It’s hard to believe but it’s been 14 years since the very first Nintendo DS console was released, making it a platform with a game library many have carried from their childhoods through to their early adult years.
While its dual-screen was a form factor experiment that could have gone either way, we think the number of consoles that have spawned from the very first DS is a good sign. Over the last 13 years we’ve seen the DS, the DS Lite, DSi, the 2DS, the 3DS and a bunch of XL releases in between, and they’ve had some of the best games we’ve played. We’ve become so used to the dual-screen console we don’t think we could do without it now.
It’s Nintendo’s refusal to play it safe that’s probably helped it stay so successful in this area. The dual-screen design might have been a risk but it was obviously a worthwhile one since we’ve seen it evolve and improve from the DS through to the new 3DS – and even further to the Nintendo Switch.
That said, no matter how good a console’s design and no matter how many innovations it makes, it won’t stand the test of time without good games to keep players interested. Thankfully, the Nintendo DS had no shortage of those – from the great entries in the Castelvania series to the outstanding entries in Pokemon – Nintendo DS is the all-you-can-eat buffet of first-party mobile classics.
As good as the DS is, though, by this point the majority of us will no doubt have replaced our Nintendo DS with its chunkier and more powerful successor the Nintendo 3DS. That said, as it’s still part of the DS family the new handheld offers full backwards compatibility, giving full access to some unmissable DS titles as well as the greatest titles from the 3DS.
To give you a better idea of exactly what games you should be looking to pick up, we’ve put together this list of what we think are the best titles out there. From excellent original titles such as Pokemon Black and White 2 to classic SNES ports like Kirby Super Star Ultra, you’re guaranteed to find something you like.
Even though a large number of games available on the Nintendo DS are ports, they’re drastically improved and their effective integration of the console’s dual-screen helped to redefine the handheld gaming experience.