The 10 Best Nintendo 3DS Games of All Time

Nintendo has released its latest principally handheld console, the Nintendo 3DS, worldwide in 2011, which sold over 75 million units over its lifetime. Until 2019, many quality titles have been developed for the platform; so many in fact that this list was quite difficult to compile, but we managed to reconstitute a list of Top 10 3DS games of all time.

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10. Mario Kart 7

Mario Kart 7, the seventh entry in Nintendo’s acclaimed kart racing franchise, brought innovative changes to the land-only formula players have been accustomed to for years, and now we can’t imagine the game without these features. . Racing under the waves and gliding through the skies created ambitious designs for new tracks and refreshing renewals of classic tracks.

Although the character roster was a bit lacking, the introduction of building your own kart by mixing and matching various parts was a welcome addition. With a proper battle mode including Balloon Battle and Coin Runners as well as strong online and local play, this was another Mario Kart essential that most 3DS owners had on them at all times.

Read our Mario Kart 7 reviews.

9. Bravely Default

Featuring exceptional new ideas as well as polished concepts from Square’s golden age of RPGs, Bravely Default is a reminder that Japanese RPGs have a unique flair and vision. If you’ve never experienced Final Fantasy’s Job of Fame system, get ready for one of the best character class customization systems in the genre.

Read our Bravely Default review.

8. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

There’s no denying that Ocarina of Time will always have an impactful legacy for 3D Zelda games. And Grezzo’s 2011 remake, Ocarina of Time 3D, is the definitive way to experience the first 3D Legend of Zelda game. Aside from the updated visuals and the fact that it still retains the charm that made the original N64 so great, Ocarina of Time 3D also introduces plenty of quality of life tweaks, such as the ability to use doubles. touch screens of the 3DS, which has definitely made subject management much more tolerable. And the increased frame rates provide smoother gameplay.

Even if you played the original N64 through the console itself or other means, Ocarina of Time 3D is worth revisiting. And if you haven’t played Ocarina of Time yet anyway, this is the version to get your hands on.

Read our The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D review.

7. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

Although there was another version of Monster Hunter on the 3DS after this one, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is still the best Monster Hunter that can only be experienced on the 3DS. It’s filled to the brim with increasingly difficult monsters to hunt, armor and weapons to craft from their parts, and it’s the first in the series that introduced mounting mechanics and truly embraced verticality.

If the otherworldly fashion and that addictive monster-hunting, monster-hunting gameplay loop aren’t gripping enough, Monster Hunter 4U is a bit of an outlier in the series with a more engrossing story and twists. likeable characters. If you want to visit a “classic” Monster Hunter, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is unbeatable.

Read our Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate reviews.

6. Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

While Pokemon Sun and Moon honored the legacy of the Pokemon video game series while making fundamental changes, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon further expanded on these ideas, making Pokemon’s polished 3DS swansong stand out among the rest. The Alola region once again had us falling for our first-gen favorites in their new guises and the Island Challenge was a welcome and interesting break from the gyms we’d come to expect.

Everything Sun and Moon did, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon did better, with additional side stories that added even more character to the region, an expanded native Pokémon selection, and an unexpected endgame that allowed us to hunt rare legendary Pokémon. For something a little different but still full of Pokemon charm, say Alola to Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.

Read our Review of Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.

5. Metroid: Return of Samus

With Samus Returns, MercurySteam went beyond a 1:1 adaptation of Metroid 2 in favor of modernizing the formula: Samus could aim 360 degrees with a laser sight, and her melee counter changed the series to the best. Nintendo was clearly pleased with the results, as they let the developer take the reins of the legendary Metroid Dread, a game that wouldn’t have existed without Samus Returns being so much fun.

Read our review of Metroid: Samus Returns.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf will forever be one of the games synonymous with Nintendo exclusives on 3DS. Unlike the previous main episode, City Folk, Animal Crossing: New Leaf brings many welcoming changes to the series that make it much more enjoyable and rewarding each time you reach milestones in your journey.

And while customization has been around since the first game, New Leaf’s focus on customization is key, from changing your character’s clothing to the option to hang furniture on the walls, and the fact that you were the mayor of your own city, allowing you to undertake new infrastructure projects, among other things. New Horizons might be the best game to play in the series to date, but some of New Horizons’ coolest features were most definitely precursors to New Leaf.

Read our Animal Crossing: New Leaf review.

3. Super Mario Land 3D

There are a handful of games on the 3DS that really push the spectacle of the “No Glasses 3D” mechanic, and Super Mario 3D Land brings that magic to life in an adventure that stands up to the likes of a game released a year earlier. , Super Mario Galaxy 2. 3D Land is full of colorful worlds with surprisingly dense obstacle courses that change perspective before your eyes, and visual puzzles that really make you want to have the 3D cursor turned to a comfortable maximum .

Whether you’re here for the fun of a jolly Mario title, or the solid challenge of collecting all the Star Coins on each level of the game, this one shouldn’t be missed.

Read our reviews on Super Mario 3D Land.

2. Fire Emblem Awakening

Fire Emblem Awakening played a crucial role in the series, cementing its popularity in the West and paving the way for even more commercially successful releases. It offered a top-notch strategy RPG with fun characters, witty dialogue, and an in-depth combat system while presenting players with tough choices and the (optional) stress of permadeath. The end result is a stunning combination that cemented the series as Nintendo’s mainstay.

Read our Fire Emblem Awakening review.

1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

One of the most powerful games in the Nintendo 3DS library is by far The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. A spiritual successor to A Link to the Past, this 2013 action game is a beautiful nostalgic trip; it’s both a love letter to the game that influenced it while breathing new life into 2D Zelda titles. The dungeons and puzzle design are top-notch and strike a healthy balance that makes it a fair challenge.

More importantly, the new wall-melting mechanic, something that on paper doesn’t seem to work in any 2D Zelda game, actually works so well – it never feels out of place once. This flows naturally with the established framework of Zelda gameplay. If there is ever a Legend of Zelda game to play in your life, A Link Between Worlds should be on a shortlist to consider.

Read our review on The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.

There are so many other amazing games that unfortunately had to be left out (thanks to Kid Icarus Uprising), so if you haven’t seen them represented here, give them a shout out in the comments; or if you want a blast from the past, check out our opinion on the original 3DS Where the revamped NEW 3DS and XL models.

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