10 Best First-Person Shooters for Nintendo DS
Nintendo is known for its innovation. From the Virtual Boy way ahead of its time to the revolutionary hybrid-handheld design of the Nintendo Switch, nearly every Nintendo console has come with some kind of unique twist or interesting gimmick to entice dedicated fans and casual consumers alike.
The Nintendo DS is best known for its dual-screen design and touchscreen interface. Years before the smartphone boom that would make touchscreen gaming commonplace, the DS was also capable of rendering raw 3D environments. Thus, the handheld has become a haven for ambitious developers looking to create mobile versions of popular home console shooters.
Touching the Dead (2007)
Unsurprisingly, neither horror-centric first-person shooter titles were that common on a Nintendo handheld marketed primarily for families and young audiences. Still, the system has hosted a few left-field out-of-field games in this niche category, one of the lesser-known being 2007’s on-rails shooter. Touch the dead.
Bare-bones and limited, Touch the dead wasn’t a particular programming marvel, but the obvious inspiration from House of the Dead created some fun arcade gameplay on the go. Despite its darkness, Touch the dead is surprisingly cheap, so those who missed it in the heyday of the Nintendo DS might want to check it out now.
Heroes of Bionicle (2006)
Bionicle was an early 2000s company from LEGO intended to target tweens and young teens who might have outgrown the typical kid-friendly approach of the company. Essentially a line of customizable action figures, the brand has done reasonably well and managed to win both video games and TV series.
Take queues of Metroid Prime Hunters as well as some old-school circle-centric FPS titles, Bionicle Hero for the Nintendo DS was a surprisingly competent foray into the world of kid-friendly FPS titles. While the emphasis on movement and strafing is incongruous with the suboptimal touchscreen controls, this ambitious Nintendo DS-bound title could have done much worse.
GoldenEye 007 (2010)
Often touted as one of the best console shooters of all time, GoldenEye 007 was a hit on the Nintendo 64, but, when Activision opted to bring it back in 2010, fans weren’t as enthusiastic. More or less semi-cooked Call of Duty port with a spy facelift, the golden eye the remasters were mostly mundane.
Save for the Nintendo DS port, ie. Although still rough around the edges, GoldenEye 007 on Nintendo’s mid-2000s handheld was a surprisingly cinematic experience. It got the most out of a system that hadn’t been designed to handle such titles, and the result turned out to be far more competent than you might otherwise expect.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Mobilized (2009)
by Activision Call of Duty The franchise was arguably at its peak in the late 2000s and early 2010s. A cash cow like no other FPS franchise, ports to the underpowered Nintendo DS were inevitable, but limited hardware made it impossible accurate conversions of console experiences.
N-Space, the developer behind the GoldenEye 007 DS port, addressed many of these Call of Duty mobile releases, and the team made the most of the minimum Nintendo DS specs. Make innovative uses of the touchscreen and tell a side story almost entirely unrelated to the main line modern warfare country, Modern warfare mobilized would still be an interesting diversion for Call of Duty anthologists.
Original FPS IPs were rare on the Nintendo DS, meaning 2009 HEART is something of a standout in the system’s vast library. A fast-paced shooter set in a mysterious military base, HEART is obvious half life and Loss influences, and, while not as playable as either of those titles, it’s a valiant experience on a handheld that wasn’t optimized for first-person play at all.
The title also offered relatively robust multiplayer options, which was not always a given on the system. While it’s now more or less an oddity that collectors gawk at, HEART played an important role in standardizing shooters on Nintendo consoles.
Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010)
Treyarch’s effort in 2010 call of Duty Black Ops introduced the series to a previously unseen Cold War setting and began a sub-series that continues to this day. The Nintendo DS port that followed was more polished than its predecessors, including a fairly robust campaign that was surprisingly accurate for console versions and a paired version of the series’ basic online multiplayer mode.
The Nintendo DS port of call of Duty Black Ops even included a zombies mode. While not nearly as involved as seen on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, it was still a worthy attempt to complete the gameplay package that was offered to console gamers. .
Dementia: The Room (2007)
Possibly the best realized FPS property on the Nintendo DS, Dementia: the service was, according to IGNoriginally intended to be a silent Hill Game. However, when Konami turned it down, developer Renegade Kid went ahead regardless, revamping the title to run as a standalone horror experience on the Nintendo DS.
Although he may not bear the silent Hill name, the influence of the series is unmistakable. Set primarily in an abandoned hospital, players must count their bullets as they weave their way through haunted rooms and gruesome hallways. It’s a one-of-a-kind Nintendo DS title that every console fan should check out.
Metroid Prime: Hunters (2006)
A first showcase of what the Nintendo DS could do, Metroid Prime: Hunters was a quasi-spin-off of Metroid Prime series, which was one of the best series on the Nintendo GameCube.
Easily the most playable FPS title on the system, Metroid Prime: Hunters combines the classic exploration-focused gameplay of previous metroid titles with first-person combat to form an experience that felt appropriate for the new age. Such a title would never have worked on the GameBoy Advance, and it highlighted just how big a leap the Nintendo DS would be.
Dementia 2 (2009)
Probably the most involved horror title on the Nintendo DS, Dementia 2 pushed the system to its absolute limits. A survival horror sequel again set in some sort of silent Hill-esque another world, Dementia 2 doubled down on the oppressive terror of its sequel, delivering a true hardcore horror title on a system that was otherwise very hostile to this gaming niche.
Dementia 2 was about as ambitious as a game could get on Nintendo’s handheld in 2004, and it garnered enough support to see an HD sequel released for PC in 2013. Unfortunately, when opposed to genuine genre classics on this platform, it just doesn’t compare.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Defiance (2011)
It’s weird to think that every Call of Duty title of modern warfare in 2007 at modern warfare 3 in 2011 received a port to the Nintendo DS, especially since the console’s successor, the Nintendo 3DS, would attract absolutely no attention from the fan-favorite FPS franchise.
Although consolidated and compressed, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Defiance was a great swan song for the Nintendo DS Call of Duty conversions. Featuring an epic campaign that mirrors the mainline release, it’s about as close to a true FPS experience as a gamer could possibly hope for on an aging handheld.
NEXT: 10 Best Nintendo Game Trilogies Of All Time