When PlayStation Vita released in 2012, expectations were high as Sony's previous handheld (PSP) was quite successful even if it could never quite match with Nintendo's handheld juggernauts.
Despite being an excellent piece of tech, the PlayStation Vita never really found much of an audience and in 2018; support for the device has all but halted. So, I wanted to write a Top 10 list of Vita exclusives but over the years, many of the more popular titles (such as Gravity Rush, Assassin's Creed: Liberation, and Tearaway) have been ported to PS3, PS4, and other consoles. Plus, many other fantastic Vita games (like PlayStation All-Stars, Dragon's Crown, and Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time) simultaneously released on PS3 and Vita. Due to these factors, I struggled to come up with a list that consisted of true Vita exclusives. Instead, the list evolved into the top 10 games that PlayStation gamers can only enjoy on Vita. In other words, these games were never released on PS3 or PS4.
If you love first-person grid-based dungeon crawlers then Demon Gaze is a must-play game. Its phenomenal soundtrack, memorable cast of characters, cheeky sense of humour, addictive character growth mechanics, and challenging boss battles easily make it one of the best games in the genre. Who knew turning gems into equipment while recruiting powerful demons could be so much fun?Demon Gaze II Review
Warning: my penchant for puzzle games will show throughout this list. Dokuro is a hardcore puzzle platformer that challenges you with 150 different puzzle rooms. Playing as a cute little skeleton named Dokuro, your objective is to create a safe path for the princess to cross while avoiding spikes, swinging hazards, and much more. It becomes more complex and switches up mechanics in the later levels which keeps it fresh and exciting from start to finish. If you don't have a Vita, you're in luck because Dokuro can also be played on Steam, mobile platforms, and, as of very recently, Nintendo Switch.
This is yet another maddeningly difficult puzzle platformer with a cult following. On the surface, La-Mulana looks like an interesting retro side-scrolling platformer but players will quickly find out that it's much more about the secrets that lie within. Each and every room is absolutely packed with vague clues and obscure puzzles, daring you to reach for a guide while also giving you just enough hope that you may be able to solve things on your own. Originally debuting as freeware, La-Mulana received a major overhaul and was released on Wii in 2011 followed by PlayStation Vita and PC ports.La-Mulana 1 & 2 Review
The massive success of Monster Hunter: World proves that monster hunting games are still highly enjoyed by the gaming community. While Soul Sacrifice wasn't quite as fun as Capcom's fantastic series, it was still a ton of fun to play alone or with friends. Each level in Soul Sacrifice is filled with a few smaller monsters and one single behemoth which acts as the level's target. Upon slaying it, you're awarded with a variety of items and skill points that allow you to upgrade your character. Out of all of the games on this list, I'm the most surprised that Soul Sacrifice never received a console port on PS4. As of now, the only way to enjoy it is on PlayStation Vita.
Unlike most games here, Muramasa didn't actually launch as a Vita exclusive. Instead, it debuted as Muramasa: The Demon Blade in 2009 on Nintendo Wii. This colourful and combat-fueled action game made its way to Vita in 2013 along with freshly crafted DLC content featuring new characters and combat styles. Great care went into this Vita port and it remains one of the best-looking games on the console. Muramasa hasn't been ported since 2013 so Vita and Wii remain the only places to experience its samurai action.
Uncharted: Golden Abyss
Even the worst Uncharted game is fun so while Nathan Drake's handheld adventure isn't as fondly remembered as some of his console outings; it's still a very enjoyable third-person adventure that highlights what the Vita is capable of. I've always been surprised that Golden Abyss was never released as an affordable digital download for PS4. It does feature a lot of interactive touchscreen mechanics that only Vita can provide so perhaps the developers decided it wasn't worth the effort to recreate those sections with the DualShock 4 touchpad. Uncharted: Golden Abyss is a true PlayStation Vita exclusive and can only be enjoyed on the handheld.Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Review Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Review
Super Stardust Delta
When it comes to arcade action games, there are few to no developers better than Housemarque. Their first Vita release was Super Stardust Delta, the fast-paced follow-up to Super Stardust HD on PS3. Despite only featuring a handful of levels and just a few different weapons and power-ups, this Super Stardust sequel excels due to its smooth gameplay and rewarding scoring system. Just be careful not to toss your Vita in a fit of rage when you lose a huge multiplier! Just like Soul Sacrifice and Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Super Stardust Delta is one of the few games out there that is still a true Vita exclusive.Super Stardust Ultra Review
DrinkBox Studios is best known for their awesome Guacamelee! series but in 2016, they took a chance on something different with the touchscreen-based dungeon crawler Severed. The result was fantastic as it features gruesome monsters and a surprisingly deep touch-only combat system. Due to the reliance on touchscreen gameplay, ports to traditional consoles always seemed unlikely. However, after originally launching on Vita, Severed was ported to several touch-based devices including Wii U, Switch, 3DS, and iOS.Severed Review
A Rose in the Twilight
A Rose in the Twilight is a moody puzzle platformer where you control two different characters and use their distinct abilities to solve puzzles. Using just a few simple mechanics, the developers crafted ingenious puzzle rooms that will test the limits of your problem solving abilities. PlayStation Vita is the only console where A Rose in the Twilight can be experienced but PC gamers can also check it out on Steam. To find out more about this top-notch puzzler, make sure to read my review.A Rose in the Twilight Review
Ys: Memories of Celceta
Following the release of several popular Ys titles on PSP, Nihon Falcom's long-running action RPG series made its debut on PlayStation Vita in 2013 with this reimagining of Ys IV. Telling the story of protagonist Adol as he journeys through the forests of Celceta, Memories of Celceta retains the adrenaline-fueled combat and memorable storytelling that fans have enjoyed for years. Ys: Memories of Celceta was a true Vita exclusive for quite some time but it recently released on Steam so PC gamers can finally enjoy it.Ys: Memories of Celceta Review