Let’s face it, there’s a pretty good chance you’re not getting the most out of your Nintendo 3DS. There’s still hope though, don’t forget that your little duo-screen paper weight spawned off of a system with a rich library of popular titles, and while you’ve most likely played your fare share of Castlevania, Zelda, and Square Enix remakes you may have missed a handful of games that truly blew the lid off the device. Here are the 10 best DS games you may have forgotten to play and really, really should.
After Wario’s first mini-game adventure on the Gameboy Advance his future titles received diminished fan-fare (save for his Wii entry). So, when Wario cons a Nintendo DS off a sewer dwelling angel he manages to put together the best entry in the series to date. With a ton of funny 3-5 second microgames, Wario Ware: Touched offers entertainment for those in for the long haul or riddled with ADD.
Advance Wars: Days of Ruin is the best turn based tactics game on the Nintendo DS… period. Building on its predecessors, AW:DoR drops the cartoony graphics and story of the previous three Advance Wars and instead provides a much darker tale. With a more serious tone and story, this entry appeals to a wider audience ready to spend far too much time in the war torn country of Rubinelle. The unit based combat is still as solid as ever and deserves a chance if you like games like Fire Emblem.
More a book than a game, Hotel Dusk: Room 215 is a noir detective story with puzzle elements. Utilizing more than just the DS’s touch screen, Hotel Dusk more than holds its own amongst the rest of this list. So why is it number eight? Because you’re going to be reading a lot, and if that’s not your bag then your out of luck. However, if you’re literate and want to be part of a detective’s treck through a mysterious hotel, than do yourself a favor and meet us at Hotel Dusk.
Successor to the critically acclaimed Okami, Okamiden follow the sun god’s pup, Chibiteratsu. A lengthy adventure waits anyone willing to team up with the adorable dog and even if you’re unfamiliar with the original game you’ll find plenty to do in this open world action game. Your biggest draws here are Okamiden’s charming story, colorful graphics, and stylus based mode of combat. At times mildly repetitive, Okamiden is definitely worth your time and if you’re a fan of the original is a must play.
Very rarely does Square Enix put up an original title that doesn’t start with Final and end in a roman numeral or unpronounceable sequence of words. Even more rare is when their new IP is any good. But even with their so-so track record they delivered an amazing, underplayed RPG in 2008. The World Ends with You is infinitely unique with it’s battles running on both the top and bottom screens at once. This battle mechanic can be a deturrent, however, due to the difficulty of adjusting to the dual screen style. But interesting combat and a stellar story still makes for a Square Enix home run, and while it’s doubtful you’ll see a sequel anytime soon you can see the main character, Neku, does appear in the newest 3DS Kingdom Hearts.
With four Professor Layton games out on the DS it’s easy to have missed one or ignored them all together, and while each one is teeming with beautiful visuals and mind bending puzzles it’s difficult to decide where to start. Well, let me make it easy for you, Professor Layton and the Unwound Future is Layton’s third outing and contains his most engaging adventure. Not to mention Layton’s puzzles in Unwound Future are both the most accessible and creativly designed within the story. If you missed out on this wonderful series and want to try just one, pick Unwound Future.
I have a soft spot for Elite Beat Agents. EBA is one of the most charming games on the DS complete with a slew of great licensed songs set to insane comic strip storyline. Maybe you’re stealing secret prototype car plans from a group of ninjas to Jamiroquai’s Canned Heat or wishing your dad back from the grave on Christmas with Queen’s I was Born to Love you, but no matter what you’re doing you’ll be tapping to the rhythm away enjoying every second. As rhythm games go on the DS, this should be your main stop.
I know, I know. I said I wasn’t going to include titles titles containing Nintendo flagships, but dammit not enough of you played Mario & Luigi’s third brotherly outing. That being said I’m deeming this Bowser’s game so go complain in someone elses comments. Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story is the best Mario game on the system. Not just a rescue the princess fare, Inside Story has all the humor every other Mario game lacks. Maybe it’s because you spend most of your time beating up castles and monsters as a Godzilla sized Bowser. Yeah, that happens.
Want a game that screams “refined gentleman”? How bout one where you play a tea guzzling archeologist who platforms through ruins while solving Bejeweled-like puzzles and driving his gentlemanly giant robot’s fist through the face of enemies. Do I really have to say anything else.
Remember when I said Elite Beat Agents was one of the most charming games? Well, that was because Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is the most charming, engaging, and emotionally evolving game that ever came out on a two-screened system. Given one night to investigate your own death, Sissle can only interact with inanimate objects to save the people who can shed some light on his fate. Believe me when I say this is not only the best DS game you never played, but also one of the best games this year. Seriously. Go buy it. Here’s a review. Here’s a link to Amazon. When you’re done, you can come back and thank me.