20 Underrated Nintendo DS Games

There are hundreds upon hundreds of Nintendo DS games, with plenty being incredibly popular and memorable. That said, some true gems slipped under the radar for players of all ages. 

Here are our top 20 underrated Nintendo DS games. 

20. Point Blank DS

Point Blank difficulty settings
Image Credit: Bandai Namco Games.

If you’re looking for a mini-game-style game, you’re bound to love Point Blank DS. Like the game we put in our PS1 games list, Point Blank was also added to the Nintendo DS.

Full of fun shooting minigames to test your accuracy and speed, you can compete with friends and family and see who is the better sharpshooter!

19. Bubble Bobble Revolution

Bubble Bobble Revolution level
Image Credit: Codemasters.

Another party-style game makes it onto the list. This time, it’s all about bubble popping. Whether you are completing the levels in single-player or competing against a friend in multiplayer, there are many hours of replayability in Bubble Bobble Revolution. There are over 100 levels to make your way through, each with varying levels of difficulty, as well as boss fights to spice the game up a bit if you play via the “new age” style of game.

Bubble Bobble Revolution is a tonne of fun, and the franchise will always be one of my all-time favorites. 

18. Metroid Prime Pinball

Metroid Prime Pinball cover
Image Credit: Nintendo.

If you’re a fan of classic arcade games, you’re bound to like Metroid Prime Pinball. Not only that but it is themed after the very popular franchise, Metroid. This game is a unique Pinball game, as it adds new tactics such as wall jumping and nudging via the touchscreen, allowing players a multitude of ways to play and succeed.

 It also involves the ability to fire weapons. Who doesn’t want to experience such an intense Pinball game?

17. Aliens: Infestation

Aliens: Infestation Sephora ship
Image Credit: Sega.

Aliens: Infestation is a fantastic game that often doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. It is a sidescroller that pays homage to the Alien franchise with some fantastic tie-ins with iconic characters and, of course, a Xenomorph to boot. However, the game has many challenges, as it uses a permadeath system to keep you on your toes.

16. 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors

999: Nine Hours, Nine Doors, Nine Persons Nonary Game trailer
Image Credit: Aksys Games.

If you like puzzle games, you’re sure to like 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. This game has you play as a college student and work through escape-the-room style puzzles as you make decisions that have consequences on your character and allies throughout the game. This game has a tonne of replayability, as it comes with six different endings to land on. It can get pretty intense, as you’re in a life-and-death situation and have to be quick with your puzzle-solving skills to ensure you don’t drown on the sinking cruise liner. 

15. Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2

Derek Stiles in Trauma Center Under the Knife 2
Image Credit: Atlus.

This game isn’t one for those who are squeamish, as it is a dramatic game where you play as a trauma surgeon. Not only that, but it has a great story to go with it if you can complete each surgery with steadiness. If you want more of a challenge, you can change the missions to have a harder difficulty. From using a scalpel to suturing, you’ll be living your medical fantasy.

14. Infinite Space

Infinite Space trailer
Image Credit: Sega.

Infinite Space is a science fiction RPG. This game has quite a high skill ceiling, and one of the most common complaints it received was how difficult it was. Because of that, it didn’t sell as well as they were hoping. That being said, if you’re up for the challenge and want a great story to go with it, Infinite Space is a fantastic Nintendo DS game and is highly underrated.

13. Hotel Dusk: Room 215

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 detective
Image Credit: Nintendo.

If you’re a fan of point-and-click games and solving crimes, you’re bound to love Hotel Dusk: Room 215. With plenty of puzzles that need to be solved to advance the story, you play as Kyle Hyde. Think of this game as somewhat similar to Professor Layton and Ace Attorney, as you have to find clues to eventually interrogate the suspect and discover what really happened in Hotel Dusk: Room 215. 

12. Drawn to Life

Drawn to Life cartoon flower
Image Credit: THQ.

If you like Scribblenauts, you’re bound to enjoy Drawn to Life. This game is a lot of fun and requires you to draw objects into your surroundings to complete levels, boss fights, and more. Not only do you draw these objects, but you also draw your own character and the weapons and accessories you use to fight for survival. It can be quite goofy, but overall, it is a fantastic experience for artists of all ages. 

11. Dementium: The Ward

Dementium the Ward torchlit area
Image Credit: Gamecock Media Group.

Dementium: The Ward is a very creepy handheld horror game that often goes unheard of. This game is one of the most criminally underrated Nintendo DS games. Not only is it thick with atmosphere, but it’s also a great game to play if you’re craving that survival horror experience. The game requires you to solve puzzles, kill enemies to survive, and get better weapons as you progress through the game. 

10. Freshly Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland

Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland
Image Credit: Nintendo.

A bit of a mouthful, Freshly Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland is an obscure game that can be a bit difficult to get hold of. This game was made for Japanese and European audiences only. It’s a simple enough game, tasking you with the mission to feed Rupees into a tower to help grow it over time. You can obtain Rupees in various ways, from delving into dungeons to solving puzzles. 

If you’re a Tingle lover, then you’ll definitely want to get your hands on this underrated Nintendo DS game. 

9. Soul Bubbles

Soul Bubbles intro screen
Image Credit: Eidos Interactive.

Soul Bubbles is an adorable puzzle game made for the Nintendo DS. With eight different worlds to explore and 40 levels to complete, it’s your job as a young Shaman to herd the Soul bubbles and transport the spirits within the bubbles!

Overall, Soul Bubbles is an adorable game that will test your brain power and ability to solve problems on the go. It’s a perfect little game if you’re looking for a puzzle.

8. Touchmaster

Touchmaster basketball minigame
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Interactive.

TouchMaster is a combination of minigames that you can play, all combined on one Nintendo DS card. In total, there are 23 games to choose from. From Solitaire to Trivia to Mah Jong, there’s something for everyone on the list, making it the perfect game for players of all ages. 

This game is equally fantastic if you don’t have a lot of time to get stuck into a game but want to play something quick that you can pick up and put down again with ease. 

7. Ninjatown

NinjaTown intro screen
Image Credit: SouthPeak Games.

Ninjatown is an underrated Nintendo DS game that features tower defense mechanics as you protect Ninjatown from a horde of enemies that Mr. Demon leads. It’s a very simplistic game, but it still has a lot of replayability to it and some really cute, basic graphics to go with it. 

There are some fantastic modifiers that you can utilize, too, to make your Ninjas stronger than ever. Overall, Ninjatown is a fantastic little game that you can play, no matter how old you are.

6. Etrian Odyssey

Etrian Odyssey bow-wielder in trailer
Image Credit: Atlus.

This game is a fantastic dungeon-crawler with RPG elements. This game is perfect for the players who are a tiny bit older and want more of a challenge from the games that they play. With many different winding dungeons and difficulty levels, as you progress further, you get to take part in turn-based combat and try to come out on top so that you can live another day.

5. Advance Wars: Days of Ruin

Tanks in Advance Wars: Days of Ruin
Image Credit: Nintendo.

Advance Wars is a great franchise created by Intelligent Systems, and it recently had its own remaster ported to the Nintendo Switch. However, Advance Wars: Days of Ruin is an underrated and hidden gem of a Nintendo DS game that is often forgotten. 

Compared to the other games in the franchise, this one has a darker tale and is overall far more serious than the others. If you’re looking for a serious story with a turn-based strategy, Advance Wars: Days of Ruin is perfect for that.

4. Touch Detective

Rina/Mackenzie Ozawa's eyes in close up
Image Credit: Atlus USA.

Touch Detective is incredibly fun and is great for those who want to feel like a detective. There are four mysteries to be solved as you play as Mackenzie. It has a very unique art style that feels almost similar to that of Tim Burton’s content. This game utilizes the touch screen and only the touch screen for controls, giving it a much more immersive feel. 

If you’re looking for a new detective adventure, give Touch Detective a shot.

3. Puyo Pop Fever!

Puyo Pop Fever characters
Image Credit: Sega

This game also featured on one of our other underrated games lists, but it makes sense for it to feature on the underrated Nintendo DS games list, too. It features a fun, competitive game mode that can get quite chaotic as you can play with up to eight players. 

The PlayStation version didn’t allow this many players and can let you play with even more of your friends than you would have been able to on the PS2. Plenty of fun puzzles exist if you’re looking for a single-player experience, but this game excels in the multiplayer department.

2. Fossil Fighters

Fossil Fighters trailer - T - Rex
Image Credit: Nintendo.

Fossil Fighters is a fairly unique Nintendo DS game. You get to play as an archeologist who excavates dinosaur fossils and uses supernatural powers to transform them into Vivosaurs so they can engage in battle. It’s incredibly fun, has plenty of replayability,, and is perfect for those who are fans of Pokemon. 

1. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

Sissel dead in Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
Image Credit: Capcom.

While this wonderful game did just receive a remaster for all modern platforms, it was first released on Nintendo DS, and it is a fantastic game that has great traversal mechanics and a unique way to solve puzzles. If you’re going to experiment with any game and try something new, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is definitely the game to try. 

That concludes our list of underrated Nintendo DS games. They all deserve way more love than they have received over the years. What’s your favorite underrated Nintendo DS game?


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Written by Amy Eastland

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