Even though the DS a very popular, new platform, there are now a number of great games that you can find at an impulse-buy price level. Since the DS is so popular, there aren’t a lot of good titles under $10, so I’ll set our mark at $15. Yes, I know, the DS isn’t retro at all, but most of these games are either old-school or retro in nature and should be enjoyed by even the most hardcore of classic gamers. (Prices listed are an average eBay price for US games, including shipping.)
Check out the other Cheapest Games Worth Your Time articles
|Sonic Rush: $13
Although, I haven’t played the new Sonic Rush Adventure, I think its safe to say that Sonic Rush is the best Sonic the Hedgehog game of the 21st century, especially if you are partial to the 2D Sonics. Sonic Rush takes all of the great things you loved about the 16-bit Sonic, modernizes them a bit to create compelling and satisfying experience that the Sonic Advance series couldn’t dream of attaining. Sonic Rush also uses both of the DS’s screen to give Sonic more visibility (which works surprisingly well) and is backed by an amazing soundtrack from Hideki Naganuma of Jet Set Radio fame.
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Puzzle games are perfect for portable platforms like the DS. Meteos, in particular, is not only one of the most compelling puzzlers I’ve played in a while, but it also fits in surprisingly well with the DS touch screen and feels incredibly natural when playing. To the old school puzzle fans that grew up playing Tetris on their Gameboy, controlling a puzzle game with a stylus might seem intimidating, but I can assure you, you will wish there were other puzzle games like this. (And, BTW, avoid the Disney version — it’s more expensive and not as good)
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Shop for Meteos on Amazon.com
|Metroid Prime Pinball: $13
Carrying on the tradition of quality video pinball set by the likes of Alien Crush and Pinball of the Dead, Metroid Prime Pinball is an awesome casual to keep with your DS at all times. Not only is the pinball action quite realistic (especially with the included rumble pack) and beautiful, but the Metroid themes and atmosphere will obviously entertain fans of Nintendo’s trademark bounty hunter.
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Shop for Metroid Prime Pinball on Amazon.com
What old-school gamer doesn’t love Bomberman? This DS release was a budget title from the beginning, so it’s rather bare bones. However, not only are you able to find it cheap online, but you might be able to score it on sale at your local retailer.
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Shop for Bomberman on Amazon.com
|Feel The Magic XY & XX: $8
Back in the day, Sega used to be one of the leaders in quirky and innovative games. Feel The Magic was one of Sega’s last examples of its creativity as it toyed with what the DS was capable of. The result might not be a blockbuster title, but now it an affordable of stylish and fun minigames that will add some flair to your DS collection.
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|Yoshi Touch & Go: $13
It’s rather obvious that Yoshi Touch & Go started out as a technical demo for the DS, but Nintendo was kind enough to flesh the title out to a full game. You won’t find a ton of depth, but at a discounted price, its a cute little game to keep your stylus busy without breaking the bank.
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This early DS release is one of the cheapest games you will find if you are in search of a quality puzzle game. Polarium isn’t flashy, but it will work your brain in a very unique way. Players use a stylus to draw lines on the DS’s touch screen, flipping black and white tiles to clear puzzles. You really have to try the game out to understand what make it fun, but for $7, you can’t go wrong.
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It’s quite uncommon to find shmups that are actually designed for handhelds in this modern age. Nanostray effectively adapts this old-school genre to the hardware in terms of put control and impressive graphics. Even though it is a 2D shooter, it uses some of the most impressive 3D graphics considering it is an early DS release. The sequel will be out in January and can’t wait to see how that turns out.
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|Scurge: Hive: $9
This isometric action RPG is a hidden gem that is worth digging into if want some old-school role-playing on the cheap. Scurge: Hive is the sort of action adventure that should especially appeal to anyone who’s into the Metroid style of sci-fi dungeon-crawling. The game offers a surprisingly satisfying blend of action, exploration, and puzzles.
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|Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow: $15+
Ok, this one might be a challenge to find under $15, but I just had to include it. If you want to save yourself some hassle, you might want to just pay a couple extra dollars. Anyway, it’s no secret that all the hottest Castlevania games have been making their way to Nintendo handhelds. Dawn of Sorrow may just be the best band for the buck (along with the GBA Combo cart)
Shop for Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow on eBay
Shop for Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow on Amazon.com