The Best Nintendo DS Shooters

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The Nintendo DS was an instant success back in 2004. It seemed like everyone was carrying a DS around, and for good reason. The Nintendo DS was packed full of features that the Game Boy lineup didn't have. The touch screen, dual displays, and backward compatibility with Game Boy Advance made this handheld a must-have. Besides the amazing features, the DS had a massive library of games, giving players plenty to do on the go.

While the shooter genre was not one of the better represented on the Nintendo DS, it did see some quality titles on the handheld. Only one of these was a first-party title, while the rest were developed by third-party developers. So, if the DS didn't get as much third-party support, there probably wouldn't be any shooters on the console. 

Metroid Prime Hunters

Building off the massively successful Metroid Prime series, Metroid Prime Hunters is the same experience, condensed into a handheld title. Since the DS had no analog stick, the first-person aiming for this title is entirely controlled by the touch screen. Set between the events of the first two games, Samus has received a strange message that she must investigate. She must explore the Alimbic Cluster looking for the origins of the message, all while blasting her way through hordes of aliens.
The gameplay itself is similar to other games in the series, with the notable focus on action rather than puzzle-solving. This title is perfect for fans of the series and plays really smoothly on the DS.


Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron

Probably one of the most popular shooter series of the 2000s, Star Wars Battlefront saw a handheld exclusive release that was nothing short of incredible. Unlike other games in the series to this point, Elite Squadron focuses more on a story mode while still including the exciting multiplayer the series was known for.
In this title, players control X2, a Jedi clone fighting with the Rebellion against the Galactic Empire. X2 must help famous characters throughout the series in order to take down the Empire as well as the Sith Lord X1. This title does a fantastic job of replicating the original games' feel, giving players the perfect Battlefront experience on a handheld.


Space Invaders Extreme

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the classic space shooter, Taito released Space Invaders Extreme, a modernized version of the classic arcade hit. While the gameplay itself stays true to the originals, some fun twists add some much-needed flavor to the game.
The alien spawn formations, power-ups, bosses, and new alien attacks really add some replayability to the game, offering modern gamers a fun way to enjoy an antiquated classic. Aside from the main mode, there is an arcade mode that allows players to pick up and play from whatever level they left off. Space Invaders Extreme is an easy title to enjoy and something the whole family will love.


Big Bang Mini

A lesser-known DS shooter, Big Bang Mini is all about shooting fireworks at enemies without hitting yourself. As enemies travel across the top screen, players will use the bottom screen to aim their fireworks, knocking enemies off the top screen and shooting debris that the player must avoid at the bottom.
The entire game is controlled with the stylus, using swiping motions to launch the projectiles to the top and moving the player character around the bottom to avoid falling debris. While an extremely simple shooter, it's just pure fun and an easy pick for anyone looking for something to get sucked into on the DS.


Touch the Dead

Using the DS touch screen to its full potential, Touch the Dead is an on-rails shooter, much like House of the Dead, where players must shoot incoming hordes of zombies. The shooting is accomplished by using the touch screen to aim and fire at zombies.
There are four different weapons in this game, each with its own perks. These include a handgun, shotgun, submachine gun, and crowbar. The player can use the crowbar to open specific doors as well as take down zombies at close range, while the other weapons are much better suited for high damage at a long-range. Touch the Dead includes a lot of exciting levels, making this title an absolute blast to play.


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  • Updated March 11, 2021
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