The Best Nintendo DS RPGs Of All Time

best ds rpgs of all time
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The Nintendo DS, with its innovative dual-screen setup, was a breeding ground for some of the most memorable and inventive RPGs in gaming history.

The system’s vast library spans a range of RPGs, from traditional turn-based adventures to ground-breaking titles that pushed the genre’s boundaries.

Let’s dive into the best Nintendo DS RPGs, ranking them from the commendable to the truly exceptional.

Best Nintendo DS RPGs Ranked From Worst To Best

11. Pokemon Platinum (2008)

pokemon platinum ds

Pokemon Platinum is an enhanced version of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, taking players back to the Sinnoh region with added features and improved gameplay.

This game is lauded for its expanded story, including the eerie Distortion World, and the Battle Frontier, offering a comprehensive Pokemon experience.

Pokemon Platinum’s refined mechanics and added content secure its place among the best DS RPGs.

10. Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story (2009)

mario and luigi bowsers inside story ds

Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story combines humor, inventive gameplay, and a unique story where players control both the Mario brothers and Bowser.

Renowned for its creative battles that utilize the DS’s dual screens and its engaging narrative, this game stands out as a superbly crafted RPG, full of charm and character.

9. Dragon Quest 9: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (2009)

dragon quest 9 ds

Dragon Quest 9: Sentinels of the Starry Skies brings the classic Dragon Quest formula to the DS with a few modern twists.

This title introduced a customizable protagonist and multiplayer functionality, a first for the series.

Its blend of traditional turn-based combat, deep character customization, and engaging story make it a must-play for Dragon Quest fans and RPG enthusiasts.

8. Final Fantasy 4 DS (2004)

final fantasy 4 ds

Final Fantasy 4 DS is a remake of the classic Final Fantasy 4 with significant enhancements.

This version features fully remade 3D graphics, voice acting, and added content.

The game preserves the charm and depth of the original while introducing new elements to modernize the experience, making it one of the best DS RPGs for fans of the series.

7. Pokemon Black 2 & White 2 (2012)

pokemon white 2 ds

Pokemon Black 2 & White 2 build upon their predecessors with new areas to explore and additional Pokemon to catch.

These games are notable for their rich post-game content, including the Pokemon World Tournament.

Their enhancements and expansions on the original Black and White narratives place them among the top DS RPGs.

6. Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey (2009)

shin megami tensei strange journey ds

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey is a standout entry in the Shin Megami Tensei series, known for its dark storyline and challenging gameplay.

Set in a demon-infested Antarctica, the game introduces complex moral choices and a demon negotiation system.

Its deep narrative and strategic turn-based combat make it a uniquely compelling RPG on the DS.

5. Radiant Historia (2010)

radiant historia ds

Radiant Historia stands out with its unique take on time travel and branching storylines.

The game is lauded for its compelling narrative, where players navigate through different timelines to alter the course of history.

With its strategic grid-based battle system and intricate plot, Radiant Historia is not just a standout RPG on the DS but also a timeless classic in the genre.

4. Chrono Trigger DS (2008)

chrono trigger ds

Chrono Trigger DS is a masterful port of the beloved SNES classic.

This version retains the original’s charming graphics, engaging story, and innovative battle system, while adding new content and DS-specific features.

Its timeless story of time travel and friendship, combined with its groundbreaking gameplay, makes Chrono Trigger DS one of the best DS RPGs and a must-play for any RPG fan.

3. Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver (2009)

pokemon heartgold ds

Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver are enhanced remakes of the classic Gold and Silver games, revered for their faithful recreation of the Johto region and addition of the Kanto region post-game.

These games introduced new features like the Pokéwalker and Pokémon following the player.

Their blend of nostalgia and modern enhancements secures their position as some of the best DS RPGs ever made.

2. Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (2010)

golden sun dark dawn ds

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is the third installment in the Golden Sun series, known for its detailed graphics, deep storyline, and the innovative Djinn system.

This game builds upon the foundations of its predecessors with new characters and a world that has evolved since the last game.

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn’s combination of puzzle-solving, turn-based combat, and magical exploration makes it a standout RPG on the DS.

1. The World Ends With You (2007)

the world ends with you ds

At the top of our list is The World Ends With You, a game that redefines what an RPG can be.

Set in modern-day Shibuya, Tokyo, this game is renowned for its unique art style, engaging story, and innovative combat system that utilizes the DS’s dual screens.

The game’s emphasis on fashion, music, and urban culture, combined with its deep character development and immersive gameplay, make it the best of the best DS RPGs and a hallmark of innovation in the genre.

Final Word

The Nintendo DS era was a golden age for RPGs, offering a plethora of games that pushed the boundaries of storytelling, gameplay, and innovation.

From the time-traveling adventures of Radiant Historia to the urban fantasy of The World Ends With You, these RPGs offered diverse and rich experiences.

Each game on this list represents a unique facet of the RPG genre, showcasing the versatility and depth of storytelling and gameplay that RPGs can offer.

For fans of the genre, these titles are not just games; they are unforgettable journeys that stand the test of time.

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Jacob Woodward
Jacob Woodward
Jacob has multiple years of experience in the gaming and tech industry, writing for media publishers such as Gfinity, NetworkN, GGRecon, and more. He is a retro gaming expert, obsessed with getting the nostalgia kick that it brings. With a wealth of experience in collecting, playing with, and even modding retro systems, he has key knowledge on this niche corner of the market.
Jacob Woodward
Jacob Woodward
Jacob has multiple years of experience in the gaming and tech industry, writing for media publishers such as Gfinity, NetworkN, GGRecon, and more. He is a retro gaming expert, obsessed with getting the nostalgia kick that it brings. With a wealth of experience in collecting, playing with, and even modding retro systems, he has key knowledge on this niche corner of the market.