We all love playing a good game, right? But you know that special feeling you get when you find a hidden gem? Maybe a game you just got on a whim, but that turns out to be a contender on your list of favorite games ever? Or a game no one else talks about, but that you know is brilliant? Well, Olorins here to help you discover some awesome handheld video games that really deserved more love & attention then they got.

The following games will be limited to ones that fit these rules:

-It is on either GBA, DS, or PSP.
-It never really got much attention.

This is my first Top 10 list so... Let me know what you thought. I hope I manage to help you guys broaden your knowledge of awesome handheld underappreciated gems!

Let's start it off with a bang. All those in the audience who dislike 2D platformers though... Maybe skip to the next entry.

Oh? You're a fan of them? Well then you're in for a treat! Here we have Daniel X, a Metroidvania style platfomer based off the novel of the same name.

You play as Daniel, a half alien whose creator clearly couldn't make up their mind on. Why do I say that? Well, aside from super human strength & agility, he also has telekinesis, the ability to shape shift, & the power of creation. He can do anything from crazy parkour stunts to having imaginary friends, minus the imaginary part. A real Jack-of-all-trades this one.

Anyway, the gameplay is very similar to Metroid or Castlvania, in that you get new abilities throughout the game that let you access new places. The game is still unique enough to definitely warrant a purchase though. The combat is some of the best I've EVER seen in a 2D platformer, using your telekinesis on enemies never gets old.

Unlike most Metroidvania games, this ones 3D (its still a side scrolling platformer though) & feels more... Modern, for lack of a better term.

If you've never read the book, don't worry, neither have I.

I picked this one specifically, but to be honest, all the DS 2D platfomers made by Gyrptonite are absolutely brilliant. They all feel as though they're running on the same engine too, so if you like one, be sure to try out the rest, namely:

Assassins Creed 2 Discovery
Spiderman Web of Shadows
&
Spiderman Shattered Dimensions

Daniel X is probably my favorite though, definitely check it out.

To those that skipped the first entry to this list, welcome! I do hope you find something you like...

So, here we have Dead to Rights Reckoning, an awesome arcade style 3rd person shooter. A pretty standard game. So why is it on the list? Well... Because its REALLY fun.

"But Olorin" you might be saying, "how is a handheld TPS supposed to be good? Won't the controls compromise it?" Well... Yes & no. If you want a next gen TPS then go back & play PubG or something. No, the only reason you'd play this, is because its an amazing ARCADE shooter, its not trying to be ultra realistic, its just trying to make you feel ultra badass, & oh damn does it succeed.

One time I dived out a 2nd story balcony, initiated bullet-time mode, pulled & 180 midair, dropped 4 baddies with my duel SMG's, & landed on a car below, which by the way is one of the many explodable objects in the game. All that took just 10 second's, imagine what YOU could do in 10 minutes.

Now if that paragraph wasn't enough to get you hungry to play this game, I just don't know what would be...

Maybe you want something less violent? Well as long as you're OK with rag doll physics stimulating what its like if you actually "fell from a high place" (Minecraft reference) then this is great!

Imagine a Tony Hawks game, but about free running & parkour, instead of skateboard. That's pretty much exactly what it is.

So... Yeah. If you've played a TH game, you know exactly what to expect.

Like I mentioned earlier, the game features rag doll physics which come into play every time you "crash". Pretty cool & unexpected feature.

There's a lot of content. Lots of levels to run around, LOT'S of tricks & moves to pull off, and lots of missions & modes to play.

The game sort of feels like if you took Assassins Creed, took out all the combat, & then made it play like a Tony Hawks game.

There really ought to be more games like this, its really fun, & can be a nice little game to just chill with too, causally parkouring around in free play mode.

If anything I've said here interested you, pick it up, you really won't be disappointed.

Here's another type of game I dearly wish they had made more of, RPG Sport games. Sure, most sport games have RPG stlye stats, but how many play exactly like straight up JRPG's?

Complete with an in depth story with tons of scrolling text cutsceanes, walking around towns, buying stuff, the whole shabang, Inazuma Eleven 2 Blizzard is a JRPG... that also happens to be a sports game.

Instead of a turn based battle system like you would usually expect, in this one, you play a game of Soccer instead. The gameplay in these sections are quite different from normal soccer games though, in fact, it almost sort of feels like an RTS... Kinda. To be honest, I've never seen anything quite like it before or since & its tricky to explain.

There's an absolute TON of content. Litrealy hundreds of player's to sign onto your team, all with their own unique appearance & stats. And like I said, there's a huge JRPG style story mode to play though too, in which you travel around Japan challenging many different Soccer teams, it will take you many hours to complete the story, & its got great characters too. Its based on an anime, so you can expect a lot of story.

What probably stands out the most, is the absolutely mind bendingly crazy moves these players are pulling off. Its like watching the cast from Dragon Ball Z play soccer, its beyond insane! Each of the many super moves has its own CG cut scene, which makes the game feel very polished.

If you're looking for a very different, very Japanese, soccer game, waste no time in picking this one up. Also look into the first game, since this is a sequel.

Stop me if you've heard this one before.

An open world sandbox game that takes place in a modern day urban setting. You play as a criminal, & you can drive many different vehicle's.

I'm talking about the popular GTA series, right? Well, yes, I guess, but also the blatant rip off for GBA, Payback!

Before you dismiss it though, let me tell you, if there's one game that really shows off the limits of the GBA & blows your expectations of its capabilitys are out of the water, its this one. First of all, its way better then the first two GTA games, or the GBA GTA game, though its gameplay is very similar. It could also be argued that its better then the DS & PSP GTA games.

It has many different devirse area's & cities, many different vehicles, many different weapons, lots of missions to play, great graphics for GBA, & even *gasp* a multiplayer mode, something the actual GBA GTA game didn't have!

Every time I play it, I'm blown away by the fact that I'm using a nearly two decade old handheld to do so. Truly a great game.

The quickest way to describe this game would probably be, Metal Gear Solid, but about Ninja in feudal Japan.

Also known as Shinobido Tales of the Ninja, this brilliant stealth based action game will keep you coming back for quite a while.

There's pretty much no story, its all mission based, with missions ranging from assassinations, to rescues. If you're a fan of games with many ways to accomplish your objective & thus, tons of replay value, this is the one for you.

Each mission has so many ways to tackle it, made more so by the fact that you can play as any character from the game. Yup, everything from the guy on the cover, to the various bosses, to grunt characters & even a straight up bear! The addition of so many characters gives you lots of different ways to go about your mission. Do you smash your way in using the artillery cannon mounted samurai (yup), do you sneak in as a ninja, or any number of other possibilities?

The combat is very fun & skill based, but if you're playing as a stealth based character, you best try avoiding it & dispatching your foes with one of the many possible stealth kills instead.

There's lots of tools & items to help you as well. Such as poisoned rice balls for enemy characters to find in their path, a grappling hook to help you make your own path, caltrops to render any path unworthy of its name, & many more. Shinobido Path of the Ninja is a really fun game that anyone looking for a ninja themed game should pick up as soon as possible. You could almost call it a ninja simulator.

You read that right, in this game, you play as a kid, that's back in the 80's & early 90's playing retro video games!

On the surface, this is simply a mini game collection. But in truth, its so much more then that. It really captures the feel of authentic retro gaming, with your character reading gaming mags for tips, cheats, & reviews of games he's playing, & his friend constantly cheering him on & commenting on his gameplay as he watches you. You can also go to the local game store & play more games on the arcade machine there.

Now about the games. Well, for the most part they play very much like classic NES games, expect of course they're all fictional. You've got a space shooter, a racer, a beat em up, even an RPG & an adventure game, just to name a few. The gameplay is like this: you start with one game, get various challenges for that game, & if you beat them all, you get another game, rinse & repeat.

The quality of each game is really good, & you'll find yourself coming back to try & beat your high scores.

One of the games I particularly liked, was a Pacman clone, but it felt even better then the actual game of Pacman! It was so deep & fun, it felt sort of like if you gave Pacman slight combat & puzzle elements, very cool! I totally would have picked it up for my real NES if it was actually a real game.

If you're a retro gamer, you'll really love the idea behind this gem.

It was only released in Japan, but there is an English fan patch.

This 3D platformer is truly awesome. You play as Death's son (yes, that is very badass indeed) & you've gone on a school trip that, long story short, ends up reducing your town to, well, pretty much hell. Demon-like monsters are everywhere. For some reason this is really bad, even though your dad is Death himself, & you've gotta set everything straight before he finds out the hell that's been unleashed, or you'll litrealy have hell to pay...

The gameplay is very VERY fast paced, specifically in the combat. You've got a (possibly "The"?) Scythe & a couple of other weapons, like duel SMG's, hamsters strapped to C4, & a mighty shotgun, to name a few. Each of the weapons feel like they have a good use & your scythe can be upgraded to learn new moves.

Like any good 3D platformer, Death Jr has very good level design, & you have many different moves that help you traverse them. You can use your scythe to grind down wires or similar rope-like things to reach new area's, you can use your scythe to do a sort of... Wall hop/hook-climb thingy? And of course you can spin it above your head to glide around, because I'll be damed if Deaths own son has to be subject to realistic helicopter science!

Its really fun & feels like a very polished triple-A title, if you're a fan of 3D platfomers, you've gotta try this one.

I've never played Devil May Cry at all, but somehow I feel like this is supposed to be similar to that... Maybe. Also, you might be thinking Death Jr is a very mature game, but its actually quite cartoony, though it can be sort of mature at times I guess. Its basically the 3D platfomer of the Simpsons if you get my drift. PG on the surface, but also managing to appeal to an older audience.

Oh boy... This game! While Dragon Ball definitely isn't an underappreciated series, this specific game seems to be.

Its a sidescrolling 2D platformer with heavy beat em up elements. Very pretty & colorful graphics, & very fun action based gameplay. This is easily one of my favourite platfomers ever.

The story covers the entire Dragon Ball anime, that's everything up to just before the Saiyens arrive. There's lots of levels, & lots of characters to play as, in fact, you can play as everyone in the game! You start out with just Goku, but later on you can unlock anyone that was in the game, from no-name wolves & drones, all the way up to King Piccolo himself. Each character also has awesome powers, Krillin can jump higher then any other character in any other 2D platformer I've played, Goku can launch a Kamihameha, Tien can fly, that no-name bandit has a gun, the list goes on.

The game also has a very fun vs fighting mode that uses separate mechanics from the main game, so its sort of like two games in one.

Even if you're not a fan of the anime, the game still holds up brilliantly based on its gameplay alone. If you are a fan of the anime though, well, this is possibly the best game you'll find based on the pre Dragon Ball Z stuff.

Well, here we are, my number one pick for this list. But Advance Guardian Heroes is not just the top pick on this list, its my favorite game of all time!

I don't really know were to start with this one... I love so much about it. The action, the characters, the -

Well, let me start at the beginning...

AGH is a beat em up action game with RPG elements. The game starts off with you (yes YOU, the player) getting to inhabit the body of one of 3 different heroes. You are then immediately flung into an awesome ride of action & excitement! You'll go from falling down a collapsing cliff, to fighting off a giant Cyclops, to riding missiles while fighting an army of goblins riding flying carts, to facing a straight up wizard while falling from an exploding airship! And that's just a taste of what's to come in this glorious game.

After each level, you can use crystals you've gathered to level up your characters stats, giving the game a sort of RPG element.

The gameplay is also really great, you've got various attack moves & magic to pull off, including the ability to glide through the air & counter any attack if you're skillful enough.

The game is made by Treasure, so you know its coming from guys that know what they're doing.

Like other games on this list, you can unlock & play as any character from the game, from the 3 starting heroes, to the bosses, & even grunt enemies. There's also a great fun vs mode. You can also play multiplayer in both the story mode & vs mode.

Something I really loved about the game is, its self aware. It knows its a video game, it knows you're the player, & it knows you're here to save the world, & when you do, it hopes you'll come back later & play it again. Whenever you want to play it, its there ready to be saved again. No other game I've ever played made me feel so special in such a unique way. Its the only game in my collection that knows exactly what it is, a video game ment to be played by a gamer. A world, waiting to be saved, by me.

My words can't even begin to express how great this game is & how much I love it. All I can say is, go play this awesome gem of a game for yourself, & hopefully you'll enjoy it as much as I do.

My sincere gratitude goes out to Treasure for making, in my opinion, the greatest game of all time.

I had to make some pretty tough choices for this list, so here's some honourable mention's:

-GBA-
Final Fire Pro Wrestling
Oriental Blue

-DS-
Kung Fun Panda
Spore Creatures

-PSP-
Earth Defense Forces 2
Gladiator Begins

There were also some games where I wasn't sure if they actually belong on this list due to their popularity increasing recently, or they being part of a well known series. For example:

-GBA-
Drill Dozer
Mario Golf & Tennis
Shining Soul 2
Summon Night Swordcraft Story 1 & 2

-DS-
Jump Ultimate Stars
Bleach Dark Souls
Suikoden Tierkreis

-PSP-
Flatout Head on
Yugioh Tag Force Special
Gundam Assault Survive
Warriors Orochi 2

All of these are great nevertheless.

Well, that wraps up my first top 10 list, I hope you enjoyed it, & I hope I helped you find at least 1 cool new game to play on your handheld.

(-_^)-b


List by OlorinTheOtaku (06/04/2018)

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