NeoGAF's Official Nintendo DS Collecting, Appreciation, and Nostalgia Thread

Sep 22, 2009
With the Nintendo 3DS hitting its stride, game stores clearing out Nintendo DS titles, and only a few licensed DS games left on the horizon, the Nintendo DS handheld console has effectively entered it's post-mortem. But why does it have to stop there? I humbly believe it is time to take a new look at what was not only a simple game system, but one of the most influential and successful portable game devices ever made. So, without further ado, I would like to welcome DS fans, new 3DS owners, and handheld gamers of all kinds to...

The Nintendo DS was released on the following dates in various regions around the world:

North America: November 21, 2004
Japan: December 2, 2004
Australia: February 24, 2005
Europe: March 11, 2005

A seventh generation handheld, the Nintendo DS console promised to revolutionize handheld gaming with innovations like no other before it. The fact that the handheld would feature not one, but two screens – one of them a resistive touchscreen – shocked gamers around the world. The console also features other innovations like a built-in microphone and Wi-Fi connectivity.

It's so strange to remember that the DS was meant to be a “third pillar” for Nintendo platforms – Nintendo hoped that the system would coexist alongside the Game Boy Advance and Gamecube. I guess we all know which pillar stood the longest before crumbling.

As of September 30, 2013, when all models of the Nintendo DS are combined, the amount of units sold totals a staggering 153.96 million, making the the top-selling handheld game platform of all time.

One of the strongest features the DS had at the time of launch was its ability to play any Game Boy Advance game cartridge through a second slot located at the bottom of the console. By owning either an original model Nintendo DS or a Nintendo DS Lite, you are granted access to not one, but two entire libraries of handheld video games. Users are able to select the top or the bottom screen to play your GBA games on – which do you prefer?

There are four models of the Nintendo DS. The original DS and DS Lite feature a Game Boy Advance slot, while the DSi line features two cameras and an online shop interface where you can purchase DSiWare applications and games. The DSi line also features an SD card slot for application storage. The DSi XL offers the largest available screen size, featuring two 4.2 inch screens.

There are a select few DSi-exclusive white game cartridges – these will only work on a Nintendo DSi or DSi XL handheld (as well as the Nintendo 3DS/2DS).

For further information on each model, check out this handy Wikipedia chart.

Do you own any of the following systems?

If so, you're in luck! Nintendo's tradition of backward-compatibility lives on with the Nintendo 3DS, and the DS even continues to be supported on the New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL consoles! Grab your console and pop any Nintendo DS cartridge into the slot, and you're good to go. Or head on over to the eShop to grab some DSiWare titles! So what are you waiting for? Dive into the enormous Nintendo DS backlog and you will not be disappointed.

There are slight differences in image quality when playing DS games on a 3DS/2DS. You can play any DS game in its native resolution on 3DS by holding the Start or Select button while booting up a Nintendo DS cartridge.

Most Gamestops are still offering Buy 2 Get 1 Free on their DS carts, so now's the time to snap them up (although most of the game cases have been thrown away). Amazon also still sells a lot of games new and some truly fantastic games can be had for cheap.

It should be noted that while 3DS consoles are region-locked, this does not apply to DS cartridges. You can play a DS cartridge from any region on any 3DS. Several DSi-exclusive games are indeed region-locked, however.

Spread the word! A ton of new 3DS/2DS adopters have not experienced a single Nintendo DS game. Let's make the DS live on through backward-compatibility!

Here are some of the greats from the massive DS library, highlighting the first party offerings and including just some of the quality third party titles available.
Title – Developer/Publisher – Genre – Year
alphabetical order

999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors – Aksys, Chunsoft – Visual Novel – 2010
Ace Attorney series – Capcom – Adventure/Visual Novel – 2005-2010
Advance Wars series – Nintendo, Intelligent Systems – Turn-based strategy – 2005-2008
Animal Crossing: Wild World – Nintendo – Life Sim – 2005
Bomberman DS – Hudson Soft – Action/Puzzle – 2005
Brain Age series – Nintendo – Puzzle – 2005-2007
Castlevania titles – Konami – Action-Adventure – 2005-2008
Clubhouse Games – Nintendo, Agenda – Board/Card games – 2006
Chrono Trigger – Square Enix – RPG – 2008
Contra 4 - Konami, WayForward – Run 'n gun shooter - 2007
Dragon Quest IX – Nintendo/Square Enix, Level 5 – RPG – 2010
Elite Beat Agents – Nintendo, iNiS – Rhythm – 2006
Etrian Odyssey series – Atlus – RPG/Dungeon Crawler – 2007-2010
Final Fantasy titles – Square Enix – RPG – 2006-2007
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon – Nintendo, Intelligent Systems – Strategy RPG – 2009
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective – Capcom – Puzzle – 2011
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars – Rockstar Games – Action-adventure – 2009
Kirby: Mass Attack – Nintendo - Stylus-controlled side scroller – 2011
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks – Nintendo – Action-adventure – 2007
Mario & Luigi series – Nintendo, AlphaDream – RPG – 2005-2009
Mario Kart DS – Nintendo – Kart racer – 2005
Mario Party DS – Nintendo, Hudson Soft – Party game – 2007
Meteos – Q Entertainment/Sora, Nintendo/Bandai – Puzzle – 2005
Metroid Prime: Hunters – Nintendo – FPS – 2006
New Super Mario Bros – Nintendo – Platformer – 2006
Pac 'n Roll – Namco – Platformer – 2005
Picross DS – Nintendo, Jupiter – Puzzle – 2007
Professor Layton series – Nintendo, Level-5 – Puzzle – 2008-2011
Pokémon series – Nintendo, Game Freak – RPG – 2007-2012
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series – Nintendo, Chunsoft – Roguelike – 2005-2009
Pokémon Conquest – Nintendo, KOEI – Strategy – 2012
Radiant Historia – Atlus – RPG – 2011
Scribblenauts series – WB Games, 5th Cell – Puzzle – 2009-10
Starfox Command – Nintendo – Shooter – 2006
Super Mario 64 DS – Nintendo – Platformer – 2004
Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure – Sega, Sonic Team/Dimps – Platformer – 2005-2007
Rhythm Heaven – Nintendo, TNX - Rhythm – 2009
Tetris DS – Nintendo – Puzzle – 2006
The World Ends With You – Square Enix, Jupiter – Action RPG – 2008
WarioWare series – Nintendo – Action/Minigame – 2005-2010
Yoshi's Island DS – Nintendo, Artoon – Platformer – 2006

There are a ton more games in the DS library - if you're looking for a particular genre or type of game drop a post and I'm sure myself or someone else here will be able to recommend something.

So that's that DS-GAF! We can breathe a second life into the DS by diving into the enormous library of titles together, Please feel free to discuss your favorite DS games, memories of the console, or even deals you might score on that desired or fantastic game. As a huge fan of the DS it was fun compiling this OT and if you have any suggestions for this post please let me know!
May 12, 2009
Vice City
well, that certainly looks better <3

DS really got me into handheld gaming, as id kinda given up years back & missed most of the GBA gen sadly

one thing that really stood out for me with the system is how different its library was versus my expectations: 1st party nintendo stuff was okay, but nearly none of it was on my favorites list - Phoenix Wright, Hotel Dusk, Trauma Center etc were my earliest exposures and left a big impression, as i'd never really seen such a home for VN type of gameplay, for one.

The 2nd screen didn't always get used for much more than maps/inventory/logo etc but some titles like TWEWY really made good use of it too.

we should talk about the awesome homebrew scene it got as well!
Aug 5, 2013
This thing introduced me to the Ace Attorney series. It also had some of the best Pokémon and Mario & Luigi games of all time. Great handheld, although I think Nintendo's first party output is already better on the 3DS.
Oct 29, 2011
Denver, CO
Actually picked up one today at gamestop. Lots of excellent games for this thing. Ketsui, bangai-o spirits, osu tatakae ouendan 1 and 2, meteos. Really looking forward to picking a bunch of stuff up for it.

Can anyone recommend any run and gun stuff similar to contra 4? Or just really good action games in general?
Apr 7, 2013
I totally pressed enter after entering the title without adding in the image links and crap so I kinda stealth edited it back out for that few seconds :p Like I said, my bad, haha.

Hope you guys like the OP now, at least.
Looks great! Kind of weird to think it's been that long since the original DS released; wish I still had mine.


May 27, 2010
it was so weird seeing someone with the fat OG DS within the last 2 years on the bus at uni. i suppose that might speak more about how many changes from DS to DS XL and then to 3DS have taken place.


Neo Member
Dec 1, 2011
So many memories of playing Metroid Prime Hunters and Mario Kart in computer lab with three of my friends just about every day. Got the DS for Christmas in 2004, and played the heck out of it. By far and away my favorite handheld gaming device ever.
Jan 3, 2013
So many memories of playing Metroid Prime Hunters and Mario Kart in computer lab with three of my friends just about every day. Got the DS for Christmas in 2004, and played the heck out of it. By far and away my favorite handheld gaming device ever.
I remember playing the shit out of the metroid demo that came with the DS.
May 24, 2012
The day has come when a last-gen console can have a massive amount of nostalgia and great memories.

The early days of the DS seem so far in the past now. I can remember the first time I picked up The World Ends With You, sunk hundreds of hours into Mario Kart DS, and adored hidden gems like Magical Starsign, Avalon Code, Trace Memory, and Hotel Dusk.

God the DS was so incredible. Some of my most memorable experiences in all my time gaming were on that little machine.

I purchased my DS almost day-one (December 2004), and nearly ten years later I still find myself coming back to it from time to time.
Aug 19, 2010
Collecting for the DS has been so much fun. It's what I've been collecting for the longest. Definitely one of my favorite systems. I have been sitting on 99 DS games for months now, wanting to do something really special for game one hundred.

I might import something, but I have some stupid obvious stuff missing from my collection, like Mario Kart DS and Ace Attorney.
Aug 9, 2011
The DS was golden. I have a phat, a lite, and 44 games. The 3rd party support was phenomenal, and looking back from how things are now, it seems like an embarrassment of riches when it came to Japanese games.

Playing the Ouendan and Ace Attorney games for the first time was awesome. Other highlights: Order of Ecclesia. Ghost Trick. Trauma Center. The World Ends With You. Strange Journey. 999. I finally got to play Chrono Trigger. And as others have mentioned, some very good remasters from the Final Fantasy series too.

On top of all that, DS had some interesting software that wasn't just games. Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten was really handy to have around. There was a Korg synth thing that I was interested in trying as well.
i had never had a handheld before and i wasn't really into gaming anymore the day i bought a Nintendo DS Lite with a copy of The Phantom Hourglass

i liked it, but wasn't using it very much, the same when i bought New Super Mario Bros for it (which is a great game btw)

for a couple of months i wasn't using the system and even thinking of selling it again, but then i tried out a little game called Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2 for it

that game owned me, i poured over 130 hours into it and from that moment on, the DS Lite became like gold

great variety in software, region free (which i only discovered a couple of years later) and, most importantly, amazing 3rd party support, while the 1st party games are very good (Mario Kart, Fire Emblem, the Mario-type platformers), the 3rd party games elevate it to the best handheld i've ever had (others are a 3DS, PSP and PS Vita, in that order of putting gaming hours into it)

* the Ace Attorney series (all of them)
* Final Fantasy-games
* Etrian Odyssey series
* Dragon Quest series
* the Castlevania games

for fans of RPG's, it was heaven! i'm ashamed to say that at this moment there are still some games lying around untouched, but i only have so much time
Nov 24, 2012
Bought a DS Lite recently to play some games I missed...
It is abit hard to find an "Authentic" DS Lite nowadays, most are counterfeit, which is frustrating :/

Still feels great to hold, the memories :*)

A legendary Handheld with countless great games!
Jun 29, 2012
Joplin, MO
My favorite console of all time.

I own way more DS games than anything else (about 70) and they're all awesome. In college I decided to take only my DS and I never regretted it. In fact, I keep discovering more and more games that I missed out on!

I love my 3DS, but I really wish that 3rd party support was closer to DS levels. I feel like my 3DS has been mainly a Nintendo machine.
Jan 29, 2011
DS is the system with the most physical games I own by a pretty wide margin, with 66 games. And god, what a fucking amazing system. There's still such an enormous number of games for me to collect. It's like the best of the SNES and PS1 together. Amazing import library too. I currently have 7 import titles and I still have a lot more I want.

Favorite titles on the system by far are the Ouendan/EBA games, I adore them so much~

Ace Attorney is also up there for me as my favorites. Just super fun games I can easily recommend to anyone.

basically ds dabes 4ever
Mar 28, 2012
I remember lining up on November 21, 2004 with my mom to buy one with Mario 64 DS.
It was the coolest, everyone watched me play it when I took it out in public.

I've got the original silver and the red one, and now a 3DS XL.
Jun 25, 2005
I remember the October that I got both Trauma Center and Dawn of Sorrow. Then Mario Kart came out a month later.

I don't think I've ever played a handheld so voraciously since Pokemon.
Sep 10, 2013
Awesome OP for an awesome console. It has one of my favorite libraries along with the GBA's (and since you can play GBA games on earlier models, it's a win-win situation). It went a little downhill to me with the Dsi and region locking, being a massive importer (86 games, and probably 3/4 of them are US/JP - those pale PAL boxes stick out like sore thumbs), but it still brought us awesome downloadable games in the end like Shantae Risky's Revenge.
I'm still on the hunt for a Monster Tale reasonably priced, but I'm not sure I'll end up buying it even if I find it - it's sort of a white whale for me now, the search is enough !
Aug 8, 2011
Good thread. I still need to buy so much games for DS: Castlevanias, Infinite Space, Kirby's Magic Paintbrush, The World Ends With You, Ace Attorney games, Chrono Trigger, Advance Wars games, Fire Emblem games, Pokémon HG, Platinum and Black 2, Elite Beat Agents, Ouendan, Dragon Quest games, Final Fantasy remakes, Super Mario 64 DS (I don't know why I sold this) and Picross 3D...

Here are my games. Anyone feel free to add what I might be missing.

And yes I do know my collection is tiny :) I wasn't much into Nintendo platforms this past generation.
Feb 10, 2013
Now we need a list of the must buy game and the must obscure ones. My DS collection begins here! (alredy have a few one)
Please ! As i recently got my 3DS ( in April ) I always wanted to get into the DS back catalouge. But i dont know where to start or what is worth checking out :(
Jun 18, 2013
I hadn't really discovered handheld gaming until this year! So it was a shock to see how successful and diverse the handheld side of Nintendo was! I think I played, Bomberman on the GBC, Rayman on the GBC, Pokemon up until Gold, Sim City 2000 for the GBA, some sort of Pac Man game, also on the GBA, and...Mario 64 DS, that's it. Oh, and some of Final Fantasy III for the DS, though I've lost the game a long time ago. The DS was basically my brother's Pokemon/Hotel Dusk machine so I pretty much didn't use it. This year I got a DSi XL, all the Rune Factory's, and TWEWY to start off my personal DS collection.

It feels good to know that there are many cheap and fantastic games, I'll never run out of something to play. People who buy 3DS's or WiiU's should note that the entirety of the Wii and DS libraries is available. And most importantly, those DS/Wii games don't cost a lot of money.