I just decided today to compile a list of all the games I remember playing on my Nintendo handhelds (this includes 3DS Virtual Console). Now I’ve ranked them! This reflects my current opinion of the games, or what I remember of them, anyway. My opinion may have changed somewhat from the past, and will do in the future as I discover new games and replay old ones. And maybe I played some that I forgot that I’ll have to add to the list. But here goes! These are places 16th to 50th (the rest are probably not worth mentioning). I’ll make another post with longer descriptions for the 1st through 15th.
(EDIT: I wasn’t actually originally planning to write a description for every one of these, as a result this is a very long block of text. Just skim through and find games you’re interested in buying or hearing my opinion about.)
16. Mario Kart 7 (DS)
Not, strictly speaking, my game. Rather, it belongs to my sister (known here as Coconut). I’m not really good at it, but that is because Coconut CHEATS! I don’t know how she does it, but she is definitely cheating! Anyway, good game. Like the DS version, single-card multiplayer is available, which is a big bonus.
17. New Super Mario Bros. (DS)
A very solid platformer, I think it may have been actually my first. Never got past halfway, but probably the platformer I enjoyed most.
18. Pokémon Gold and Silver (GBC)
I got this game after playing HeartGold to see if it was good in the olden times, and it was. But I’d already beaten the game before on DS, so I didn’t bother to finish this one. Honestly, you can’t get this game for less than the DS remakes these days, so just go ahead and get those.
19. Dawn of Discovery (DS)
I got obsessed with this title back when I was 11 or so. The story was charming, if a bit simple, and there was so much freedom! I actually left the game at my grandma’s house overseas so I couldn’t play it for over two years. Just popped it in my 3DS recently, and it was still pretty fun for a couple of hours.
20. Age of Empires: Mythologies (DS)
I got this game because I really enjoyed the previous title in the series (spoiler for No. 12 on my list). It looked better than that one, but I found it played worse. The AI was really hard sometimes and easy other times. Still, many hours of childhood sunk into this title.
21. Big Brain Academy (DS)
This was the party game of choice for a couple of years in our household. The games were simple but still challenging, and single-card multiplayer was well implemented.
22. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team (GBA)
A great game which spawned a great series. A game I actually finished (rare for the child me), and the story was intriguing and the gameplay solid, if a little repetitive.
23. Mario Kart DS (DS)
This was another game we used to get super-competitive over. I had played Mario Kart before, but only on N64 at the dentist! This was a cool version; it was accessible but still difficult to get really good at.
24. Brain Age 2 (DS)
I played this game a couple of minutes every day (like they want you to) for almost a solid two months back in Grade 8! I don’t think I would have that kind of commitment today. But the games here are not like Big Brain Academy. They really test your skills. A good choice for brain training or just light entertainment now and then.
25. Pokémon Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire (GBA)
My VERY FIRST video game. Ever. I got a Game Boy Advance for Christmas in Grade 2, which I turned on to stare at the “GAME BOY” screen for a couple of days before my grandparents went with me to buy some games for the first time. I decided to get this because it was Pokémon which was supposed to be amazing. I didn’t know this wasn’t a proper Pokémon game, and absolutely loved it. Lost it, but bought a replacement and still pop it in sometimes. My highscore on the Ruby map is in the 300 millions I think.
26. Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3 (GBA)
I traded with my friend for this game, then promptly forgot about it. Then I traded it to my sister for Red Rescue Team. She likes it more than I do (I don’t really like platformers) but it is pretty fun. I also like the Mario Bros. levels which are quite difficult. My sister has gone and lost it now, so we may just have to get Yoshi’s New Island when it comes out in a couple of months.
27. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (GBA)
It’s sad, because this is not a good game by any stretch of the imagination, but I was so obsessed with Harry Potter in Grade 5 that I suffered through this game TWICE! But the memories of the music, the levels, and the Basilisk (spoiler) outweigh the gameplay flaws. I wouldn’t recommend this game, but I loved it.
28. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity (3DS)
The first 3DS game I got, and it’s kind of a disappointment. No denying it is charming, but repetitive, wordy, and obviously meant for people younger than me. I would have really enjoyed it if I were 10 again, but I’m not. One particular thing that bothers me is that the text moves really slowly, and in such a verbose game, that will add hours to your play time.
29. LEGO Battles (DS)
My brother’s game, but I played it more than he did. It has quite good and presents quite a challenge, but ultimately, for some reason, I just stopped playing it one day and never picked it up again.
30. Advance Wars: Dual Strike (DS)
I didn’t get very far into this game either, but that was because I got stuck! It was hard when I was 11, and probably would be now too. I just recently found out that this was created by the developers who brought us No. 3 on my list, and now I see the resemblance. I will be playing more of this game once I get it back from my friend who is borrowing it and many of my less played games.
31. FIFA 09 (DS)
The thing I remember most about this title is the music, funnily enough. I couldn’t actually name any tracks, but they were the weird kinds of songs that I wouldn’t normally have listened to but which matched the game well. Gameplay was OK, if a little glitchy. Multiplayer was not good at all, if I remember correctly, but maybe I just wasn’t very good at setting games up.
32. Kirby Super Star Ultra (DS)
Another platformer, so you know why this is 32nd for me. Others will probably like this more than me, but that’s just a preference. It really is a good game. One thing the noob in me loves about Kirby is that he can float, making falling down a pit far less recurring.
33. Tetris (GB)
Got this on my 3DS Virtual Console recently, and it is probably my time-passer of choice. Not much to say that you don’t already know. Just pure, original Tetris, with the infamous Korobeiniki in the background.
34. Bunnyz (DS)
Yes, this is a game for girls. In my defence, I didn’t choose this game, my sister did. But I enjoyed it too. I started trying to learn Italian when I was 10 (I know, right) and this really helped, since we got an EU version for some reason. I would say that kids under 8, especially girls, will appreciate this title.
35. Mario Kart 64 (N64)
It’s pretty disgraceful that this game is so low on my list, but that’s only because I’ve never had a home console and could only play this at the dentist, waiting for my parents or siblings to get their teeth done cleaned. But I clearly remember dreading the moment when my mum or dad would come into the kiddie room telling me to stop. I went back to the dentist a couple of months back, and the N64 is still there, but Mario Kart has disappeared, replaced by some F1 game or something. Sad stuff. I borrowed this game recently from a friend, and I guess I just enjoy the newer handheld titles better.
36. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (DS)
Not much to tell you. Don’t recommend it, unless you’re as big a Harry Potter fan as I was. I finished the game, my life was that sad.
37. The Legend of Zelda (NES)
You are quite definitely going to tell me to seek professional help for placing this here. I think this is the game whose placing is the most temporary. I have only gotten past the first dungeon. I plan to further explore this game in the future, so this may well shoot way up the list. Suffice to say, it’s not getting lower.
38. Super Mario Land (GB)
It’s a platformer. So, yeah. But I pass time in class with this game sometimes on my 3DS. So it was worth the 2 or 3 bucks for sure.
39. Lord of the Rings: Conquest (DS)
My brother’s game. It is OK, the only fighting game I had for a period of time, so that’s the reason I even played it. Otherwise, probably not worth it today, unless you really like Lord of the Rings.
40. UNO Skip-Bo (GBA)
I like card games, my siblings don’t. This presents a void that UNO Skip-Bo filled for a while. Seriously, it’s just the card games, on your GBA. The AI isn’t spectacular, but it doesn’t have to be, since these are luck-based games anyway.
41. Boogie (DS)
Another of my sister’s games. I like the songs, the gameplay is OK for a party game, so I can’t say it really loses. And even at the time, it was really cheap. So if you have kids whose eyes can’t discern graphics quality and who need an inexpensive game that’ll satisfy them for a week or so (maybe). I bet it sells for a penny used on Amazon.
42. Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (3DS)
My sister got this game too (80% of her games are party games, don’t know why). We pull it out from time to time, and it’s of better quality than games further up the list, but for 2012, it really wasn’t spectacular.
43. Tetris Worlds (GBA)
I got this game for free, from a friend who enjoyed the superior Game Boy version better. Honestly, the best game mode, the classic one, is HIDDEN in the title screen. So some people struggled through the strange, score-less other modes without ever discovering the best one, which did have a scoring system. But even that’s useless, since there’s no saved highscore board for it, which in 1989 was understandable, but in 2000-and-something is less excusable.
44. Quidditch Through the Ages (GBA)
Objectively, this might be the best EA Harry Potter game. It’s just a simple sports game, where you play Quidditch. That’s it. Nothing for EA to mess up. It actually plays a bit like FIFA, maybe a little simpler. But this was one of the last GBA games I got, so there are less memories and nostalgia associated to Quidditch than Chamber of Secrets.
45. Thrillville: Off the Rails (DS)
My second DS game, so I played it a lot for a time, but really, it’s just sort of weak. I don’t know, maybe it’s the genre. I never played the Roller Coaster Tycoon games, but I’ve heard this is similar to those games.
46. Tamagotchi Corner Shop 3 (DS)
My brother’s game. Not as entertaining as a real Tamagotchi, let’s just say. My brother enjoyed it though. When he was five.
47. World Poker Tour (GBA)
My dad got this game because it was 9 dollars and promptly destroyed the entire game within a couple of hours. The crappy AI was challenge enough for me, though, and I played it a lot in the car. It’s just poker, an application you could get for free on iOS today, or if you’re not lonely, with a few friends, a deck of cards, and (potato) chips.
48. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (GBA)
My brother again. He and I beat this one too, but even then we could acknowledge how inferior this was to other games of the time. Not recommended unless you absolutely have to try all the horrible EA Harry Potter games.
49. Pokémon Conquest (DS)
The most recent, and probably last ever, DS game I bought. It’s kind of funny. I played the demo for No. 3 on the list (you’ve probably guessed by now), enjoyed it enough, then thought, “OK, let’s get the Pokémon version of that game.” Well, ’twas a mistake. Actually, it’s fine, but only if you like Pokémon and like the genre. And if you don’t have a 3DS, because, well, see No. 3 on the 1st to 15th list.
50. Lock’s Quest (DS)
I got this for a gift, played it hard for ten days straight, and literally never played it again. I have no explanation. If I picked it up again, I might actually like it, but I haven’t, and with so many other good games out there, I’m not going to take the risk.
Congrats for reading this far down the text block! I promise the 1st to 15th post will be more interesting. Have you played any of these games? What do you think about them? Tell us in the comments!