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10 Best Nintendo DS Games of All Time Ranked by Sales by@mm22

10 Best Nintendo DS Games of All Time Ranked by Sales

Marc Magrini Hacker Noon profile picture

Marc Magrini

Huge fan of video games hoping to inform and entertain people

The Nintendo DS is among the most historic of gaming devices. Not only is it the best-selling Nintendo console to date, it’s also the best-selling handheld console of all time. Of course, even a popular device is only as good as the games you can find on it. To understand just how far this popularity went, let’s take a look back at the best Nintendo DS games of all time, based on sales.

The Top 10 Nintendo DS Games Ranked By Sales

  • 10. Super Mario 64 DS
  • 9. Animal Crossing: Wild World
  • 8. Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver
  • 7. Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a Day
  • 6. Pokémon Black/White
  • 5. Pokémon Diamond/Pearl
  • 4. Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day
  • 3. Mario Kart DS
  • 2. Nintendogs
  • 1. New Super Mario Bros.

10. Super Mario 64 DS - 11.06 Million Copies


Image via unofficial Mario wiki

A remake of the original N64 title, Super Mario 64 DS added new features and new characters unique to the world of 3D Mario titles. Whether or not it’s better than the original is up for debate, but extra content on top of an already great Mario game was certain to get this game a spot in the top 10.

9. Animal Crossing: Wild World - 11.75 Million Copies


Image via unofficial Animal Crossing wiki

While it might only be the second game in the low-stakes life simulation series, Wild World was the first handheld release for Animal Crossing. The game’s style lends itself well to a handheld format, with players able to perform their daily tasks, put down the game, and immediately pick it up the next day. It also allowed players to visit each other’s towns over Wi-Fi, making for a fantastic mixture of fun and relaxation that - at the time - couldn’t be found anywhere else.

8. Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver - 12.72 Million Copies


Image via NintendoLife

Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver were the last remakes of retro Pokémon games before the series made its jump to 3D models. They included countless improvements and special gimmicks for players, including a handheld pokeball that counted steps and allowed you to catch Pokémon without even being near your DS. It’s no surprise these games ended up in the top 10 - it would be surprising if these games didn’t sell well.

7. Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a Day - 14.88 Million Copies


Image via Amazon

Perhaps one of the more odd entries on this list, Brain Age 2 is a sequel to the original edutainment title. It allows players to improve their thinking abilities through minigames and gamemodes. The original title shows up on this list as well, but the fact that its sequel ended up with such high numbers is a testament to the appeal of these games.

6. Pokémon Black/White: 15.64 Million Copies


Image via Just Push Start

As the introduction to the fifth generation of Pokémon games, these titles were truly incredible. Black and White brought an impressive amount of new Pokémon, amazing features like season changes and improved connectivity, and a deeper story than most games in the series cared to think about. What’s most surprising about these titles is that they didn’t manage to break the top 5...but it becomes less surprising when you see what beat them.

5. Pokémon Diamond/Pearl: 17.67 Million Copies


Image via Dot Esports

Rounding off the top half of the list is Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, the first games in the series to feature online play and innovate on the base mechanics. Diamond and Pearl might not have as many brand-new qualities when compared to the other Pokémon games on this list, but it kicked off some of the biggest changes the series has ever seen. It truly deserves its spot in the top 5 DS games.

4. Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day - 19.01 Million Copies


Image via StrategyWiki

To the surprise of perhaps everyone, the first Brain Age beats out all the other Pokémon titles. It’s a simple game featuring puzzles and minigames to - as the name implies - train your brain. But the mixture of education and fun is something that not very many games could achieve back then; with the wide age demographic this game targeted, it’s actually not surprising to see it so high on the list.

3. Mario Kart DS - 23.60 Million Copies


Image via unofficial Mario wiki

As with almost every major Nintendo console since the SNES, it was inevitable for a game like Mario Kart DS to arrive in players’ hands. And as the first Mario Kart game to feature online play, it was just as inevitable to see it in this list. Features such as download play and mission mode give this game even more of a unique identity; one that even recent Mario Kart titles fail to replicate.

2. Nintendogs - 23.96 Million Copies


Image via Giant Bomb

A cheap way to simulate the feeling of having a cute pet around, Nintendogs was sure to reach the hearts of players both young and old. It was sold as part of bundles with special Nintendo DS systems, so part of that success might simply be due to it being in a pretty neat package. But if you didn’t have the money or time to sink into a real-life animal, it was certainly a welcome alternative.

1. New Super Mario Bros. - 30.80 Million Copies


Image via unofficial Mario wiki

And the number 1 best Nintendo DS game, based on sales, is New Super Mario Bros.! As the first truly new 2D Mario title since the early 1990s, this game set a standard that the series would follow for years to come. With additional features such as fun minigames, a two-player battle mode, and brand-new foes to face, New Super Mario Bros. has truly earned its spot at the top.

These are the best Nintendo DS games of all time, at least when it comes to their sales. There are still hundreds of fantastic DS games not covered by this list. Whether or not these games pique your interest, there’ll certainly be a great title on this classic system just waiting for you to play it.

Reference: IR Information : Financial Data - Top Selling Title Sales Units - Nintendo DS Software