The Nintendo 3DS (simply called 3DS) is a very unique handheld, the first of its kind.
The success of 3DS is not because of its performance, but because it provides people with new type of gaming experience, using the special screen to display stereoscopic 3D effects without the use of 3D glasses.
If you played this unique handheld in the past or still playing it, I know that you want to know the best 3DS games of all time.
Most of you will remember (or even still playing) some of the games mentioned on this list.
See also: Best Wii U Games of All Time
If you want to get more specific, here are the best 3DS games by genres:
#100. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate
This game was a direct sequel to the game Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and it follows Gabriel Belmont, another relative in the long line of the Belmont family.
With some light horror elements to shake things up, it continues the Belmont story in a familiar way.
Everyone remembers the classic Castlevania games that were popular on the NES and Super Nintendo, and Mirror of Fate attempts to recreate that style of gameplay.
Different weapons, power ups, and more will be needed to traverse the dangerous environments of Castlevania.
Players will defeat intimidating monsters, backtrack and unlock new areas that were previously inaccessible, and generally have a good time full of vampire fun.
#99. Pilotwings Resort
Players control a variety of vehicles and attempt to complete numerous challenges on a tropical island.
Pilotwings Resort is a relaxing yet engaging game, that balances vehicle mastery with reflexes and quick thinking.
You’ll travel around a beautiful resort island, taking on challenges centered around vehicle movement.
It can be a bit basic at times, but the visuals show off the 3D capabilities of the 3DS in a fun way, and it’s easy to pick up and play regardless of your skill level.
#98. The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes
You and up to two other friends join forces with Link, and work together to save the fashionable city of Hystopia from a supernatural threat.
This game mixes the classic Zelda formula of puzzle solving and fun combat to great success.
The brightly colored visuals breathe life into the surroundings, and the gameplay is full of sword slashing goodness.
This Zelda game proves that dungeon crawling is better with friends.
If you have a few friends with a 3DS and you’re itching to save the world in style, this is a good pick!
#97. Hyrule Warriors Legends
Play as heroes from the Zelda franchise and slash your way through countless hordes of enemies.
The variety of characters is great, and they all have unique abilities and moves.
There’s a crazy amount of enemies on screen, and it feels awesome to defeat dozens at a time.
Fans of the Zelda franchise will love the thematic settings and characters.
There’s nothing quite like fighting hordes of enemies with the Master Sword!
#96. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy
Get into exciting aerial dogfights with realistic controls in a gritty military setting.
This game is great for both new players and long time fans of the franchise, since it’s a remake of the much beloved Ace Combat 2.
The visuals are incredible and the 3D effect is put to great use, making the plane combat that much more engaging.
The campaign mode is brief but fun, and contains everything you’d want from a game about blasting down planes.
#95. Project X Zone 2
Engage in awesome fantasy battles with a huge amount of characters from popular Japanese game franchises.
If you like turn-based combat and crossover stories, this game will scratch that itch.
It features a staggering amount of characters, like Ryu from Street Fighter and Jill Valentine from Resident Evil.
You build a team of your favorite characters and fight in tactical battles, executing amazing signature moves.
It’s a mix of stylish anime and video game characters that is sure to please RPG fans.
#94. Tomodachi Life
Move into an apartment on your very own island and engage in quirky social activities.
The best part of this game is the highly customizable and personal experience you’ll have with it.
The whole objective of the game is to grow your island by meeting new characters and forming relationships with them.
As you become more popular and complete activities, you’ll gain access to new items and shops.
It’s consistently weird, especially the oddly synthesized voices you can give your character.
#93. Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS
Create your own Super Mario levels and share them over StreetPass.
Find out which of your friends is the best Mario level creator!
The Mario series is incredibly fun and deceptively complex, and the simple level layout begs to be tinkered with.
This game gives you the freedom to craft your own content and share it with friends.
It’s a great tool for creative gamers, and an excellent social experience.
You can unlock new items to use in your levels by beating single player levels developed by Nintendo.
#92. Return to PoPoLoCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale
Control a royal prince on a journey full of fantasy role playing and farming.
The charming visuals and lighthearted story make this a relaxing and fun experience.
The game combines the Japanese manga PopoloCrois with the gameplay of Harvest Moon, resulting in a pleasant mix of combat and time management.
The fun and charming characters add personality to the desolate planes of Galarliand, the location where the game takes place.
Switching between classic turn-based combat and tending to your farm is an interesting match up, and one that I found wholly entertaining.
#91. Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition
This bundle contains two games for the price of one, both addicting match-games with some RPG elements.
It also features a single player campaign that uses Super Mario Bros. for its characters and setting.
The Puzzle & Dragons series has been around for a while in Japan, and has slowly gained popularity in Western countries.
This 3DS game exposed the puzzle franchise to even more newcomers, banking on the popularity of Mario.
The gameplay is similar to other puzzle games; you match colored orbs and clear the board.
This game spices things up with RPG elements, allowing you to damage your opponent with spells and attacks.
There’s a nice layer of strategy on top of the core puzzle gameplay, adding a dash of complexity that makes it stand out in a crowded genre.
#90. Nintendogs + Cats: Toy Poodle & New Friends
Care for your very own virtual pet in this followup to the best selling Nintendo DS series.
The Nintendogs + Cats series is split into three different games, and your preference will mostly depend on your favorite dog breed.
All three games are pretty similar in gameplay, but each have unique items and dog breeds.
This version contains: Labrador Retrievers, Shih Tzus, Schanuzers, Jack Russel Terriers, Boxers, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Pomeranians, Bull Terriers, and of course, Toy Poodles.
You can also adopt cats at the kennel, and if you’re lucky, they’ll bring you presents from time to time.
#89. Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D
Become a soccer legend in this ultra realistic sporting title that looks great and takes full advantage of the 3D capabilities of the system.
Pro Evolution Soccer is a big contender on home consoles, and many soccer fans prefer this series over the familiar FIFA games.
There’s an emphasis on solo play, with exhibition matches and two different league modes to participate in.
Champion League mode puts you on the soccer pitch, giving you direct control of a player.
Master League mode offers a more managerial style of play, putting you in the role of team manager.
Using the StreetPass feature, you can face off against friends using your customized team from Master League.
Those looking for a realistic recreation of soccer will appreciate the game’s expansive controls, and will be easily impressed by the fantastic visuals and use of 3D.
#88. Nintendogs + Cats: Golden Retriever & New Friends
Adopt an adorable virtual pet and care for them, picking from a variety of dog breeds and cats.
This is one of the three Nintendogs + Cats titles that released on the system, and the gameplay is very similar to entry #90.
You can adopt the cutest looking puppies, picking from a variety of breeds.
You’ll grow your affinity with your pet by feeding them, playing with them, and treating them with as much love as possible.
This version contains the following dog breeds: Beagle, Cocker Spaniel, Pug, Shiba Inu, Maltese, Daschund, Great Dane, Golden Retriever, and Miniature Pinschers.
#87. Nintendogs + Cats: French Bulldog & New Friends
Adopt a furry friend from a variety of dog breeds, keeping them healthy and happy. You can also adopt cats, a new feature to the 3DS series.
This is the third of three versions in the Nintendogs + Cats series on the 3DS, and the gameplay is similar to entries #90 and #88.
Play with your virtual canine friend in a variety of activities, and try to train them to compete in a handful of doggy competitions.
Unlock new customization items by being a good puppy parent, decking out your fluffy friend to match your personality.
The dog breeds included in this verison are: Basset Hound, Dalmatian, Cavalier Spaniel, Siberian Husky, French Bulldog, and German Shepherds.
#86. Ridge Racer 3D
Put the pedal to the metal and race around realistic tracks in a variety of single player and multiplayer modes.
The legacy of the Ridge Racer series is a long one, and it’s a property that is well known for its great graphics and fun gameplay.
This portable version features well over 5 different modes of play, with options for both solo players and two players over wireless connection.
The visuals are stunning, the racing is solid, and there’s a good enough variety to keep you coming back for more.
#85. Fantasy Life
Start a character and go on an epic journey full of classic RPG combat and some interesting side missions.
There’s a ton of variety in how you build your character, and the story inside is cute and charming.
The game takes place in the bright and colorful fantasy land of Reveria.
Royal King Erik sends you on a quest to investigate strange happenings involving meteors, which takes you across a vast amount of locations.
You can pick one of twelve unique life classes, completing tasks and ranking up.
Whether you’re a blacksmith, a tailor, an alchemist, or anything in between, you can spend hours in this charming world.
#84. Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns
Become a farmer and care for your very own farm, tending to the crops as you strategize for success.
The lighthearted visuals and cute nature of the game make it a more relaxing experience than most in the genre.
This Japanese developed game stems from a popular series, and this version sees a few new additions.
Besides taking care of your personal farm, you can visit three different cities.
These towns have their own unique look and offer different items to purchase.
There’s even some Super Mario Brothers crossover content to enjoy in the form of custom plants.
#83. Crimson Shroud
This dark and mysterious game follows a team of heroes sent to retrieve an ancient item from a long-forgotten palace.
This RPG is notable for its unique approach to the formula.
The combat and storytelling resembles more traditional tabletop games.
You move around virtual miniature figurines, roll 20-sided dice, and make tough decisions.
If you like Dungeons & Dragons, this game is definitely up your alley.
#82. Story of Seasons
This game comes from the franchise originally known as Harvest Moon, and plays out in a similar fashion.
Your main objective is to rebuild a run-down farm into a thriving and successful one.
There are plenty of games with farming aspects, especially on portable consoles.
This game stands out thanks to its cute characters and lovable style, and adds a dash of personality to the mix.
When you’re not keeping livestock healthy and harvesting crops, you can bond with other characters and even get married.
You can live the quiet rural life and even make some everlasting connections.
#81. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner – Soul Hackers
You play as a talented hacker in a hacker group called the Spookies.
After gaining access to a new computer game that’s meant to connect citizens together, you discuss some horrifying supernatural forces at play.
This game originally released in 1997 for Sega Saturn, and still holds up to this day.
The Shin Megami Tensei franchise continues to be popular to this day, and this game proves why.
Engage in exciting turn-based battles with demons and explore dark dungeons in a first person view.
This, combined with a complex but memorable story line, makes for an unforgettable experience.
#80. Paper Mario: Sticker Star
Our hero Mario must take down the evil Bowser after he interrupts the beloved Sticker Fest in the Mushroom Kingdom.
Collect stickers and defeat enemies on an adventure that has you meeting tons of memorable characters.
The Paper Mario series is excellent for both kids and adults.
There’s a lot of text boxes to read, but thankfully the writing is endearing and funny.
This installment introduces the sticker system, which uses the stickers you have collected as attacks in combat.
The 3D effects are done very well, making Mario and company look like a virtual pop-up book.
It’s fun and easy-to-play, making it a less serious but completely satisfying entry in the series.
Taking place on a music-themed planet, you must overcome an alien threat that aims to ruin the rhythmic population.
You’ll control a young boy named Tempo who sets off for Symphony City, accompanied by his adorable pet rabbit Tappy.
Developed by GameFreaks, who are most well known for their work on Pokemon, this game is both cute and addictive.
It plays out as a sidescrolling platformer, except the levels move automatically.
You can jump and attack, attempting to collect as many music notes as possible.
Play in rhythm with the music to find the most success, and enjoy as you tap your foot along to the beat.
#78. Tetris Axis
Enjoy classic Tetris gameplay across a large amount of modes.
Whether you’re a purist or like some twists on your Tetris, there’s something here for you.
Connecting different blocks in rows is immensely satisfying, which is apparent from the staggering success of Tetris.
This spin-off gives you over 20 different modes of play, split up into “featured modes”, “party modes”, and “AR modes”.
The most interesting of the bunch are the AR modes, which use the augmented-reality feature of the 3DS.
It’s basically a grab-bag of modes, which something for every kind of player.
#77. Yo-kai Watch
Based on the massively popular multimedia property, the first entry in the 3DS franchise has you catching ghost monsters and befriending them.
It tells a fun and heartwarming story of friendship, youth, and bonding.
Although the game draws many comparisons to Pokemon, it’s still very unique.
Instead of capturing pets in balls, you battle ghostly incarnations and befriend them.
They’ll eventually fight on your side, resulting in epic battles between large groups of ghosts.
This is set against a wholesome tale of growing up and going to school, impressing classmates, and exploring the game world.
#76. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
This spin-off smashes together the worlds of Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi.
While visiting Peach’s castle, Luigi runs into a book that spills out the entirety of the “Paper World”.
With two worlds smashed together, you must put everything back together and beat the two Bowsers who now roam free.
A lot of the fun of this game is watching the two vastly different worlds collide, forming a new one.
Residents of the paper world look much different from their sprite-based counterparts, and the ensuing reactions from both parties are often funny.
Combat is solid and a bit tougher than the Paper Mario series, and the story is much more humorous and fun than the standard Mario & Luigi entry.
It’s creative and fun, and well worth a play if you’re a fan of either series.
#75. Rhythm Thief & the Emperor’s Treasure
This game tells a complex story involving the casket of French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, a mysterious coin, and an art thief living a double life.
Part mystery, part rhythm game, it’s a fusion of two genres that’s impressively fun.
Despite the title, a lot of the gameplay centers around detective work.
You’ll interact with NPCs, solve puzzles, and play some rhythm-based minigames.
You can play the rhythm games using a few different control schemes, and the puzzles are quite clever.
It’s a wacky and outrageous mystery that’s surrounded by some really intriguing gameplay.
If you like playing detective and solving puzzles, this one’s for you.
#74. Etrian Mystery Dungeon
Embark on a colorful dungeon crawling adventure with turn-based combat.
This game is a crossover of two popular RPG properties, Etrian Odyssey and Mystery Dungeon.
This game combines the class system of Etrian Odyssey and the multi-floored dungeon exploration of Mystery Dungeon.
You form a party of custom created characters, choosing from a variety of classes.
Using your custom team, you conquer randomly generated dungeon layouts using classic turn-based fighting.
#73. Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World
You control the adorable dinosaur Yoshi and are thrown into a brightly colorful world made out of yarn.
When the evil Kamek attacks Craft Island and turns all the yarn Yoshis into wool, it’s up to you to save the day.
I was impressed by not only the fun and vibrant visuals, but also the quality of the platforming and gameplay.
If you played older Yoshi games on the Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64, you’ll get a blast of nostalgia too.
The game is a port of the Wii U title of the same name, but features better performance and new modes like “Poochy Dash”.
#72. 7th Dragon III Code: VFD
You’ll create a custom character and join a team of dragon hunters, fighting to save the world from a fiery doom.
It shakes up the classic turn-based combat by introducing a multiple-party battle system.
It may seem like a standard JRPG at first glance, but this game changes thing up considerably.
Instead of controlling one team of characters, you’ll have to strategize with three different teams during battle.
Using a main party and support parties, you’ll switch in and out of combat and make decisions on the fly.
The visuals are cool and futuristic, the story is interesting and does a good job fleshing out your custom character.
Great for fans of meta gaming and deep combat systems.
#71. Tales of the Abyss
You’ll control protagonist Luke fon Fabre, whose life gets turned upside down when he becomes the target of a conspiracy.
Luke must uncover the mystery of his origins, and the origins of all humanity.
The Tales series is long-running and successful, and for good reason.
It combines excellent manga inspired storytelling with real time combat.
Characters perform awesome moves in the dynamic battles, utilizing magic and huge weapons.
You’re graded on your combat prowess after each battle, eventually granting you power ups for subsequent playthroughs of the game.
#70. Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D
Discover the origins of the metal gear program in this prequel to the Metal Gear Solid series.
You’ll control Big Boss, one of the most feared and effective military agents in the world.
This series is known for its tactical combat, and this entry amps up the importance of stealth.
Taking place in a lush forest, you’ll have to use different weapons and camouflages to stay hidden from enemy sight.
The game contains an epic and complex story, fantastic music, and super long sequences of climbing ladders.
#69. Ever Oasis
Hero Tethu must work with allies of all cultures and creeds to create a powerful oasis.
After their brother is kidnapped, Tethu searches for the answers behind the crime.
There’s a mixture of combat and management that is interesting and enjoyable.
You’ll work to keep your oasis growing by exploring dungeons with puzzles and enemies, collecting materials and resources.
You’ll meet new tribes and complete missions for characters, recruiting them to join your oasis.
There’s also a really cool Egyptian influence on the game’s aesthetic which is uncommon for the genre.
#68. New Super Mario Bros. 2
Classic Mario sidescrolling action with a strong emphasis on collecting coins.
Get as many of the gold treasures as you can as you run through over 80 levels of platforming goodness.
There are few series that nail the feel of a platformer quite like Super Mario.
Spread across 6 main worlds (and some hidden ones), you’ll hop on enemies’ heads, find secret pathways, and try to become the richest man in the Mushroom Kingdom.
A secret prize awaits for those who can collect 1 million coins!
#67. Mario Golf: World Tour
Play a round of golf with plenty of playable characters from the Super Mario franchise.
With online multiplayer and a staggering amount of courses, this is one of the most content-heavy Mario Golf games in the series.
Not only are there a good variety of characters to choose from, but they all have varying stats that truly make a difference.
There are sets of challenges for each of the over 200 courses, giving players a good amount of replayability.
Fun items like the Tornado and Gold Flower shake up the gameplay, and it’s a great time for both solo and competitive players.
#66. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
You’ll control characters Sora and Riku as they attempt to protect parallel realities from the impending Master Xehanort.
By combining real time action combat and a heartfelt story with Disney characters, Kingdom Hearts is always a good time.
This entry includes levels themed after classic films like The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Pinocchio, while simultaneously telling the complex narrative of Sora and Riku.
You can switch between characters at any given time with the “drop” system, collect cards to use in combat, and take in the wonderful Disney-inspired visuals.
#65. Rune Factory 4
After a bad case of amnesia, you’ll have to explore the town of Selphia and complete quests for the townsfolk.
As you grow in influence, you’ll even have a hand in developing your own town.
Combining the combat of role playing games with the lifestyle-simulation Harvest Moon, this game prioritizes the social aspect of your simulated life.
Meeting new characters and forming bonds play an integral role in the story of protagonist Lest or Frey; one of the two characters you’ll choose in the beginning of the game.
With epic boss battles and even a hope of marriage, you’ll be able to live a fantastical life in this entry of the long running series.
#64. Stella Glow
You control Alto, a young boy whose home town becomes encased in crystal at the hands of an evil witch.
Alto must unite four elemental witches to reverse the crystal tomb.
This game mixes up your gameplay with two unique sections, “free time” and “battle time”.
Your relationship with characters play a big role in battles, giving us a cool twist on the common turn-based combat.
During “free time”, you can talk with party members, explore your surroundings, and purchase items.
It’s a lengthy journey to reunite the witches, and one that takes into account how you treat your party members.
#63. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars
Complete military style missions in this tactical turn-based shooting game.
Upgrade your squad of fighters and take on a lengthy campaign and independent missions both in single player and multiplayer varieties.
This portable entry in the action-based Ghost Recon series trades in real-time shooting action for turn-based strategy combat.
You’ll move units on the playfield, using height and cover to your advantage.
There’s a campaign with over 35 missions to complete, and multiple players can fight together with one 3DS console in multiplayer missions.
There’s a good variety of unit types too, with attack, defense, and support focused classes.
You control Qbby, a cutesy character who has the ability to generate paths of boxes.
Maneuver your way through cleverly designed stages in a mix of puzzle and platforming gameplay.
This game is endearing thanks to its charming black and white visuals and its inventive puzzles.
You can connect boxes in a string, forging new paths as you try to progress past obstacles.
Completing levels awards you medals which can be used to unlock new content.
If you’re ever stuck on a puzzle, you can even use the 3DS play coins for a hint.
#61. Professor Layton VS Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney
Join characters from two vastly different series in this visual novel crossover that features puzzle gameplay and court room drama.
This crossover tells an interesting mystery of murder in a storybook town, and combines its lengthy narrative with satisfying puzzles.
You’ll take part in solving individual puzzles as Professor Layton, and defend the honor of your teammates and friends as Phoenix Wright.
Whether you’re in a court room or a hidden tomb, this game is equally funny and inventive with a satisfying story to boot.
#60. Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move
Guide miniature robots through deceptively simple obstacle courses, collecting coins and avoiding enemies.
This game is all about looking at the playing field and planning out a path.
Your goal is to guide a Mario-inspired robot to the end goal, but there are plenty of obstacles in your way.
You can collect 3 different colored coins, which when obtained, unlock new modes of play and items.
There are well over 150 puzzles to solve, and the laid back nature of the game makes it a relaxing one to play.
#59. Monster Hunter Stories
Assume the role of the Rider, a character who befriend monsters rather than hunting them.
Collect eggs and hatch them, creating a party of monsters to battle on your behalf.
This game flips the Monster Hunter formula on its head, trading in the strategic real-time combat for a more passive turn-based system.
Instead of tracking monsters, using bait, and battling them with different weapons, you’ll focus on stealing eggs and forming a group of your very own monster buddies.
The battle system is easy to pick up but hard to master, and resembles the classic three-way-strength system of rock, paper, scissors.
#58. Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX
Cute and charming vocaloid character Hatsune Miku dances along in this addictive and highly Japanese rhythm game.
Rhythm games are very popular in Japan, and Hatsune Miku is an incredibly popular music icon.
Combining these two properties results in a bubbly and happy style of rhythm gameplay, where players must tap the touch screen to the beat of the song.
There’s over 40 songs to play with varying levels of difficulty, and you might be surprised at just how difficult some of the hardest tracks can be.
#57. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked
Set in Tokyo, this game follows a group of highschool students who form a connection with the dead.
Granted with the power to see a person’s lifespan, the crew set out to prevent as many deaths as they can.
Choices make a big difference in the story, causing the narrative to branch into multiple endings.
This entry is one of the most welcoming to newcomers in the Shin Megami Tensei series, thanks to its devilishly cool style and characters.
You’ll explore different districts of Tokyo and progress the story, control multiple teams of characters, and engage in some violent and hard hitting combat.
#56. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy
The Final Fantasy series has an extensive list of fantastic original music, and this game uses that music to create a nostalgic and satisfying rhythm game for fans.
This game takes popular elements of the Final Fantasy franchise and mashes them into a unique rhythm game experience.
You’ll select a party of characters from a roster of notable faces from previous games and embark on a musical adventure.
Tapping the touch screen and buttons to the beat of memorable music, you’ll destroy monsters and level up, giving you new songs and even higher levels of difficulty.
#55. Kirby: Triple Deluxe
The pink fluffball is back in this fun and outrageous mix of platforming and enemy eating.
Suck up characters and gain their powers, all while attempting to navigate the new world of Floralia.
This series is known for being cute and bubbly, with gameplay that’s perfect for younger audiences.
In this game, Kirby can even turn into the rainbow colored “Hypernova Kirby”, which gives him the ability to suck up huge items.
It’s classic Kirby gameplay with a modern twist, giving you a bigger and more exciting experience than ever before.
Some may consider it a bit easy, but I find the game perfect for mindless but colorful action.
#54. Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
Widely considered one the best entries in the Mario & Luigi series, this entry sees the player traveling through Luigi’s dreams on a quest to save the world of sleep.
With witty writing and exceptionally well done combat, it’s no question why this series is consistently a quality product.
This entry amps up the imagination, throwing the entire plot inside a dreamlike world.
Although I wouldn’t consider the past games “realistic” in any way, the focus on dreams leads to some truly imaginative locations, characters, and encounters.
#53. Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl
Both a remake and a reboot of the original Etrian Odyssey game, this 3DS version gives you five playable characters and two distinct modes of play.
With a strong emphasis on creation, the game contains two distinct modes.
Classic Mode sees characters exploring custom created dungeons and locations, whereas the Story Mode contains a more traditional RPG experience.
Turn-based action, an exciting story, and even a bit of drama make this remake one worth playing.
#52. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice
Follow the charismatic defense attorney, Phoenix Wright, in another wild and imaginative tale of legal drama.
Part visual novel and part mystery game, players will have to collect clues and form correlations to solve a mystery.
Each mystery is attached to a client that you’ll have to defend in a court of law, using your clues to point out contradictions in witness testimony, using evidence to to prove your theories, and generally witness a mostly ridiculous tale of the legal system.
#51. Star Fox 64 3D
A remake of one of the most beloved Nintendo 64 games of all time, this space ship shooter amps up the visuals by focusing on 3D elements.
You’ll fly through levels, blasting enemy ships and defending individual planets on a quest to take down the evil lord Andross.
With lovable characters like Slippy Toad and Peppy Hare, it’s hard to deny the charm that Star Fox delivers.
This version of the N64 game also delivers new and crisp graphics exclusive to the 3DS version, along with awesome use of the 3D capabilities of the system.
Multiple paths through the game offer quite a bit of replayablity, and this classic game is a must-play for any Nintendo fan.
#50. Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy
This is the sixth game in the series, and follows the professor and his apprentice Luke in a mystery spanning the globe.
After receiving a letter from an archaeologist that speaks of a “living mummy”, the duo set out to investigate.
I love this entire franchise, and it never fails to tell an interesting story.
This entry has one of the coolest mysteries, and solving puzzles as the professor with a large top hat is never boring.
The game has over 500 brand new puzzles, and will certainly tease the brain of puzzle fans.
#49. Dead or Alive: Dimensions
A compilation of sorts, this game contains 26 fighters and numerous stages spanning the entire Dead or Alive franchise.
The story mode covers the four major tournaments in past games, and features multiple modes of play.
This fighting game series is great for its brutal hand-to-hand combat.
The main story mode (called “Chronicle Mode”) is an awesome look back on the series’ history, and gives a great amount of nostalgia for fans of the franchise.
The fighter roster is the largest we’ve ever seen, and their moves are clearly displayed on the second screen.
#48. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions
This is a remake of the popular Game Boy Advance game, and features brand new real-time strategy content.
It’s full of witty humor, vibrant graphics, and lovable Nintendo characters.
Few games are able to make me laugh as hard as this one does.
The story and dialogue is consistently funny and entertaining, and it’s backed up by an excellent turn-based battle system.
This version contains new content called “Minion Quest”, and it’s an optional side-story that adds new gameplay to the mix.
If you missed the game’s original release, this is definitely the best way to experience it.
#47. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies
This is the fifth entry in the franchise, and continues the story of defense attorney Phoenix Wright.
This time around, you control Phoenix and two other attorneys, investigating cases and defending your client’s innocence.
There’s a lot of reading in the game, but that turns out to be a pretty good thing thanks to a solid story.
Investigating scenes and collecting clues makes you feel like a top tier detective.
The court room scenes are hilarious and fun, made even better by Phoenix Wright’s signature exclamations.
Pointing his finger and yelling “Objection!” and “Take that!”, Phoenix is a memorable protagonist and stylish attorney.
#46. Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past
This is a remake of the 2001 Playstation game, and is a sequel to the sixth Dragon Quest game on Super Nintendo.
You’re tasked with traveling through time and restoring the world to it’s original form, defying the evil Demon Lord.
While games in this genre are known for their long length, this game ups the ante by taking well over 100 hours to beat.
The world is enormous and full of missions to take on, leveling up you and your party.
Upgrades can be earned using the class system, and each class has unique abilities to learn.
The story is satisfying, the combat is fun, and there’s a huge amount of content to see.
#45. Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
This is the prequel to the #50 game on our list, and follows Professor Layton on a trip to a thriving city in the desert.
There, the professor must solve the mystery of the dastardly “Masked Gentleman”, who has thrown the city into chaos.
The city of Monte d’Or is one of my favorite settings in the entire series, due to its bright colors and interesting locations.
The “Masked Gentleman” is one of the coolest villains ever; a magician who performs large-scale tricks with terrifying results.
The puzzles have a good amount of variety to them, and you’ll never get stuck thanks to the numerous hint coins you can collect.
If you’re a fan of the supernatural, this is the Layton game for you.
#44. Pokemon Alpha Sapphire
This is a remake of the 2002 Gameboy Advance game, Pokemon Sapphire.
Players explore the Hoenn region, battling with hundreds of available Pokemon.
This version adds in features from more modern Pokemon games to enhance the original game.
If you were a fan of the original games, this 3DS remake is sure to impress.
Not only are features like Mega Evolution from Pokemon Black & White included, but the visuals have been overhauled to match the modern look of the franchise.
It contains one of the best starter Pokemon ever, Mudkip, and generally has a great variety of Pokemon to catch.
#43. Cave Story 3D
This cute game is well known for its fun characters, interesting story, and satisfying gameplay.
Similar to games like Metroid and Castlevania, you’ll upgrade your character and explore an expansive map, returning to past locations and opening up new areas.
By combining classic action gameplay with a focus on narrative, this game creates an enthralling adventure.
Exploring the cavernous environment is a treat, and the rabbit-like species known as Mimigas are endearing and adorable.
The game can be a bit confusing at first, but it’s a good game for players of all skill levels.
Upgrading your character with new weapons and abilities keeps things fresh, and you’ll become a spelunking master in no time.
#42. SteamWorld Dig
Addictive and inventive, this game has you digging as far down as possible, gaining money to use on upgrades.
The unique western aesthetic keeps things interesting, and new aspects of gameplay are constantly popping up to keep things fresh.
The idea of digging the world’s deepest hole might sound boring, but SteamWorld Dig makes it incredibly interesting.
As you find ores and minerals, you can return to the simple town of Tumbledown for upgrades.
As you grow in hole-digging power, you’ll discover secrets and treasures beyond imagination.
Controlling a steam-powered digging robot has never been this fun.
#41. Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight
This is a remake of the DS game Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard, and features two modes of play.
You control a party of five playable characters, exploring custom-created dungeons and maps.
This remake adds in a detailed and expansive Story Mode, which adds a much needed layer of narrative onto the existing game.
The five playable characters are all unique and personable, but the most unique addition is the new cooking system.
The new cooking content allows you to buff up your characters before dungeons, and even expands into its own side mode.
It’s an excellent addition to the Etrian Odyssey franchise, and adds elements that were very much needed in the original game.
#40. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy
This game contains the first three entries in the Phoenix Wright franchise.
It tells the story of defense attorney Phoenix Wright as he enters the world of law.
In addition to having three games on one cartridge, this compilation also updates the graphics of all three original games.
This series was one of the first visual novel franchises to gain popularity in the West, and for good reason.
Phoenix is a lovable protagonist who is slightly loud and super emotive.
You’ll spend plenty of time reading through interesting dialogue and story, and just as much time investigating crime scenes and collecting clues.
At the end of each case, you’ll have to defend your client in court, using the evidence you’ve gathered.
Grilling witnesses is also super fun, and Phoenix Wright knows how to amp up the drama to great results.
#39. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
This is a remake of the 1992 game Fire Emblem Gaiden, and combines the original story with updated graphics and gameplay.
It tells the story of two childhood friends who find themselves leading opposing armies in an epic war.
This series is well known for its engaging tactical combat and memorable characters, and this remake enhances both of those aspects.
The visuals get a complete overhaul, updating them to modern standards.
Most importantly, the combat is different than most games in the series.
Instead of the classic “rock, paper, scissors” weapon weaknesses that the Fire Emblem series is known for, this game gives each weapon a standard damage level.
You can even upgrade your armies’ weapons and assign individual units with specific character classes.
#38. Bravely Second: End Layer
When a diplomatic leader is kidnapped and held in a floating fortress, you must embark on a lengthy rescue mission.
This is a wonderful sequel to Bravely Default, and adds some cool twists on the established formula.
The combat system resembles most classic RPG’s, but with a twist.
By playing smart, you can save up moves and perform multiple actions on one turn.
Additionally, this sequel reworks side missions to focus on ethical dilemmas.
It earns the spot on our list by defying all odds; being a sequel that improves upon the original game’s ideas.
#37. Resident Evil: Revelations
Military agents Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield must stop a terrorist organization from infecting the earth’s ocean.
Stuck in the middle of the sea on a cruise ship, some horrifying creatures lay in wait.
This game returned to the series’ roots, giving players a healthy dose of horror along with the third-person shooting action.
The setting is also new for the Resident Evil franchise, taking place almost entirely on a ship.
The maze-like layout has plenty of corners where horrifying creatures lurk, waiting to attack.
It’s a great mixture of survival, horror, and action.
#36. Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
This is a port of the original Wii game, and brings Donkey Kong and friends back to their roots.
Full of color and difficult platforming, this is a challenge that any Nintendo fan will enjoy.
As a series, Donkey Kong has spanned a lot of genres.
Most people remember the Super Nintendo era of Donkey Kong Country, and that’s the kind of gameplay you’ll see in this portable port.
The levels are challenging enough to improve your skill, and the environments are a visual treat.
For fans of the original Super Nintendo games (and newcomers, too), this is one Nintendo game you won’t want to miss.
#35. Kirby: Planet Robobot
An evil corporation threatens planet Pop Star, and our favorite pink fluffball Kirby won’t let that stand.
Utilizing an intimidating mech, Kirby travels through numerous stages in pursuit of the nefarious mining organization.
This game takes everything we love about the Kirby franchise and dials it up to 11.
Kirby can now call in a devastating mech suit, which he pilots with ease.
Players can now hop between the foreground and background, a feature which uses the 3D capabilities of the 3DS.
Overall, this is a fun and colorful romp that won’t challenge you too much, making it a great game for kids and adults alike.
#34. Pokemon Omega Ruby
This is the alternate release of Pokemon Alpha Sapphire, as each Pokemon generation has two major releases.
Both games take place in the Hoenn region, and follow a young Pokemon enthusiast at the start of their career.
You’ll have to collect a variety of Pokemon and form your battling team, eventually taking on the Elite Four.
Like Alpha Sapphire, this game completely revamps the visuals of the game it’s based on (Pokemon Ruby), and adds some modern features to the game.
In addition to Mega Evolutions, there are new types of Pokemon, tons of new characters, and even brand new story content.
The main difference between Ruby and Sapphire are the “legendary” Pokemon available; some can only be caught in a specific version.
#33. Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
Combining characters from Persona 3 and Persona 4, the player must choose a party of characters and explore complex labyrinths.
This game was the first Persona game to be released on Nintendo systems, and combines aspects from past games in the series.
You actually get two stories for the price of one; there are separate campaigns depending on what characters you pick.
Exploring the vast mazes and collecting the final treasure is immensely satisfying, and fans of the Persona franchise will love the cross-over content.
#32. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call
This is a sequel to the original Theatrhythm game, and features over 200 songs and 60 different characters.
There are all new modes to enjoy, including some fun multiplayer content.
This sequel improves upon the original in almost every way.
The song selection is much more varied, the characters represent more of the franchise, and there’s a good amount of modes.
You can play against friends in “Versus Battle Mode”, and complete recruitment quests in “Quest Medley” mode.
Generally speaking, this sequel offers the player more ways to play, more content to play with, and an endless amount of fantastic music.
#31. Shin Megami Tensei IV
When a medieval kingdom named Mikado gets attacked by a demon horde, only the samurai Flynn can protect it.
Flynn and his friends set out to capture the evil Black Samurai who may be responsible for the attacks on the city.
This is a unique entry in the Megami Tensei franchise, and has little to no connection to past games.
The setting and story is interesting and different than what we normally see in the genre.
Players explore two distinctly different environments, battling demons and growing in power.
If the difficulty becomes too much to bear, the game will eventually unlock an “easy mode”.
This makes it a great place to jump into the series.
It doesn’t require any previous knowledge of the franchise, and it’s more forgiving in difficulty than previous entries.
#30. Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright
This is one of the two versions of Fire Emblem Fates, and tells the story of “the Avatar”.
After an ethical disagreement with a royal family, the Avatar joins together with his siblings to fight back.
The Fire Emblem franchise is full of great tactical gameplay, intriguing stories, and big decisions.
The story in Birthright is a bit darker than the alternative, but it does a great job connecting the player to the characters.
The battles are intense and interesting; you’ll have to command an entire army and strategize for victory.
The combat system is intuitive and easier to understand than most RPG’s.
There a few differences between Birthright and its counterpart.
Birthright is a bit more open-ended, giving the player endless chances to level up and gain resources.
#29. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker
In a story spanning the entire country of Japan, high school students must tame and control demons to prevent a threat from destroying the entire country.
While this game is similar to other games in the series, it stands out due to its high difficult and the new “Fate” system.
Using this system, you can form bonds with other characters in the game, making them more effective in battle.
Battles are intense and strategic, giving you control of one human and two demons to use.
There’s plenty of depth to the gameplay and a great story to get lost in, but newcomers to the series might want to try another game first.
It can be crushingly difficult at times, which is surprising for a series that is already pretty tough.
#28. Kid Icarus: Uprising
Controlling an angel named Pit, you embark on missions to fight the evil Medusa.
Based in Greek mythology, you’ll have to fend off those who wish for humanity’s end.
Some fans might remember the original Kid Icarus on the original Nintendo, but this game is nothing like that.
Instead of jumping on platforms, Pit soars through the air, shooting down enemies with his glowing bow and arrows.
The action is colorful and engaging, and this early 3DS title makes great use of the 3D effects.
Although the controls can be a bit lackluster at times, everything else is absolutely fantastic.
#27. Bravely Default
A young shepherd named Tiz finds himself in the midst of chaos when the energy crystals that protect his realm are consumed by dark forces.
This was one of the most notable 3DS RPG’s, as it was a fresh franchise that had the same quality of other long running series.
The game uses a fun take on standard turn-based combat, allowing players to perform multiple moves on one turn.
Using a risk/reward system known as BP, the combat system allows for some interesting strategies.
There’s also a job system, which uses over 24 different jobs to grant your party members unique abilities and skills.
#26. Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse
This is an alternate version of the original game, telling a new story with different characters.
Although the setting is the same, this new darker story embraces the demonic side of the series.
This version of Shin Megami Tensei IV is for players who prefer darker storylines.
Apocalypse exchanges a samurai protagonist for a demon hunter.
The new story is backed by the ever-satisfying combat system that has been a staple in the series.
This, mixed with the alternating perspectives, provides an engrossing experience with a riveting story.
#25. Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan
You are a new explorer who has just arrived in Tharsis, a land that is known for its beauty and wildlife.
You set out on a newly funded exploration mission, heading for an ancient tree in uncharted territory.
The whimsical story adds a sense of discovery to the experience, but the gameplay remains mostly the same as previous games in the franchise.
New additions come in the form of a new overworld map, which is populated by powerful enemies you must battle.
Some visual elements get a much needed upgrade, improving the overall look of overworld navigation.
It’s a tough but rewarding game for fans of the series.
#24. Mario Kart 7
Join Mario and friends on another high-speed adventure, with more modes and customization options than ever before!
Few franchises are more synonymous with Nintendo and the racing genre than Mario Kart.
Besides offering a ton of playable characters and tracks both new and old, this entry in the franchise makes some neat changes.
Players can now customize their kart, swapping out elements like tires, body kits, and hang glider attachments.
The tracks also cleverly incorporate these new elements, and gives players new ways to gain an advantage on the track.
#23. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
When a court jester casts a transformation spell on an entire castle, only a lone guard is left unharmed.
That guard, now known as the Hero, forms a party to hunt down the jester and reverse the curse.
Like other Dragon Quest games, the world is huge and full of content.
The battle system is traditional; granting players experience points after turn-based combat.
The biggest difference in this game is the newly formed map.
Before, the game played out from a top-down perspective during exploration.
This game features an entirely new world map, fully rendered in 3D.
Players can now inspect towns and visit various locations in a fully realized world.
#22. Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest
This is one of the two versions of Fire Emblem Fates.
This version tells us the story of “the Avatar”, who must choose a side in an epic war between two royal armies.
Conquest takes the established battle formula and shakes it up a bit, giving players a good mix of strategy and turn-based gameplay.
Unlike Birthright, this version is more structured in giving the player experience points and resources.
In between story missions, you’ll do your best to advance your army, overtaking defense locations and defending your bases.
The story is one of redemption and revenge, and is considered one of the finest in the Fire Emblem franchise.
#21. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
Using his ghost-eliminating vacuum cleaner, Luigi explores multiple haunted mansions and discovers the treasures hidden inside.
This sequel to the original Gamecube game adds variety, multiple mansions to explore, and even more gameplay features.
Luigi makes for an endearing protagonist; he’s just a scared man in a green hat sucking up ghosts with his vacuum.
The different mansions have vastly different themes, keeping the experience fresh.
There’s a good mix of puzzle solving, exploration, and fighting off ghosts.
The mixture between comedy and light horror make it a fun game for players of all ages, and it’s a worthy follow up to the original.
#20. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
Battle with your favorite characters in wildly inventive Nintendo-themed fights.
Great for multiplayer and single player gameplay, this is one of the best party games ever made.
The Super Smash Bros. series has been around since the Nintendo 64, but few games in the franchise feature as much variety as this version does.
With over 50 characters, 40 stages, and 9 different modes, this handheld version is just as fleshed out as the console version.
There’s even an exclusive mode called “Smash Run”, where players fight random enemies for 5 minutes and earn power ups for use later.
#19. Xenoblade Chronicles 3D
A young man named Shulk swears vengeance on the evil Metal Face, using a mystical sword that grants him visions of the future.
This game stands out by encouraging players to explore vast lands, collecting items and completing a variety of quests.
Side quests can be picked up from secondary characters, and your relationship with these characters is tracked using the “Affinity” system.
You can build your relationship by using characters during battle and giving them gifts, strengthening their abilities.
The story is a good mix of mystery and action, with memorable characters and poignant emotional moments.
#18. Monster Hunter Generations
Track down and hunt intimidating monsters using fourteen unique weapon classes.
The Monster Hunter series has always been known for its high barrier of entry and steep learning curve.
However, Generations gives the player a ton of choices, allowing them to use a variety of weapons that each feel different.
Ranged weapons like bows and guns are well represented, along with more standard weapons like swords, axes, and hammers.
This version even gives you the ability to play as a new feline class, utilizing unique abilities and skills.
#17. Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition
Knock out your opponents in classic 2D fighting style, with tons of characters that span the best that the Street Fighter series has to offer.
This was an early 3DS game, and showed off the capabilities of the system rather well.
The 3D effect is great, and adds some satisfying depth to battles.
Multiplayer modes are offered via network play, and up to eight players can participate in the “Team Battle” mode.
The touch screen offers shortcuts to special moves, allowing players to simply tap a button on screen to execute otherwise complicated maneuvers.
In this way, the game is satisfying to both fighting game veterans and newcomers.
#16. SteamWorld Heist
This sequel to SteamWorld Dig borrows the Western/steam punk aesthetic, but trades out the arcade gameplay for strategic battles between robots.
Although the game is vastly different from its predecessor, the changes made provide a more robust gameplay experience.
Players recruit a party of robots and board enemy ships, defeating other robot gangs.
Party members can be upgraded with new abilities, weapons, and clothing.
There are over 200 different weapons and hats to collect, giving you expansive options when customizing your party.
#15. Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Become the mayor of your very own town, befriending neighbors and customizing your dream home.
There’s nothing quite as charming as Animal Crossing, and this version starts by granting you the position of mayor.
As such, you can choose the layout of your village, unlock new shops, and upgrade your personal home as you progress.
The game follows your local time, meaning that some stores will only be open during certain hours.
The game has tons of charm and personality, like rewarding you with a pun every time you catch a fish.
There’s an insane amount of content available, making this a game you’ll be playing for hundreds of hours.
#14. Pokemon X
Players explore the new Kalos region in the sixth generation of the Pokemon franchise, aiming to defeat the Elite Four and become the Pokemon master.
This generation of Pokemon introduced a bunch of new features, such as group battles, multiple gym leader battles, and more.
There are over 450 Pokemon to collect, and other Pokemon can be transferred to the game using the Pokemon Bank application.
The biggest change in this generation is in the visuals department, as this is the first Pokemon game to feature fully 3D graphics.
Push and pull colorful block puzzles to form a path to the goal at the top.
This is the sequel to Pushmo, and is well known for its colorful visuals, cute design, and deceptive difficulty.
The bright and cheery visuals are inviting, and there is a lengthy tutorial to teach beginners the basics.
The game is satisfying in its simplicity, using basic control concepts to craft interesting challenges.
It’s a game that everyone can learn, but will stump even the smartest of puzzle game players.
#12. Metroid: Samus Returns
A bounty hunter named Samus must eradicate an alien race on their home planet.
Although it borrows the setting and story from the Gameboy game Metroid II: Return of Samus, the gameplay has been updated for modern times.
Samus has a variety of weapons, which in addition to giving her more firepower, open up new areas in the game.
Instead of shooting in a few directions, players can now control Samus’ aim with precision.
The game also adds some new abilities that make exploration more welcoming to new players.
#11. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
Track and hunt giant monsters using a variety of weapon types.
Explore the environment and meet the largest cast of characters ever in a Monster Hunter game.
Although the gameplay is similar to other Monster Hunter titles, Ultimate puts a larger emphasis on story and characters.
It’s also the first handheld game in the franchise to feature full online multiplayer functionality, as well as improved character movement.
There’s an endless amount of fun in the new “Exploration Missions”, which generates a new map and weapon loadout every time you take on a mission.
There’s also the new “Guild Quest” system, which utilizes the StreetPass feature for multiplayer content similar to the Exploration Missions.
#10. Pokemon Moon
Explore the beautiful tropic Alola region, capturing Pokemon and attempting to uncover the mystery of the legendary Pokemon Lunala.
The seventh generation of Pokemon changed the formula considerably, replacing gym leaders with “trials”, and telling a more cohesive and linear story.
Players assume the role of the new kid, who has just moved to the tropical island region of Alola.
You pick from three new starter Pokemon; Litten, Rowlet, or Popplio.
The game is also tied to your local time, becoming night time during the real-life day; hence the name Pokemon Moon.
There are a few exclusive Pokemon to catch in this version as well, such as Sandshrew and Drampa.
#9. Pokemon Y
Players explore the new Kalos region in the sixth generation of the Pokemon franchise, aiming to defeat the Elite Four and become the Pokemon master.
Pokemon X and Pokemon Y are very similar, but Y takes the advantage due to its better version-specific Pokemon to capture.
The story varies between the two games, as each features a different legendary Pokemon as well, which makes an impact on the narrative.
This version features the dark/flying type Pokemon, Yvelta.
This version also contains some exclusive Pokemon such as Skrelp, which offers some competitive advantages.
Both games also contain unique Mega-Evolutions for Mewtwo and Charizard, with Y’s evolutions having some better moves.
#8. Pokemon Sun
Explore the beautiful tropic Alola region, capturing Pokemon and attempting to uncover the mystery of the legendary Pokemon Solgaleo.
Like Pokemon Moon, Sun takes place in the colorful island region of Alola.
The game is connected to your local timer, meaning it will appear as day or night to match with your real-life location.
This version contains some exclusive Pokemon like Vulpix and Turtonator, one of which can evolve into the fan favorite Ninetails.
Both versions of the game also have variants of popular Pokemon, such as Alolan Meowth and the long-necked Alolan Eggxecutor.
#7. Fire Emblem Fates: Special Edition
Experience the complete Fire Emblem Fates story, with both storylines from Birthright and Conquest, along with the new Revelation story.
This is the ultimate package for Fates fans, as it contains all the available story variants and some exclusive content.
The new “Revelation” story path plays as a nice middle ground between the other two offerings.
It’s slightly harder than Birthright, but not as difficult as the demanding Conquest story.
Although the story is different, the gameplay in the Revelation story mixes the two different gameplay styles of the other variants to produce a unique experience.
#6. Super Mario 3D Land
Mario must rescue Princess Peach from Bowser once again, this time in a game that combines the elements of both 2D and 3D Mario titles.
This is one of the best examples of a Mario game done right on handheld, as it uses the 3DS’ capabilities to the fullest.
Each stage has a certain number of challenge coins to find and collect, as well as an extensive number of themed worlds to play in.
The game combines the standard “jump and stomp” gameplay of traditional Mario games with the moves and abilities of a 3D Mario game.
There’s also plenty of new powerups, such as the “Boomerang Flower” which gives Mario a handy weapon that returns to him.
The coolest part of the game is it’s use of 3D; some sections can only be completed by turning on the 3D function, which gives you a better understanding of your surroundings.
#5. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D
An ominous moon floats over the land of Termina, destined to collide with the world in three days time.
Our hero Link must manipulate time and collect a series of masks to stop the moon from destroying Termina.
Often considered the “black sheep” of the Zelda series, this game uses some interesting gameplay features.
The main focus is on collecting masks, with each one giving Link a unique power.
Masks are collected by completing a variety of tasks for folks around Termina, and they are needed to make decent progress in the game.
This title also features the use of time manipulation, letting Link move time forward and backward by playing a song.
Along with the beautiful new visuals, the interesting gameplay and satisfying story make this a Zelda game that everyone should try.
#4. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
When the evil sorcerer Yuga captures Princess Zelda and escapes to the parallel dimension of Lorule, Link must set out to save the day.
This is a Zelda game for fans of the classic look and feel of the franchise.
Instead of being in 3D, the game plays out from a 2D perspective, similar to entries in the franchise on NES and Super Nintendo.
It borrows the map layout from Zelda: A Link to the Past for SNES, giving players a mix of nostalgic and new content.
Dungeons can be tackled in any order, thanks to the new item rental system.
Instead of needing to earn new items, Link can rent them for a limited time.
This opens up the experience, letting players explore and complete objectives as they see fit.
This is widely considered one of the best handheld-exclusive games in the series.
Manipulate structures made of brightly colored blocks, making a path to the cartoony children trapped inside.
Although the game is simple in execution, there’s a deep amount of skill needed to complete it.
There are over 250 levels to play, and that’s not counting the endless amount of user-created levels you can play.
Each puzzle plays out the same; your character must manipulate complex structures, forming a path to the goal.
Later levels allow you to travel between different points on the puzzle, opening up even more options.
The game might look cute and cuddly, but don’t be fooled.
When the difficulty ramps up, Pushmo resembles a complex Rubik’s Cube that will leave you scratching your head.
#2. Fire Emblem: Awakening
The Avatar and his friend Chrom must fight through a war-torn era, commanding massive armies on the battlefield.
This was the first attempt at a Fire Emblem game on the 3DS, and is considered one of the finest games in the entire series.
It continues the story of the Avatar, a fully customizable hero that the player makes.
After a bout of amnesia, the Avatar joins forces with Chrom and embarks on an adventure full of political intrigue and drama.
The battle system is addictive and easy to learn, and Awakening even features a “casual mode” for new players.
This mode disables some of the more difficult aspects of the series, such as characters permanently dying.
You can build your relationships with other characters in between battle via the “Support” system, which grades your relationships as you progress.
The story is interesting and engaging, the combat is simple-to-learn but allows a ton of options, and the exploration and 3D effects breathe new life into the franchise.
Whether you’re a fan of tactical games or not, this is a must play.
#1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
When the diabolical villain Ganondorf aims to control the powerful Triforce, a young hero named Link must set out into the unfamiliar land of Hyrule.
First appearing on the Nintendo 64, Ocarina of Time is widely considered not only the best 3DS game, but one of the best video games of all time.
The game features a huge amount of wildly unique aspects, many of which shaped video games as we know it.
Link can play songs on his ocarina which modify the world and can even allow him to travel through time.
Throughout your adventures, you find new items and powerful weapons that are used to conquer uniquely themed dungeons.
The world is insanely immersive, and the huge landscape of Hyrule contains some unforgettable locations.
It tells a fantasy story that rivals even the most influential stories of all time, and it’s a game that’s appropriate for gamers of all ages and skill levels.
If you’ve never played Ocarina of Time, this 3DS remake ups the ante by having completely new visuals that look amazing in 3D.
Do yourself a favor and play this game; it’s a gaming experience you will likely never forget.
Are Your Favorite Games On The List? Leave A Comment Below!
If you think there are games that should OR shouldn’t be on this list, let us know by leaving a comment below.
Deciding which 3DS game is the best is absolutely a never ending topic, but it’s fun to do!
List by ProFanboy