With the 3DS now seemingly done on new releases, I think it's time we look back at the two platforms in the DS line and judge what their best years were.
Starting with the original Nintendo DS. While it was slow out of the gate during its launch, it quickly made a name for itself thanks to a lineup of great and unique titles from Nintendo and third party developers. In terms of quantity and quality from a first party perspective, what would you say is the peak years of the DS? For me, I'd say the DS was really fantastic from around late 2005, all the way up though 2007. So much variety and quality content came out for the system during this time, and it was the period where third parties really began taking notice of what the DS could do for gaming. And Nintendo was on fire during this time, seemingly pumping out at least 2 games every month for it, all of wildly varying genres. 2008-2010 were good years too, but I'd say they were a bit weaker as third parties really stole the show these years while Nintendo kind of cooled down with their release slate as they focused more on supporting the Wii.
For its successor, the Nintendo 3DS, I'd say it's best years were 2013, 2015, and oddly enough 2017. 2013 and 2015 had a ton of great games, and much like the DS' peak, it felt like Nintendo was putting at least something out for it each month, be it a AAA release, Port of a console game, or quirky eShop exclusive. Considering the launch of the Nintendo Switch, 2017 was better than it had any right to be for the 3DS. A ton of games released during the year, even with Nintendo trying to get the Switch off the ground. Granted 2017 was only as good as it was for the 3DS because it was a basically a back-up plan in case the Switch were to fail, but for a console that was nearing the finish line, it was amazing so much came out for it at all.