7 Nintendo DS Games with the Best Soundtrack to bop your head to

The Nintendo DS' speakers may be tiny but it is enough to blast great music from great games. The DS library is not hailed because of core gameplay per se, it comes within the territory that an amazing game also has incredible music. Here are seven of the Nintendo DS games with the best soundtrack.

Nintendo ds games with the best soundtrack

7. Sonic Rush

Sonic games vary wildly in their quality. But one thing for sure, the soundtrack should be fire. Sonic Rush’s music is composed entirely by Hideki Naganuma, who is known for his work for the funky musically inclined series, Jet Set Radio. For Sonic Rush, Naganuma blasted out different genres such as hip-hop, techno, rock, and as expected, funk.

Thankfully, the music is as good as the game. Sonic Rush introduces a dual threat from Dr. Robotnik (or Eggman) and the mysterious Eggman Nega, both aiming to steal the Sol Emeralds for ultimate power. Sonic teams up with Blaze the Cat, the Guardian of the Sol Emeralds, to prevent the dimensional boundaries from collapsing.

Sonic Rush impressively captures the essence of the classic 2D Sonic experience, resembling the magic of the Mega Drive games. The addition of a boost bar enhances speed and introduces a trick system, rewarding stylish gameplay. The dual-screen setup of the DS is cleverly utilized, providing a sense of scale and depth to Sonic's adventures. The level design is exceptional, offering a seamless blend of various elements, from fast-paced races to confined spaces with enemies. Boss battles, set in on-the-rails 3D arenas, showcase creative designs, and the special stages, played with the stylus.

6. Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time

Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time is one of the most beloved games on the DS. It has excellent gameplay, and production is top-notch. This includes, of course, the music. Partners in Time is a great game with great music. The music was composed by Yoko Shimomura, a renowned video game composer who also worked on the Kingdom Hearts series and the other Mario & Luigi games.

One of the standout features of Partners in Time is its engaging battle system. The introduction of tag-teaming moves after teaming up with the baby versions of Mario and Luigi adds a layer of strategy and interactivity to battles. The timing-based mechanics require precision, and successful execution is crucial for both offensive and defensive maneuvers. The inclusion of Bros. items further enhances the combat experience, requiring players to master button presses and coordination. The enemy design is diverse, forcing players to adapt their strategies to different foes, and the boss battles are particularly well-crafted, offering clever challenges and requiring thoughtful approaches.

5. Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box

Tomohito Nishiura, who also worked on the other games in the Professor Layton series, had his best work in Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box. The music reflects the game’s mystery, charm, and humor, using a variety of instruments and styles, such as piano, violin, accordion, and jazz. It employed the perfect instruments fit for the mystery point-and-click adventure.

The gameplay of Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box revolves around exploration, puzzle-solving, and uncovering information. As Layton and Luke navigate the stylus-controlled environment, players must interact with objects, talk to NPCs, and solve puzzles to progress. The puzzles vary in complexity, ranging from simple tasks like reassembling torn photos to more intricate logic-based challenges. With over 150 puzzles and diverse question types, the game offers a variety that keeps players engaged. The use of hint coins, hidden currency found by tapping on items, allows players to access clues when stuck on a puzzle. The completion of puzzles rewards bonus points, essential for unlocking extra content.

4. Pokémon Platinum

Pokémon games may not have the best rankings over here at Nerdvana Central, but all of the Pokemon games across Nintendo platforms are incredible experiences. The level of polish from Game Freak is industry leading. And finally, a Pokémon game gets high praise, and deservedly so due to its superb soundtrack. While building upon the foundation of Diamond and Pearl's music, Platinum introduces new and improved tracks, particularly for key areas and characters, further enriching the overall experience.

The musical score, a hallmark of Pokémon games, deserves a standing ovation. Featuring the return of Junichi Masuda's compositions, including the epic "Giratina Battle" theme, the music enhances the immersive quality of the game. As for the game? It is a Pokémon game, of course, it is as incredible as its music. 

3. The World Ends With You

The World Ends With You is an incredible game when judged solely on its core gameplay. Even if you judge it with its graphics, it is one of the most good looking games out there. The music is also astounding. The game's phenomenal soundtrack, featuring diverse genres like rock, J-pop, rap, and techno, contributes to the immersive experience.

This game boasts an original soundtrack by Takeharu Ishimoto, featuring a blend of English and Japanese music. Despite being rooted in hip-hop and techno, the background music contributes significantly to the game's atmosphere, offering an enjoyable experience even for those not inclined towards these genres. The music's impact is so profound that playing the game without sound becomes a challenge.

Voice acting is minimal but well-executed in crucial cut-scenes, striking a balance between English and Japanese. The limited voice work is commendable for its authenticity, successfully conveying emotions without sounding forced or artificial. The game's sound effects, especially during battles, are impressive, accompanied by character comments that add depth, such as Beat's memorable line when given a favorite food: "It's like a party in my mouth!"

2. Castlevania: Portrait of the Ruin

It would be a surprise if a Castlevania game does not offer the best video soundtrack out there. Castlevania: Portrait of the Ruin received positive reviews from critics and fans alike because of its diversity, atmosphere, and obviously, atmosphere. Michiru Yamane and Yuzo Koshiro are goated for such compositions. 

The soundtrack covers a wide range of genres and styles, from classical to rock, from ambient to techno, from horror to humor. The soundtrack also includes some remixes and references to previous Castlevania games, such as Bloodlines, Rondo of Blood, and Symphony of the Night. 

As for the game, Portrait of the Ruin is one of the most well-received DS games. It does not have the innovations that some of the previous and succeeding introduced. But that is fine, the core Castlevania experience is the most polished at that point in time. 

1. Mega Man ZX

Mega Man ZX's soundtrack boldly deviates from the traditional Mega Man sound, embracing a distinctive fusion of rock, techno, and electronica. This audacious choice creates a dynamic and vibrant soundscape that seamlessly complements the game's high-octane action and futuristic setting.

Key tracks like "Green Grass Gradation" and "Mountain Rider" establish the musical tone with their driving rhythms and pulsating synths, immersing players deeper into the game world. Memorable boss themes, such as the operatic grandeur of the aptly titled "Rockin’ On" and the dancy but intense of "Cannon Ball - Hard Revenge". 

While some fans may initially find the departure from the classic Mega Man music style surprising, the ZX soundtrack stands out as an impressive and innovative musical venture. Its bold approach and energetic compositions solidify its place as a noteworthy addition to the franchise's rich musical legacy.