Nintendo's history in the handheld market is almost as long as their history in the console market. As far as the modern handheld market goes, they created it, and they have never not dominated it. Thirty years and four different generations of handhelds later, Nintendo rules over the handheld market with an iron fist, and one thing is always clear- no matter how variable the quality of a Nintendo console may be, a Nintendo handheld will always be awesome.
With that said, what are your favorite Nintendo handhelds ever?
Here's my list:
- Gameboy Advance
- Nintendo DS
- Nintendo 3DS
The original Gameboy was a bit crap, really. Yes, it had Pokemon Red/Blue and Gold/Silver, and it also had Link's Awakening, Metal Gear Solid, Oracle of Ages, Oracle of Seasons, Dragon Warriors Monsters, and those excellent Harry Potter RPGs, but on the whole, it had the least impressive library for any Nintendo handheld, even for its time; meanwhile, the Gameboy Advance was absolutely amazing. It represents possibly Nintendo's most impressive lineup for its handhelds yet. Everything- from the stellar third party support, to the SNES classics- Final Fantasy IV, V, and VI, Tactics Ogre- to Nintendo's own handheld efforts which were extraordinarily high quality- Fire Emblem, Advance Wars, WarioWare, Golden Sun, Mario Kart, Metroid, Pokemon, Zelda, F-Zero, Kirby, Mario vs Donkey Kong- was top class. This was the system to own back in the day, alongside a PS2. The Nintendo DS, with its amazing, staggering wealth of third party support, is probably objectively even better. I mean, just look at the games on offer- Chrono Trigger. The World Ends With You. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor. 999: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Ghost Trick. Professor Layton. Dragon Quest. Final Fantasy. Grand Theft Auto. Call of Duty. Unfortunately, Nintendo's own first party output highly suffered on the DS. Yes, Mario Kart, Advance Wars, Kirby, and Animal Crossing were great, but Zelda, Metroid, Mario, Fire Emblem, Star Fox all suffered. The Nintendo 3DS, on the other hand, has Nintendo's best first party output showing in years- Zelda, Kid Icarus, Luigi's Mansion, Pokemon, Mario, Mario Kart, Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem, Kirby, Super Smash Bros., you name it. Its issue is, it is let down by third party support- the third party support that does exist on the system is great (Resident Evil, Shin Megami Tensei, Persona, Kingdom Hearts, Metal Gear Solid, Monster Hunter), but on the whole, it's simply not getting as much third party support as so many other Nintendo handhelds did. It's probably a victim of the smartphone era.
How would you rank Nintendo handhelds?