2010 is in full swing and that means it’s time to honor the best games of 2009! Last year didn’t see as many first-party games released, but there were plenty of great 3rd-party games in 2009. We’ve assembled what we consider the best DS games of 2009 from each genre and pulled together our overall Top 5 DS games. Check out the first annual P-Wing awards after the jump!  Stay tuned for our best games of the decade, and our predictions for 2010!

Nintendo DS

Biggest Surprise

The DS had a lot of great, original titles in 2009, but one stood higher than the rest.  From the release of the DSi to the announcement of the DSi LL, 2009 featured some big surprises.  Kingdom Hearts 358/2 provided us with the first glimpse of Kingdom Hearts on a Nintendo system since the GBA.  While Ignition brought us a great new adventure in the form of Nostalgia, 5th Cell gave us a completely new gameplay mechanic in Scribblenauts, our imagination.

And the winner is: Scribblenauts

Best Music Game

The DS had some very interesting new titles in the music genre in 2009.  Nintendo came out with their own Rhythm Heaven and Activision broadened their support for the DS by releasing a DS version of Band Hero.  Band Hero allowed players to select from different instruments and included both guitar and drum peripherals.  The game also used the built-in microphone so a full, 4-person band could rock out on-the-go.

And the winner is: Band Hero

Best Graphics

Believe it or not but the DS is going to be 6 years old this coming November.  Developers have found even more ways in 5 years’ time to stretch the graphics of the DS even further.  Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars showed us that a GTA game could be done on the DS and still achieve a great frame rate and fast-paced action.  C.O.P. The Recruit took the GTA concept even further and developed a full 3D world to explore.  2009 was definitely the year where DS games began to fully utilize the capabilities of the system both graphically and through gameplay.  Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story showed off some of the best 2D visuals of any game on the DS and Spirit Tracks featured some amazing 3D effects and boss battles.  Other games with great graphics include Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks.

And the winner is: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

Best Story

Most story-driven titles on the DS come from the RPG genre and 2009 was no different.  While some titles like Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars featured a great story, titles like Kingdom Hearts 358/2 and Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story stole the show.  There were many candidates, but only one title had the best characters, dialogue, and showed a different side to a long-time foe.

And the winner is: Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story

Best DSiWare Game

With over 100 titles available for the DSiWare download service, you would think it would be hard to pick a title that stands higher than the rest.  Thankfully for us, Nintendo made it a very easy choice with the incredibly fun-filled and value-packed title: Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again.

And the winner is: Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again

Top DS Games of 2009 (James)

  1. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars – A nice introduction for Nintendo fans to the under belly of crime ring of drug trafficking, and prostitution.
  2. Scribblenauts – A small developer with a bright future. Scribblenaunts gives all the power to the imagination of the player, how weak or strong it may be.

Top 5 DS Games of 2009 (Justin)

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks – Easily one of the best Zelda games I’ve ever played and a must-own for all Zelda fans.
  2. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars – One of the most fun and frantic games for the DS and one of the best GTA games.
  3. Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story – Clever dialogue mixed with a great story make this game a must-have.
  4. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again – Tons of great levels with many different online options including DLC, and user-created levels.
  5. Pokemon Platinum – Another great Pokemon game that’s hard to put down.

Overall DS Game of the Year

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks