28 Best 3DS Games of All Time

The best 3DS games show how many great games have been made for the portable system since it came out in 2011.

As the successor to the DS, the 3DS did very well. Since it came out, more than 75 million pieces have been sold.

There’s no doubt that a big part of that is because Nintendo’s innovative handheld system has so many great games, including memorable experiences from some of the company’s biggest titles.

With the news that the 3DS eShop will close in March 2023 (and that you can no longer add money to your account), there’s never been a better time to look back on the games on the console and enjoy them.

From great exclusives to great games made by other companies, there are a lot of gems to try, rediscover, and enjoy. Here are the 3DS games we think are the best.

28. Pocket Card Jockey


Let’s not lie: it’s hard to sell Pocket Card Jockey. It’s a horse racing and solitaire game, which sounds more like two gaming machines got together and had a mule than like a design choice.

Don’t click on the next slide, though. This is one of Game Freak’s best games that doesn’t involve putting monsters in balls.

It’s the kind of game that fits on a Nintendo system: strange at first, but with enough variety to keep you interested for two minutes or ten.

It’s also a lot of fun and has a canonical reason for why being good at solitaire means being good at horse racing.

Best of all, it gives you a chance to do the most important thing in equine sports: give your pony a really stupid name.

Simply put, Pocket Card Jockey is the best game for people who don’t care about horse races or cards.

27. Shin Megami Tensei 4

Shin Megami Tensei has had a lot of spin-offs, but now it’s on its fourth main game, and the creator, Atlus, makes it count by updating the series without leaving its roots behind.

You still play as smart kids who have to save people in a post-apocalyptic world, but key parts of the game like exploration, combat, and managing items have been improved.

The standard gameplay is fun and doesn’t ignore the game’s history, and the story about how the lines between good and evil are blurry is surprisingly deep.

Even though the game has changed a lot, Shin Megami Tensei 4’s monster collection and fusing is still as fun as ever. Putting together the best team of beasts is like playing Pokemon, but with evil symbols added on top.

26. BoxBoy

Square off against the odds in BYE-BYE BOXBOY!, a 2D puzzle-platformer available exclusively from Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS family systems.

Join Qbby, a conundrum-solving cube, on an all-new adventure where you’ll need to box clever and ingeniously navigate your way through more than 180 brainteasing levels.

25. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies

Phoenix Wright, our favorite lawyer, is back in Dual Destinies. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies starts 8 years after the last time he was in court. The first case takes place in a court room that has been wrecked.

Phoenix Wright and his team at the Wright Anything Agency have to figure out what caused the damage.

When defending the accused, players have to go up against Gaspen Payne, the younger brother of Winston Payne from earlier Ace Attorney games.

24. Shovel Knight

Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong Country are two of the best platforming games ever made.

Who would have thought we’d mention the great Shovel Knight in the same sentence?

Shovel Knight is like the Megazord of old-school platform games. It is a monster with great parts.

Like Mega Man, it has lots of different stages based on things like water, air, and darkness. Each stage ends with a fight against a knight from the Order of No Quarter, whose members are as different and interesting as the stages they rule.

You can use your shovel to attack strange enemies and look around towns full of bards, wizards, and frog-squires.

There’s a lot to see here, and thanks to the cool 3D tech in the mobile, it can all be seen in a cool “stacked” way.

23. Bravely Default

This new yet traditional offering from Square Enix captures the charm and elegant and simplicity of yesteryear’s canonical RPGs.

Become a Warrior of Light and journey to the land of Luxemdarc in this classic tale of personal growth and adventure.

22. New Super Mario Bros. 2

New Super Mario Bros. brought 2D Mario games into the present day, so it’s likely that the series will continue on the 3DS.

Some people might have thought that by the time this game came out, the gameplay would have gotten stale, but it got a new lease on life by making you try to get as much cold, hard cash as you could get your dirty hands on.

Gold is the main color and theme of New Super Mario Bros. 2, and the goal of the many platforming stages is to collect as many coins as possible.

With NSMB2, the game becomes a high-score battle against friends and strangers over Wi-Fi. This makes it one of the best Mario games to challenge you in a long time.

21.  Super Smash Bros. for 3DS

You should already be interested in Super Smash Bros. Where else can all of Nintendo’s most popular mascots come together for a big, messy kiss for fans?

Link fighting Luigi, Olimar throwing Bowser across the screen, and King Dedede, the ruler of all of Dreamland, running after a little boy with psychic powers and a baseball bat—it’s all here, and by golly, is it beautiful.

Read Also:  27 Best Nintendo DS Games of All Time

Even though the 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the Wii U version, it’s still nice to have one of the best social games in your pocket.

It may be the smaller package, but it’s clear that its code was written with just as much care as any other game.

20. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call

You should check out Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call if you own at least three versions of your favorite Final Fantasy game or sleep with a stuffed Moogle in your hand.

In fact, we’d be surprised if you owned a 3DS and didn’t already have this bundle of fan service on your radar, in your wishlist, or hidden in your jacket as you leave your favorite game store (just kidding, don’t do that).

In “Curtain Call,” the most well-known heroes of the series fight and dance like there’s no tomorrow. Over 200 songs from the series can be played in a clean, easy-to-use rhythm game that anyone can enjoy, no matter how good they are.

Also, hard-core fans who want to enjoy the series in a new way will love the bonus trading cards and classic cutscenes.

19. Monster Hunter Stories

Monster Hunter Stories is the best addition you could want to the series. It’s the kind of game for someone who liked the Monster Hunter series but couldn’t get into it because of how big it was and how strange it was.

Monster Hunter Stories is none of those things. Yes, it’s a big place, but it’s broken up into sections that hold your hand in the best way.

It looks like the game that would be made if Monster Hunter and Pokémon had a baby, or an egg.

You can add monsters to your party by finding eggs, hatching them, and raising the small monsters that come out of them.

You also use them to fight bigger monsters as you go from place to place trying to save the world… again.

The story is great, the gameplay is easy to learn thanks to the brilliant rock, paper, scissors fight system, and the cutscenes are especially great for a 3DS game.

18. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D

This is a beautiful remake of Majora’s Mask for the N64. It’s one of the best classic Zelda games, and any fan should buy it.

In Majora’s Mask, you have to repeat the same three days and find new things each time to stop the moon from falling on the world like it did in Ocarina of Time, which was a more typical journey.

It’s different from anything else you usually see, and the main villain, Skull Kid, is weirdly scary. It’s a lot darker than most Zelda games, and instead of finding new things, you gain powers by putting on different masks.

With the 3DS updates, moving through time is much easier, and your Bombers notebook has a lot more information about what you’ve done so far.

Updates have also been made to the bosses and masks to make this the best Majora’s Mask game ever.

17. Mario Kart 7

Mario Kart goes in short bursts more than any other Nintendo game. With each new version of the racer, the way it works is improved by adding new tracks, weapons, and karts.

This keeps the game fresh without any major changes. Mario Kart 7 didn’t go against this trend; instead, it tried to perfect the recipe by focusing on what makes the series great and making it even better in every way.

Most of the game is what you would expect from a game in this series, from the tight controls to the colorful Italians who wear hats.

The biggest changes to the game’s mechanics are underwater races and gliders, both of which change the way you approach even the most basic Mario Kart situations.

It’s one of the best competitive games on the app, whether you play alone or with friends, online or offline.

16. Xenoblade Chronicles 3D

This port of the Wii JRPG is only available on the New 3DS and not on the regular ones. It is a huge game that shows what the more powerful system is capable of.

Yes, you read that right: Xenoblade Chronicles 3D takes place on the bodies of two giant fighting titans. Cities are hidden behind giant knees, and oceans are in rib cages.

Humans and fat rabbit-like creatures called Nopon live on one giant, while evil robots called Machina live on the other. These two groups are always at war with each other.

As the hero Shulk, it’s up to you to use a sword that lets you see into the future to get the upper hand in the battle against the Machina.

The story has some really great parts, the actors are all very likeable, and the music is great. If you like RPGs, you should definitely pick this up.

15. Metroid: Samus Returns

A famous Metroid adventure is back, but it has been rebuilt from scratch. As the famous bounty hunter Samus Aran, you have to face the dangerous terrain of an alien planet full of dangerous creatures.

What is her job?

Stop the Metroid threat in this masterful remake of her Game Boy journey from 1991.

Samus Aran’s moves and skills have been improved with new moves and skills that will help her face the dangerous shocks that are still to come.

This exciting side-scrolling action platformer is a great way to get started with the Metroid series, and it’s also great for longtime fans.

It’s only for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. Features: * This intense side-scrolling action platformer has been totally remade with new 3D graphics and a rich color palette that creates a moody atmosphere. *

Classic Metroid II: Return of Samus gameplay is joined by a lot of new features, such as a strong melee counterattack, 360-degree Free Aim Mode, and a set of new skills that use a mysterious energy source called Aeion.

You can find a lot of secrets, and if you find enough of them, you might even start to figure out what happened on Planet SR388 in the past. * Along with the game, two new amiibo toys of Samus Aran and Metroid will be sold as a set.

Read Also:  35 Best First-Person Shooter Games

This game can also be played with the Super Smash Bros. Zero Suit Samus and Samus amiibo figures. Details about how it works will be shared at a later time.

Fans will be able to buy a special version of the game that comes with a physical copy of the game, a CD with 25 songs from other Metroid games, and a reversible title-sheet insert for the game case, as long as supplies last.

14. Super Mario 3D Land

Super Mario 3D Land was the first original 3D handheld game in the 3D sub-series. It had a lot to live up to after Super Mario 64 changed and improved 3D platformers for platforms.

It had to move Mario’s well-known gameplay to a mobile screen, make the series more popular than its previous games, and sell the 3DS to people all over the world. As you can see from where it is on this list, it did all of that by just whipping its Tanooki tail.

The bright graphics, power-ups, and enemies are all like those in other Mario games, but the game is more fun than ever because it has some of the best level ideas in the series’ history.

The stages are short enough to fit on a portable device, but there is a lot of creativity in every area.

There are also some really hard parts after the credits roll. And the graphics make better use of stereo 3D than almost any other game on the system.

3D Land shows that Mario can be just as famous on his newest stage as he was on all the others.

13. Picross 3D: Round 2

A fresh coat of paint and a new plan! Piece together a three-dimensional block puzzle to find the secret object inside.

This time, though, blocks can be painted with two colors to make forms with more detail. You can play more than 300 puzzles at the Cafe, or you can tap compatible amiibo figures (sold separately) to unlock secret Nintendo characters in 10 more tasks.

The more problems you solve in the Cafe, the more puzzles you can play. If you reach certain goals, like getting a good score on 30 puzzles, you’ll get even more money.

You can choose between easy, medium, and hard levels of difficulty for each one, but you’ll always find the secret object no matter how hard it is. Some puzzle sets come with extra jobs, like One-Chance Challenges or Timed Challenges.

With so many tasks that make you think, there are always new risks to take and new things to find.

-Use only two colors of paint to solve more than 300 3D Picross puzzles

– Complete different goals to unlock more puzzles.

– Scan compatible amiibo toys to unlock more puzzles with Nintendo characters.

-Each task can be done at one of three levels of difficulty: easy, medium, or hard.

-There are also problems with a time limit and puzzles with only one chance to solve them.

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

Being Nintendo must be fun.

Who else can get around the slow time when new gear comes out by repackaging old games that fans will love?

For the first six months of the 3DS’s life, one of the only games you could play was a copy of a 13-year-old game called Ocarina of Time 3D. It’s a good thing that it’s one of the best games ever.

Nintendo’s decision to repackage this wasn’t a selfish one, since the remake was done with a lot of care and is a very good buy.

This is not just a simple port because the graphics have been better, the dungeons have been slightly changed, and the controls have been made easier to use.

It’s still the same amazing game at its core. But since that game is almost as good as it gets, we’ll let it slide.

11. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

Take off on an epic journey, traversing a vast world hunting larger than life beasts as you look for the source of a mysterious virus.

Travel with a caravan of fellow hunters and merchants as you make your way across multiple locations, each with its own unique look and feel.

10. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon

The first Luigi’s Mansion was a creative journey that didn’t play like most Nintendo games. Instead, it did something different, but its short length was its downfall.

Dark Moon fixed this by adding a lot of content to consume, a lot of houses to explore, and a lot of ghosts to bust. And if you were asking, yes, bustin’ does feel good.

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is like a point-and-click action game in many ways. When the 3D slider is turned on, each room looks like a very detailed diorama.

Each room has a lot of personality, and you’ll want to explore every inch of each house as you move through the game. Where it differs is, clearly, in its ghost-busting, which works well thanks to satisfying combat and a wide variety of poltergeists.

9. Animal Crossing: New Leaf

There are no points or levels, just a myriad of sights and sounds, places and activities…all ready to explore. Spend your time passing new ordinances—or going fishing. Hang out at a coffee shop or visit a tropical island. It’s up to you.

Your game is what you make of it—and personalizing your world is part of the fun. Create cool patterns for clothing or furniture, build new structures in your town, design gardens and museum displays, and so much more.

Time passes in the world of Animal Crossing just as it does in real life. Celebrate holidays and see the seasons change. Meet new visitors or get gifts from your neighbors.

8. Pokemon Sun & Moon

You can move Pokemon you caught in the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console versions of Pokemon Red, Pokemon Blue, and Pokemon Yellow into your copy of Pokemon Sun or Pokemon Moon by using Pokemon Bank.

The same way can be used to bring Pokemon from Pokemon Omega Ruby, Pokemon Alpha Sapphire, Pokemon X, and Pokemon Y into Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon.

You can move Pokemon you caught in the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console versions of Pokemon Red, Pokemon Blue, and Pokemon Yellow into your copy of Pokemon Sun or Pokemon Moon by using Pokemon Bank.

The same way can be used to bring Pokemon from Pokemon Omega Ruby, Pokemon Alpha Sapphire, Pokemon X, and Pokemon Y into Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon.

Read Also:  18 Best Beat Saber Songs of All Time

7. Fire Emblem: Awakening

There’s a chance that you don’t know anything about Fire Emblem. You may have heard that your friends played it on NES or Game Boy Advance, but you never bothered to try it yourself.

Back then, you had a good reason to think that they were hard, weird, and hard to get into. You can no longer say that because of Fire Emblem: Awakening.

Even though the strategy RPG is just as hard as its predecessors, anyone can play it, and by Chrom’s muscular shoulders, you should.

On the battlefield, your mind will be put to the test as you move troops into place and outsmart your opponents. The level of strategy is even higher now that characters can work together to do two strikes at once.

These connections can be taken even further into marriage and parenting, which makes an already interesting story even better.

Awakening is so big that it almost makes you feel small. It takes you on a trip that spans generations.

The tactics in Fire Emblem: Awakening might not be as good as in the sequel, Fire Emblem: Fates, but the story in Awakening is without a question better.

6. Crashmo

Also known as “Fallblox” in the UK/EU. Players can embrace the laws of gravity and challenge themselves with a whole new kind of action-puzzle play in this exciting sequel to the critically acclaimed Pushmo.

New gravity mechanics and gadgets like floating blocks, doors and move switches await, testing players’ skills as they push, pull and slide each puzzle’s colorful blocks in order to climb to the top.

Just be careful where those blocks are moved-unsupported blocks will come crashing down. Crashmo contains lots of puzzles to test your brains, and enhanced puzzle-creation and -sharing features mean that even when all the puzzles are cleared, the fun never has to stop.

5. Stretchmo

Also known as “FullBlox”. Stretch and pull blocks to guide Mallo to the goal in seven free starter puzzles.

Then expand this entry in the acclaimed Pushmo series by purchasing up to four puzzle-filled download packs on Nintendo eShop. You can even create and share your own puzzles!

Purchase and download any of the four main attractions to unlock the Stretchmo Studio level creator, which also lets you share puzzles via QR Code patterns.

Mallos Playtime Plaza has 100 great puzzles for players of all skill levels! Looking for a challenge?

Then come on over to Pollys Sculpture Square, where 50 animal and object puzzles await. Keep the fun going in Corins Fortress of Fun, which packs in 50 action-packed puzzles filled with special objects, like manholes and even enemiesa series first!

Or head on down to Papa Bloxs NES Expo to play 50 puzzles based on characters from Nintendo classics.

4. SteamWorld Heist

A game featuring space adventures and strategic shoot-outs. Assume the role of Captain Piper and recruit a team of rag-tag robots to explore and scavenge the remains of a destroyed world.

Board enemy spaceships and command your crew in a unique variety of turn-based combat, where the outcome is determined purely by your own skills.

3. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

A Link to the Past for the Super Nintendo has a special place in the hearts of many players, whether they are big Nintendo fans or not.

Link’s 16-bit debut was a timeless classic because of the game’s uplifting music, colorful world, difficult fighting, and many things to discover.

All of these things are in A Link Between Worlds for 3DS, which does top-down Zelda so well that it’s hard to believe.

It’s the right blend of old and new, with classic themes and new game mechanics that come together to make an amazing handheld adventure.

To beat the self-centered magician Yuga, young Link must pick up his sword and shield once more. Yuga accidentally gives Link the ability to become a live painting by blending into walls.

You’ll have to use your new skill to solve puzzles, beat dungeons, and find things that will help you as you travel through the kingdoms of Hyrule and Lorule, which are in a dark dimension full of opposites and hard challenges.

From the beginning to the end, A Link Between Worlds is a wonderful trip filled with both strong memories and exciting new ideas.

2. Kid Icarus: Uprising

Pit and the other Kid Icarus figures were very popular on the NES, but Nintendo didn’t do anything with them for almost 20 years until Uprising. Kid Icarus: Uprising is an interesting mix of Pit, Palutena, and the rest of the angelic cast.

It was made by many of the people who worked on the Smash Bros. games. Uprising is a mix of an on-rails shooter and an action-adventure game. For a 20-year-old series, it feels very new.

Uprising was made to show off the 3DS’s stereoscopic 3D. The best parts of the game are the shooter stages, which look great and use a new way to shoot by combining the touch screen and shoulder buttons.

The interface isn’t as good when you’re on foot, but if you look for it, you can find a lot of subtleties in the settings. Yes, it can hurt a bit after playing for a long time, but this original 3DS game is worth the pain.

1. Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy

Everything has been building up to this. After five main games and a number of spin-offs, Professor Hershel Layton’s adventures (for now) come to an end with Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy, and creator Level-5 goes all out to please fans.

The plot ties together many of the stories from the previous games, and it is full of nods to those games. But the puzzles in the game are the best way it stays true to the series.

As before, most of the game is spent working puzzles that get harder as the story goes on, and these puzzles live up to Layton’s high standards.

Even better, the images work really well with the puzzles. While Layton tries to figure out what a lost society has to do with a young woman who can’t remember anything, the 3D graphics keep getting better and better until the last puzzle is solved. If this is what Layton leaves behind, he treated it like a gentleman.