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Best Nintendo DS games: best Nintendo DS games for the handheld

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The best Nintendo DS games can sometimes get lost in the sea of other games available for the handheld. Although the DS was a great console, it produced many amazing games. Anyone who finds the console will want to only start with the best. Some of these games have been ported to mobile devices and the Nintendo Switch, but most Nintendo DS games will remain on the DS.

You can still buy a Nintendo DS/3DS with fun 3D screen effects. There are many excellent games on the DS that you should not miss if your collection of games on another platform isn’t too large and you still have a lot to play.

This list includes both classic Nintendo DS titles like Mario and Pokemon, as well as some interesting standalone games. Today, Nintendo has games from all around the globe, but the Nintendo DS was a fantastic handheld for Japanese gamers, offering exclusives for series like Final Fantasy Tactics and The Legend of Zelda.

If you still love the Nintendo Switch, then check out our list of top Nintendo Switch games.


Best Nintendo DS games

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

A strategy game that has become its own genre

There are many reasons to buy

+Challenging but incredibly satisfying+Beautiful characters+For those who like slower gameplay

Avoidable reasons

-Some challenges can drag on

One of a handful of great strategy games on the Nintendo DS, Advance Wars: Dual Strike mixes smart rock-paper-scissors-esque combat with the brutal backdrop of an ongoing war. Dual Strike makes the most of the DS’ two screens and often forces you to fight in two different battles at once. If you do well on both battlefields you can perform the Dual Strike. This allows you to take two turns backwards with often devastating results for your enemy.

You can face-to-face battles if you and your friend have a copy (which is becoming increasingly unlikely at the moment). Dual Strike, with its intense single-player campaign and possibly friendship-destroying head-to-head gameplay, is one of the most compelling battles we could face all day.

Pokemon Black 2 & White 2

Sometimes, it’s all in black and white

There are many reasons to buy

+Better than the original video games +Expanded stories

Avoidable reasons

-Some Pokemon aren’t right for everyone

The Game Boy’s most popular series, the Pokemon series, was a legacy that carried over to DS. There are many Pokemon games, but the DS versions are the best. They build on the originals and add their own flavor.

In addition, Pokemon Black 2 & White 2 are not just minor improvements over Black & White. They’re new additions to the series that let you explore Unova. These games, which allow you to explore the new region and fight in turn-based battles with your Pokemon, are loved by Pokemon fans for their classic features. They should be enjoyed by all who wish to become Pokemon fans.

New Super Mario Bros.

Mario Bros. as you have never seen it before

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There are many reasons to buy

+Fun design in the spirit series+Multiplayer option

Avoidable reasons

-Sometimes slightly frustrating-Comparatively short playtime

We should add at least one Mario title to the list of classic games. We did include one new Mario game as well as a port. But how could we? New Super Mario Bros. is a new version of Mario. It retains the same side-scrolling gameplay as the original Super Mario Bros., but it’s a bit more modern.

New Super Mario Bros. has both familiar and new enemies. You can also link wirelessly with friends to play as Mario or Luigi in multiplayer. Mario is timeless, and games like New Super Mario Bros. will show you why. You can find another Mario adventure in our top Mario games on all platforms by visiting our list.

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Final Fantasy IV

It is not yet the Final Fantasy

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There are many reasons to buy

+Great boss fights+Interesting augment systems+Beautiful cutsscenes

Avoidable reasons

For series veterans, it is a little too simple

Final Fantasy IV, formerly Final Fantasy II in the US, is one of the original Final Fantasy games that was remade for a new generation of consoles.

Although it may not be on our list of top Final Fantasy games due to the many great games that followed, every Final Fantasy is well worth the effort.

This HD update includes new 3D graphics and additional content. Final Fantasy IV not only brings together two generations of Final Fantasy fans, but it also remains one of the most popular RPGs.

Kirby Super Star Ultra

The back is the true Super Star

There are many reasons to buy

+Great new abilities and environments+Beautiful vibrant visuals

Avoidable reasons

-Individual levels can be quite short

Kirby Super Star is a great choice for dual-screen gaming and offers the epic Kirby adventures in your pocket. This is not a complete copy of the original game. It also includes upgrades such as Revenge of the King and Meta Knight Ultra.

Super Star Ultra may not be as exciting as Kirby Canvas Curse, the first DS release for Kirby Power Paintbrush, but it is a quick and fun adventure game that is worth your time, especially if Kirby is your favorite character.

Wild World Animal Crossing

Enjoy relaxing times with wild friends

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There are many reasons to buy

+Big villages+Wide variety of villagers+Multiplayer

Avoidable reasons

-Few tasks

Animal Crossing: Wild World was the initial step towards a more social Animal Crossing experience. Animal Crossing: New Horizon offers the most interaction among players, but not everyone is comfortable with the current instalments island setting. Then, it is worth returning to Wild World’s cozy villages.

You can also visit your friends’ villages. There are many things to do when you return home, from decorating your house to finding new items to lounging with your favourite villagers.

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Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Day

Roxas’ adventure is now available!

There are many reasons to buy

+Roxas shines again+ Fun look and skill optimization options via Panel

Avoidable reasons

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 days takes place in the year Sora is asleep. It revolves around Roxas. The story will follow Roxas, and other members of Organization XIII through various Disney worlds. Multiplayer mode is the most exciting feature of the game. This allows you to play with your friends as other Organization XIII members.

This addition to Kingdom Hearts will be a hit with long-time fans. However, it will also appeal to new players

It’s one of the most popular Nintendo 3Ds games. However, it’s also a Kingdom Hearts title that can still be played on the DS – Kingdom Hearts collections contain a cinematic retelling and not a remake of the original game.

Super Mario 64 DS

There are many reasons to buy

+Additional playable characters of different skills+New mini games+Great soundtrack

Avoidable reasons

-Controls are not 100% compatible with the DS

Super Mario 64 DS is a great example of why there is often nothing better than returning to the classics. It’s a port for Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64. This is a great alternative to the Super Mario 64 version you get with your Nintendo Switch Online Membership.

It takes full advantage the Nintendo DS dual-screen setup, adds touch screen features, and even wireless multiplayer compatibility. Who said an old plumber couldn’t learn new tricks.

Nine Hours, Nine Persons and Nine Doors

Escape room thriller with the best visual novel

There are many reasons to buy

+Surprising story developments+Tense puzzle sequences

Avoidable reasons

-Story sequences that are interspersed with puzzles can be quite long

Visuals novels are a popular genre on the DS. Nine Hours Nine Persons Nine Doors is a top-rated Nintendo DS game in this category, which is commonly abbreviated as 999. If you have ever heard people praise Kotaro Uchikoshi’s writing, 999 is one reason why.

The mystery of 999 is set on a cruise ship. It has ‘novel sections’ where you can follow the story and make branching choices, and ‘escape sections’ where you have to solve a puzzle in order to escape from a room. The story of 999 grows with each playthrough. Each new twist is truly mind-bending and a true “you must see it to believe” game.

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

All aboard the hype train

There are many reasons to buy

+Great battles+Lovely songs

Avoidable reasons

-The demon trains are very irritating

Spirit Tracks takes Link on an entirely new adventure, with more puzzles and new friends. Spirit Tracks, although it is the second Legend of Zelda title for Nintendo DS (it’s actually the first), still beats the first in nearly every way. It offers challenging boss battles as well as excellent gameplay.

Link travels by train as its name implies, opening up new possibilities for puzzles, and challenging challenges.

Spirit Tracks is a Zelda game you can only play on a DS. If you want to find Zelda games for Switch, check out our list of best Legend of Zelda games that you can play on your current Nintendo handheld.

Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver

Two timeless classics receive a new lease of life

There are many reasons to buy

+A lot of improvements to two already excellent games+Lots more Pokemon

Avoidable reasons

-Levelling up and evolving can be extremely difficult

Although Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 are excellent games, some may be intimidated by the sheer number of Pokemon you can catch. HeartGold and SoulSilver, remakes of Gold for Game Boy Color and Silver for Game Boy Color are considered to be the most popular Pokemon games ever made.

The game is set in Johto and features updated graphics and touch controls. You can even use the Pokewalker – which is essentially a Tamagotchi to bring your Pokemon with you wherever you go – for this purpose.

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

Time travel, talking ghosts, and spying, my goodness!

There are many reasons to buy

+Beautiful mix of 2D/3D art+Genuinely funny dilaogue+ Surprising at the end

Avoidable reasons

Touch controls can be fiddly

Ghost Trick is the latest Nintendo DS game from the same team that brought you Ace Attorney. It’s a well-deservedly one of my favorite Nintendo DS games.

Step into the shoes of a ghostly private investigator, who unfortunately died. Now you try to change the past and save lives by possessing other items. A talking desk lamp is available! This is the best dog in videogames! A singer singing about chickens!

Ghost Trick is a great combination of comedy and gameplay that makes good use of the second screen. It has the kind story that will leave your brain numb and want more.

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