• The PSP had plenty of great fighting games alongside action-adventure titles, showing developers’ dedication to handheld gaming.
  • Games like Fight Night Round 3 and Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai offer immersive gameplay and rewarding storylines for players.
  • With diverse characters, refined gameplay, and unique mechanics, PSP fighting games like Darkstalkers Chronicle stand out for handheld fans.

The PlayStation Portable would mostly become known for its open-world and action-adventure titles throughout its life cycle, but this surprisingly powerful handheld also contained quite a handful of excellent fighting games, too. Fighting games usually don’t fare too well on handheld consoles that feature small screen sizes and spaced out controls, but as time went on, it became clear that developers were making a big attempt to make these games compatible for the system.


Best PSP Strategy Games, Ranked

Players had more than a few stellar options to choose from when it came to strategy games on the PSP.

This could be seen on the 3DS later down the line, but it was especially evident with the PSP, which gradually started acquiring a formidable catalog of fun and addictive fighting titles as the years went by. With such a vast array of options, though, it can be difficult to know which of these games could be worth returning to, so this list is going to make the process easier by analyzing the top fighting games that were ever released for the PSP to uncover what makes them so much fun to play.

7 Fight Night Round 3

Metacritic User Score: 7.4

Tow boxers hitting each other

  • Platforms: PSP, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox, Xbox 360
  • Release Date: February 20, 2006
  • Developer: EA Chicago

Fight Night Round 3 might be a lot more grounded in realism compared to most fighting games, but the game is still just as intense and exhilarating as its peers, especially with the Impact Punch system. These special attacks are powerful enough to take the opponent down with a single shot, but if they’re blocked, it will leave the attacker wide open, adding a nice risk and reward element to the core gameplay. Developers EA Chicago also decided to remove the HUD this time around, making the experience much more immersive and encouraging players to pay attention to their fighter’s stance and movements to figure out what shape they’re in during an intense fight.

The career mode is another aspect that was improved over the previous game, with it now being longer and featuring more story events and rewards to earn, making each fight feel worthwhile. The technical issues and slow loading times can become a bit of a nuisance, but they shouldn’t put a gamer off trying this immersive boxing simulator, especially if they’re already a fan of the sport.

6 Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai

Metacritic User Score: 7.6

Piccolo firing a purple laser at Cooler

  • Platform: PSP
  • Release Date: March 7, 2006
  • Developer: Dimps

Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai chronicles the events of the 1995 movie, Fusion Reborn, with players assuming the role of several key characters who must take on the the evil Janemba and his dangerous allies. The 3D fighting gameplay is as fun, chaotic, and as over-the-top as one can expect from a Dragon Ball game, and the myriad of flashy attacks and combos make the game a visual treat to behold in action. It’s also just an easy game to pick up and play since players can throw out auto-combos with a single button, and there’s a fairly high skill ceiling that gamers can reach by chaining together attacks and special abilities to dish out as much damage as possible.



6 Hardest PSP Games Published By Sony, Ranked

The PSP may not have been a smash hit in the West, but Sony did not hold back on the difficulty of their first portable console’s games.

While there is a standard Arcade Mode that players can jump into for a few quick fights against iconic characters, the story mode is where the game really shines, being packed full of unique enemies and environments to discover. The plot will even change in subtle ways depending on what choices players make throughout the story, lending the game even more replay value.

5 Bleach: Heat The Soul 7

No Score Available

Ulquiorra and Ichigo clashing sword

  • Platform: PSP
  • Release Date: September 2, 2010
  • Developer: Eighting

The PSP became the home of several Bleach: Heat the Soul games throughout its life cycle, and though the first game was already great, developers Eighting continued to refine the gameplay to make each installment better than the last. As a result, the final entry in the series, Heat the Soul 7, turned out to be a fantastic game that felt a lot tighter and more focused in its gameplay compared to its predecessors, giving players greater freedom to experiment with potential combos and techniques.

The game contains a ton of content, with the story mode stretching all the way from Ichigo’s duel with Ulquiorra up to his final fight with Aizen, and it even throws in a few filler episode fights for good measure. With a staggering 84 playable characters to try out, Bleach: Heat the Soul 7 is a hard game to put down considering how much there is to do, and that’s certainly not a bad thing.

4 Street Fighter Alpha 3

Metacritic User Score: 8.1

Charlie punching Balrog

Originally released for arcades back in 1998, the PSP version of Street Fighter Alpha 3 is considered by most fans to be the best port of the game since it’s the only one to feature every last bit of content. For example, characters such as Eagle, Ingrid, and Maki aren’t available on the PS2 and Sega Saturn versions, but PSP players get to choose from a full roster of 29 characters, all of which are very unique in how they play. With the game being released not long before Third Strike, this was a time when Capcom started paying a lot more attention to balancing their fighting games, resulting in a vast cast of fighters who all bring something new to the table.

The introduction of different fighting styles known as “isms” makes battles a lot more strategic than they have been before, allowing players to choose between a more traditional Street Fighter 2-esque style or something a bit more modern. Alpha 3 also includes the Guard Power Gauge, which forces players to go on the offensive rather than blocking all the time; otherwise, they’ll end up getting stunned and will be left wide open for an attack.

3 Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection

Metacritic User Score: 8.2

Jin kicking Lee

  • Platforms: PSP, PlayStation 3
  • Release Date: July 6, 2006
  • Developer: Namco

Tekken 5 was a mixed bag for many players when it released in 2005. While the visual upgrade and variety of characters were welcomed with open arms, the game was unfortunately quite unbalanced and easily exploitable. Dark Resurrection, which is a standalone-upgraded version of the original, fixed all of these issues by re-adjusting nearly every character in the game while also adding in more moves and speeding up the flow of combat to make combos a lot easier to land. Namco even went as far as to add in new stages exclusively for Dark Resurrection, along with more clothes and items to use in the customization menu.


Tekken: 7 Underrated Characters

The Tekken cast is so big at this point that it can be easy to overlook certain characters, with these individuals being particularly underrated.

Even though the story FMVs only run at 30fps, the fights themselves run at a smooth 60, which is impressive considering when the system came out and the fact it’s a handheld. Being able to play Tekken on the go is already a huge benefit to the game, but it also helps that the gameplay is an absolute blast to experience and that it features so many exciting fighters to try out.

2 Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower

Metacritic User Score: 8.3

Jedah slashing BB.Hood with a scythe

Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower
March 24, 2005

Capcom Production Studio 5

Darkstalkers Chronicle is made up of three different games all mixed into one, meaning that it’s packed full of modes to jump into while also having the best gameplay in the entire series. The game’s characters all vary drastically in how they play, many of which come with their own personal gimmicks that give them many different playstyles from their peers. Because The Chaos Tower carries forward all the character endings from the first three games, it also means there’s a ton of content to get through, and it’s very rewarding for players to try out as many fighters as possible.

The gothic aesthetic and art style of Darkstalkers has always helped differentiate it from its peers, and The Chaos Tower is no different, featuring plenty of stages that are all dripping in atmosphere, providing a true feast for the eyes. Alongside the classic Arcade Mode is a brand-new Tower challenge, where players are tasked with taking 3 fighters as high up the Chaos Tower as they can go without dying. This is much easier said than done, though, as each and every battle comes with a different set of rules to follow that helps to freshen up the gameplay. It’s well worth trying to complete, considering how many valuable goodies are offered upon finishing it.

1 Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy

Metacritic User Score: 8.3

Squall slashing Ultimecia with Renzokuken

Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy
March 22, 2011

Square Enix

While the first Dissidia game was already rock-solid in terms of its core gameplay, Square Enix managed to improve upon everything that made the original so beloved in the sequel, Dissidia 012. Battles in Dissidia 012 still take place between two characters in a large battle arena, but this time around, there are a few extra mechanics that add another layer of strategy to the fights. For example, players are now able to call in a buddy to protect against enemy attacks as part of the Assist system, and though the EX Mode functions virtually the same, it’s also been made much more powerful and viable.

Another huge addition to the game is the introduction of a single-player mode, where players are free to explore a fairly large world map with their own makeshift crew of Final Fantasy allies. The core gameplay has also been refined in Dissidia 012 to ensure everyone’s on the same playing field, which means that no one is objectively stronger than anyone else, and with over 30 heroes and villains to choose from, there’s a lot of fun to be had here.


Best PSP Games, Ranked

The Sony PSP may not have been as widely successful as other handhelds but it had its fair share of great games.


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