Nintendo claims the 3DS isn’t going anywhere, but we’re going to say goodbye just in case.
The GamesBeat Decides podcast crew is confident that Nintendo will wrap up its 3DS handheld line after it gets the upcoming Switch handheld/home console hybrid established. And that made us want to look back at the software on the 3D portable before the Switch’s launch on March 3.
In the latest episode of GamesBeat Decides, host Jeffrey Grubb and cohost Mike Minotti picked the top 5 3DS games, and you can see our choices by scrolling down or watching/listening to the podcast for yourself. In our discussion, we don’t just pick our favorite games, we also talk about some standout 3DS hits that are the kinds of games you don’t typically get on a home system.
Listen by pressing play here or on the video above:
5. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
Smash Bros. has one of Nintendo’s most dedicated and enthusiastic group of fans, and the company finally gave those players a way to play the 4-player fighter on the go with this version. The reason Smash Bros. is on this list, however, is that it does an incredible job of capturing all of the action of the HD Wii U version on a far less powerful platform.
4. Picross 3D Round 2
Picross 3D Round 2 is deceptive. At first, you think it’s just another collection of logic puzzles — like a sudoku book you’d pick up at the airport. But Nintendo’s designers were not that lazy. Like in other Picross games, you’re removing blocks in a 3D grid using numbers as your guide to build an object — like a lamp or an ice cream cone. But Round 2 introduces a number of new rules to complicate the proceedings in several clever ways. The biggest change is colored numbers that enable far more complex designs, and it is an excellent example of the kinds of games that Nintendo should launch on the Switch to ensure it is a worthy successor to the 3DS.
3. Super Mario 3D Land
The core Mario games have always existed in parallel as 2D and 3D games, but Nintendo made its biggest effort to date to unify those two forks with Super Mario 3D Land. This game combines 3D movement and spaces with linear level design that make it ideal for playing on the go.
2. Fire Emblem: Awakening
It’s weird to think that a few years ago, Fire Emblem wasn’t that big of a deal — and then Awakening happened. This strategy role-playing game brought together the franchise’s turn-based tactical gameplay with high production values, excellent writing, and interesting relationship mechanics. All of these elements working together enabled the game to appeal to a wider audience, and now Fire Emblem is one of Nintendo’s biggest properties.
1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Whenever I try to put a reality check on my hype for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, I remember A Link Between Worlds. After decades of making Zelda games, the company remixed the series to build the 3DS’s best game. It is still Zelda, but it is faster paced, more open, and it doesn’t feel the need to bombard you with instructions for every little thing. It also features great use of 3D, incredible dungeon design, and a fresh gimmick where Link can turn into a 2D living painting. Really, I just kinda want to go play it again right now.