We asked, and as always, you guys delivered. While the top-voted game of the year will probably come as no surprise to anyone, especially since it ran away with all the votes, the other five games that topped out in our readers' choice polls demonstrate not only the wide variety of content on the DS, but the depth of taste among DS Fanboy readers, as well. While the top games were above and beyond, every title feature snagged its fair share of votes. This can only mean one thing: it was one hell of a good year to be a DS owner.
So which six games were most deserving of attention this year, according to you guys? Mosey on past the break to see the winners.
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
Gallery: Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
If anyone is surprised to see this game at the top of the reader-generated charts, we want to know where you've been for the last two decades. The boy in green reigns supreme wherever and whenever he turns up, but Phantom Hourglass truly was a tour de force. Link's first appearance on the DS made brilliant use of the handheld's distinct strengths ... and also managed to be one of the best Zelda games in years. If you haven't yet experienced the adventure, we urge you to go forth and pick up a copy.
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl
Gallery: Pokemon Diamond and Pearl
The second game selected by our readers is about as unsurprising as the first. Long-running Nintendo franchises that had been slow to come to the DS dominated this year, and even months after release, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl and continue to be among the most popular and talked-about -- as well as played -- titles. Continual favorites at our weekly Game Nights, and solid entries in the world-famous franchise, Diamond and Pearl pleased a generation of Poké-fiends and brought new players into the fold.
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
Gallery: Puzzle Quest
While we're sad to see anything beat out Contra 4 for this slot (by eighteen votes!), if it had to be anything, we're happy it was Puzzle Quest. The puzzle-fusion title featured just enough RPG elements to keep us firmly addicted on not only the DS, but a variety of platforms. We suffered through "cheating AI" and struggled to get our hands on a copy, and it was all worth it. If nothing else, Puzzle Quest proves that, while not all games are going to be huge sellers right out of the gate, that's no reason to write them off.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations
In our second poll, we moved away from the bigger titles and focused on games that were a little less-hyped, in order to make sure we could get an accurate picture of just what DS Fanboy readers played and loved this year in US releases. Of course, we probably could have predicted this winner as easily as we could have Phantom Hourglass. We're all obsessed with the Ace Attorney series, and for good reason. The quirky characters and stories never seem to get old, and the franchise is a favorite around here among both staff and readers.
Hotel Dusk: Room 215
Gallery: Hotel Dusk: Room 215
The second slot in our second poll (that's a lot of seconds) was certainly more of a surprise, since Hotel Dusk was a bit of a love-it or hate-it proposition for many gamers this year. While some found Kyle Hyde's story frustrating or less engaging than our beloved Phoenix Wright, there's no denying that the game's unique art style made for a breathtaking (if simple) visual experience, and it's certainly a solid adventure title.
Geometry Wars: Galaxies
Gallery: Geometry Wars: Galaxies
Last, but never least, the recently released pocket shooter Geometry Wars: Galaxies has picked up a lot of steam since it debuted, and for good reason. The newly-expanded title offered gamers a lot of extra content and highly addictive gameplay. While the visuals didn't pack quite the impact as those on the 360 or the Wii, the game was still beautiful, and not quite as hand-crampingly painful as some other high-action titles on the handheld.
- Four of the six games began with the letter 'P.'
- All of the titles included punctuation; five of the six used a colon, and one included an accent.
- Three of the six (well, three and a half, since this includes both Pokémon titles) are first party titles, but the others are all third party. Third party pubs are strong on the DS!
- DS Fanboy readers continue to show their love for adventure games: two of the six titles are character- and story-driven adventure titles.
- Two of the titles (Puzzle Quest and Geometry Wars: Galaxies) were developed outside of Japan.
- All of the games utilize, at least optionally, touchscreen controls and functionality, and in fact, often depend on it.
- Four of the six titles were either direct sequels or part of a franchise.
- Three were exclusive to the DS. Hands off, non-fans!