Phoenix wright: ace attorney

Are you looking for the best Nintendo DS games? Then you have come to the right place. From lesser-known Jewels to the must-have games, we are going to explore all of the options. Now, remember, DS meant Dual Screen. It was a game-style of Nintendo and a brilliant innovation ahead of its time.

Best DS Games

DS brought you several fantastic titles, and while a lot could’ve been done at the time, we were limited by the technology. These games will still bring you the proper option to explore the games with new functions for peak entertainment. Let’s begin!

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The List Of 20 Best Nintendo DS Games:

1. New Super Mario Bros

The New Super Mario Bros became the best-selling game of all time on Nintendo DS. We see Mario’s classic approach with the side-scrolling game. That’s right! It was once again the same old classic adventure we loved. It was new in the sense that the 2D game was polished with improved graphics and mechanisms.

New Super Mario Bros

New Super Mario Bros starts very simply with easy stages. However, over time, players realize that it was to get them accustomed to the game. Each level starts to get worse in difficulty. Although it remained a simple game, that was its unique selling point. The casual gameplay made fans of the popular franchise love it even more.

2. Advance Wars: Dual Strike

Advance Wars was initially released in the Game Boy Advance (GBA) of Nintendo. It was quite a fascinating game with an interesting array of characters. The Nintendo DS version remains similar in its charm and appeal. You get the same military and turn-based strategy game you always loved. However, graphics are more refined, and the dual-screen brings a new perspective to the game.

Advance Wars: Dual Strike -Best DS Games

As a sequel, the story remains evergreen while you have to find a way to defeat your opponents. It is similar to Super Robot Wars, which didn’t make a list because of its similarity to Advance Wars. Yes, Advance Wars: Dual Strike is the original and remains a top-of-the-class game to play anytime if you want military strategy action in a turn-based game.

3. Animal Crossing: Wild World

Recently, Animal Crossing has gotten a second wind. It is consistently growing to be the most popular game on Nintendo. Perhaps it’s because of the new version on Switch. Maybe, it’s due to similarities with Sims and Harvest Moon that makes it a stress buster. Regardless, the DS version is a good way to revisit what it initially was.

Animal Crossing: Wild World - Best DS Games

Animal Crossing: Wild World was a sequel to the original version that was available on GameCube. However, we see new improvements in interactions and even better time systems. They take advantage of the dual screens, with the bottom one acting as inventory access.

4. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Rockstar Games and Nintendo have consistently attempted to bring the game to Nintendo lovers. However, it has often received disappointments. After all, Nintendo was too colorful to be enticing enough for the dark world of GTA. However, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars decided to do things differently.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

You get the franchise’s classic taste while the mechanism and graphics are revamped to meet DS requirements. The new and unique approach that managed to make GTA fun for Nintendo players is why it is one of the best Nintendo DS games you can play today.

5. Legend Of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

Legend Of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass has won several awards for Nintendo. It shouldn’t be a surprise to see it on the list of the best Nintendo DS games. Set after Wind Waker’s adventure, the sea adventure, we see Link rescuing Zelda (Tetra) again from the clutches of evil.

Legend Of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

Bellum is the primary antagonist in the series. The gameplay style is similar to the Top Down format. You get the classic layout and gameplay of The Legend Of Zelda. However, with improved controls and performance, you’re also in for a treat. After all, you will see so much getting used in the dual-screen controls that it’s fantastic.

6. The Legend Of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

Legend Of Zelda Spirit Tracks is set 100 years after Phantom Hourglass. Therefore, you can treat it like a sequel, and it is also during the Ocarina Of Time when Link disappears. Hence, you get an adult Link to play. However, the gameplay and storyline are quite creative and playful.

The Legend Of Zelda: Spirit Tracks -Best DS Games

You have Zelda playing a more supporting role this time around. As you can guess, the game strongly emphasizes using trains, but it’s not a necessity. It is just one of the elements that make it quite appealing.

7. Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow

Konami is known for bringing you dark, edgy, or even gothic games. This time, we are revisiting another classic, Castlevania. However, you won’t get your favorite Belmonts or Schneider as playable characters. This time, you have a reincarnation of Dracula himself, Soma.

Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow

The antagonist in the series wants to capture him and kill him for Dracula to be reborn. However, as the protagonist, you have to overcome these obstacles. You get the same side-scrolling adventure with soul absorb as the abilities. However, the dual screen’s touch enables you to draw seals and patterns on the screen to initiate Magic Seals. It allows your character to cast special attacks.

Overall, it remains as enthralling as all other Castlevania variations.

8. Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon is the eleventh Fire Emblem title by Nintendo but remains ever so fresh. You get the RPG and turn-based elements, but the Nintendo DS aspect brings you a new perspective. While you can see battle in action on the top screen, the bottom screen brings you an overview of the map and what is going on around it.

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon

It gave us a popular and fan-loved character Marth, the protagonist of the installation. He was so popular that he went on ahead to be added in Super Smash Bros.

9. Mario Kart DS

Mario Kart DS is the third-best DS game of all time. It has a compelling amount of sales, closing up to 25 million copies. It brings you the same classic maps of the SNES version. However, the improved graphics and interactivity also bring you the same exciting offensive and defensive abilities.

Mario Kart DS -Best DS Games

Mario Kart DS remains top-notch and also one of the reasons the game grew to be so popular. However, its Wi-Fi option doesn’t work, so beware of that. Apart from that, it is certainly one of the best Nintendo DS games of all time.

10. Professor Layton And The Curious Village

Professor Layton remains the Nintendo platform’s top-grade puzzler game, and DS brought you two fantastic installments. Professor Layton and The Unwound Future receive an honorary mention here. However, The Curious village really brought new life to the brain-teasing puzzler.

Professor Layton And The Curious Village

Your power of observation for the point and click gameplay with the knack for puzzles to solve them would determine how you progress. There are many hidden elements. The animation is brilliant, and critics have always praised this game. It is one of the best you can get if you love puzzlers.

11. Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger would be on top of this list if it weren’t because it got fewer players due to the release of more popular titles. That’s right! Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy series made it harder for Chrono Trigger to actually shine. However, this brilliant game utilizes the creators of three different franchises.

Chrono Trigger -Best DS Games

The masterminds behind Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, and Dragon Ball Z come together to layout a perfect game. Its story is fantastic, RPG elements are top-of-the-charts, and the game has improved graphics. It is hands-down one of the must-play games on the Nintendo DS.

12. Mario And Luigi: Partners In Time

This is a less popular jewel but a fantastic game, nonetheless. Mario And Luigi embark on a time-traveling journey where they have to team up with their younger selves. Why? They have to save Princess Peach from the Shroobs this time. The game is quite challenging despite its colorful appearance.

mario and luigi partners in time

More importantly, you’re in a game that is turn-based and seems to have the appeal of an RPG game. There are many abilities to learn. DS is utilized in a way that you will often see the teams of duos (young and old) on different screens making a move, and that’s interesting.

13. Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story

Bowser’s Inside story is quite a unique take for the Super Mario Bros. Mario and Luigi, along with their friends, have been inhaled by Bowser. It is all due to the evil plans of Fawful, who was just a mid-boss in the previous installment. You will have two types of gameplay.

Mario & Luigi: Bowser

While the bottom screen will have Mario Bros navigating insides of Bowser to control him, the upper screen will show you the world of Bowser. Hence, it utilizes the true potential of DS. You will get to battle as Bowser and Mario Bros in the turn-based RPG, which is appealing and fantastic.

14. Dragon Quest 5: Hand Of The Heavenly Bride

Dragon Quest 5 was the first Dragon Quest installment to become available to Western players. It was exclusively available to Japan before that. Not many people know that Dragon Quest is the reason for the ‘choice-based’ storyline we see today in popular games. It was available back during SNES time. That’s astounding!

Dragon Quest 5: Hand Of The Heavenly Bride

However, Dragon Quest 5 brings you the same choice-based story, and while it is the fifth installment, it will feel like the first. You will get enough time to get accustomed to the characters and the storyline. It is quite a fantastic game to play on DS.

15. Metroid Prime: Hunters

Metroid Prime: Hunters is set between the two timelines of Metroid Prime and Echoes. It brings you great access to the Dual Screen feature of Nintendo. In this game, you have to use the stylus on the radar to aim and strike. While you can see the battle on the upper screen, the bottom screen requires your concentration.

Metroid Prime: Hunters

Overall, it gives you the same sensation of depending on the radar and maps to track enemies and take them down. Hence, it can be quite adrenaline-pumping or heart-pounding round. It has received a lot of hate, but it is a memorable game, nonetheless. Hence, it is one of the best DS games.

16. Elite Beat Agents

Do you love dancing games with beats and music? Then you will most likely love this game. Elite Beat Agents is about government agents that go on bizarre missions. These Missions vary greatly, but it is up to the goofy characters to match the rhythm and dance to it and ensure that everything falls in line.

Elite Beat Agents -Best DS Games

From dancing to get the sun to rise to summon a ghost, there are many tasks. The soundtrack is brilliant, and the gameplay is unique. Much like Guitar Heroes and other games, it is quite memorable and worth playing.

17. Kirby Canvas Curse

Kirby Canvas Curse brings you a new mechanism of using the stylus to draw a path for Kirby to follow. While it might sound limiting, it is one of the most interesting aspects. People think that Android games have brought this unique mechanism, but it existed back in the day, and it was great. That potential exploration of DS told us how fantastic the platform was.

Kirby Canvas Curse

Apart from Canvas Curse, Kirby Mass Attack was another game that should receive a mention for being unique and great. If you’re not familiar with Kirby, it is about time you play these best games on Nintendo DS.

18. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

This is where the legacy of a fantastic game starts. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney was another popular game in Japan. This is a game where you play as a lawyer and indulge in a courtroom battle. Using Objections to saying ‘Take That!’ with evidence, it is quite an engaging game that almost feels like a Visual Novel at times.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

However, it is more of a puzzle solver, and you are the detective in the game. As Ace Attorney, you have to come up with evidence, clues and solve the mystery to win the battle. It is intriguing, and the Nintendo DS version paved the way for Phoenix Wright to become an all-time loved gaming franchise.

19. Super Mario 64 DS

Super Mario 64 is a remade game of the older Super Mario 64. This time, you have a DS, but it doesn’t explore the screen’s complete potential. It’s just for secondary commands like navigation, changing angles in the game, and such. However, what’s truly fantastic is the gameplay itself.

Super Mario 64 DS - Best DS Games

You get more characters to play as Wario, Luigi, Mario, and Yoshi. Initially, you will start as Yoshi, and as you progress the game, you will unlock various characters. That’s how you will become the top gun in the game.

20. The World Ends With You

If you want to explore the game’s true potential with proper controls and challenges, then The World Ends With You is a perfect game. There is a manga and anime adaptation of this game. Similarly, it is an anime-Esque game available for you to play. You must find various actions through the stylus and even use microphone commands to engage in the gameplay.

The World Ends With You

It is one of the best game sets in Tokyo. More importantly, your character must fight through other lost souls and various enemies to emerge victoriously. Without giving any spoilers, we can say that it is a must-have best DS game of all time.

Frequently Asked Questions:


Is Nintendo DS A Touch-Screen Game?

Yes, Nintendo DS has two screens. The bottom screen is actually a touch screen available for you to initiate commands in games. Often, it has various purposes according to the requirements in the game.


Are There Pokemon Games In Nintendo DS?

Yes, there are many fantastic pokemon games. However, this list mostly has an original game or first-time appearances on Nintendo DS. Almost every game on this list actually overwhelms Pokemon as those series fail to offer much.


Does Nintendo DS offer Multiplayer Infrastructure?

Although almost every game is single-player, there are multiplayer options. The company tried to use Nintendo Wi-fi Connection for worldwide players and failed as it was too early. However, the local multiplayer experience remains one of the best on Original DS. It’s worth trying.



This concludes the list of the Best Nintendo DS Games of all times that you must play at least once in your lifetime. Some of these are face-paced, while others are platform-oriented. Regardless, each one of these is worth the addition and praise it receives. We hope that you found this list helpful! So go ahead and play the best Nintendo DS games ever!

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