Best 3DS Games for a Brand New 3DS Owner

Did you happen to receive a brand new 3DS or even a 2DS this holiday season? Are you looking for some new games to pick up? Well, look no further! These are the games that should be strongly considered if you happen to be a new 3DS owner.

For the Nintendo Enthusiast
Super Mario 3D Land or New Super Mario Bros 2

Both Mario games are excellent showpieces of the wonderful handheld platforming that can be found on the 3DS. Both games have brand-new power-ups, a wealth of levels, and gameplay that can be played in ten-minute bursts or several-hour play sessions. They also feature StreetPass functionality, which allow ghosts to appear from friends you have passed by.

For those who love Nintendo game design, the Mario games should be your first stop.

For the Nostalgic
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D


Ocarina of Time is considered by many as the best game of all time. Unfortunately, going back to play on the N64 provides two problems. First off, the game can be challenging to view, as time has not been too kind to it. Many also find the C-stick position on the N64 controller to be placed awkwardly. Ocarina of Time 3D fixes both of these problems. While preserving the wonderful gameplay of the original, it also manages to look very modern with most of the textures masterfully redone. The controls are also much easier to use than on the N64, a change which many players will appreciate.

For the Social Gamer
Animal Crossing: New Leaf


With the release of the latest in the Animal Crossing franchise, it has never been easier to give your life away to a simulated world. For those that may not have all that much time on their hands or for those who have all the time on their hands, New Leaf is perfect for ensuring a relaxing, but still addicting, experience. You only need ten minutes per day to play New Leaf, but as mayor, you will find enough to do to take up hours.

Mario Kart 7


As a kart racer, Mario Kart 7 is pretty standard. Although there are some new features, such has enhanced customization and new ways to traverse, the game suffers from a lack of characters and is nearly identical mechanically to previous Mario Kart games. Where the game shines, though, is its online experience. Setting up online play is incredibly easy to do and the rankings ensure a sense of competition, which will keep players coming back. There is also a community option available for those who only want to play with their friends, a mode which has not been present previously in a Nintendo title.

For the JRPG Fan
Pokemon X/Y


It has never been easier to become a Pokemon Master. The release of Pokemon X/Y marks the release of the most streamlined Pokemon game to date, as well as the most community features. The Kalos region is one of great beauty, as is the 3D battle system. The latter has become friendlier for newcomers and many of the formula’s nuances have also become accessible for the mainstream audience to master.

Pokemon is a great introduction to JRPGs, but is also a game that enthusiasts will still find fulfilling.

Shin Megami Tensei IV


Some find Pokemon to be too kiddy, and others want more of that gameplay that they know and love. The fourth entry of the Shin Megami Tensei franchise is a great place to go for both of these groups of gamers. In essence, it has a very similar turn-based combat and gameplay system to Pokemon — or should I say that Pokemon (1996) is similar to Shin Megami Tensei (1992)?

Players roam the world to recruit demons to fight on their side. These demons can be leveled, taught new abilities, and fused into new demons. The story is more mature than Pokemon. The last five-to-ten hours of the adventure completely predicated on the decisions that players made earlier in the game. This is no \”go out and be a hero\” story; the players\’ actions actually have an impact on the ending of the game.

Oh, and the game is hard.

Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titans


Etrian Odyssey IV is a game for the faithful of the JRPG genre. It features old-school dungeon-crawling, combat, and leveling system. It also nearly completely ditches a story, placing a very large emphasis on its 70-hour dungeon-crawling gameplay instead. Completing quest, facing bosses, and collecting/mixing items all comes standard in this old-school JRPG.

Oh, and this game is even harder than Shin Megami Tensei IV.

For the Thinker
Fire Emblem: Awakening


Awakening is easily the best Fire Emblem game to introduce a newcomer to the franchise, but it can also provide a very big challenge for those who choose to accept it. At its heart, it is a tactical, turn-based, roleplaying game. Players command a wealth of troops, strategically moving them across a grid-based map and exploiting a rock-paper-scissors-like gameplay mechanic to take down foes.

For those who choose it, permanent death is also a game option, allowing for players to permanently lose allies that are defeated on the battlefield. This mode will satisfy the hardcore strategy gamers, although a non-permanent death option is still in place for those who want it.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds


The newest Legend of Zelda game is consistently exciting to play. From the get-go, the developers drop players off in the middle of the world with very little direction. Within half an hour, players will be in their first dungeon and the game only travels uphill from there. The non-linear gameplay greatly encourages exploration of the world and the wide range of items ensures a great puzzle-solving experience, as well as a very well-crafted combat one.

For those that played the original A Link to the Past and for those who never got around to playing the first game, A Link Between Worlds still stands out as a wonderful adventure with incredibly fun to solve puzzles.

There you have it!
There is no reason to complain any longer that you have no games to play on your brand-new 3DS; there are obviously games on the handheld for every type of gamer. Whether you are a hardcore JRPG fan, a strategy enthusiast, or even a more laidback social gamer, the 3DS has software for you to play!

Eli Pales
Eli buys virtually every Nintendo title that comes out but has expanded his collection to include amiibo. He hasn't taken them out of their boxes, though, so he might be a bit insane. When not playing video games, Eli likes writing about politics and games. He also runs a decent amount. Outside.