Five Nintendo DS Games Everyone Should Own

Now that the Nintendo DSi is available, gamers everywhere are picking up their first dual screen gaming system and diving into the wonderful world of the Nintendo DS. With an overwhelmingly huge library of games, however, it’s easy for gamers to get lost when trying to pick out the right titles.

Below are five titles that everyone with a DS, any model, should own. Keep in mind the games on this list are five of the games that I believe every gamer with a DS should own, not a list of the five best DS games. If you have a different selection of games, feel free to call me an idiot, or, preferably, leave your games of choice in the comments section!

5. Kirby Canvas Curse:
kirby_canvas_curseKirby Canvas Curse is one of my all time favorite Nintendo DS games. It is a 2-dimensional action-platforming game controlled exclusively with the stylus, drawing rainbow lines for Kirby to roll over, tapping enemies to stun them, solving puzzles, and tapping Kirby to attack or dash. This is easily my favorite Kirby game and one of most addictive and pure fun games I’ve ever played.

The problem is that it’s going to be hard for you to hunt down a copy, so keep an eye out in the used games cabinet at your local GameStop and grab the first copy you see, it’s more than worth the $10 admission fee.

4. Meteos:
meteos-boxartLadies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to my good friend, addiction. That’s the name of the game in this completely unique puzzling title from Q Entertainment. Meteos is a space-themed falling block game that- wait, what? A falling block puzzler? How is something so common and dry supposed to make you care about the Nintendo DS again?

Just trust me here, this is a falling block game that brings so much innovation to the table that it completely revolutionizes the genre. Players use the stylus to slide pieces along a vertical plane trying to create a line of three which will then become a launch-pad that will blast all of the pieces on top of it into mid-air. From here you use the stylus to either line up more combos on top of the platform to blast a smaller chunk off into space, throw individual blocks toward the platform while it is airborne in hopes that it will eventually leave the playing field, or line up combos underneath it to create the extra boost you need to throw the pieces at your enemy planet.

With an insanely hard and satisfying campaign and hectic local multiplayer, Meteos is sure to make your DS your new best friend all over again. But as with Kirby Canvas Curse, finding a copy may prove more challenging than the game itself.

Our Review

3. Dementium: The Ward
dementiumThe DS has only had a few stellar first person shooters, despite the fact that the touch-screen interface is seemingly perfect for FPS gaming. An even less realized genre is survival-horror. With the exception of Resident Evil: Deadly Silence, the chances that you’ll find a truly scary game on Nintendo’s handheld system are slim to none. Enter Renegade Kid, a young and ambitious design studio made up of some very experienced team members.

Dementium: The Ward fully realizes both horror and FPS genres far better than any effort before it. Intuitive controls, stellar graphics, eerie music, amazing lighting effects, and an unrivaled atmosphere deliver what is easily the most horrifying DS experience thus far. You’ll find yourself wanting to turn the system off simply because of how truly frightened you are.

This game is one of the DS’s showpieces. Whenever a friend of mine is thinking about purchasing a DS, I quickly direct them to my personal collection and let them take this game for a test run. About a week later their wallets are lighter and their bladders are empty, leaving nice yellow stains in their designer undergarments. Truly a masterpiece.

2. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
gta_chinatown_warsYou know what’s funny? The fact that RockStar managed to make a better GTA game on the Nintendo DS than they were ever able to do on the exceptionally more powerful PSP. You know what’s sad? That, due largely to the fact that gamers, for whatever reason, refused to buy this game it is now making its way over to the PSP, meaning the DS is losing exclusivity.

Packed inside of one little cartridge is a full-featured Grand Theft Auto game with an excellent, hilarious story, online play, and so many DS exclusive features that your head will likely explode. This is the kind of game you’ll play for months on end before even starting to care about anything else including eating, sleeping, relieving your bowels, brushing your teeth, saying “excuse me” after you fart, studying for your Sociology Final, or watering your grandmother’s tulips. It’s really that awesome.

Our Review

1. Scribblenauts

scribblenauts boxartIf I had to pick a single game that served as the ultimate showcase for the Nintendo DS, it would probably be 5th Cell’s outstanding Scribblenauts. It may sound cliché, but in this game, the only limit to the possible amount of fun you can have is your own imagination.

The core gameplay revolves around acquiring twinkling Starrites spread across a plethora of levels. The twist, you ask? To reach your goals, you must write the name of the object you wish to use with the stylus, and the game generates it. For instance, to get a Starrite out of a tree, you could simply write ‘ladder,’ and climb to the top. Alternatively, you could write ‘lumberjack’ and ‘axe,’ give the axe to the lumberjack, and he would chop the tree down for you. But why go through all of that when you can simply set the tree ablaze and have the shining star land at your feet?

With over 10,000 items in the game, each with its own artwork and physical properties, the potential for fun is truly limitless. Despite the fact that your character controls as well as a 13 year old retarded cheer leader with ADHD, this is one of the funnest games I’ve ever played, and is easily the most creative title on the system. A must buy for everyone.

There you go, guys. Whether you have burnt out on your current collection of handheld games or are just looking for some games to play with your newly acquired DSi system, these five titles are more than worthy of both your cash and your play time. Enjoy!

Runners Up:

  • Moon
  • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
  • Mariokart DS
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story
  • Chrono Trigger
  • Elite Beat Agents
  • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
  • The World Ends With You
  • Pokemon: Platinum
  • Metroid Prime Hunters

14 thoughts on “Five Nintendo DS Games Everyone Should Own

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  2. Nice list, I actually forgot about Meteos!

    I’d have to say:

    New Super Mario Bros
    Chrono Trigger
    Advance Wars: Days of Ruin
    Nanostray
    Phantom Hourglass

    Though Kirby Canvas Curse is also up there really high.


  3. I don’t think GTA Should’ve been on this list at all. It was overhyped and overrated.

    Mine would go something like

    Tetris DS
    Super Mario 64 DS
    New Super Mario Bros
    Moon
    Dementium

    Of course it would probably be different if I though about it, but off the top of my head it would be like that.

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  5. The World Ends With You should make the list. and the new Kingdom Hearts has potential to be up there too.


  6. Most of the games you put as honorable mentions were better than a lot of the games you actually picked!

    Canvas Curse and Scribblenauts definitely belong up there, but GTA? Really?


  7. While this list is your opinion entirely, I still can’t help thinking you’re missing New Super Mario Bros., Mario Kart DS, and Phantom Hourglass. Though I do agree GTA and Kirby. They’re just so damn good!

    Now that I think about it, it’s almost impossible to make a “Top whatever” (let alone Top 5) for the DS. There’s just SO many awesome games that it’d be too hard to whittle it down. You’d always be leaving off one game that deserves a spot. Just shows how great the DS is!

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  10. have there been any games that have been specifically made for the more powerful DSi?


  11. @Kyle
    Yeah, for the main list I was trying to stick with lesser-known titles that hardcore DS gamers may have missed out on. Zelda and Mario Kart are obvious must-owns, but not everyone knows how stellar Meteos is.

    @Pat
    All of the DSiWare games are exclusive to the DSi, but there haven’t been any cartridge games that are made just for the DSi yet. There have been a few games revealed, though, that can only play on the DSi, and some games can be played on both systems but take advantage of some of the DSi’s features (namely the camera) when played in a DSi.


  12. Really good post. I’ve seen some articles like this, but this just one had some fantastic newer examples and also a great set regarding writing skills. The simplest rules line-height and the pixel perfect divorce are must haves. great

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