Darkness falls across the land, the midnight hour is close at hand and at Retro Dodo we’re crawling in search of the 10 Best PSP Horror Games of All Time.
Sony’s first handheld console is perhaps better known for producing handheld spin offs to established series such as God of War: Ascension and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Plenty of the most well known games also make our list of The Best PSP Games of 2023.
What many people do not know however is that the PlayStation Portable hosts a variety of nightmarish horror games.
Vampires, zombies, monsters, insane serial killers and even mutant plants feature on our list of the evils players can face when bravely diving into the PSP’s horror library.
Whether you’re looking to get into the spirit of spooky season or wanting a chilling experience for a hand-held fright night, come with us now as we reveal the 10 Best PSP Horror Games of All Time.
Table of Contents
1. Castlevania – The Dracula X Chronicles (2007)
Castlevania – The Dracula X Chronicles is the best PSP horror game of all time.
Konami’s Castlevania: Rondo of Blood receives a revamp (pun intended) as the centrepiece of Dracula X Chronicles. 2.5D graphics, additional bosses, voice acting and cutscenes make Rondo of Blood’s first release outside of Japan something special.
The story sees heroic vampire hunter Richter Belmont face off against a resurrected Dracula, storming the castle of the world’s most famous vampire as he attempts to rescue his beloved Annette.
A wide variety of gruesome monsters stalk the player throughout nine levels of gothic terror. Each level includes numerous alternative pathways and secrets that encourage exploration.
Castlevania – The Dracula X Chronicles also includes the original TurboGrafx-16 version of Rondo of Blood along with a port of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, resulting in a package of exceptional value on a single UMD.
Players looking for more vampiric horror should also check out our list of the 35 Best Castlevania games.
2. Silent Hill: Origins (2007)
Narrowly missing out on the top spot on our 10 Best PSP Horror Games of All Time list is Silent Hill: Origins.
Taking place before the events of the original Silent Hill, Origins follows truck driver Travis Grady into Silent Hill as he comes face to face with the evils of the eponymous town.
The survival horror trope of mixing hideous monsters with tight camera angles and an untrained protagonist creates moments of extreme panic as Travis gets to grips with his unfamiliar surroundings.
Weapon degradation is introduced to the series for the first time and with it comes additional stress and dread as one miscalculated swing with a melee too many will leave Travis unarmed and staring down the business end of syringe wielded by a faceless nurse.
Silent Hill: Origins proves that survival horror could be effective and scary on the PSP.
3. Manhunt 2 (2007)
Rockstar’s controversial stealth horror game doesn’t deal with supernatural horrors or monsters and instead delivers shivers through the brutality of man and the fragility of the human psyche.
Taking on the role of Daniel Lamb, players must escape from an asylum for the criminally insane before committing bloody murders in a quest for truth.
Where other games in the genre make players wonder what could be hiding in the shadows, Manhunt 2 flips the script, shrouding the player in darkness and imbuing them with a move set of murderous manoeuvres.
Stealthily approaching enemies allows for gory, over-the-top kills resulting in sprays of blood and viscera spilling to the ground.
The gripping story, extreme gore and top-tier presentation from Rockstar makes Manhunt 2 an essential entry in our list of the best PSP horror games of all time.
4. Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (2010)
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories once again takes players back to America’s foggiest town in this reimagining of the original Silent Hill.
Players take control of a different universe’s version of Harry Mason as he looks for his missing daughter. The alternative universe angle provides tension and suspense for players that are well versed with the PS1 original.
Unlike other games in the franchise, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories does away with combat entirely and instead focuses on the psychological horror inflicted upon Harry.
Gameplay is split between Harry attending appointments with psychologist Dr. Kaufmann in a first-person interactive Q&A session that directly impacts the third-person exploration and puzzle solving within Silent Hill itself.
Harry’s environment warps and changes from his interactions with Dr. Kaufmann, providing multiple endings for players to uncover.
Encounters with Silent Hill’s monstrosities are fewer in this reimaging but without the ability to fight back, Harry’s adventure ratchets up the tension from the outset.
5. Obscure: The Aftermath (2009)
Several years before the release of The Last of Us, Obscure and it’s sequel, Obscure: The Aftermath theorised what it would be like if mutant creatures were created from plant spores.
In another future-facing pop culture prediction, the monsters in Obscure: The Aftermath bear striking resemblance to the Demogorgons from Stranger Things. Perhaps the Duffer Brothers are fans of this 2007 PSP survival horror title.
Influences on the modern zeitgeist aside, Obscure: The Aftermath breaks from tradition by focusing on a co-operative horror adventure. Working through the terror with a partner certainly lessons some of the tension but not more than some of the admittedly cheesy dialogue.
Thankfully, there are still plenty of genuinely chilling moments and the premise of evil flowers overrunning a college campus is too good to miss.
6. Infected (2005)
Not all horror games require a dark and gloomy premise. Infected proposes the idea of a colourful game world where the protagonist is a walking tank. We’re not talking about Resi-style tank controls here. More, what if your player was armed to the teeth, like a tank.
Infected pits players against swarms of undead zombies (the best kind) in frantic missions throughout New York City. The zombies here are quick and lethal, closer to the raging runners from 28 Days Later than the shuffling buffoons of Shawn of the Dead.
With buckets of bullets and plenty of targets to shoot them at, Infected keeps proceedings fresh with various mission types across its 40 stages. There are levels that require a certain body count to progress where others need a number of humans to survive to reach the goal.
The fast-paced zombie slaughter of Infected fits the PSP superbly but it’s lack of scares keep it from troubling the top half of our 10 Best PSP Horror Games of All Time list.
7. Corpse Party (2011)
Eery and uncomfortable, the first Corpse Party game on PSP sees a group of Japanese high school students transported to an alternate reality. With blood-soaked walls and spirits roaming the halls this really is the school trip of nightmares.
Corpse Party is dark. With child abduction, murder and cannibalism as its central themes, Corpse Party lives up to its moniker with an abundance of cadavers littering its classrooms.
Grim visuals and unsettling sounds are effective at conjuring fear and unease in players. It’s easy to root for the characters and become emotionally invested in them and their safety.
Supporting the heroes comes at the determent of your own sanity as the kids are put through the horrendous scenarios with terrifyingly brutal consequences.
Corpse Party is definitely not a ghost story for the faint of heart.
8. The 3rd Birthday (2011)
The third entry in Square Enix’s Parasite Eve series sees protagonist Aya Brea reawakening in New York with a serious case of amnesia. Meanwhile the city is overrun by twisted lifeforms known as… the Twisted.
This PSP exclusive horror/shooter/RPG features gorgeous graphics that deliver a thrilling and scary experience as Aya battles the gross Twisted monsters that somehow connect her to her missing past.
Unfortunately, The 3rd Birthday includes some problematic content with cringe-worthy fan service including destructible clothing and a gratuitous unlockable shower scene for Aya.
The 3rd Birthday’s predecessor, Parasite Eve II, found itself sitting pretty near the top of our Best PS1 Horror Games of All Time list proving that the horror credentials weren’t just a fluke.
9. Corpse Party: Book of Shadows (2013)
Corpse Party: Book of Shadows returns to the school from the Corpse Party series and offers an anthology of disturbing self-contained short stories.
Book of Shadows introduces a first-person perspective to the eight visual novel point and click episodes. Sitting midway in the Corpse Party timeline between Blood Covered: Repeated Fear and Blood drive, Books of Shadows reimagines events of the first game that saw high school students suffer terrifying murders at the hands of supernatural forces.
The stories told here add context to previously minor characters and fleshes out the roles of all the players at the haunted school.
The body count creeps over with ever more grotesque and horrific gore. The sound design is truly creepy and unsettling with plenty of screaming and crying that is most effective for players wearing headphones.
Fans of Japanese horror will get plenty from Corpse Party: Book of Shadows although it really demands players to play the other games in the series for it reach its narrative peak.
10. Hysteria Project 2 (2011)
Taking up the 10th spot on our 10 Best PSP Horror Games of All Time is Hysteria Project 2.
Released as a PS Mini title back in 2011, Hysteria Project 2 is a unique entry on this list as it is the only FMV game to crack our top 10.
This first-person survival horror adventure places players in the shoes, or rather eyeballs, of an unnamed man strapped to a hospital bed. So far, so good.
What follows is an intense game of cat and mouse as our nameless protagonist tries to evade a hooded, axe-wielding man and a mysterious smoke monster. Gameplay consists of puzzle solving with some reaction tests thrown in for good measure.
The trial-and-error nature of the gameplay means a grisly death is often unavoidable, leaving Hysteria Project 2 to languish at the bottom of our list.
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Theo first fell in love with gaming when he sped through Green Hill Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog back in 1991. Theo has previously provided reviews, news coverage and articles for The Games Cabin and enjoyed producing comedic Let’s Plays on his own personal YouTube channels.
A huge Kingdom Hearts and Metal Gear fan, Theo enjoys deep gameplay mechanics and complex storylines. A completionist by nature, Theo has earned over 140 platinum trophies including top digital trinkets for Stardew Valley, The Witness, Bloodborne and a plethora of GTA games.
Outside of gaming, Theo can often be found riding his motorbike, headbanging at gigs or out in the countryside exploring nature and marvelling at the ‘realistic graphics’.