The process: Earlier in the year we asked you, our readers, to rank nine different games per category in order of preference (or how interested you are in a game, if you haven’t played it before). We have taken those rankings, averaged them up, and the resulting list below are the top four games – three runners up and the winner.
The Vita might not be setting the sales charts alight, but that’s not from a lack of game quality. The Vita has some truly incredible games available on it… provided you’re willing to look beyond AAA-grade games for smaller and independent releases.
Dead or Alive 5 Plus: We would argue that Dead or Alive 5 is one of the finest fighting games ever crafted, once you get past the fan service and DLC costumes that don’t leave much to the imagination. The fighting itself is superbly crafted and balanced, and will appeal to players of all skill levels – from the utter novice to the competitive online players. On the Vita it works almost as well as the PS3 game, and that in itself is a massive achievement.
Soul Sacrifice: Dark, brutal, and deeply compelling; Soul Sacrifice is one of the most effective games we’ve ever played in creating an bleak atmosphere of hopelessness and inevitability. The rare resistance to that inevitability becomes a central and recurring theme to the game, and it’s a compelling one to follow. In terms of play it’s like a JRPG mixed with Monster Hunter, and it all clicks together to work ever so well. It’s not a game everyone can stomach, but it’s brilliant nonetheless.
Atelier Meruru Plus: The Apprentice of Arland: This port of the PS3 title of the same name might be niche, but for many people, once they start playing, they get permanently, irrecoverably hooked. This is a charming, bright, and happy JRPG; it’s a far cry from the dark and serious games that we are so used to these days, and that is refreshing, to say the least.
Persona 4 Golden: This game was superb back when it was released on the PlayStation 2, and it’s every bit as good on the Vita. A timeless, quality narrative combines with a stylish social system to make for a JRPG where it’s almost more fun to be talking to characters than hunting monsters.
Not that the combat is bad by any means. Oh no. Persona 4 nails everything it needs to and is a game that is arguably without peer.