initial Release Date||27 September 2016|
- Shantae's trademark belly dance moves return - dance to transform into all-new (and fan favorite) creatures; 8 transformations and over a dozen dances to master
- New Relic system - unlock new powers and customize Shantae's move set for a platforming experience uniquely tailored to your own gameplay style
- Conquer Arcade-Style Action Stages - Beat the boss, then find new items and secrets by way of the new abilities and transformations you've learned, linking Sequin Land into a fully explorable world
- Huge Bosses, Humorous Dialogue - Become reacquainted with the cast of Shantae in full HD, with exquisitely detailed sprites, immersive 2.5D backdrops, wonderfully off-beat dialogue, and nonstop action
Downwell is a video game that combines a vertically scrolling shooter and a platform game with roguelike elements. In Downwell, players assume control of Welltaro, a “curious man.” One evening, while in a local park, he descends into a neighboring well. He slips on his gunboots and begins to descend, knowing that horrors await him within. He must kill his enemies to keep going and get to the treasure. The game features three basic controls: left and right movement and jumping on stable ground. When Welltaro is in the air, and the jump button is held down, his gunboots will fire. The well is randomly produced, and the player frequently meets various adversaries. Some of these foes resist being stomped and can only be slain with gunfire. Normal foes have a red glow around their white edges, but these foes are entirely red and have a fuller sprite body. Welltaro’s gunboots reload automatically whenever he strikes a surface, solid or not.
During the descent, players will encounter “time holes,” which, when entered, halt the music and all other sounds. These time voids may lead to caves that provide the player with an abundance of jewels or a new weapon that alters the gunboots speed, delay, ammo consumption, ammo count, and shooting pattern. Each stage contains three levels with a unique assortment of monsters and environmental elements. After each level, the player can choose among three permanent Welltaro enhancements that aid them throughout the game. They may also improve their ammunition or purchase items from the shop. In addition, by moving between color palettes, the player can unlock different movement styles that affect Welltaro’s position and movements when he is on solid ground, as well as certain procedural aspects of the well, such as how frequently and what kind of time voids arise.
|Developer||Ojiro FumotoRed Phantom Games (PS, Switch)|
|Available Platforms||Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation Vita|
|Initial Release Date||15 October 2015|
#7: Super Meat Boy
Super Meat Boy is an action-platformer video game known for its challenging and difficult levels, often requiring precise jumps and timing to navigate. The game revolves around the titular character, Meat Boy, who must rescue his girlfriend, Bandage Girl, from the villainous Dr. Fetus. The game features fast-paced platforming gameplay and over 300 levels of increasing difficulty. The core gameplay requires precise control and timing down to a split second. It has been compared to classic platform games like Super Mario Bros. in terms of gameplay and the difficulty it presents.
The game also features power-ups such as a jetpack and the ability to transform into different characters with unique abilities. Super Meat Boy was well-received by critics and is still considered one of the best platformers of all time.
|Developers||Team Meat, Blitworks|
|Available Platforms||Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Android, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, OS X, LinuxPlayStation Vita, Wii U|
|Initial Release Date||20 October 2010|
- Limited Run #223: Super Meat Boy (Vita)
- Collector's Box
- Meat Boy Figure produced by Fangamer
- Meat Tray
- 18x24 Double-Sided Poster
#6: Shovel Knight
Shovel Knight is an acclaimed action-adventure video game that has been praised for its retro-style graphics and challenging gameplay. With its beautiful 8-bit art style and challenging level design, Shovel Knight provides hours of entertainment.
You play as the name-giving Shovel Knight, a small knight on a big mission. Shovel Knight has come to this land to do two things: beat the evil Enchantress and look for his lost love. Players will traverse different levels, use their shovels to attack enemies, jump over obstacles, and collect treasures. There are a variety of power-ups available to help Shovel Knight along the way.
The game also features an extensive array of weapons and armor, which players can upgrade as they progress through the game. Players can also use various relics to increase their stats, such as health regeneration and extra damage output. The difficulty level increases as the game progress, providing a challenge even for veteran gamers.
|Developer||Yacht Club Games|
|Publisher||Nintendo, Yacht Club Games|
|Available Platforms||Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation VitaXbox One, Amazon Fire TV, Nintendo Switch|
|Initial Release Date||June 26, 2014|
- Limited Print Release
#5: Rogue Legacy
Rogue Legacy is a 2D action-platformer for the PlayStation Vita that is sure to keep players engaged for hours on end. It’s a part roguelike, part platformer, with a splash of classic side-scrolling gameplay. Players take control of one of four randomly generated heroes, each with their own unique abilities, in an attempt to explore the depths of a procedurally generated castle. As they progress through the castle, they must defeat enemies, collect items and gold, and ultimately face off against the castle’s four bosses. After each death, your hero will be born anew and be given the opportunity to improve their stats and abilities with the help of their newly acquired loot.
To make things even more interesting, each playthrough of Rogue Legacy features procedurally generated dungeons filled with traps, monsters, and other hazards to test your skills. You’ll need to carefully plan your route through each room to survive long enough to reach the end of the dungeon and claim victory.
|Developer||Cellar Door Games|
|Publisher||Cellar Door Games|
|Available Platforms||Microsoft Windows, Linux, OS X, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS|
|Initial Release Date||27 June 2013|
#4: Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair is an excellent action-adventure game that brings a unique mix of horror, mystery, and exploration to the PlayStation Vita. The premise is simple: you are trapped in an idyllic school where everyone seems to be your friend. And then you realize there might be more to this place than meets the eye.
In Danganronpa 2, you play Hajime Hinata, a new student trying to find his way at Hope’s Peak Academy. As you explore the school and interact with other students, you will discover clues about your situation and eventually escape from it with your life intact.
The game’s unique visual style distinguishes it from other games available on the PlayStation Vita system. The art style of Danganronpa 2 is very reminiscent of anime shows like Death Note or Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, which adds to its appeal as a visual novel game. The soundtrack for this game is also one of its highlights. The music perfectly fits in with each scene, giving it an immersive feel throughout your playthroughs.
|Available Platforms||PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, LinuxOS X, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One|
|Initial Release Date||26 July 2012|
- Deadly Island Vibes: As your fellow classmates start dropping like coconuts, you'll need to delve into each murderous incident, forage for clues, and interview your classmates to reveal the...
- All New Minigames!: You'll go head-to-head in all new minigames with the other students during the Class Trial, shooting down their false truths and using your evidence to uncover what really...
- Survival of the Keenest: Match up your evidence with your fellow classmates' arguments and determine who's really telling the truth.
#3: Samurai Warriors 4
Samurai Warriors 4, also known as Sengoku Musou 4 in Japan, is a hack-and-slash game that combines intense action with strategic depth.
The game follows an older version of Koei Tecmo’s popular hack-and-slash franchise, with the story revolving around the battle between two factions: The Shinsengumi and The Imperial Army. In Samurai Warriors 4, players can choose from various characters from both sides (with over 50 playable characters in total), each with their unique fighting style and abilities. Players will also have access to plenty of weapons and items and various combos that can be used during battles to help turn the tide in their favor.
The graphics are excellent for this type of game, running at 60 frames per second with plenty of detail in both environments and character models. The sound effects are also quite good; though they do get repetitive after a while still manage to convey just enough emotion or atmosphere.
Please Note: As of July 18, 2023, the Samurai Warriors 4 game for the PlayStation is currently unavailable on Amazon. If you are unable to locate this product elsewhere, please check back later.
|Available Platforms||Microsoft Windows, Nintendo SwitchPlayStation 3, PlayStation 4PlayStation Vita|
|Initial Release Date||March 20, 2014|
#2: Axiom Verge
Axiom Verge is a side-scrolling action-adventure video game in which the player assumes the role of Trace, a scientist who, after sustaining a life-threatening injury, awakens in a simultaneously ancient and advanced world. The game strongly emphasizes action and exploration and includes more than 60 different objects and boosts. The gameplay takes inspiration from various retro video games, including Metroid, Contra, Blaster Master, and Bionic Commando, amongst others.
The music is also excellent, creating an intense atmosphere as you explore the world. The combat is fast-paced and frenetic, with a wide variety of enemies and challenging bosses to overcome. It is one of the best action games available on the PS Vita due to its unique level design and engaging combat system.
|Developer||Thomas Happ Games LLC|
|Publisher||Thomas Happ Games LLC|
|Available Platforms||Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS, Wii U, PlayStation Vita, Classic Mac OS|
|Initial Release Date||31 March 2015|
- Over 60 items and powerups hidden throughout the world
- Over 20 upgradeable weapons
- Classic 2D graphics
- Gripping sci-fi storyline and soundtrack
- Metacritic scores of 84 on PS4 and 85 on Xbox One, 5 out of 5 developer on US Gamer, 8 out of 10 on GameSpot
- Explore a massive world yielding 10+ hours of playtime.
- Includes the game, a double-sided poster, "The Art of Axiom Verge" art booklet, and an exclusive "Making Of" documentary
#1: Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X
Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X is a rhythm game that features an extensive cast of characters, each with its own unique set of styles and personalities. The player can choose to play as any of the characters, customizing their outfits and accessories to match their style.
The gameplay of Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X involves completing songs while following the beats and rhythms of each song. Players must use buttons to input commands corresponding to the beats and rhythms to progress. You’ll also unlock various items to customize your characters, such as costumes and accessories. All of these items can be used to help you reach higher scores in each song.
The game also includes several mini-games that add variety to the core gameplay. These mini-games involve using Vita’s touch screen to complete tasks such as drawing symbols and tapping on objects in rhythm.
|Developer||SegaCrypton Future Media|
|Available Platforms||PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita|
|Initial Release Date||24 March 2016|
- Digital Singers Take Over the Living Room: Produce live concerts accessorized with unlockable costumes, songs, and stages to create custom live concert starring Hatsune Miku and her friends!
- 30 Miku Tracks: An assortment of new and classic Hatsune Miku music will be yours to jam to! The songs are split into Auras and have different difficulties and challenges to complete.
- Live Quest Mode: Go to five different Clouds with Miku and her friends, and explore them with a series of challenges.
- Interact with Miku and Her Friends: Things start to get very meta for the digital singer as she and her friends discover what it's like to live in the world of Project DIVA X.
PlayStation Vita has a wide selection of action games to suit all tastes. From the intense combat of Samurai Warriors 4 to the rhythm-based play of Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X to the classic sidescroller in Rogue Legacy, the Vita offers an array of action-packed games that can keep players entertained for hours.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Travers Lewis/Shutterstock.com.