Without a doubt, the PlayStation Vita is currently one of the best handheld gaming consoles. It was first released in 2011 in Japan by Sony Interactive Entertainment before it became available in other international regions in 2012. It was released as a successor to the Playstation Portable (PSP).
Playstation Vita offers an enticing array of games that cater to your every gaming whim. Whether you’re looking for something lightweight or demanding patience, there’s an abundance of options available on the device.
With its staggering library of quality titles and exclusive franchises, it’s no wonder why so many people are eager to know which games are the best on Vita. While there are plenty of great games to discover, RPGs are among the most popular genres on the console.
However, not all PlayStation Vita role-playing games (RPGs) are created equally. Some are more intense, and some are just sheerly better than others. Luckily, we have you covered with this list of the top seven PlayStation Vita RPGs of all time.
These games run the gamut from charming fairy tales to epic fantasy sagas, providing players with a wide variety of gameplay experiences that they won’t find anywhere else. From deep storytelling and engaging battle systems to gorgeous graphics and compelling user interfaces, these games cover everything you could ask for in an RPG on your handheld gaming system.
Whether you want to immerse yourself in a rich atmosphere or face intense dungeon crawls, this article will help you find your new favorite RPG on the PlayStation Vita. With that being said, let’s get started!
Brief History of Role-Playing Games (RPGs)
Role-playing games, also known as RPGs, are a type of video game in which players take on the role of a character in a virtual world. RPGs often involve leveling up the player’s character, acquiring new weapons and armor, and completing quests.
The first commercially available RPG is generally considered to be Dungeons & Dragons, which was released in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rule (TSR). It wasn’t long before other companies began releasing their own RPGs, such as Flying Buffalo’s Tunnels and Trolls in 1975, Fantasy Games Unlimited’s Chivalry and Sorcery in 1977, and Chaosium’s RuneQuest in 1978.
The 1980s saw the release of some of the most iconic RPGs of all time, including Games Workshop’s Warhammer Fantasy in 1983 and Yehuda Simmons’ Avalon: The Legend Lives in 1989.
The 1990s were a bit quieter on the RPG front, but there were still some notable releases, such as BioWare’s Baldur’s Gate and Interplay’s Fallout. The 2000s saw a resurgence in popularity for RPGs, with big releases like Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind in 2002 and Demon’s Souls in 2009.
Today, there are many different types of RPGs available on various gaming platforms, from simple mobile games to online multiplayer games. No matter what your preference is, there’s sure to be an RPG out there for you!
Now, without any delay, let’s dive into the absolute best PlayStation Vita RPGs of all time.
- Vita exclusive content featuring new dungeons
- Beautiful 2D art brought to life in high resolution
- Multiplayer: Battle your friends or work together to beat
- Rescue: Help your fallen friends by reviving them via ad hoc mode
emShiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate/em is a roguelike dungeon crawler video game developed by Spike Chunsoft and published by Aksys Games for the PlayStation Vita. It was made available for the PlayStation Vita in Japan in 2015, and in North America and Europe in 2016.
In the game, players take control of the titular Shiren, who, alongside his partner, Koppa, sets out on a quest to scale the Tower of Fortune in order to change fate.
The game features traditional roguelike elements such as randomly generated dungeons and permadeath, but also introduces several new mechanics such as traps and allies that can be recruited during your journey. Although it may be daunting at first, Shiren the Wanderer is an incredibly rewarding and addictive game that will keep you coming back for more.
The graphics of Shiren the Wanderer are colorful and detailed, making full use of the PlayStation Vita’s capabilities. The game’s environments are well-rendered and there is a good variety of them, from forests to villages. The character models are also well-done, with a good amount of detail visible on both the player characters and the monsters they encounter.
In terms of gameplay, Shiren the Wanderer is a traditional roguelike dungeon crawler. Players explore randomly-generated dungeons, fight monsters, and collect loot along the way. The game features permadeath, meaning that if the player’s character dies, they will have to start from the beginning. However, there are ways to ease the difficulty somewhat, such as by using special items that can be found in dungeons.
The music of emShiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate/em is a work of art. It is a perfect blend of traditional Japanese music with modern electronic sounds. The music is incredibly atmospheric and creates a perfect ambiance for the game. It is also very catchy and will stay with you long after you finish playing the game.
Overall, emThe Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate/em is a solid entry in the genre that should please fans of roguelike dungeon crawlers. The game features excellent graphics and gameplay that should keep players hooked for hours on end.
Check it out on Amazon right here and find out why it got a 79 metascore.
emThe Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II/em is a tactical role-playing game developed by Nihon Falcom and published by Xseed Games. The game is a sequel to The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel. The events in the game take place one month after the original Trails of Cold Steel.
emThe Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II/em was released in 2014 for PS Vita and PlayStation 3 in Japan. It was released on September 6, 2016, in North America, and on November 11, 2016, in Europe.
In the game, players take control of Rean Schwarzer as he assembles his scattered classmates to tackle the Noble Alliance. Tactically, emThe Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II/em is a highly strategic game that features several unique and powerful tactics that can be used to defeat enemies. One of the most powerful tactics is the use of the S-Breaks, which are special attacks that can be performed by characters with specific skills. These attacks can often break through an enemy’s defenses and deal massive damage.
Another potent tactic is the use of link commands, which allow characters to perform coordinated attacks with their allies. These attacks can be devastating when used properly and can often turn the tide of battle.
Finally, characters can also make use of Arts, which are powerful magic spells that can be used to inflict serious harm on enemies. When used correctly, these tactics can give players a significant advantage in battle. Players can also upgrade their characters through a variety of different methods, including crafting and upgrading their gear.
The graphics of emThe Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II/em are excellent. The game features high-quality visuals and textures, as well as a well-designed user interface. The graphics are pleasing to the eye and help to create an immersive gaming experience. The art style is consistent throughout the game, and the overall presentation is very polished.
With an engaging story, deep combat mechanics, and a plethora of side content to keep players busy, Trails of Cold Steel II is a must-play for any RPG fan on Vita, evident in its 80 Metascore.
You can find it on Amazon right here.
If you’re looking for a deep and engaging RPG experience on your PlayStation Vita, you can’t go wrong with emSoul Sacrifice Delta/em. It was developed by Marvelous AQL and Japan Studio and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for PS Vita in 2014.
This game is a sequel to the original Soul Sacrifice and features an all-new story, new characters, a new Grimm faction, and new gameplay mechanics.
The story of emSoul Sacrifice Delta/em revolves around the battle between good and evil, as you take control of a young sorcerer who must choose between sacrificing others to save himself or sacrificing himself to save others. The game features a unique combat system that allows you to use your life force as a weapon, and the decisions you make throughout the game will have a direct impact on the ending you receive.
The gameplay is just as good as it was in the first game, if not better. The combat is fast-paced and incredibly satisfying, and there are tons of different enemies to test your skills against. There are several customization options available, allowing you to tailor the experience to your own liking.
The graphics are quite stunning. The colors are very vibrant and the overall look of the game is very polished. The character models are also very well done and the animations are fluid. Overall, the graphics are top-notch and help to create a very immersive gaming experience.
In terms of content, emSoul Sacrifice Delta/em is absolutely packed. There’s an absolutely huge amount of things to do and see, and it’ll take you dozens of hours to see everything the game has to offer. And trust us, you’ll want to see everything this game has to offer — and its 82 Metascore makes it clear.
If you’re looking for a great PlayStation Vita RPG experience, emSoul Sacrifice Delta/emis a great option. With its deep and engaging story, unique combat system, and a multitude of endings, it is one of the best RPGs available for the PlayStation Vita.
Grab your own copy on Amazon here.
As of July 19, 2023, this product is currently unavailable on Amazon. Please check back later.
- Its first ever release in North America, Ys: Memories of Celeta will take players on a new adventure in never before seen locales within the Ys universe
- Eclipsing all previous entries in the Ys series in both size and content, the overworld map metes out battle and exploration in equal measure
- A robust mapping system with customizable waypoints and clear, detailed icons aid the journey through this mysterious new land
- The party battle system from Ys Seven makes its triumphant return, but with a host of upgrades such as enhanced flash-guarding, fully configurable party AI and unique abilities for party members to...
- Boss Rush makes a comeback, pitting Adol solo against implacable foes or allowing for full-on party combat, to keep the challenge going well after the main story has been completed
emYS: Memories of Celceta/em is one of the best PlayStation Vita RPGs of all time.
It’s an action role-playing game developed by Nihon Falcom and published by XSEED Games for the PlayStation Vita. The game is a sequel to YS: The Ark of Napishtim. The game features stunning visuals, an enthralling story, and some of the best combat gameplay available on the PlayStation Vita.
Set in the world of YS, Memories of Celceta follows Adol Christin as he tries to piece together his lost memories. Joined by a cast of colorful characters, Adol sets out to explore the vast forest of Celceta to regain his memories. The game features a fast-paced and action-packed combat system that is easy to pick up and addictive. Players will have to master a variety of skills and combos in order to defeat the various enemies they encounter. The boss battles are especially challenging and require quick reflexes and clever strategies.
In addition to the great combat, emYS: Memories of Celceta/em also features an excellent story. The game’s plot is intriguing and will keep players hooked until the very end. The character development is top-notch, and players will come to care about each member of Adol’s party.
The gameplay is centered around exploration and combat. The game uses an open-world design, allowing players to freely explore the forest; however, the game’s progress is linear, with specific tasks and objectives that must be completed to progress the story.
emYS: Memories of Celceta/em features real-time combat. Adol can attack enemies with his sword, and use a variety of special skills and magic attacks. He is also aided by Duren, a mysterious boy who can transform into an animal. The game introduces a new Fusion Magic system, which allows Adol to combine his magic attacks with those of his allies to create more powerful spells.
Exploration is a key element of the gameplay, and players are encouraged to thoroughly search the forest for items and secrets. The game features a fast-travel system, allowing Adol to instantly travel between locations that have been previously visited. Collectible items scattered throughout the world can be used to unlock new abilities and upgrades for Adol and his allies.
The graphics of emYS: Memories of Celceta/em are colorful and detailed, making the world feel alive and vibrant. The characters are well-designed and have a unique look that helps them stand out from one another. Additionally, the game’s environment is lush and beautiful, with plenty of things to see and explore. Overall, the graphics are impressive and help create an immersive and enjoyable experience. Its 82 Metascore will definitely make sense to you!
Overall, emYS: Memories of Celceta/em is an excellent RPG that should not be missed by any Vita owner. The game has something for everyone, from its fast-paced combat to its engrossing story.
You can get it on Amazon here.
#3: emChild of Light/em (Metacritic Score: 83)
- Child of Light - PlayStation Vita Standard Edition
If you’re looking for a great RPG to play on your PlayStation Vita, you can’t go wrong with emChild of Light/em.
This game was developed by Ubisoft and released in 2014. emChild of Light/em is a turn-based RPG that follows the story of Aurora, a young girl who is transported to the fantastical world of Lemuria. In this new world, she must find a way to return home while also helping the people of Lemuria in their fight against the Queen of the Night. The game features beautiful hand-drawn visuals and an engaging combat system.
The gameplay has been described as a “platforming adventure game.” The player must use Aurora’s abilities to solve puzzles and defeat enemies. In addition to Aurora, the player can also control other characters that they meet during the course of the game. These characters include Rubella, Finn, Norah, Robert, Oengus, and Tristis.
emChild of Light/em features an innovative combat system that encourages strategic thinking. Each character has different strengths and weaknesses, and it is up to the player to make use of these to defeat enemies. For example, Igniculus, a firefly companion, can blind enemies or heal allies; while Rubella, a water nymph, can put out fires or create ice walls.
The combat system is turn-based and uses a unique mechanic called the “Active Time Battle” system. This system allows the player to choose their actions in real-time, but also allows for strategic planning as the action pauses when the player is making their choices. The combat is further strategic as each enemy has different weaknesses that must be exploited to defeat them.
The graphics on the PlayStation Vita are colorful and detailed, making for a visually pleasing experience. Overall, Child of Light is one of the best RPGs available for the PlayStation Vita and is worth checking out, as seen in its 83 Metascore.
Check it out on Amazon right here.
emOdin Sphere Leifthrasir/em is the enhanced remake of Vanillaware’s classic PS2 action RPG, Odin Sphere. It was released for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita in 2016.
The story takes place in the fictional world of Erion, which is on the brink of destruction due to a never-ending war between the rival kingdoms of Ragnanival and Valentine. The game follows five main characters: Gwendolyn, Cornelius, Mercedes, Oswald, and Velvet; each with their own unique story.
Gameplay-wise, emOdin Sphere Leifthrasir/em is a 2D action RPG with side-scrolling platforming elements. Players take control of one of the five main characters and fight their way through hordes of enemies using a combination of melee attacks and magic spells. The game also features a unique Pooka system that allows players to absorb enemy souls to power up their characters.
The graphics are significantly improved compared to the original game. The game uses a new engine, which results in more detailed and smoother visuals. The characters and environments are more detailed and look more realistic. The frame rate has also been increased, resulting in a smoother gameplay experience. The fact that it got a 93 Metascore speaks directly to its impressive gameplay.
If you’re looking for an amazing action RPG experience on your Vita, then you can’t go wrong with emOdin Sphere Leifthrasir/em.
Grab it on Amazon right here.
#1: emPersona 4 Golden/em (Metacritic Score: 93)
- A bigger, better version of one of the best RPGs ever: Improved visuals, tons of new story and voiced dialogue, and much more combine with deep turn-based combat, addicting character and Persona...
- Make meaningful bonds with characters via social links: In between its exploration, battles, and Persona management, P4G lets players choose how they wish to spend their time each day in a variety of...
- Will you uncover the true ending to the story? Nearly 100 hours of gameplay thrusts you into a deep mystery where midnight television leads to serial killings
As one of the best PlayStation Vita RPGs, emPersona 4 Golden/em is a must-play for any fan of the genre.
emPersona 4 Golden/em is an updated version of the original Persona 4, which was released on the PlayStation 2. The game features an engaging story, great characters, and addicting gameplay that will keep you hooked for hours on end.
The game takes place in the small town of Inaba, where a string of mysterious murders has been occurring. You take on the role of a high school student who has just moved to Inaba and quickly becomes involved in the case. Along with your new friends, you must use your Persona abilities to solve the murders and bring peace to Inaba.
The gameplay is similar to that of its predecessor. The player controls the protagonist, who can interact with other characters and objects in the game world. The player also has the ability to enter people’s hearts in order to change their thoughts and feelings. emPersona 4 Golden/em introduces a new gameplay mechanic called Social Links. Social Links represent the relationships between the protagonist and other characters. By spending time with these characters, the protagonist can improve their Social Links, which, in turn, gives them access to new abilities and increased power when fighting enemies.
emPersona 4 Golden/em received critical acclaim upon its release, with many reviewers praising its story, characters, gameplay, and music, evident in its 93 Metascore. It was awarded “Game of the Year” honors by several publications, including Famitsu, GameSpot, IGN, and RPGamer.
The game features new content, including additional Social Links, Personas, and an extra dungeon. The updated graphics and visuals are also a nice touch.
Persona 4 Golden’s graphics are heavily influenced by Japanese animation, and as such, the game has a very unique visual style. The colors are very bright and vibrant, and the character designs are extremely expressive. The game world is also highly detailed, and every location is filled with interesting objects and NPCs to interact with. emPersona 4 Golden/em is truly a feast for the eyes, and it’s easy to see why it’s one of the most popular RPGs on the Vita.
You can get a copy for yourself from Amazon here.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Barone Firenze/Shutterstock.com.