The Nintendo 3DS is one of the best handhelds that Nintendo has ever put out. It still offers that Nintendo magic that their past handhelds have offered, but the hardware is capable of producing fantastic graphics as well so you really get the best out of both worlds.
The remake of Luigi’s Mansion has made me realize that there is still a little life left in the Nintendo 3DS so what better time than to look at my 7 best Nintendo 3DS games! To help narrow the list down I have gone for Nintendo made games.
Super Mario 3D Land
Here is a Mario game that does not get the love that it deserves in my opinion. This was the first big Mario game released for the Nintendo 3DS and I personally feel that it is one of the most fun Mario games in general. It did get overshadowed by its big brother, Super Mario 3D World on the Wii U, but this is a damn fine Mario game.
It makes great use of the 3D and sometimes you have to use this to find a certain objective. As a Mario game, it is great, it brings back the Tanooki Suit and the controls are just perfect. One of the clever things that Nintendo did with Super Mario 3D Land was the level design. These are shorter than most other modern Mario games, but this makes them perfect for a handheld game. Plus the fact you have to collect a certain number of coins to open new levels makes the replay value pretty high.
Donkey Kong Country Returns
I already loved Donkey Kong Country Returns on the Wii, but this is the definitive version that you can play. The game still looks like a million bucks and actually I would say that the 3DS version looks much smoother than the Wii version. What I really liked about this game is that it controls way better than the Wii version. There is no annoying waggle controls here, just solid platforming action.
As a 2D platform game, Donkey Kong Country Returns is one of the best. It is a very challenging game and each level has a ton of stuff for you to collect. It is one of the more challenging 2D platform games I have played so it is ideal if you want a rewarding gaming experience.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Link was very well represented on the Nintendo 3DS and getting a game in the same style as A Link to the Past and Link’s Awakening was something that I was into as soon as it was announced. It has a rather classic Zelda point of view which is something we had not seen in years. The big “gimmick” was how Link could actually go onto the wall as a 2D drawing and move around this way. It made for some fun and clever puzzles.
The other big thing about this Zelda game was that you could get any weapon you wanted right away! There was no going into a dungeon, finding a specific weapon and then using that weapon to defeat the boss. The way A Link Between Worlds handled weapons was very different to what we were used to in Zelda games, but I think they made it work.
Mario Kart 7
While it has been overshadowed by Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, I still love Mario Kart 7 and this actually set the stage for what 8 would ultimately become. Mario Kart 7 is one of the best looking games on the system and it moves at a million miles per hour. They added in the ability to glide thanks to the glider and also the ability to drive underwater. The underwater driving is a little different, but I liked it.
There are a ton of tracks to race in and I feel that Mario Kart 7 was the first game in the series to get the balance of retro tracks and new tracks just right. The retro tracks were changed to make use of the glider and underwater driving which was pretty cool.
Luigi’s Mansion 2
Luigi’s Mansion was a launch game for the GameCube and a series that I thought was one and done. Now though we have this game here, an arcade game and a remake of the first game! Luigi’s Mansion 2 is exactly what a sequel should be. It takes what the original did and expands on it in every way you could imagine.
The mansion is far bigger this time around, there are more ghosts, the bosses are challenging and there is the perfect blend of puzzles and action. Luigi’s Mansion 2 is a fantastic game and one of those games that you will pick up and then a few hours later still be playing!
Kirby Planet Robobot
There are three main Kirby games on the Nintendo 3DS. There is Kirby Battle Royale, Kirby Triple Deluxe and Kirby Planet Robobot. I have to be honest and say that this was a really tough call between Planet Robobot and Triple Deluxe as I had a very fun time with both games and they both offer that classic Kirby formula with enough of their own charm to make them stand out.
I went for Planet Robobot as I loved the mech and robot theme of the whole game. If you have played a Kirby game before you will be right at home here. Kirby feels more of a badass in this game than he usually does and that is really fun. It is a very fast paced game with some fun new abilities for Kirby and of course, Kirby plus mech is always going to equal awesome!
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
Ok so having two Legend of Zelda games on this list may seem like I am cheating, but to be fair this is a completely different type of gameplay experience to what A Link Between Worlds is offering. Some may have picked Ocarina of Time 3D and that was a fantastic remake and seeing how much better it looked than the Nintendo 64 original was amazing.
However, I went for Majora’s Mask as I never really played it much on the Nintendo 64 so for me this was mostly a new experience and I loved it. The game is so dark and depressing that it is very unlike any other Zelda game I have played. The combat is just right and Nintendo also did a great job in making the game look great too.