As of June 2015 there are 879 3DS tiles.
With so many to choose from, one is bound to get lost in the sea of video games. There are definitely some that should be passed on, but there are also some that should not be missed. As such, here are 10 3DS games that it would be a shame to miss out on:
The Animal Crossing games are sort-of life simulators, but they can hardly be compared to The Sims franchise, as Animal Crossing is so unique. While the most obvious goal is to pay off a debt that you have been saddled with, there are so many other things that can be done in Animal Crossing.
In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, in addition to this goal, you are placed in the role of mayor and expected to develop and improve the town with trees, flowers, monuments, buildings, and one select ordinance.
While you attend to your duties as mayor you can collect seasonal fish and bugs to donate to the museum (as well as fossils and paintings), befriend neighbors, decorate your home, or become a miser with a massive stash of money sitting in the bank. This hardly scratches the surface of what you can do with your time in Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
Make your town flourish, or let it rot. If you enjoy having an exciting world in which what you do with your time is up to you, Animal Crossing: New Leaf is an excellent choice.
Bravely Default is fairly similar to a lot of Final Fantasy games in the way it functions. However, the game introduces a few mechanics that can actually make or break a fight. "Brave" and "Default," are the main mechanics, two actions that have been added to the standard action bar provided during an encounter. In a nutshell, Brave allows you to take turns early, and Default allows you to build up those turns to use later.
There are also a few other mechanics such as sleep points and the Bravely Second ability, but neither are necessary to complete the game. The game itself is humorous and full of little twists and turns that make it worth buying if you enjoy story rich games, or even just a slightly different RPG.
Simply put, Fire Emblem: Awakening is a turn-based strategy game. But a lot of its charm comes not from the engaging gameplay, or compelling storyline, but off-the-battlefield interactions between characters. Strangers evolve into friends (even begrudgingly), and sometimes marry (by Fire Emblem: Awakening's strict definition of 'marriage'), eventually ending up with a child or two.
The little scenes between characters are pretty amusing, and it's physically impossible to see all of them in one game. There is even arguably a strategy to choosing what abilities you want characters' children to have, and as such (somewhat frighteningly), who they should marry. Thus there is a lot of replayability to this installment in the series, beyond just completing the game on the different difficulty settings that Fire Emblem: Awakening provides.
Kid Icarus: Uprising is an action-packed game that pits you, a heroic angel named Pit, against the forces of the Underworld. When not dodging the occasional joke made at your expense from the divine peanut gallery, you are slaying monsters, picking up cool gear (that you can use to forge into better gear, or turn into a source of currency), or collecting hearts, the game's currency.
Every chapter of the game is capable of being set to a difficulty level of your choosing (ranging from 1-10), though often you must make a currency bet to reduce or increase the difficulty. Higher difficulty means better rewards, however.
The story takes you on a whirlwind journey and is not to be missed. Though the humor (and there is a ton of it) is a bit hit-or-miss depending on your personal sense of the subject, a lot of people find the conversations in each level hysterical. There are even a ton of "achievements" to earn and also little figurines to collect that you earn in-game.
Even if you aren't into Kid Icarus: Uprising's brand of humor, then you will likely at least enjoy it for the challenges it presents.
Mario Kart 7 is a racing game, with many of the well-loved features of previous Mario Kart titles, though there are some new features here and there.
Mario Kart 7 gives the player the ability to assemble their own vehicle, selecting the body, the wheels, and the glider. The glider is also a new feature, used when launched into the air to fly over chasms or select areas of the course.
New courses were also added, and the little item blocks are still on each course to help out players who are lagging behind (or to help that first placed player stay there). If anything, the game is worth your time for the replayability, because no race will be exactly the same (even if you are just racing against the computer).
Ocarina of Time is a classic, and Ocarina of Time 3D improves upon the original with lots of little updates. Having a handheld version has its own benefits, like portability, but there are some other things as well. For example, once you beat the original game, you then have access to the remastered Master Quest version, in which all the dungeons are remixed and mirrored. This previously was not available to most Zelda players, as Master Quest was only available on some GameCube copies of the game.
The Sheikah stone near Link's childhood home was added (but not in Master Quest) to help players along who have lost their way. Other than general graphical improvements, and also the very rare change to the original dialogue, a small addition to the game was made in the form of being able to relive boss battles, either singly or in a boss gauntlet, by sleeping in the bed in your home.
Ocarina of Time has aged remarkably well, and the story and music are still all worth as much as they were when they were originally released.
The Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series games are not just lawyer simulators. They are dramatic visual novels with riveting plot lines.
Admittedly, not all is as it seems in this game, as often witnesses lie. Some even say that in past cases evidence has been fabricated. Thus it becomes your job to find the truth, both by investigating crime scenes and by questioning witnesses and defendants in the courtroom.
Dual Destinies introduces a new system called the Mood Matrix that allows you to tune into the emotions of a witness to see if there is a contradiction in what they are saying and what they are expressing (for example, in the tone of voice). The game also introduces the "Revisualization" system, which helps players to form new conclusions about the case by linking together what they have learned.
Being able to work out who actually committed the crime, especially in cases where the truth gets absurdly tangled in a web of deception and lies, is immensely satisfying. Dual Destinies is really worth the investment, especially if you enjoyed previous titles in the series.
The sixth generation of Pokémon games brings in lots of changes to the series. The games introduce the Fairy type, which counters dragon types. The type system has also been rebalanced. Pokémon X and Y boasts completely updated graphics and includes Mega Evolutions, a sort of in-battle power-up that changes the ability, appearance and stats of Pokémon.
The GTS was vastly improved, allowing you now to search for Pokémon that you haven't seen yet.Your character is also customizable to a degree. And of course, there are lots of new Pokémon to catch.
Longtime fans of the series have every reason to add one of these games to their collection. X and Y may even appeal to newcomers. There's a lot of replay value, too, given that once you have finished your quest to be the Champion, the games will still keep you quite busy.
This installment to the Professor Layton series brings a whole lot of story to the table, following up on some of the previous games. As usual, it's still jam-packed with puzzles, some of which are necessary to finish the game and others which are completely optional.
There is plenty of exploration to be done, and little mini-games to be played throughout. Part of the appeal of these games is finding that hidden puzzle or hint coin. Furthermore, there is a great satisfaction to being able to solve a puzzle without in-game hints, let alone help from the Internet.
Though I have not finished this game for myself, I have yet to meet a Professor Layton game I did not like.
For those unfamiliar with Smash, it is a fighting game that throws together characters from different Nintendo universes, as well as a few from other companies' franchises such as SEGA's Sonic. Smash also incorporates a great deal of items, including the Smash Ball, that can change the entire pace of the game. Items flying everywhere and gravity-defying physics make for a certain degree of hilarity.
The sheer chaos that often ensues during a 4-player stock fight (that does not even consider how chaotic it could be with 8 players) is not only amusing but also allows for replayability, as you are rarely going to have the same experience twice.
This new version adds a few new characters, stages, and items, as well as cartridge-specific trophies. There are also a few DLC characters, as well as character customization. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS also introduces Smash Run, in which you travel a maze and collect power-ups for a free for all battle ahead.
Overall, it is something worth having around even if you are just playing solo against the game itself.
Given there are so many 3DS games out there, a selection of just 10 cannot possibly cover every worthwhile game. A small search on the eShop or through Nintendo's list of games may reveal some other gems.
What are your favorite 3DS games? Are there any we missed that you think should be here? Let us know in the comments below!