The Best 3DS Video Games Released In Last Five Years

The end of the year is quickly approaching and while it may come to a bit of a surprise, Nintendo is still supporting their portable handheld gaming console, the Nintendo 3DS. We’re sure that this system is seeing its final days with the Nintendo Switch already available, but that doesn’t mean there’s not new video game titles worth purchasing on the console.

In this list, we’re showcasing some of the best Nintendo 3DS video games that have released in the last five years. These are excellent titles to pick up if you’re new to the platform or if you’re hoping to secure a couple video game titles to gift a love one this upcoming holiday season.


#10 Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan

  • Developer: Atlus
  • Publisher: Atlus, NIS America
  • Platforms: 3DS
  • Release: February 26, 2013

Within Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan, players take on the role of a explorer. It’s your goal of seeking out the mystical tree called Yggdrasil. No one has ever investigated this world fabled tree leaving players on a quest to explore dungeons and fight off foes in a turn-based RPG style while you seek out the hidden tree roots.

This is an Atlus game which gives players a traditional dungeon crawler RPG experience. Set as a sequel to Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City, this is a title that may be easily passed up. Currently, there is another installment available known as Etrian Odyssey V which launched back in 2017 that was nominated for Handheld Game of the Year within the DICE Awards.


#9 Super Smash Bros.

  • Developer: Bandai Namco Studios
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Platforms: 3DS, Wii U
  • Release: October 3, 2014

What can we say about Super Smash Bros. that you are likely not aware of? This is an iconic Nintendo franchise since its debut on the Nintendo 64. This series is still going strong today and luckily for you Nintendo 3DS owners, a game is available for purchase. Simply known as Super Smash Bros, this particular title was released in 2014 for Nintendo’s 3DS and Wii U platforms.

Much like the past installments, this is a fighting title that pins Nintendo franchise characters against each other in a brawl. Players can select a variety of characters such as Kirby, Mario and Samus to fight through a series of Nintendo franchise based levels. With over fifty characters available, Super Smash Bros is a game that needs to be in your collection especially if you enjoy competitive video games against friends.


#8 Metroid: Samus Returns

  • Developer: Mercury Steam, Nintendo
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Platforms: 3DS
  • Release: September 15, 2017

The Metroid series is a staple franchise for Nintendo and it has a wide variety of video games to enjoy today. Back in 1991, Metroid II: Return of Samsus released for the Game Boy which never released on any other platform. It wouldn’t be until decades later that Nintendo decided to give this game a proper reboot. Essentially, this game is the same as the original Metroid II, but developers did add a few new elements to the title for fans.

Players will find that there are new controls along with a massive visual upgrade in comparison to its original release. Unfortunately, prior to this game’s release, a fan group was also making a Metroid II remake called AM2R. Nintendo did shut the project down but AM2R leaked which overshadowed Metroid: Samus Returns.


#7 Xenoblade Chronicles 3D

  • Developer: Monolith Soft
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Platforms: 3DS (New 3DS)
  • Release: April 10, 2015

Xenoblade Chronicles became an instant hit when it launched. This complex JRPG offered gamers a beautiful world to explore, a cast of characters that you can customize along with a narrative driven story. Within the game, players will be following two factions that are in perpetual war. It’s within this war that our main protagonist, Shulk, discovers his ability to control the Monado faction where he sets off on a revenge journey over the death of his best friend.

This game originally came out exclusively on the Nintendo Wii, but has since found its way on the Nintendo 3DS. Unfortunately, the sequel, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, is only available on the Nintendo Switch platform.


#6 Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon

  • Developer: Next Level Games, Nintendo
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Platforms: 3DS
  • Release: March 24, 2013

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is an action-adventure video game that was developed by Next Level Games. Similar to Luigi’s Mansion that launched in 2001 for the Nintendo GameCube, this title acts as a sequel where players once again step into the shoes of Luigi.

Players will find that Luigi is set with the task of finding all of the Dark Moon pieces that have shattered from King Boo. However, because the Dark Moon has shattered, all of the once friendly ghosts have become hostile, forcing Luigi to use his specialized vacuum cleaner to capture the ghosts.

Just as before with Luigi’s Mansion, not only will Luigi have to fight normal ghosts but a series of bosses and collect a number of items. Furthermore, there are a few puzzles to solve during your journey.


#5 Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

  • Developer: Capcom
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Platforms: 3DS
  • Release: February 13, 2015

Monster Hunter 4 is the last main installment outside of the most current release, Monster Hunter: World. This is an action-RPG series that we’re sure you’re familiar with already. Overall, the game tosses players into a world where you must take on contracts and hunt down massive monsters. Each may have their own attributes that will call for certain gear and weaponry before you set off on your quest. As a result, gathering resources and going on hunts is not only beneficial for the rewards you’ll earn for completing the mission but for the items you’ll acquire during your the quest.

This particular title was aimed at western audiences. Capcom researched the differences between eastern and western gamers of the franchise to further release a new installment that would appeal to both markets.


#4 Pokemon X & Y / Sun & Moon

  • Developer: Game Freak
  • Publisher: The Pokemon Company, Nintendo
  • Platforms: 3DS
  • Release: 2013-2016

The Pokemon franchise is going strong and showing no signs of slowing down. There’s been a few titles released for the series on the Nintendo 3DS these past few years. While we could list out a bunch of great games on this list, we decided to toss in two main installment releases together. Pokemon X & Y is the sixth generation of the Pokemon series which follows the traditional format. Players will be capturing Pokemon, training them, exploring the world and defeating Gym leaders.

The latter on our picks, Pokemon Sun & Moon is slightly different, players will still be training and capturing Pokemon. However, the game does replace the gym system which has been a staple feature for the franchise. Regardless, critics and fans alike enjoyed the new approach to the Pokemon franchise.


#3 Shovel Knight

  • Developer: Yacht Club Games
  • Publisher: Yacht Club Games
  • Platforms: PC, 3DS, NS, PS4, PS4, PSV, Wii U, XBO
  • Release: April 21, 2015

Shovel Knight is a side-scrolling 2D hit that looks as if it belongs as a classic hit for the original Nintendo Entertainment System. It’s clear that the developers created this game after the love and joy from those early 2D side-scrolling platformers along with beat ‘em up video game titles.

The retro feel and vibe works perfectly along with tight controls, this is one game that you will not be able to put down easily. This title has been out for a number of years now with there being a few additional campaigns to enjoy.

Even if you didn’t enjoy the early years of Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System or Sega Genesis, this is still very much a must-play video game.


#2 The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Platforms: 3DS
  • Release: November 22, 2013

It didn’t come to much surprise that Nintendo was going to push out a few The Legend of Zelda installments on the Nintendo 3DS. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is just one of the installments released for the portable handheld in which players will once again step into the role of Link. This time around Princess Zelda is captured by the evil sorcerer Yuga who is able to maneuver around the world by opening rifts.

With the end goal of resurrecting the Demon King Ganon, Link finds himself having to save Hyrule once again and rescue the princess. Outside of the rift system that allows Link to walk around gaps with ease, developers did make a few changes to the mechanics system that Zelda fans were familiar with. For instance, Nintendo opted to allow gamers to complete dungeons in any order they wished while still giving players an entertaining but tough gameplay experience.


#1 Fire Emblem: Awakening

  • Developer: Intelligent Systems
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Platforms: 3DS
  • Release: February 4, 2013

The thirteenth installment to the Fire Emblem franchise, Fire Emblem: Awakening proved to be a video game well worth purchasing. Gamers will find that the story takes place thousands of years after the events of the first Fire Emblem video game. Overall, players will create a character who suffers from amnesia where our protagonist attempts to remember past events while aiding the prince of Ylisse’s defense army from an onslaught attacks by monsters.

This is at turn-based tactical RPG where players control a variety of characters on a map. You’ll get access to make improvements over the various characters in your team though the game series still holds the permadeath feature it’s known for. Luckily, if you’re not wanting too much of a challenge, developers Intelligent Systems has included an option to turn off permadeath.


[Bonus] Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

  • Developer: Nintendo EAD Tokyo
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Platforms: Wii U, NS, 3DS
  • Release: July 13, 2018 (NS, 3DS)

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker was an action puzzle video game that was developed for the Nintendo Wii U and released into the market back in 2014. The game will have players controlling toad as he maneuvers around levels collecting gems and stars while avoiding hostile enemies and solving puzzles.

Now players can enjoy the game on the Nintendo 3DS where developers have included a few Super Mario Odyssey levels to go through. Furthermore, the title will also be on the Nintendo Switch platform likely due to the fact that the Nintendo Wii U had a shorter than expected lifespan.


[Bonus] Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology

  • Developer: Atlus, Headlock
  • Publisher: Atlus USA
  • Platforms: 3DS
  • Release: February 16, 2018

Radiant Historia released quite a few years ago on the Nintendo DS. However, if you never got a chance to enjoy the video game when it first came out then you’ll luckily get Another chance with an enhanced edition on the 3DS.

Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology is an expanded remake of the original video game that will continue to deliver an entertaining RPG experience for gamers. Overall, the video game will tell the story of a war between the nations of Alistel and Granorg on the Vainqueur continent. The war has turned the continent into a wasteland, but after a soldier by the name of Alistel discovered the White Chronicle, a book that can allow the owner to travel between timelines, the war may be prevented altogether.


[Bonus] Bravely Default

  • Developer: Silicon Studio
  • Publisher: Nintendo, Square Enix
  • Platforms: 3DS
  • Release: February 7, 2014

Bravely Default was a massive hit and showed that classic JRPG titles are still something well worth developing and bringing over into other markets. Chances are if you’re a fan of classic JRPG video game titles then you’ve already played Bravely Default and possibly even purchased a 3DS just to play the title. The game overall follows a shepherd by the name of Tiz who manages to survive a cataclysmic event. With no other survivors of his village, Tiz sets out on a grand journey to fight off evil forces from causing more harm on the world.