40. 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.

39. Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past (3DS)

Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past (3DS)Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past (3DS)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Square Enix
Release Date: 16th Sep 2016 (USA) / 17th Sep 2016 (UK/EU)

An island-hopping adventure spanning space and time, Dragon Quest VII is a JRPG masterpiece. If you played the PlayStation version back in the day, this is as perfect a remake as you could ask for, with beautiful 3D graphics, a smartly streamlined opening, and lots of welcome quality-of-life updates. And if this is your first time in Estard, you're in for a wonderful surprise — great writing, a fun class system, lovely animations and a stellar soundtrack make for a fully engrossing adventure throughout. It's a massive game, but don't let that scare you off; with short story-style pacing and a huge variety of settings, speech patterns, and scenarios, it feels less like an epic tome and more like a shelfful of storybooks stuffed into a 3DS cart. This is an absolute pleasure, and a must-play for RPG fans.

38. 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…

37. Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (3DS)

Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (3DS)Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (3DS)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Level-5
Release Date: 29th Aug 2014 (USA) / 28th Mar 2014 (UK/EU)

Professor Layton Vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney delivers an utterly charming, enjoyable experience to satisfy fans of both franchises; it's a crossover that, when experienced, seems entirely natural. The individual parts are pleasurable and entertaining, as always, though perhaps fall a little below the exceptional standards of their main-series contemporaries, and there's a lingering sense that more gameplay innovation to blend the two brands could have been explored. These are minor complaints in the grand scheme of a lengthy adventure, but Level-5 and Capcom have done a commendable job. The end result is another 3DS title that exemplifies much of what sets Nintendo's portable hardware and supporting software apart; it provides heart-warming, accessible fun, and entertainment to last for many hours.

36. 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.

35. Shantae And The Pirate's Curse (3DS eShop)

Shantae And The Pirate's Curse (3DS eShop)Shantae And The Pirate's Curse (3DS eShop)
Publisher: WayForward / Developer: WayForward
Release Date: 23rd Oct 2014 (USA) / 5th Feb 2015 (UK/EU)

Whether or not you’re a platforming fan, and whether or not you’ve played any of the previous titles in this series, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is an exceptionally well-crafted game that should not be ignored. The art style and sense of humour aren’t going to appeal to everyone, but they work well together and manage to set a very specific tone that WayForward has clearly spent time perfecting. There is little reason for any 3DS owner to avoid adding this gem to their treasure collection.

34. Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D (3DS)

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D (3DS)Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D (3DS)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Monster Games
Release Date: 24th May 2013 (USA) / 24th May 2013 (UK/EU)

Another of the home console games to migrate to the handheld, Retro’s Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D took us back to the sidescrolling antics of Rare’s classic SNES series, updating it with beautiful new graphics and mechanics. This version includes an extra world and the system’s stereoscopic 3D once again enhances the experience, turning those lush environments into mesmerising dioramas that have you playing about with the 3D slider like a kid. The game slots perfectly into the console’s collection of quality platformers, and that soundtrack is pretty great through headphones, too.

33. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies (3DS eShop)

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies (3DS eShop)Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies (3DS eShop)
Publisher: Capcom
Release Date: 24th Oct 2013 (USA) / 24th Oct 2013 (UK/EU)

Wonderfully witty as ever, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies is another excellent entry into the Ace Attorney series. Bursting with humour and new extravagant personalities, Phoenix Wright fans will find much to enjoy, thanks largely to the excellent skills of the localisation and script-writing team at Capcom. The few minor gameplay additions do somewhat polish the investigation and courtroom experience, but — as with any visual novel — it's the story, character developments and gob-smacking plot twists that you really play for, and this one will keep you screaming 'OBJECTION' until the gavel drops.

32. Hatsune Miku: Project MIRAI DX (3DS)

Hatsune Miku: Project MIRAI DX (3DS)Hatsune Miku: Project MIRAI DX (3DS)
Publisher: SEGA / Developer: SEGA
Release Date: 8th Sep 2015 (USA) / 11th Sep 2015 (UK/EU)

With pitch-perfect gameplay and an excellent, expansive tracklist, Project Mirai DX is a must-play for Miku and music game fans alike. Its rhythm game core is inspired and addictive, the presentation is charming and fun, and there's no shortage of activities to keep you happily busy between songs, with dress-up, interior decorating, choreography, and a full-on Puyo Puyo mode all providing enjoyable distractions from the dancefloor. As a complete package, Project Mirai DX puts on a virtuoso performance that easily stands alongside Curtain Call, HarmoKnight, and Rhythm Thief as one of the 3DS' greatest hits.

31. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (3DS)

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (3DS)Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (3DS)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Intelligent Systems
Release Date: 19th May 2017 (USA) / 19th May 2017 (UK/EU)

As the last Fire Emblem chapter on Nintendo’s heroic handheld, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia delivers a perfect swan song for the series’ 3DS days. This is a satisfying, deeply strategic adventure with an engaging, personal story and beautiful presentation, full of appealing art and lovely details that come alive as you play. But more than that, it’s also just delightfully different from its predecessors, in ways that only broaden its appeal: if you loved Awakening and Fates, this is close enough to be comfortable but with plenty of tweaks and additions to feel exciting and fresh; if you didn’t like those entries and yearn for a more ‘traditional’ Emblem experience, you’ll love Echoes’ throwbacks and unique touches; and if you’re a JRPG fan who’s never understood the appeal of the SRPG chessboard, explorable towns and dungeons make this a perfect point of entry to crossover. Echoes is a phenomenal Fire Emblem and a wonderful tactical title to tuck into.