The Best 10 Games For Nintendo 3DS

The top ten games for Nintendo’s 3DS! These are all great games that rise head and shoulders above the pack, and everyone should play them all at least once. So let’s dive right in.


A Link Between Worlds is a sequel to the third Zelda game ever made, A Link To The Past. More than 20 years and many other series titles after it’s direct predecessor, A Link Between Worlds makes it clear that Nintendo can still innovate within their classic series.

Gamer Types: Zelda fans (especially veterans from the SNES or earlier), adventure fans

Good: There’s a lot to be said for the game in the pros column. First off is the powerful nostalgic feel for anyone who played A Link To The Past while it was new, and then the fact that A Link Between Worlds feels free to innovate, with it’s less-linear structure and it’s item rental.

Bad: Any game has flaws, however. Along with the innovation apparently came a need to stick close to Legend of Zelda traditions, so A Link Between Worlds has a very ‘traditional’ Zelda story and a similarly traditional blank protagonist.

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Ocarina of Time was one of the best games for the Nintendo 64, and we can’t fault Nintendo’s decision to brush off the dust, make improvements here and there, and re-release it for the 3DS.

Gamer types: Zelda fans, adventure fans

Good: The full 3D world and adventure story that originally took gamer hearts in 1998 returns in full, and with graphical updates, more modes, and a somewhat improved control scheme.

Bad: Many of the weaknesses of the original, however, are still in play. The Great Poe quest, for example, is still as maddening as ever, and Nintendo’s decision to add a hint system to such a classic title requires the aid of another hint system to properly puzzle out.

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Fire Emblem’s a series with a pedigree that every strategy RPG fan will know. In fact, Fates isn’t one game but two: Birthright and Awakening.

Gamer type: Strategy fans, Fire Emblem fans, RPG fans

Good: Fates is a great title for anyone who enjoys the genre. With classic, time tested mechanics and a fresh new art style, there’s a lot to like here. And, as with other Fire Emblem titles, you might find yourself anxious over whether or not your characters will survive – up to you if that’s a good thing or not.

Bad: What’s not so questionable, however, are the extra systems added in Fates, mostly surrounding the castle. They don’t add enough to the game to make up for their addition.

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Shovel Knight’s an indie title with a lot of player support behind it. It’s become obvious that it deserves that support.

Gamer type: Retro fans or veteran gamers who played early precision platformers like Mega Man, Super Mario Bros, and others

Good: With great 8/16  bit -style graphics, wonderful music, and responsive controls, it’s hard not to sing Shovel Knight’s praises.

Bad: But the game is perhaps too ambitious. It will test even veteran’s reflexes, the bosses are incredibly difficult, and collecting everything will eventually tire even the most determined players.

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Nintendo’s Super Mario 3D Land is a great addition to any 3DS library. The titular plumber returns once again to treat us to challenging platforming.

Gamer type: Mario fans, Nintendo fans, platformer fans

Good: With challenge for new players and returning Mushroom Kingdom aficionados, as well as a great deal of reverence for and callback to the titles that have come before, there’s a great deal of good here.

Bad: However, not all is so great. The first 8 worlds are perhaps too easy for many veterans, and collecting every medal is going to have some of the best Mario players tearing their hair out.

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The next set in the aging but thoroughly enjoyable Pokemon franchise, X/Y are an unexpected step forward for Pokemon games by Nintendo and Game Freak.

Gamer type: Pokemon fans, RPG fans

Good: Being fully 3D, adding more friends, and adding the entirely new idea of “Mega Evolution” all help X/Y gain it’s spot on this list.

Bad: But these titles still suffer from the flat story and one dimensional characters that have plagued Pokemon games pretty much since the very beginning.

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Final Fantasy Explorers is a fun little gem that is and yet isn’t a proper Final Fantasy game. Rather like the FF Tactics games, if you enjoy Final Fantasy, you’ll probably enjoy this offering as well.

Gamer type: Veteran RPG fans who can enjoy their favorite genre being riffed upon, newbie RPG fans who might want a friendly introduction to the genre, Final Fantasy fans

Good: With a different – and quite light-hearted – take on Final Fantasy norms, or tropes if you prefer, Explorers offers a lot of fun to anyone who enjoys the RPG game-play there.

Bad: But it has a problem with repetition, as well as one with insufficient difficulty. There’s simply not enough varied content here, and you really won’t find challenge until post-story endgame stuff.

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Bravely Second is the comeback for the wildly successful Bravely Default. Much like Final Fantasy Explorers, it can be looked at as a very different take on Final Fantasy. If you enjoy that type of ‘battle RPG’ you’ll find a lot of fun here.

Gamer type: RPG fans, “Bravely” fans, Final Fantasy Fans

Good: With an excellently put together Jobs system, good graphics, and a brilliant combat system overall carry this title to excellence.

Bad: Poor writing of characters, as well as of plot however, drag it further down than it ought to be.

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The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is one of the biggest off-the-wall risks that Nintendo ever took, releasing it initially as the follow up to Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64. This adventure follows Link in a new land where Termina, where if he doesn’t act within 3 days, the moon will destroy everything.

Gamer type: Zelda fans, adventure fans, Nintendo fans looking for a darker story

Good: Majora’s Mask is a wonderfully dark story that plays with time travel mechanics, and this version has had a great little graphical and otherwise update. The game has a huge number of puzzles to solve and things to do.

Bad: However, the update could have been more thorough, and is held back by character models, for example, and there are only four dungeons to explore.

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Animal Crossing: New Leaf is another in the relatively new series of Animal Crossing from Nintendo. Premiering on the GameCube, this series tasks players with an entirely new, digital life, with anthropomorphic animal neighbours and many, many things to do.

Gamer type: Almost anyone, but particularly gamers who are new to the hobby or want an ongoing title they can’t simply beat and be done with

Good: With this entry, many of the restrictions are gone. This time around, you act as the Town’s mayor, and so many of the things that you couldn’t do before are now open to you. Plus, the charm and hundreds of hours of gameplay remain from before.

Bad: However, the game being tied to your system clock does require a certain amount of obligation if you want to play it to it’s fullest.

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