15 Best Anime-Themed PSP Games Worth Playing

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For years, the PlayStation Portable was my primary anime-enjoying device.

I watched anime on its large widescreen display, listened to anime OSTs from my memory stick, and played every anime game I could get my hands on.

Fans of Japanese animation are spoiled for choice when it comes to the PSP.

SONY has always been a friend to developers working on anime games. Even if they didn’t all make it abroad, the PSP’s roster is full of awesome anime games in diverse genres.

Here are the most notable anime-themed games worth dusting off the old PSP to play.


15. Initial D: Street Stage (2006)

Initial D: Street Stage (2006) PSP screenshot

Initial D: Street Stage is a solid racer based on the iconic manga and anime of the same name.

You’ll play as Takumi Fujiwara on his Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT-APEX and tackle many of the same race courses featured in the anime, such as Myogi, Usui, Akagi, Happogahara, and Shomaru.

The game shines for its pleasant drifting mechanics and high-tension races against many of Takumi’s rivals, including his dad – Bunta Fujiwara.

Another big highlight is the exhilarating background music. Nothing says “speed” like a high-bpm Eurobeat soundtrack.


14. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2005)

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2005) PSP screenshot

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is the sequel to the 2004 PS2 game of the same name. If you think that’s weird, imagine how the people in marketing must have felt.

Regardless of questionable advertising decisions, this first-person shooter with anime-inspired graphics remains a must-try on the PSP.

One of my favorite features is customizing my own Tachikoma sentient tanks that provide support as I go about my business shooting down enemies in cyberpunk locales.

Playable characters include Motoko, Batou, Togusa, and Saito. You can tackle any level as your favorite character, each of which has unique strengths and weaknesses.


13. Sword Art Online – Infinity Moment (JP) (2013)

Sword Art Online – Infinity Moment (JP) (2013) PSP screenshot

Sword Art Online was a worldwide phenomenon among the anime-inclined when it came out in 2012.

Since then, an endless barrage of Sword Art Online games have been released on several platforms.

One of the first was Sword Art Online – Infinity Moment on the PSP.

The game follows an alternate continuity where a glitch in SAO kept everyone locked into the game despite defeating Heathcliff. Besides that, players of other VRMMORPGs – like Sinon and Leafa – got pulled into Aincrad.

The basic ARPG gameplay is nothing to write home about, but the graphics are solid, and Kirito can try out ten different weapon types with distinct fighting styles, which is always fun.


12. Toradora Portable (JP) (2009)

Toradora Portable (JP) (2009) PSP screenshot

I’m a big fan of Toradora, which I consider the best love story ever written.

When I was obsessively hunting down any Toradora content available, I came across this Japan-exclusive PSP game rife with fanservice and “what if” scenarios.

The game follows protagonist Ryuuji after an accident leaves him suffering from amnesia. Spending time with your friends Taiga, Kitamura, Ami, and Minori is the only way to regain your memories – but things don’t always go back to how they were.

Toradora Portable’s story splits into three main scenarios with several character routes. If you’re into visual novels, you can’t miss it!

Get the English patch here.


11. Ore no Imouto Portable Tsuzuku (JP) (2012)

Ore no Imouto Portable Tsuzuku (JP) (2012) PSP screenshot

Toradora might be the best love story ever written, but as a romantic comedy, there’s a ton of fiery competition from shows like Ore no Imouto wa Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai.

If you’re a fan of this morally questionable series starring Kousaka siblings Kyousuke and Kirino, you must play the PSP-exclusive visual novel.

The game picks up a year after Kirino’s “life consultation” is over, giving you the choice to lead Kyousuke down different paths depending on what heroine you decide to woo.

Don’t worry about the whole “Kirino is my sister” thing. This game explains Kyousuke is adopted, so it’s totally not creepy!

It was never released internationally, but you’ll find an excellent English patch for both discs here.


10. Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus (2009)

Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus (2009) PSP screenshot

There are plenty of notable fighters like Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny and Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection on the PSP – but if you’re looking for one with anime charm, Guilty Gear is the way to go.

The franchise is famous for stylish combat with a high mastery ceiling, and Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus lives up to the series’ legacy.

With beautiful sprites and detailed backgrounds, it’s easy to get distracted by the game’s flawless aesthetics as you play through the Story mode or try to make it far in Survival.


9. Corpse Party (2008)

Corpse Party (2008) PSP screenshot

Ever since I turned 16, I’ve found it increasingly hard to find good horror games.

Despite its somewhat basic RPG Maker-like graphics, Corpse Party on the PSP creates an immersive environment rife with tension and suspense that will make even the most courageous gamer want to turn on the light.

Exploring this run-down school, not knowing whether your next step will be your last, is the scariest experience the PSP offers.

Your decisions will determine who lives and who dies, and these deaths deserve a spot on the “most gruesome anime deaths” ranking if we ever write one.

If you watched horror anime series Another (2012), you know what to expect.


8. Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Extend (JP) (2011)

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Extend (JP) (2011) PSP screenshot

The Japanese market is full of amazing PSP rhythm games that never saw the light of day abroad.

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Extend is a prime example.

The gameplay is simple: hit the buttons as they appear on screen for points. Still, don’t let its simplicity fool you. It gets hard, especially with Miku doing cute dances in the background.

Variety is the name of the game in Project DIVA Extend.

There are fifty different songs to tackle – from Ievan Polkka to The Disappearance of Hatsune Miku – and countless outfits and hairstyles to unlock.

Western Vocaloid fans would have to wait two more years before an official English-translated Project Diva F became available on PS3 and PSVita.


7. Fate/unlimited codes (2009)

Fate/unlimited codes (2009) PSP screenshot

Fate/unlimited codes re-tells the Unlimited Blade Works route of the original Fate/Stay Night visual novel.

The top-notch Japanese voice acting will be appreciated by fans, as will the ample character roster.

Along with Saber, Shirou, Archer, and Rin, you’ll meet some new faces exclusive to the PSP version of this arcade fighter. These include Saber Alter from Heaven’s Feel, Lancer from Fate/Zero, and Bazett Fraga McRemitz from Fate/Hollow Ataraxia.

Despite the game’s less-than-impressive graphics, it’s still a solid fighter with a surprisingly technical combat system with a high skill ceiling you can easily pour hours into.


6. Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom (2012)

Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom (2012) PSP screenshot

Most people reading a “best anime games” list will have tried one or two visual novels in their lifetime.

But have you ever tried an “Otome” game?

This genre is the same as your average romance-oriented visual novel, except you’re wooing men rather than women. Reverse harems, here we come.

Nowadays, there are many great options like this in the Western market – but back when Hakuoki first came out, it was nothing short of a miracle that it got localized.

Hakuoki tells an intense and often tragic war story set in Edo-period Japan that anyone can enjoy regardless of sexual orientation. The excellent Japanese voice acting is a major highlight.


5. SMT: Persona 3 Portable (2010)

SMT: Persona 3 Portable (2010) PSP screenshot

The Persona franchise is top-rated among anime enthusiasts for bringing together narrative genres like shounen, psychological, and slice of life.

Persona 3 was the first entry in the franchise to feature some of the beloved life simulation elements in the series, such as part-time jobs and social links – renamed “confidants” in Persona 5.

These daily life elements provide a brief respite from the brutal fighting taking place in Tartarus as you and the Special Extracurricular Execution Squad fight to protect the world.

P3P is a fantastic RPG with an excellent story, highly memorable characters, and an incredible soundtrack composed by master Shoji Meguro.


4. Digimon World Re:Digitize (JP) (2012)

Digimon World Re:Digitize (JP) (2012) PSP screenshot

The original Digimon World was an obtuse but fascinating PlayStation monster-raising game that amazed and confused us with its enigmatic (read: poorly explained) gameplay mechanics.

Developer tri-Crescendo brings back the same idea with much better execution in Digimon World Re:Digitize.

Besides much less cryptic mechanics, the game shines for its excellent storyline and colorful characters. Your Digimon will also look more colorful thanks to the hundreds of accessories available, including goggles, an afro, etc.

Regrettably, it’s a Japan-exclusive title – but an English translation is available here.


3. Fate/Extra (2011)

Fate/Extra (2011) PSP screenshot

Both long-time fans and newcomers to the Fate franchise owe themselves to go back and play Fate/Extra if they haven’t yet.

This text-heavy RPG transports you into a mysterious digital recreation of a Japanese high school where you’ll summon a Servant to participate in a Holy Grail War against other Masters such as yourself.

Your choices of Servant include Saber (Nero Claudius), Archer (EMIYA), and Caster (Tamamo no Mae), each of which brings their own flavor to the story.

Along with a reasonably complex RPG battle system, the game shines for its wacky storyline, memorable characters, and wealth of opportunities to grow closer to your servant – often in pretty risqué ways.


2. K-On! Houkago Live!! (JP) (2010)

K-On! Houkago Live!! (JP) (2010) PSP screenshot

K-On! Houkago Live!! lets players immerse themselves in the everyday life of Sakuragaoka High School’s Light Music Club by playing through their greatest hits as any of the five main characters.

While the game only features 16 songs from the show and character CDs, every song offers two difficulties and five different note tracks corresponding to each character.

Whenever you need a break from the surprisingly challenging gameplay, you can relax by customizing the club room or dressing up the band members.

This game is the way to go if you’ve ever wanted to be a cute girl playing cute songs. It’s a wholesome experience with lots of replay value.


1. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact (2011)

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact (2011) PSP screenshot

By the time you get to Shippuden, Naruto and his friends have developed techniques so powerful that they should be able to take on armies of lesser-skilled ninja.

Ultimate Ninja Impact explores the possibilities with large-scale battles in the style of Dynasty Warriors.

The game features an extensive roster of fan-favorite characters like Naruto, Sasuke, Shikamaru, and Hinata, duking it out against hordes of generic ninja and the occasional enemy boss like Orochimaru, Deidara, or Pain.

The game’s story mode spans everything from the Kazekage Rescue Mission to the Five Kage Summit re-told through gorgeous in-game animations that make the most of the game’s cel-shaded graphics.

It’s certainly one of the more notable Naruto games ever published.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.