Nintendo is one of the world’s leading console manufacturers that has enjoyed its fair share of success in the fiscal year of 2020 with back-to-back best-seller awards. It’s still thriving to date with the Nintendo Switch, and rumors have it that a new model of their front-running console has an impending announcement in the coming weeks or so. That said, we can put aside all the advancement and the newness of everything and focus on the Japanese gaming giant’s former glory – the Nintendo DS.
The Nintendo DS enjoys the reputation of being the first-ever handheld console to sport a touchscreen. It sold enormously in its era and went on to become one of the best-selling consoles of all time as well. This did not happen without a handful of enticing games by Nintendo DS’s side. For most of us, titles like Radiant Historia and The Legend of Zelda served to be the embodiment of happiness. Even so, that one would crack up even today if all those classics are given another go. This legendary console has made the childhood of many, and it’s easy to see why due to its immense roster of high-grossing games.
The 10 Best Nintendo DS Games
This article let us rewind time to when things were simpler by all stretches of the imagination and list down the 10 best Nintendo DS games ever to come out.
1. Mario Kart DS
Kicking off the list is the venerated cart racer that had the fanbase hooked to it when the game was released. You can’t talk about the best games on Nintendo without mentioning something like Mario Kart, and this is what we’re exactly doing. This title was actually a reboot for the Nintendo DS, sporting a multiplayer mode with up to 8 players and utilizing the dual-screen design of the DS eloquently. Furthermore, the game has a variety of modes to try out. Each one is unique and distinct from the rest, not to mention the original Mario Kart circuits that you can race on. However, don’t expect much from the graphics as the game came out for a console that was released way back in 2004. Still, the fun and thrill of the chase in Mario Kart DS is absolutely second to none if one sits down to have a little play-through.
You can buy Mario Kart DS directly from Amazon today.
2. Sonic Rush DS
The next big hit on the list is Sonic Rush DS that features our favorite hedgehog from the entire gaming industry. In this game, you get to live through a highly enticing storyline that grips you right from the get-go and makes you embark on a suspenseful joyride filled with action, emotion, and drama. Sonic blazes through all kinds of settings and landscapes in this gorgeous action-adventure side-scrolling platformer. Moreover, the way that this game uses the Nintendo DS’s dual-screen is outright remarkable. Once you get a power-up that makes Sonic invulnerable to damage, the game transitions from the top screen to the bottom one quite seamlessly, offering you that sense of rush and making the gameplay all the more captivating. As you progress through the plot, another character, Blaze the Cat, jumps in on the scene and becomes playable.
You can buy Sonic Rush directly from Amazon today.
3. Chrono Trigger
Being originally made for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), the developers of Chrono Trigger couldn’t contain themselves and went on to revitalize Chrono Trigger for the Nintendo DS as well. What followed then was a beautiful role-playing game with aesthetic artistry but the same winning recipe of the original Chrono title. At Guardia’s Millennial Fair in Leene Square, Chrono meets up with a girl called Marle randomly. The two of them decide to explore the fair together, but the prospect does not end well. Marle decides to volunteer in a demonstration for a teleportation machine, where she is accidentally sent 400 years back into time. Chrono, being the caring, gentle friend he is, follows her somehow and ends up with her. They must now depart on an epic tale that ventures into the future, back to the past, and also to the end of time itself – all for saving their home planet. Chrono Trigger is not something you’d want to miss out on, as multiple top-ranking websites have given exceptional ratings to this title without exceptions.
Buy Chrono Trigger directly from Amazon today.
4. Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon
Another top-rated title for the Nintendo DS is Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, which belongs to tactical RPGs. This game is the eleventh mainline installment in the Fire Emblem series and is one of the most well-liked and established parts of the whole franchise. In Shadow Dragon, you get to play Marthe, who was once the prince of a kingdom named Altea but was soon compelled to leave his homeland by a wicked sorcerer called Gharnef, and his master, who is known as Medeus. The latter is also called the Shadow Dragon, thus being the reason for the title to be named that way. Marthe must retrieve the divine sword Falchion and the Fire Emblem shield to ward off Gharnef and the Shadow Dragon. Apart from the tip-top storyline, you get addictive gameplay in typical Fire Emblem fashion that involves turn-based combat. There is a class system that lets you choose different skillsets and other perks as you make progress with your character. If you ever get the chance to get your hands on a Nintendo DS, don’t forget to play this classic masterpiece.
Buy Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon directly from Amazon today.
5. Super Scribblenauts
If there’s one word that defines Super Scribblenauts, it’s “special.” This is an action-styled puzzle game that introduced a unique idea to the world of Nintendo DS games. To play the original Scribblenauts, you had to write words that related to in-game objects. You would get the characters to perform different kinds of actions, such as climbing a ladder or lighting a fire. Super Scribblenauts improves upon its predecessor and brings forth a wide array of new features, such as a brand-spanking-new level editor that makes it possible to design your own levels. You control Maxwell, a teenage boy who has a magic notebook. Each time Maxwell writes anything in the notebook, the word comes to life as a real object. In Super Scribblenauts, you aim to write words down in that notebook and find your way out of each level using fun and creative ideas. Got a Nintendo DS? Super Scribblenauts is a must-play.
Buy Super Scribblenauts directly from Amazon today.
6. Retro Game Challenge
Retro Game Challenge is not one but a series of games gathered together and made to fit inside one wholesome package. Based on the famous Japanese Game Center CX series from the 80s and 90s, Retro Game Challenges truly takes its players on a trip down memory lane as they relive their days of the past and call on what they’ve lived through. This game roots from all-time classics and provides a background story for each minigame included in Retro Game Challenge. However, the backstory is a pure work of fiction made to attract players and make the gameplay seem purposeful. You play as a person who has been sent back into time and made into a boy by an evil entity called “Game Master.” They are the ones who pits you against a series of challenges, and you have to overcome each one to defeat this foul-intending spirit. Some of the most enjoyable games in the Retro Game Challenge include Guadia Quest, Cosmic Gate, and Galaga.
Buy Retro Game Challenge directly from Amazon today.
7. Metroid Prime: Hunters
Metroid Prime: Hunters is another classic thriller that made rounds all across the spectrum when it first released on the Nintendo DS. In this first-person shooter, you step into the shoes of Samus Aran, a celebrated bounty hunter set in space who must face off similar ferocious warriors, all for the quest of obtaining extremely potent relics left behind a race now gone extinct. Apart from the engaging storyline, Metroid Prime: Hunters takes full control of the Nintendo DS’s touchscreen and makes it possible for gamers to play using several control schemes. It also features a tailored multiplayer mode where you and your friends can face off against each other using your own hunters. There are seven playable hunters in the multiplayer mode, each having its own set of abilities, weapons, and powers.
Buy Metroid Prime: Hunters directly from Amazon today.
8. Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin
Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin cannot be overlooked when one begins to discuss the 10 best Nintendo DS games. From the plot and soundtrack to gameplay and visuals, this side-scroller seemingly has it all. It is a direct sequel to Castlevania: Bloodlines and follows in the footsteps of two-player gameplay laid out by its forerunners. Portrait of Ruin offers stellar combat and even allows you to choose freely between the two main protagonists of the game: Jonathan and Charlotte. The title received great critical acclaim and overwhelmingly positive reception from game websites all around the globe. In Portrait of Ruin, you can end the game in two ways: one is where you turn out defeating Brauner, who is a vampire-borne fiend, and the second is where you don’t do that. However, in both endings, you manage to stop Dracula from entering the world of the living again.
Buy Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin directly from Amazon today.
9. New Super Mario Bros.
As many people call it, New Super Mario Bros. is nothing but a timeless masterpiece. Revisit classic gameplay with this genre-defining game and continue the adventure of Mario, who’s hell-bent on rescuing Princess Peach from a big bad villain called Bowser Jr. The game boasts 80 stages of side-scrolling action that span over 8 worlds. There’s multiplayer support to brag about as well since the Nintendo DS supports wireless connections. Diversity and fun never end when you’re on New Super Mario Bros. as the game brings back old-school yet advanced powers and techniques to battle your way through the entirety of Mushroom Kingdom and get Princess Peach back to where she belongs. As you progress through the story, you’ll get to witness three new power-up options that are original to this title. These three are Mega Mushroom, Mini Mushroom, and Blue Koopa Shell, which all provide their own distinctive effect and make Mario a mushroom-popping machine.
Buy New Super Mario Bros. directly from Amazon today.
10. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
If there’s one game that pushed the Nintendo DS to its max, it’s Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars that blurred the maximum limit of this handheld console for a considerably long period of time. GTA is best known for all the havoc-inspired action and chaos it permits players to wreak in it, and Chinatown Wars is no exception. You’re getting the proper Grand Theft Auto experience, albeit a bit sized down for some people’s liking. When the title was first released, it was labeled to be the largest Nintendo DS game ever made. The statement wasn’t untrue by any means since Chinatown Wars afforded a whole world filled with pedestrians, changing weather, vehicles, traffic, radio stations, and four different explorable areas of the game. One of this title’s highlights is almost endless gameplay with more than 70 main story missions, a plethora of side quests, minigames, and a replay feature.
Buy Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars directly from Amazon today.
The Nintendo DS will go down in history as one of the best handheld consoles ever made. Game studios and developers rushed to make top-of-the-line games for this fantastic piece of tech, but not all of them made the cut and came up with something worthy of being put on a top-10 list.
That said, this console still boasts a jam-packed roster of legendary games, each being better than the previous one. In this article, we’ve listed down 10 of the best Nintendo DS games you can buy right now and start playing right away. Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin measures to be a personal favorite here at Chrome Ready, but we highly recommend that you give other games a go for a terrific gaming experience nonetheless.