10 Best Nintendo DS Games of All Time
Almost all of us owned a Nintendo DS. It is the second best-selling game console of all time and introduced dozens of franchises into a whole new generation. The Nintendo DS is steeped in nostalgia for many of us at this point, so it’s only fitting that we take a moment to look back at the best games in its library.
In this list, we’ve rounded up the ten best Nintendo DS games of all time. If you’ve never played Nintendo DS games before, these are the titles you should start with. All are icy classics. We’ve limited our selection to one game per series so it’s not just filled with Zelda and Mario games.
If you want more lists of the best Nintendo games, check out our lists of best nes games, best snes gamesand best N64 games. If you are a Sega fan, we have a list of best sega genesis games too.
The first one Zelda game to be released on the Nintendo DS took full advantage of the console’s unique features. All combat and movement is handled with the touchscreen, with other hardware features such as the built-in microphone and even the screen shut-off used as a mechanic to help you progress. You can plot a route on a sea chart before sailing, explore unique islands and, of course, solve chaotic dungeons. The direct sequel, Spiritual tracksmaybe even better, but both are excellent Zelda entries.
Touchscreens change things for tactical games like Advanced Wars. The GBA originals were great, but the ability to just tap your units on the touchscreen to cycle through them is a revelation and makes Double strike feel completely fresh. Advanced Wars gets a bit dark on the DS, but Double strike is one of the best games in the series.
A Nintendo DS best-of list isn’t complete until it includes the world ends with you. This game makes full use of the DS’s dual-screen design to create an entirely unique battle system in the RPG space, and while the game has now been ported to other platforms, it’s just not quite the same. the world ends with you is a classic, and still best played on DS.
We would give the Pokemon location on this list for Heart of gold and soul of silverbut they are remakes, while they are entirely original DS entries in the Pokemon frankness – and excellent too. Previous games didn’t put much emphasis on story beats, but that all changed with Pokemon Black & White, the sequels going even further. Still some of the best games in the Pokemon series.
dragon quest is one of the most beloved RPG franchises in the world – although you may remember it was called dragon warrior. Dragon Quest IX allowed players to create a custom character and then take things a step further and design the whole party for a big trip around the world. The Akira Toriyama art style means that certain aspects of the design, including hairstyles, are taken directly from Dragon Ball Zwhich is only a good thing.
Animal Crossing: Wild World changed the game. The Gamecube version was just an expansion of the original N64, and wild world was the first real sequel. This completed the animal crossing world, added starry skies, allowed online multiplayer, and more. wild world introduces a lot of what makes people love and play animal crossing to this day, and is still a great way to kill a few hours. Or many hours.
Also known as Professor Layton and the Mysterious Villagethe Professor Layton The Nintendo DS series combines classic mystery short stories with puzzles, and it works beautifully. The first entry sees Layton and his assistant Luke uncover the mystery that’s been going on in a strange village in the British countryside. Be careful, once you have played one of these games, you will have to play them all.
It’s not really a port of Tony Hawk’s American Desertit’s very unique Tony Hawk entry for Nintendo DS, with online multiplayer. Based roughly on American wasteland, American Sk8land has several stages of this game that are heavily redesigned, as well as unique levels. This is a surprisingly good portable iteration of Tony Hawkand playing handheld multiplayer against opponents around the world was truly revolutionary at launch.
We all played Nintendogsand yes, it’s great. Nintendogs wasn’t the first pet simulator, but there have been dozens of imitators since. You simply raise a dog, teach it tricks, play with it, and compete in simple competitions. Watching your pet go from a mindless dog to a trained machine is wonderful, even if the voice command feature hasn’t always behaved as well as your pet.
The Phoenix Wright fanbase is hungry for new content these days, but this first Nintendo DS entry is the one that created that fanbase. Yes, this is technically an enhanced port of a Japan-exclusive GBA game, but we’ll waive that rule this time. This game is responsible for the rabid fandom you know today and is unquestionably a classic in every sense of the word. ace lawyer is now one of the best visual novel franchises you can play, and the first game is unparalleled.
Written by Dave Aubrey on behalf of GL HF.