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Top 10 Best Nintendo DS games of all time

Updated on May 15, 2013

So you were given a Nintendo DS for your birthday. You’re one lucky kid! But then again, don’t rejoice yet since having the game console alone is not enough. You need to go through the burden of selecting which game titles to play. Of course you have the option to purchase every Nintendo DS game available in the market but that would mean spending thousands of dollars. Unless you are the son of Bill Gates, you have no better option than to pick at least ten games to start with.

Don’t despair if you are clueless about available game titles in DS today. Here is a list of the Top 10 Best Nintendo DS games of all time to serve as your comprehensive guide that can lead you straight to Nintendo DS games that matches with your personal gaming preferences and are worthy of every cent you’ll spend for them.

Grand Theft Auto : Chinatown Wars cover
Grand Theft Auto : Chinatown Wars cover

Despite facing a lot of controversies, this game managed to rise on the top in terms of sales and fame. The 3D capability of DS launched Grand Theft Auto’s real potential in portable gaming. This game also blended well with the dual screen feature of DS improving the overall gaming experience that it offers. Grand Theft auto: Chinatown Wars may involve a lot of violence and is not appropriate for young gamers but we still can’t deny the fact that it is one of the most successful DS game titles nowadays and that millions of gamers across the globe are currently enjoying its vast game environment, seemingly limitless options, and interesting story.

Grand Theft Auto : Chinatown Wars DS trailer!

Tetris DS cover
Tetris DS cover

Tetris is a classic game that is very easy to play but hard to master. The game’s DS version made it better by introducing a 3D environment and easier controls. Tetris is considered as one of the best games ever made and its DS version successfully embodied its glory. This game is a perfect way to relieve stress after a busy day. Since it offers an exciting and addictive gameplay, Tetris 3D is also an excellent choice for those who frequently travel. You’ll never be bored along the way with this exciting DS game at your disposal. You can also play it with friends and double the fun. Tetris will never grow old making it a perfect addition to your DS game collection.

Tetris DS trailer!

Phoenix Wright : Ace Attorney cover
Phoenix Wright : Ace Attorney cover

Is becoming a competitive lawyer one of your fantasies? Or do you really plan to embrace this kind profession someday? Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is without a doubt the best DS game for you. Its cartoonish dramas will not only entertain you but boggle your mind and keep you thinking on how to solve one case after another. The game allows you to interrogate suspects, investigate crime scenes, and pinpoint all the lies a witness might utter in the courtroom to encourage the court in favoring your client’s interest. Those who claim that this game is boring ended up being among its many fans after trying it out so you should do so as well.


Phoenix Wright : Ace Attorney DS trailer!

The Legend of Zelda : Spirit Tracks cover
The Legend of Zelda : Spirit Tracks cover

Link is once again on a journey to save the princess and their kingdom. This time, Princess Zelda accompanies and aids him during battle in spirit form. Fans of this game series love this installment as it focus not only on introducing better graphics but a well-thought-of and intriguing story. The Zelda game series managed to survive through the years despite a facing a number of rivals due to its addictive gameplay and it’s good to know that Spirit Tracks has the same magic like its predecessors. Be sure that you have a lot of free time if you plan to purchase The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks for DS since this game will surely lead you to countless hours of exhilarating portable gaming!

The Legend of Zelda : Spirit Tracks DS trailer!

Advance Wars : Dual Strike cover
Advance Wars : Dual Strike cover

During the announcement of Nintendo DS, many were excited on how its touch screen and stylus capability can greatly improve gamer experience in various games particularly those under the strategy genre. Advance Wars: Dual strike is a perfect example of how DS opened great opportunities for strategy games. With a stylus at hand, creating complicated maps on Advance Wars won’t cost you so much time and effort allowing you to focus more on how to get the most out of the game and fully enjoy its features. Dual-screened missions made the game more complicated and exciting which is why millions of strategy game fans across the world never hesitated to grab their own copy of this title upon release.

Fire Emblem : Shadow Dragon cover
Fire Emblem : Shadow Dragon cover


Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon is among the few DS titles that really know how tactical role playing games should be done. This game’s DS version allows players to control team members effortlessly and in a less time-consuming manner. It is also the first in the series that supports online gaming which is referred by many as the main factor which lead to its continuous success. The game’s fresh and intriguing story added with excellent graphics and ingenious dual screen utilization, made Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon worthy of having a spot in this list.

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon is among the few DS titles that really know how tactical role playing games should be done.This game’s DS version allows players to control team members effortlessly and in a less time-consuming manner. It is also the first in the series that supports online gaming which is referred by many as the main factor which lead to its continuous success. The game’s fresh and intriguing story added with excellent graphics and ingenious dual screen utilization, made Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon worthy of having a spot in this list.

Fire Emblem : Shadow Dragon DS trailer!

The most crucial factor which led to the success of Mario Kart is its online gameplay. This feature also made it unique to its core game while attracting thousands worldwide to get a new Nintendo DS and compete with other Mario Kart players worldwide. Combined with crisp graphics, colorful and unique track designs, and a seemingly complete gameplay, the DS version of Mario Kart easily became the best release of this Mario game series to date. Whether this game deserves to belong in this list of the Top 10 Best Nintendo DS games of all time is out of the question. In fact, the upcoming version of this game might be good enough to defeat the Pokémon series and emerge as the new best game in DS.

Castlevania : Dawn of Sorrow cover
Castlevania : Dawn of Sorrow cover


Castlevania is a game series introduced and made popular by home console. Back then, it belongs to the few 2D games that offered a complete package filled with adventure, romance, and countless hours of hack-and-slash action. Castlevania’s Nintendo DS version turned out to be a success as the people behind it successfully blended 3D graphics and made the game even more exciting.


In this DS game, you’ll once more play as Soma Cruz, a dark and gloomy character who always longs for the truth. As you go along with your new journey, you are bound to encounter crazy cool monsters, acquire interesting and powerful weapons, explore dangerous places, and solve mysteries. Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow will surely meet or even surpass your expectations and leave you wanting for more!

Castlevania : Dawn of Sorrow DS trailer!

Mario Kart DS cover
Mario Kart DS cover

The Pokemon’s magic which originated from its Game boy installments shines brightly in its DS generation. The Pokémon franchise already released more than 15 titles and majority of them, if not all, were warmly welcomed by console gaming enthusiasts across the globe. Whether you prefer Pokémon DS Heartgold, Soulsilver, Pearl, Platinum, Diamond, Black, or White won’t matter since all of these games are equally considered the best you can have for your Nintendo DS. The Pokémon game franchise never goes old and it is expected to be among the top warriors in the battlefield of console gaming for many years to come.

Pokémon Diamond/Pearl DS trailer!

Mario Kart DS trailer!

Super Mario Bros. DS cover
Super Mario Bros. DS cover

Do you miss the simple but fun-filled experience from classic Super Mario games? Nintendo DS Super Mario Bros. proved that being old-school while providing what every need of new generation gamers is possible. This game is a living proof that many of us are still hooked to vintage gaming and loves to experience it once more over and over again. Super Mario Bros. played an important role in leading this game franchise towards the success it currently enjoys. This Nintendo DS game doesn’t deserve its spot in this list of Top 10 Best Nintendo DS games of all time because of innovative graphics but due to simplicity and how it offers a nostalgic gaming experience rarely offered by new generation of gaming consoles nowadays.

Super Mario Bros. DS trailer!

Pokemon Diamond cover
Pokemon Diamond cover

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    • SimilarSam profile image

      Sam 2 years ago from Australia

      Fire Emblem is a little higher on my personal list, great list otherwise!

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 4 years ago from Hawaii

      I agree. Can't wait for the next Ace Attorney. This hub is great!

    • Kexul profile image

      Luke Falconberry 4 years ago from La Vergne, Tennessee

      very solid list. I'd have to agree with most of it. haven't played all of them that are on the list though. I was very happy that Ace Attorney got on the list. I'm so pumped for the next game this fall.

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