Critic's choice: The top five DS games

All week, we've been sharing our favorite games with you, as well as snippets of our personalities outside the fanboy sphere. Now you know that some of us weren't really huge handheld fans before the DS, that at least one of us is terribly silly, and most of us seem to dig cats, in some way or another. But forget the trivial details -- how do our favorite games stack up against the critical darlings? We offer this side-by-side comparison to wrap up Fanboy Favorites week, and we hope you've enjoyed this closer look at not only the DS Fanboy staff, but some of the best that the DS has to offer.

5. Meteos
Metascore: 88
Who chose it: JC, Dave (Andrew, as honorable mention)

Q Entertainment pushed puzzle games into a new age, and we're all winners because of it. This game quickly became one of the reasons to own a DS, but even so, we're not surprised to find it here at the bottom of the critic's top five, because Meteos has as many haters as it does fans. It may be a love-it-or-hate-it proposition, but most people can at least agree that this game helped show off what the stylus can do.

4. New Super Mario Bros.
Metascore: 89
Who chose it: Eric

Sometimes, a new spin on an old classic doesn't just work, it blows everything away -- and that's New Super Mario Bros. The plumbing pair has picked up a lot of awards and recognition for this title, and the game has boasted some incredible sales numbers. NSMB even continues to show up on bestseller lists -- even though the game was released last May. Now that's staying power.

3. Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
Metascore: 89
Who chose it: Dave, Andrew (both as honorable mention)

There was a lot of Castlevania love among the staff's favorites, which is unsurprising, considering the vast oceans of coverage we've given the franchise -- and all of it deserved. Both of the Castlevania appearances on the DS have been stellar, and different enough to appeal to a wider range of gamers than most franchise offerings.

2. Advance Wars: Dual Strike
Metascore: 90
Who chose it: Andrew (and Alisha's husband interrupts to add it as well!)

Hailed by many as one of the best strategy games, and often named as the reason why everyone wants more strategy games on the DS ... and yet, it is so rarely mentioned. As we were discussing our lists, this title came up a few times, and there were a lot of "Yeeeaaaahhhh" sounds followed by long silences. Advance Wars is truly an amazing title, and a showcase of what the stylus can bring to gaming, and no list of the best games would be complete without it. Unfortunately, it just couldn't break past our love of puzzles, vampires, and Phoenix Wright.

1. Mario Kart DS
Metascore: 91
Who chose it: Andrew, Eric (Alisha, as honorable mention)

Unsurprisingly, Mario Kart DS is the king of the road, and it showed up a lot in our lists as well. This is one of Nintendo's most dependable franchises from the Mushroom Kingdom, and the DS version does it proud. MKDS has everything a great game needs: it's pretty, the gameplay is top-notch, and oh, hey, it's online! This has always been a staff and reader favorite, much-played during our weekly Game Nights.

So there you have it -- our favorites and the critics' choices, with more overlapping that we might have expected. Despite having a wide range of tastes and preferences, we managed to give the best of the DS a lot of love. But better still, we got a chance to highlight the fact that the DS truly does seem to have a lot to love, no matter what kind of gamer you are.