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Top 25 Nintendo 3DS Games

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Nintendo 3DS owners have a lot of games to choose from. No matter what genre you prefer, this handheld almost has something for everyone and its software library continued to grow in 2013. Classic RPGs like Shin Megami Tensei IV and Fire Emblem Awakening offered genre veterans impressive tactical experiences.

Meanwhile Animal Crossing: New Leaf’s non-traditional approached made us all enjoy watching a small town blossom into a bustling neighborhood.

But the eShop also delivered a capable roster of portable gems, too. Independent software like SteamWorld Dig and Pushmo made the stale early days of DSiWare seem like a twisted memory.  And Nintendo’s commitment to day and date releases on their digital storefront gave 3DS owners a substantial reason to consider starting a digital software library. Now if only Nintendo would get cracking on a unified account system...

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 25 games available for the system.




The way that Square-Enix took the robust, console-centric world of Kingdom Hearts and transformed it into a 3DS game is pretty astonishing. While Dream Drop Distance still retains the series' love for Disney worlds and characters, it makes smart use of the way we consume handheld games in general. 3D wisely uses a "Drop" system that shifts the perspective of the story from Sora to Riku in small doses, meaning that you'll always be close to place subtitle for taking a break. Honestly, playing through Kingdom Hearts 3D with Nintendo's Circle Pad Pro creates an action-RPG experience that rivals what Square managed to accomplish on the two major PS2 releases. -- Marty Sliva


Might Switch Force takes a tutorial free approach to puzzle platforming, releasing the player from a bevy of intrusive cutscenes. It's a remarkable design effort that helps players understand how to play. This hands-off approach might seem risky to some game makers, but developer WayForward reminded us all about the merits of good level design. Before you know it you’re running through levels like a pro, as you try to roundup dastardly members of the Space Hooligans gang. -- Jose Otero



Gunman Clive took an interesting development path before landing on 3DS. Originally made for mobile devices by one guy, this game made the jump flawlessly to the third dimension. The first thing you will probably notice is the awesome art style. The use of sparse color mixed with the hand-drawn environments gives this game the feeling that it was quickly scribbled onto a faded piece of paper from the 1850s. It quickly goes from standard Wild West tropes to more fantastic fare, like pelican enemies that drop bombs, flying buzz saws, and mine carts sequences with large portions of missing track.

As a 2D side-scrolling platformer, Gunman Clive plays near perfectly. The controls are tight and it offers enough variety to warrant playing through the whole game over again as one of three playable characters. It isn't that much of a challenge, as the game is only about an hour long from start to finish. But what's the the best part you ask? The game is only $2 on the eShop! $2! -- Bob Fekete



Okay, so technically Colors! 3D isn’t a game; it’s a painting application. But it’s an amazing painting app that’ll have you whiling away hours and hours creating cool 3D paintings, even drawing with friends in multiplayer. Its easy-to-use interface and approachable tutorials will get you started on crafting a masterpiece in no time, and if you’re not much of an artist, you can always paint over the photos you take with your 3DS camera. Colors! 3D is one of those quirky only-on-the-3DS experiences that appeals to casual doodlers and aspiring artistes alike. -- Chuck Osborn



The incredible music of Final Fantasy is one of the franchise’s crowning achievements, and what better way to honor it than with a spinoff game that spans the entire series? On the surface, Theatrhythm has an adorable art style and all of your favorite Final Fantasy characters, but beneath that is a surprisingly deep battle system with a surprising amount of options.

More importantly, Theatrhythm lets you play through most of the best music from the franchise, and even some of the pieces that were missing at launch have been added as DLC. Playing through Theatrhythm is an incredible, nostalgic trip through the highlights of Final Fantasy and easily one of the best experiences on 3DS. -- Andrew Goldfarb

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