10 Great Nintendo DS Gems For Under $15

The Best Nintendo DS Games Under $15

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.)
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Sonic Rush DS Cover 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.
Shop for Sonic Rush on eBay
Shop for Sonic Rush on Amazon.com
Meteros DS Cover Meteos: $15
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)
Shop for Meteos on eBay
Shop for Meteos on Amazon.com
Metroid Prime Pinball DS Cover 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.
Shop for Metroid Prime Pinball on eBay
Shop for Metroid Prime Pinball on Amazon.com
Bomberman DS Cover Bomberman: $10
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.
Shop for Bomberman on eBay
Shop for Bomberman on Amazon.com
Feel the Magic DS Cover 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.
Shop for Feel The Magic on eBay
Shop for Feel The Magic on Amazon.com
Yoshi Touch and Go DS Cover 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.
Shop for Yoshi Touch & Go on eBay
Shop for Yoshi Touch & Go on Amazon.com
Polarium DS Cover Polarium: $7
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.
Shop for Polarium on eBay
Shop for Polarium on Amazon.com
Nanostray DS Cover Nanostray: $9
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.
Shop for Nanostray on eBay
Shop for Nanostray on Amazon.com
Scurge Hive DS Cover 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.
Shop for Scurge Hive on eBay
Shop for Scurge Hive on Amazon.com
Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow DS Cover 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

31 Comments

  1. dudex77 says:

    since when does Nanostray use both screens? Is there a setting I need to change or something?

  2. racketboy says:

    Doh! I must have been thinking of something else.
    I’ll fix that!

  3. dudex77 says:

    Damn! you had gotten my hopes up with that. I’m still waiting for someone to release a shmup that uses both screens or another shmup at all for that matter

  4. racketboy says:

    Lol — that’s what I get for writing off the top of my head. I guess I had Metroid Pinball and Sonic Rush on my mind too much.

  5. jeffx says:

    careful with nanostray. It DOES use both screens, but in a most vile manner: you have to touch the screen to change weapons. the sequel promises to fix that, and I am buying it for sure! Also I need to find Scurge, this is the second time I hear good things about it.

  6. dudex77 says:

    I meant as in having the ship be able to go through both screens

  7. jopamine says:

    i don’t understand the gripe with the touch screen controls in nanostray. i didn’t find them Vile–I kinda liked them.

  8. cowgod says:

    sweet article. i always go and look at ds titles and i’m always bummed that the good ones cost upwards of $35. might have to go look for castlevania and sonic. couldn’t hurt to stay on the lookout for bomberman down at the used games store too.

    p.s. i noticed a small typo in the castlevania description. you said “best band for the buck” when i’m pretty sure you meant “bang for the buck.”

  9. Great article, going to pick up bomberman for myself!

  10. Considering that I now understand the American to Australian price conversion I have to say us PAL gamers get terribly ripped off for games.

    In Australia the cheapest game on that list that I have ever seen(Sonic) is $AUD30 which is about $26 American.

  11. dudex77 says:

    @jopamine the article originally said that you used both screens as an area for the ship. I was just correcting that.
    @Daniel I totally know how you feel, in Spain it’s even worse. Cheapest you can find a game for is 30 euros and thats used. New games are 50 euros.

  12. bonefish says:

    Meteos was the best 10 bucks I ever spent on my DS. That game has replay value out the arse. I’d like to also suggest Wario Touched as it embodies what the ds is about, it can be expensive on ebay but it can be found for a song in stores.

  13. brinstar says:

    Scurge and Nanostray are both sexy games

  14. thesimplicity says:

    Am I the only person who was supremely disappointed with Scurge? I’m a huge fan of open-world games like that, but the control scheme frustrated me to no end. Enemies are coming at you diagonally (due to the isometric perspective) but your default stance makes you shoot horizontally or vertically. Whenever I would mash a diagonal direction on the D-pad to change the aiming, my character would start moving in that direction… towards the enemy I was trying to shoot. Incredibly frustrating.

  15. rico says:

    if it’s still in stock, Feel the Magic is $3 at Kmart and Castlevania is $10 at Best Buy.

  16. DS Boy says:

    Sonic Rush on the Nintendo DS is a let-down. The music and commentary voice over, ruin the usual fun Sonic provides on other platforms. I bought a DS lite bundle from the above shop with Sonic Rush Adventure, but needed another game to play the same week.

  17. elend says:

    Yoshi Touch & Go is so incredible. It doesn’t seem to offer much at first, but it contains everything a good game should do. With the infinity mode, you can literally play it forever, too. The touch controls are perfectly made and the graphics are uber-cute. A real recommendation for that amount of money.

  18. Gosh Racket! Your guides just continue to be so definitive! Can I just include Resident Evil DS to this list? It might push the $15 dollar price range (I’m sure you could pick it up on eBay for the above price) but it remains a DS (and all console classic) that just can’t be over-looked!

    And BTW, I got Rub Rabbits for £5! A garanteed classic!

  19. bulldogsis12 says:

    u should put animal crossing on the top 10 greatest games!

  20. lila says:

    are there any good games u could post??????

  21. Tyler says:

    I should get Polarium.

  22. Kaysha says:

    were do you get the DS gams in QLD

  23. William says:

    I believe it was in the month of December when 1up.com did a feature on inexpensive games for various current-gen systems. Since that time, I’ve noticed that one game in particular has managed to stay in the $9-$11 price range (not including shipping) on Amazon, and the game in question is Custom Robo Arena DS.

    Also, I’d like to mention that I’ve frequented this site for quite a long time; it seems to be the definitive resource for all-things video games. The site is well-designed, there’s plenty of useful information covering a wide range of categories, and you always have interesting new features in the works. This is coming from the guy that had that dispute with you over whether Portal was a puzzle game or not. Maybe I’m going overboard with this, but you have my utmost respect. Keep up the good work.

  24. racketboy says:

    Thanks, man — I really appreciate it 🙂

  25. slowslow325 says:

    The only problem I have with Sonic Rush is that very little of the time, is Sonic on the top screen in the dual screen game. He’s usually on the bottom.

  26. trixie4309 says:

    So is Yoshi Touch and Go what Yoshi’s island was for Super Nintendo? If so I have to get it because I loved that game!

  27. racketboy says:

    Touch and Go is different game that Yoshi’s Island. It has a bit more of a puzzle feel to it…

  28. MiLLy says:

    WaaaaaaaaaaaaW this website is SOOOOooooooooooooOOOOOO cheap

  29. w00t says:

    Get an r4 so you don’t need to spend $$$.

  30. YoshiEgg25 says:

    You can get Elite Beat Agents at GameStop for $5 now.

  31. sonic lover =p says:

    i just want to know if the games are used