The Nintendo 3DS felt like a pure continuation of Nintendo’s dual-screen gaming handhelds. It saved the core premise and type issue whereas drastically bettering the visuals and controls (due to the thumbstick). Certain, the 3D gimmick was largely dropped after a number of years available on the market, however that did not cease the hand-held from being an enormous industrial and demanding success. Like standard, Nintendo iterated on the 3DS quite a few instances, with vital variations such because the 3DS XL, 2DS, and 2DS XL. Most significantly, the hand-held had an enormous library of nice video games. We determined to spherical up the 20 greatest 3DS video games (in alphabetical order).
Extra Nintendo greatest lists
Whereas it may need been succeeded by the Nintendo Change in 2017, the 3DS nonetheless stays one among Nintendo’s best-ever consoles and greatest handhelds ever made… interval. The 3DS continues to be price grabbing if you will get it at an inexpensive value, particularly because it additionally performs the even bigger library of standard DS video games.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Lengthy earlier than Animal Crossing was establishing itself as the right sport to attend out a worldwide pandemic, Animal Crossing: New Leaf was an enchanting and charming continuation of the sequence on the 3DS. Whereas the core concept of setting your individual id, operating a city, and avoiding Tom Nook for the sake of your unbroken kneecaps was all a part of the same old Animal Crossing package deal, New Leaf’s upgraded multiplayer made it a 3DS important, permitting gamers to share within the pleasure of zen-like discovery with buddies.
Learn our Animal Crossing: New Leaf overview.
Bravely Default was a straightforward promote for anybody who appreciated role-playing video games and had a 3DS. Rooted up to now however impressed by new concepts, Silicon Studio’s homage to the JRPGs of yesteryear combined gorgeous battles with a robust forged, and ingenious character progress. The battle system was simply the largest spotlight, mixing encouraging gamers to take a bet with excessive dangers in trade for large rewards. Whether or not you performed cautiously utilizing the Default transfer possibility or selected a gung-ho method utilizing the Courageous choice to chain strikes collectively, Bravely Default’s meaty fight was a deep and versatile gambit tied to a enjoyable job system.
Trendy twists collided with a reasonably conventional JRPG story, with Bravely Default simply incomes itself a popularity as the perfect RPG on the 3DS.
Learn our Bravely Default overview.
Hearth Emblem: Awakening
Hearth Emblem had at all times been one of many best-kept secrets and techniques in gaming (no less than in North America), a tactical journey with precise penalties due to its permadeath system that would rob you of a beloved character. It had by no means fairly managed to take off globally although, and with Nintendo able to put the sequence out to pasture if this ultimate entry did not meet its gross sales expectations, it was fittingly a do or die state of affairs for Hearth Emblem’s builders. With the stakes increased than ever earlier than, Clever Techniques and Nintendo SPD got down to create a Hearth Emblem sport that was the end result of the whole franchise and its historical past.
The top end result was the sport that saved Hearth Emblem from extinction, delivering each a vital and a monetary hit that turned the franchise into one among Nintendo’s tentpole gaming properties. Gratifying for each hardcore followers and newcomers, Hearth Emblem’s engrossing storyline, wealthy gameplay options, and addictive handheld ways made each battle harmful, worthwhile, and a white-knuckle experience to see in case your technique may win the day or inflict devastating losses in your military.
Learn our Hearth Emblem: Awakening overview.
Child Icarus: Rebellion
Barring some preliminary management discomfort, Pitt’s return in a fast-paced and compelling shooter was the makeover that the beloved character wanted. An enormous quantity of enjoyable as soon as it discovered its groove, Child Icarus: Rebellion was one of many best-looking video games on the 3DS and had gameplay to match its visible splendor. Tightly-constructed ranges actually added nuance and thrills to the sport’s flight sequences, whereas the versus multiplayer was an enchanting growth of those sport concepts that supplied free-for-all and team-based mayhem in your fingers.
Child Icarus: Rebellion exists as not solely a celebration of the 1987 unique sport, but in addition the perfect return of Nintendo’s little angel that followers may have hoped for.
Learn our Child Icarus: Rebellion overview.
The Legend of Zelda: A Hyperlink Between Worlds
With Hyperlink’s 3D remasters paving the way in which for Nintendo’s Grasp Sword-wielding hero, this ode to the previous and the basic days of The Legend of Zelda supplied a quicker tempo of enjoyable within the land of Hyrule. A handheld Zelda expertise with snappy motion and versatile development, A Hyperlink Between Worlds is a tribute that wears its passions on the sleeve of its inexperienced tunic, effortlessly utilizing the 3DS to ship modern mechanics and difficult surprises alongside the way in which.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
Hyperlink’s legendary journey on the N64 had turn into one among Nintendo’s most bankable titles for a re-release over the yr, and it was solely a matter of time earlier than the hero in inexperienced made his method to a conveyable console. Arguably the definitive model of Ocarina of Time, the 3DS incarnation supplied spectacular 3D visuals and sensible gameplay tweaks whereas setting a brand new normal for what a contemporary remaster might be. Enjoyable and acquainted in equal measure, Nintendo proved that there was nonetheless loads of magic left in Hyperlink’s tank.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Masks 3D
Over time, Majora’s Masks has earned a cult-classic standing amongst followers who thought of the sport to easily be too far forward of its time. On the 3DS, the sport’s time had lastly come to shine, and with Ocarina of Time setting benchmark for what a Zelda remaster must be on the hand-held system, Majora’s Masks had a blueprint for the way it may ship its addictively nihilistic story with sensible tweaks to its gameplay system.
It did not disappoint both, as a result of whereas there is a case to be made about Ocarina of Time being one of many biggest video games of all time, Majora’s Masks shines as among the finest remasters to ever grace a console. A return to Termina that reduce any boring fats from its body to ship a memorable expertise, Majora’s Masks was an improved basic on the 3DS.
Mario Golf: World Tour
You do not have to be a fan of golf to understand simply how Nintendo’s favourite plumber takes to the sport, as Mario Golf: World Tour is a terrific instance of the way to mild information gamers from rookie sensation to seasoned skilled. A way of tangible development, a dizzying choice of content material, and clever multiplayer design made this spherical of Mario Golf a hole-in-one winner when it first got here out in 2015. Its incremental instructing technique coupled with a beneficiant studying curve made it not solely a enjoyable sport to take a swing at, but in addition an inspiring one to pursue the professional life on the inexperienced.
Learn our Mario Golf: World Tour overview.
Mario & Luigi: Famous person Saga + Bowser’s Minions
One other day, one other journey within the Mushroom Kingdom that Mario and Luigi embark on, however this time with some added assist from their nemesis Bowser! With Princess Peach’s voice having been stolen, this entry within the long-running sequence was a remastered version of the Sport Boy Advance basic. Given a brand new lease on life on the 3DS, Mario & Luigi: Famous person Saga was fully reworked from the bottom up. That contemporary coat of paint confirmed simply how properly the unique sport’s system had aged, and with some sensible tweaks, it was higher than ever. If ever you wanted a reminder of simply how timeless a Mario sport might be, this magical RPG was the right instance.
Metroid: Samus Returns
Metroid: Samus Returns is not what you’d name a groundbreaking journey for the notorious bounty hunter, however with polished gameplay mechanics pulled from many years of expertise and former video games, it did not have to be. Developer Mercury Steam’s 2017 entry within the Metroid saga is one which captured the spirit of what makes the franchise particular. Whereas it was a remake of Metroid II (which launched on Sport Boy), it had a ton of latest content material that made it really feel positively contemporary. Metroid: Samus Returns was a sprawling journey crammed with high-octane moments of motion, awe-inspiring exploration, and an aggressive perspective.
A superb 2D motion sport with Metroid’s distinct taste, the return of Samus was precisely what followers had been ready so patiently for. If you happen to wind up having fun with Metroid Dread on Change, it is properly price circling again and testing Mercury Steam’s debut Metroid title.
Learn our Metroid: Samus Returns overview.
Monster Hunter 4 Final
Earlier than Monster Hunter significantly boomed in reputation with Monster Hunter World, Capcom’s distinctive action-RPG sequence primarily lived on handheld Nintendo gadgets. Monster Hunter 4: Final stood out probably the most. Bringing with all of it of Monster Hunter’s trademark beasts, bosses, and crafting , this specific iteration was additionally a extra accessible sport that packed in a ludicrously meaty solo marketing campaign and a four-person looking get together characteristic in on-line multiplayer.
With deep fight and a guidelines of actions that ensured that you simply’d by no means be bored, Monster Hunter 4: Final was a triumph of content material and high quality on the 3DS that raised the bar for simply how large video games might be on the pocket-sized handheld. Plus, who did not a Palico dressed up as Avenue Fighter’s Chun Li or Blanka? The maths checks out.
Learn our Monster Hunter 4: Final overview.
By 2019, the Nintendo 3DS had reached the top of its life because the Change console had turn into a wild success. Whereas a number of video games would shut out the system’s ultimate days, Persona Q2 was a incredible swansong for the 3DS with its dungeon crawling challenges, participating storyline, and impossibly prolonged run time. A showstopper of a crossover on the 3DS, Persona Q2 closed the curtain on an period of dual-screen gaming.
Learn our Persona Q2 overview.
Pocket Card Jockey
Developer Sport Freak is thought primarily for the Pokemon sequence today, however in-between new releases on that franchises, the studio manages to pump out a captivating sport or two. Pocket Card Jockey is one such instance, as Sport Freak managed to mix the joys of high-speed equestrian pursuits with solitaire, a card sport that is not precisely well-known for speedruns. And but one way or the other, this fusion of two wildly totally different types of leisure made for an addictive sport by the identify of Pocket Card Jockey.
What makes Pocket Card Jockey good is that it is a tactical mix of stacking playing cards, elevating your thoroughbred racehorse, and unleashing it on a circuit the place time is of the essence. That makes for an intense sport of solitaire, which ultimately reaches a climax the place you need to spur your steed towards the ending line utilizing no matter momentum you’ve got constructed up on the monitor. Difficult and thrilling, Pocket Card Jockey is one among Sport Freak’s smaller gems in a crown of hit Pokemon video games.
Pokemon X and Y
The Nintendo DS era of Pokemon video games had largely retained the 2D nature that had shaped the distinctive visible aesthetic of the sequence since its Sport Boy days, however Pokemon X and Y was a assured step into the third dimension on the Nintendo 3DS. With a French-influenced map, dozens of latest Pokemon, and yet one more dastardly syndicate working within the Kalos area, Pokemon X and Y was a grand leap ahead for the franchise, with some notable modifications to the gameplay and communication options.
There was the debut of the brand new Fairy-type Pokemon class, as Dragon-type Pokemon had turn into too highly effective within the grand scheme of issues, in addition to Mega Evolutions that would flip the tide of battle. Past its 3D graphics and new Pokemon power-ups, X and Y additionally made Pokemon buying and selling and battling on-line simpler than ever earlier than. The wonderful Participant Search System helped you shortly discover an opponent, whereas Marvel Commerce allowed you to take a bet with a random commerce via the magic of a Wi-Fi connection.
You may get something from a standard to a legendary Pokemon relying on the generosity of the individual on the opposite aspect, though generally, you almost certainly wound up with yet one more Zigzagoon so as to add to your assortment.
Learn our Pokemon X and Y overview.
Rhythm Paradise Megamix
For followers of rhythm video games, Rhythm Paradise Megamix was a no brainer. Enjoyable gameplay, catchy music, and distinctive visuals already made this assortment of quick rhythm-based mini-games an odd masterpiece, however there was a lot extra to understand. A colourful forged, a stacked deck of content material made for an interesting sport to speculate a number of hours in, however seeing onions with facial hair when you labored in your rhythm as a burly wolf chopped wooden? That was a day-one sale, proper there.
Shin Megami Tensei IV
Shin Megami Tensei IV’s storyline and characters aren’t what make this JRPG so memorable. As an alternative, it is the unimaginable fight that mixes demonic fusions with fast-paced elemental strikes to weak factors that elevates the title. There is not any getting previous the area of interest enchantment of this JRPG, however for followers with very particular tastes who’re drawn to hardcore dungeon crawling and strategic mastery over the forces of the underworld, this chapter within the Shin Megami Tensei saga was in a category of its personal on the 3DS.
Learn our Shin Megami Tensei IV overview.
A basic motion journey sport impressed by a bygone period, Shovel Knight felt excellent on the 3DS. Shovel Knight combined responsive controls with detailed stage design, an immediately iconic protagonist, and a soundtrack that will stay rent-free in your head lengthy after the top credit had rolled. An expertise that left an indelible mark on anybody who performed it, Shovel Knight was out there for an insultingly low value on the 3DS contemplating its high quality and the pure love that developer Yacht Membership Video games had injected into this homage to the glory days of ’90s platformers.
Learn our Shovel Knight overview.
The SteamWorld franchise is one among gaming’s most underrated sequence, and regardless of which platform a SteamWorld sport seems on, you might be assured that there is a good time forward of you. SteamWorld Dig was a superb entry within the sequence, as this sport merged stable 2D platforming with a captivating junkyard artwork fashion and an addictive layer of mining. The city of Tumbleton wanted assets, and also you have been simply the best steam-powered robotic for the job, drilling and dynamiting your manner via bedrock to acquire invaluable ore.
This being a SteamWorld sport, there was extra to the job of mining than initially marketed, and it wasn’t lengthy earlier than you’d encounter enemies, puzzles, and difficult ranges as you dug deeper into the bottom. A unusual platformer with enjoyable gameplay, SteamWorld Dig is an addictive title on the 3DS that does not skimp on the allure.
Learn our SteamWorld Dig overview.
Tremendous Mario 3D Land
If you happen to’d ever been reluctant to embrace a Mario sport the place the mustachioed Mushroom kingdom was plying his commerce within the third dimension, Tremendous Mario 3D Land was a stable argument to win you over. Retaining all of Mario’s expertise for stomping via Bowser’s military and powering up with wild new objects. Tremendous Mario 3D Land revels within the freedom that it gives you, putting a terrific steadiness between having simply sufficient content material and being gleefully difficult in its later levels.
It liberally borrows concepts from the whole Mario timeline, however it remixed these conventional gameplay pillars to create new and attention-grabbing twists on the established establishment of the Mario franchise. A standard level-based Mario sport with a 3D twist? It was a straightforward promote and paved the way in which for Tremendous Mario 3D World.
Learn our Tremendous Mario 3D Land overview.
The unique WarioWare sport from 2003 would possibly simply be Nintendo at its strangest, unleashing Mario’s darkish doppelganger onto console with an unconventional choice of mini-games. WarioWare Gold one way or the other managed to high that spectacular bar for weirdness, with frantic and enjoyable video games that made full use of the 3DS’ foremost options. Whether or not you have been tapping the touchscreen or yelling into the microphone, WarioWare Gold was the right start line for newcomers and an unapologetically oddball assortment of video games that each one felt distinctive of their design.
A biggest hits package deal that confirmed off the flexibility of the Nintendo 3DS, it is also an excellent instance of Wario’s bizarre vibe that makes him so particular.
Learn our Warioware Gold overview.
The merchandise mentioned right here have been independently chosen by our editors.
GameSpot could get a share of the income if you happen to purchase something featured on our web site.