Top 50 Nintendo 3DS Games

It may have had a slow start at launch back in 2011, but Nintendo 3DS steadily went from strength to strength and amassed a huge library of quality titles - enough to rival the company's finest. Sure, glasses-free stereoscopic 3D turned out to be a bit of a non-starter, but the best games made great use of the feature and the ‘New’ hardware variant (which arrived in 2014) improved its ease of use considerably. Streetpass provided a genuine reason to keep the console on your person at all times and backwards compatibility with original DS carts opened an avenue to another whole console’s worth of fabulous games.

If your 3DS is collecting dust in some forgotten cupboard, you owe it to yourself to get reacquainted with the little portable; if you somehow skipped it completely, it's time to snap up some great hardware and software deals while you still can.

So, here we bring you our collection of the top 50 games for 3DS - or more accurately, your collection of the top 50 games for 3DS. As you've probably read in the tagline above, the order here is all down to you lovely people. This ranking of this sizeable selection is governed by the user ratings for each game on this very site. It will continually evolve to reflect your votes - logged in users can interact and rate the titles directly on these pages by hovering over the rating, or alternatively you can do it from each game's individual page.

Can't see your favourite on the list? Head to our library of 3DS games (click the games tab at the top of the page) and input your own ratings. A game needs a minimum of fifty ratings to become eligible, so it's entirely possible to influence the ranking and get your favourite games onto the list.

Regardless of the order, though, it's an extremely impressive collection. Feel free to check out our 50 best Nintendo Switch games, too, if you're after something a bit more contemporary, but as the last ray of 3Ds' setting sunlight slips over the horizon, let's sit back and enjoy some of the console's highlights...

50. Miitopia (3DS)

Miitopia (3DS)Miitopia (3DS)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: 28th Jul 2017 (USA) / 28th Jul 2017 (UK/EU)

Miitopia is a special game, marrying the quirky style and interactions of Tomodachi Life with fun, addictive RPG-style gameplay and progression. It’s a fitting celebration of the Mii concept, perfect for short bursts of play, and an absolute riot with the right group of Miis — if you’ve ever wanted to take your friends on a grand adventure, complete with silly cosplay and relationship drama, this is a perfect way to do it. Its streamlined take on the genre won’t be for everyone, but for players willing to relinquish some control and trust in their Miis, Miitopia is a wonderful ride.

49. Ever Oasis (3DS)

Ever Oasis (3DS)Ever Oasis (3DS)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Grezzo
Release Date: 23rd Jun 2017 (USA) / 23rd Jun 2017 (UK/EU)

After such sterling work remaking Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask for the system, developer Grecco shows that it’s got the chops for original ideas, too. A colourful action-RPG that manages to carve its own space in a crowded genre, Secret of Mana director Koichi Ishii’s fingerprints are all over this game. If you’ve played Zelda to death and some of the other RPGs on the list seem a little portentous or gloomy, Ever Oasis could be just what you’re looking for.

48. Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D (3DS)

Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D (3DS)Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D (3DS)
Publisher: Konami / Developer: Kojima Productions
Release Date: 21st Feb 2012 (USA) / 9th Mar 2012 (UK/EU)

Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D may not be the definitive version of Snake’s Cold War escapades but that doesn’t stop it from being a clever, well thought-out and simply great game — frame rate hiccups aside, the impressive and intelligent use of stereoscopic 3D makes the game an absolute joy to look at as well. It's not often that games as dense and exciting as Snake Eater see the light of day on any platform, which makes the 3DS version all the more worthwhile whether it's your first romp through the jungle or just to see an old friend from a new perspective.

47. WarioWare Gold (3DS)

WarioWare Gold (3DS)WarioWare Gold (3DS)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: 3rd Aug 2018 (USA) / 27th Jul 2018 (UK/EU)

The irreverent minigame series came to 3DS late in life at a time when many might have preferred to see it land on Switch, but it’s hard to be too miffed. WarioWare Gold makes use of the console’s particular features – from its two screens to its tiny microphone – and curates many of the series’ most popular games while also adding 50ish new ones into the bargain. Similar to Rhythm Heaven Megamix, the series has many standout entries across consoles and this is an excellent ‘best of’ package.

46. Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World (3DS)

Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World (3DS)Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World (3DS)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Good-Feel
Release Date: 3rd Feb 2017 (USA) / 3rd Feb 2017 (UK/EU)

While Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS was below the standards of its original in our view (and scored as such), the same can't be said of Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World. It takes fantastic original material and carefully adapts it for the portable, with extras compensating for one lost feature. In the process it becomes an elite 3DS 2D platformer, joining its Wii U predecessor in that company.

If you have the Wii U version it's a tough decision on whether to double dip; both versions deliver the same terrific core game. If you haven't played this on Wii U and like Yoshi, 2D platformers or charming games, though, then this is a must-have for the 3DS.

45. Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Level-5
Release Date: 28th Feb 2014 (USA) / 8th Nov 2013 (UK/EU)

The final game of the prequel trilogy which began with Professor Layton and the Last Specter on DS, Hershel Layton’s daughter took the limelight in the follow up. This capped the story of the professor and apprentice Luke’s first meeting and exploits, taking them on a globe-trotting adventure and showcasing the best elements of the series. Of course, thanks to backwards compatibility, we’d recommend starting from the beginning if its gentle form of adventure puzzling sounds appealing, but if you’ve only got time for one, you can’t go wrong with Azran Legacy.

44. Rhythm Heaven Megamix (3DS)

Rhythm Heaven Megamix (3DS)Rhythm Heaven Megamix (3DS)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: 16th Jun 2016 (USA) / 20th Oct 2016 (UK/EU)

Collecting many of the series’ finest rhythm-based minigames in one place, this ‘greatest hits’ manages to feel like more than a mere compilation. Rhythm Heaven Megamix’s stylish presentation and energy is more polished than ever before, and although much will be familiar for returning fans, it’s an unfettered treat for newbies. Can anyone ever truly tire of the Chorus Kids? One day we’ll get that amiibo…

43. Kirby: Triple Deluxe (3DS)

Kirby: Triple Deluxe (3DS)Kirby: Triple Deluxe (3DS)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: HAL Laboratory
Release Date: 2nd May 2014 (USA) / 16th May 2014 (UK/EU)

Kirby: Triple Deluxe is a pleasant platforming package that doesn’t push the envelope very far. The Story Mode is an elegant but conservative adventure that trades too greatly in familiarity and simplicity, the same type of neo-nostalgia that Nintendo courts so successfully with the Mario and Zelda franchises. Triple Deluxe is sure to scratch that Kirby itch — or create one for new players — but fails to move the franchise forward in any meaningful direction. However, the rest of the package holds its own quite well and went on birthed more than one standalone titles with Kirby Fighters and Dedede's Drum Dash. A fine introduction to Kirby's brand of adventuring, then.

42. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS)

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS)Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Next Level Games
Release Date: 24th Mar 2013 (USA) / 28th Mar 2013 (UK/EU)

By the time this sequel arrived, people had come around to Luigi’s Mansion. The GameCube original rubbed those expecting a Mario game at launch the wrong way, but with suitably adjusted expectations most players came to appreciate the beauty and comedy of Luigi’s haunted house exploits. Next Level’s sequel brought to fruition the planned stereoscopic 3D of the original to fantastic effect, making the mansion in Dark Moon really feel like a diorama as the green plumber tip-toes around sucking up ghosts and coins. A port of the original also came to 3DS, and they’re both excellent ways to prepare for the upcoming Luigi’s Mansion 3 on Switch.

41. Fire Emblem Fates (3DS)

Fire Emblem Fates (3DS)Fire Emblem Fates (3DS)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Intelligent Systems
Release Date: 19th Feb 2016 (USA) / 20th May 2016 (UK/EU)

Fire Emblem may have found itself in a strange spot after the success of Awakening, but Intelligent Systems has found a way forward. Actually, two ways - Fire Emblem Fates does a remarkable job delivering what newcomers and long-time players both could possibly want out of this series. Fans of Awakening will dig Birthright's continuation of that style of gameplay, and Conquest's strategic demands should go over well with series veterans and those looking for more bite from their games. Extensive campaigns, online multiplayer, and spit-shine polish combine to make for some of the most well-rounded Fire Emblem experiences to date.

Each of these games is unique enough to stand on its own accord as an impressive achievement and a whole lot of fun. The writing is sharp and witty, and gameplay is as accessible or as hardcore as you could want it to be. While the story can feel like it's dragging at times, it's tough to hold too many grudges against padding since the core gameplay is so much fun.