10dsgames-thumb 12 Dec

10 Best DS Games you Forgot to Play

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.


Elder Geek Wario Ware Touched

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.


#9 Advance Wars

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.


#8 Hotel Dusk

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.

#7 Okamiden

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.


#6 The World Ends with You

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.


#5 Professor Layton and the Unwound Future

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.


#4 Elite Beat Agents

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.


#3 Mario & Luigi: Boweser's Inside Story

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.


Henry Hatsoworth and the Puzzling Adventure

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.


#1 Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

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.

11 thoughts on “10 Best DS Games You Forgot to Play”

      1. Hotel Dusk did some good tricks. There’s sequel in Europe we’ll never see, too. 999 is a great game, Steve, but I figured I had to choose only one text game and Hotel Dusk seemed more accessible and deserving. Still, everyone should go play 999.

  1. Solid list, I’ve actually played most of those and love them all. And yeah, Hotel Dusk is soooo good. Ghost Trick is one of the best games I’ve played all year.

    That said, what’s with the 3DS trollin’ at the start? If this was written a few months ago I’d agree, but the 3DS has come into its own over the last month.

    1. I wouldn’t say it has reached expectations yet. It still only has 3 solid games, and one of those is a remake of a game all of us have played multiple times. It isn’t getting the smaller, more niche titles that made the DS and PS2 platforms so fantastic.

      1. You’re right in that Kart, 3D Land and OOT3D are the big ones right now, but the fact is 3D Land and Kart have just come out. They’re still new, so anyone that had been sitting on their 3DS waiting for “the good stuff” now has their good stuff.

        That said, 3DS is also building it’s niche titles as well. I’d love to get Shinobi, and Bit.Trip Saga, and while I’m not interested there’s also Cave Story 3D. There is a solid library building right now with some good options.

        And I’m probably the only one that cares, but the new firmware update that has brought Find Mii 2 along is great. Find Mii is awesome. Secret best freebie included with the 3DS by far.

        On top of that, there’s some good stuff in the eShop too, even if it does get added a little slowly.

        All I’m saying is that the 3DS is by no means a wasteland right now. There is plenty of good stuff out there now.

        1. While all of them are fun, all of the hit games people are excited for are games we have already played. Mariokart, OoT, Marioland, Cave Story (with bad artstyle), Crush (with bad artstlye), ect…

          I’d argue that geeks like us would rather have the more unknown games (Ghost Trick, 999) that deliver unique experiences than the AAA hits.

  2. Pretty good list (I own all but Henry Hatsworth), but you really need 999 and maybe even Monster Tale. It was severely overlooked by everyone. Its pretty good. Rhythm Heaven is another good one, and almost forgot the best DS game of all time: Picross 3D!

    Mario Vs Donkey Kong: Minis March Again is a great one, and people… play Phoenix Write: Trials and Tribulations, which everyone somehow skipped (and it is the best in the series). Also check out Anno 1701: Dawn of Discovery.

    1. I addressed 999 above, and can’t say I’ve played Monster Tale (which is maybe reason enough to go on this list). I tried to touch every genra once if possible which is why Rhythm Heaven isn’t there (EBA is so much better).

      I love Pheonix Wright and maybe should have included T&T, but I left off a lot of good under-appreciated games in favor of ones I thought were great. Maybe we can make a 10 more DS games you forgot about in the future.

      1. Just trying to get some good games out there… Monster Tale had a limited release earlier this year, but was solid Metroid-light meets Digimon World gameplay. Also, any DS owner with a girlfriend/wife that doesn’t own Picross 3D needs to immediately run to the store and pick that up now.

        Your list is still a really good one, especially since Ghost Trick is probably my game of the year for 2011.

Comments are closed.