The Vita is possibly one of the most underappreciated consoles of the last 20 years. Although it perhaps doesn’t have the level of unrealised potential that the Dreamcast had, it has still left a lot on the table in relation to what it could have done. If Sony had aimed it right, the Vita could have easily been on a par with the Switch and provided a true hybrid between handheld and TV-linked consoles, way before the Switch was even thought of. Despite that, it still had some incredible games on offer. We’ve taken a look at the three best and three worst genres that featured on the console.
Driving games: best
The selection of driving games that the Vita offered is one of the best selections on a handheld console ever. The Vita was almost designed to be perfect for racing games. This is mainly due to the stick and screen positioning making it very easy to follow the action and get your best times on different tracks. There is a great range of different Vita racing games available, which includes one of the best versions of Wipeout on the market.
On top of that, you can also access some of the great racers from the PSOne and PSP’s library through the PlayStation Store, which isn’t being closed down just yet. This means that overall, it has one of the most impressive and incredible racing games selections on handheld. Sadly no Gran Turismo, but we can’t have everything I guess!
Casino games: worst
The Vita isn’t exactly known for a wealth of casino games – in fact, no console is really known for providing a huge range of different casino games. But the PS Vita seems to fare worse than most. Apart from a handful of card games via the Minis range, Vegas Party (and the less said about that the better) and some casino themed tables for The Pinball Arcade there’s little to be found. Even the Vita’s in-built web browser can’t be used to access some of the fastest paying and best performing online casinos on the market. It seems as if someone was determined to keep the Vita and the casino genre as far apart as possible, unlike its predecessor which had a healthy selection including the superb Hard Rock Casino.
There are some incredible RPGs available to players on the PS Vita. While there is a whole host of top-class choices available, there is one game that stands out from the crowd: Persona 4 Golden. It’s an enhanced version of the PS2 game Persona, which was already heralded as one of the greatest games of all time. This new version just took things to a new level and improved on what many already thought was perfection. Just the presence of this game makes the RPG section first class, but there are plenty of other great titles available on the Vita including access to over a dozen from the Final Fantasy franchise played natively and via the PSOne and PSP ranges.
If you’re an RPG fan then this is the console for you.
Roguelike games: worst
Roguelike games offer some of the best experiences ever for players. From the genre’s origins in Gauntlet to modern masterpieces such as Diablo, roguelike games have kept players interested and engaged for years. So, it’s a disappointment that the Vita never managed to provide a top-class roguelike game for players. What makes it more annoying is that Conception II was often heralded as a great roguelike to enjoy on the Vita and it just never lived up to the hype.
There are a few indie games that provide an okay roguelike experience, but there’s nothing anywhere close to the top tier that takes things to the next level.
Fighting games: best
Despite handheld systems being built around solo play, the PS Vita was a gamers dream when it came to beat-em-ups. While we all try to forget the disaster that was Reality Fighters, that was more than compensated for with Streetfighter X Tekken. We were treated to the Ultimate Edition of Injustice: Gods Among Us bringing the DC universe to the fighting genre. And who could forget the Marvel/Capcom crossover? But those just scratch the surface in a range including entries in the Dead Or Alive and Mortal Kombat franchises as well. Vita owners truly are spoiled for choice.
Strategy games: worst
This is without a doubt the absolute worst genre of games on the Vita. What we will say, though, is that it’s not really the fault of the developers. Strategy games don’t go particularly well with handheld consoles – in fact, many people feel that strategy games should be PC only. The offerings that are available on Vita just solidify this point of view.