27 of the Best 3DS Games Ever Made

Nintendo has dominated the handheld gaming market since the introduction of the GameBoy. Its 3DS handheld is no exception.

To honor the system's legacy, we'll review our 27 favorite games for the Nintendo 3DS.

New Super Mario Bros. 2

New Super Mario Bros. 23DS
Image Credit: Nintendo.

Super Mario Bros. got a facelift with this rendition of the popular game series. The rat race is the name of this game. Players are encouraged to rack up their savings in this game.

This game focuses on money so much that the fact that Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach is considered more of a side issue. This side scroller gives players the enjoyable challenge of making it rain money everywhere they go.

Super Smash Bros.

Super Smash Bros. 3DS
Image Credit: Nintendo.

ir?t=yourmoneygeek 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B00DD0B1R0Super Smash Bros. is full of incredible fight combinations. With multiple fighting platforms and multiplayer options, this game will delight players of all ages.

This 3DS version is not as comprehensive as the Wii version, but portability is a definite bonus.

Mario Kart 7

Mario Kart 7 3DS
Image Credit: Nintendo.

ir?t=yourmoneygeek 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B0053BCO00This addition to the Mario Kart series gave fans many new vehicle options.

The game also features new tracks and weapons for added mayhem. Mario Kart 7 takes everything gamers loved about the Mario Kart series, from gliders to underwater adaptions.

Super Mario 3D Land

Super Mario 3D Land 3DS
Image Credit: Nintendo.

ir?t=yourmoneygeek 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B0792HGXB8Everyone's favorite cross between an Italian plumber and a tanuki (Japanese raccoon dog) comes back for a new challenge. Mario cavorts in his special tanuki suit, giving him special powers.

The 3D landscape offers players a new challenge without needing special equipment.

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon

Luigi's Mansion 3DS
Image Credit: Nintendo.

ir?t=yourmoneygeek 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B07BBCS15Z“I ain't afraid of ghosts; who are you gonna call?” Luigi, am I right?

Luigi's Mansion is a great precursor to the wildly popular Luigi's Mansion 3, which came out in October 2019. The game broke Luigi's character out of his traditional role.

It is refreshing to see a game in the Mario franchise where Luigi is the main character.

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon 3ds
Image Credit: Nintendo.ir?t=yourmoneygeek 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B0053BCP40

This game is the follow-up to the original Luigi's Mansion, and it raises what was already a high bar.

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon allows gamers to explore multiple mansions.

This 3D side scroller is easily as fun as any game in the Luigi's Mansion franchise.

Mario Party Star Rush

Mario Party Star Rush 3DS
Image Credit: Nintendo.ir?t=yourmoneygeek 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B01H3NU4OS

As expected, the Mario Party series made its way to the Nintendo 3DS.

This version was the first to move away from turn-based gameplay and allow players to act simultaneously.

Mario Party Top 100

Mario Party Top 100 3DS
Image Credit: Nintendo.

Mario Party gets one-upped in Mario Party Top 100. This version allowed four players to connect and co-op with a single game card, which was revolutionary.

This game is all the crazy fun of a Mario Party game paired with the top 100 mini-games of the Mario Party series.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3DS
Image Credit: Nintendo.

ir?t=yourmoneygeek 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B01AC3ZDCEThis reimagined version of a Nintendo 64 classic is a perfect example of a revamped game exceeding expectations. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time takes the original to a new level.

3D graphics, without special equipment, helps elevate this already dynamic action-adventure game.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3DS
Image Credit: Nintendo.

ir?t=yourmoneygeek 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B07MWQ15JWThe Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is another reimagined fan favorite. Players are told that the world of Termina will fall, and they have three days to stop it.

The cool thing about The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is the variety of masks players can use. Each one gives its wearer special powers, making Majora's Mask one of the most unique Legend of Zelda games ever.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds 3DS
Image Credit: Nintendo.

Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is a charming show of 3DS graphics. This game is set in a painted world and gives an all-new look at Hyrule. This game is an entirely new look at Zelda's combat.

The combat is fast-paced and highly adaptive. Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds breaks the mold of previous games from this series.

Legend of Zelda: Tri-Force Heroes

Legend of Zelda: Tri-force Heroes 3DS
Image Credit: Nintendo.

ir?t=yourmoneygeek 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B013X9HA7KLegends of Zelda: Tri-Force Heroes was wildly popular back in the more innocent time of 2015. The game won several awards, and rightly so.

This game is another unique take on traditional Legend of Zelda titles. It encourages players to work together and think outside the box to achieve their goals.

Detective Pikachu

Detective Pikachu Stufful
Image Credit: Nintendo.

ir?t=yourmoneygeek 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B078YQ866VDetective Pikachu is a great game. It's so good that it got its movie, Detective Pikachu (I know the film's name surprises you).

The game, like the movie, follows the journey of Tim Goodman, who is searching for his father in Ryme City. While searching for his father, Tim joins forces with “the great detective” Pikachu.

This game is fun and offers over 100 cut scenes of sassy Pikachu (kawaii).

Pokémon X and Y

pokémon x and y
Image Credit: Nintendo.

Continue the journey of becoming a master Pokémon trainer in Pokémon X and Y as players explore Lumiose City. These two continuations of the main Pokémon story are a great edition of the main storyline.

Pokémon X and Y also allow for Pokémon-Amie, which will enable players to develop a stronger connection with their Pokémon by petting, feeding, and to play with their Pokémon.

Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby

Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby
Image Credit: Nintendo.

ir?t=yourmoneygeek 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B00KI2OZ9MThese remastered updates of previous editions are fantastic. Players get to explore the Hoenn region and meet new legendary Pokémon.

The Hoenn region is gorgeous, and this game provides hours of fun and exploration. Master the Pokémon of the Hoenn region.

Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

pokémon ultra sun and ultra moon
Image Credit Nintendo.

ir?t=yourmoneygeek 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B071JQQ9PKTechnically, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are the updated versions of two different games. However, the games are mostly sister updates of the main Pokémon series.

One thing is for sure, saving the Alola region has never looked so good. These amped-up updates also feature new content, such as new Pokémon, new quests, and new parts of the Alola region for players to master.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Animal Crossing: New Leaf-welcome Aiimbos
Image Credit: Nintendo.

ir?t=yourmoneygeek 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B014FZYV3CFulfill your fantasy of being a humanoid animal and being mayor of a custom town of your own making!

Didn't know that was a fantasy you had?

Well, Nintendo did! Animal Crossing: New Leaf features the charming mischief that we've come to expect from this delightful franchise.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf is all the fun of Animal Crossing with brand new features, including Amiibo support!

Kid Icarus: Uprising

Kid Icarus: Uprising 3DS
Image Credit: Nintendo.

ir?t=yourmoneygeek 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B002I0EMBIKid Icarus: Uprising is the perfect example of an instant classic. The game offers AR Card compatibility, allowing gamers to battle once the cards face off.

With stunning graphics and action-packed combat, Kid Icarus: Uprising captures the hearts of all who play it.

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy

professor layton and the azran legacy
Image Credit: Level-5.

With cute graphics, an exciting storyline, and intriguing puzzles, Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy, have it all.

Solve the mysteries of the ancient civilization of Azran by working your way through various puzzles.

This game also gives players an additional year's worth of daily puzzles, just in case you were worried about not having enough.

Professor Layton vs. Pheonix Wright

Professor Layton vs. Pheonix Wright
Image Credit: Level-5. Capcom.

ir?t=yourmoneygeek 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B00KWFY04AThis game was a top 10 back in 2014, and it is clear why. This game is the best of two beloved series, Professor Layton and Pheonix Wright (shocking, I know).

Players get to solve puzzles, check out mysteries with Professor Layton, and then carry the action to the courtroom with Pheonix Wright. It is the iconic duo fans didn't see coming.

Monster Hunter Generations

Monster Hunter Generations
Image Credit: Capcom.

ir?t=yourmoneygeek 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B01CJI62WAMonsters here, monsters there, monsters everywhere! Defend villages from new colossal monsters in Monster Hunter Generations.

These massive calamity bringers are called the Fated Four and require full use of the aerial combat that is the hallmark of this game. Master the hunter arts and battle

Monster Hunter Stories

Monster Hunter Stories 3DS
Image Credit: Capcom.

ir?t=yourmoneygeek 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B06ZXRH9KJMonster Hunter Stories is a charming action-adventure game.

Players get to ride monsters, collect eggs, and create new monsters to ride into battle. This turn-based battle game breathes new life into the genre and is the first of its kind.

It's clear to see why fans of all ages love this game.

Fire Emblem Warriors

fire emblem warriors 3ds
Image Credit: Nintendo.

ir?t=yourmoneygeek 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B01MUC6LSDFire Emblem Warriors is guaranteed to offer hours of fun. Players get to battle armies with fan-favorite warriors as they work to restore the Shield of Flames and defeat the Chaos Dragon.

Gamers can also unlock new warriors and combination attacks as they progress.

Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn

kirby's extra epic yarn
Image Credit: Nintendo.

ir?t=yourmoneygeek 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B07MSTXKL4What do you get when you combine crafts and Kirby? Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn!

This game is adorable, and the graphics are eye candy. Kirby can change forms and even do magic in addition to his classic abilities. You’ve never seen Kirby like this.


Boxboxboy 3DS
Image Credit: HAL Laboratory.

Qbby is back and better than ever! Our favorite box returns in this minimalist puzzler; this time, he's twice as boxy. Gamers get to play Qbby and his double as they work to solve 11 different puzzle worlds.

With new suits, comics, and music, BoxBoxBoy will remain a classic.

Etrian Odyssey Nexus

Etrian Odyssey Nexus
Image Credit: Nintendo.

ir?t=yourmoneygeek 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B07M8RC7V1Etrian Odyssey Nexus is an action RPG. This game allows players to form a character from 19 different classes.

Players are encouraged to form parties and raid dungeons as they explore the world of Lemuria.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call
Image Credit: Square Enix.

ir?t=yourmoneygeek 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B00JKM09Z0Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call is the much-awaited return of the Final Fantasy Theathythm series.

With over 200 songs from across the series, fans will love this ode to an iconic franchise.

Metroid: Samus Returns

Metroid: Samus Returns
Image Credit: Nintendo.

ir?t=yourmoneygeek 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B084HPX6YPFall back in love with an original classic with Metroid: Samus Returns.

This remake provides players with a new 3D take on a well-loved side-scrolling space adventure.

With two new Aiimbos, lore about Planet SR388's origins, and new combat modes, Metroid: Samus Returns.

The Bottom Line

Nintendo 3DS system
Image Credit: Nintendo.

The 3DS and 2DS is still great system with a lot to offer. Hopefully, our list reminds those of you with a 3DS why you like yours so much. If you're for an older system to try out, then a 3DS and this list is an excellent place to start.

Like our list, or have a favorite 3DS game not on our list? Leave us a comment and let us know.

I'm a polymath, writer, and an all-around nerd. If it involves gaming, anime/manga, or comics I probably have an opinion on it. I have written pieces for The Nerd Stash and The Digital Spy. I love spending time with my dog, Jester, and playing a Simic Hybrid Wood Elf in D&D.