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The 12 best games for the Nintendo DS: The first half of the top-rated Nintendo DS games, but now it's time for the remaining half - the 12 most outstanding titles for the revolutionary dual-screen console. Let me remind you that this is a personal list, and there will not be many releases from the Metacritic top. It is also important to remember that all of the above can be played on 3DS, and DS itself has no regional restrictions.

12. Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem

The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The 12 best games for the Nintendo DS: The  Fire Emblem series laid the foundations for Japanese tactical RPGs but historically had a hard time gaining popularity. The first six issues did not leave Japan, the next five were translated into English, but did not become bestsellers. Only with the thirteenth in a row,  Awakening, Fire Emblem managed to attract broad masses, but it came at a great price: instead of tactics, the anime harem came to the fore.
If you have everything in order with arithmetic, you probably noticed that one link is missing in the chronology - the twelfth in a row. The fact is that Nintendo decided not to release this part in the West - but in vain. New Mystery of the Emblem (as its name can be translated from Japanese) is a great classic Fire Emblem: with difficult, but fair enough battles and without easy endless pumping. Each enemy here is not only a threat but also a source of valuable experience, the distribution of which is very important. For the first time in the series, New Mystery of the Emblem introduced a "casual" mode that disables the permanent death of heroes, but it will not make the passage easy either - it will save you nerves and time.
Also, New Mystery of the Emblem skillfully reworked the scenario of the third part (of which it is a remake), adding both the player's avatar and new story arcs to it. And in general, the story in it is much more interesting than in its prequel -  Shadow Dragon, which still received an English release. It is a pity that in the end, the only part of Fire Emblem officially released in the West on DS was the game in all respects, weak, and its excellent continuation can only be played with a fan patch.

11. Mario Kart DS

The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The 12 best games for the Nintendo DS: Mario Kart 8 has been breaking sales records for the fifth year in a row - and absolutely deservedly: this is a colorful and very fun race, the participants of which constantly blow up each other with bombs, throw shells, and put banana peels on opponents. However, before its release, the best part of the series was, perhaps, precisely  Mario Kart DS... A wide variety of tracks and characters, comfortable controls, a low threshold for entry, and at the same time a high ceiling of skill - and, importantly, the utmost honesty in the distribution of items depending on the place in the race. The best and cheating bonuses here go only to those who follow in the tail, and the leaders are content with less effective things. Mario Kart DS will not be able to impress with the transformation of cars and spectacular locations of the latest releases, but in terms of the quality of the tracks and mechanics, it will give odds to most of its colleagues.

10. Tetris DS

The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The 12 best games for the Nintendo DS: Yes, Tetris. Yes, you have probably played it somewhere else and are completely unimpressed by its presence in this top. But still, this game is as ageless as chess and even ideally suited for a portable format. No wonder it was with her that Nintendo launched the Game Boy, and in our country, many gamers of the 90s started with gray "bricks", where along with the classic "Tetris" there were all kinds of "Snakes". And  Tetris DS is a distillate of the best ideas associated with the ingenious invention of Alexei Pazhitnov.
The rules of the classic "Tetris" are as loyal to the player as possible. Already fallen figures can be freely moved along the bottom of the glass. The figure can be stowed away and taken out at the right time. There is also multiplayer - both offline and online. Tired of the classics, you can try yourself in several single tests, as well as in a couple of original modes that rely on the rules of "Tetris", but at the same time give a completely different feeling. Very much in the spirit of those very 6-in-1 collections!
In the 15 years that have passed since the release of Tetris DS, only Tetris Effect has been able to encroach on the title of the best iteration of the immortal classic - and that is primarily due to the visual and audio sequences.

9. Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors

The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The 12 best games for the Nintendo DS: Zero Escape is an adventure series that started out great, continued intriguingly, and ended in disappointment. Because of this, it is difficult to recommend it in its entirety, but its first and best part, fortunately, turned out to be a complete and self-sufficient work. And it was originally released on the Nintendo DS.
999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors tells the story of nine people who were kidnapped and forced to participate in a villainous game on the pain of death. In fact, they have to go through a series of quests like "find a way out of the room", dividing and regrouping. But there is almost certainly a traitor among them - how could we not turn his back on him?
In Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors there is only one good ending - but to get it, you first have to poke around in "gamovers": this is the concept of the game. Each storyline brings the protagonist together with a new set of characters who will tell about themselves and share some interesting information: from amusing facts about the world to conspiracy theories or completely paranormal things. Some of this just adds mystery to the game, something complements themed puzzles, and something hangs on the wall of the gun, which in the climax will start shooting. For an unusual approach to narrative and a holistic intriguing plot, the game is worth recommending.
Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors are also available on PS4, PS Vita, and PC as part of the Nonary Games bundle.

7 and 8. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The 12 best games for the Nintendo DS: The Ace Attorney series has stretched and sagged over the years, but it started off brilliantly. The first part presented all the most important elements of the cycle: the foolish lawyer Phoenix Wright, his naive assistant, the search for evidence, the interrogation of caricatured eccentric witnesses and hearings in the courts, where it was necessary to notice discrepancies between evidence and testimony and bring liars to clean water. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a fascinating combination of comedy, detective, and court drama in which the player takes a direct part.
The first part was also a laconic, complete story with memorable twists. The second,  Justice for All, was far less successful: it felt like a filler, like another chapter from a procedural series. But in the third,  Trials and Tribulations, the developers did everything in their minds, adding a large-scale story arc with a very strong ending. Of course, you need to go through the entire trilogy (it was reissued on 3DS, Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC, iOS, and Android), but the second part of the top did not deserve - as well as the further adventures of Phoenix Wright.

6. Ace Attorney Investigations 2

The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The 12 best games for the Nintendo DS: Wright's longtime friend and rival, Attorney Miles Edgeworth, is another matter. He received two personal games at once on the Nintendo DS, the fundamental difference of which from the main series Ace Attorney lies in the absence of court hearings: the shrewd prosecutor plays the role of a detective and catches the killers right at the crime scene. This is disappointing at first because it was in court that drama traditionally reached its peak. And the first  Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth is not very impressive: it is not bad, but the level of tension in the culmination and intricacy of intrigue does not reach the aforementioned first and third parts of the mainline.
But it's still worth going through because  Ace Attorney Investigations 2 makes up for it a hundredfold. She intertwined characters not only from the prequel, but also from the entire original Ace Attorney trilogy into her plot, and also completely dispensed with the procedural filler: here each investigation is part of a single exciting story. Alas, it never came out officially in the West, but the quality of the fan translation is not inferior to the efforts of official localizers.

5. Advance Wars: Dual Strike

The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The 12 best games for the Nintendo DS: Strategies are infrequent guests on portable platforms. Partly for objective reasons: RTS is difficult to manage, and for 4X the scale is not the same. But measured turn-based battles on relatively small maps in this format feel great - as the Advance Wars series has proven.
Understanding it is as easy as shelling pears. Buildings give money every turn, factories allow you to produce units. Infantry captures buildings and factories, light equipment wets infantry, tanks wet cars, heavy infantry wets tanks, fragile artillery pours fire on the enemy from afar. Something similar, but without the infantry, is being deployed at sea. Bombers leave no chance for ground units, except for air defense, but fighters deal with them without difficulty. Each unit has its own use here. But no less important are the officers presented in the form of vivid anime characters. They give passive bonuses to some type of troops, and they can also periodically strengthen the entire army with "Ulta". What gambits to carry out and with what tricks to take the enemy base, you decide.
Advance Wars featured two GBA releases (one better than the other), while the third,  Dual Strike, was released on DS. It was with her that the series reached its peak: there are most units and officers (and in battle, you can use two commanders at once), dozens of cards with the ability to create your own, convenient multiplayer, and an unobtrusive plot with pleasant characters. Alas, the series subsequently plunged into excessive gloom and seriousness in  Days of Ruin - and quietly died. Advance Wars also had imitators:  Field Commander on PSP,  Wargroove on Switch, and other relevant platforms. But they remain only a shadow of the unsurpassed primary source.

4 and 3. Elite Beat Agents and Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan

The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The 12 best games for the Nintendo DS: The essence of rhythm games is extremely simple: you need to perform some simple actions to the beat of the music. Wave your hands in Para Para Paradise, stomp your feet in Dance Dance Revolution and Pump It Up, beat drums in Drum Mania, fiddle with a plastic guitar in Guitar Freaks and Guitar Hero, hammer keys and turn a turntable in Beatmania, press buttons in Bust a Groove and  Gitaroo man... The developers of the latter decided to make a rhythm game for the Nintendo DS, using a touchscreen as the main input device. Tapping the rhythm on the screen and moving the stylus back and forth to the beat of the music turned out to be not only intuitive but also incredibly exciting.
An excellent plot background was also found: a squad of cheerleaders flew to the aid of desperate people and, with their dancing, inspired them with self-confidence and inspired them to feats. The soundtrack, which included Tomoyasu Hotei, the ubiquitous Orange Range, and L'Arc-en-Ciel, conquered even people who could not stand Japanese music. Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan was only released in Japan, but it has been heard all over the world.
Soon after the release of Oandan, Nintendo made an attempt to make an analog understandable to the West: cheerleaders were replaced with agents, contemporaries such as Sum41 and Avril Lavigne, and such classics as David Bowie, Deep Purple, and The Rolling Stones were shoved into the soundtrack. The result is  Elite Beat Agents - a worthy adaptation of a brilliant idea.
Alas, the sales of "Agents" disappointed Nintendo, and after the second part of Ouendan (the soundtrack of which was noticeably weaker), the series quietly bent. But her legacy lives on: already in 2007, fans released osu! , PC-adaptation of a musical hit, which you need to play with the mouse. It is relevant to this day and even became an e-sports discipline.

2. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The 12 best games for the Nintendo DS: Xu Takumi, the author of Ace Attorney, found himself firmly attached to his successful brainchild: after four main parts, he wrote three more spin-offs. In the meantime, however, he created another game, no less brilliant than his lawyer simulator.
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective already conveys its essence in the name. Her hero is dead, but his soul can still influence the world of the living - in order, for example, to save others from death. The protagonist is subject only to inanimate objects: it would seem, how much will the opened refrigerator door or the turned-on fan change? Not by themselves, but they will become links in a chain of events that will change the course of history and save someone's life. Each chapter in Ghost Trick is like Rube Goldberg's machine in reverse: we need to use the surrounding objects so that the combination of their simple actions leads to the desired result.
In addition to innovative gameplay, Ghost Trick also has a very sensible storyline and absolutely magical character animation. And the mind, and the heart, and even the eyes have something to rejoice here. Don't Miss: Ghost Trick is also playable on iOS (it was re-released with support for new OS versions just this week).

1. The World Ends with You

The 12 best games for the Nintendo DS: The JRPG genre has long been in stagnation: all the most breakthrough and revolutionary games in it came out ten years ago, or even more. I have written about  Final Fantasy XII and  Xenoblade Chronicles several times, but exactly between them, in the second half of the 2000s, the third greatest JRPG in history, The World Ends with You, was released on the Nintendo DS.
Rather than taking the action to magical lands, The World Ends with You devotes itself to a real Tokyo area: Shibuya, the capital of fashionistas and fashionistas. The main characters of the game have to fight monsters against the background of the statue of Hachiko and the world's most famous crossroads - and life around them goes on as usual. After all, the heroes are dead, and to get a chance to return to the real world, they need to win the game of the Reapers.
The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The 25 best games for the Nintendo DS.  Part 2: Advance Wars, Ace Attorney, The World Ends with You
The World Ends with You skillfully connects gameplay and narrative, finding an explanation even for those things that usually had to be taken for granted. The monsters here are the personification of the negative emotions of people, and by defeating them, the heroes help various NPCs. All kinds of shops and food shops participate in the Reapers game, which allows the heroes to get acquainted with their owners and get hold of useful items. Basically in clothes: after all, in Shibuya, fashion is above all, and the protagonist draws his superpowers from stylish icons. The World Ends with You has an insane amount of mechanics, and almost all of them are logical, intuitive, and complimentary.
The battles are also extremely unusual. The protagonist is on the touchscreen - with the help of the stylus we move him and activate his skills (there are several dozen of them in the game to choose from). And on the upper screen is his partner, attacking the same enemies in tandem with the hero using a cross. If desired, the partner can be given under automatic control, but real mastery here is achievable with the simultaneous control of two characters.
The plot did not disappoint either. The World Ends with You tells quite a life story - and does it measuredly, gradually, paying attention to each character and his personal growth. The graphics are extremely stylish, and the soundtrack consists exclusively of catchy rock and pop songs. This is a game with a huge number of extraordinary advantages and almost no disadvantages.

TWEWY has been reprinted many times - on iOS, Android, and Switch - but it only has one correct version. The dual-screen on Nintendo DS. Only in it the developers' idea is fully revealed, and the stylus control is more accurate and more convenient than with a finger: considering how active and intense the battles are here, it is easy to erase your hands to calluses. In April, an anime series based on the events of the game started, but it does not reflect the quality of the original script and is not recommended for viewing. Don't cut corners: When it comes to one of the best games in the world, try to provide yourself with the best experience. It's worth it.

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