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Game Profile
 Written by GT Staff  on March 30, 2010

Special: Don't worry, this list is Pokemon free

With the supersized DSi XL now available in stores, we've trawled the Gaming Target archives to find ten of the greatest games ever released on the DS. The system's massive library is getting better all the time, but even if the DSi XL is your first taste of the dual-screened handheld or you've owned every refresh of Nintendo's Game Boy successor, this list is for you...

Advance Wars: Dual Strike
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer Intelligent Systems
Release Date: August 22, 2005

What We Said Then: "Advance Wars: Dual Strike is a highly addictive game that will keep you glued to your DS for hours. While not a radical departure from the formula that made Advance Wars and Advance Wars 2 such great games, it does offer enough new content to be worth a purchase for Advance Wars vets. Dual Strike is proof that a game doesn't need to take advantage of every single unique feature of the DS to remain fun and garner rave reviews." - Dave Hulick
Read the Full Review

Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer Nintendo
Release Date: April 17, 2006

What We Said Then: "Brain Age isn't really a game and it's gimmick will eventually wear thin. But it's also an excellent piece of software for those that like a good puzzle game. And with the inclusion of Sudoku, puzzlehounds will have plenty to like about it. Brain Age is a truly unique title and for $20 is the perfect addition to any DS library. It's simply great fun for those of all (brain) ages." - John Scalzo
Read the Full Review

Contra 4
Publisher: Konami
Developer WayForward Technologies
Release Date: November 13, 2007

What We Said Then: "The Contra series is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and Contra 4 is a gift to the fans. If you're a fan of the series or even if you just like shooters in general, Contra 4 is the game for you. Between all of the bonus modes, two full NES games and an insanely hard main game, Contra 4 will keep even the most hardcore 16-bit gamers busy for a long time. I cannot recommend it enough." - John Scalzo
Read the Full Review

Elite Beat Agents
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer Inis
Release Date: November 06, 2006

What We Said Then: "Elite Beat Agents shows that the DS is no slouch when its comes to rhythm games. This title is truly one that earns its money back quickly after purchase. You will be playing this for months afterwards. If you are a DS owner and a fan of rhythm games then this is definitely something to put on your Christmas list." - David Taylor
Read the Full Review

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Developer Rockstar Leeds
Release Date: March 17, 2009

What We Said Then: "GTA: Chinatown Wars is a landmark for the DS. It pushes the system to new highs and is an absolute blast to play. The myriad mini-games and side jobs are not only fun and addicting, but ensure you will keep playing long after you've finished the story. Simply put, if you have a DS, you need this game. It is not only one of ? if not the ? best DS games on the market, it is also one of the best GTA games ever and is a must-have for fans everywhere." - Troy Matsumiya
Read the Full Review

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer Nintendo
Release Date: October 01, 2007

What We Said Then: "If you haven't ever played a Zelda title before (you have missed a lot but I know many gamers who haven't) this is a pretty good example of what the series has to offer. [I]t is a fantastic example of classic 2D Zelda gameplay placed in a 3D world. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass shattered my original misgivings and returned me to the legions of Zelda fans once again." - Patrick Mulhern
Read the Full Review

Mario Kart DS
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer Nintendo
Release Date: November 14, 2005

What We Said Then: "Mario Kart DS is the culmination of everything that has made the Mario Kart series fun. It's as if the developers sat down, took a long look at the good and bad aspects of previous games, and created Mario Kart DS as a result." - Dave Hulick
Read the Full Review

New Super Mario Bros.
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer Nintendo
Release Date: May 15, 2006

What We Said Then: "Title after title, game after game, Mario just gets better with age. Never slowing down, never faltering: New Super Mario Bros. redoes the past with new action and some new surprises, once more in retro-materialized gold. Whether you're from the old school or a student of the new school, you're going to love New Super Mario Bros. no matter what." - Chris Reiter
Read the Full Review

Professor Layton and the Curious Village
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer Level-5
Release Date: February 10, 2008

What We Said Then: "Professor Layton and the Curious Village is a great game for anyone regardless of the age due to the nature of their game. You won't be shooting any Locusts or building any cities, but the addictive nature of solving puzzles and feeling a sense of accomplishment when you do them will bring you back for more and more. Adventure fans take heed, you won't want to miss this game." - Jason Young
Read the Full Review

The World Ends With You
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer Square Enix
Release Date: April 22, 2008

What We Said Then: "In what I can only chalk up to irony, the fact that The World Ends with You is an experimental RPG more than fits in with the overall tone of the game which is sort of a coming out of your shell tale. The game is a teenage, Emo, Japoholic's wet dream. By mixing cell phones, music, fashion, and life lessons together, the game is basically a much hipper version of your teenage years." - Kris Rosado
Read the Full Review

If the DSi XL is the swan song for the DS line (in light of Nintendo's recent announcement of the 3DS), it's lead an amazing life that may never be matched by another handheld. These ten games are just a good start as a complete list of "essential" DS games would keep someone busy for years.

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