3 DS and XL

In recent days we published our updated list of the biggest games coming to the Wii U, so naturally it's time for the 3DS equivalent. Our Summer edition for the portable was full of excellent titles and, as a matter of fact, a number are still yet to arrive. That said, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS is now an obvious absentee, and we're also exluding Fantasy Life following its European release and imminent arrival in North America; be in no doubt, though, we heartily recommend the RPG from Level-5 and Brownie Brown — now 1-UP Studios.

We do have a few new titles to consider, then, along with returning favourites. We're confident these will arrive this year, yet a few are slightly doubtful due to the absence of updates. Nevertheless, there's a mix of retail and download games that should keep 3DS owners busy over the remainder of the year.

Let's get to it, then, our updated list of what we consider to be the biggest games still coming to 3DS in 2014.

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire — 21st November (North America), 28th November (Europe)

This caused a wave of excitement when it was announced, as it'll bring the 3D remake treatment to what some consider to be two of the best entries in the franchise. It'll utilise the engine and various features seen in Pokémon X & Y, while plenty of Mega Evolutions and popular inclusions from the originals have also been confirmed; it will surely be one of the hottest releases on any platform this Holiday season.

Ultimate NES Remix
Ultimate NES Remix — 5th November (North America), 7th November (Europe)

It only takes a cursory look at sales figures to know that the 3DS userbase is particularly sizeable in comparison to the Wii U equivalent, so there may be plenty of dedicated gamers that haven't experienced the two NES Remix titles as yet. This will combine plenty of content giving a fresh spin on 8-bit classics, and will also include a rather fun turbo-charged version of Super Mario Bros.; we're big fans of the Wii U entries, so see no reason why this won't be terrific fun on the portable.

Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal
Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal — 11th November (North America) / 21st November (Europe)

Being developed by Sanzaru Games, this will be an entirely separate experience from the Wii U game and will also introduce new playable character Sticks, a 'jungle badger' that can throw a boomerang. It'll follow the more traditional 2D Sonic formula seen in previous entries on DS and 3DS, though will have character swapping and some tricky puzzles to tackle.

Persona Q
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth — 25th November (North America), 28th November (Europe)

The first Persona Q title on Nintendo hardware, with the surprising recent announcement that it'll be coming to Europe as well as North America this year. It will blend characters from Persona 3 & 4 with gameplay influenced by the Etrian series, with a visual overhaul also accompanying the IP's arrival on 3DS.

Harvest Moon 3 D
Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley — 21st October (North America) / 2015 (Europe)

This promises to be an evolution in the popular series, and the 3D in the branding doesn't simply refer to the game engine or the fact you can pan the camera around — it actually references a Minecraft-esque ability to adjust landscapes in 3D blocks, so you can raise and lower sections to create hills, dips and various other aspects. We were relatively impressed with this and posted some rather thorough first impressions during E3; unfortunately this is a 2015 release in Europe.

Story of Seasons
Story of Seasons — Winter 2014 (North America)

This is a slightly odd case as this is a localisation of Harvest Moon: Connect to a New Land that was previously released in Japan, but has had to change its name due to Western publisher XSEED not having the rights to use the Harvest Moon name. Nevertheless, it's a promising title that places a great deal of attention on refining the series' formula and implementing various connectivity options between players. Check out our interview with Head of Development Yoshifumi Hashimoto to learn more about this one.

Lego Batman 3 3 Ds
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham — 11th November (North America) / 14th November (Europe)

The Dark Knight returns in LEGO form, and we expect more of the same in the latest 3DS entry; the portable versions do, typically, tread a slightly different path to the home console iterations. It'll likely be more linear than its HD brethren, but will have a slightly different story and accessible, comfortable gameplay; sometimes the later part of the year doesn't feel right without a new LEGO adventure.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy - Q4

Already available in Japan as a retail title, Capcom is bringing this one to the West as an eShop-only release. It includes the first three games in the series, but with stereoscopic 3D visuals and sharper overall graphics; in that respect it could be a nice trip down memory lane for those familiar with the original games, or a perfect introduction for those jumping in for the first time.

Shantae And The Pirate's Curse
Shantae And The Pirate's Curse - Q4

A long time coming, but this is now jumping through its final hoops before release. WayForward's much anticipated third game in this series is also coming to the Wii U eShop, but our time with the 3DS build has given us an appreciation for how those lovely pixels pop in 3D. This promises to be a sizeable adventure, with new moves and changes to the formula to keep things fresh.

Gunman Clive 2 — Q4

A surprise reveal during E3, developer Bertil Hörberg has set himself the challenge of a Fall release, though this could naturally slide a little into the Holiday period. Nevertheless, this promises greater colour and even more diversity than the acclaimed original, with some new gameplay elements also thrown in; you can learn more about it in our interview with the developer.

That's our updated 3DS lineup, then, with a few promising eShop releases — in particular — unfortunately missing out. If you're travelling in the rest of 2014 or simply planning on seeing out the nights with a comfy chair and your portable of choice, there should be a lot to keep you busy.

Let us know what you think of this 3DS list and by all means point out those we've missed, while you can vote for your favourite in the poll below.

What's your most anticipated 3DS game of 2014? (460 votes)

  1. Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire39%
  2. Ultimate NES Remix7%
  3. Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal3%
  4. Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth9%
  5. Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley2%
  6. Story of Seasons3%
  7. LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham1%
  8. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy10%
  9. Shantae And The Pirate's Curse10%
  10. Gunman Clive 210%
  11. My choice isn't on the list8%

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