With the Nintendo 3DS taking off, it is going to get harder and hard to get a hold of great, lesser-known Nintendo DS games. The Ultimate Whore of Used Games, Gamestop, is already drastically reducing shelf space for Nintendo’s last generation hand held; if you can even find used games with boxes anymore it is a miracle.
Remember; while some of these may have been big sellers and had a following – most of them you may have never seen in the wild or even heard of. If you can find them, many of these games go for well under $10 – some I’ve seen as low as $1.99.
Before the final curtain falls on the Nintendo DS in the retail market (and some of these great games start costing you $50+ on eBay), you might want to bring this helpful list with you next time you’re selling your soul to Gamestop.
9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors
A bizarre adventure game featuring a multi-end story line and plenty of “mature” content. It might be a little “out there” for many people, but I recommend it.
A Christmas Carol
Based on the Jim Carrey flick, this is a hail back to classic point and click adventure games but is focused on using your skills to solve puzzles. Read my review for more.
Atari’s Greatest Hits (Series)
Featuring tons of your favorite classics and multi-player support, these decently done arcade titles will satisfy your retro needs without an emulator.
Blades of Thunder II
A very well done action arcade style third-person helicopter game. There aren’t enough of these on the DS.
Maybe a little ambitious (and initially way too expensive), but despite the flaws, this is a fun little game you can get cheap now.
Deal or No Deal (Series)
This along with other TV game show titles like Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, Family Feud, etc. are well done little diversions.
Decent rendition of the laserdisc arcade game from the 80s. Pretty much exactly the same as the DSiWare version – but at least you have it forever on cartridge this way.
Dungeon Explorer: Warriors of the Ancient Arts
This is as good as action RPGs get on the DS. Just get it.
Good luck getting your hands on this quirky Nintendo first party musical experiment. You can get all the “parts” as digital downloads, but this is a rare, worth owning cart for collectors.
Elite Forces Unit 77
An excellent isometric action adventure game. Shame nobody every heard of it.
Etrian Odyssey (Series)
If you’re looking for hard as hell, unforgiving old school dungeon crawlers like Bard’s Tale and Eye of the Beholder – look no further.
Geometry Wars Galaxies!
Retro arcade action doesn’t get much better than this; think Tempest meets Robotron. A more fully realized game than the 360 versions.
Yep, Super Mario Bros. fully stolen and turned into another platformer – but different in its own subtle ways.
If you loved your Intellivision growing up, this is the perfect retro collection for you. Even supports multi-play. Hard to find, though.
This series featured a full jigsaw puzzle system featuring various animals, etc. You can completely control how big and complicated the puzzle is. VERY neat.
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Kirby Canvas Curse
An early DS title, many haven’t seen this quirky stylus driven platformer. If you can get past the fact it isn’t “just another Kirby” game, you’ll love it.
Konami Classics Series Arcade Hits
More great classic arcade games. No retro gamer with a DS should be without this title.
Lost in Blue (Series)
Amazing – and amazingly hard and unforgiving, these “survival” point and click adventures will frustrate and delight you.
Looking for a pseudo magical RTS game for the DS? This is it!
You’ve seen a million “Zuma-like clones” of this game – now own and play the ORIGINAL production.
March of the Penguins
Written by David Crane (Pitfall) this is a terrific Lemmings style game that got totally overlooked being tied to a kid’s movie.
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This is an amazing puzzler that is just so old, no one knows about it anymore. I insane production values, crazy multi-player. It is cheap and readily available. Don’t miss out.
Metroid Prime Pinball
One of the few games to use the defunct Rumble Pak, this is a helluva great game of pinball.
Monopoly – Boggle – Yahtzee – Battleship
This is a rare multi-game pack. I last saw it going for $40. Decent games too – especially Battleship. Collectors must own.
An amazing first person scary adventure game. TOP NOTCH production. Worth picking up; watch the video and you’ll believe.
There are several “My” titles; My Do It All, My Fun Facts Coach, etc. Each is remarkably decent and a fun addition to any collection. Cheap too.
The greatest “breakout” or “Arkanoid” game you’re going to find on the DS. High production, high replay.
New York Times Crossword Puzzles
Crosswords don’t get any better. You can even play crosswords simultaneous MULTIPLAYER – pool your knowledge and play hundreds of NY Times crossword puzzles. Get it.
Pac ‘n Roll
A perfect blend of Pac love and adventure. Still easy to get right now, too.
This game got ZERO love; being called a “tech demo” for the people that played ONE level of it. It’s a fantastic game and still around if you look.
On of the best puzzlers on the DS. Create pictures from puzzles – make your own and trade. Super high quality!
Pirates Duel on the High Seas
Arcade action pirate adventure? SOLD! Fantastic title – grab it if you see it.
Pirates of the Carribean (Series)
These are fantastic action adventure games full of arcade brawl style console-type game play, puzzle solving and tons of replay value. The first two are the best.
The ultimate shooting gallery. It’s hard to imagine that a touch screen shooting gallery can be fun – but it is!
Love Tetris, Columns and all the “falling block” ilk? This is a top production, top notch game you should immediately try to own.
Fantastic “spot the differences” game that works fantastic on the DS. Tons of different game modes and challenges to keep you busy. Great production values.
Retro Game Challenge
A game made up of retro-inspired games. Great production values, high content, great story. You can’t afford not to have this.
One of the true greats of the DS. Gorgeous, challenging, fun. Tons of play – insane production value. It’s hard to get, but worth it.
If you’re looking for a racing game that delivers, you better have a look at this title. Fast, smooth action style game play. Don’t take my word for it … watch the video. I told you.
The first (and only, I think) augmented reality game on the DSi. It is just an “ok” game, but no DS collector should be without it. Pretty cool technology.
Think of it as Trauma Center for cars. Use your touch screen to rebuild and trick out cars to raise cash. Watch the video if it even remotely sounds interesting.
Touch the Dead
Gory action FPS style game on rails with zombies? No brainer. Good luck finding it.
This is still one of the most highly coveted games – it’s around but still easy $20. ENDLESS replay, tons of games – something for everyone and multiplayer. I still play it 5 years later.
Travel Games for Dummies
Great collection of games; crosswords, sudoku and solitaire. They are all done better in stand alone packs – but this is great when you want some selection.
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True Swing Golf
Still my favorite golf game on the DS. The retail cart is still better than the digital download version – and it is easy to find.
Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble
This is a remarkably good side scroller brawler with some neat touch features. Great graphics and high production values. Not sure why it didn’t to better.
Yoshi’s Touch & Go
Once you get over the fact that it isn’t Yoshi’s Island, you’ll find a fantastic “just one more game” score attack arcade bonanza. Get it.
You Don’t Know Jack!
You like pop culture trivia? With a smartass announcer? Look no further. TONS of play – great value and damn fun.
Zoo Quest – Puzzle Fun
Don’t let the cute graphics and the bad IP tie in bother you. These games are the RAGE on mobile devices – and this one is top quality.
Annoying music, GREAT matching game. We own like three copies of this game so everyone in the house could play at the same time.
Here are a few imports I got a hold of that I simply love.
A great puzzle game – NEVER saw it come anywhere near Stateside. Shame, it is fantastic, fun and challenging. Worth importing if you can.
OK! Puzzle Stars (EU)
What a great game. It’s UK, so some of the crossword puzzles might stump you, but this has to be the most played game on my DS over the years. Sudoku, word search, crosswords – TONS of hours of play. If you can get it, snag it!
Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan (JP)
You know it as Elite Beat Agents; but the game is … well, JUST BETTER in Japanese. Trust me on this one.