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The Top Ten Greatest (Best) Nintendo DS games of all time

by Steven Williamson on 15 May 2007, 11:12

Tags: Nintendo DS, Nintendo (TYO:7974), DS

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Numbers 7 to 4

7. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney offers a twisting storyline and intriguing gameplay in a comical anime style. Players star as a defence attorney, who must prove his seemingly guilty client's innocence no matter how dire the circumstances may seem. Players must collect evidence, weed through inconsistent testimonies, and overcome corrupt agendas to ensure that justice prevails. Capcom has recently released the sequel to the game, Phoenix Wright: Justice For All.

6. Yoshi’s Island DS

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island for the SNES was revered as one of the greatest side-scrolling platformers ever made. The lighthearted art style and compelling game play defined a genre. Yoshi's Island is a platforming adventure that sticks to the familiar format that made the SNES game so successful. All of Yoshi's classic abilities are on full display. Players gobble enemies and either spit them out immediately, or turn them into eggs that they can throw at items and enemies. Pound the ground to flatten whatever's underneath, and flutter jump to traverse precarious heights. In certain areas, Yoshi can even morph into special vehicles.

Thanks to the power of the Nintendo DS, all of the lush vistas and perilous paths of Yoshi's Island span two screens. Players hit objects on the top screen while using the touch screen, and tackle super-tall enemies that fill both screens.

5 Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin

The new setting captures the chaos and suffering of the era, with thousands of lost souls wandering the world in search of salvation. Desperate to escape the limbo within their exist, the misguided spirits seek to rebuild Dracula's Castle from its ruins, and are lead by a pair of evil Vampire sisters out to resurrect their master's home for their own nefarious plans. Thrown together, Jonathan and Charlotte must combine their unusual skill sets to defeat the plans and restore harmony.

Retaining the same 2D platform realms for which the series is famed, Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin uses a side-on view to oversee the scrolling stages. Players can switch freely between Jonathan and Charlotte as they progress through the levels, using their skills when appropriate. In addition to Jonathan's weapon expertise and Charlotte's spell-casting, both characters can utilise all-new 'Summon' attacks to raise demons to assist them against the Vampire sisters' army. Similarly, more conventional weapons can also be found on route, and saved for use against the hardier monsters that await in the shadows.

Featuring all-new locations and a cast of over 100 different adversaries, Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin was a huge success on DS.

4. Prof. Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain?

The three games in the brain-training series started a huge craze in Japan. Brain Training was inspired by the work of Professor Ryuta Kawashima, a prominent Japanese neuroscientist. His studies evaluated the effect of performing reading and mathematic exercises to help stimulate the brain.

Brain Age presents players with a series of fun mental brain-training challenges that incorporate word memorisation, counting and reading. It even includes sudoku number puzzles, which have become extremely popular features in newspapers around the country. The distinctive touch screen of Nintendo DS lets users write their responses, just as though they were using a PDA. Players even turn the Nintendo DS sideways to make it feel more familiar, like a book. The more often users challenge themselves, the better they become at the tasks and the lower their estimated DS "brain age."

The Brain Training games have been a huge commercial success. Who would have thought that tests could ever be fun?

Top three on the next page...