Now that the era of the Nintendo 3DS is coming to a close, we take a look back at some of the best Nintendo 3DS titles. These are the 10 games that are must-plays on the system. If you have missed any of these make sure you pick them up and give them a try.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
The Legend of Zelda franchise only saw one original game release on the Nintendo 3DS and that was A Link Between Worlds. The game is inspired by A Link To the Past with regards to its overworld but completely changes how the game is played. This is because all the special items are purchasable and you can challenge dungeons in any order that you see fit.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask were also released for the 3DS as updated versions that I also highly recommend playing. However, everyone already knows that these games are fantastic so they shouldn’t have to be mentioned on this list.
Pokémon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon
There have been a whole number of fantastic Pokémon released for the Nintendo 3DS, however, I feel that Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are the complete package. The game’s feature a relatively interesting story, fantastic new Pokémon, a lovely region to explore, and an exciting post game. The game does almost everything right and despite being a tad to easy at times, it had me hooked all the way to the end.
The other Pokémon games that were released for the system were also fantastic games in their own rights, so honestly, you should just pick the one that looks most appealing to you.
Fire Emblem Awakening
Fire Emblem Awakening is without a doubt the best Fire Emblem release on the 3DS. It’s also a contender for best Fire Emblem release of all time. The game certainly helped with making Fire Emblem a popular franchise in the West as before this game it was relatively unknown. Nowadays we can expect a new Fire Emblem release every year although none of them have yet to live up to Fire Emblem Awakening. If you have not played this game you must absolutely pick it up.
Bravely Default & Bravely Second: End Layer
Both these games are absolutely fantastic RPGs that were made and published by Square Enix. The game’s capture the essence of what made the classic Final Fantasy games great while presenting everything in a modern and stylish aesthetic. What stands out the most in both game is that fantastic design of the cities that feature some of the most breathtaking art that you will see in video games. The combat and story are also enjoyable and pretty much what you would expect from your typical Square Enix release. I cannot recommend these games enough.
Super Mario 3D Land
What would a Nintendo list be without a Mario game? Although the franchise went through a bit of a rough patch while releasing games on the Nintendo 3DS, they are still Mario games. You can hardly go wrong with Mario games as the standard formula that we all known and love is as enjoyable as always. Super Mario 3D Land is arguably the best installment released on the system as it features the most interesting worlds, bosses, and mechanics. However, don’t expect the same level of greatness that you get from Super Mario Galaxy or Super Mario Odyssey.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the only installment of the Animal Crossing games on the 3DS and is simultaneously the latest release in the franchise. Animal Crossing games have always been known to be extremely cute and wholesome and this game is no different. Expect the standard Animal Crossing formula just with a few new features both in-game and online. If you think that Animal Crossing games are not the type of game for you then I recommend giving it a try even more as it will certainly sway your opinion.
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
The original Luigi’s Mansion for the Gamecube was an extremely well-received game but unfortunately never saw a sequel, that was until the 3DS came around and Dark Moon was released. The game takes the classic Luigi’s Mansion formula but has you explore not 1 mansion, but a total 5 different ones. All the different mansion feature unique that make each of them feel like a completely new challenge to explore. The game also contains boss battles at the end of each mansion to ref up the challenge even more.
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
Donkey Kong saw his return to platforming game with Donkey Kong Country Returns on the Nintendo Wii. However, the game was re-released on the Nintendo 3DS and was made even better than before. They got rid of all the unintuitive motion controls and added some extra platforming levels, turning the game in an instant classic. Although the difficulty of the game can ramp up quite quickly at times, the music, personality, and design of the game just have you keep coming back to it.
Since this game was released near the end of the 3DS lifecycle it has been extremely overlooked by many people. This is unfortunate as the game itself is absolutely fantastic. It’s a weird mixup of an RPG, a dungeon crawler, and a town builder but somehow juggles all these aspects perfectly. You play through the game as a weird desert creature and team up with a variety of other fantastical desert creatures that all feature unique playstyles and abilities as you explore the land. Once you have explored certain areas you will have collected resources that you use to expand your oasis in order to get more people to live there. It might sound weird but it’s great, trust me on this one.
Metroid: Samus Returns
Samus Returns is the first Metroid game that we have received in a long time and it just does everything right. The game is a re-imagining of the 1991 Gameboy game Metroid: Return of Samus. The game has received some interesting new features that make the exploration even more fun than it already was. It also features a whole bunch of interesting ways to deal with enemies and bosses. Even backtracking through the game feels like fun as you can really experience how much more powerful you have become since the start. Metroid: Samus Returns is the perfect way for Samus to make a comeback.