The best-selling handheld console of all time, the Nintendo DS has a huge line-up of classic titles, so we’ve picked out the very best for you to replay.
The Nintendo DS is the second best-selling console of all time (PS2 is first), which might be surprising to some given how it’s a very limited handheld console. However, the more you dig into its extensive library of weird and wonderful games you see just how wide an appeal it had. It’s often said that limitation breeds creativity, and if you’ve ever wanted proof just look at the amazingly creative original IPs the DS brought to life.
If you were born in the early to mid 2000s, this was likely the first video game console you owned as a child, and everyone has their own nostalgic memories attached to it from taking it to school or round a friend’s house. Even today, there are so many awesome games to go back for, and once you’ve read this list, you’ll be itching to pick it up again.
Professor Layton and the Lost Future
A wonderful franchise that may never have seen the light of day if it wasn’t for the DS, the Professor Layton games are all fundamentally the same, but Lost Future just gets the edge of a truly crazy story. These puzzle games are dripping with charm and the narratives all feature great mysteries. Some of the late-game puzzles are really difficult too, you’re in for a solid mental challenge.
The World Ends With You
If you want creative game mechanics, then look no further than The World Ends With You which forces you to manage two games at once across both screens. On top of that, it’s got an incredible sense of style and a great story. It’s available on other platforms now, but the experience just isn’t the same as the DS version.
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
Another list on a Nintendo console, another Legend of Zelda game; this might make it the most consistently great long-running series in history. Phantom Hourglass makes use of all the DS’s unique features. Touch screen combat, the microphone, and even closing and opening the screen. It even has a sequel game with Spirit Tracks, which is also great.
Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood
This game is mostly on the list because we’re still in disbelief that it even exists. Sonic the Hedgehog had some great platformers on the DS, most notably Sonic Rush, but this is no platformer. This is a full RPG made by Bioware. Yes, that’s the same Bioware that makes Mass Effect and Dragon Age. It’s not the most complex or advanced RPG ever, but it’s a brilliant oddity that’s worth a try.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Although the first Ace Attorney games were made for the Game Boy Advance, they didn’t come to English regions until the DS port, and they were worth the wait. These visual novels have more memorable characters, crazy twists, and iconic moments than almost any other series in history. You may never have played an Ace Attorney game, but you’ve almost certainly yelled “Objection!” with an exaggerated point once or twice, for that, you have this game to thank.
Animal Crossing: Wild World
What’s better than an Animal Crossing game? One you can take with you everywhere you go! Sure, that may sound normal now we have the Nintendo Switch, but back in 2005 this was a big deal. It piled new features onto the series, and it stands as a landmark game in the series’ history because of how well it sold.
The DS had an awesome line-up of Pokemon games. Diamond & Pearl, Heartgold & Soulsilver, Black & White, and their sequels were all brilliant. It even has some of the best spin-offs like the Pokemon Ranger games and the best Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games in Explorers of Time/Darkness. However, just taking the crown is Pokemon Platinum, bringing a much more streamlined version of the Sinnoh region, one of the coolest Legendary Pokemon ever, and the best version of the Battle Frontier.
Written by Ryan Woodrow on behalf of GLHF.