2006 was a fantastic year for DS; 2007 is going to be even better.
All the talk of games like Brain Training and Nintendogs being the cause of the DS's success in 2006 is all good, but how many hardcore gamers actually care about pet simulators and games that make you do maths?
While we're sure the DS will continue it's success and pull in many more new gamers, we're more excited about the more hardcore games coming to DS in 2007. We could have spoken about many more than ten games here, but for the sake of consistency, here are the ten games that will make 2007 very much a year for the hardcore DS-owning gamer.
Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin
It's such a shame that a game as amazing Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow was given a relatively limited release - finding the game in shops nowadays is no easy task. The problem is, only hardcore gamers really give Castlevania the respect it deserves.
Portrait of Ruin looks just as awesome, but we expect much the same scenario - it'll get stunning reviews and the hardcore few will snap it up without hesitation, then it'll disappear off shelves and become another rare classic. If you like 2D adventures - particularly Metroid - and you haven't already got into Castlevania on DS, take the hint; get into it NOW.
Elite Beat Agents
The quirky, crazy rhythm-action game currently doing big things over in the US is coming to the UK and it's about time, too.
To many, the concept of tapping the numbered circles in rhythm with the background music will be a new concept, but the hardcore will know Elite Beat Agents as the sequel to Ouendan - the Japanese-only original that was a massive hit with the import scene. If you've not heard of it, just know that it's crazy storylines and bizarre characters make for laugh-out-loud comedy and you'll love it from start to finish.
Star Fox Command
Every Star Fox fan had hoped that Star Fox Command on DS would be the first to revert back to the series' traditional shoot-'em-up gameplay since Lylat Wars (Star Fox 64) on the N64.
So the fact that it ignores their pleas and instead takes the series in a strategy route was initially a massive disappointment. Despite not being the game we all wanted, give it a go and what you find is a neat strategy-shooter hybrid with lots of character, plenty of challenge and an awesome online dogfight mode that lets you battle in Arwings with players around the world. You can't complain.
Final Fantasy III
One of the best episodes in the epic RPG franchise getting released on the DS is a big deal. But the fact that it's been completely remade for the handheld, given slick 3D graphics and some of the best FMV cut scenes we've ever seen on the DS makes it one of the biggest games for DS, and for all those people that have been crying out for RPG on the console.
There'll be no shortage of RPG action on the DS in 2007, that's for sure, but whether or not you've played the original, Final Fantasy III will pull you into it's rich story and charming world.
Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
It's the game we're all waiting eagerly for, yet it unfortunately seems to be suffering the same long-term delays typical to the Zelda series.
As always with a new Zelda game, however, you know that a delay in its release means that Nintendo is spending more time to make the best it can, and although we've not seen much, it's already looking fantastic. Twilight Princess has proved that there's still plenty of life in the traditional Zelda formula, and if Phantom Hourglass is as fresh and inventive as Minish Cap, we're in for a treat.