Search the back of your sofa for a stylus; it’s time to check out the best selling Nintendo DS games of all time!
It stands to reason that the best selling handheld of all time will have some pretty impressive sales figures for all of its games. The DS was an unprecedented success, though the Nintendo Switch hybrid hero is hot on its heels in terms of sales.
Racing on the go, tending to a farm on the bus, training a dog on the sofa, all with two screens and touch screen capabilities.
Plus having that mic to use on some games was incredible. What a console!
So, which duel-screen devils sold the most units out of the DS’ impressive back catalogue of almost 3,000 games? Which are the titles that cause the most waves in the industry?
And more importantly, how many of them are Mario titles?
All will be revealed below!
- Total Sales – 11,060,000
Super Mario 64 DS kickstarts our list of the best selling Nintendo DS games of all time, outselling the top spot on many of our other best selling games lists!
Though again, considering the Nintendo DS is still the best selling handheld of all time, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Super Mario 64 never needed anything to make it any better. At least that’s what I thought until Ninty gave us the chance to play as Yoshi, Luigi, and Wario alongisde Mazza.
The main premise of the game is exactly the same, but instead of starting off with Mario, players start off using Yoshi for the first few levels. The other three characters rush off into the castle and end up getting captured.
Don’t send humans to do a dinosaurs job, eh?
The hats from the original game make an appearance once more, but each character now has special abilities thanks to the Power Flower. See Mazza float, Luigi go invisbile, Wario turn metal, and Yoshi breathe fire!
- Total Sales – 11,750,000
Animal Crossing is one of the greatest life sim games in existence, and Animal Crossing: Wild World is still one of the best titles I’ve ever played.
Ok, Animal Crossing: New Horizons comes close as the second-best-selling Nintendo Switch game for the console, but the DS adventure will always have a special place in my heart.
I guess it’s because Wild World was the first portable entry in the classic series; getting to play a life sim while walking around in real life… we don’t know we’re born eh!
Speak with talking animals, converse with people who live in the village, grow crops, and play in whichever style you want!
The world really is your oyster, except that’s the one thing they don’t farm in this game.
Night and Day are linked to the clock inside your DS too, with different actions happening in the light and dark.
The only way I can see you not liking this game is if your real life revolved around running a farm.
Then again, I know a guy who worked in a bar who used to go home and work in a bar on a life sim, so who knows!
- Total Sales – 12,720,000
Pokemon HeartGold & Soul Silver takes the 8th spot in our best selling Nintendo DS games list. They might have taken the top spot in our best Nintendo DS games list, but with 12.7 million sales, they fell almost three times short of the game in the top spot!
No surprises for guessing who features in that title!
Back in 1999 we got Pokemon Gold and Silver, two of the best Pokemon games of all time. The DS enhanced them all the way to 11, sorting out that clunky menu system and removing the need for the GBC link cable.
That’s right, HeartGold and SoulSilver brought online trading to the table!
They also souped up the graphics and and allowed us to catch Ho-Oh and Lugia all over again.
I know Zacian and Zamazenta are cool legendary figures, but the Gold and Silver legendary beasts still bring back that quintessential Pokemon mystery vibe from the good old days before everything started getting a little watered down.
Man, that made me sound old…
- Total Sales – 14,880,000
I might sound old, but my brain is still young thanks to Brain Age 2: More Training In Minutes A Day.
How can a game about brain training be so damn addictive? It turns out that keeping your brain active isn’t just fun, it’s something that you start to crave after a while.
This sequel to the first Brain Age game came out 6 months after the first title. With new exercises designed to jumpstart your brain and keep it active, it gave fans of the original more chance to feel like they were back in high school once more.
Based on Dr Kawashima’s brain neuroscience work and featuring a little avatar of him in the bottom left hand corner, it proved incredibly popular and another Ninty game that anyone of any age could play.
Play Soduku, find missing symbols, remember sums, and figure out word blends. It’s all happening in Brain Age 2!
- Total Sales – 15,640,000
Pokemon Black & White were the very first DS titles to hit the 5 million mark as sales progressed on all titles.
Ok, so on the surface, these two games definitely follow the main Pokemon formula, though they have some cool differences that grabbed the hearts and minds of Poke fans everywhere.
Firstly, they boasted 150 new critters to catch. They were also the first games to feature triple battles and rotation battles too.
The storyline feels fresh too, and Unova remains one of my favourite regions in the Pokemon canon. It’s got an inherently different vibe to Kanto and Sinnoh, especially because of the inclusion of the Dream World.
If I had to compare the Dream World to anything, it would be a little bit like the Chao Garden from Sonic Adventure 2 Battle. It’s a place where you can train your monsters, catch different Pokemon, and grow sweet sweet berries for them to hold and eat.
- Total Sales – 17,670,000
I guess it’s no surprise that there are so many Pokemon games in this article. Pokemon Diamond & Pearl might have received an upgrade on the Nintendo Switch recently, but the original Nintendo DS adventure is the best selling Pokemon game for the console!
Step into the world of Sinnoh with 107 new pocket monsters to bag and document in your Pokedex.
Diamond and Pearl were the first titles to bring WiFi battles to the table too – a big deal!
Unlike Black and White, Diamond and Pearl are much more like the traditional Pokemon games. Team Galactic replace Team Rocket, and the same gym leader battle and catch legendary Pokemon theme applies.
Side quests became more prevalent in this game too, a feature that would go on to feature more heavily in the titles that came afterwards.
Explore in the day and at night, catching Pokemon that only come out at certain times of the day and immersing yourself in the Sinnoh region!
- Total Sales – 19,010,000
Brain Age: Train Your Brain In Minutes A Day takes the 4th spot in our best selling Nintendo DS games of all time!
Can you remember the first time you turned the DS on its side and started scribbling numbers and sums?
Dr Kawashima is the little floating head that made sums sexy again. That might be a bit of an overstatement, but I’m sticking with it.
The tasks in this game get those little grey cells excited and running around once more, and we could all do with a little more of that these days!
Whether young or old, the games in Brain Age keep you sharp and on the ball in everyday life.
Find out your brain age through tests and work to decrease it, showing you’re as sharp as a youngun.
To be fair, I’m 32 at the time of writing and I know some stupid 20 year olds, so I’m not sure having a young brain age is a good thing… I’ll chat with Kawashima next time I see him.
- Total Sales – 23,600,000
Mario Kart was always going to feature in this best selling Nintendo DS games list at some point. These games are an institution, and with 23.6 million sales, it’s contributed a huge chunk towards the series total sales of 152 million copies.
I guess its one of the easiest DS games to play. As long as you can accelerate and fire, you’re onto a winner.
If you want some extra facts, it’s also the 3rd best selling Mario Kart game, sitting behind Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Tell all your mates about these cool facts you now know!
Why is Mario Kart DS such a great game?
Well, it brought new karts, characters, and tracks to the table. Having the map on the lower screen was a cool touch too, and of course, all the thrills and spills that we’ve come to love from this series.
Back in the day before the servers shut down, you could take advantage of WiFi functionality and play battle mode over the internet. Now, however, it’s still fun to play solo and if you want to go back and have slice of racing nostalgia.
- Total Sales – 23,960,000
I honestly wouldn’t have guessed that Nintendogs in all its different guises would be the second best selling Nintendo DS game series of all time.
This series has sold just short of 24 million copies. I guess there are a lot of families out there that don’t want to get a dog, right?
Nintendogs has also bagged best handheld game accolade in its time, and the series continues to enchant pet loves all over the world!
If you had a Tamagotchi or one of the equivalent Digimon variants from our best Digimon toys article, then you’ll instantly see why this game is so damn adictive.
Grab your stylus and play with your dog from dawn till dusk. Groom him or her, take them on walks, and call them to you, all while sitting in your dressing gown and drinking a cup of tea.
- Total Sales – 30,800,000
With a mind-blowing 30.8 million sales, New Super Mario Bros. is officially the best selling Nintendo DS game ever released for the console.
I guess it makes sense; everyone loves Mario, and like Pokemon, he was bound to dominate this list.
And when a handheld console comes out and brings it a title that has the words ‘new’ and ‘Mario’ in it, then it’s bound to grab people’s attention.
There are so many moves to pull off in this title thanks to the real-time 3D rendering. Use the touchscreen to store power ups and view how much further you have to go to get to the finish point on each level.
Obviously, this is a bona fide Mario game, so that means Princess Peach has been captured. Mazza and Luigi must rescue her through 8 worlds.
Traverse ice plains, a tropical island, and end up in Bowser’s Lair.
The Mega Mushroom takes Mario to new heights too, literally. Everything is easier to smash when you’re as big as the screen!
Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 31 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.