Best Nintendo DS Video Games

Updated April 13, 2018
Boy playing handheld video game

The Nintendo DS boasts a vast and impressive library of video games that span nearly every genre. There are titles here that will appeal to a broad range of gamers regardless of age, skill level, or area of interest.

1. New Super Mario Bros.

A sure hit for old school Mario fans and those new to the series alike, New Super Mario Bros. translates classic 2D platforming to the DS. Encounter both familiar and new enemies, environments, power-ups and more. It's no wonder GameSpy awarded the game a perfect five-star rating.

2. Elite Beat Agents

A more western-friendly take on the Japanese-only Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan rhythm game mechanic, Elite Beat Agents gets you to tap and drag your stylus to the beat like a Dance Dance Revolution for your fingers. It's wildly fun, and the music is truly infectious. IGN says it's "one of the most creative and clever rhythm games ever conceived," giving it a perfect 10-point rating for presentation and an overall score of 9.5.


3. Brain Age

It may surprise you to learn that educational games can actually be fun too. And educational games aren't just for the younger set. Nintendo targeted seniors with Brain Age, positioning it as a "gym for the brain." The various mini-games are great for older people who want to keep their minds sharp. Along with Brain Age 2, the first Brain Age is recommended as a top game for seniors by Elder Gadget with an overall rating of 4.5 stars out of five.

4. Super Scribblenauts

Super Scribblenauts takes everything that was great about the original Scribblenauts and makes it even better! The game consists of a series of puzzles where you can literally write in almost anything to have that object, animal or even person appear on the stage. This wildly imaginative and creative offering was named as one of Mom Junction's best Nintendo DS games for kids.

5. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

While games on Nintendo's systems have a reputation for being family friendly, there are options for the more mature crowd too. For a game with plenty of grit and edge, check out Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. This portable take on the hugely successful GTA series boasts huge environments, unique touch screen interaction, and no shortage of violence. With an overall metascore of 93 on Metacritic based on 85 critics, it comes highly recommended.


6. Nintendogs

A pet simulation game, Nintendogs pairs players with a virtual pup to raise, feed and play with. Just like many Pokemon titles, Nintendogs is also offered in different versions, including Labrador Retriever & Friends, Dalmatian & Friends, and Dachshund & Friends. It is the second best selling DS game of all time with over 24 million copies worldwide.

7. Animal Crossing: Wild World

An incredible sequel to the original Animal Crossing game on the GameCube, Wild World puts you back into the thick of things with a mortgage on a new house, new fish and bugs to catch, more villagers to meet, and more chores to run. Pocket Gamer rates it as 9 out of 10, calling it a game that will "have you hooked, possibly for years."

8. Mario Kart DS

Choose your favorite Nintendo character and participate in a series of intense races with high speeds, imaginative track designs and fun items. Battle against up to seven other players without buying another copy of the game and hop online for more competition. With a 9.2 rating, Mario Kart DS is one of top games on GameSpot.


9. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

The Nintendo DS is filled with genre-defying titles that approach a number of non-traditional subject areas. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is one such example. The courtroom drama features over-the-top acting, carefully crafted puzzles, and terrific storytelling. GameSpot has very few "objections" to this "unique and colorful game" with its "flawless sound effects" and "great use of the DS microphone and touch screen."

10. Metroid Prime: Hunters

Samus Aran returns with a tremendous addition to the legendary Metroid series. Whereas classic games utilized a side-scrolling format, Metroid Prime: Hunters is a first-person shooter with an intergalatic setting. In addition to the main campaign, players can also take advantage of online play. Trusted Reviews rates this "unmissable" title a glowing 4.5 stars out of five, calling it "one of the very best mobile games around."

Best Nintendo DS Video Games