There are many elements that make The World Ends With You special; Interesting characters, unique story and fresh art direction. Oftentimes people crack jokes about Tetsuya Nomura ruining games by "just adding zippers to everything," but the character designs in TWEWY are the height of excellence and completely at home in the Shibuya setting.
Beyond that, The World Ends With You is a fantastic realization of the Nintendo DS hardware. Whereas many games on the DS used the second screen for maps or inventories, TWEWY succeeds at having compelling combat on both screens that forces you to stretch your perception and dexterity in a way that has remained unparalleled in the RPG genre.
However, the true beauty of TWEWY can be distilled to a single name: Neku Sakuraba. Never before have I watched such a wonderful character transformation over the course of a game. Neku matures from a surly, mute teenager only concerned about himself into a well-rounded human being that puts his friends' desires and needs above his own. It is through this transformation that I fell in love with this game and although I understand The World Ends With You has its faults, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a wonderful character-driven story.
The World Ends With You is almost nine years old, and there hasn't been anything quite like it since. Its double-screen combat that ping-pongs between two characters, its emphasis on shopping and accessorizing to learn new superpowers, and its unusual premise of a deadly game set in Tokyo's Shibuya ward; The World Ends With You is totally unique. Even though I didn't enjoy the game's fashion choices, it's unsurprising that TWEWY (wow, even the acronym is ugly) has a dedicated fanbase thirsting for a sequel. I'm not including myself in that group of fans, but I'm certainly glad I finally played The World Ends With You. I'm heartened that Square Enix ever greenlit such a funky, strange RPG in the first place. It's A Wonderful World, indeed.