The Best Nintendo DS Games Still Worth Playing in 2022

There were plenty of quirky Nintendo DS titles that used the touchscreen, but WarioWare DIY, Meteos, and more are the most worth revisiting.

Although first released in 2004, the Nintendo DS still has plenty of games worth playing in 2022, ranging from entries in the Pokemon installment deductible WarioWare. Although older consoles are hard to find for retro gamers, consoles from the 2000s now fall under this banner. Handheld consoles are becoming increasingly nostalgic as their prices are generally better than consoles and their games hold up surprisingly well.

One era that’s on the verge of being retro is the Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 generation and it’s still relatively easy to find a console at used game stores. The Wii in particular has excellent emulation and the PS3 and Xbox consoles have become quite affordable in recent years. However, above these consoles is the DS, the best-selling console of the generation, and although some Nintendo DS games have become too expensive, it is fortunately not difficult to find a DS Lite or a DSi for around $100.00 these days.


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The Nintendo DS is a console fondly remembered for its huge library of games, but there are a few titles in particular that have stood the test of time and can still be enjoyed in 2022. led to a lot of creative game design concepts like brain age, attracted by life, and Art Style: Pictobits. In addition to these, some of the smaller titles in the system have found or deserve a cult following. Pokémon Conquest, WarioWare DIY, radiant historyand Weather are all games worth replaying and could be considered staples in the DS library.

Pokémon Conquest is a Nintendo DS crossover game worth revisiting

Cover artwork for Pokemon Conquest

Pokemon could be known to have weird spinoffs like Pokemon Ranger, Pokemon Puzzle Questand pokemon rumble, but one of the more confusing crossovers is with a tactics-based RPG that started on the NES. Nobunaga’s Ambition is a long-running series with entries as recent as 2017 that mostly stayed in Japan except for this crossover. The game takes place in an alternate version of feudal Japan, with the main characters being warlords with battles taking place in different games.

The collectible aspect of the original games is still present, as each warrior players obtain in the game can be linked to any Pokemon and get bonuses for doing so. The strategy is deep and its portability factor makes it a worthwhile buy even today. It’s definitely a one-of-a-kind Pokemon experience and a great addition to the vast library of tactical games available for the system.

WarioWare DIY is a microgame creation sandbox

WarioWare: Gather Together and its Wario Cup may have brought attention back to the series, but WarioWare DIY is a forgotten gem from the Nintendo DS era that allows players to create their own microgames, right down to art resources. Hours can be spent putting these simple games together, even just to share and play locally. The game’s interface takes a second to get used to, but the tutorials will get players back into the swing of microgame design like it’s 2009.

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What makes this so much more fun than traditional game makers is the ability to design for the touchscreen. Typing, drawing, and interacting with the touchscreen was already fun, but creating games around it is another level of interactivity that can’t be achieved on console. There are a lot of things in terms of design that have been added to Creator of Super Mario (a ridiculously easy to die in game) later down the road, but the freedom that WarioWare DIY offers gamers an unprecedented experience for a portable console of this generation, made possible only by the touch screen of the Nintendo DS.

Radiant Historia is an epic Nintendo DS RPG with time travel

Radiant Historia Splash Art

This game is not affordable these days, but radiant history is definitely one of the most sought after Nintendo DS games for a reason. The rarity combined with its epic scale and excellent reviews make this an RPG worth finding a copy of. radiant historyThe gimmick of is its commitment to time travel as a gameplay mechanic, allowing players to make drastic changes to the story based on the actions they take and what they know.

The story is complex and the game rewards players for remembering elements from the future and altering the past. The game has a complex combat system with both a turn-based system and a combat grid. There was a remake for the recently updated and supported Nintendo 3DS called Radiant Historia: Perfect Timelinebut the original is cheaper and its art style is still nice in non-3D pixel art form.

Meteos is a cult classic puzzle game for Nintendo DS

One of the highest rated but somewhat forgotten games of the Nintendo DS era is Weather, a match-3 puzzler designed by Masahiro Sakurai that rivaled Bejeweled and other similar games in terms of gameplay. Players had to drag symbols down to create three types, which then turned into rockets on which they had to find more matches. Getting enough matches on a rocket sends it to the upper screen, which eliminates all blocks carried with it. It’s a game that’s easy for new players to get into but has a high skill ceiling for combos.

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Just like the other underrated hidden gems of the Nintendo DS, Weather never found an audience like PuyoPuyo and Tetris done, but it’s still a great arcade puzzle game. There are loads of modes to try out, from serious story-based Star Trip mode to lighthearted Simple and Time War modes. Its unique line-based combo system along with its touch controls make it a fun and engaging game even today.

The Nintendo DS not only made a bunch of games easier to play, it also made a bunch of experiences more enjoyable. The extensive use of the touchscreen as a menu function allowed game developers to get creative with how players interacted with their games, and the amount of hardcore and casual titles flourished due to its scheme. control and its mass appeal. Buying many of these games is a great way to experience classic games without breaking the bank for a new console or an expensive Nintendo Online membership.

As the “retro” label expands, it will be harder to preserve games like these due to the unique system they were released on. Emulation can help archive these games, but the systems that run them will still be the best way to play, given the touchscreen. the Nintendo DS is fantastic hardware that still works well refurbished in 2022, so getting one while they’re still available is a great way to start collecting older games.

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