Feature: The Best Games Available on Nintendo 3DS in 2011

With just a couple of months until the end of the Nintendo 3DS’s debut year on the market, we thought we’d take a look at the best games that have appeared on Nintendo’s latest handheld prior to the first true system sellers such as Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7; not to mention upcoming third-party efforts such as Cave Story 3D, Sonic Generations and Resident Evil Revelations (all of which we hope to have reviews of before February).

Now, where do we start?

1) The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

With an enhanced remake of arguably the greatest game of all-time, of course! With updated graphics, the original’s niggles ironed out and the fiendish Master Quest added in, there’s no reason to look any further than Nintendo’s 3D masterpiece if you’re searching for a new game; or to quote our review: “the definitive version of the highest-rated game of all time. An essential purchase”.

@Moody_Loner says: “Zelda in 3D plays very well. It certainly adds to the epic feel of the game. Great showcase for the 3DS.”

2) Donkey Kong (Virtual Console / Game Boy)

An excellent puzzle/platformer that fans of the more recent Mario vs. Donkey Kong series will adore. The variety in gameplay and level-design keep this game fresh throughout its seemingly endless number of levels – especially when compared to the relatively tiny Super Mario Land and Kirby’s Dream Land.

3) The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition (DSiWare)

Strictly speaking, this isn’t a Nintendo 3DS game, but it’s available for download via the Nintendo eShop so we feel it’s suitable for the list. If taking many of the Zelda series’ items and gameplay quirks then putting them into an addictive, multiplayer GBA puzzler was a genius idea of Nintendo’s, to release it as a free download with an added wireless mode to celebrate Zelda’s 25 anniversary simply highlights the company’s dedication to its fans.

4) Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition

Okay, so the genre isn’t exactly our favourite here at Nintendo Invader, but even we appreciate the effort that’s gone into this game. With 35 characters, a new, over-the-shoulder camera angle to highlight the 3D effect and enough online play to see you through to Capcom’s next big 3DS release in February, you’ll be playing this until your fingers are sore. If you like the genre, of course.

@RLsniper789 says: “I love playing online and I love the controls. The statue collecting is a great bonus aswell. Love the SS art style.”

5) Super Mario Land / 2: 6 Golden Coins (Virtual Console / Game Boy)

If we were forced to choose one of these two games, we’d have to say Super Mario Land 2 if only due to its technical advancements over the 1991 predecessor; but that’s not to say the original doesn’t have its own charm. While the first of the two games was a great start for the handheld series with varied levels and a superb soundtrack, the sequel added more levels, a map screen and saw Wario make an appearance in a video for the first time ever. Basically, if you’ve never played either of these games, download them both. Now!

Your picks:

@DJEvstar says: “Mario’s Picross is a gem on the 3DS VC. It’ll please you for hours and show that great gameplay does stand the test of time.”

@PhoenixSilverL says: “Dead or Alive Dimensions. Well, until TotA [Tales of the Abyss] 3DS turns up no doubt anyway….”

@Noods_kun says: “Would have to be StarFox 64 3D, or Lylat Wars 3D as I and many others like to call it. Brilliant game. I personally think it’s much better revamp than OoT 3D. EVERYTHING has been redone! The 3D is also absolutely astounding. Of course, it’s not all about visuals. The gameplay is still very fun indeed to this day. It’s StarFox, basically.”

Thanks to those who got involved on Twitter. Feel free to continue to tell us your favourite Nintendo 3DS game so far via Twitter or, of course, the comments below.

On a side note, who’d like to see more community-based features such as this on the site? Let us know!

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2 thoughts on “Feature: The Best Games Available on Nintendo 3DS in 2011

    • I’m sorry to disappoint you, Sean, but the truth is that even though some of the original 3DS titles have been great, just because they’re new and in 3D doesn’t mean that they’re automatically better than some of the classics on Virtual Console, and even DSiWare. While I did enjoy Pilotwings and Resident Evil, I feel the lack of variety when compared to Donkey Kong (a game less than a quarter of the price of retail releases) should be noticed.

      Again, sorry to disappoint you, but thanks for your feedback nonetheless.

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