The 3DS launched in 2011, and although it got off to a slow start, Nintendo’s handheld has successfully built up an excellent library of first- and third-party titles. The company has stated that it has no intention of abandoning the 3DS despite the recent release of the Switch portable/console hybrid, and Nintendo of America recently confirmed that the system will get some special attention at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo.
In time for E3, we’ve picked out some of the best games available for the Nintendo 3DS, all of which can be yours for $20 or less. If you own this excellent little system or plan to get one, then now is a great time to cheaply score a few must-have titles that you may have missed.
Kicking off our list is a famous entry in The Legend of Zelda series and the title that brought the franchise into three dimensions. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is a remastered version of the Nintendo 64 classic, boasting enhanced graphics that take full advantage of the stereoscopic 3D capability of the 3DS. Explore a beautiful open world on horseback and do battle with the evil Ganondorf in this must-have action-adventure epic, now just $18.50 from Amazon.
The original Luigi’s Mansion for the Nintendo GameCube became something of a cult classic, and Mario’s green-clad brother is back for another round of ghost-hunting in Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. Explore a variety spooky environments, collect coins, solve puzzles, and sweep up ghosts with Professor E. Gadd’s Poltergust 5,000 vacuum cleaner. This charming adventure game is great for kids and adults alike and is available on Amazon for $20.
Animal Crossing is one of the most relaxing game franchises ever made, and the latest main entry in the series added some major new features. Animal Crossing: New Leaf keeps the classic formula of its predecessors, placing you in a small town where you can explore, make friends, head into town for some shopping, and furnish your house, but also offers all-new options for totally customizing your town. Pick up Animal Crossing: New Leaf for $20 from Target and plan to spend dozens of hours in this cozy life sim.
For a JRPG that offers hours and hours of deep gameplay and rich story-telling, look no further than Shin Megami Tensei IV. This game puts you in control of a warrior named Flynn as you pursue the enigmatic Black Samurai and unravel the mystery behind your homeland of Mikado. A deep turn-based battle system, hundreds of different demons for you to fight and recruit, and a non-linear player-driven story await you. The fifth entry in the Shin Megami Tensi series is now available for $20 from Amazon.
Another charming life sim, but one that is distinct from Animal Crossing, is Nintendo’s Tomodachi Life. This game lets you create your own custom avatars, or “Miis,” based on yourself and people you know. Each Mii develops its own personality and the different characters will interact, develop relationships, and engage in recreational activities on the in-game island where they live. Tomodachi Life should keep you busy for a long time and comes in at just $12.50 on Amazon.
Some people might be surprised to see the famous Mario brothers in a role-playing game, but the Mario RPG series has been going strong since its debut on the Super Nintendo. In Mario and Luigi Dream Team, Nintendo’s iconic Italian plumber duo must battle Bowser’s minions along with all-new enemies as they travel through Luigi’s dreams. If the colorful art design and humorous dialogue don’t reel you in, the addictive RPG gameplay will, and Mario & Luigi Dream Team can be had for $20 from Amazon.
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