7 Best Nintendo DS card games to shuffle with your gaming time

The Nintendo DS is a perfect handheld for almost every genre. Due to its pocketability, it makes all the sense to play card games on it. Here are seven of the best card games on the platform.

Best nintendo ds card games

7. Solitaire: Ultimate Collection

This collection of card games was released pretty late into the handheld’s lifetime. Still, it is a welcome addition to the DS’ amazing library.  This card game collection provides rules for all games, often permitting variations at the player's discretion. Those interested in aesthetics can choose from numerous card backs and backgrounds, along with a selection of background music. Performance statistics are available for those who find such details relevant.

The game's difficulty levels range from mechanically straightforward to demanding a high degree of logical card manipulation. Some are consistently solvable, like Freecell, while others are deemed nearly impossible to complete. This is not a looker, but no Solitaire player is on it for the graphics.

The card collection has excellent value, offering infinite variations for each deal, making it a worthwhile investment for enthusiasts who will likely return to the game, no matter the variant, repeatedly over the years.

6. Ultimate Card Games

This is a card game that was released pretty early on in the life of the Game Boy Advance (GBA) but it took almost a decade to get ported to the DS. There are certain drawbacks, like lack of instructions and the game. Yet it has earned its reputation as a must-have title for card game enthusiasts.

The DS version of the GBA classic maintains the extensive gameplay modes that defined the GBA release. Boasting 11 card games, 20 variations of solitaire, and 13 casino games, Ultimate Card Games provides a diverse selection of gaming options. Despite its belated arrival on the DS, Ultimate Card Games remains a solid choice for avid card players who may have missed it during its original run on the GBA. The game's abundance of card game variations and multiplayer functionalities (which are not available today) makes it a worthwhile recommendation for enthusiasts looking to immerse themselves in a diverse array of virtual card games.

5. Battles of Prince of Persia

Prince of Persia is a gaming royalty not really known to be a card game. Battles of Prince of Persia introduces a strategic card-based gameplay element to the Prince of Persia series, offering a narrative bridge between The Sands of Time and Warrior Within. The game delves into the prince's evolution into a more hardened character as he attempts to escape the supernatural Dahaka.

This game stands out for its unique card-based strategy. Players can customize a deck of 30 cards. Controls are entirely stylus-controlled, allowing players to choose cards and command units, and initiate attacks using icons instead of words for efficiency and ease of use. The unique aspect of unit control through cards significantly impacts the complex gameplay, making it not suitable for everyone and requiring a learning curve. Each card has a specific number of units that can be moved, and players can either choose the effect or provide a general order. New elements, such as the effectiveness of attacking from behind, add depth to combat.

The triangle attack system involves pike units countering swords, swords countering missile units like archers, and missiles countering pikes. However, factors like unit size, categorized as small, medium, large, also influence battle outcomes. The game features nine generals divided into three distinct armies—Indian, Persian, and Daevas—each with unique characteristics, like elephants for Indians, dog creatures for Daevas, and horses for Persians. Players are assigned a general based on the game's narrative.

The Battles of the Prince of Persia is recommended primarily for strategy game enthusiasts and dedicated fans of the Prince of Persia series seeking additional narrative depth.

4. Marvel Trading Card Game

Marvel Trading Card Game is an exciting card collectible game. It merges the captivating world of Marvel comics with strategic gameplay that is yet to be emulated until the Midnight Suns. Despite basic graphics, the game effectively utilizes dual screens to display card art and crucial information. 

Marvel Trading Card Game offers a challenging learning curve. AI opponents impress with strategic depth, challenging players to adapt and rethink their deck strategies. The fun factor stems from the extensive variety of cards, opponents, and combinations, catering to both comic fans and card game enthusiasts.

The game's lasting appeal lies in its robust content, providing players with two complete campaigns, challenging puzzles, additional card packs, and unlockable backdrops. The inclusion of obscure comic characters adds a layer of excitement for fans, and the online capability extends to the gameplay experience. The Marvel Trading Card Game proves to be a solid title, delivering fun and replayability despite initial hurdles in understanding its mechanics.

3. SNK vs. Capcom Card Fighters

SNK vs. Capcom Card Fighters DS is a card game that stands out for its unique premise. It has intuitive mechanics, featuring three card types: Action, Counter, and Character. The game incorporates characters from SNK and Capcom, with crisp and clean graphics.

The Cardfighter Clash titles for Neo Geo Pocket are the origin of this game. The game's mechanics have its immediate similarities to Magic: The Gathering. The force-cost system, mirroring MTG's casting costs, and the introduction of force points for dynamic gameplay brought a refreshing complexity to the DS version.

The AI's improved intelligence is commendable, even though some decision-making tendencies could use fine-tuning. Despite minor quibbles like repetitive protagonist appearances and a storyline reminiscent of Yu-Gi-Oh!, the game seamlessly blended Street Fighter and Magic: The Gathering elements, creating an engaging experience. The touch-screen interface proved to be an ideal match for the digital card gaming landscape, effectively bridging the virtual and physical nuances of the genre.

2. Fullmetal Alchemist Trading Card Game

The Fullmetal Alchemist Trading Card Game faithfully adapts the physical card game, providing a compelling and engaging experience with a solid gameplay. Iconic characters like Ed, Al, and Mustang lead the charge, creating a unique and enjoyable card game experience. While the learning curve might be steep for newcomers, the game offers ample guidance and a Tutorial Mode to help players navigate its intricacies.

This distinctively entertaining card game involves recruiting characters to aid in the search for clues, engaging in battles dictated by location cards. The DS version maintains the anime's visual style with character portraits and show stills. Ultimately, the DS rendition serves as a nostalgic preservation of the analog edition but may be challenging for new players to grasp, making it more suitable for existing fans of the original TCG.

1. Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's World Championship 2011: Over the Nexus

There are several Yu-Gi-Oh! games on the DS but Over the Nexus is the best among the bunch. It is probably one of the best games on the platform in terms of music. As for gameplay, this is on the side of easy breezy as compared to other card games on this list.

Set in the Wild West-inspired Crash Town, the game combines card battles with the futuristic motorcycle racing characteristics of the 5D's anime series. The gameplay, while extremely entertaining, faces issues of sluggishness, especially during AI’s turn, and occasional rule glitches due to the immense complexity of managing over 4000 cards.

Despite these challenges, the game offers extras like the Duel Puzzle mode, Duel Calculator, and pre-constructed decks, making it a worthwhile experience for devoted Yu-Gi-Oh! fans.