The Top Ten 3DS Games You Must Own

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Nintendo’s latest handheld the 3DS has a ton of great games. With the StreetPass functionality and new expansions added to the Nintendo Network, the variety of titles are the biggest draw for anyone looking to own a 3DS. Yet there are a select few titles that bring out the best in the handheld. Here is a rundown of ten games that any 3DS owner will want to own in their collection.

The games listed here are not numbered in ascending order of quality. Nor are any of the titles listed here chosen because of first party or third party allegiance. Each title on this list provides a great gaming experience on Nintendo’s 3DS. Each game utilizes the 3DS’s capabilities, either hardware and/or online capabilities, in some fashion or another to enhance the gameplay experience. Games that fail in such execution of taking advantage of the 3DS capabilities did not make the cut, regardless of first or third party allegiance.

Dead or Alive Dimensions

This game provides a great DOA console-like experience that really excels on the 3DS. Not only is there a Chronicle Mode that teaches the basics of the fighting mechanics of DOA, as well as Arcade and Training Mode, but the game includes some neat StreetPass functionality that will keep players coming back for more. The environments make for some great backdrops of the action and the animations rival that of the series’ console counterparts. There are collectible figurines, tradable ghost data, online multiplayer, and implementation with coins collected via Mii Plaza. All of this makes Dead or Alive Dimensions the best fighting game on 3DS. Those who aren’t veterans of the DOA series or are new to fighting games will feel welcome and experience something that feels like a completely fresh package.


Kid Icarus Uprising

The rebirth of a classic Nintendo hero is a homerun on the 3DS. Pitt finally makes his return on a Nintendo platform after a very long hiatus ranging back to the NES days. Much like his cameo in Super Smash Brothers, Pitt not only has a beautiful updated look on the 3DS, but comes along with some great Rail Shooter and Action gameplay. Alongside a great story that will keep anyone occupied for a long while, the game comes with some awesome online multiplayer that is fun and addictive. There are tons of items, equipment, and abilities to collect and customize your own character for a unique experience both on and offline. This is one original title that 3DS owners must have in order to complete their collection.


Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance

Another tie-in game into the Kingdom Hearts franchise, Dream Drop Distance continues the story of Sora and friends that leads into the eventual console sequel Kingdom Hearts 3. Not only does this game have the great visuals and story elements that the series is known for, but the new gameplay mechanics introduced into the game freshen up and fine tune the battle system to the best possible in the franchise’s history. Flowmotion allows players to quickly traverse levels and unleash crazy attacks upon enemies. StreetPass comes into play by having players exchange Spirit Portals with each other, in which gamers can ally with or battle against another gamer’s spirits in any of the game’s worlds. Kingdom Hearts fans will really appreciate the hints and nods to aspects of previous games, while newcomers will be brought up to speed quickly and get a great action RPG experience that is fantastic on 3DS.


Super Mario 3D Land

Mario’s solo adventure on 3DS brings an experience that stands strong when matched up against any of his past console adventures. Blending together elements from classic 2D Mario and 3D Mario gameplay, this game takes a familiar face in gaming culture and makes him play like new. The 3D effects are some of the best on the 3DS handheld, with few other games coming close to handling the 3D effects as good as Super Mario 3D Land does. Players can also exchange bonus rooms via StreetPass for chances to gain extra coins and extra lives as well as power-ups to use on Mario’s newest adventure. Whether you are an old school Mario fan or one of the newer generation of gamers, there is no denying that Super Mario 3D Land is one of the best Mario related games out there.


Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

Monster Hunter is a franchise that has flourished on portable consoles in recent years. The 3DS version of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate not only brings all of the aspects from the console version that everyone loves, but also implements new features via StreetPass such as trading Hunter Guild cards. There is a deep customization aspect and variety of gameplay styles that will keep anyone who dives into Monster hunter 3 Ultimate very busy for a long time. While the 3DS version doesn’t have online play like its console counter-part, there is still ad-hoc multiplayer lobbies that can be set up for gathering hunting parties, as well as free downloadable quest to extend the hunting prowess. The beast in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate look outstanding and the environments are breath-taking, all of which work together beautifully and push the graphical limit for the 3DS. This is one game on 3DS that really provides so much great content and value, making it a must-own for anyone.


Mario Kart 7

The Mario Kart franchise has always been a big seller on Nintendo’s portable systems, and this game is no exception. Mario Kart 7 not only brings the mascot racing series into 3Dm but also brings online play over Nintendo Wi-Fi into the mix. The result is an additive kart racer that many people will be playing online for a very long time. There are a handful of tracks and vehicles to unlock that range from new and original tracks, to classic courses from past Mario Kart games. StreetPass comes into play with Ghost Data that can be exchanged with other players and raced against. Those who want an awesome online experience and addictive kart racing game on 3DS will feel right at home with Mario Kart 7.


Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan

Anyone with old-school RPG in their blood will love this game. With a lot of the mechanics heavily influenced by classic JRPGs, Etrian Odyssey IV will not only appeal to anyone’s nostalgia but also take their skills to the limit. With an interesting customization class system, this game will have you spending a lot of time grinding through levels to past tough challenges. Much like the series’ earlier games, dungeon crawling and exploration is a huge element that can rack up more than 40+ hours of game time. In addition to the massive quest in Etrian Odyssey IV, the game also allows players to scan for special items and quest through the 3DS camera by scanning QR codes released by Atlus. This not only extends the gameplay experience with new dungeons to explore, but also provided extra items to help boost those players who needed an extra hand tackling this difficult game. While definitely not for the faint of heart, Etrian Odyssey IV is a game that will provide hours of entertainment and reward anyone willing to put the time into experiencing the game.


Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon

Stepping out of the shadow of his brother Mario, Luigi’s latest spooky adventure is a must own title on the 3DS. A great single player experience paired with addictive multiplayer game modes makes Dark Moon a complete package that many other 3DS games fall short on delivering. Not only is the gameplay for Dark Moon fun with really solid controls, but the visuals are some of the best looking graphics that can be found on Nintendo’s handheld. This game may not star Nintendo’s forefront mascot, but Luigi doesn’t play second fiddle by capturing our attention and bringing out one of the best games on the 3DS.


The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D

It is very hard to improve on something that many consider to be perfection. It is even harder to provide a fresh experience for a game that resonates as a classic to everyone young and old. Ocarina of Time 3D not only does this, but also does not compromise anything that made the original N64 game a classic. Instead the game adds upon small details that brighten up and reinvigorate the game all know and loved. Completely refreshed visuals, new easter eggs and hints for newcomers, as well as smart implementation of the second screen all make Ocarina of Time 3D an outstanding rerelease. As an extra bonus for both long-time fans and new ones alike, the game adds in a varied version of the game called Master Quest, where everything is flipped and enemies and bosses become more challenging. It is a no-brainer that this game is among the best in the 3DS library, considering it boasts a 20+ hour experience doubled over and that gives a total graphical overhaul to a beloved classic.


Fire Emblem Awakening

Fire Emblem Awakening is a package that has everything a 3DS owner can ask for. The single player experience provides a story that is enthralling, yet at the same time meshes together well with the strategy RPG elements at its core. Players recruit units to an army and try to dominate enemy while leveling up their units and acquiring equipment and items along the way. In addition to having gameplay that is both incredibly fun and highly addictive, the game also utilizes the 3DS StreetPass and online features to expand the game experience to its fullest. New maps are always available for purchase off the Nintendo eShop, but a ton of free DLC through the use of StreePass provides extra goodies that really expand the amount of time anyone will have playing Fire Emblem Awakening. Yet the fun does not stop there as multiplayer adds even more by having versus battles and co-op double duels. Fire Emblem Awakening provides everything possible utilizing the 3DS’s capabilities, but doesn’t do so in a shallow way. Those who jump into Fire Emblem Awakening will not be disappointed at the amount of content available, nor will they find many other games that offer the level of quality experience and end-game experience that Fire Emblem Awakening does so well.

About The Author
Jakejames Lugo Senior Editor
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