10. Professor Layton and the Unwound Future (DS)

The third entry of the mystery-solving DS Layton trilogy, Professor Layton and the Unwound Future doesn't stray too far from the winning formula of the first two releases, and instead focuses its attention on offering up what is easily the best storyline of the series on the console, not to mention some of the best minigames as well. It's no slouch with the puzzles, either, and it's safe to say that if you're a fan of the franchise, this is a game you absolutely do not want to miss.

9. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (DS)

The first in the GBA/DS trilogy, this is a game of wit and humour that appreciates the player’s intelligence and greatly rewards their accomplishments. It is full of moments where you will marvel at your achievements or cringe as your case starts to fall down around you, and these moments are what makes Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney such a delight to play all these years later. Nothing beats the feeling of pride and accomplishment you get with a “Not Guilty” verdict and the Ace Attorney series is great enough to make starting at the beginning the only logical course of action. To the courtroom with you!

Note. Playable on Switch as part of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy.

8. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky (DS)

The customary 'enhanced' third version of Chunsoft's Explorers of Time / Darkness pair, the meat of the gameplay in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky is found in constantly retreading through material and mechanics, so your mileage will vary and depend entirely upon how much you enjoy grinding in RPGs. However, the great story and charming presentation make this an enjoyable franchise spin-off and, provided you're not the type of player to be put off by a little repetition, this is a deep, fun and colourful dungeon crawler featuring everyone's favourite critters.

7. Kirby Super Star Ultra (DS)

Kirby Super Star Ultra is a magnificent update of the SNES original with high production values and all the charm you've come to expect from the pink puffball over the years. HAL added a host of new modes and minigames for veterans, but this is accessible to all age groups. Though it may be a little on the easy side, the Kirby series is hardly known for its teeth-grinding difficulty and this is an outing for the saviour of Smash that's worth rediscovering.

6. The World Ends With You (DS)

The World Ends With You is a mass of innovative ideas stylishly combined into a beautifully presented package. Its battle system, although complicated, can be tailored to suit each player’s style, and the flexibility displayed throughout the game is highly commendable. The end result is an RPG that’s every bit as unique as the person who plays it, and that is truly rare. The Final Remix Switch port is still a winner, but necessary changes to combat and controls mean it can't quite recreate the joy of the original dual screen experience - this DS version remains arguably the best way to play.

5. Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride (DS)

The first in the RPG series to come to the Super Famicom, it eventually made its way to the West in the form of this DS remake. That Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride is a finely crafted RPG should come as little surprise given its heritage, but it's arguably the poignant, personal storytelling which elevates this game as one of the very best in a series filled with greats. Innovations such as the collection of monsters along the way would go on to influence other monster-collecting games, and while it lacks refinement in some areas of its design, it's still an epic adventure. The hero of this adventure may only get 'Assist Fighter' billing in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but make no mistake, this is one of the best old-school Dragon Quests you can go on.

4. Pokémon Platinum (DS)

From the new characters to the addition of the Battle Frontier and an enhanced online experience, Pokémon Platinum certainly offered a lot of game for your money back in 2009. Instead of taking the easy way out and adding only a couple of minor things, Game Freak went out of its way to add a ton of worthwhile additions that were enough to warrant a purchase even if you'd previously travelled across the Sinnoh region in Pokémon Diamond & Pearl when they released two years prior. If you're only going to play one Gen IV game, this is the one.

3. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trials and Tribulations (DS)

The third game in the Ace Attorney series was originally released on GBA in Japan, but found its way to the West via the DS in 2007 (and the series has since graced most other platforms you care to mention). The culmination of the original trilogy, Trials and Tribulations puts you back in the shoes of the plucky defence lawyer for another round of convoluted cases and supernatural shenanigans.

Sure, you can play these games on Switch now, but the titular attorney's visual novels hold up well on virtually any platform (except for, perhaps, WiiWare, although you'll have a job getting your hands on that version these days) and if you fancy going through them on DS, you'll get no objection from us.

2. Chrono Trigger (DS)

Chrono Trigger has truly stood the test of time - a testament to the magical sustainability that occurs when you combine impeccable storytelling, gameplay, visuals and music. This version of the SNES classic contains a hefty amount of additional features and bonus material, including touch screen controls, a series of dungeons (the Dimensional Vortices), a monster battle ground (Arena of the Ages), a re-mastered script, and an additional ending. Some might claim that this masterpiece should be experienced on the biggest possible canvas, but despite the console's diminutive size, its dual screen layout frees up command menu clutter. Couple this with all the refinements and extras and the Nintendo DS version really is the definitive edition of this beautiful work of art. It's an essential purchase for any RPG fan, and even if you’ve played it before, you should follow those nostalgic urges, dig out your trusty DS (which will probably still have some juice in the battery) and take that journey through time once again.

1. Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver (DS)

The original Pokémon Gold and Silver games are fondly remembered by Pocket Monster fans all over the world, and with good reason: they introduced features that genuinely evolved the original Game Boy games, such as breeding and an in-game clock (not to mention colour!), features that have become series staples. Add in fan-favourite monsters and these remakes were always going to be well received.

Future games would trickle in additional quality-of-life features and other innovations, but some would argue — if they're able to get over an enduring love of the original 151 — that it never got better than travelling across the land, searching far and wide in these DS remakes. The Game Boy originals may be a little hard to return to these days, but Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver strike the very best balance of nostalgia and that patented catch-'em-all gameplay.

Phew, what a list! Disagree with the ranking here? Can't understand how Animal Crossing is so low or how Brain Training and Nintendogs didn't even make the Top 50? Remember, it's not set in stone - head to our games page and get ranking to influence the order above.

For more on the system itself, check out our article on one of the best console revisions ever made, the Nintendo DS Lite. Let us know your thoughts with a little comment in the usual place.