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65 reasons to own a DS

posted on July 9th, 2007 by the gang

41. Super Princess Peach
She cries to get out of trouble, can be made to destroy when angry, floats about when happy and can regenerate at will. Super platformer or dating trainer? Either way, SPP is a worthy addition to you collection as long as you have an excuse when your friends ask.

42. Mega Man ZX
Not so much a return to form for Capcom as it is an extension of form, Mega Man ZX is a great addition for those of us who love the Blue Bomber, even if he is a girl now. You know, if you want him to be. I want him to be.

43. Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan
As excellent as Elite Beat Agents but with more weird Japanese pop.

44. Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis
A little bit lemmings, a little bit Lost Vikings and a whole lot Mario vs. Donkey Kong, this puzzler starts easily enough but can become satisfyingly challenging surprisingly quickly. Add the ability to create and share your own maps and you have a winner.

45. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All
If they ever stop making this series I will have an … wait for it … OBJECTION!

46. Kirby Squeak Squad
If you are a fan of the original Kirby games and love the gulp-for-abilities mechanic there is no reason not to own this game. Conservatively estimating, there are a billion abilities and a million billion collectibles. Oh, and ghost Kirby. Not even with a bat can this one be, as they say, beat.

47. Polarium
Confusing at first, challenging after a time and in the end strikingly satisfying for the puzzle lover. An excellent early showing for the DS’s unique interface.

48. Ouendan 2
The sequel to the tap-till-you-taper Elite Beat Agents is crazier, louder and all around tappier than its predecessor. Though we don’t know if it’s coming to the US any time soon, it sure is worth a look if you can get your hands on it.

49. Planet Puzzle League
Though it is easy to fall into the ‘like Tetris but with…’ trap when describing line/combo puzzlers, it is safe to say that this game is very much like Tetris in that it will grip you, hold on to you and make you think about sliding pretty much everything you own into a chain combo while not playing.

50. Pokemon Diamond
Yeah, it’s more of the same, but you LOVE the same! Want more Pokemans? Let Diamond give you them.

51. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
You don’t need to like the new films. You don’t need to care about Anakin Skywalker. You don’t even need to be a Star Wars fan. If you like video games at all, this will be a satisfying experience for you. For a handheld game it is huge. It is fun, diverse and totally polished. Dogfights FTW, BTW (BBQ TBD RLY).

52. Nintendogs: Lab & Friends
Have a girlfriend? She begging you for a puppy? Need I say more?

53. Yoshi’s Island DS
The natural sequel to the SNES Yoshi’s Island, this game does what a good sequel needs to: New characters, a few new mechanics and a good deal of polish on an already impressive platform. Miyamoto would be (and for all accounts, is) proud.

54. Jump Superstars
150+ characters, 27 Anime/Manga series’, crazy Koma upgrades; it’s like my 13yr old self threw up awesome onto a plate of badass and then ate it. Too bad Akira isn’t a Jump property because Tetsuo Shima wants a fight.

55. Sonic Rush
A much needed return to form for Sonic fans. Fewer pointless characters (though they are there), sweet 2D platforming action and, most importantly, blazing fast speed. Its detractors have pointed to a high average of into-the-pit deaths but I would ask them two questions: Have you ever played a classic Sonic game before? You sucked at it, didn’t you?

56. Konami Classics Series: Arcade Hits
Contra. Gradius. Rush-N-Attack. There are other games in this compilation, but who gives a rip. Let me repeat this for clarity: Contra. Gradius. Rush-N-Attack.

57. Bust-a-Move DS
This here’s a cheer for all the fellas tryin’ to do what those crazy bubble spitting dragon things tell us. Pop fifty bubbles ’cause you’re overzealous. Get the high score to make your lady jealous. Okay smarty, go to a party…Woah. WTF? What comes next?

58. Zoo Keeper
Like Bejeweled but with the severed heads of your favorite furry purries. Morbid, to be sure, but addictive. DO NOT TRY IN REAL LIFE (they don’t disappear when you get three in a row.)

59. Nanostray
A fun SHMUP for the DS. Light on touch interface but heavy on bullet waves, this game is a consummate addition to any SHMUPper’s library.

60. Nippon Curling Kyoukai Kounin – Minna no Curling DS
Take all of the spine-tingling excitement of real life Curling and add cute anime women; what more could anyone ask for? This is basically the most fun you can have sliding a rock across ice. Seriously. To top it off, this milestone in gaming fits in the palm of your hand and is whole-heartedly endorsed by the Japan Curling Association.

61. Magical Starsign
With its touch based control scheme, planet based power-up and multiple multiplayer options this is a no brainer for RPG fans. It helps that the story is interesting as well, if not a tiny bit crystal-hippy.

62. Mega Man Battle Network 5
WILY DID IT!!! It took us five games to get here, but we did, and Wily is finally back! If you like the chip system and are into the Mega Man universe, this one is a must have. Though the gameplay has been left largely unchanged since the first game, the story is excellent.

63. Madden NFL 07
What is there to say, this is a Madden game. If you like the previous 2.1 billion iterations of this game, you will like this one. One thing I will say for Madden 07 is that they give a shout out to the old school NES favorite, Tecmo Bowl and make several players in the game pretty much unstoppable. I’m not giving anything away, but look at Tampa Bay’s running game.

64. Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales
Lighter than your average FF fare, Chocobo Tales lets you play around in the FF universe by way of mini (and is some cases micro) games that are fun for the FF fan on the run.

65. Big Brain Academy
If you feel like knocking yourself down a peg or two by having a slug with a hat tell you that you have “dormant faculties” and “potential”, give this game a shot. Big Brain Academy is the warm-fuzzy version of Brain Age that sets you upon mental quandaries such as matching chocolate bars and making sure the dog finds his bone. Prepare to be challenged.

We hope you enjoyed the list and maybe even read about a game you never thought of picking up. We do get commissions from Nintendo (just kidding…?) No doubt you saw some games on the list you aren’t crazy about, but someone who works here has played and enjoyed every title on the list.

Join us tomorrow when we look at some of the best GBA games you can play on your DS as well as a sample of promising DS titles that are coming out soon.

Part II

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  1. lyskan said on July 9, 2007:

    I hope these aren’t in order. and I saw JSS on the list but not JUS… they’re both good. and you forgot about ds download play, great wifi multiplayer and no region protection. you did all games, the psp list had other stuff… wait… the psp doesn’t have any great games…

  2. TrueTallus said on July 9, 2007:

    Nervous Brickdown makes 66… if you like arkanoid at all, anyway.

  3. jarrad said on July 9, 2007:

    I feel like an ass because I don’t have a DS.

  4. Ace25 said on July 9, 2007:

    Well, I can’t agree on the whole list, and there are a few sequels that really shouldn’t be in the list, one or the other is good enough. Castlevania, as well as Elite Beat Agents/Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, and games that are similar like Puyo Pop & Bust a Move.. but I still say there is a solid 40 games to choose from. I strongly belive the DS is a better system (I had a DS & PSP and traded in my PSP for a second DS to play friends who didn’t have one).

    Scurge Hive? That game was aweful, you can’t control the isometric movement very well with a D-Pad.

    Zelda is nice though, at least the Japanese version I have been playing.

  5. Dat Phan Boi said on July 9, 2007:

    Hey, here is 66 Awesome PSP Games:

    1. Lumines
    2. Wipeout Pure
    3. GTA: Liberty City Stories
    4. GTA: Vice City…
    5. Tekken Dark Resurrection
    6. Ridge Racer
    7. MGS: Portable Ops
    8. Metal Gear Ac!d
    9. Daxter
    10. Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters
    11. Burnout Legends
    12. 300: March to Glory
    13. Ace Combat X
    14. Puzzle Quest
    15. LocoRoco
    16. Lego Star Wars: The Original
    17. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider 10th…
    18. Crush
    19. Virtua Tennis 3
    20. PQ2: Practical IQ
    21. Prince of Persia: Rival Swords
    22. PaRappa the Rapper
    23. Dungeon Maker
    24. Innocent Life
    25. Ape Escape
    26. Hot Shots Golf
    27. MLB 06: The Show
    28. The Bigs
    29. THUG 2 Remix
    30. Mega Man Powered Up
    31. Winning Eleven
    32. Socom
    33. Sid Meirs Pirates!
    34. Tales of Eternia
    35. Lumines 2
    36. The Warriors
    37. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
    38. Gitaroo Man Lives
    39. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06
    40. FIFA 07
    41. Street Fighter Alpha 3
    42. NBA live 06
    43. Valkyre Profile: Lenneth
    44. SSX on tour
    45. Twisted Metal
    46. Mega Man Maverick Hunter X
    47. Madden NFL 07
    48. Metal Slug Anthology
    49. Guilty Gear Judgment
    50. Mercury Meltdown
    51. ATV Offroad
    52. Field Commander
    53. Killzone Liberation
    54. Exit
    55. Gradius Collection
    56. Lemmings
    57. Capcom Classics
    58. Activision Hits
    59. Me and My Katamari
    60. Infected
    61. Bomberman
    62. Bust-A-Move Deluxe
    63. Final Fantasy Anniversary Edition
    64. Mortal Combat Unchained
    65. Death Jr.
    66. PoPoLoCrois

    Lots of great games and awesome features. No scratchy touch screens

  6. yan said on July 9, 2007:

    One reason why I don’t use it: no linux… there is even linux for the iPhone, see http://zonow.com/78

  7. thief said on July 9, 2007:

    actually, there is linux for the DS. You just need a flashcart, like an R4.

    google stuff before you post, fools.

  8. guest said on July 9, 2007:

    Not to be rude, but this is a retarded article, and a poor attempt to compete with the PSP article. Not everyone has the same taste in games….

  9. Sharp said on July 9, 2007:

    To the guy with the psp game list, get real. Just because there ARE 66 psp games doesn’t mean there are that many good ones. Having owned a psp, I know for a fact that many of those sucked. My first game for the psp was THUG2. I loved it on consoles. It sucked and I traded it in the next day for “Untold Legends”. That was better, but still pretty bad. Your list starts off strong, but eventually you’re just grasping for straws. Death Jr? Seriously? Come on, man.

    Oh by the way. Note how I said “Had” a psp. Personally, I loved the device, but I never played any commercial games, I just used it as a portable emulator. You know why I don’t have it any more? THE SCREEN BROKE.

  10. pat said on July 9, 2007:

    haha i actually had to read digg comments to know that the picture of “the gang” is the backstreet boys.

    @guest – we agree that not everyone has the same taste. thus several of us collaborated on this article.

  11. Matt said on July 9, 2007:

    And my response to Dat Phan Boi’s comment is thus: actually, the touch screen on my DS is surprisingly scratch-free, and I got the DS Lite on launch day, well over a year ago. And also, as the article stated, we at vl like the PSP. But that doesn’t mean we can’t take a look at the other side of the coin and give our impressions on what makes the DS so special. Oh, and I love guest’s response “Not to be rude, but this is retarded…” I’m pretty sure that’s being rude there buddy, but thanks for the heads up:)

  12. cptnspoon said on July 9, 2007:

    @ yan:

    What do you call DSLinux then?!

  13. Ryan said on July 10, 2007:

    Who cares even if it couldn’t run linux it does the one thing it’s meant to do better than any other hand held ever made and that’s play games.IMO DS is the first hand held that isn’t just a shitty version of a console.

  14. Jordan Lund said on July 10, 2007:

    You guys have to be kidding, right?

    I’ve got a DS and the majority of the games on that system suck. There are a bare handful worth playing once and that’s about it.

    3. Advance Wars: Dual Strike – I loved the GBA versions of this game, but this one is lacking. Why are the graphics worse than the GBA versions? They’re smaller, not as detailed. Anyone considering getting a DS for this title should just stick to the superior GBA versions.

    13. Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney – An interesting premise that gets lost in “Tap the screen to continue! OK Tap the screen to continue! Wait… wait… TAP THE SCREEN TO CONTINUE!” gameplay. There’s really no game here. It’s just an electronic comic book that gets boring very quickly.

    14. Super Mario 64 DS – I was never a fan of Super Mario 64. It was boring and un-compelling. The last thing I want to do is play it again 10 years later.

    16. Animal Crossing: Wild World – Hey, here’s an idea… let’s take an RPG and strip out everything that makes playing an RPG interesting!

    20. Final Fantasy III – The reason I bought a DS. One week later the battery lost it’s charge. I haven’t put it on the charger since.

    26. Trace Memory – Survival horror without the survival or the horror. Again, like Animal Crossing, take an established genre and remove everything that makes that genre interesting.

    30. Bomberman – I love Bomberman, really, but there have been better implementations of it. Plus do I really need a 14th copy of Bomberman?

    37. Brain Training – You would have to pay me to play a game involving 1st grade math workbooks. I’m serious. Pay me to torture my brain and I’ll consider it.

    38. Trauma Center: Under the Knife – Very cool game and no grist for my mill. That being said, the Wii version is the same damn game. Same injuries in the same order, same objective. Having the DS version negates the need for the Wii version and vice versa.

    39. Hotel Dusk – Same problem as the Phoenix Wright games. Gameplay consists of tapping the screen every 20 to 40 seconds or so. No challenge.

    45. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All – Same problem as the last one, but if you thought tapping the screen periodically to progress in the game, wait until you do it as an amnesiac! Wow!

  15. jay said on July 10, 2007:

    You caught us, this was all a joke. Mario 64 was a shitty game, Final Fantasy III is bad because your battery died, and Trauma Center retroactively became a bad game once the Wii version was released. Man does the DS suck.

  16. guy said on July 10, 2007:

    LOL @ 21, that is the funniest thing i heard all day. Its hard to believe that you wrote all that, and didn’t say anything worthwhile.

    Also, This list blows, sure the DS is amazing, but just listing 65 games is a terrible idea.

  17. Sharp said on July 10, 2007:

    Fair enough, guy.

    Also, “Jordan Lund” is either an asocial supergenius, or a total bullsh***er, because he said Phoenix Wright was like an interactive comic book. Not that I think that’s a bad deal, but that’s only kind of like the court portion of the game. Not to mention even the court portion is filled with difficult puzzles (and some not-so difficult puzzles) that I assumed kept him from ever getting to the investigative part. I severely doubt he’s just autistic and got all the puzzles immediately.

    Also, brain training is not for the younger audience.

  18. Matt said on July 10, 2007:

    Step aside everyone, I’ll handle this:

    :pulls up sleeves:

  19. Dat Phan Boi said on July 11, 2007:

    To Sharp and Matt. If you are very careful with your DS then I am sure its fine. But if you are like Sharp (that PSP screen didn’t crack itself) then you are relaxed with your handhled like most people. I got a cover for my PSP, have had it two years and it is still perfect.

    Also, there are a lot more than 66 games. there are over three hundred. you can’t tell me that the 66 I posted aren’t better than the 65 posted on this page, you just can’t. Each has remakes, and those are fun, but I agree with Jordan Lund, just play them on the original systems, especially the Advance (which I own and think is superior to the DS) I have had my advance for nearly five years and it is still great.

    Also, I left out some upcoming PSP games that will be fun:
    Dead head Fred, Rainbow Six Vegas, Tiger Woods 08, D&D Tactics,Brave Story, Alien Syndrome, Monster Hunter Freedom 2, Manhunt 2, Crazy Taxi, God of War…the list goes on.

    Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney looks like a PSP homebrew…a bad one.

  20. Sharp said on July 11, 2007:

    Graphics aren’t everything. Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney is one of the best games on the DS, and if you were to put the two together in a bundle, it would be a better deal than 9/10 of the games on your list. I’m making exceptions, since no matter how you slice it, Tekken DR is a great game. Burnout legends? Not so much.

    And my psp screen got cracked because I carried it around in my bag. Odd how that never happenned to my ds.

  21. Steve said on July 12, 2007:

    A few games shouldn’t be on this list, and a few that aren’t should be. Trioncube FTW. But the point is made. The DS is 100% bomb.

  22. Sharp said on July 12, 2007:

    Bomb? Well, it didn’t bomb, so I’m just gonna assume you mean “The Bomb”.

  23. jay said on July 12, 2007:


  24. Shigeru said on July 12, 2007:

    Funny how these kind of list sites always get the crackhead flamer anti-fans who just HAVE to jump in and say “this system sucks, because, um, it just sucks and my favorite system rules”. You poor PSP folks who have to try to prop up your system by trying to trash the DS are sad and pathetic. The DS blows the PSP away in the only real medium that matters to anyone…it outsells it in a landslide. Oh, and that’s not only in the heavily-biased Japan, that’s Stateside too.

    If you want the real reasons to own a DS, I can spell them out for you much easier: cheaper, more durable, doesn’t require as much in the way of add-ons to be functional for its purpose, longer battery life, and far more games (and original games) available if you include the titles for the GBA (which did have quite a few very good games) than the PSP. You can weed out the goofy, childish, and just plain odd games and still find plenty to keep you interested at almost any age level.

  25. jordanlund said on July 13, 2007:

    “The DS blows the PSP away in the only real medium that matters to anyone…it outsells it in a landslide. ”

    Sales is a popularity contest, it has nothing to do with quality. Or do you honestly think that McDonalds makes the best hamburgers on the planet? Honda has better cars than Mercedes?

    The reasons the DS sells more are because it’s cheaper and kids want one. That’s pretty much it. It doesn’t have better games than the PSP.

  26. jay said on July 13, 2007:

    If your argument is that there is no ultimate objective good or bad, then I agree with you. The Saturn is better than the PSX, the Master System better than the NES and so forth, at least to some people and their opinions are as valid as anyone else’s.

    As I’ve said a handful of times now, this article isn’t supposed to prove the games listed are better than other games. The list doesn’t even need to be there, I just figured people would be upset if they didn’t have more content to argue about. The point of the article is both to lightly mock lists of what makes things better than other things (specifically the PSP Fanboy article) as well as make the argument that games are what should matter most to a games system.

    Now of course this is also just a subjective stance. We could decide that since there is no real objectivity there is no need to write opinions down anymore, but then what would I do on my Friday nights?

  27. Sharp said on July 13, 2007:

    Just jumping in again, saturn was better than the PSX and anyone who says otherwise is a big dummyhead.

    Oh, that’s right. I went there.

  28. thelama said on July 19, 2007:

    You are kidding right? This is such a sh!t ‘article’. 65 games – of which more than 1/2 are lame. I own a psp (which I rate highly) and also want a DS but this doesn’t attract me in the slightest. If i wanted a list of 65 games, i would have gone to Amazon and look at ‘DS Games’.

    Quite frankly, what a lame comeback to the psp article, no thought applied whatsoever.

  29. jay said on July 19, 2007:

    We are all adults here, thelama, you may use the word “shit”. Your insults reminded me to check out the PSP Fanboy article. They seem stalled on number 46 – they haven’t updated the list since July 2nd.

  30. Flab Face said on July 20, 2008:

    I’d love to have a DS but… i’m not allowed so i’ve been trying 2 win a game console for my whole life!

  31. Flab Face said on July 20, 2008:

    and no… we’re NOT all adults here you immature ****!

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