Nintendo DS

ConsoleNameDeveloperLucca's Observations
JP DS7th DragonImageepochSlay some dragons in a traditional turn-based style!
DSAdvance Wars: Days of RuinIntelligent SystemsA more post-apocalyptic setting than pervious entries, individual units can level up in combat (though the effect only lasts for one map)
DSAdvance Wars: Dual StrikeIntelligent SystemsIncorporates leveling of commanding officers to the army tactics game
DSAtelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera IslandGustThe first traditional Atelier game to come to the States - lots of crafting and time management as expected
DSAvalon CodeMatrix SoftwareOffbeat ARPG focusing on changing the properties of items to solve puzzles
DSAway: Shuffle DungeonArtoon/MistwalkerUnique spin on the mystery dungeon rogue-like format: each of the two screens is randomized and will shuffle after a time
DSA Witch's TaleHit Maker/Nippon IchiBland gameplay with a twisted Halloween aesthetic and public domain characters
DSBleach: The 3rd PhantomTom CreateAn SRPG with relationship-building elements, spinoff story written by Tite Kubo himself
JP DSBlood of BahamutThink & FeelGiant monster-slaying ARPG with mission-based structure
DSBlue Dragon: Awakened ShadowTri-CrescendoARPG with a customizable protagonist, Shu and the gang are AI-controlled party members
DSBlue Dragon PlusBrownie Brown/feelplusRTSRPG sequel to Blue Dragon, adorable spritework
DSCastlevania: Dawn of SorrowKonamiMetroidvania direct sequel to Aria of Sorrow with a more anime design aesthetic, requires the stylus to draw symbols
DSCastlevania: Order of EcclesiaKonamiLast of the DS Metroidvanias, featuring a glyph combination system to customize movement and combat abilities
DSCastlevania: Portrait of RuinKonamiMetroidvania with highly varied level design and two switchable playable protagonists - CHARLOTTEJONATHANCHARLOTTE
DSCave Story (DSiWare)Studio Pixel/NicalisA platforming-heavy metroidvania created by a one-man development team; taking damage loses XP for weapons
DSChildren of ManaNex EntertainmentBeautiful graphics, but otherwise a repetitive randomized dungeon-crawling ARPG
DSChrono TriggerSquare Enix/ToseIf you must play a version of this game (and you must), this one is a good choice- it has extra cut content!
DSContactGrasshopper ManufactureA fourth-wall breaking ARPG with a costume-based skill system and stats gained in real-time by taking specific actions
DSCustom Robo ArenaNoise Inc.Go to school, build your robot, and battle using it in arena-styled ARPG combat!
DSDeep LabyrinthInteractive BrainsA first-person dungeon crawler ARPG with heavy use of the stylus for attacking and drawing runes for spellcasting
DSDigimon World ChampionshipEpicsAll the perils of raising monsters without any of the storyline or ability to control them in combat (which happens via AI)!
DSDigimon World Dawn/DuskBECSequels to Digimon World DS, play similarly, exclusive Digimon to each version (as is tradition)
DSDigimon World DSBECTechnically the first game in the Digimon Story series rather than a Digimon World game, very Pokemon-esque in gameplay
DSDinosaur KingClimax EntertainmentIt's Pokemon, but with dinosaurs instead! Combat is literally in a rock-paper-scissors format
DSDisgaea DSNippon IchiPort of the PSP version of the classic SRPG with a few additional characters
DSDokapon JourneySuzakHybrid JRPG/board game, super duper cute!
DSDragon Ball Z: Attack of the SaiyansMonolith SoftAn actual traditional turn-based Dragon Ball Z JRPG? I never thought I would see the day!
DSDragon Ball Z: Harukanaru DensetsuBECTaking it all the way back to card-based combat, encounters take a long time but you gain experience between them
DSDragon Quest IV: Chapters of the ChosenArtePiazzaClassic JRPG gameplay broken up into chapters following specific protagonists, has one more chapter than the NES version
DSDragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry SkiesLevel-5Intended to be a multiplayer JRPG, all party members are customizable
DSDragon Quest Monsters: JokerToseMore Dragon Quest-themed monster collection and synthesis! Also features a DQ VIII- like skill system
DSDragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2ToseNot a direct sequel to Joker, adds monsters of varying sizes but otherwise plays the same
DSDragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly BrideArtePiazzaFirst release of DQV in North America, featuring monster taming and a multi-generational story
DSDragon Quest VI: Realms of RevelationArtePiazzaFirst appearance of DQVI in the west, same turn-based gameplay, plot revolving around two separate worlds
DSDrone TacticsSuccessA robo-bug-based SRPG, skews in a simplistic/childlike direction, especially story-wise
DSDungeon Explorer: Warriors of Ancient ArtsHudson SoftIsometric ARPG dungeon crawler, has a materia-like system of weapon/armor augmentation
DSEtrian OdysseyAtlus/LancarseClassic-styled first-person dungeon crawler with punishing difficulty, requires dungeon mapping via the stylus
DSEtrian Odyssey II: Heroes of LagaardAtlus/LancarseVery similar to the first game, just as blisteringly hard, more mapping symbols available for use
DSEtrian Odyssey III: The Drowned CityAtlusPlays like the two before it; adds 12 new classes, subclassing, weapon forging, and seafaring
DSFinal Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of LightMatrix Software/Square EnixA return to classic form for the series with a job-like system; the predecessor to Bravely Default
DSFinal Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of TimeSquare EnixIsometric ARPG dungeon crawl with character creation, can link to other DS or Wii copies of the game for multiplayer
DSFinal Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of FatesSquare EnixThe multiplayer ARPG returns with changes to the playable classes and visible equipment
DSFinal Fantasy IIIMatrix Software/Square EnixFirst appearance of the job-heavy game in the west
DSFinal Fantasy IVMatrix SoftwareA drastic change in graphics from 2D to 3D, added FMV cutscenes, significantly expanded plot from previous versions
DSFinal Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the RiftSquare EnixClass- and clan-based SRPG, similar to its predecessor in lighthearted tone, but far less strict laws in play
DSFinal Fantasy XII: Revenant WingsThink & Feel/Square EnixSequel to FFXII, in RTSRPG form! Strong focus on Esper summoning, US version is more difficult than JP
DSFire Emblem: Shadow DragonIntelligent SystemsRemake of the first Fire Emblem game (and the first time Marth's story was told in the west) adding a lot of QoL features
JP DSFire Emblem: Shin Monshou no Nazo - Hikari to Kage no EiyuuIntelligent SystemsUnlocalized updated version of book 2 of Mystery of the Emblem, adds an avatar character, hard as ever
DSFossil FightersRED Entertainment/M2/Artdink/NintendoDig up fossils, combine them, revive them, and pit them against each other in Pokemon-like combat!
DSFossil Fighters ChampionsRED Entertainment/M2/Artdink/NintendoMore dinosaur-like creatures to unearth, train, and fight!
DSFossil League: Dino Tournament ChampionshipMTOAnother dinosaur-themed Pokemon clone, but uses actual dinosaurs rather than made-up creatures
DSFoto Showdown (DSi and up only)Alpha-UnitAnother monster collector/battler where you gain creatures to fight by taking pictures with your DSi/3DS camera
DSFrom the AbyssSonic PoweredRandomized dungeon crawler ARPG
DSFront MissionSquare EnixFirst appearance of the game on western shores, with all the walking tanks you can handle
DSG.G Series: The Last Knight (DSiWare)Genterprise/SuzakBland budget top-down dungeon crawler with repetitive environments and music
DSGlory of HeraclesPaon/Studio SaizensenThe first Glory of Heracles game to reach the west (and sixth overall), semi-sluggish turn-based combat and overall average
DSGolden Sun: Dark DawnCamelotSet 30 years after the initial duology, plays similarly, updates the graphics to 3D, battles are almost too easy
DSGO Series: Picdun (DSiWare, delisted)IntenseA first-person dungeon crawl where your path through each floor makes a picture on the map, timing-based combat
DSHarvest Moon: The Tale of Two TownsMarvelousYou're now both a farmer and ambassador!
DSHarvest Moon DSToseClassic farming gameplay, lots of harvest spirtes to rescue- and crops themselves level up!
DSHarvest Moon DS: CuteMarvelousAn alternative version of Harvest Moon DS that makes some QoL changes and allows you to play as a female protagonist
DSHarvest Moon DS: Grand BazaarMarvelousStill farming, but done under the pretense of pure capitalism by selling your goods at a weekly marketplace
DSHarvest Moon DS: Island of HappinessToseSame farming, but now on a deserted island! Limited to touchscreen controls
DSHarvest Moon DS: Sunshine IslandsMarvelousResembles Island of Happiness, but reliance on the touchsreen is removed
DSHero's Saga Laevatein TacticsGungHoSRPG; combat between individual map units takes place over 3 rounds with a full squad of troops
DSHeroes of ManaBrownie BrownRTS where better equipment is the key to raising stats; pretty but lacking in substance
DSHoshigami: Ruining Blue Earth RemixBarnhouse EffectRemake of the PSX SRPG with a new localization and endings
DSInazuma Eleven (PAL only)Level-5It's a soccer RPG- with hundreds of players to potentially scout and dramatic duels on the field!
DSInazuma Eleven 2: Blizzard/Firestorm (PAL only)Level-5Play soccer to save the world from being destroyed by aliens!
DSInfinite SpacePlatinumGames/Nude MakerSpace opera with customizable ships and a branching narrative
DSInuyasha: Secret of the Divine JewelArt Co./Frontier GrooveRun-of-the-mill turn-based JRPG with an original story featuring the characters and setting of the anime/manga
DSIzuna 2: The Unemployed Ninja ReturnsNinja StudioPlays like the first with similar tone, but adds a tag system for exploring dungeons; lots of grinding is necessary to complete
DSIzuna: Legend of the Unemployed NinjaNinja StudioRoguelike dungeon crawler with a quirky protagonist, decent difficulty curve
DSKingdom Hearts 358/2 Daysh.a.n.d. Inc./Square EnixStars Organization XIII, takes place parallel to Chain of Memories; mission-like structure with the same ARPG gameplay
DSKingdom Hearts Re:codedh.a.n.d. Inc./Square EnixRemake of a mobile-only game, has more puzzles involved than a standard KH game
DSKnights in the NightmareStingFourth episode of the Dept. Heaven game series; SRPG/bullet hell hybrid that should be played to be believed
DSLegacy of Ys: Books I & IIDreams/FalcomCombined enhanced remake of Ys I and II with 3D and potential multiplayer
DSLost in BlueKonamiSuccessor to the Survival Kids series with more RPG elements; tools can be upgraded to make your experience easier
DSLost in Blue 2Matrix SoftwareSurvive on a deserted island with your partner (and be sure to improve your living conditions as well)!
DSLost in Blue 3Matrix SoftwareMore castaways to assist with touchscreen mechanics
DSLostMagicTaitoRTSRPG that revolves around drawing various runes to use powerful magic and monster capturing
DSLufia: Curse of the SinistralsNeverlandRemake of Lufia II, with 3D graphics and ARPG gameplay instead of the series' traditional turn-based style
DSLuminous ArcImageepochSRPG; relationship-building between characters takes place between battles
DSLuminous Arc 2ImageepochNot terribly different from the first, can be quite difficult, endings are determined by pre-battle dialouge choices
DSLunar: Dragon SongJapan Art MediaNice sprite work and music is the only thing this game has going for it. Garbage story, garbage characters, garbage game design.
DSLunar KnightsKojima ProductionsARPG; part of the Boktai series, and can even use the previous game's cartriges as solar sensors to confer extra bonuses
DSMagical StarsignBrownie BrownCute turn-based JRPG with food-named characters and a focus on elemental and planetary alignment in combat
DSMagician's Quest: Mysterious TimesAquriaIf Animal Crossing went to Hogwarts, this would be the adorable result
DSMario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside StoryAlphaDreamMore fun with the Mario Bros., as well as exploration of Bowser's innards!
DSMario & Luigi: Partners in TimeAlphaDreamRelated to Superstar Saga by time travel, still turn-based with timing elements; introduces baby Mario and Luigi as playable
DSMaster of the Monster LairGlobal A EntertainmentWant to slay monsters? Just dig a whole dungeon for them so you have them all corralled in one place!
DSMega Man Battle Network 5: Double Team DSCapcomHas content from both versions of MMBN 5 as well as additional content
DSMega Man Star Force 2: Zerker X Ninja/Zerker X SaurianCapcomSee above, but with a few more transformations
DSMega Man Star Force 3: Black Ace/Red JokerCapcomSee above, with version-specific transformations, more customizable commands, and the ability to become Mega Man at any time
DSMega Man Star Force: Dragon/Leo/PegasusCapcomSeparate from but plays in a similar manner to the MMBN series, except with a vertical grid and more limited dodging
JP DSMetal Max 2: ReloadedCrea-TechTakes gameplay improvements from later entries and applies them to the second game- with an optional female protagonist and free-roaming
JP DSMetal Max 3Cattle CallReturn to the wasteland with tanks in tow; non-linear story progression
DSMonster RacersKoeiA peculiar monster-collecting game where you battle via racing
DSMonster Rancher DSCingMonster raising and battling, now on two screens! Utilizes the microphone and touch screen to create monsters
JP DSMugen no Frontier EXCEED: Super Robot Taisen OG SagaMonolith SoftSequel to SRTOGS: Endless Frontier, plays in the same way, with crossover elements
DSMystery Dungeon: Shiren the WandererChunsoftRoguelike dungeon crawl where food management is critical and death is expected
DSMy World, My WayGlobal A EntertainmentThe main character is a spoiled princess who can literally pout her way into changing the difficulty of battles and the terrain itself
DSNaruto: Path of the NinjaToseFollows the manga/anime through the Chunin Exams arc, with some touch controls integrated
DSNaruto: Path of the Ninja 2TosePlays like the first game, but is more of an original filler story than directly following the source material
JP DSNi no Kuni: Shikkoku no MadoushiLevel-5Same general story as Wrath of the White Witch, but vastly different gameplay - a literal spellbook is a necessity to draw the required runes
DSNostalgiaMatrix Software/RED EntertainmentTurn-based combat, airship battles, real-world locations, and a magical steampunk aesthetic
JP DSOre ga Omae o MamoruVingt-et-un Systems/Idea FactoryA Metroidvania made to entice women to play, but quite difficult in practice; no XP to speak of but stats can be increased through equipment and story events
DSPhantasy Star 0Sonic TeamThink Phantasy Star Online, but with crunchier graphics and a full-fledged story mode
DSPokemon Black/WhiteGame FreakIncredible animated spritework and perhaps the best storyline in the franchise
DSPokemon Black 2/White 2Game FreakRegarded by many as the peak of the franchise; a continuation of Gen 5's story
DSPokemon ConquestKoeiPokemon meets Nobunaga's Ambition - a fun SRPG with levels gained through bonding with your trainer
DSPokemon Diamond/PearlGame FreakLess water than Gen 3 Pokemon games, but with an obnoxious mountain to frequently travel through
DSPokemon HeartGold/SoulSilverGame FreakRemakes of the Gen 2 Pokemon games, with the storyline from Crystal attached, can also make use of the Pokewalker accessory
DSPokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue TeamChunsoftCompanion to the GBA's Red Rescue Team, with Pokemon exploring randomized labyrinths in classic Mystery Dungeon style
DSPokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness/TimeChunsoftMore mystery dungeon delving with the famous pocket monsters, with the addition of Gen 4 Pokemon
DSPokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of SkyChunsoftThe "third version" of Explorers of Darkness/Time, adds more storyline elements
DSPokemon PlatinumGame FreakLast of the "combined third versions" of Pokemon games, this one the arguably ultimate version of Gen 4
DSPokemon RangerHAL LaboratoryMore of an ARPG than regular Pokemon games that uses the stylus to help temporarily capture Pokemon, who assist in completing missions
DSPokemon Ranger: Guardian SignsCreatures Inc.Very like the first two, but now you can also draw symbols to summon legendary 'mons to help you out
DSPokemon Ranger: Shadows of AlmiaCreatures Inc.Still no Pokemon battling here and still touchscreen-heavy, but with more possible partner Pokemon and tools for capturing
DSRadiant HistoriaAtlus/HeadlockTurn-based grid combat, lots of time travel and utilizing branching timelines to affect the future
DSRagnarok DSGungHoAs the title implies, it's Ragnarok Online, except on the DS; only a max of 3 can play together, but there is a storyline to follow
DSRhapsody: A Musical AdventureNippon IchiChanges the SRPG combat to 2D turn-based fighting, no English song vocals
DSRiver King: Mystic ValleyMarvelousIt's a River King game, yes, but the fishing lacks the charm it once had in earlier games
JP DSRockman.EXE: Operate Shooting StarCapcomA port of Mega Man Battle Network with some additional Star Force content thrown in
DSRondo of SwordsSuccessAn SRPG where you have to run a route through enemies to engage them in combat
DSRune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest MoonNeverlandGrow your farm and level up, and befriend monsters to hire them as farmhands!
DSRune Factory 3: A Fantasy Harvest MoonNeverlandLike the others, but villagers now have a dynamic AI schedule and the ability to delve into dungeons with the player
DSRune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest MoonNeverlandNow you get to raise crops and slay monsters!
JP DSSaGa 2: Hihou Densetsu - Goddess of DestinyRacjin/Square EnixA ground-up remake of Final Fantasy Legend II, with more sidequests and the removal of random battles
JP DSSaGa 3: Jikuu no Hasha - Shadow or LightRacjin/Square EnixGiven the same treatment as its predecessor from Final Fantasy Legend III
DSSands of DestructionImageepochTiming/combo based combat system that the enemies have no trouble abusing you with
DSShin Megami Tensei: Devil SurvivorAtlusSRPG with branching narrative choices and squads of units rather than individuals, plus demons of course
DSShin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2AtlusPlays largely the same as the first, but adds a social system to influence the ending
DSShin Megami Tensei: Strange JourneyAtlus/LancarseFirst-person dungeon crawler with demon battling, negotiation, and fusion - all in Antarctica!
DSSolatorobo: Red the HunterCyberConnect2Spiritual sequel to Tail Concerto (PSX), with steampunk robot combat and tons of anthropomorphic creatures
JP DSSoma BringerMonolith SoftTop-down ARPG, widely acclaimed; lots of text to read and lots of character customization to do
DSSpectral Force GenesisIdea FactoryAn extremely detailed war sim RTSRPG, with multiple nations to play as and features like taxation and diplomacy
DSSpectrobesJupiterAn original Disney Interactive Studios IP with slippery-looking controls; a Pokemon clone with ARPG combat
DSSpectrobes: Beyond the PortalsJupiterMany more Spectrobes to collect and a general improvement overall from the first game
DSSuikoden TierkreisKonamiNot part of the main series storyline (no returning characters), but similar 108-star recuitment and turn-based gameplay
DSSummon Night: Twin AgeFlight-PlanTouch control-only ARPG with 2 AI party members and the ability to summon monsters
DSSuper Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless FrontierMonolith SoftSpinoff of the Original Generation series of Super Robot Wars, with turn-based combo combat rather than the regular SRPG format
JP DSSuper Robot Wars WBanprestoGenerally speaking same gameplay as always, splits the story into 2 timelines (not all storylines are present in both)
JP DSTales of InnocenceAlfa SystemYou know what to expect here at this point - in addition, doing sidequests for guilds levels them up
JP DSTales of the TempestDimps/Namco Tales StudioA short spinoff title from the mainline series, but plays as you've come to expect; a very polarizing game
DSTao's Adventure: Curse of the Demon SealKonamiSequel to Azure Dreams (PSX/GBC), with similar tower climbing/dungeon crawling mchanics, with the addition of touchscreen runes
DSThe Dark SpireSuccessA heavily stylized first-person dungeon crawler with an emphasis on an alignment system
DSThe Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick RoadMedia VisionDorothy and friends go out to hunt some witches, with a cumbersome trackball guiding movement and a slot-based combat system
DSThe World Ends With YouJupiter/Square EnixA fashionable, frantic ARPG that utilizes badges of sorts to determine attack abilities
DSValkyrie Profile: Covenant of the PlumeTri-AcePrequel to the first Valkyrie Profile; an SRPG where permakilling party members voluntarily can greatly aid in battle