The Nintendo DS, fondly known as the NDS, was a handheld gaming console that revolutionized the world of portable gaming. With its dual-screen design, touch functionality, and an incredible library of games, the NDS provided gamers with hours of entertainment on the go. While the NDS is no longer in production, its legacy lives on through emulators and NDS ROMs, allowing fans to relive the magic of this iconic handheld.
In this article, we’re going to take a nostalgic trip down memory lane and rank the all-time best NDS ROMs. From action-adventure to puzzle games, the NDS had something for everyone, and these ROMs represent the pinnacle of the platform’s gaming experience.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
Our journey through the best NDS ROMs begins with a timeless classic: “The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass.” Released in 2007, this game takes players on a captivating adventure as they follow Link’s quest to rescue Princess Zelda from a ghost ship. With its innovative use of the DS touchscreen for sailing and puzzle-solving, “Phantom Hourglass” remains a shining example of how to adapt a beloved franchise for a handheld platform.
2. Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story
The “Mario & Luigi” series is known for its humor and creative gameplay mechanics, and “Bowser’s Inside Story” is no exception. In this RPG, players control both Mario and Luigi as they venture inside Bowser’s body to solve puzzles and engage in battles. The game’s witty writing, inventive battles, and hilarious interactions between characters make it a delightful and memorable experience.
3. Elite Beat Agents
“Elite Beat Agents” is a rhythm game with a quirky twist. Players take on the role of secret agents who use their dance moves to help people in need by following the beat of various songs. The game’s offbeat humor, diverse soundtrack, and challenging gameplay make it a unique and entertaining addition to the NDS library.
4. Chrono Trigger DS
“Chrono Trigger” is a legendary RPG that originally graced the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). The NDS version, “Chrono Trigger DS,” brought this timeless classic to a new generation of gamers. With improved graphics, an updated translation, and a dual-screen interface that made navigating menus a breeze, “Chrono Trigger DS” remains a must-play for RPG aficionados.
5. Animal Crossing: Wild World
The tranquil and charming world of “Animal Crossing: Wild World” offered players a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. As a resident in a village filled with anthropomorphic animal neighbors, players could fish, catch bugs, decorate their homes, and engage in various activities that changed with the seasons. The game’s real-time clock and multiplayer features made it a truly immersive and social experience.
6. Professor Layton and the Curious Village
If you enjoy brain-teasing puzzles and charming storytelling, “Professor Layton and the Curious Village” is an NDS ROM that should not be missed. This game combines a captivating mystery plot with a wide variety of puzzles, from logic puzzles to riddles. Players step into the shoes of the titular Professor Layton and his apprentice, Luke, as they unravel the secrets of St. Mystere. It’s a delightful and engaging experience that showcases the NDS’s capabilities.
7. Mario Kart DS
“Mario Kart DS” needs no introduction. This beloved racing game brought the Mario Kart experience to the handheld realm with style. With a robust single-player mode, fun multiplayer races, and a variety of classic and new tracks, it’s a game that perfectly captures the essence of the franchise. “Mario Kart DS” is a prime example of how the NDS made it possible to enjoy console-quality gaming on the go.
8. The World Ends with You
“The World Ends with You” is an NDS ROM that stands as a testament to the platform’s willingness to experiment with unique gameplay and storytelling. Set in the bustling streets of Shibuya, this action RPG features a complex battle system that utilizes both screens and requires players to master multiple inputs simultaneously. The game’s hip urban aesthetic and deep narrative make it a standout title that’s as stylish as it is challenging.
9. Advance Wars: Dual Strike
“Advance Wars: Dual Strike” is a strategy game that showcases the NDS’s potential for delivering immersive gameplay experiences. As the commander of an army, players engage in turn-based battles, coordinating their units and tactics to outsmart their opponents. With a diverse cast of characters and a robust campaign mode, this game offers a deep and rewarding strategy experience.
10. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Last but certainly not least, “Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney” is a unique visual novel adventure that puts players in the shoes of a defense attorney. This game blends courtroom drama, quirky characters, and clever puzzles to create an experience that’s both entertaining and mentally stimulating. The touchscreen interface is perfectly suited for gathering evidence and presenting it in court, making for an engaging and immersive gameplay experience.
Before we conclude our journey through the best NDS ROMs, it’s essential to address the topic of downloading NDS ROMs. Emulating and playing NDS ROMs on your computer or mobile device can be a wonderful way to relive the magic of the Nintendo DS.
Many websites offer NDS ROMs for download. To ensure you’re downloading ROMs from a trusted source, consider using reputable websites or online communities dedicated to preserving and sharing classic games. Additionally, you may want to look into the legalities of ROM emulation in your country, as the rules can vary.
The Nintendo DS era was a golden age for portable gaming, and the NDS ROMs mentioned in this article represent some of the finest experiences the platform had to offer. Whether you’re reliving old memories or discovering these games for the first time, the NDS library continues to provide countless hours of entertainment. So fire up your emulator, grab your stylus, and embark on a nostalgic journey through the world of NDS gaming.