The best Nintendo DS games was under a lot of pressure when it came time to launch a new handheld game system because the Game Boy had been so popular and well-known for about 15 years. How did Nintendo react to that pressure? By making a family of handheld games that did even better than the Game Boy, of course. The Nintendo DS exploded onto the scene with its unique dual-screen design, touchscreen controls, and 3D graphics as good as those on the N64.
It didn’t take long for the cool new clamshell handheld to get a lot of fans, thanks in large part to its huge library of games. Fans of the Game Boy may have been skeptical of the Nintendo DS at first, but we’re sure that the fact that the handheld could play GBA games helped to change their minds.
But the Nintendo DS lasted for more than six years thanks to a steady stream of great games and smart changes to the hardware, like the DS Lite, DSi, and DSi XL. Games that took advantage of the DS’s touchscreen and microphone could create unique gaming experiences. The first-party line-up was a showcase of creativity, and later versions of the console made it easier to fit in your pocket, making it a portable entertainment device. Below we have mentioned some of the best Nintendo DS games.
Best Nintendo DS Games
Hotel Dusk: Room 215
- By holding the DS system like a book, you can turn the characters left and right on the screen and enjoy more realistic conversations.
- The unique controls allow even beginners to enjoy the game with ease.
- from the rest of the game.
Cing is no longer making games, but its legacy lives on in games like Hotel Dusk and Last Window: The Secret of Cape West, which are just as fun as the original. Hotel Dusk feels like a virtual book when you hold the DS vertically. You can read interesting dialogue and use the stylus to move around the hotel’s rooms and solve puzzles. This is the best Nintendo DS games.
The mystery behind the hotel unfolds beautifully thanks to interesting characters, a strong story, and great pacing. It also stands out from other games on Nintendo’s system because of its unique art style. Another Code: Two Memories, by Cing, is just as worth your time.
- Classic detective noir storyline that’s both clever and thoughtful
- Character graphics are sharp and uniquely styled
- Puzzle solving is generally quite logical
- Top-notch dialogue
- Protracted item/people-hunting situations periodically rear their ugly heads
- Story sometimes telegraphs its intentions
- Molasses-esque pacing will probably drive some people up the wall
Dragon Quest V
- Recruit monsters to your party and arm them so they join you in battle
- A complete audio/visual overhaul breathes new life into a classic with advanced 3D graphics and an arranged orchestral score
- A vast, beautiful and colorful world to explore – with even more colorful characters to meet, monsters to battle and secret treasures to find
The best Nintendo DS games has a surprising number of Dragon Quest games, and while it’s tempting to say that Dragon Quest IX is the best one, Hand of the Heavenly Bride is still better. It’s hard to beat a story that takes place over the main character’s whole life. It might be the best story in the whole series.
Even though the graphics aren’t as detailed as in Dragon Quest IX, they’re still a huge step up from the original SNES game, and the slightly retro look still looks great more than a decade after the game came out.
- Satisfying plot that has stood the test of time
- Impressive dual-screen presentation
- Great enemy variety and inventive attacks freshen the battle system
- Addictive monster taming
- Strong replayability due to storyline twists and extra dungeon
- A little difficult to target specific monsters to recruit
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon
- For the first time ever, the player is a Pokemon, speaking and interacting with other characters in a world populated only by Pokemon.
- A dramatic story brings the player into a world of Pokemon not seen or experienced before.
- Randomly generated dungeons make every mission unique.
The second screen in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team is useful, but it means that the main screen is smaller than it was on the GBA version. There are also touchscreen controls that work well whether you use them to move through the menus or choose to use a stylus for the whole game. There’s a lot to do here, and even though some missions feel the same as the ones before and after them, there’s good action, a good story, and a lot of fun to be had. This is one of the best Nintendo DS games.
- Excellent art direction and soundtrack
- Welcome improvements to combat and dungeon exploration
- Riveting story that prioritizes humanizing the Pokémon involved
- Still no health bars, which makes boss fights frustrating
- Dungeons can still be a bit repetitive
Bleach: The Blade Of Fate
- It’s a well-made fighting game with a lot of different characters.
- Beautiful 2D art and visual effects.
- There are a lot of voices, and they all belong to the show’s real actors.
- Story mode and building spirit decks will keep you busy.
Bleach: The Blade of Fate is one of our favorite anime fighting games, which is why it had to be on this list of the best Nintendo DS games of all time. Even though it’s a 2D fighting game on a modern-ish handheld, it still surprises us with some of the most unique fights we’ve ever seen in a portable game. Players can play normally, like they would in any fighting game, or they can use special cards to change the course of the battle.
This is a good fighting game to add to your collection if you like them. Fighting games are always more interesting to me when they involve weapons, and Bleach: The Blade of Fate will definitely get your attention.
- It’s a solidly designed, deep fighting game with loads of characters
- Nice 2D artwork and visual effects
- Story mode and spirit deck construction will keep you occupied
- So will the multiplayer mode, which supports online matchmaking
- Four-player online matches suffer from lag, especially if spirit cards are overused
Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise
- Design a beautiful and welcoming garden environment to attract piñatas, working up to rare and peculiar breeds
- from your garden to a friend’s garden.
- Some peculiar species can only be attracted using this feature
Tim Stamper’s original idea for Viva Pinata was for Pocket PCs, so it’s great that the game can now be played in your hand. One of the best Nintendo DS games things about Pocket Paradise is not only its unique isometric graphics, but also how much it looks like the Xbox 360 version.
Even though it doesn’t look as good and some parts have been taken out, the core game is still there. You can take care of your garden and breed new Pinatas as much as you want, and the smart stylus controls and context-sensitive top screen make it easy to meet the needs of your many cute animals.
- Tons of depth and replicability
- Graphics are technically impressive
- Collecting pinatas is extremely rewarding
- Touch-screen controls are tight and precise
- Rewards system is far too slow
- Animals aren’t very cute
Is Nintendo still making DS games?
Yes, games are still being made, but many of them will be made for the Switch instead. Consoles will be made until at least 2020, and maybe even 2022 if sales are good.
Are DS games becoming rare?
Some of the console games have been remade or put on other consoles through the e-Shop. But since the DS was so popular, it wouldn’t be possible for every game to be easily accessible. In fact, it’s getting harder and harder to find Ds games, so they’re becoming less common.
Which DS is the easiest?
I would say that DS2 is the easiest and has probably the smoothest learning curve. There isn’t even a boss for the beginning. At first, DS2 is easy, but as time goes on, it starts to feel like a slap in the face.