Xperia Play: Top 10 Best Games

Adam Barnes


FPS games are hard to handle on mobile devices, but NOVA 2 on the Xperia Play proves it can be done

Published on Apr 7, 2011


Publisher: Gameloft
Price: £3

This game is quite easily the best example of the Xperia Play as a gaming device. Swapping out touch screen controls for the touch pad, navigation through each level is better handled that the touch-only counterparts. A separate cursor locks on to your targets, helping to compliment the aiming reticule of the right-hand trackpad.

Visually, however, it is one of the most impressive titles, with varied and detailed locations and good use of water and particle effects. FPS games are difficult to handle on mobile devices, but NOVA 2 on the Xperia Play proves it can be done well. But get it quick, it’s only available for a short time.

Gun Bros

Publisher: Glu Mobile
Price: Free

Twin-stick shooters are bound to be best on the Xperia Play, its trackpads better suited for the genre than often poorly-designed on-screen thumb sticks. The task, as so many games of these types are, is to fend off waves of varying enemies while avoiding taking damage.

While the graphics have been improved in the crossover to Xperia Play, it is the use of the trackpads that impress the most. Where some can cause issues in the port over to trackpad, Gun Bros handles it deftly, with angles and speed never failing to achieve the results you’re after. And it’s free to download, so what’s stopping you?

Star Battalion

Publisher: Gameloft
Price: Pre-installed

This is one of the pre-installed titles and one of the most enjoyable. A space flight combat game, Star Battalion recalls the classic Star Wars flight games of old. Its controls are handled well on the face buttons and d-pad, with enough auto-aim assistance to make it each battle enjoyable.

Even accelerometer controls manage to avoid the usual jerky movements of this input method, enabling slick, soft adjustments intuitively. The motion control is so impressive, in fact, that neither method is a preferred option. The storyline is a little loose, but Star Battalion has great graphics and absorbing gameplay.

Asphalt 6: Adrenaline

Publisher: Gameloft
Price: £3

One of the biggest names in mobile gaming, Asphalt has always managed to bring the racing genre to the tiny screen. Asphalt 6, previously exclusive to the iOS platform, has now made its way to Xperia Play. The gameplay remains the same here, with fast, fluid racing aided by the inclusion of d-pad controls.

There’s plenty of content to last for Asphalt 6, and the visuals are impressive – especially during the stylised high-speed mode. The only thing knocking Asphalt 6 is its use of nitrous, which is mapped to the right trigger and can cause the hand to hurt after excessive use. If you’re only likely to play in short bursts, then this is as perfect as racers come for the handheld.

Ultimate Spider-man: Total Mayhem

Publisher: Gameloft
Price: £3

While Ultimate Spider-man is an existing title both on iPhone and Android devices, its slick beat-‘em-up combat is better handled with the face buttons of the Xperia Play. However, there are times where touch screen input is also required – such as tapping repeatedly to rescue a hostage – which combine the two types skilfully.

The gameplay is varied enough to rarely get dull due to the regular switch between combat and platforming. The Xperia Play’s bright screen really highlights the comic book art style of the game too. Ultimate Spider-man is well worth the price for any brand new Xperia Play owner.

Reckless Racing

Publisher: Polarbit
Price: £3.07

Another existing game that has been given an Xperia Play overhaul, adding in optimised graphics (looking as good as the iPhones) and utilising the d-pad to control your chosen vehicles steering. Reckless Racing has no adjustable speed, its simplicity making it perfect to a handheld device – however, having access to the D-Pad for corner navigation is far better than the touch-screen method on other devices.

Brakes are used by tapping either the left and right trigger however, unlike Asphalt 6, this is required much less and not likely to cause any hassle over longer periods of play. Additionally, since braking is handled by both buttons, you can switch between them to relax each hand. Ultimately, Reckless Racing is a thrilling top-down racer and better played on the Xperia Play.

Galaxy On Fire 2

Publisher: Fishlabs
Price: £6.99

Galaxy On Fire 2 is already a critically acclaimed title on the iPhone and iPad, bringing gorgeous graphics and absorbing flight combat gameplay to mobile devices. So, as is becoming a common theme here, it returns on the Xperia Play the same as ever but improved through the traditional controls.

There’s little else we can say about Galaxy On Fire 2 except that you should get it. Even the use of the accelerometer means that those so inclined will have the option to play either way they choose. As more and more developers produce titles like this, the more the Xperia Play’s controls will come into its own.

Dungeon Defenders: Second Wave

Publisher: Trendy Entertainment
Price: £6.15

Unreal has long been proving its clout on the iPhones and iPads, and here it is proving its power once again. Though it’s not Infinity Blade level of visuals – think World Of Warcraft instead – it is still a pretty capable in the looks department. When you add in the amount that can happen on-screen, it’s impressive to see how much detail Dungeon Defenders is capable of.

Since it is purpose-built for Xperia Play, you can be sure that controls work as expected – something will be particularly noticeable when taking part in the co-operative or player versus player modes. For RPG fans, this is a must.


Publisher: SilverTree Media
Price: Free

Another free title that has surprising amounts of content. The quality of this cutesy platform is unparalleled for the majority of mobile titles, using a Sonic-esque speed feature to make certain jumps successfully. Additional simplistic puzzle elements mean there is an element of depth to Cordy too, even if that is mostly a simple case of pushing some blocks around.

Cordy’s visuals are impressive, with splashes of colour and varied locales. Most of all, however, it is the controls that shine through. Any platformer worth its salt needs its controls to work smoothly, and obviously it is here that the Xperia Play is the best machine to handle it. Definitely worth looking into.

Super KO Boxing 2

Publisher: Glu Mobile
Price: £1.84

We should criticise Super KO Boxing 2 for it’s blatant resemblance to Nintendo’s Punch Out!, but we don’t have it in us to condemn the game. Immediately it will impress with its slick 2D sprite animation and cartoon visuals, a thrill enhanced by the glorious display of the Xperia Play.

By using the d-pad, thereby instantly making it better than the touch screen version and enabling you to view the action properly, the objective is simply to batter the hell out of your caricature opponents until they fall over. Simple, right? Which is the reason Super KO Boxing 2 is such fun, perfect for the pick-up-and-play nature that so many mobile games need to succeed.



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