10. Yumi's Odd Odyssey
Although the name doesn't say it, Yumi's Odd Odyssey is actually part of a long-running platform series in Japan called Umihara Kawase. In fact, it's the first entry to be released outside Japan. Like previous Umihara Kawase games, expect physics based platforming with a fishy aesthetic.
9. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Beteen Worlds
The latest entry in the Zelda franchise...unfortunately, it didn't do a lot for me. The dungeon design was too simple, and having most of your items from the start largely breaks the experience. This is why I put the game at the #9 spot. Still, maybe diehard Zelda fans could appreciate A Link Between Worlds.
8. Code of Princess
An obscure game, true, but it's worth checking out. The premise is a simple "princess must save her kingdom from the forces of evil" fantasy affair, and the gameplay is just a beat-em-up with a wide range of unique characters. It's kind of like a spiritual successor to Guardian Heroes (but maybe not as good).
7. Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword
Admittedly, there's not much to Sakura Samurai. As a young samurai out to save the princess, you dodge attacks and quickly follow up with one of your own. Yet surprisingly, the game doesn't need much more than that.
6. Azure Striker Gunvolt
One of the more recent titles for the 3DS, Gunvolt is a short, simple action game in the vein of Mega Man Zero. Not as good as it could be, but certainly a competent action title. Read my review of the game to get a clearer image.
5. Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater
It's Metal Gear Solid 3, but on the 3DS. Those of you who like the original version of the game will no doubt enjoy this one, too (3DS control quirks aside). A quick warning, though: although this version is based on Subsistence, it does not feature that game's multiplayer.
4. Project X Zone
Another obscure title, and a divisive one, at that. Some people think Project X Zone goes on for far too long, and that its gameplay could be improved. Others love the fighting game-esque mechanics and the fully realized pixel art aesthetic. Personally, I lean toward the latter.
3. Liberation Maiden
Again, I choose the more obscure titles, but not without good reason. Liberation Maiden is a stylish futuristic shooter where your goal is to blast life back into New Japan. It's a solidly built game, never missing a moment to deliver on the action.
2. Kid Icarus: Uprising
I imagine the first question most people had when they initially heard about this game was, "How do you bring a 20+ old video game like Kid Icarus to modern systems?" In this game's case, you combine on-rails shooting segments with on-foot action segments into a surprisingly effective package. The only real problem might be the humor, which is too shoulder-nudgingly aware much of the time.
1. Fire Emblem: Awakening
One of the 3DS' more popular titles, and for good reason. Fire Emblem: Awakening combines everything we love about the Fire Emblem franchise, from the masterful strategy gameplay to the engaging cast of characters. (Even if that cast is more anime than we're normally used to.) Although it's not the best game in the franchise, it's still the best game the franchise has seen in a while.