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Top Role-Playing Games for PSP

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There are quite a few RPGs (or role-playing games, for the non-gamer) for the PSP, but a lot them are either not very good, or just all right. Here are ten RPGs that are better than all right, and which should find a favoured place in the collection of any role player.

Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness

NIS America has done something few publishers are willing to do with quirky Japanese titles: instead of extensive localization, they translated Disgaea in a way that keeps the Japanese cultural elements intact. The sequel, Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days is also a great game.

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Final Fantasy I

Final Fantasy is a legendary series in the history of rpgs, and FFI for PSP is a remake of the original. It has all the retro appeal of the NES game, but with improved graphics and gameplay to make it fun for gamers who don't necessarily  want to wrangle with the difficulty of an old-school game.

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions

The original FF Tactics on PS1 is thought by many to be one of the best strategy-RPGs ever, and War of the Lions makes it accessible to players who don't have a PS1 or the patience for a cheesy translation. This version has a new translation, improved graphics, new scenarios and new animated scenes to fill in the story.

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Jeanne d'Arc

This strategy RPG mixes fantasy elements with the real story of Joan of Arc and the Hundred Years War. While the characters and setting are firmly based on their historical counterparts, the game makes uses of magical skills and equipment to add interest to the gameplay. Developer Level-5 set out to make a game that would appeal to both newcomers to tactical RPGs and to old fans of the genre.

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Lunar: Silver Star Harmony

Lunar has appeared on many different consoles over the years, from Sega CD to GBA. The PSP version was an attempt to create a definitive version, in a sense. This version keeps the original anime cutscenes, but updates the in-game graphics and music and adds some new features.

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (aka Monster Hunter Portable 2G) Screenshot
Capcom

This action RPG was created specifically for the PSP and features rich graphics and addictive gameplay broken up into short missions perfect for on-the-go gameplay. There's a very good reason the Monster Hunter series is so popular in its home country of Japan.

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Phantasy Star Portable

Phantasy Star Portable is, more or less, a portable version of the Phantasy Star online game with new characters and new missisons. The game also, unlike most PSP RPGs, features a character creation system that lets the player create their own character from a variety of options and settings.

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Star Ocean First Departure

Star Ocean First Departure Screenshot
Square Enix

This remake of the first title in the Star Ocean series is one of the few RPGs not set in a fantasy world. Instead, it's set in space. It's a remake of an older game, but very well done.

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Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth

Like a lot of the games on this list, Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth is a port, but an improved one. Lenneth uses the original Valkyrie Profile PS1 game, keeping the gameplay intact from the Japanese version, but including the cinematics added to the English version. It also adds brand-new cutscenes, replacing the old anime scenes. It's loosely based on Norse myth, with the player taking the role of a Valkyrie.

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Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure

Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure PSP screenshot
Mastiff

Gurumin plays more like an action adventure, but it's classed as action-RPG, so I'm sneaking it onto the list. DOn't be put off by the little girl main character or the power-ups shaped like items of clothing. This is a game I enthusiastically recommend for all ages and both sexes.

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