Many gamers are familiar with some of the best DS titles, but many more are overlooked by DS gamers. Below you will find a list of the most underrated and overlooked Nintendo DS games.

Nintendo has always prided itself on having a strong and unique lineup of titles for its handheld devices. Indeed, in the handheld market, the DS has been one of the most successful consoles to date. But, as is the case in most markets, the competition has been growing stronger with the release of newer handhelds and the latest in the line of devices this year: the iPad. But, despite the competition, the DS has had a surprisingly strong year, and its growth should continue in 2012.

The Nintendo DS (or as it is known in Japan, the Nintendo DS Lite) hit the market in 2004, and is still going strong today. It is a handheld console that allows players to play games on the go, and most people readily accept it as the best handheld gaming experience on the market. While the hardware and software are excellent, the DS does have some games that deserve more shine.

The Nintendo DS changed the business by establishing portable gaming as its own entity, rather than a scaled-down version of the home console market.

It challenged game creators to design games that would shine on the go.

Regrettably, the public’s attention span is short, and many of the greatest games created for Nintendo’s portable have gone unnoticed.

New Super Mario Bros., Nintendogs, and Mario Kart are all well-known, but there are a slew of more underappreciated titles just waiting to be found by retro gamers.

These are the Nintendo DS’s unsung heroes.


Flower, Sun, and Rain (No. 30) (2009)

Flower, Sun, and Rain / NDS gameplay

Grasshopper Manufacture, the creators of Killer7 and No More Heroes, first created Flower, Sun, and Rain for the PlayStation 2 in 2001.

It follows Sumio Mondo, a “searcher” who earns a livelihood by locating people’s lost treasures. Sumio is trapped in a time loop while on an assignment at an island resort, compelled to relive the same day until he discovers a method to stop a terrorist strike.

Because the PS2 version was only published in Japan, this fantastic NDS conversion is the only option for Western fans to play this classic.


Lunar Knights (No. 29) (2007)

Lunar Knights NDS screenshot

The fourth installment in Kojima Productions’ Boktai series ditched stealth and sun-based weaponry in favor of something completely new.

The removal of the prior GBA games’ sunlight-collecting mechanism was one of the most significant gameplay changes.

Those who live in constantly overcast areas may be relieved to learn that the NDS does not have space for a sunlight sensor.

If you have any prior Boktai games, you may still utilize natural sunlight to restore health and other metrics by plugging them into the handheld’s GBA connection.


Peach, the Super Princess (2006)

Super Princess Peach gameplay

Few people recall Princess Peach rescuing the Mario Brothers rather than the other way around.

With one major exception, Super Princess Peach follows the original Super Mario Bros. format.

Peach’s emotions are amplified by the enchantment of Vibe Island, giving her emotional superpowers.

If the regent is joyful, she is carried away by the breezes; if she is angry, she will burn her adversaries to a crisp.

SPP may be too simple for hardcore SMB veterans.

For younger viewers, though, it’s a fantastic introduction to platforming.


Witch’s Wish (number 27) (2010)

Witch's Wish game screenshot

People stare at me strangely if they see me playing adorable games as a 6ft tall bald guy with a beard.

That didn’t stop me from loving Witch’s Wish, however.

You’ll take on the role of Vicky, an aspiring witch living in a community where learning magic is reserved for the affluent.

You’ll be exploring the town, solving riddles, and casting spells by sketching magic runes on your bottom screen.

Witch’s Wish is perfect for younger gamers and anybody who enjoys chilling out with relaxing games thanks to its easy gameplay and beautiful anime visual style.


Room 215, Hotel Dusk, No. 26 (2007)

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 NDS gameplay

Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright are well-known characters.

The NDS, on the other hand, had a lot of investigative adventures.

One such title is Hotel Dusk. Kyle Hyde, a former New York City cop, is investigating a disappearance linked to a room at the eponymous hotel.

Everyone has a secret, and you’ll need all of the information you can gather to put the jigsaw together.

There’s lots of point-and-click exploring, interrogations, riddles, and even several endings in this game. It’s also one of the few games that requires you to hold your NDS in a sideways position.


25. The Secret of Cape West: The Last Window (2010)

Last Window: The Secret of Cape West screenshot

If you like Hotel Dusk, you’ll enjoy this sadly underappreciated sequel.

Kyle’s father is the subject of one of the greatest murder mysteries in gaming.

This game focuses on questioning and allows you to choose whether to apply pressure or not.

You’ll have your data after you’ve found the appropriate balance.

Every chapter completed allows you to read a new chapter of the Lost Window book in-game. It varies based on the player’s activities, and it’s a great addition for bookworms.


Radiant Historia (n.d.) (n.d.) (n. (2011)

Radiant Historia NDS gameplay

What would you do if you had the ability to go back in time?

Stocke, a soldier appointed by the gods to travel across histories and rescue the planet from desertification, is the protagonist of Radiant Historia.

Radiant Historia stands apart from other RPGs of the period because of this narrative technique.

Combat is enjoyable, but the focus is on investigating timelines and determining how to alter them in order to advance.

It may be a bit confusing at times, which is why many people abandon the game halfway through – but if you persevere (or read a guide), you’ll be rewarded with one of the greatest tales on the NDS.


Chibi-Robo! Park Patrol is number 23. (2007)

Chibi-Robo! Park Patrol NDS gameplay

Those of us who played the original GCN Chibi-Robo! (2005) game know how much fun a house-cleaning robot can have.

The all-new Blooming Chibi-Robo is placed in charge of a garden, where they will produce flowers and protect them from wicked Smoglings.

You’ll need to plant seeds, hydrate them, construct and repair buildings, and keep a watch out for enemies.

After a time, the gardening game may get monotonous.

However, the game is visually stunning and plays like a dream.


Under the Knife 2 (22. Trauma Center) (2008)

Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2 game screenshot

Surgery simulator/visual novel Trauma Center: Second Opinion (2006) received a lot of attention as a Wii launch game, but just a few people liked its NDS equivalent.

The first Trauma Center: Under the Knife (2005) and its 2008 sequel both provide a more difficult challenge.

The Trauma Center Wii games aren’t easy, thus the complexity may have deterred players.

Even if you’re not an expert surgeon, Under the Knife 2 allows you to adjust the difficulty level, so don’t pass on this medical adventure.


The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (number 21) (2007)

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass NDS gameplay

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes

How can I label one of the world’s most well-known programs “underrated”?

Well, Phantom Hourglass is one of the most underappreciated Zelda games.

Sure, it did well in sales, but it was unjustly overlooked in contrast to its predecessor.

The NDS’s touch-based controls and restricted scale may have turned some people off, but those of us who have played it know how wonderful it can be.

Aboard your steam paddler alongside Linebeck and the rest of the cast, there are lots of dungeons to conquer and a huge area to explore.

In addition, the multiplayer is quite excellent.


Spirit Tracks from The Legend of Zelda (2009)

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks screenshot

Spirit Tracks was buried in an unmarked grave if Phantom Hourglass was slept on.

For Zelda aficionados, the transition from unlimited sea sailing to relatively restricted railways was jarring, but this one-of-a-kind entry deserves much more credit than it receives.

It’s not every day that we receive such a detailed follow-up to Link’s tale.

Spirit Tracks also made Zelda a more active player in your journey, which made me care about her more.


Fossil Fighters (19.) (2008)

Fossil Fighters NDS gameplay screenshot

Everyone is a fan of Pokémon.

However, it’s far from the only monster-collecting game available for the Nintendo DS.

Fossil Fighters is a game for fans of dinosaurs and archaeology.

To put it another way, it’s Pokémon with dinosaurs that have been charged with various elements.

Rather of capturing them, you’ll dig out their fossils, clean them up, and ultimately bring them back to life.

It may look and play like Pokémon, but there are lots of interesting twists on the concept that make it worthwhile to play — particularly for dinosaur fans.


Days of Ruin (18. Advance Wars) (2008)

Advance Wars: Days of Ruin gameplay

Advance Wars is renowned for its humorous attitude and excellent turn-based tactical gameplay.

The game’s tone was changed in the second installment for the DS, replacing the game’s slightly humorous tone with something more darker.

Some fans were turned off by the new post-apocalyptic scenario and more “serious” visual style, but there’s a reason why the game was highly praised.

It has a strong multiplayer component as well as very crisp visuals. There are also many Commanding officers with unique powers that totally alter the gameplay and provide replay value.


Solatorobo: Red the Hunter (#17) (2011)

Solatorobo: Red the Hunter / Nintendo DS screenshot

Tail Concerto (1999), a little-known PSX gem, is the spiritual successor to Solatorobo.

Both games feature anthropomorphic animals fighting and exploring in badass mecha suits.

There’s a lovely and unexpected variety of environment to explore, and boss battles are difficult enough.

Thanks to its anime art style and well-produced visuals, it’s also one of the most aesthetically attractive games on the NDS.

Not to add that it’s well written, although with much too much language for a portable action game.

Solatorobo was polished to a mirror shine by developer CyberConnect2, and the result was one of the finest games on the Nintendo DS. Unfortunately, it did not sell as well as they had anticipated, and it is still unjustly underappreciated today.


999: Nine Hours, Nine People, and Nine Doors (2010)

999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors gameplay

On the Nintendo DS, the Zero Escape series began with 999, a game that helped popularize visual novels in the United States.

You play as a kidnapped student forced to play the Nonary Game against eight other students in this detective adventure.

For a chance to escape a sinking cruise ship, you’ll need to collect clues and solve riddles.

It’s similar to SAW, except there’s a lot more conversation and less gore.

Solving puzzles gives you a feeling of achievement, but finding out what’s going on behind the scenes is the true difficulty.


Challenge #15: Retro Games (2009)

Retro Game Challenge NDS gameplay

Retro Game Challenge, as the name implies, puts you through a ringer of classic 8-bit game genres.

A Galaga clone, a platformer, a top-down racing, and even a JRPG are among them.

All of the difficulties you’ll face within each game are what keep the game interesting.

Instead of just clearing a game, you’ll need to earn “achievements” in order to access more games and features.

Before going on to the next game, you must interact with each one and examine it from many angles.

As a consequence, you may discover something new about the 8-bit era of gaming.


Style savvy (n.d.) (n.d.) (n.d (2009)

Style Savvy NDS game screenshot

I understand what you’re thinking.

“How is a dress-up game an underappreciated gem?” you may wonder.

While dressing up your customers is an important aspect of the game in Style Savvy, so is running a successful company. To get the word out about your style emporium, you’ll need to choose a demographic, stock the shop with items they’ll enjoy, and enter fashion competitions.

On the surface, it seems to be a dress-up game.

However, it is mostly a shop management simulator.

This is the technique to get your younger sister interested in tycoon games without her realizing it.


13. Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes (2009)

Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes / NDS gameplay

Clash of Heroes is an excellent puzzle RPG that takes a lot of inspiration from Heroes of Might and Magic, including the scenario and playable classes.

Five distinct heroes lead knights, wizards, demons, elves, and necromancers on a mission to vanquish the demon lord who ruined their life.

When confronting an opposing commander, players will take turns arranging their troops into identical-colored columns in order to assault.

The narrative isn’t very memorable, but the presentation is excellent, and the gameplay is engaging.


Elite Beat Agents (#12) (2006)

Elite Beat Agents NDS gameplay

The Elite Beat Agents aren’t your average Men in Black.

This secret government organization will get your feet moving and combat disorder with crazy dance abilities, rather than alien technology.

To assist the agents in performing their dancing routines up top, you’ll need to touch and slide your stylus on the bottom screen.

If you do it well enough, you’ll be able to inspire the people of your town to assist solve issues.

EBA also has a strong multiplayer component and a lengthy campaign that serves as a wonderful reason to listen to the game’s fantastic music.


Big Bang Mini No. 11 (2009)

Big Bang Mini game screenshot

On paper, Big Bang Mini doesn’t seem to be much.

The design of the cover is simple.

There was no incentive to be attracted to the game in the shop without a compelling narrative.

Even so, this cartridge has 90 levels of sheer entertainment with one of the most creative shoot-em-ups of the period.

Instead of using lasers or missiles, you’ll be firing fireworks from the bottom screen towards opponents on the top screen.

It’s tough, unique, and the neon-heavy graphics are fantastic.

The multiplayer function in this trippy shooter is a genuine delight for shoot-em-up veterans and novices alike.


Miles Edgeworth, Ace Attorney Investigations (2010)

Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth / NDS gameplay

Unlike previous Phoenix Wright games in which you play as a defense attorney, Ace Attorney Investigations portrays you as Miles Edgeworth, a fan favorite prosecution.

He’s one of the finest, and certainly one of the most popular, characters in the series.

It’s also simple to understand why.

Miles has a golden heart and a crystal clear sense of justice, which make him appealing while being a little cold and harsh when practicing law.

Examining crime sites, pursuing leads, and interviewing witnesses are all part of your duty as a prosecutor as you construct a case and bring a smuggling organization to jail.

This game is best appreciated after you’ve completed every previous Ace Attorney game on the NDS, which adds to its relative obscurity among all save the most ardent fans.


9. Rhythm Paradise (2009)

Rhythm Heaven / NDS gameplay

Most people believe that Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero are the only rhythm games available.

However, as Crypt of the NecroDancer (2015) shown, the genre can be remarkably adaptable.

Rhythm Heaven is a collection of odd rhythm games that can be played by holding the Nintendo DS vertically and touching the right screen with the stylus.

The game includes 50 distinct mini-games that showcase Nintendo’s unrestrained inventiveness.

It’s similar to WarioWare (2003), except it’s a lot less hectic.

It’s this kind of deceptively basic yet creative game design that has propelled the Big N to its current position.


8. Puzzle Quest: Warlords’ Challenge (2007)

Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords / NDS screenshot

Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords will provide hours of entertainment for RPG and puzzle fans alike.

You match pieces to generate magic power so you can perform spells in this unique blend of strategy and brain training.

The better you play, the more quickly you can burn down your opponents.

You’ll level up, learn new spells, and manage your equipment to become the most powerful fantasy hero while you’re not actively attempting to match tiles.

If you prefer science fiction to medieval fantasy, Puzzle Quest: Galactrix is a must-see.


7. Meteorology (2005)

Meteos NDS game screenshot

Puzzlers are one of my favorite genres to see on the NDS, particularly when they’re as excellent as Meteos, which has stunning graphics and one of the most thrilling twists on match-three action.

Meteos is a game similar to Tetris Attack in which the player must line up falling blocks in horizontal or vertical rows.

Despite the fact that the blocks in Tetris Attack simply disappear when matched, Meteos are blasted into space.

You’ll travel the cosmos, assisting 32 different alien species in protecting their planets from falling blocks and returning the battle to the blocks’ home planet.


Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is the sixth game in the Grand Theft Auto series (2009)

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars / NDS gameplay

Since its debut in 2013, Grand Theft Auto V has become a global sensation.

But have you ever heard of the NDS’s Chinatown Wars?

The thirteenth installment in the series, as shown by its above camera, borrows a leaf from the first several GTA games in terms of gameplay.

It has everything you’d expect from a Grand Theft Auto game.

You may explore a large metropolitan open-world, battle for dominance in the criminal underground, and even sell some of the world’s most coveted narcotics.

Thanks to its cel-shaded graphics, the aesthetics are also remarkably excellent for an NDS game.


5. Conquest of Pokémon (2012)

Pokémon Conquest / NDS game screenshot

Even though Pokémon is a massive multimedia conglomerate with a global reach, a few of its games have been ignored by the general public.

Perhaps Western fans were just not prepared for Pokémon Conquest.

This turn-based tactical RPG is based on Oda Nobunaga’s invasion of Japan, but the feudal warlords’ armies are mostly made up of Pokémon.

The majority of the characters are based on historical people from Japan, and they feature some of the most stunning graphics seen in a Pokémon game.

Pokémon Conquest offers a unique perspective on how the Pokémon world may have seemed millennia ago.

This review may be worth perusing if you want a more in-depth look at the game.


4. The Perplexing Adventure of Henry Hatsworth (2009)

Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure / NDS gameplay

Are you an English adventurer or an Italian plumber?

This Puzzle Adventure is the ideal blend of platforming and puzzle-solving, with Henry Hatsworth’s gentlemanly English charm serving as the glue that ties it all together.

On the top screen, vanquished enemies are transferred to the lower screen as blocks in a match-three puzzle.

They’ll respawn if you don’t match them quickly enough, and you’ll be overwhelmed.

Alternatively, if you go quickly enough, you’ll get energy for your special moves or fuel for a badass mecha.


Rune Factory 3 is a third-person shooter (2010)

Rune Factory 3 / NDS gameplay screenshot

Harvest Moon’s farming/social sim gameplay was made more attractive to the public with the inclusion of action RPG features in the Rune Factory spin-offs.

Even yet, by the time Rune Factory 3 was released, enthusiasm had waned.

It’s a pity, though, since it’s easily the finest in the series.

Rune Factory 3 has a much improved fighting system as well as more complicated and interesting farming.

This time around, the writing is excellent, and the bachelorettes are all interesting to get to know.

This is the ideal way to do it on the NDS if you enjoy battling and taming monsters, courting townswomen, and being an important member of the community.


2. Invasion of Aliens (2011)

Aliens Infestation / NDS gameplay

The Alien franchise has a long history of video game adaptations.

Aliens Infestation is no exception.

The original films serve as inspiration for this Metroidvania.

Its eerie atmosphere, attractive visuals, and superb level design ensure that it remains a great gaming experience a decade later.

Aliens Infestation has a total of 20 unique characters to recruit, all of them have been skillfully crafted. Because their deaths are irreversible, losing any of them to the Xenomorphs is devastating.

Aliens is a no-brainer if you’re searching for an entertaining side-scrolling shooting adventure.


1. The Phantom Detective’s Ghost Trick (2011)

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective screenshot

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is my favorite detective game on the NDS, and it follows a recently dead ghost as he tries to recall who he was and how he died.

Shu Takumi, the creator of Ace Attorney, wrote and directed the game, but the hands-on, fast-paced style of the gameplay distinguishes it different from his past work.

You’ll have to possess corpses and inanimate objects in real-time to influence the living and find what you’re looking for. Most of the time, you’ll be helping people persevere through challenging situations as a sort of guardian angel.

Despite critical praise, it was one of the NDS’ swan songs, and it remains largely unknown.

The Nintendo DS is arguably the most underrated console of all time. Many people will say it never sold as well as the GameBoy Advance or the Wii, but those are hardly the most popular DS games. The most underrated DS games are the ones that have a smaller fanbase, but are just as good as the popular ones.. Read more about most underrated movies – imdb and let us know what you think.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • underrated ds games
  • underrated ds games reddit
  • underrated ds rpgs
  • ds hidden gems
  • how many ds games are there
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