We already published the list of best DS games of all time, now it’s time to discover the best DS adventure games of all time.
With amazing titles like the Phoenix Wright series, Touch Detective series, and Trace Memory, the DS surely have a great collection of adventure games.
If you’re a fan of both DS and adventure games, I know that you want to know the best DS adventure games of all time.
Most of you will recognize (or even still play) some of the games mentioned on this list.
#25. Again: Interactive Crime Novel
A nineteen years old case finally comes close to be solved, as you try to string all clues together, your ghost from the past comes back to haunt you.
A fun mechanic of past and future, basically your main character can view the place in both present and past times.
Endless conversation, it is great for someone who loves a visual novel style of game, but might pretty boring for anyone craving for action oriented game.
Get this game if you’ve played Hotel Dusk and would love to experience 75% of the game in a new adventure.
Again: Interactive Crime Novel is an identical copy of Hotel Dusk, from the art style to the gameplay.
#24. Flower, Sun, and Rain
Summoned to a seaside resort called Flower, Sun, and Rain—Sumo—our main protagonist must race against the time to save the island from a terrorist attack, as he stuck on a time loop.
The original soundtrack is amazing, perfectly suits the mood of the game.
Movie-like plot, if you love some trippy twisting movie then this game maybe right of your alley.
It is bizarre and rebellious, in a positive way.
Flower, Sun, and Rain is underrated, one of the most beautiful and unique games, serious and dark but with likable characters.
#23. Crime Lab: Body of Evidence
You received some mysterious package sent by the serial killer from your cases.
You’re being taunted and you must gather your wits and instinct to stop the killer before he claims another victim.
Classic murder mystery case executed reasonably well.
Puzzles in this game are on a medium to hard level, some puzzle got you to squeeze every idea out of your brain.
Crime Lab ticks all the boxes for a good mystery crime game, engaging story with a brain teasing puzzle to keep the player at the edge of their seats.
#22. Miami Law
From terrorist conspiracy to a petty burglar, solve unique cases with an intriguing storyline in the heat of Miami, and unfolds the conspiracy shrouding the city.
Almost unlimited ending for the game, meaning you can complete the game multiple times and got different ending every time.
Great choice of ’80’s soundtrack, supplement the thriller and political vibe from the game.
Although the game can get quite cliche at times, Miami Law is an enjoyable fast paced point and click adventure game with great humor and fun mini games.
#21. Scooby-Doo! Who’s Watching Who?
Our favorite Mystery Inc. gang got a new competitor in town.
Race to solve cases as the new ghost hunter group challenged them for bragging rights.
Various gameplay elements add some variation to the game, from platforming, puzzle, and driving your notorious mystery machine.
The game uses real life voice actors, just like in the movie.
Scooby-Doo! Who’s Watching Who? is a walk down memory lane as a childhood watching cartoon on a lazy Sunday morning.
#20. LifeSigns: Surgical Unit
LifeSigns: Surgical Unit is Nintendo’s take on doctor role playing game.
Encounter the doctor’s life on day to day basis, from the issues between staff and operating patients whose on emergency.
Don’t expect a real doctor operation simulator from this game, most of the time you’ll be outside the operating room, interacting with other hospital staff.
Lots of replay value since there are multiple ending of the game.
LifeSigns: Surgical Unit is a good, smart, and fun text-based adventure game as a doctor in an anime style world.
#19. Touch Detective
Our main character inherited a family business from his late father, a detective agency.
Guide our protagonist as he trying to get the ropes of the detective world and hone his detective instinct.
Don’t expect logic is applied in Touch Detective, every case feels like a trippy adventure one after another.
Because of the unlogical nature of this game, the characters in this game are quite interesting, they all are unique in their own way.
Touch Detective is a surreal adventure experience with a hint of puzzles here and there, the odd stories are appealing and always welcomed.
#18. Freshly-Picked: Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland
Play as Tingle, a character with a strong personality you might hate and love him at the same time as he trying to collect rupees to get into the Rupeeland.
Freshly-Picked: Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland has the classic Zelda theme in some parts of the game, evoking some Zelda memories.
The gameplay is simple and intuitive, Zelda-esque combat and fighting style while collecting gems to get rich.
Any Zelda fans should add this game to their Hyrule collection. Adorable gameplay with a funny main character.
#17. The Hardy Boys: Treasure on the Tracks
The Hardy Boys, notorious detective duo is invited on a journey across Europe to solve a case related to the royal family.
Can The Hardy Boys find the missing piece that others can’t?
The Hardy Boys is more targeted toward kids and casual gamer with its casual relaxing gameplay.
Compared to other puzzle games, the puzzles in this game are more logical and realistic.
Although not quite a brilliant game, this game is not terrible either, an exciting cheap game to add to your DS collection.
#16. Teenage Zombies: Invasion of the Alien Brain Thingys
When brainy aliens invaded earth and threatened to enslave the human race, three teenage zombies rise to the occasion.
Soon this alien will find their true rival on earth, brain-eating zombies, with a goal to feast on their brainy prey.
Besides the main puzzle platformer gameplay, the game incorporated some addicting mini games into the gameplay.
Witty dialogue and comical storyline, mocking other games, comic and TV shows.
Teenage Zombies: Invasion of the Alien Brain Thingys is a comical relief from other ‘heavy’ material games.
A refreshing light game that delivers some of the most twisted humor to the game.
#15. Time Hollow
Ethan Kairos must travel through time and space between past and present to find out what’s happening to his missing parents.
Time Hollows offers a nice concept of puzzle meets time travel with some clever use of the touch screen.
Coming from Japan, the graphic uses an anime style and such a unique experience to the overall point and click games.
The game got the same vibe with Ace Attorney and Hotel Dusk, the only difference is the graphical style and great soundtrack.
If you love both of those then you’ll have a pleasure playing this game.
#14. Touch Detective 2 1/2
Our protagonist, Mackenzie is being underestimated by the senior member of the Great Detective Club.
All that is about to change when a puzzling theft case left everyone clueless.
It is time for our protagonist that he’s got what it takes to be a member of the Great Detective Club.
Touch Detective graphic is a bit childish, cartoony, and cute looking character.
A treat for anyone who loves that kind of graphic.
The story complements the graphic, some cases are unbelievably cartoonish and surreal, but weird enough to be an enjoyable story.
Overall, if you play the first game, you might want to try the second installment.
Lots of old characters making their comeback into the game and the gameplay is just crazy as ever.
#13. Trace Memory
A mysterious letter from your missing father sent you back to 10 years ago, where your parent suddenly disappeared while researching for human memory.
Traverse Blood Island and find the truth behind the cause of your missing parent.
Trace Memory maximizes the use of DS features to their game mechanic and brilliantly executed it.
An alternate ending is available for all achievement hunters out there, incentivizing game replay.
Trace Memory is a prime example of classic point and clicks adventure game, challenging puzzle with great stories and funny dialogue by the characters.
#12. Elebits: The Adventures of Kai and Zero
Embark on a puzzling journey to find and grow both yourself and Elebit, a cute magical character that provides you with magical ability.
Travel the land to find an amazing adventure to experience with your trusted Elebit.
The game was pretty similar to Pokemon in some sense, as you try to catch all Elebits, and power them up.
Intuitive control with the stylus pen, basically you can shake bush, tree, or rocks to find Elebits and Omegas.
Elebits: The Adventures of Kai and Zero is an enjoyable mix between puzzle and action adventure, between the Zelda-esque puzzle and Pokemon collection, with some cute storytelling.
#11. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice for All
Do you have what it takes to become a defense attorney?
Find out in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice for All.
In this game, you play as a defense attorney, representing your innocent client, to help them get the justice they deserved.
The second installment from Ace Attorney series, it adds some new ability to Phoenix Wright such as ‘Psyche Lock’.
Just like the first game, all new characters are memorable and charming, talking to them was quite fun and entertaining as you try to analyze every word they say.
All in all, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice for All is a brilliant sequel to the first game, maintaining all of the core elements while adding some new features.
#10. Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney
Another character in the Ace Attorney series.
Please welcome Apollo, a rookie attorney with a passion for justice.
Apollo is equipped with a plethora of unique skills such as body language reading, proving to be valuable in the court of justice.
Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney still brings our beloved Phoenix Wright even though he’s not in the title, as Apollo mentor.
The storyline intertwined with all previous series, and in the end, everything just fell into the place.
If you’re a huge Ace Attorney fans than there is no reason to skip this title.
Don’t worry about Apollo will diminish the series, the entire game is what Ace Attorney all about.
#9. Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth
Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth is a change of pace from the Ace Attorney series.
Leave the legal courtroom and head straight into the crime scene, the place where the only thing present is truth.
The game focused on Miles Edgeworth, the things Miles fans would love to hear.
Ace Attorney stands toe to toe with criminal justice TV show in terms of accuracy and law reality.
Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth offers a fresh take on the Ace Attorney series.
Focusing on the crime scene, this resulting in a varied gameplay experience, from examination and cross examination itself.
#8. Hotel Dusk: Room 215
Hotel Dusk is the original game where we meet our protagonist, Kyle Hide. His detective work leads to a mysterious hotel room, rumored to grant all wishes.
Unravel what secret lies beneath the mysterious room as you search for clues.
Hotel Dusk successfully create an authentic detective experience as Kyle Hide.
Unique puzzle, using real life mundane task such as completing jigsaw puzzle as the puzzle itself.
Overall, Hotel Dusk is another text heavy game, with unskippable dialogue.
But even though you able to skip, you’ll miss out on the strong point from this game, the story itself.
#7. Last Window: The Secret of Cape West
Step into the shoes of Kyle Hyde, ex NYPD pursuing another career as a detective.
Follow through a series of emotion roller coaster as the story unfolds before you.
This game emphasizes heavily on stories and narratives, aiming to create a novel or experience for the player.
Talking about the puzzle, the puzzle in this game is pretty simple but forces you to think in your common sense, not in a game sense.
Last Window is a solid choice for a visual novel game, interesting art style with the ’70’s atmosphere, detailed world, and the writing complement the story perfectly.
#6. Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars – The Director’s Cut
The game set place in France, a few moments before the original game begins.
George Stobbart and local journalist, Nicole Collard must investigate and unravel the mystery behind the terrorist attack in Paris.
All the graphics in this game are beautifully hand drawn and look far better than some modern point and click games.
Excellent voice acting and dialogue, hearing your main characters talking is addictive.
Overall, Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars is a memorable and recommendable game in its genre, and the game aged quite well.
#5. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations
Trials and Tribulations presented the player with five new cases featuring the hardest prosecutor yet, and truth revealing story.
#4. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Experience the thrill of being an attorney, saving, and presenting your innocent client in the court of law.
Find clues, argument flaws, and find the real convict in a stunning visual novel graphic.
#3. Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
The title sums it all.
Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors is a thriller puzzle mystery game, where the player must explore and find a way to escape a sinking boat before the times run out and the boat sink.
A twisted borderline psychopath puzzle games, like the movie Saw.
There are multiple endings to this game, the ending you got depends on the choice you made alone the story.
Overall, Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors is more of a visual novel with a hint of puzzles element.
If you don’t mind reading a lot of text then this game is for you.
#2. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
Imagine solving your own murder case, would be pretty awesome right?
This is what Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is all about.
Manipulate everyone around you to help them help you by solving your murder case.
The poltergeist system is pretty unique and adds different mechanics from regular puzzle games.
The main selling point from this game is the story and the immersive atmosphere, maximizing DS graphic capability.
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective got an intriguing character, engaging storyline, and eccentric gameplay, buy this if you love Ace Attorney.
#1. Professor Layton and the Curious Village
Equipped with a treasure map, Professor Layton is on the hunt for an ancient relic known as the golden apple.
The map leads him to a mysterious village where he is trapped and can’t get out.
Help Professor Layton solve the mysterious village and find the ancient relic.
The storyline is a solid nine out of ten, and Curious Village is the perfect place to experience this story.
Finishing the puzzle feels rewarding as you got a secret ending and extended cutscenes to complete the story.
To sum up Professor Layton and the Curious Village, it is a fusion between Sherlock Holmes and puzzle game, and I had a lot of fun solving mystery cases and finishing puzzles.
Are your favorite games on the list? Leave a comment below!
If you think there are games that should OR shouldn’t be on this list, let us know by leaving a comment below.
Deciding the best DS adventure game is no doubt a little bit late since the handheld itself has been around for 10+ years, but it’s still absolutely exciting!