5 Must-Own Nintendo DS Games

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Not long ago I went ahead and gave my rundown of some Nintendo Wii games that are required for all owners of the system (and make for great gifts, too). Now it’s time to do the same with Nintendo’s other juggernaut, the scrappy little Nintendo DS. I received my DS during the first Christmas it was released but it wasn’t until the next November that I’d actually purchase a game for it. After that, man did the games get good. Here are 5 Must-Own Nintendo DS Games.

Mario Kart DS:

The first game I bought for my DS.

The first game I bought for my DS.

It took a powerful title to get me off my tail to pick up a game built specifically for the system, but Mario Kart DS caused brain pieces to spray from my ears and my eyes to splurt all over the screen. In other words, my mind was blown. Maybe…maybe less visual to just say it blew my mind. No matter.

Mario Kart has always been a great series, but the DS version added wireless multiplayer against anyone in the world. I made the mistake of playing only at night, so the typical opponents were Japanese gamers that chewed me up and spit me out due to their masterful snaking techniques (dang you snaking!), but just being able to play multiplayer Mario Kart was amazing.

Still, as a single player game there was tons to do and plenty of excellent tracks to play on. I’d go so far as to say this is the best Mario Kart game of the series. Every character gets a few special carts of their own and they really do look cool and play differently. I had already justified my DS ownership, but I had hardly begun.

Animal Crossing DS:

You'll be surprised with how much there is to do.

You'll be surprised with how much there is to do.

It might be a strange concept to grasp, but Animal Crossing is a game that is impossible to finish in a day. It’s also impossible to finish in a month. There is a very strong chance that you won’t be finished with the game after a year or two. Reason being is that the premise of the game revolves around your character moving to a small town and having to repay your debt to the raccoon that lent you your home. Sound weird? There’s some more.

To repay said raccoon, you must do tasks for the other villagers who are of course all animals. As you play, you will have a rhino ask you to retrieve a couch from a sheep, a cat will ask you for a new catchphrase, and a mouse will send you a letter or two, just to get you to send one back. You’ll also fish, hunt for bugs, dig fossils, and decorate your house as you go. It sounds insane, and it is, but as a whole the game turns out to be rather pleasing and extremely addicting. All of this takes place in current time, so if it’s 8 o’ clock in the real world, it’ll be 8 o’ clock in the game, too. Same goes for major holidays. Once a year and that’s it.

The best thing about the game is that the time you put into the game really shows. You’ll have characters that remember you and wonder where you’ve been, you’ll make designs for shirts that the animals are wearing, and you’ll decorate the town as you see fit, more or less. It is a great game for those of us addicted to something like, oh, Farmville? Yeah, you’d go nuts for Animal Crossing.

Elite Beat Agents:

Dancing solves everything.

Dancing solves everything.

You will not understand Elite Beat Agents if you try. I do not understand Elite Beat Agents, yet I fully recommend the game to every owner of a DS. The Elite Beat Agents are a group of government-style officials that get dispatched every time a problem occurs. They are the very best at what they do and they always solve every problem, be it related to babysitting or alien invasion, all with the power of dance.

Yes, dancing. They do the dancing. And it solves EVERYTHING.

The game revolves around tapping the touch screen in rhythm and it can get extremely difficult. However, it also becomes extremely addicting, and when you’re doing things right it just feels great. Elite Beat Agents is a game that didn’t get the proper response when it first came out, but you can change that by purchasing it for yourself and everyone you know. If everyone pitches in, I may just get my Elite Beat sequel.

Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, or Platinum:

Don't miss out just because they seem geeky.

Don't miss out just because they seem geeky.

It doesn’t matter which version you get, it is just highly recommended that you get at least one Pokemon game for your DS. At this stage in history there is virtually no need to elaborate on what Pokemon is, but I will go ahead and say that it will provide over a hundred hours of gameplay should you choose to enjoy it.

The current generation of Pokemon games demonstrates a great time to be into Pokemon as there is just so much to do and so many choices for a Pokemon team. Each gamer will find at least one Pokemon that they favor over all others either for reasons relating to battle stats, functionality, or just personal preference, (though Jolteon is the best, yo). Pokemon will survive the Apocalypse, so you might as well pay your dues while you can.

New Super Mario Bros:

Oh Mario, how I love thee.

Oh Mario, how I love thee.

You cannot own a DS without owning New Super Mario Bros. I simply will not allow it. It’s okay if you brush off my other suggestions like I’m a raving lunatic (because you may be onto something), but I will turn around and point back to claim that in fact you are the lunatic should you abandon New Super Mario Bros as a game you need not own.

Mario games are always good. I’ve been over this so many times that it’s getting redundant to hear (I’d know, I hear it all the time from myself). But I can’t stress it enough when there are still people in the world that don’t play Mario games. All problems are cured with enough Mario, I firmly believe this. Every world leader just needs to get a DS and play New Super Mario Bros and all problems will be solved within a year’s time.

If you haven’t played the DS Mario game, you still already know the plot. Princess kidnapped, Mario goes to saves her, turtles and mushrooms abound. A few new power-ups appear, but the real star is the level design, which returns to enlighten everyone how platforming games are supposed to be made. You’ll enjoy this game, even if you hate everything else in the world.

Basically, there is at least one game on this list that you do not own but will fully thank me once you play. All of these games can be found just about anywhere video games are sold, and all for affordable prices.

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Chris was the former Head Writer/Editor of Toy-TMA. He did a great job overseeing the site and getting new content published regularly. Always more than willing to respond to a comment or two, but pitiless with trolls! He has since moved on from TMA, and we wish him the best.

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