When the PSP launched, it was a pretty revolutionary bit of kit, bringing some serious graphical advantages over its main competitor at the time – the Nintendo DS.
Because of this developers around the globe put out a plethora of titles on the system, taking advantage of its horsepower.
In particular, JRPGs got a lot of love from both the devs and players.
So, picking up some of the best PSP JRPG games of all time can surely only enhance your experience with one of the greatest handheld consoles to ever release.
There are actually quite a few games of this genre released on the PSP so whittling them down into the top selections can be a tough ask.
However, we’ve done the job for you, and by reading on, you can see which PSP JRPGs are worth your time and which to leave by the wayside!
Table of Contents
Persona 3 Portable is a Persona game that you could’ve missed out on if you didn’t follow the franchise in its earlier days.
It was certainly a little more niche back then, but now, Persona is a series that has its feet more than under the table.
It is, however, essentially a port of the original Persona 3 PS2 release, so if you were following the games in order, you could have already experienced it on a more home console.
Persona 3 Portable is perfect for a bit of Persona action on the go, featuring many of the aspects included in the more modern titles in the series.
The main difference between the two is that the Portable version is somewhat limited in terms of its cutscenes and less interactivity in the overworld.
Still, if you haven’t had a chance to play this iteration, you’re in for a serious treat.
Jeanne d’Arc might be one of those games that simply went under the radar when it launched on the PSP back in 2006 (Japan) and 2007 (US).
It doesn’t have a huge franchise behind it, contrary to others in this list, but it was welcomed by some impressive review scores at the time.
The premise of the game is that a war is raging between France and England, with demon soldiers on the latter side making it a tough ask for France to win.
You take control of Jeanne and her friends, powered by a sacred amulet to fight back against the invaders in some turn-based goodness.
With some strong tactical elements, and interesting character leveling, Jeanne d’Arc offers an almost Fire Emblem experience but on the PSP.
If you weren’t aware, yes, a Kingdom Hearts game made it onto the PSP – Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, and it takes the fourth spot in our best PSP JRPG games of all time list.
This one, however, doesn’t follow Sora, and instead looks to give you some serious franchise lore by taking place ten years before the first game.
You take control of Terra, Aqua and Ventus, who did actually appear in a secret ending of Kingdom Hearts 2, as they look to become masters of the Keyblade with the help of their teacher and Disney mascot Mickey Mouse.
The combat system should be somewhat familiar with those who have played other Kingdom Hearts games albeit with some tweaks.
MP, previously used to cast magic, is replaced by Focus, and ordinary attacks fill a Command meter so you can perform more specialized hits.
For a Kingdom Hearts enthusiast, this game is a must play.
And for those who are looking to get involved with one of the best PSP JRPG games, you should definitely give Birth by Sleep a chance.
If you were a 90s kid, you may have already heard of Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together as this best PSP JRPG game is actually a remake of the version previously released in 1995.
As alluded to by the name of this one, it’s another tactical JRPG that tasks you with using your brain to get the job done.
As you would expect, it utilizes a party turn based combat system, with the chance to recruit more allies as you progress through the story.
Each of your units offers a different set of abilities with a shared magic point system that replenishes as the battle progresses.
Due to its brilliance and overall popularity, Let Us Cling Together has actually had a further re-release on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC under the name Tactics Ogre: Reborn.
While not a mainline game, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is certainly cherished among fans of the franchise and more than earns a spot as one of the best PSP JRPG games of all time.
Set prior to the original Final Fantasy VII game, you take control of Zack Fair, a member of the SOLDIER organization, fighting against enemy forces.
Due to this, many of the characters you know and love make an appearance, bringing some familiarity to this portable version of the series.
However, this iteration of Final Fantasy didn’t follow the traditional turn based combat system and instead, you’d fight in real time making the game much more action based rather than a tactical fare.
It received big critical acclaim at the time of release and has since had a PS5 remake which just shows you how respected this entry into the Final Fantasy series is.
We’ve crowned the best PSP JRPG game of all time, and nabbing the number one spot is Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions.
This one is obviously very different to that of Crisis Core with its geometric turn based battling and very little in the way of exploration.
What it offers is some stellar combat, dominating the overall experience, as well as a bunch of extra features such as trading and the ability to recruit secret characters.
However, again, similar to other picks on this best PSP JRPG games list, War of the Lions is also a remake.
But, it boasts new features such as multiplayer, allowing you to fight against your friends, only adding to the already fantastic experience.
There’s a reason why Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions got glowing 9/10 and 10/10 reviews on launch and gameplay certainly still holds up today.
And there you have it, 6 of the best PSP JRPG games money can buy.
Whether it’s the more tactical Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together or the more action focused Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, if you choose to pick up and play any of these you’ll certainly have a good time.
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Jacob has been an avid handheld enthusiast ever since the original Game Boy was placed in his hand at an early age. From that point, he’s become engrossed in all aspects of gaming, owning most consoles that have been released, and enjoying titles from a wide variety of genres. When he is not playing the latest game releases, he’s spending far too much money modding retro systems.