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The highest rated DS games ever

How many do you own?

It's the end of an era. Unless you're really looking forward to Monster High: Skultimate Roller Maze, it's probably fair to say that Pokemon Black and White 2 is the last classic DS game. So it seems like a good time to look back over the best games of the last seven years as we reveal our writer's highest-rated DS games ever.

When we launched Official Nintendo Magazine in February 2006, the focus was DS. Our New Ways To Play cover celebrated everything that was great about DS. Wii was still Revolution and games such as Animal Crossing: Wild World, Brain Training and New Super Mario Bros 2 had yet to be released. The six years that followed produced many more classic games but what were our favourites? Read on...

30. Pokemon Black and White 2

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What is it? The first ever true Pokemon sequel. Fans have grown accustomed to director's cuts such as Pokemon Yellow, Crystal, Emerald and Platinum, but this was the first time that Game Freak had released sequels with an all-new story. Set two years after the events of Pokemon Black and White, there are 300 Pokemon to catch and do battle with in the Unova Region which is partially frozen over.

What we said: At their core, Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 are the same games we've been playing since 1999 - warts and all. While the law of diminishing returns applies less to this franchise, there's still a sense of deja vu about it. Whether Game Freak will shake things up, or simply replace sprites with polygons, is to be seen, but whatever lies in store in the future , Black 2 and White 2 stand proud as the last and probably best of classic Pokemon. Better than Black and White, but lacking their freshness.

Score: 91%

Read our Pokemon Black and White review 2 for more.

29. WarioWare: Touched

Click to view larger image
What is it? The ultimate micro-game compendium. Don't know what a micro-game is? You've been missing out on the funniest Nintendo series of this century as the Wario series asks you to complete tiny games that last no more than five seconds by performing one action. In this case, you have to touch the screen to tickle a man's armpits or pop bubble wrap.

What we said: If you want a game that will take full advantage of the DS's features and show you exactly how diverse Nintendo's handheld can be, then WarioWare: Touched! is an essential game. There are very few games out there (if any) that match it in terms of its sheer range of ideas, and by the end of it you're likely to be amazed at the diverse range of tasks that can be performed using just a stylus and a microphone.

Score: 91%

Read our WarioWare Touched review for more.

28. Mario And Sonic At The Olympic Winter Games

Click to view larger image
What is it? The follow-up to the hugely successful Mario And Sonic At The Olympic Games, the first game to feature the old Nintendo and Sega rivals. This one takes the plumber, hedgehog and pals to the Winter Olympics so you can expect skiing, figure skating and more. Thanks to the Adventure mode, complete with story about Eggman and Bowser melting all the snow and kidnapping the Snow Spirits, this is arguably the best Mario and Sonic ever.

What we said: This is the first time that gaming's two greatest heroes actually get to team up. Believe it or not, if you have both a Wii and a DS and you're not really bothered about multiplayer action, we'd recommend you pick up the DS version of this instead of the Wii one. It's not quite as retro-heavy as the Wii game but the Adventure Tours mode gives it more depth for anyone playing the game on their own.

Score: 91%

Read our Mario and Sonic At The Olympic Winter Games review for more.

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Comments

62 comments so far...
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  1. Lego master Thursday 1st Nov 2012 at 08:30

    I thought this was pretty good. I do think Spirit tracks should have been a lot higher though. I find the gameplay is much improved from PH (however Linebeck almost makes up for it.) I don't no why but I've never really liked NSMB much. I love the wii version but just can't seem to enjoy the DS one.

  2. Pyron12 Thursday 1st Nov 2012 at 08:57

    I have Pokemon White, SS, Pearl, Platinum and Mario & Luigi 3!

  3. NintyHippo Thursday 1st Nov 2012 at 09:12

    I have 11 of them.

  4. emperor ing Thursday 1st Nov 2012 at 09:15

    Very interesting to see the differences in scores between games, particularly with sequels. Considering there's a few sequels out there that seemed a lot better to me (BW2, Spirit Tracks), it goes to show that a lot of the time ratings are a bit too high.

  5. chaz 1805 Thursday 1st Nov 2012 at 09:25

    I've owned 21 of the games (including the top 5) and would have to say that my personal top 5 would be:

    5) Ghost Trick
    4) Mario & Luigi: BiS
    3) Animal Crossing: WW
    2) Zelda: Spirit Tracks
    1) Pokemon Soul Silver

    I've included only one Pokemon game to add diversity, even though my top 5 could consist of them alone!

  6. JamieRIOT Thursday 1st Nov 2012 at 09:40

    I remember buying Tony Hawk's Sk8land when it came out and I was very impressed by it.

  7. Quantum Raven Thursday 1st Nov 2012 at 10:01

    While New Super Mario Bros. is brilliant I think the best DS game is Super Princess Peach because not only is it the first time the roles were reversed but Super Princess Peach has something that New Super Mario Bros. doesn't have and I can't really derscribe it and on top of that Super Princess Peach is an ultra-cute, ultra-entertaining and massively fun-filled game that looks fantastic and is fantastic to play and every time I play Super Princess Peach it puts a mile-wide smile on my face and as a result I'm now on my 45th go.

  8. shy guy 64 Thursday 1st Nov 2012 at 10:30

    i own several of those

  9. stary64 Thursday 1st Nov 2012 at 11:13

    *sigh*, it wouldn't be an ONM list without Mario as number one. In my opinion Pokémon Black and White 2 are the best DS games and are not only my favourite games on the DS, but are now my favourite Pokémon games of all time.

  10. mushroomchow Thursday 1st Nov 2012 at 11:13

    NSMB is over rated.

  11. stealth1497 Thursday 1st Nov 2012 at 11:47

    My top three would be:
    3. Mario Kart
    2. Zelda: Spirit Tracks
    1. Pokemon Black / White 2

    The Pokemon games are TOO good in my opinion 8)

  12. kespino20 Thursday 1st Nov 2012 at 11:54

    I think Spirit tracks were much better than Phantom Hourglass. It took what was good in PH and made it better as well as destroying the Temple of the Ocean King :evil: and replacing it with something much less tedious.

  13. Scirm Thursday 1st Nov 2012 at 12:40

    I would put there Solatorobo for the great story and cutscenes. And where is Rhythm Heaven? There is a bunch of good games, but I would kick some off them out of the list and put there DQIX or 999, for example. Happy to see Black and White so high, it was unbelievable how I felt. It was like time travel to the moment of the very first Pokemon or 3rd generation witch hit me like a hammer with its graphics ;) - haha, or Crystal with moving, coloured sprites!

  14. MartinIsAwesome Thursday 1st Nov 2012 at 12:40

    I get how this list is compiled by review scores, and that the scores are only reflective of the many people who have reviewed games for ONM, but c'mon, Sonic Rush Adventure being better than Sonic Rush. Rush Adventure's core gameplay may have the same as the first, but as a package it suffers due to the various boating sections (although the waterbike was actually very enjoyable), awkward hud world and rather bland music. Rush Adventure may have more in quantity, but lacks quality.

    Also, before everybody jumps on New Super Mario Bros. (althogh some already have), you have to remember that it was a very big deal when it first came out which is why the score was so high. It's also a very good and very enjoyable game despite its comparitive length and difficulty.

  15. ThePokekid78 Thursday 1st Nov 2012 at 13:23

    Meh, I was only really into the Pokemon games on DS, never really got many others

  16. Mmmyeah Thursday 1st Nov 2012 at 14:59

    Meh, I was only really into the Pokemon games on DS, never really got many others

    Then you really missed out!

    It's nice to see Soul Bubbles on the list, thats a game that I really enjoyed and while ONM gave it a good review and gave it quite a bit of attention it doesn't seem to have translated into sales, which is a shame as I think it is one of the best examples of the DS's touch screen gaming.

  17. bik75 Thursday 1st Nov 2012 at 15:46

    Where is TWEWY? Can't believe ONM didn't include it

  18. 3DSRulesO.K Thursday 1st Nov 2012 at 16:25

    The world ends with you
    Scribblenauts
    WHERE ARE THEY!!! :evil:

  19. Ezlo Minish Thursday 1st Nov 2012 at 19:52

    Where is TWEWY? Can't believe ONM didn't include it


    It really does seem like an oversight, especially considering that the list is a good 30 titles strong and contains Nintendogs, Korg Synthesiser and 4 Pokémon titles. Fair enough those first two both have their own audiences, but I'm not sure if they really fit on this sort of 'best of' list...

  20. TheNessInator Thursday 1st Nov 2012 at 20:51

    I have 17 of them :D

  21. JAYMCK2103 Thursday 1st Nov 2012 at 21:33

    Just noticed how much castelia city has changed since it was first shown off in early 2010...

  22. GuitarHero Thursday 1st Nov 2012 at 21:34

    Top games would be Hotel Dusk and Apollo Justice for me, two great games.

  23. King Slazo Friday 2nd Nov 2012 at 00:57

    NSMB, the best DS game. Oh god, you're killing me. Its one of only a few games I've traded in because I found it utterly boring. Like, goddamn, it was bad. Give me any of the classic SMB games anyday over it.

    I'll be interested to see how the reader list differs when you compile that.

    And I own (well, owned) 17 of these over the years. More if you count multiple Pokémon versions. Still need to play Meteos though, heard many good things back in the early days of DS (god that feels so long ago now...) but never took the plunge.

  24. imbusydoctorwho Friday 2nd Nov 2012 at 00:59

    What! no Ghost Trick?

  25. Darkblizz Friday 2nd Nov 2012 at 02:18

    No TWEWY?

    You're out of your vector.

  26. K-tet Friday 2nd Nov 2012 at 10:47

    This is a pretty accurate list for my money, and definitely more accurate than the garbage Wii list you compiled (in my honest opinion, forever the critique). I'd swap NSMB with Black 2 and White 2 though and rank Black and White third. The rest seem solid... well except Final Fantasy XII. I'd replace XII with IV (as that was a far stellar game). Other than that, no real complaints.

    As far as DS games go, Black 2 and White 2 have more content and build upon the successful formula laid down from Black and White. New Super Mario Bros is the DS game that every DS owner should have, because even by today's standards it's a very good play. The thing is, it's very easy to rank every Pokémon game so highly (especially the likes of HeartGold and SoulSilver, which are phenomenal remasters), because the handheld is the home of Pokémon, that it can be difficult to think of actual DS games that could have so easily been on this list. Catch 22 methinks.

  27. Dwarph Friday 2nd Nov 2012 at 11:55

    no dqix :c im dissapointed..

  28. wikiisthecutest Friday 2nd Nov 2012 at 13:49

    Hmm... 2 things...

    1. I doubt this will happen, but could just 1 of the ONM staff write their review score for 999, had it been localized? PLEASE? I'm quite desperate.

    2. EVERYBODY!!!! TWEWY IS GREAT BUUUUUUT at the time they gave it 88%. I don't know WHY but there must have been some kind of error.... IDK. But as much as they regret that, they can't change the score. This is not 'best' games, but HIGHEST RATED. And I'm sure that others such as DQ9 and Jam with the band should be included, but the list seems to be ALL 91%+, not 90%.

    Also, In 2012-11, I seem to remember in the 'best for DS' page a clash about the score of TWEWY, and I THINK that they re-rated it 90%. Probably just my c****y memory, but whatever.

  29. MatthewONM Friday 2nd Nov 2012 at 16:26

    Hmm... 2 things...

    1. I doubt this will happen, but could just 1 of the ONM staff write their review score for 999, had it been localized? PLEASE? I'm quite desperate.


    I reviewed it for NGamer back in the day. One thing to point out, the bit about it not being a visual novel was taken slightly out of context in the editing. I recognise the game is technically a visual novel, just one with lots of interactive bits!
    http://www.computerandvideogames.com/28 ... rs-review/

  30. Silent Sparrow Friday 2nd Nov 2012 at 16:56

    Wait, what!? The World ends With You is easily better than any of the games mentioned, and what about Dragon Quest IX? No way NSMB is the best. I hate how many times Mario has taken the prize spot from a more deserving game, just because it's Mario.

  31. NintendoForLife Friday 2nd Nov 2012 at 17:52

    Pokémon Black 2
    WarioWare Touched
    The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
    Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings
    Professor Layton and the Curious Village
    Pokémon Platinum
    Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box
    Sonic Rush Adventure
    WarioWare DIY
    Mario and Luigi: Bower’s Inside Story
    Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
    Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
    Soul Bubbles
    Professor Layton and the Lost Future
    Metroid Prime Hunters
    Chrono Trigger
    Pokémon Heartgold
    Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
    Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
    Mario Kart DS
    Pokémon White
    New Super Mario Bros.

  32. wikiisthecutest Saturday 3rd Nov 2012 at 08:51

    Oh! Gee Matt!

    I DID read Ngamer before it died a horrible death and....
    yeah...

    so can we assume that that score is the ONM score too? I'm happy with that....

    Anyway... yay.

  33. The_BAAD_Man Saturday 3rd Nov 2012 at 10:27

    I own eleven of these.

  34. LewiiG Saturday 3rd Nov 2012 at 23:25

    Well I believe Vyse is a typo as Vaan is the main character of XII RW...
    Good list, I have most of these. If it were a greatest DS games of all time list you'd be missing a load though. Good job it isn't.

  35. Water Max Thursday 8th Nov 2012 at 14:03

    I have 18 of these games including the top 11 apart from Korg DS 10 Synthesiser which I haven't seen before.

  36. Chris Smith Thursday 8th Nov 2012 at 16:01

    Since I base most of my purchases on ONMs reviews I have most of this list.

    I have far too many games.

  37. SM3DL2 Sunday 11th Nov 2012 at 20:29

    I have number 23, 21, 11 (Professor Layton), 4 (MK) and number 1 (NSMB). :D

    I didn't think that a game to help you learn music would get a high score.

  38. chazrinelli Saturday 26th Jan 2013 at 23:16

    Where was Dragon Quest IX on this list? I though that was easily the best game on Nintendo DS, I replayed it atleast 3 times!!

  39. liveswired Sunday 10th Feb 2013 at 09:38

    I still enjoy NSMB DS over NSMB 2. The mini games were feverishly addictive!

    Despite the graphical enhancements and fun levels NSMB 2 is simply a cash and grab job - with little time or effort put into it. It kinda says it all when 4kb downloads cost Ł4.50 and you need to carts for multiplayer.

  40. KaptainKrauser Sunday 10th Feb 2013 at 10:44

    Metroid Prime Hunters and Nintendogs above Spirit Tracks and Black & White 2? Preposterous.

  41. blu fire Sunday 10th Feb 2013 at 18:21

    Mario and Sonic at the winter olympics was my first DS game. Had it not been for that game Iwould not have been a huge nintendo fan. This was so much fun to play.

  42. KH81314 Sunday 17th Feb 2013 at 18:31

    Disappointed to see that I have only played 8 of these. Better start buying some of these. Also, how is World Ends with You not on this list it is my favorite DS game.

  43. yoshimad Saturday 23rd Feb 2013 at 02:07

    Heartgold and Soulsilver sorry should of been where you put Black and White... Don't get me wrong B/W were good but HG/SS just made a lot of people think that the DS was worth it.

    Mario Bros first? It shouldn't of been, why wasn't Mario 64 DS on there it was the very first DS game I got and a brilliant remake and does the original favours. ^_^

    I laughed at B/W2 in 30th to be honest its the only Pokemon game I've had to force myself to play and just think if I didn't i've wasted my money. :) It just bugged me there wasn't any proper story in them till you got to like the 7th gym. Urghhh. :x

    Sonic Rush should of been on the list that was a great game not to mention a really great polished Sonic game - which is pretty rare nowadays.

    Ohhh and SPIRIT TRACKS what why? It was amazing I preferred it over Phantom hourglass in all honesty. :cry:

    and where is Okamiden??? Ohhhh this list makes no sense what so ever... and *cough* Dragon quest???

  44. HughPR Saturday 23rd Feb 2013 at 10:20

    I think Spirit tracks were much better than Phantom Hourglass. It took what was good in PH and made it better as well as destroying the Temple of the Ocean King :evil: and replacing it with something much less tedious.

    YES! I hated the Temple of the Ocean King, mainly because I don't like timed areass because I don't like to be rushed.

    Where is TWEWY??? My sister bought it for me when I was really stumped for new games, and I thought 'well I'll give it a go'; it IS one of the best DS games.

    Other than that, I've played 25 of these...A lot of pokemon in here which is good to see, although I feel that a couple of other things should have been in instead. I would have perhaps left Platinum out, and put in Disgaea. I know that Disgaea wasn't THAT highly scored, but it has been longest playtime on any Nintendo game (single game that is, if series Pokemon streaks ahead!). Maybe should have left Korg out; it's not really a 'game'. Otherwise, yeah this is good, just a shame that it hasn't given me new ideas for DS games to buy. Oh well, here's holding on for Animal Crossing, Castlevania (which from the demo looks amazing), maybe Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, and Fire Emblem!

  45. Nintendo fan 1 Tuesday 26th Feb 2013 at 07:51

    Phantom hourglass N.01? Spirit tracks borrowed too much from its predecessor, therefore it lacked creativity and imagination, nevertheless the music was sublime

  46. liveswired Tuesday 26th Feb 2013 at 22:36

    I'd love to see a 3D port on eShop of the cracking Aliens Colonial Marines DS by Wayforward. :shock:

  47. Amidamaru Sunday 3rd Mar 2013 at 21:15

    I completely disagree with pokemon black and white being at number 2, it was the worst pokemon game I have ever played. Hopefully X and Y will be loads better, they certainly cant get any worse.

  48. SuperRobbie Sunday 17th Mar 2013 at 09:22

    When the game first came out I used to play New Super Mario Bros for hours! they're all so addictive!

  49. sonicka Tuesday 26th Mar 2013 at 14:22

    Ugh. New Super Mario Bros. >_>

    Still, I'm not surprised. It was(and still is) the highest rated DS game in the magazine after all.

    A shame none of the other games 29 proceeding games beat that score percentage over time, they were all much better in my honest opinion, which suggests that perhaps the game was either overrated or on a different scoring system back in the day.

    I'd actually be interested if one day you did a feature/article to re-review some of these games ONM. We sort of get that with the virtual console reviews, but I'd like to see what DS games really stood the test of time all these years later rather than seeing what score they were given in the past.

  50. Wiison Wednesday 27th Mar 2013 at 19:41

    Ugh. New Super Mario Bros. >_>

    Still, I'm not surprised. It was(and still is) the highest rated DS game in the magazine after all.

    A shame none of the other games 29 proceeding games beat that score percentage over time, they were all much better in my honest opinion, which suggests that perhaps the game was either overrated or on a different scoring system back in the day.

    I'd actually be interested if one day you did a feature/article to re-review some of these games ONM. We sort of get that with the virtual console reviews, but I'd like to see what DS games really stood the test of time all these years later rather than seeing what score they were given in the past.

    I agree it's irritating when you know there are superior games on the ds, but unfortunately a game with no challenge takes top spot! :( Metroid, Zelda, Dragon Quest and others are far more deep and engaging. Personally I feel it's too soon to give ds games a re-review, take the aforementioned NSMB as an example, it was released in 2006 which I think is too recent. The NSMB games haven't changed much so the score would probably stand at this time.

  51. samball53 Saturday 13th Apr 2013 at 07:30

    Where`s Dragon Quest IX?

  52. Adam Rowley Thursday 18th Apr 2013 at 08:04

    I havent got many of them, i don't get to get games a lot so i have chosse wisely, most of the time it is a zelda or a mario game.

  53. Space Arena Friday 19th Apr 2013 at 15:16

    I don't have any of them :( ..............I don't have a DS either :'(

  54. wilfrefanguy Sunday 28th Apr 2013 at 13:15

    In my opinion theese are the top 5 ds games

    5 Sonic rush
    4 Proffessor layton and the lost futer
    3 Pokemon diamond and pearl
    2 Pokemon black and white
    1 drawn to life

  55. Arceus97 Sunday 23rd Jun 2013 at 09:02

    Where is Infinite Space? You can't seriously tell me that a dog-petting simulator beats one of the best overlooked RPGs on DS!!!! Seriously, for depth, breadth and replay value as well actually, that game takes some beating. It sucked me in for weeks on end. Dragon Quest IX should also be on there, for almost exactly the same reason. Also, why is Spirit Tracks so far down? It's a great game that deserves to be higher up on the table than it is.

  56. jessiejames Saturday 27th Jul 2013 at 06:52

    WHERE IS NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2?

  57. Nintendofreak03 Sunday 11th Aug 2013 at 15:52

    hello (derp) :mrgreen: :P :P :P

  58. LFOB Saturday 17th Aug 2013 at 20:57

    So what you're telling me is a Synthesiser scored more than Chrono Trigger?

    Why not...?

  59. Komodo_Wolfgang Sunday 18th Aug 2013 at 17:38

    Pretty good. I skipped to number 1 after a while..
    ...New Super Mario Bros? really?

  60. Komodo_Wolfgang Sunday 18th Aug 2013 at 17:39

    Where`s Dragon Quest IX?

    HOW WAS THIS NOT IN IT?! (I really should have read..)

  61. Brawlftw Sunday 27th Oct 2013 at 00:56

    I'd forgotten how many great games there had actually been on the DS :) thanks for the list ONM.

    Have to say though, I'd argue that Mario Kart DS is (and always will be) the best game on the console. For me it was the best of the whole Mario Kart series; it was the only one, IMO, to hit the perfect mix between items and actual driving skill.

  62. Brawlftw Sunday 27th Oct 2013 at 00:58

    Pretty good. I skipped to number 1 after a while..
    ...New Super Mario Bros? really?

    Agreed, I thought New Super Mario Bros was done brilliantly and everything but I found it way too easy, I had the whole thing beat within a few hours. Sure there was multiplayer (really good), minigames and loads to collect, but it didn't deserve 96%, no way.

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