20 Best 3DS games of All-Time!

Legend Of Zelda: Minish Cap

It has been a long time since Nintendo launch, 7 years to be precise and though many users have shifted the focus to switch, 3DS still rules with a lot of awesome games coming along with it. The Nintendo 3DS was first launched in Europe and North America but now it is popular all over the world with new games on the way. From Metroid to Zelda to Pokemon, the 3DS has got enough options to keep the boredom away from everyone.

Metroid: Samus Returns and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and Bowser’s Minion’s were some of the best games of 2017 and gamers looking for something new have no shortage of titles to choose from because the console has been around for quite a while now which points to its vast library. So if you are not a 3DS owner yet, then this is the perfect time because you will be able to make the best out of it. If you are looking for some of the best 3DS games to indulge yourself in, then take a look at this list of games for the old-school gamer in you.

20 Best 3DS Games of All-Time:

1Fire Emblem: Awakening

Fire Emblem: Awakening is an all-time favourite game of the Nintendo 3DS library and was developed by Intelligent Systems with a good rating. It is of the genre strategy, turn-based and tactical but no online multiplayer option is available. It was also awarded the best 3DS game of the year 2013.

You will lead an army of soldiers in a series of scaled turn-based battles and in the process, form relationships with your team which will allow you to use their special and unique abilities in the battlefield to become victorious. You will advance through the story this way and it features a lot of characters from a number of countries and background. You can craft unique appearances and join the character with the pre-existing characters as you wish.

2The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time 3D is one of the oldest 3DS games that have been existing and still considered one of the top 3DS games of all time. The game was launched back in 1998 for the Nintendo 64 console and is still considered as one of the greatest games ever made and has made its way into many lists of achievements.

The game was given the title of best 3DS game of the year 2011 and the most discussed and 2nd most shared game of the same year. The game is a one player game with animated fantasy themes that is suggestive, violent and bloody. It has a special stereoscopic controller and does not support online multiplayer. The game was developed by Grezzo and is of the genre action adventure, fantasy compilation and open-world.


Pushmos is another one of the memorable puzzle games made for the Nintendo 3DS handheld system and was developed by Intelligent Systems. It is known as Pullblox in Australia and Europe and Hikuosu in Japan and supports single player video game mode on the 3DS platform. The game was initially released on October 5, 2011, and was published by Nintendo themselves.

Pushmo is a puzzle game in which you push and pull blocks to create a place where you can stand so that you can jump up and down on your way to the final goal. Some of the levels may seem difficult and you may not see the end or how you can reach it but all the levels are doable if you just think a little bit and use your head. The game was titled the third best 3DS game of the year 2011 and 8th most discussed and shared game of the same year.

4Shovel Knight

Shovel Knight is a 2D action platformer game developed for the Nintendo 3DS by the Yacht Club Games developers and is awarded the best 2DS game of the year 2014. It does not support online multiplayer and is a sweeping classic action adventure game with a lot of memorable characters and an 8-bit retro aesthetic. You play the character of Shovel Knight, a small knight with a big quest.

Shovel Knight has two big missions which are to kill the evil enchantress of the valley and to rescue the love of his life who is lost. Shovel Knight is honourable and noble and is a walking example of the code of Shovelry and wields a shovel blade. the techniques of the shovel blade have been lost since centuries ago and the knight and his beloved have to face off with some evil knights known as the Order of No Quarter who have been dispatched to prevent Shovel Knight from reaching the enchantress.

53D Gunstar Heroes

3D Gunstar heroes is another acclaimed game developed by M2 for the Nintendo 3DS handheld and are of the action shooter genre. it is also titled the second best 3DS game of 2015 and is a part of Sega’s classic range and can often be found in many of the ‘best game ever’ lists. Gunstar pushed the limits of the old console but the new one looks impressive on the screen of the Nintendo 3DS and is perfect for emulating Megadrive titles.

It has a lot of differences like the use of the life system in which you don’t die instantly when hit but instead a chunk of life is lost from the meter. There is also an option to double the number of the starting life meter from 100 to 200 called the ‘Mega Life Mode’ and you can combine this mode with the ‘Gunslinger Mode’ to make the gameplay a bit easier if you are a newbie. Face different enemies and bosses and battle them to stop the dictator from unleashing the ‘golden Silver the Destructor’ which can have apocalyptic consequences.

Editor’s Pick: Top 20 Best GBA Games of All-Time.

6The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D

The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D is another one of the best 3DS games that are considered an all-time hit and one of the greatest action adventure game made for the console. It was developed together by Grezzo and Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development for the 3DS handheld console and was initially released on 13 February 2015. It does not support online multiplayer and won the title of best 3DS game of the year 2015.

The Skull Kid is the impersonification of all mysteries and mischief happening in the Lost Woods but a curse mark has now changed him into a more terrifying creature. He dupes Link into entering the land called Termina and the Hero of Time faces a great challenge in the strange new place. he has to stop the moon from ending the world in 3 days but don’t panic because you will have some cool tunes and powerful magic to aid you in the journey.

7Super Mario 3D Land

Super Mario 3D land was released on 3rd November of the year 2011 and was developed by Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development along with 1-UP Studio, Nintendo EAD Tokyo and Bauhaus Entertainment. It is the 6th best selling Nintendo 3DS video game ever with over 12 million copies sold till date and is a platform video game for the same. Get ready for a new spin on the Super Mario 3D which reinvents everything that you love about the Mario series.

The gamers can experience a new depth and sense of distance and speed while jumping, running and stomping on the enemies through the different levels. Use Tanooki suit’s tail to attack the enemies or to fall down from heights without injuries and Mario can also do a cool somersault attack or run faster with the dash move. the circle pad also gives the players complete control to move Mario confidently through challenging environments and the new enemies include Goombas with tails, Piranha Plant that spits ink and tall stacks of Goombas.

8The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is another one of the series of games for 3DS that can be frequently seen in the ‘best games’ lists in multiple locations. This action-adventure video game was developed by Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS console and was initially released on 22 November 2013 and is a part of the ‘The Legend Of Zelda’ series of games. The game also won the VGX award for the best handheld game and is of the genre action RPG and open-world.

The game is set in the world of the Super NES Classic and it was released in Japan with the name of ‘The Legend Of Zelda: Triforce of the Gods 2’. You will play the role of the young boy Link whose mission is to restore the peace to the kingdom of Hyrule after the evil with Yuga kidnaps Princess Zelda and escapes through a rift to the world of Lorule. Link has the ability to merge on to the walls as a painting and travel between the two cities of Hyrule and Lorule. the game received critical acclaim upon release and sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide.

9Pokemon X and Y

Pokemon X and Y are two of the role-playing video games without which this list of best 3DS games won’t be complete and was developed by Game Freak and published by The Pokemon company and Nintendo for the 3DS console. They are the first instalments to the sixth generation of the main Pokemon RPG series and was released on 12 October 2013 initially. It is the second best selling Nintendo 3DS game ever with over 16.31 million copies sold over the years.

The game follows the journey of the young Pokemon trainer and friends and takes place in the Kalos region based on France with the aim to defeat the schemes of the evil organization called Team Flare all while they attempt to challenge the Pokemon League Champion. The game has got 72species of Pokemon and includes new features like Fairy type, character customization, updated battle and training mechanics and a fully rendered polygonal 3D graphics. It also has a new form of evolution called the ‘Mega Evolution’ which allows players to further evolve fully evolved Pokemon.

10Colors! 3D

Colors! 3D is a digital painting application developed for the Nintendo 3DS console as a successor to the homebrew application called ‘Colors! and was created by the Collecting Smiles developers. It was initially released on 5 April 2012 and was also published by Collecting Smiles.  The application allows you to draw on five layers, each on their own stereoscopic 3D plane and drawing is done on the bottom while the top screen displays the painting in 3D.

The L button allows the user to access the menu where they can change the brush type, size and opacity, modify the layers, use the camera to provide reference and more. When you are done with the work, you can export it to your SD card for viewing in the Nintendo 3DS camera application and can also upload the finished creations to online galleries which can be viewed on either the 3DS or the official website. Some of the gallery features are hashtags and the ability to follow the artist and post comments and each painting also features a replay option that allows the viewers to see how it was drawn which is quite handy.

Editor’s Pick: Top 30 Best SNES Games of All-Time.

11Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Animal Crossing: New Leaf is a video game designed for the Nintendo 3DS system and is of the simulation kind where the player’s character takes on the role of the mayor in a populated town with anthropomorphic animals. It was also developed and published by Nintendo themselves and the game was released initially on 8 November 2012. It is the seventh best selling Nintendo 3DS video game till date with over 11 million copies sold all over the world.

The game has got no points or levels and is just a myriad of sights, sounds, activities, places and a lot more all ready for you to explore and you can spend your time passing new ordinances or going fishing. Maybe hang out in a coffee shop or somewhere far away, an island perhaps and basically, the game is what you make it with highly personalizable customizations available at your disposal. You can build new structures in town, design gardens and museum displays, create cool clothing or furniture, celebrate holidays and see different seasons, meet new visitors and get gifts and do so much more as you like.

12Fire emblem Fates: Conquest

Fire emblem Fates: Conquest is another one of the best 3DS games of the tactical role-playing, fantasy-themed games designed for the 3DS handheld. It was developed by Intelligent Systems and Nintendo Software Planning and Development together and was published by Nintendo with the initial release of the game held on 25 June 2015 in Japan. It was released internationally later in 2016 and is the fourteenth game in the Fire Emblem series and the second to be developed for Nintendo 3DS after the Fire Emblem: Awakening.

The storyline goes along like two kingdoms are at war – the peace-loving Hoshido and glory seeking Nohr and it is up to the player to decide which side to choose and fight for. You will be the prince or princess of Hoshido who was raised by the Nohr family which means that you will have the very difficult decision as your loyalties lie with both the family but depending on the side you choose, you will face different challenges. The gameplay revolves around the tactical movement of units across a grid-based battlefield and has got some elements unique to each scenario although it shares some mechanics of the previous games.

133D Streets Of Rage II

3D Streets Of Rage II is an action and adventure-themed game developed by M2 and published by SEGA for the Nintendo 3DS platform with the initial release of the game held on 23 July 2015. The game supports one player only and is another one of the best SEGA classic rebuilt from the ground up in beautiful 3D and is a sequel to the original number. The new thrashed Skate slices punks with high-speed inline attacks and spinning jump kicks and you can also use the secret weapons to destroy your way through gangs of bikers to help your friend and defeat Mr X.

The original rumblers Axel and Blaze get down and dirty with bigger, better and devastating attacks and the skull-crushing ex-wrestler Max Thunder joins them with body slams and spinning fist attacks so forceful and powerful that you will be blown away. Gangs of dirt bikers will come on to your from all directions and you can smash them with a pipe as they ride by and has 16 gigantic megs of compound fractures. All new moves like powerful punches and jump kicks which you can try along with a friend in the all-new 2 players head-to-head mode.

14Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon

Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon are another two of the role-playing video games developed by Game Freak and published by The Pokemon Company along with Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS platform. They are the first instalments in the seventh generation of the Pokemon series of games and was released initially on 18 November 2016. These versions of the Pokemon series are the third best-selling Nintendo 3DS games of all time with over 16 million copies of the games sold all over the world.

Just like the previous instalments, the games follow the journey of a young Pokemon trainer as they train their Pokemon but this time the gameplay takes place in the Alola region based on Hawaii. The objective of the game is to defeat the evil schemes of the Team Skull and later the Aether Foundation all the while trying to challenge various Pokemon trainers of gradually increasing difficulty. The Sun and Moon versions of games have got 81 new Pokemon species and have new features like Alolan forms of previous generations of Pokemon, powerful moves called Z-moves, new powerful beasts called Ultra Beasts, updated training mechanics and battles and better 3D graphics.

15Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward

Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward is considered as one of the best 3DS games of all time and is an adventure type visual novel video game designed for the 3DS console. It was developed by Chunsoft along with Spike Chunsoft and is the second instalment in the Zero Escape series released for Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita in the year 2012. The story follows the main character along with eight other characters and is forced to play the Nonary games by his abductors and is deadlier than ever.

The player character Sigma is kidnapped and as the story progresses, the other characters start to unravel the secrets behind the Nonary games and the gameplay alternates between two sections. The Escape section in which the players completes puzzles in the escape room scenarios and the Novel sections where the player reads the game’s narrative through the visual novel segments and makes decisions that influence the story towards one of the 24 possible endings. The player has access to a flowchart with which they can visit the previously completed sections and choose a different option to proceed in another direction towards a different ending.

Editor’s Pick: Top 20 Best PS2 Games of All Time.

16Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is another action role-playing game among the many others to make it the best 3DS games list and was developed and published by Capcom. the game was initially released in Japan on 14 September 2013 and is the second instalment to the Monster Hunter series of games designed for the Nintendo 3DS platform. The enhanced version of the game called the Monster Hunter 4G was later released in January 2014 which allowed the users to use the Monster Hunter 4 saved files and this version was released in North America and Europe as Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate in 2015.

Just like in the previous instalments, the gameplay requires the players to take the role of a fresh Hunter that undertakes missions and challenges to hunt dangerous beasts that lurk in different locales. The player’s character does not improve very much over the course of the game but their abilities are set by the weapon and armour that they carry for a specific quest which will improve as the player completes more challenges. The game allows the users to use any of the 12 basic weapons in the game, each having unique battle approaches that the player must master and they can also switch between these weapons depending on the quests.

17Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is an action-adventure video game developed by Next Level Games along with Nintendo SDP and also published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS platform and was initially released on 20 March 2013. the game is also known as Luigi’s Mansion 2 in Europe and Australia and is the sequel to the 2001 game Luigi’s Mansion for the GameCube. It is also the third game in the Mario series where Luigi is the protagonist after Mario Is Missing and the original Luigi’s Mansion.

In this game, the player takes control of the Mario franchise character Luigi who is equipped with a specialized vacuum cleaner called Poltergust 5000 which is used to capture ghosts. In the single-player mode, the main aim of the player is to retrieve the pieces of the shattered Dark Moon which is a magical object that has a special effect on the ghosts residing in the Evershade Valley, by seeking out the shards in the five haunted mansions located therein. There is also a cooperative multiplayer mode in the game that can be played locally or online via the Nintendo Network.

18Metroid: Samus Returns

Metroid: Samus Returns is a great action adventure side rolling game developed by MercurySteam along with Nintendo EPD and was published by Nintendo for the 3DS console on 15 September 2017. The game was awarded The Game Award for Best Handheld Game and is a part of the science fiction Metroid series where the 1991 Game Boy game Metroid II: Return of Samus is reimagined. The story and structure of the game are similar to the Metroid II version.

Metroid: Samus Returns s a game played on a 2D plane but with 3D graphics where the players take control of the protagonist Samus Aran, a bounty hunter who explores labyrinthine places and kills aliens while gaining power-ups which allows him to explore new areas. the game has some new features like in this one, Samus can perform melee counterattack to deal critical damage on enemies and in Metroid II, her firing action is limited to specific angles but in this one, she can fire freely in any angle. Samus also has a selection of powers called Aeion abilities that rely on the energy gauge for their usage and she can also travel fast with the Teleport Stations feature in the game.

19SteamWorld Heist

SteamWorld Heist is a turn-based strategy action-adventure shooter video game developed for the 3DS console and also runs on PS4, Wii U, Xbox One and more. It was developed by Image & Form Games and published by them along with Nintendo and Rising Star Games with the initial release of the game held on 10 December 2015. The game is also the third instalment of the SteamWorld series and the sequel to the SteamWorld dig and in this one, the player controls the captain piper Faraday who is a smuggler and a pirate.

The core gameplay consists of recruiting a team of steam-driven robots, boarding enemy spaceships and taking down the rivalling robot factions in turn-based shootouts. The player can control the aiming of all the firearms in the battle and can bounce the bullets off the environment for ricocheting trick shorts. A majority of the game’s levels are procedurally generated and as the game progresses, the players can upgrade and customize their robot crew with new abilities, weapons and hats and some weapons are equipped with laser sights to assist free aiming. The game has over 100 different weapons and almost 100 hats to collect which can be found as treasure during missions or bought from designated shops.

20Mario Kart 7

Mario Kart 7 is obviously a kart racing game developed by the Nintendo, Retro Studios and Nintendo EAD for the Nintendo 3DS platform and was also published by Nintendo on 1 December 2011. The game is also the best selling Nintendo 3DS video game so far and over 17 million copies of the game was sold all over the world till date. Just like in the previous games in the Mario Kart series, the players participate in racing on various Mario themed race tracks while playing as one of the seventeen different Mario characters. While racing, the players can use the power-up items that either assist their character or hinder opposing characters.

Most tracks are based off various locations in the Mario series but two tracks are set on Wuhu Island, which was featured in non-Mario video games  Wii Fit, Wii Fit Plus and Wii Sports Resort. the new additions to the game include hand gliding attachments for karts, the ability to drive underwater and to drive in the first person and the ability to fully customize the vehicle’s builds for up to 8 players. Some of the power-ups of the game are Super Mushrooms, Koopa shells and Banana peels and the game also features 3 items unique to Mario Kart 7 – the Fire Flower, the Super Leaf and the Lucky seven which bequeaths seven items at once.


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