The Nintendo 3DS might just be the best handheld system of all time. With an every growing library of games, backwards capabilities with the Nintendo DS, and great mobility, the 3DS has managed to make itself a staple in many gamers’ roster. The 3DS’ diverse roster practically guarantees that there are plenty of games for virtually anyone’s taste. Out of all of the great titles available currently for the 3DS, a few stand out above the rest as the handheld behemoth’s crown jewels. The list below takes a look at the five best Nintendo 3DS games that owners of the system need to have.

5) Animal Crossing: New Leaf:


It can be quite difficult to explain what exactly makes Animal Crossing: New Leaf so damn addicting. A simple slice-of-life sim at its core, AC:NL has more charm and personality than almost any other game out on the market. From fishing, to digging for fossils and customizing your house, the seemingly mundane activities take the spotlight in AC:NL, blending perfectly together for a memorable video game experience. AC:NL is filled with anthropomorphic animals that inhabit your town, each filled to the bring with quirky dialogue and unique personality. Befriending villagers, building your town from the ground up and creating an awesome wardrobe are the core tenants of AC:NL and there is beauty in that simplicity.

4) Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward:


About as niche as a game can possible be, Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward might now have been played by everyone; but those who have played it will be sure to sing the game’s praises from the rooftops. In essence, a visual novel with engaging puzzle elements, Virtue’s Last Reward was highly anticipated by fans of the game’s prequel, 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. With a story that runs deep and oozes with plenty of inter-personal drama, Virtue’s Last Reward has been praised as one of the best written video games in recent years and is widely considered as one of the most underrated games available.

3) Shin Megami Tensei IV:


As the first numbered title in Atlus’ main SMT series in just under a decade, Shin Megami Tensei IV had a lot of hype to live up to. Blending the signature elements of Shin Megami Tensei – difficult battles, demon fusion, and mind-bending narratives – SMTIV was met with largely positive reviews. While SMT IV featured a few new additions to the franchises’  otherwise archaic formula, from the game’s outset it is very clear that SMT IV holds a candle to the previous titles in a meaningful and respectful way. The new demon designs might not be as great as fabled artist Kazuma Kaneko’s original source material, but SMT IV’s unforgiving combat and lengthy story have earned it a rightful spot near the top of the anyone’s best 3DS games list.

 2) Kid Icarus: Uprising:


Released twenty-one after the last game in the Kid Icarus series, Uprising was a smash hit when released in 2012. Uprising blends rail shooter elements with traditional third person shooter segments in a glorious cacophony of chaotic fun. Uprising features tons of power ups and weapons, multiplayer, and tons of replayability that can suck players into the game for hours upon hours. Those who only recognize protagonist Pit from the Smash Brothers games are doing themselves a disservice by not picking this game up immediately.

1) Fire Emblem: Awakening:


Fire Emblem: Awakening is a SRPG’s dream come true. Featuring tons of memorable characters, innovative strategic elements and great cutscenes – all presented neatly around a thrilling story – Awakening introduced legions of 3DS owners to the SRPG genre. Awakening’s class system offers tons of customization for the player’s party, allowing each playthough to feel wholly unique. Awakening also forces the player to think about each and every turn before moving to action – as the characters in the game can be killed during combat and lost forever. While this can be turned off, playing Awakening this way allows for a thrilling and heart-pounding experience. Awakening’s dedication to character developments and tactical gameplay are unparalleled not only in the 3DS’s library, but also by nearly every video game across each system.

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Tags : Nintendo 3dsTop 5 Lists
Raymond Porreca

The author Raymond Porreca

Raised on classic role-playing games, Ray’s eternal quest for the next great game has led to him playing everything he can get his hands on. With a passion for every facet of the video game industry, Ray aims to keep readers informed and entertained with every word he writes.