The Best Portable Games for those Long Summer Trips
Summer is always a popular time for family vacations, with the kids out of school and the warm weather. A must-have for almost any vacation is a bit of travel time entertainment. Playing “I Spy” and singing “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” will only get you so far, but handheld games have a bit more staying power. For this, the Nintendo 3DS and Sony PlayStation Vita offer some excellent choices.
Mario Kart 7 (Nintendo 3DS)
What better way to spend a long car ride than playing one of the best racing titles on the 3DS? Mario Kart 7 sticks with the traditional Mario Kart gameplay, featuring good natured go-kart racing between some of the Mario legacy’s favorite characters. Expanding on previous Mario Kart titles, it brings new features to the Mario Kart series, in particular, allowing players to customize their vehicles with things like chassis, tires, and even hang gliders. Not only is Mario Kart 7 one of the best rated racing titles on the 3DS, but it’s one of the best rated 3DS titles, period.
ModNation Racers: Road Trip (PlayStation Vita)
ModNation Racers: Road Trip is the PlayStation Vita edition of the well reviewed but only mildly popular PlayStation 3 version. While the game isn’t without its flaws, the gameplay is well polished and very enjoyable. On top of that, ModNation offers a very compelling feature: User Generated Content. You can create your own vehicles and courses to share with the online community. It’s easy to lose track of time and spend hours in the editor.
Wipeout 2048 (PlayStation Vita)
The Wipeout series has always been popular ever since its original release in 1995, but following the release of Wipeout Pure on the PSP, the franchise became one of the go to games for portable racing. Wipeout 2048 continues with that tradition, offering interesting new level designs and the sophisticated polish that fans of the series have come to expect.
StarFox 64 3D (Nintendo 3DS)
While it’s not exactly a racing game – nor is it even a new game – StarFox 64 3D is one of the 3DS’ most popular titles, and its flight simulator environment does work well with the ambience of a car (or plane) ride. Even though it’s a remake of the Nintendo 64 original, the game was one of the greatest games of its time, and little has changed that.
Moving away from racing titles, Rayman Origins is a surpringly simple game that takes the popular Rayman series and returns it to its 2D side-scrolling roots. Available for all of the major platforms, Rayman Origins is one of the hottest games on the market right now. Fans of the Rayman series have already given the game high praise, but you don’t have to be familiar with the franchise to enjoy it. A healthy appetite for the 2D platformer is all it takes to fall for the quirky hero.
A Few Other Great 3DS Titles
Racing games may not be for everyone, and if Rayman doesn’t tickle your fancy, the 3DS has plenty of other great titles that can eat away the hours of a long trip. The Legend of Zelda: Orcarina of Time 3D, a remake of what is arguably the best Zelda game of all time. Super Mario 3D Land is another popular 3DS title, full of original content.
A Couple Great Vita Titles, Too
For the Vita gamers out there, one of the more popular games on the market today is Metal Gear Solid HD Collection. While it has no new content, it contains remastered versions of some of the most favorite Metal Gear Solid games. Uncharted: Golden Abyss is another Vita must-have.