Best Nintendo DS gamesMay 12, 2020
The Nintendo DS is among the most popular handheld consoles of all time. Its iconic value is right up there with that of the Game Boy and the PSP. There were some amazing games for the system and sometimes it's easier to keep those games on your phone than to carry around a second device to play them. Sadly, development of the Nintendo DS emulator platform is still a little niche so there are not a ton of options to choose from. Nevertheless, we did find a few that worked well so here are the best Nintendo DS emulators for Android! We’d also like to give an honorable mention to nds4droid. It's really old and has not received an update in a while, but it may work well if you have an older device.
DraStic DS Emulator
DraStic DS Emulator is probably the best of the nintendo ds roms emulators right now. During our testing, it played pretty much every game we threw at it. There are probably only a handful of games that do not work right. The emulator comes with a host of features, including screen layout customization, controller customization, support for hardware controllers, fast forward, Google Drive support, and high end devices can enjoy some improved graphics rendering if they so choose. The price is $ 4.99. That's cheaper than it used to be. It’s a good bargain. This is the one we’d recommend first by a long shot. The rest of the emulators on this list are just in case this one does not work for some reason.
EmuBox is a newer emulator with a bunch of compatible systems. That includes PlayStation, SNES, and yes, Nintendo DS. This is one of the few emulators with Material Design. That makes it good looking. Thankfully, it also works okay. We did not have any serious problems playing the games we tested. Some have lamented some bugs with the emulator when using too many cheat codes, but otherwise the Google Play reviews are also mostly positive. It’s a free emulator with advertising. We hope a pro version without ads comes eventually.
NDS Emulator is one of the newer Nintendo DS emulators. It has all of the basic features such as external controller support, save states, load states, and customizable on-screen game pads. It played most of the games we tried during testing as well. It's far from perfect and there are bugs. However, this is one of the better free Nintendo DS emulators available. There are ads and they are rather annoying. We would’ve liked a way to pay to remove them. It’s not the one we’d recommend first, but it’s definitely in the top five.
RetroArch is an all-in-one emulator. It supports a variety of game systems. That includes the Nintendo DS, Game Boy, SNES, Game Boy Advance, and plenty of non-Nintendo systems. You have to download and install each system individually within the app. That means you’ll have to download this, get the Nintendo DS core, and then you can finally play games. It supports all of the basic features. It's not the easiest to use. However, it is completely free with no in-app purchases or advertising. It’s also in active development right now.
SuperNDS is the newest Nintendo DS emulator on the list. It seems to work rather well according to its reviews and it seems like it works fine in our testing. It supports NDS, ZIP, 7z, and RAR file types and includes most of the stuff you'd expect in an emulator like save states and other such things. It's a fairly basic emulator without a ton of features and it may take some digging into the settings to get it working right. It does crash more often than we’d like to see, but it’s newer than most so here’s hoping future updates fix that.
The original DS console launched way back in 2004. Since then, it's gone through multiple versions and many people fell out of love with it along the way. But if you’re still a die-hard DS fan, there are still some classic DS games that we believe hold up with the best of their newer counterparts.
What’s more, the design still holds up too. The dual-screen style of the first DS has lasted a huge amount of time, through the DS Lite, DSi, the 2DS, the 3DS and a bunch of XL releases in between. At that time, it spawned some of the best games we've played – from the great entries in the Castelvania series to the outstanding Pokemon games.
To help you decide which DS games to look out for, we’ve put together this list of what we think are the best titles out there right now. From excellent original games, including Pokémon Black and White 2, through to classic SNES ports like Kirby Super Star Ultra, you're guaranteed to find something you like. (And if you're after something more recent, we have a separate guide to the best 3DS games too.)