For all the hoopla about new-gen consoles, for those looking for rock solid, traditional games, you'd be hard-pressed to top 3DS. It plays host to an amazing collection of RPGs, adventures, action games, and more - many of which are absolutely top-notch.
But which ones are the absolute best? We've looked at the complete 3DS software library and rounded up what we believe are the finest games you can play on Nintendo's hand-held system. Each member of the USgamer team has also listed their personal favorite 3DS games, along with an explanation as to why they've chosen each one.
Directly below are games we've rated 5 stars
- If you want to see which games are rated 4.5 stars, click here.
- If you want to see which games are rated 4 stars, click here.
- If you want to see which games the USgamer team personally recommend, click here.
The Very Best - Rated 5 Stars
Bravely Default: It's a return to Final Fantasy's roots, and it's beautiful.
3D Gunstar Heroes: Every Sega/M2 3D Classic collaboration to date has demonstrated incredible love and care, even for mediocre games like Altered Beast. That same devotion applied to a top-tier masterpiece makes for an essential addition to any 3DS. This is the 3D Classics game to get.
SteamWorld Heist: What more can I say? I loved SteamWorld Heist and I think everyone should play it. Even if you don't normally like tactics games, Heist might be able to change your mind. It might not make a lot of Game of the Year lists, but I can assure you that it is one of 2015's best.
Super Mario 3D Land: A watered-down Mario World this is not. Instead, expect a fast-paced Mario classic that delivers the kind of simple, yet highly addictive and fabulously enjoyable gameplay the series is known for. Packed full of nifty details and some delightful moments, Mario fans young or old will get their money's worth out of this – and then some.
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages: We reviewed these as a pair, since they're essentially two halves of one incredible game. These old Color Game Boy classics might look simple, their sound may be crude, they're sometimes almost unfairly hard, and can be frustrating and fiddly to play. But damn, they're just so brilliant and involving, and so incredibly rewarding. On the surface they are rudimentary, yet they create an experience that transcends the limited technology upon which they were built.
Shin Megami Tensei IV: Shin Megami Tensei IV offers all the things you'd expect from the series: Demons, moral choices, and the rock-paper-scissors balance of combat. Despite its move to a portable console, this really does feel like a game worthy to be the next step in SMT's evolution. Don't let the first few deliberately underwhelming hours of the game fool you; SMT IV deserves to be ranked among the genre's best.
Fire Emblem: Awakening: The year's finest strategy RPG also represents the most accessible Fire Emblem game ever. But even though it has an easy mode and lets you turn off permadeath, don't make the mistake of assuming its content and variety has been watered down in the least.
Etrian Odyssey IV: The unrepentantly hardcore Etrian Odyssey series moves into true 3D and softens its harsh edges with a more open world structure and an easy mode... well, "easy" mode. It'll still crush the unwary like a bug.
Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon: A much deeper, and far more varied adventure than 2001's Luigi's Mansion, Dark Moon replaces point-and-click with suck-and-blow, and in doing so improves on the original formula to create something really special.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D: This remake of the groundbreaking classic smooths over a lot of rough patches and makes the N64 adventure more palatable to contemporary gaming tastes.
Pushmo: A fiendishly addictive puzzle game that makes full use of 3D, Pushmo was the first must-have downloadable title for 3DS. You shouldn't miss its sequel Crashmo, either....
Crashmo: So just to make sure you're reminded, we've put it right here. And for Euro folks, Crashmo is known as Fallblox in your territory - and Pushmo is called Pullblox. Whatever you call them, both games offer some of the most enjoyable, addictive, and fun puzzling anywhere - and will magically make any long journey fly by.
Up next are the games we've rated 4.5 stars. Click here to go to that page.