The 15 Best DS Games

Chalk it up to a weak Nintendo 3DS debut, the strength of a huge install base, or the vast and wide collection of games in it's library -- but for whatever reason, the Nintendo DS is still going strong well into its twilight years. Even if you bought the system at launch in 2004, it's unlikely that you got to play every good title that the system had to offer. If you're still shopping around for the best ones in the bunch, we can help.

Our updated, staff-voted list of the best DS games has a few new entries that's you'll want to check out, like Kirby: Mass Attack, Okamiden, and Professor Layton's Unwound Future, plus older favorites like The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars.


15 | Super Scribblenauts

It's an understatement to say that we loved the original Scribblenauts. Putting it to in-game terms, Super Scribblenauts​ is what would happen if rooster-capped Maxell wrote "better puzzle game" in his magical notebook after the conclusion of his original outing. Introducing the addition of object-tweaking adjectives into the mix, Super Scribblenauts offers up much deeper -- and better balanced -- gameplay than its predecessor, including a bevy of brand new levels and challenges.

Keeping with the original Scribblenauts' "write anything, solve anything" core concept, the general idea of Super Scribblenauts still revolves around plucky protagonist Maxwell and his magical manifestations of the English language, but a better mix of puzzles and a tweaked control scheme make it a much more solid offering.


14 | The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

Phantom Hourglass is one of the best Zelda games released in the last decade specifically because it least like most of the games in the franchise. Rather than the typical series of dungeons, Phantom Hourglass is organized around one mega dungeon, which you can get further into every time you gain a new ability in hub world.

Phantom Hourglass is also one of the best DS games because it takes advantage of the platforms unique features, giving new life to old favorites like the boomerang. A lot of us took notes and drew maps when playing through the original Zelda on the NES. That this feature is built into the game doesn't only make it one of the greatest DS games, but also one of the essential Zelda games.


13 | Professor Layton and the Unwound Future

Layton's brain-bending adventures might not be for everybody, but if you like being mentally taxed like you never have before, than it's hard to find a better series. The film quality animation and voice acting is only the icing for what is a gauntlet of the hardest and most fun puzzles you'll ever find collected in one place. When you finally come out safely at the other end of any of the Professor's adventures, you feel like an absolute genius.

As for the latest title in the series, Unwound Future concludes the trilogy of Professor Layton and apprentice Luke with a story of time travel, but there's more under the surface as the mystery goes on. Like previous titles in the series, Unwound Future is filled with puzzles and brain-teasers that require logic, math, and careful observation. If Brain Age didn't challenge your mind enough, this series is the way to go for a challenge.

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