40. Last Window: The Secret of Cape West (DS)

A sequel to graphic adventure game Hotel Dusk: Room 215, the pace of Last Window: The Secret of Cape West is a lot slower than similar games on the DS, and one that requires time and patience to get through. It's text-heavy, but its pencil-drawn character art over colour backgrounds still look good in the UHD era. For those who are happy to read, it makes notable improvements over its predecessor resulting in a rewarding experience that will keep you occupied for many hours.

39. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (DS)

Nintendo gamers might have missed out on the big GTAs, but we did get this bespoke little entry which tuned out better than anyone dared dream. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars truly is one the best titles to ever grace the Nintendo DS. Despite the fact that it took on an old-style graphical approach, Rockstar Leeds brought along almost every aspect of the home console games and compressed it in a way that made sense on Nintendo's handheld. It sees a return of the traditional top-down gameplay of the first two GTAs but blends elements from the later games to create a unique and thrilling game that still stands up today.

38. Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime (DS)

This spin-off title of the venerable RPG series is a sequel to a Japan-only Game Boy Advance title which follows the exploits of a Slime named Rocket. For the uninitiated, Slimes are essentially the Goombas of Dragon Quest, although with a jovial appeal that's elevated them to franchise mascot status. A cute spin-off it may be, but Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime is anything but a quick cash-in. Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii had a hand in this and while it's skewed towards a younger audience, developer Tose crafted a great experience that took advantage of the host platform's features and is still worth tracking down today.

37. Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (DS)

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 was an impressive and innovative title for the DS. It's scratchy pencil-line aesthetic looked great on the console and really fit the visual novel's mysterious tone, as well as the form of the system itself. Holding the DS like an open book, it showed other developers and players alike the potential of the system beyond the traditional approach gamers might expect, and made the console even less intimidating for a new audience who would go on to discover other games through touch controls. That hand-sketched art style also went down a treat with A-Ha fans, exposing a hitherto unknown overlap of the video game enthusiast and Norwegian synth-pop demographics.

36. Mega Man Zero Collection (DS)

Collecting together all four of the Game Boy Advance games in one convenient package, Inti Creates added an Easy mode and a couple of extra bits and pieces while assembling the Mega Man Zero Collection, but for the most the games were left to sell themselves in this compilation. Fortunately, the Zero series — which arguably follows the same trajectory of quality as the vanilla Mega Man games (good, brilliant, practically-as-brilliant, not-quite-as-brilliant) — was a short and sweet sideline to the Rockman brand and at a time when franchise fans had little else to look forward to from Capcom, this was one hell of a lifeline.

35. Professor Layton and the Last Specter (DS)

Professor Layton and the Last Specter is another yet top-quality game in a truly brilliant series. Known as The Spectre's Call in Europe, this was the fourth entry in the series and a prequel to the previous trilogy of games. Combining a thrilling narrative with its trademark puzzles, it challenges your mind in a way very few games seriously attempt to do, and the feeling you get when you solve a particularly difficult puzzle is less one of relief than it is a desire to leap ahead in the game and find the next one. Any list of the finest DS games is bound to be lousy with Layton, and with very good reason. Jolly good show, Hershel.

34. Advance Wars: Days of Ruin (DS)

Advance Wars: Days of Ruin is the last we saw of Intelligent Systems' 'Wars' series on any system and is one of the best games available on the DS. The system lends itself well to strategy titles, and although some may find the change in style from the previous game unnerving, additions like online play made the change worth bearing. In all honesty the more sombre tone made the message of the game - that war can destroy lives - a little easier to digest than it would have been sporting the colourful style of previous entries. It’s a difficult game, but the gratification you get when a battle is finally won after hours of relentless toil is priceless.

33. WarioWare Touched! (DS)

WarioWare Touched! might not have quite the wow factor that it had upon release, but it's overflowing with the maniacal energy that makes the series such a blast, regardless of platform. Despite being an extremely short experience (with the main mode easily completable in an hour or so), and featuring incredibly simplistic gameplay mechanics, the DS entry still has plenty to offer. The sheer abundance of microgames and the game's colourful visuals, quirky humour and wonderful soundtrack make it a timeless experience and worth catching up with all these years later.

32. Plants vs. Zombies (DS)

"Get ready to soil your plants!"

How can that little bit of wordplay not bring a smile to your face? The DS version of PopCap's Plants vs. Zombies did a decent job of bringing the mobile/tablet tower defence hit to Nintendo gamers back in 2011. Dropping pollen-poppin' plants into lanes to defend against an onslaught of the undead, it did exactly what it said on the tin and did it very well.

31. Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey (DS)

From its demon collecting and killer combat to its sci-fi South Pole setting, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey is a fantastically engrossing adventure. This MegaTen title also received an updated 3DS 'Redux' edition which is the one we'd play given the choice, but the original template was mighty fine to begin with, so if you've only got access to the DS version of Atlus' dungeon crawler, you're still in for a treat.