It may seem like the DS came out just a few years ago, it was released over 8 years ago and, now that that DSi and 3DS have been trying to fight off the Android and iOS onslaught, the original DS is becoming the “New Game Boy Advance” in our minds.
However, with the great success of the Nintendo DS came many of copies of quality titles in circulation, which then leads to especially-affordable aftermarket prices. So if you’re looking to take advantage of the best deals to build up your Nintendo DS collection, this is just the list for you.
(Prices listed are an average eBay price for US games, including shipping.)
Check out the other Cheapest Games Worth Your Time articles
|Sonic Rush: $8
Even with some of the new 2D console releases, Sonic Rush is stil one of the best Sonic the Hedgehog games 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 and is backed by an amazing soundtrack from Hideki Naganuma of Jet Set Radio fame.
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Shop for Sonic Rush on Amazon.com
|Space Invaders Extreme: $8
If you are into old-school games with a modern flair, Space Invaders Extreme is practically a required purchase for your DS library. I feel like SIE is essentially the closest thing I have found to a quality 2D version of Rez. There have been some other Space Invaders revival games released since this one, but I still find this to be the sweet spot. If you want more in-depth commentary, check out my full review of the game. If you end up enjoying this one, Space Invaders Extreme 2 is also about $10.
Shop for Space Invaders Extreme on eBay
Shop for Space Invaders Extreme on Amazon.com
|Rhythm Heaven: $6
If you enjoy Rhythm games, it doesn’t get much better than Rhythm Heaven. And if you aren’t a fan of games that test your musical prowess, this is one you might want to try. Rhythm Heaven is one of the later DS releases on this list, but eventually sold quite a few copies bringing the resale value down quickly.
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Shop for Rhythm Heaven on Amazon.com
|Elite Beat Agents: $6
As an Americanized followup to the very popular Japanese title, Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, Elite Beat Agents is a wonderful music rhythm game. It’s filled with quirky personality and catchy tunes and ended up being one of the most plentiful DS releases that didn’t involve a major Nintendo character. I wouldn’t be surprised if you can find this one for next-to-nothing in the near future.
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|Advance Wars: Days of Ruin: $8
Even if you aren’t typically the gamer that goes for turned-based strategy games, you really should consider the Advance Wars series. As usual, Nintendo does such a wonderful job making an otherwise-intimidating genre very friendly while maintaining the addictiveness. The first DS installment, Dual Strike is still a little pricey, but you should be able to find Days of Ruin as a better value.
Shop for Advance Wars: Days of Ruin on eBay
Shop for Advance Wars: Days of Ruin on Amazon.com
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
|Clubhouse Games: $5
This gem of a cart is filled with lots of high-polished classic diversions such as classic card, board, and parlor games. That may not sound terribly exciting, but the execution of these games on the DS is amazing. It is a great single player cartridge, but it is amazing when playing with a friend via wifi. For the longest time, Clubhouse Games was a rather pricey cart in the aftermarket, however, it saw a budget re-release that flooded the market with lots of copies.
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Shop for Clubhouse Games on Amazon.com
|Brain Age & Brain Age 2: About $5 each
While these two landmark titles for the DS might not get the hardcore gamer excited, I can vouch for the fact that they are still quite a bit of fun (I’m especially partial to the original Brain Age). They are also great for letting your familiy members try out or have as a gift. My mom has had Brain Age for about 4 years and still plays it quite regularly. I’m still waiting for a title that executes this concept quite as well as Brain Age to show up on my smartphone…
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Shop for Brain Age Series on Amazon.com
|Bangai-O Spirits: $6
The original Bangai-O made an appearance on the Japanese N64 and became a cult classic on the Dreamcast. This little gem from Treasure is a portable follow-up that got a bigger print run, but not quite the attention it deserved. If you enjoy shooters, this one is a steal.
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Shop for Bangai-O Spirits on Amazon.com
|Metroid Prime Pinball: $8
There’s a number of video pinball games out there, but Metroid Prime Pinball is one of the finer examples on a handheld system. It has all the polish and style that you can expect from a Metroid title while still oozing classic pinball fun.
Shop for Metroid Prime Pinball on eBay
Shop for Metroid Prime Pinball on Amazon.com
|Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure: $10
I love games that combine classic genres. So when Henry Hatsworth showed up in town, combining classic platforming with puzzle elements, I couldn’t look the other way. If you enjoy either of the two genres, or just want to get some great retro fun, I strongly recommend picking this one up.
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|N+ : $7
This minimalistic 2D action game started as an online Flash game before getting a more polished release on XBLA, the DS, and PSP. Platforming fans should have a blast controlling the little black ninja as he jumps, climbs, and rebounds from the walls of N+’s many creative levels. The game received lots of critical acclaim but remained an underground hit. Score it on the cheap while you can.
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|Soul Bubbles: $8
This whimsical puzzle game reminds me a bit of one of my favorite Gameboy Gems, Bubble Ghost — but with a more modern, touch-based twist. I’m guessing most DS owners haven’t even heard of this one, but it may be a bit of a challenge to find it anywhere other than in online outlets. If you enjoy puzzle adventures, this one is worth tracking down, however.
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|Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords: $9
This classic blend of the puzzle and RPG genres was rather innovative in its day and still holds up as a quality title. If you are a hardcore fan of either genre, this won’t blow your mind, but it is a great change of pace. Puzzle Quest is finally starting to come down in price, so you can now score a copy for under $10.
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Shop for Puzzle Quest on Amazon.com
|Hotel Dusk: Room 215: $7
If you are into graphical adventures like the old SCUMM games or the Ace Attorney series on the DS, Hotel Dusk: Room 215 is an excellent value. Initially, this was a bit of an underground gem, but sales warranted an additional print run that has kept the resale prices low.
Shop for Hotel Dusk: Room 215 on eBay
Shop for Hotel Dusk: Room 215 on Amazon.com
|Geometry Wars: Galaxies: $6
Some of you maybe be tired of the Geometry Wars franchise by now, but if not, the DS version can be easily obtained for $10 or less. If you haven’t played the series, it’s a great ultra-retro styled shooter that is in the vein of Asteroids and Robotron with a modern flair. Good stuff.
Shop for Geometry Wars: Galaxies on eBay
Shop for Geometry Wars: Galaxies on Amazon.com
|Nanostray 2: $5
It’s quite uncommon to find shmups that are actually designed for handhelds in this modern age. The Nanostray series 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.l Nanostray 2 actually improved a bit on the original and is easier to find, leading to a lower resale value.
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Shop for Nanostray 2 on Amazon.com
|Star Fox Command: $4
We all went quite a while without having a pure space-shooting adventure with the Star Fox crew. The DS installment pretty much delivered that premise to us with some rather gimmicky touch-screen controls added in. Once you get use to them, Star Fox Command is a more-than-enjoyable experience as is quite a bargain for a big-name Nintendo release.
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Shop for Star Fox Command on Amazon.com
|Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith: $9
No don’t write this one off just yet. Yes, it’s a licensed Star Wars game on a portable platform. And no, it’s not even a Lego Star Wars. Actually, if you’re an old-school fan, you’re sure to enjoy this more than the Lego Star Wars. Revenge of the Sith on the DS is more in line with the old-school 2D hack-n-slash/beatemups that we loved in the arcade. The game is sprite-based and everything. It actually seems more like a nice GBA game than a typical DS title.
Shop for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith on eBay
Shop for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith on Amazon.com
Other Cheap Gems:
- Picross 3D: $10 eBay / Amazon
- Scribblenauts: $9 eBay / Amazon
- The Legendary Starfy: $9 eBay / Amazon
- WarioWare DIY: $9 eBay / Amazon
- Wario: Master of Disguise: $8 eBay / Amazon
- Chibi-Robo: Park Patrol: $7 eBay / Amazon
- Polarium: $5 eBay / Amazon
- Feel The Magic XY & XX: $5 eBay / Amazon
- Zoo Keeper: $5 eBay / Amazon
- Drawn to Life: $7 eBay / Amazon
- Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter: $6 eBay / Amazon
- Mr Driller Drill Spirits: $7 eBay / Amazon
- SimCity: $7 eBay / Amazon
- Cooking Mama: $8 eBay / Amazon
- Exit: $7 eBay / Amazon
- Scurge: Hive: $5 eBay / Amazon