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Best Nintendo 3DS games: 19 titles you should take on the go

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NewsHubWhen it comes to handheld gaming, Nintendo is the big name. It’s the company behind some of the most successful handheld consoles in history and when the it released the Nintendo 3DS five years ago it only strengthened its position.
It may have had a bit of a shaky launch thanks to pricing woes but the 3DS is our go-to handheld device.
Five years is a pretty long time in console years, but we’re still not ready to move on just yet. It may be relatively old, but the 3DS still has the edge.
Despite its small size, the 3DS has a good amount of power behind it and an excellent and diverse library of games that’s growing all the time.
Mobile gaming is increasingly popular and though Nintendo is entering into this market itself, there’s still a large proportion of gamers who are looking for portable games with more depth than you can currently find in the app store.
Sure, you can now get Mario on your mobile but if you’d rather have the full Super Mario experience you’re still going to have to turn to the 3DS.
It’s clear this is still something that has high levels of appeal as Nintendo has continued to see high sales figures for the 3DS, especially after the release of Pokemon Go had players flocking back to the mainline titles.
Thanks to its large install base and the incredibly successful launch of the newest Pokémon titles, Pokémon Sun and Moon , it’s clear the 3DS still has a lot to offer.
No matter what kind of game you like to play, you’ll find something to suit your tastes on the 3DS, and you won’t be able to find many of the titles anywhere else. From slow and easygoing life simulators like Animal Crossing, to fast-paced platformers like Super Mario 3D land you’re not short of options.
So read on for the 18 best 3DS games, or if you’re looking to dip your toe into the more retro DS library, then check out our list of the best Nintendo DS games .
While Mario has always been bold and brave, his brother Luigi is … well, not. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon follows the less adventurous of the two Mario Bros. as he wanders through mansions with a tepid nervousness that’s just as likely to make you laugh as it is to sympathize with the game’s green-hatted hero.
Dark Moon, the sequel to the original Luigi’s Mansion on the Nintendo GameCube, is an adventure game through and through. You’ll solve puzzles, collect coins and generally revel in the game’s spooky – but never overwhelmingly frightening – abodes. If you’re looking for smart, funny platforming, Dark Moon is the bite-size adventure you’ve been yearning for.
Mario sports games have always been a contentious affair. Whether you remember slamming home goals in Super Mario Strikers, smashing an ace in Super Mario Tennis or shooting an eagle in the original Mario Golf title, most of the Nintendo sports titles starring the mustachioed mascot have been memorable, enjoyable – and yes, even competitive – affairs.
Mario Golf: World Tour does nothing to break that trend. Simple tutorials ease you into the world of Lukitos and Chain Chomp-equipped lawns, while local and online multiplayer compel you to take your game to the next level.
You might’ve billed Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire as cash-in remakes of two somewhat middling entries in the monster catching franchise. There’s no shame in it. That’s what we thought, too. But actually sitting down with Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire is like seeing a friend after a decade apart: you’re both different people than you were 10 years ago, but just as fond of one another now as you were then.
The 3DS versions of Ruby and Sapphire add a number of interesting – even ground-breaking – new features like Mega Evolutions from X and Y, and Pokémon Box that allows you to send monsters to yourself from one game in the franchise to the next.
In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, you find yourself thrust into the role of a village’s new mayor, which means it’s up to you to help make the rules and aid in the burg’s development. Don’t fret, though: it’s a pretty chill gig. You’ll still have time to go fishing, catch bugs, design clothes, dig up fossils, decorate and expand your home, and hang out with friends doing lots of relaxing stuff. The 3DS’s online and StreetPass functionality are put to great use here, allowing you to visit friends’ towns see how other players’ homes are decorated.
Japanese role-playing games aren’t as ubiquitous as they once were, but they haven’t gone away – they’ve simply found new homes on systems like the 3DS. Furthermore, Bravely Default is one of the best examples of the genre in recent years, combining modern technology and excellent storytelling with genre staples like random enemy encounters, turn-based battles, and a job system that lets you choose your characters’ abilities.

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