A while back I listed my top 10 3DS games, so now I’m going to back up and give some love to its predecessor. I bought my DS very late in its lifespan. In fact, to my great annoyance, they announced the 3DS a few months after I bought it. So I don’t have all that many games for it, but I still managed to nab 46 games for the handheld system, but only played 28 of them. The rest I will get to some day. So of those 28 I have played, which are my 10 favorite? I will also be listing the developer and year they were made.
Update 12/29/19: The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass removed for a new top 10 game.
Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble
Clover Studio/ Capcom
The fourth and final entry in this awesomely bizarre series plays just like the first two…almost. Firstly, being a weaker system, the game is on a much smaller scale. There’s only a handful of upgrades, and the game is shorter. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a whole lot of fun! There are a bunch of new VFX powers to try out, taking advantage of the DS’ touchscreen, which is neat and creative, but ultimately don’t work reliably in the heat of battle.
New Super Mario Bros
When they announced that for the first time in over a decade, Mario was going back to the side scrolling formula, I nearly crapped my pants. Super Mario Bros 3 and Super Mario World are two of my all time favorite games, and are much better than the two 3D Mario games that were out at the time. I was never more excited for a game at that point in my life. Until they announced the title. I very much dislike the title, and when I finally played the game, I was severely disappointed. I was expecting a sequel to Super Mario World, but instead got a major regression of the series, so that it is merely a vastly updated version of the original Super Mario Bros. Despite my disappointment, it is still quite a solid platformer.
Well, well, well, here is an instance where Sonic beats his ultimate rival. I first played this in the prime of bad 3D Sonic games, and I hadn’t played a handheld Sonic since the Gamegear, so I didn’t really know what to expect. But what I found was quite a pleasant surprise. This is a great platformer that really takes advantage of what made the Genesis games so fun, while giving them major updates.
Kirby Mass Attack
This really put a spin on the Kirby franchise, utilizing the DS’ capabilities in clever ways to deliver a brand new adventure for the lil’ pink puffball, and it worked very well.
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
To anyone who wanted to see Mario and Luigi team up with their newborn selves outside of a sports team or racing track finally got their wish with this game, and it did not disappoint. Hilarious storyline, fantastic and creative gameplay using both generations of brothers, it’s all here and it is wonderful.
Kingdom Hearts Re:coded
The handheld games in this series are always trying out unique forms of gameplay and this one was no exception. It isn’t the best game in the series…far from it, but it is a really fun game nonetheless with a unique leveling system (if you can call it that) and it was the first game to actually advance the story past Kingdom Hearts II, which was the latest game, storywise, for half a decade.
Okay, okay, so this is technically two games, but since they are nearly the same game, I put them together.This duo is a remake of Gold and Silver, the first sequels in the Pokemon franchise. They also happened to be the last two games I played in the series, though I never owned them. I quickly lost interest in Pokemon after only owning and loving Red/Blue. I felt the series should have stayed with just 150 Pokemon and stopped following it soon after Gold and Silver came out. But then I decided, like 20 years later, to get back into it, and what a better place to start then with these two games? And boy was I glad I did!
These games are just like the Red and Blue versions I cherished so much…except better. More Pokemon are better, I soon found out. I love catching them all, and have put around 300-400 hours into both games collectively, catching all the Pokemon available to me, which is much more than the original Gold and Silver, since they added hundreds of Pokemon from the games that came out between the originals and these remakes. Because of these two, I am a Pokemon fan once more!
The Legend Of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
This game took the same mechanics and formula as Phantom Hourglass and managed to produce an immensely better game. Everything about it was so fun, especially riding around in a train. I very much enjoyed the story as well.
Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days
h.a.n.d. Inc./Square Enix
This turned the series into a mission based game, where you play as Sora’s Nobody, Roxas, carrying out missions for Organization XIII. It actually works pretty well for the setting and incredible storyline. It doesn’t advance the series at all, but instead bridges quite a few gaps, seeing as the game starts soon after Sora becomes a heartless in the first game, continues on during Chain of Memories and finally ends right when you wake up as Roxas in Kingdom Hearts II, thus finally answering that “wtf is going on?” question we all had the first time we played the second game. The game is also really, really fun, so thumbs up to that!
Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story
Ironically, this is the first game I played on my DS, so I guess it was all downhill after that. This game is just amazing. It is so creative, so entertaining, so unique, so unbelievably fun, that it completely destroys every other game on this list. Not only is this my favorite DS game, but it is one of my favorite games of all time. It’s that good.