10 Best Mario Games On Nintendo DS

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Grab your red hat and dungarees, it’s time to check out the best Mario games on Nintendo DS!

The Mario franchise is pretty much the coolest thing ever. I mean, I feel like it’s kind of pointless even trying to explain why to a bunch of gamers.

The Mount Rushmore of video game franchises (which, we need to build, btw) would absolutely have that mustached face up there next to a blue hedgehog, a boy with a green hat, and like… I dunno… Tiny Tina or something.

There are over 250 Mario and family related game appearances out there, and I consider a handful of those to be in my personal top 10 of all time.

Today, however, we’re focusing our attention on the ten best Mario related game titles on the Nintendo DS, a games console that is home to a ton of incredible gaming experiences.

So let’s-a-go.. here’s the 10 best Mario games on Nintendo DS.

1. Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (2005)

Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (2005) nintendo ds
image credit: nintendo

You may be asking yourself why we would put Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time at the number one spot on our list of the best Mario games on Nintendo DS.

Well that’s silly.. cause it’s the best, of course!

In our opinion, it is one of the coolest Mario titles of all time, not just for the DS.

What makes “Partners in Time” different is its use of a darker and more mature feel than previous Mario titles. The character, the story, the game play… all incredible.

Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time ds gameplay
image credit: nintendo

As a sequel to the classic Game Boy Advance title Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, “Partners in Time” is an RPG with turn-based combat and a more developed storyline than your usual platforming Mario games.

Using the theme of time travel, you play as Mario, Baby Mario, Luigi, and Baby Luigi in an adventure to save Princess Peach (yes, again).

However, this time… Bowser didn’t do it!

This time, you are pitted against a race of aliens known as the “Shroobs”. Baby Bowser does make his appearance just to cause some trouble for Mario and Luigi.

Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time took an easy spot on our list of the Best Nintendo DS RPGs Of All time, and I’m proud to see my Dodo brothers giving it as much credit as I do.

This is one of the best experiences you can have on the Nintendo DS, and that is why I am giving it the number one spot. Well deserved.

2. Super Mario 64 DS (2004)

Super Mario 64 is easily one of the most influential and era defining video games ever.

We gave it the number one spot on our list of the Best Mario Games Of All Time, so you know we loved it.

It absolutely blew the minds of gamers at the time of its release back in 1996. And it was a gaming experience made possible by the amazing technology of the Nintendo 64.

So did we ever anticipate that we would be playing the classic title on the go?

Absolutely not. But we did!

Yes, the Nintendo DS brought one of our favorite video games to the comfort of our own hands (that’s a weird way of putting it), and gave new life to the title.

super mario ds gameplay
image credit: nintendo

Super Mario 64 DS is not a port or remaster, it was actually a full remake. It featured entirely new graphics, characters, and tasks.

You start the game as Yoshi, and can unlock Mario, Luigi and Wario as playable characters later in the game. You will need the help of all four characters to complete the game in this remake.

Super Mario 64 DS is a must-play game for the Nintendo DS, and is likely the first game you picked up for the portable console.

It was actually a launch title for the Nintendo DS, and is still one of the highest rated and best selling games on the console.

We freakin love it, and enjoy the changes brought into the remake. We can’t recommend it enough.

3. Mario Kart DS (2005)

mario kart ds

If you’ve played a Mario Kart game before, then you know exactly what to expect here:

A ton of fun on some really colorful race tracks, a bunch of other racers tossing all kinds of stuff at you to attempt to slow you down, and a high-octane race to the finish line.

In reality… it’s never that “high-octane”, but it’s that casual pace of a go-kart that makes it so enjoyable.

Taking advantage of the dual screen setup of the Nintendo DS, players can use the bottom screen as a track map or a vicinity monitor to detect incoming attacks from other racers.

mario kart ds gameplay
image credit: nintendo

Mario Kart DS was the first “Kart” title to allow online multiplayer, though the DS servers have since been shutdown.

It is also one of the highest rated Mario Kart games of all time, and that’s saying a lot.

Mario Kart DS has sold over 23.6 million units, and is the third highest selling Nintendo DS game of all time.

An absolute classic for the Nintendo DS and easily one of our favorites for the portable console.

4. Mario Party DS (2007)

Mario Party DS (2007) - 10 Best Mario Games On Nintendo DS In 2022
image credit: nintendo

Like the previous hit games in the series, Mario Party DS is a collection of mini-games with an emphases on multiplayer and playing with your friends.

And this was actually the final Mario game to be developed Hudson Soft, who had developed every Mario Party title until their acquisition by Konami.

There are a total of 74 mini-games, all making full use of the many features of the Nintendo DS.

Some games use standard button control, some use the touchscreen and stylus, and some even use the microphone.

image credit: nintendo

It’s not ideal when you’re trying to sneak in some game play in your bed while your parents are asleep down the hall. But this isn’t the kind of game you’re gonna wanna play alone or quiet.

Mario Party titles are best for exactly that.. a party. Get together with friends and have a ton of fun screaming at eachother and the screen.

Scored extremely high on our list of the Best Mario Party Games Of All Time, so go check that article out as well!

5. New Super Mario Bros. (2006)

mario bros ds

After having spent a lot of time in the 3d realm, Mario and Luigi make their return to the 2d platforming that we knew them for in New Super Mario Bros.

Game play is like the classic Mario platformers, where you run, jump, slide and glide your way through colorful stages full of familiar characters.

This is a prime example of that whole “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. Nintendo feeds us the same “rescue the Princess from Bowser” recipe every couple years, and we eat it up.

Why? ‘Cause it’s freakin awesome.

image credit: nintendo

Everything we know the Mario franchise for… smooth platforming with a wide variety of mechanics, wonderful stage design, colorful aesthetics, incredible music and sound design… it’s just a pleasing experience from start to finish.

We’ve seen it before, and we will see it again… we say that in the best way. And if you love Mario 2d games, this is one of the absolute best.

It took the number one spot on the list of the 10 Best Selling Nintendo DS Games Of All Time, so obviously we weren’t the only ones who loved it.

6. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem (2010)

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem (2010)
image credit: nintendo

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem is Nintendo’s answer to the Lemmings.

In this Mario and Donkey Kong mashup title, we see some familiar platforming worlds with a new mechanic of guiding miniature Mario toys through the stage.

Your task is to construct or destruct the area however necessary to guide them to their goal.

image credit: nintendo

It’s a lot more fun that it may sound, and it’s one of those simple puzzle games that quickly becomes addicting.

Will you be able to save the girl from the mean gorilla? Find out on the Nintendo DS!

We included this one on our list of the Best Donkey Kong Games Of 2022 and it’s good to see Mario and Donkey Kong still not getting along.

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

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (2009) nintendo ds
image credit: nintendo

Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story is the followup to the classic Nintendo DS title Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (which we may find later on this list), and sees our red and green heroes once again on a mission to save those in distress, along with themselves.

Like “Partners in Time”, this game features quirky dialogue and turn-based combat in true RPG form. A branch of the Mario franchise that is loved by many and needs a new title asap!

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story nintendo ds gameplay
image credit: nintendo

“Bowser’s Inside Story” is the third game title in the Mario & Luigi series, and finds the pair literally exploring Bowser’s innards.

Roam through Bowser’s “Pipe Yard” (yes, really) and rescue some of the usual victims of the cruel reptile(?)… Dinosaur? Turtle?

What is Bowser anyways?

It’s a heck of a good time, and one of the best experiences you will have on the Nintendo DS. It only finds itself so low on the list cause there are that many great Mario games on the DS!

8. Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games (2008)

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (2008)
image credit: nintendo

Yes, the world was absolutely shocked back in 2008 when rivals put their fists down and united in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games.

We finally got to see two of our favorite mascots in a crossover title on the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS.

“… at the Olympic Games” was the first of many games to come with the unlikely couple, and was also the first official video game of the 2008 Summer Olympics. It doesn’t get more official than “official”, you know what I’m saying?

Compete in twenty-four Olympic sports and make full use of the Nintendo DS touchscreen and stylus.

mario sonic olympics nintendo ds gameplay
image credit: nintendo

This game also featured “Dream Events”, which were more fantasy type sports events that brought in some unique features from past Sonic and Mario titles.

There were five Dream Events unique to the Nintendo DS version, making this a must-have for fans of the franchise, even if you had it for the Wii.

We included this game on our list of the Best Nintendo DS Lite Games, as it was one of the coolest to come from the DS Lite era. And we still love it to this day!

9. Super Princess Peach (2005)

Super Princess Peach (2005) nintendo ds
image credit: nintendo

Super Princess Peach for the Nintendo DS is the second time we see the cute (and sometimes annoying) Princess in her own solo adventure.

Many people assume it was her first, but she had her own game watch back in 1990 in “Princess Toadstool’s Castle Run”.

Not quite a full gaming experience, but one that counts nonetheless.

The 2005 title saw our Princess in her own proper platforming romp, not unlike other Mario titles like Super Mario World or New Super Mario Bros.

This time, the Princess gets her opportunity to return the favor and save Mario and Luigi from Bowser. Oh, and you have to rescue some Toads while you are at it, as well.

image credit: nintendo

One of the features that makes Super Princess Peach unique is the twenty four possible secret levels to unlock and a handful of fun mini-games.

Princess Peach also has an Emotion Meter, which will effect her and her surroundings based on if she is feeling joy, gloom, rage, or calm.

Also unique to this title is that Princess Peach cannot simply stomp out her enemies like Mario or Luigi. She can use her trusty umbrella to pick them up, move them aside, or toss them off a cliff.

Overall, this is some of the familiar platforming with some fun new mechanics that make this one of the best Mario games for the Nintendo DS.

10. Yoshi Touch & Go (2005)

Yoshi Touch & Go (2005)
image credit: nintendo

Yoshi is one of the coolest characters to come from the Mario franchise since his debut on the SNES.

We’ve seen a handful of solo outings for the beloved dinosaur, and the Nintendo DS title Yoshi Touch & Go is one of the best for the handheld console.

Putting use to the touchscreen functionality of the DS, YT&G features the same baby Mario we saw in Super Mario World 2, and you guide his slow fall (aided by balloons) through a collectible wonderland.

yoshi touch & go nintendo ds gameplay
image credit: nintendo

Grab all the coins you can on your way down, before hopping on a Yoshi’s back and scampering off to safety. There’s even some Yoshi platforming thrown in for good measure.

There are a variety of levels to explore, but it’s mostly the same kind of casual, relaxing gameplay one might crave when it’s been a long day in the office.

A fun game and a great way to start our list of the best Mario games on Nintendo DS.

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