The Absolute Best PlayStation Portable Real Time Strategy Games of All Time

What is a Real Time Strategy Game?

A real-time strategy (RTS) game is a genre of video game defined by elements like:

  • Managing resources used to build units, construct buildings, research technologies
  • Commanding multiple units simultaneously in battle against an opponent
  • Balancing economic development with military might
  • Making strategic decisions and adapting tactics in response to evolving situations
  • Competing against enemy forces in real-time (vs turn-based gameplay)

Key traits that the best RTS games share are challenge, variety, and replayability. Mastering the nuances and strategies of an RTS against human opponents is incredibly rewarding. This genre has enthralled gamers since pioneering titles like Dune II and Command & Conquer showed the potential of tactical base-building and army control.

On the PlayStation Portable, RTS fans enjoyed immersive battlegrounds they could take on-the-go. While not as robust as PC counterparts, the best PSP RTS games offered engrossing warfare condensed for mobile devices. Let‘s countdown the absolute greatest real-time strategy epics ever found on PlayStation‘s handheld system!

#10 Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce

Koei‘s Dynasty Warriors franchise brought the heroes of China‘s Three Kingdoms era into hack-and-slash gameplay starting in 1997. In 2009, Strikeforce infused the well-known characters and mythos into real-time strategy for the first time. Choose from warriors like warrior Guan Yu or brilliant strategist Zhuge Liang, leveraging their unique abilities to defeat legendary rivals Sima Yi and Lu Bu across epic Chinese landscapes.

Strikeforce employs riveting combat centered around capturing bases and managing officer abilities. Savvy tactics are required when coordinating assaults on formidable strongholds. Hero characters can activate "Awakening" to unleash devastating attacks, while equipping Orbs and Chi items alters stats and skills. With a compelling single-player campaign and four-person ad hoc multiplayer, Strikeforce brings Welcome cinematic flair. While not as deep as other RTS greats, Strikeforce capably grafts Dynasty Warrior‘s action to the genre.

#9 Generation of Chaos

Ideas Factory‘s 2006 release Generation of Chaos drops players into a medieval land lusting for war. As kingdoms vie for territorial dominance, you must balance building economic infrastructure with fielding military forces. Generals can recruit over 400 unit types across factions like ninja-led Moonlight Militia or the winged Cavalry.

Tactical battles take place whenever two armies meet in the field. Combat leverages rock-paper-scissor counters across spearmen, archers, and cavalry. Winning earns resources to upgrade weapons or recruit deadlier medieval machines of destruction like catapults. Generation of Chaos also delivers a flexible Morale system determining when squadrons retreat or press onward. Its deep customization and uncomplicated real-time skirmishes make Generation of Chaos an appealing introductory RTS perfect for gaming on-the-go!

#8 Jeanne D‘Arc

This Level-5 RTS casts players as the legendary French heroine Joan of Arc. During the 15th century Hundred Years‘ War, lead the French army against English invaders and conniving nobles seeking control of the throne. Jeanne D‘Arc infuses RPG elements into its medieval warfare, with characters gaining experience across battles to learn new skills.

Fight alongside knights, archers, healers and sages in turn-based confrontations across castles, villages, and battlefields. Carefully position units to take advantage of their unique attacks and abilities that combine for devastating effects. Between battles, visit towns to buy better gear or take on side quests to win additional rewards. With other playable commanders besides Joan of Arc, wonderful anime-style visuals, and a Final Fantasy Tactics-inspired Job system, Jeanne D‘Arc captures the intrigue and nobility of history‘s brave warrior maiden.

#7 Killzone: Liberation

Guerrilla Games brought their landmark Killzone shooter franchise to the PlayStation Portable in 2006. Killzone: Liberation is an isometric action RTS casting players as Jan Templar, a covert operative fighting the fascist Helghast army. Liberation retains Killzone’s gritty sci-fi atmosphere while having our special forces hero sneak behind enemy lines to save hostages and sabotage bases.

Missions alternate between real-time strategy phases and FPS-style shooting galleries. From an overhead view, command squads to capture points or assassinate commanders. Then jump into Templar’s boots when the action heats up for thrilling gunplay against legions of enemies. Riveting set pieces like escaping a doomed warship or surviving frenzied undead outbreaks make Liberation an essential pick for Killzone fans. Its smooth fusion of RTS, shooter, and stealth cements Liberation as a standout PSP adaptation of the Killzone formula.

#6 Field Commander

Sony Online Entertainment’s Field Commander places armchair generals against the mysterious Shadow Nation army in over 30 combat operations. Using traditional real-time strategy mechanics, Field Commander has players carefully manage resources between infantry, air, naval, and vehicle forces.

Vibrant 3D battlegrounds come alive with destructible environments housing valuable structures. Issuing movement orders during the planning phase then reacting to enemy maneuvers once fighting commences makes for addictive strategic sandwich gameplay. A deep weapon upgrade system and incremental difficulty curve keep campaigns challenging without being frustrating. Add in well-designed maps that make creative flanking vital for victory and Field Commander becomes one of the most polished pure RTS packages found on Sony’s handheld.

#5 Fieldrunners

Tower defense games like Fieldrunners turn real-time strategy conventions upside down. Instead of commanding invading troops, you construct obstacle courses to block enemies marching towards your base along set paths. Subatomic Studios’ beloved 2008 release features cute invaders trying to sneak past increasingly elaborate mazes of laser guns, missile launchers, flamethrowers and more.

Alongside staples like grasslands and caves, imaginative maps made of candy or floating islands keep tower construction engaging across three game modes. Open-ended puzzles, an easy learning curve, and the inherent joy of crafting death traps makes Fieldrunners among the most addictive “anti-RTS” games ever created.

#4 Legends of War: Patton’s Campaign

Enigma Software boldly tackles World War II battlefield tactics with Legends of War: Patton’s Campaign. As General George Patton during 1944’s Operation Overlord, direct American tanks, planes, and infantry forces to push Germany out of France. Guide soldiers across painstaking recreations of historic fights like the Falaise Pocket or Battle of the Bulge, leveraging air supremacy and artilleries judiciously.

Squads gain experience levels granting abilities to autorepair vehicles or detect camouflaged units. Heroic leaders like Patton allow players to concentrate firepower for localized dominance, while controlling munitions factories and hospitals back at headquarters opens deeper long-term planning. With 35 meticulously crafted missions evoking Greatest Generation valor, Legends of War delivers perhaps the most moving RTS experience possible on PSP.

#3 Worms: Open Warfare 2

The wonderfully silly Worms franchise embellishes turn-based tactics into a weaponized form of surreal comedy gold. Teams of cute invertebrates blow each other into next week using anything from bazookas to explosive sheep. Worms: Open Warfare 2 unleashes anarchic battlefield action as worms dive behind cover or jetpack to vantage points to unleash barrages upon enemy squads.

With worms gaining classes like medics or scouts, concrete strategy exists behind the zany antics. Players distribute chance-based hits across randomized landscapes, carefully weighing each high-powered shot. Customization like funny victory dances or unlockable hats gives worms flair matching their outsized personalities. Support for four-player multiplayer cements Open Warfare 2 as riotously delightful mayhem perfect for parties or killing time during long trips.

#2 Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together

Originally released in 1995, this PlayStation Portable remake of Tactics Ogre builds on Yasumi Matsuno’s masterpiece graphics and content into an epic 100+ hour adventure. Branching story paths see players navigating internecine politics among ethnic groups on the Isle of Valeria. During grid-based battles, unit positioning and mobility make besting foes a satisfying puzzle.

Class customization allows fine-tuning a dream team of knights, marksmen, healers and beasts. New character abilities, equipment crafting, and multiplayer covenant battles reveal unbelievable depth throughout multiple completions. Visually stunning cut scenes and one of gaming’s most memorable soundtracks complement deep gameplay systems rewarding endless experimentation. With intricate world-building and interlocking strategic layers making every choice momentous, Tactics Ogre earns its widespread reverence as the apex of PlayStation Portable war gaming.

#1 Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions

Square Enix‘s iconic Final Fantasy Tactics casts players into Ivalice‘s Middle Ages, caught between two warring kingdoms each twisting promises of prophecies towards selfish ends. First released on PlayStation 1, this 2007 PSP upgrade grafts splendid cel-shaded cutscenes and new characters into scintillating tactical showdowns.

The Job System‘s varied classes like Summoners, Lancers, and Calculators make for limitless battle strategies. Mastering esoteric reaction abilities and magic spells to overcome challenges offers tactical depth rivaling chess. An enthralling story of corruption peppered with tongue-in-cheek humor keeps the quest engrossing for over 50 hours of gameplay. War of the Lions also introduced multiplayer encounters supporting up to two players. For a transcendent single-player campaign wrapped inside infinitely customizable conquests, Final Fantasy Tactics marks the apex of portable RTS experiences.

Top 10 PlayStation Portable RTS Games of All Time Summary

#1Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions
#2Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together
#3Worms: Open Warfare 2
#4Legends of War: Patton‘s Campaign
#6Field Commander
#7Killzone: Liberation
#8Jeanne D’Arc
#9Generation of Chaos
#10Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why are real-time strategy games popular?

RTS games are popular because they‘re fun, competitive, and provide a great challenge. Managing resources, commanding armies, and outmaneuvering human opponents delivers an incredible rush when you secure victory. They also allow players to think creatively, plan tactics, and improve vital critical thinking skills.

What does the RTS game genre stand for?

RTS stands for "real-time strategy." These games emphasize building bases, gathering resources, training units, and battling enemies in real-time as opposed to taking turns. Victory goes to the player with the most effective strategies for offense and defense.

Are RTS games hard to play for beginners?

RTS games can be difficult when first starting out, but become easier with practice over time. Learning build orders, keybindings, and basic strategies may feel intimidating early on. But persistent players who learn from their mistakes tend to improve dramatically in a short period. So while challenging at first, RTS games ultimately reward dedication in understanding their mechanics.

What makes a strong RTS game player?

The best RTS players have excellent multitasking skills, map awareness, scouting, and ability to adapt strategies on the fly. They know their chosen faction‘s units and structure trees by heart, while scouting enemies to pivot tactics exploiting weaknesses. Top players also economize movements and actions, not wasting clicks and resources.

Do strategy games improve your strategic thinking abilities?

Absolutely. RTS games force players to juggle multiple considerations simultaneously, plan actions methodically, and quickly change approaches when conditions shift. These same skills translate well into professional settings and real-world problem solving. Their lessons about assessing challenges calmly, exploring alternatives, and practical execution all strengthen critical cognitive muscles.

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