Top 50 Nintendo 3DS Games
Image: Nintendo Life

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. The 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, and logged in users can interact and rate the titles directly on these pages by hovering over the rating.

Can't see your favourite on the list? Feel free to find it using the search tool below and give it a score out of 10. 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.

Note. In order for games to become eligible, they need a minimum of 50 User Ratings in total.

50. Mega Man Legacy Collection (3DS)

Mega Man Legacy Collection (3DS)
Mega Man Legacy Collection (3DS)
Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom
Release Date: 23rd Feb 2016 (USA) / 23rd Feb 2016 (UK/EU)

Mega Man Legacy Collection is a great package for 3DS owners with a lot of content and stuff to do. For newcomers it's worth acknowledging that each game is very challenging, and could be too much for someone who isn't used to the steep learning curve. With that in mind, the wealth of extras, the challenge mode and the sheer scope of six games nevertheless make Mega Man Legacy Collection a great option for anyone who's looking for an old-school Capcom treat who'd rather play on a smaller handheld than Switch.

49. Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology (3DS)

Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology (3DS)
Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology (3DS)
Publisher: Atlus / Developer: Atlus
Release Date: 13th Feb 2018 (USA) / 12th Feb 2018 (UK/EU)

Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology is a top-shelf JRPG, with an engaging time-travel hook, brilliantly fun, puzzle-like combat, and a genuinely likeable cast of characters. While it’s far from the first adventure to draw on parallel timelines, it smartly integrates its world-hopping into both gameplay and narrative, and the result is a unique, beautifully-paced experience that’s a joy to play. This 3DS release doesn’t feel drastically different from the DS original, but the new additions — especially a third ‘what-if’ timeline — make for excellent replay incentive. Whether it’s your first trip through time or you’re reliving a prior playthrough, Radiant Historia is well worth a wind of the watch, and another stellar addition to the 3DS’ RPG collection.

48. 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.

47. 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…

46. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (3DS)

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (3DS)
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (3DS)
Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom
Release Date: 19th Mar 2013 (USA) / 22nd Mar 2013 (UK/EU)

This 3DS release of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate allows hunters to invest countless hours in another adventure to conquer hundreds of quests. It's an excellent interpretation of a home console experience, although with occasional moments where its smaller home isn't entirely optimised; the absence of online play is also a great pity. It's an accomplished effort, though, and a must for fans of the franchise that can't access the home console versions, or those that simply want to always be able to slay an almighty monster when on the move.

45. SteamWorld Dig (3DS eShop)

SteamWorld Dig (3DS eShop)
SteamWorld Dig (3DS eShop)
Publisher: Image & Form / Developer: Image & Form
Release Date: 8th Aug 2013 (USA) / 7th Aug 2013 (UK/EU)

SteamWorld Dig represents a strong coming together of concept and execution, with relatively simple mechanics impeccably layered to coax the gamer through its story. It's demanding and perhaps too punishing for some, but the mix of basic platforming, puzzling and action works well, with a beautifully balanced levelling system underpinning everything. Beyond the initial thrill of exploration it's questionable whether much else can draw you back, but this is a game that achieves its goals with some panache. If a challenge and a 'thinking-person's platformer' appeals to you, this one should be added to your 3DS collection right away.

44. Mario Kart 7 (3DS)

Mario Kart 7 (3DS)
Mario Kart 7 (3DS)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo EAD
Release Date: 4th Dec 2011 (USA) / 2nd Dec 2011 (UK/EU)

The DS entry in the series did a marvellous job of giving players the full-blooded 3D experience, but 3DS’ extra horsepower made this feel more like a home console release than ever before. Mario Kart 7 (the first game in the series to have a number at the end of its title, fact fans) is perhaps one of the finest racers ever made, and certainly one of the best on the 3DS.

Bringing back coins during races and introducing vehicle customisation and underwater driving to the series, its excellent autostereoscopic 3D once again proved that, in the right hands, the system's namesake feature could really add some special sauce, helping flesh out the world just that little bit more. Booting it up now makes us miss having the option — roll on Nintendo 3DSwitch! (Calm down, that’s a joke… or is it?)

43. Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan (3DS)

Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan (3DS)
Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan (3DS)
Publisher: Atlus / Developer: Atlus
Release Date: 26th Feb 2013 (USA) / 30th Aug 2013 (UK/EU)

The turn-based series’ debut on 3DS delivered a wonderful feeling of adventure on the handheld. It offers classic, grindy combat in a world of colour that belies the dreariness conjured by the term ‘dungeon-crawler’, and its focus on character classes and team-building means it’s refreshingly light on the tropey narrative arcs you might expect from a game with this subtitle. If you’re after an old-school first person explorer game with a great soundtrack and some modern concessions to convenience and accessibility, Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan fits the bill nicely.

42. Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey (3DS)

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey (3DS)
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey (3DS)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: 11th Jan 2019 (USA) / 25th Jan 2019 (UK/EU)

The most recent entry on the list, this spruce up of the DS original did more than enough to impress us and (hopefully along with the upcoming Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn) give the console a truly great swansong. With updated visuals, a brand-new side story involving Bowser Jr. and the ability to speed up gameplay, it’s the best version of arguably the best of the Mario & Luigi RPG series – of course it’s on the list! Plus, you get to root around in the intestines of a giant fire-breathing lizard. What’s not to like?

41. Stella Glow (3DS)

Stella Glow (3DS)
Stella Glow (3DS)
Publisher: Atlus / Developer: imageepoch
Release Date: 17th Nov 2015 (USA) / 11th Mar 2016 (UK/EU)

A fitting swan song for imageepoch and another gem in the 3DS' legendary RPG lineup, Stella Glow is smart, stylish, and seriously satisfying. Fans of SRPGs will get a kick out of the combat, characters, and strategy, the fun, fast-paced story will keep you entertained to the end, and the musical motif works wonderfully, winding its way through the gameplay and presentation with ease. A few interface wobbles keep it from being a totally perfect show, but they're minor concerns in an otherwise spellbinding performance. Stella Glow is absolutely worth singing about.