2010 may not have been the Nintendo DS’s strongest year in terms of games, but it was far from its worst, with a number of the titles listed worthy of featuring in the system’s top games of all time.
With Nintendo itself busy preparing the 3DS for its official unveiling, there's a distinct lack of first-party titles in the list. Even so, the 100-year old company still found the time to publish some absolute peaches from via its third-party partners.
As always, if you feel we’ve overlooked a particular favourite of yours, or you just want to add your recommendations to an existing game on the list, then we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments thread below.
Last Window: The Secret of Cape West - Nintendo
When Cing shut its doors earlier in the year, there was a fear that this sequel to 2007’s excellent adventure, Hotel Dusk, would never see the light of day over in the West.
Thankfully Nintendo stepped in to take over international publishing duties, and the result is a game that, while not quite up to the lofty standards set by its predecessor, still manages to impress with its Take on Me visuals, interesting puzzles, and a truly gripping storyline.
Super Scribblenauts - Warner Bros
Talking of sequels, Super Scribblenauts is a great example of a developer taking onboard complaints levelled at the original game and ironing them out to create a compelling successor.
With the hateful stylus controls replaced by buttons, and the brilliant addition of adjectives to the fray, Super Scribblenauts is the game we all wanted the ‘create anything from words’ puzzler Scribblenauts to be – brilliant fun.
Professor Layton and the Lost Future – Nintendo
As a self-confessed Layton addict, it always narks me how far behind Japan we Europeans are in the series. Still, at least we have The Lost Future to enjoy – arguably the professor’s return to form after the slightly lacklustre second instalment.
As the final entry into the initial story arc, Lost Future is darker, better written, and more impactful in terms of story, with plenty of new head-scratchers to solve and fantastic cartoon cut-scenes to enjoy.
Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth – Capcom
With Phoenix’s story told and Apollo Justice quietly removed from the courtroom, Capcom turned to fan favourite and one-time antagonist Miles Edgeworth for this fifth game in the Ace Attorney series.
Miles, unlike Apollo, is a genuinely interesting character, and it’s his suave debonair style that helps power his first solo vehicle through the various crazy cases to reach a guilty verdict. Guilty of fun, that is! (I'm so sorry)
Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light - Square Enix
You can never be sure which hat a new Final Fantasy title will be wearing nowadays. Will it be a traditional ATB-based battling RPG like the SNES era games, or a bizarre mixture of RPG and RTS as with XII: Revenant Wings?
The 4 Heroes of Light is slap-bang in the former camp. In fact, it’s so traditional that it doesn’t even bother with an overwrought intro, just thrusting your character straight down into a dungeon from the get-go.
It makes for a surprisingly refreshing experience, which should appeal to both old-hands and newcomers to the series.
Call of Duty: Black Ops - Activision
First-person shooters on the DS aren’t quite the big event they are on home consoles, but that’s not to say there aren’t any decent ones out there.
N-Space has been carefully going about condensing the Call of Duty experience onto the smaller screen for some years now, and Black Ops is very much the pinnacle of the company’s achievements, managing to squeeze enough dramatic action and multiplayer goodness as can fit inside a cart as well as tuning up a control scheme that was already one of the best in its class.
WarioWare D.I.Y. - Nintendo
WarioWare games have always been a bit weird and a fair bit of fun, but they’ve also been extremely short-lived due to the micro-game format.
D.I.Y. gets around this length issue by introducing one of the best game creation systems around. Simply presented and shockingly easy to use, WarioWare D.I.Y. could last far longer in your cartridge slot than many ‘proper’ games, such is its wealth of creative potential.
Alice in Wonderland - Disney Interactive Studios
Often film licenses fail because they’re rushed, or they just don’t fit in with the source material’s themes. Alice in Wonderland, however, is neither rushed nor illogical – well, it is illogical, but in a good way.
Combining Braid-like time-based gameplay with some fiendish puzzles, Alice in Wonderland manages to remain witty, intelligent, and fun for the entire duration of its crazy, upside-down (sometimes literally) playtime.
Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes - UbiSoft
Take the (newly rebooted) world of Might and Magic, add a dash of Puzzle Quest, then stir in some original sauce and what do you get? Apparently, you get a very odd, but nevertheless brilliant, take on the RPG-Puzzle genre - Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes.
Filled with neat little tricks, packed with content, and genuinely tactical, Clash of Heroes blends the two genres of RPG and puzzle so successfully, that other games’ battles can feel a little dull in comparison.
Pokemon HeartGold / SoulSilver - Nintendo
The last of this particular ‘branch’ of Pokemon, HeartGold / SoulSilver represents the distilling and development of every 2D adventure that preceded it.
With tonnes of new features ranging from stylus mini-games to the very odd pedometer that allowed for catching new types of Pokemon while you walk around in real life, HeartGold / SoulSilver is simply the best version of Pokemon around.