After GameCube, and to a lesser extent Wii, both saw solid RPGs that were, unfortunately, few and far between, DS conversely became a haven for the genre. There are more RPGs on Nintendo DS platform than you can shake a stick at, but these are the cream of the crop, the absolute best the system has to offer, in no particular order.
Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies
Dragon Quest IX (only true hard-core fans can call it Dragon Warrior IX) was a real coup for DS in general. See, the Dragon Quest series generally doesn’t appear on a system until it is the unquestioned leader of its generation. The fact that a main-series title was on Nintendo DS was not only huge for Nintendo, but for handheld systems in general, as it meant that DS was more important than any home console currently on the market. To say nothing of the huge depth and ability to customize player characters almost infinitely, and the multitude of quests, practically all of which are possible with multiplayer as well.
Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver Version
Pokémon is Pokémon, right? Nope. This one has a pedometer! Also, it’s got tons and tons of monsters, and you can transfer yours from Diamond/Pearl/Platinum, and it’s got improved online. Sure, these games are remakes of Gold and Silver, but maybe you forgot what fantastic games those were in the first place. Tell you what, go watch every epidose of “Johto Journeys,” use your pedometer to max-level Jigglypuff, finish off the Elite Four, and then come back and tell me it wasn’t worth it. Yeah, that’s what I thought.
The World Ends With You
This may be the one game that wouldn’t be possible without Nintendo DS. Sure, there are several that would require two screens, or a touch screen, or a microphone, but how many necessitate all three? You’re blowing at the system while controlling the top screen with the buttons and the bottom screen with your stylus. That’s intense. Coupled with great character design from Tetsuya Nomura and a plethora of customizable attacks for Neku, this game really brings it.
What’s your favorite DS RPG? Tell us in the comments.