It’s hard to believe that the Nintendo DS, the second best-selling game console of all time, is 15 years old this week. For some people, it was the innovative successor to the long-lived Game Boy family of handhelds. For others, it was their very first handheld as a child.
Regardless of how old you were when the DS came out, it undoubtedly had many games that defined its era. It introduced many features that characterized Nintendo consoles for years to come, such as dual screens, a touchscreen, online capabilities, and more.
The best games took advantage of many (if not all) of these new features. Here’s our list of 10 of the best DS games to honor its 15th anniversary.
When the DS was at its peak, it felt like everyone had Nintendogs. The premise was simple: adopt a dog, train it, and play with it. It appealed to a wide range of players, drawing in a brand new audience of casual gamers.
It wasn’t the first virtual pet simulator, but it absolutely defined the genre. Between three versions of the game, players could choose from 18 breeds (each with variations in size, color, and personality) and unlock new toys and supplies.
For kids, it was a great way to prove responsibility for taking care of a pet since you had to remember to feed, wash, and walk the dogs every day. For adults, it was a fun way to relax without dealing with the less glorious sides of pet ownership.
Nintendogs made great use of the DS hardware, including the touchscreen for petting and washing, microphone for training with commands, and Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection for playing with friends’ dogs. It’s no surprise that Nintendogs became the second best selling DS game.