Last year I released a list of ten great 3DS games – and they are still all solid, recommended games.
With Holidays 2013 coming up fast, there will be a lot of new 3DS (and I suppose 2DS) owners that will need some guidance on the best way to spend their gamer cash.
Before we get started, I’d like to point out that this isn’t the “Top 10” list of any kind. These are ten games I feel are worthy of your time, money and consideration; that produce great value for your gaming dollars. I don’t use Metacritic or sales numbers for these determinations; I use my own experience as a 30 year gamer and a trusted name in the gaming community.
If your favorite game doesn’t appear on here there is no need to flame in the comments; create your own Ten Great Games list in our Comments instead. Benefiting from gaming journalism is all about aligning with writers that share common gaming interests, genres and ideology – not about pulling Nielsen’s numbers or flitting over to MetaCritic.
Enough of this chatter – bring on the games!
10. Spongebob Squigglepants
(Nintendo; Amazon $39.98)
Wait, don’t close the browser window! Let me explain!
First off, if you feel I’ve immediately lost credibility with this first entry – I completely understand. No one would expect a kid’s game like this – and Spongebob of all things – to make a “top” anything list. But you don’t know the secret …
This is Warioware. Yeah, they stole every fizzy lifting drink they could from the Warioware series – skinned it with Spongebob and threw in some (annoying) pirate clips.
Microgame heaven – you’ll forget you’re playing a Spongebob game. Trust me on this one.
9. Crosswords Plus
(Nintendo; Amazon $9.95)
What a polished experience! 1000 puzzles. Secret daily prizes. It’s all the polish of Nintendo but with Crossword puzzles.
HUGE word searches are included as well as “word of the day”.
This is an EXCELLENT value if you like word games. It’s cheap too – no reason NOT to own it. Comes digitally as well.
8. Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventures
(Activision Publishing; Amazon $44.84)
Looking to get into the Skylanders craze on the cheap? The 3DS version comes with it’s own IR portal (yeah, it is a bit tricky to use initially, but my 6 year old can do it – so no excuse) and characters.
It is really a 3D platformer adventure where you switch out characters by using real physical action figures. Surely you know of this already.
Is the 3DS version fun? Yeah, it isn’t the same game as the console, but it is still fun with tons to explore and plenty of replay value.
7. Pac-Man Party
(Namco; Amazon $34.50)
Who would have thought this game would make the list?
Oddly enough, this game is closer to Mario Party than actual Mario Party on the 3DS.
It plays like a board game with over 50 mini-games (a lot of them are pretty impressive). It is a great game to play with the family locally or even by yourself with the CPU.
Honestly – if you want Mario Party, you should probably get this.
6. Lego City: Undercover – The Chase Begins
(Nintendo; Amazon $19.99)
Yes, another Lego game makes my 3DS games list.
This is really a scaled down prequel to the amazing Wii U game – featuring a huge city to explore, bad guys to take down and missions to do.
Witty, polished and more importantly; fun. Whether you dig on Lego or not, this game offers a console-like experience on your handheld.
5. Sonic Lost World
(Sega Of America, Inc.; Amazon $20.68)
This is a new Sonic; new levels, skills and adventures.
The game is incredibly polished and a fun romp of 3D platform adventurers. Feels more like Old Sonic than New Sonic.
More practical level design puts this heads and shoulders above the Wii U version – and still looks and plays similar. No mean feat.
If you’re on the fence – grab it used so there is no risk. I think old school Sonic fans will like it as well as those in love with the more modern Sonic.
4. Super Mario 3D Land
(Sega Of America, Inc.; Amazon $14.38)
A fantastic combination of 2D and 3D gaming – loaded with secrets and packed to the brim with replayability.
Much like many of the other titles on this list, SM3DL managed to steal large chunks of my free time – making me a slave to the Nintendo machine.
Great level design with a completionist dream assortment of hidden collectibles makes this game a no brainer for everyone.
3. Animal Crossing: New Leaf
(Nintendo; Amazon $23.96)
What can I tell you? It’s Animal Crossing. Sure, there are a few new things in there – multiplayer online mini-games and such. But at the heart of the game? It’s still Animal Crossing.
After 113 hours of play, I finally put it away – but that’s the beauty of AC; every season, it changes up – bringing new things to see and do.
Fans of the series will find everything you love about AC and more. First time visitors will find a rich, fun impressive world to explore and enhance.
Did I mention that it has online play?
2. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
(Nintendo; Amazon $33.97)
Rarely do I feel compelled to play games all the way to the end. Even more rarely do I find myself wanting to find every hidden item and open every secret passage.
Luigi’s Mansion compelled me. The game sucked me in (er, pardon the pun) and didn’t let go until I’d finished it.
It’s as beautiful as it is haunting. The game almost comes alive in your hands with silky smooth graphics and fantastic use of 3D.
Even if you weren’t a fan of the original game on the Gamecube, you owe it to yourself to give this another look.
1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
(Nintendo; Amazon $49.90)
Many people will be surprised to see this game not only make this list – but top it. I’ve been very vocal in the past of my dislike of Zelda – but this one rubbed me right. The game is polished and not bogged down with endless tutorials and hand holding.
It is gorgeous to look at, amazing to play and quite frankly could be the best game ever on 3DS (Resident Evil: Revelations still offers it some competition in my book).
So whether you love Zelda (or hate it) – this title is worthy of a spot in your 3DS collection.