We’ve looked at the best 3DS Games that we rated 5 Stars and the best 3DS games rated 4.5 stars, but there are loads of excellent games that were awarded the not at all shabby rating of 4 stars. Carry on reading for the best 3DS games rated 4 stars.
Directly below are the best 3ds games we've rated 4 stars
- The Best 3DS Games - 5 Star Rated
- The Best 3DS Games - 4.5 Star Rated
- The Best 3DS Games - USGamer Personal Choices
The Very Best 3DS Games - Rated 4 Stars
Animal Crossing: New Leaf: Don't let the lack of challenge and goals fool you. The latest Animal Crossing offers more addictive bug-catching and landscaping action than should be legal.
Yo-Kai Watch: Don't let Yo-Kai Watch's kiddie appeal fool you: It might not be as deep as your average, adult-style RPG, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Level-5's gradual evolution of their "house style" has amounted to a true successor to Pokemon—one entirely free of its predecessor's 8-bit baggage. Not perfect, but one of the best 3DS games.
Rune Factory IV: Pour one out for developer Neverland by visiting the world of Rune Factory IV, or as we prefer to call it, "Harvest Moon for people who like to kill things."
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam: By shoving the story aside and doubling down on its great battle system, Paper Jam smartly emphasizes what the series does best. Some of the padding can be a little annoying, but the way paper-thin characters add new angles to enemy encounters makes this crossover more than just a simple gimmick.
Project X Zone 2: A single battle in Project X Zone 2 can drag on forever, and its overarching story doesn't make much sense. Still, its hilarious character interactions and chaotic fights embody what a video game should be: Fun.
SEGA 3D Classics Collection: SEGA 3D Classics Collection may be a great effort in the annals of archiving game history, but it doesn't exist in a vacuum, and anyone who's already dropped $40-50 on the bulk of the games on this cart may not be so keen to spend another $30 on three titles of wildly varying quality. Still, Maze Walker may not be much fun, but it's never looked this nice. Of course, if you haven't already picked up these games individually, there's no question — this is a must-have compilation. A collection of great games make this package one of the best 3DS games.
Pocket Card Jockey: Like any horse race, your success in Pocket Card Jockey relies on luck -- a little too heavily for some players, maybe. Nevertheless, once the game sinks its big, horsey teeth into you, it won't let go for a long time.
Kirby: Planet Robobot: Planet Robobot does nothing to advance the state of the video game art, or even to reinvent the Kirby series. And that's fine. Sometimes you just need a straightforward, energetic, and above all fun game, and it's here where HAL delivers. Centered around a brilliant upgrade mechanic, bursting with lively graphics, and featuring dozens of thoughtfully designed stages, Kirby's latest is one of the most entertaining chapters to date of a long and storied franchise.
7th Dragon III: Despite some combat balancing issues and some occasionally too-linear design, 7th Dragon III offers a top-class portable role-playing experience. Thankfully, you don't need to be familiar with the unlocalized earlier games in the series to grasp the story, and its wealth of customization options make for a fairly breezy RPG experience... at least until you get to those brutal True Dragon fights, anyway.
Super Mario Maker for 3DS: Super Mario Maker for 3DS comes pretty close to being a perfect portable adaptation of an incredible Wii U game. It certainly works a lot better than previous ports had led me to expect! That said, the absence of one of the original game's most important elements truly diminishes this conversion. The new format and new pre-baked content go a long way toward making up for the loss... but while this version is worth owning for the 100 (!) new levels alone, it's still not the definitive Super Mario Maker but it is one of the best 3DS games.
Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse: Though more of an expansion than a standalone release in spirit, Apocalypse's narrative superfluity is made up for by the considerable refinements it contains over its direct predecessor. Whether or not you'll enjoy its plot and its emphasis on partner characters comes down to personal taste, but on the whole it's an engrossing and addictive role-playing experience... even if it can feel a little familiar at times.
Super Smash Bros.: Given the technical limitations of the Nintendo 3DS, Sora Ltd. and Bandai Namco have done an admirable job with this port. At its core, Super Smash Bros. is both a loving tribute to Nintendo and a surprisingly deep fighter, and though it hasn't changed much over the years, its appeal is strong as ever on the Nintendo 3DS. The solo experience is admittedly lacking, but as a multiplayer game, it remains a delight.
Mighty Gunvolt: Perhaps most of all, Mighty Gunvolt captures the charm and simplicity of countless B-tier NES games. Even its debut — it came out of nowhere! — hearkens back to the pre-Internet days when being surprised by quality games was still possible. It's no masterpiece, but a great deal of care clearly went into Mighty Gunvolt's creation. It's one of the best bite-sized 3DS downloadable titles to date, and loads of fun for fans of classic games.
Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: What could've been a simple cash-grab is a great mash-up of two great franchises. Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright does its best to bring both sides together in a brand-new setting. More importantly, the game feels like it stays true to the core of both series while also setting a new high bar in presentation. The game favors Wright more than Layton, but fans of both will find something fun here.
Rusty's Real Deal Baseball: Though lightweight, the selection of games in Rusty's Real Deal Baseball are solidly fun. Wrap them up in a compelling (if weird) story, and we have an example that Nintendo knows how to do free games right, despite being a newcomer to the system.
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call: Curtain Call could be a better game, but its music makes up for the fairly straightforward rhythm action on display. If you've been a stranger to the series until now and want to jump in, Curtain Call offers hundreds of Final Fantasy songs, from the mainline series to the obscure spinoffs. The game might run the risk of being a little too in love with the source material, but, in this case, can you blame it? If you too love that source material, this is one of the best 3DS games.
Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire: Pokémon remains as unique as they come among RPGs—a monster collection game that effortlessly blends social gaming with deep battle mechanics. In returning to the series' third generation, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire bring back many of the elements that defined the originals while also being some of the most accessible entries to date. That said, they can be a little too easy at times, and the postgame content feels a bit lacking in light of what's come before. Regardless, they are enjoyable remakes that appropriately capture one of the more peculiar periods in the series' history.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy: I would have loved to see the original Ace Attorney games receive a more thorough makeover, but, realistically speaking, this Trilogy is the best we're going to get. That's okay, though, because Phoenix Wright's strength is in its writing, which has certainly held up over the past decade-or-so. If you've never tried your hand at Ace Attorney's brand of interactive crime fiction, this handy collection provides everything you need to become a die-hard fan of Capcom's spiky-haired lawyer.
Skylanders: Trap Team: While not without its questionable qualities — expect to pay $120 to get something approaching an optimal play experience — Skylanders: Trap Team continues the series' tradition of catering to kids by treating them with respect. And the new trapping gimmick more than justifies itself through the flexibility it offers... not to mention the amusing and diverse role it gives the game's villains. (Xbox One review. 3DS game is conceptually the same).
Shantae and the Pirate's Curse: With this game, a cult favorite comes into its own. Shantae has always been a passion project for WayForward, but this is the first time the series feels like it properly realizes the developer's ambition for it. A fun, funny, and pleasant substantial Metroid-alike boasting phenomenal old-school visuals and a refreshing sense of optimism, it's both an eShop standout and a great (though by no means final) conclusion to a slow-burning trilogy of games.
Steamworld Dig: A cheap and cheerful platform/digging game. Light on new ideas, but mashes together tons of old ones into an experience that feels decidedly oldschool, yet still fresh and fun.
3D Super Hang-On: Even if you don't enjoy the game itself, everything that surrounds it demonstrates the importance of imagination and passion in video game preservation and design. You wouldn't think your 3DS could emulate a fancy sit-down arcade cabinet effectively, but it does. Very well.
3D Space Harrier: You couldn't ask for a more loving version of Yu Suzuki's classic than 3D Space Harrier, even though Sega never intended this game as anything other than a brisk, Reagan-era thrill.
Tomodachi Life: The latest of Nintendo's experiments to create games with appeal beyond the usual clichés of the medium, Tomodachi Life may actually be the most humanistic creation the company has ever put together. While it could (somewhat notoriously) stand to be more inclusive, its focus on the concrete personalities and tangible interactions of tiny digital people make it one of the most addictive and fascinating life sims ever made.
Kirby Triple Deluxe: Even if you tend not to care much about Kirby games – understandably, given how toothless they can be – Triple Deluxe merits attention. Smart level design and a remarkable level of detail make this portable platformer one of Kirby's greatest adventures to date.
Disney Magical World: Don't let Disney Magical World's slow start and over-friendliness fool you. There's a lot to do in this neighborly kingdom, even for older fans of Mickey.
Mario Golf: World Tour: Mario Golf: World Tour's single-player experience challenges you to perfect your game. It's a dry process that moves slowly while committing impressive attention to detail, though the inclusion of RPG elements could have made it more interesting. Versus mode lets you cut loose a bit and offers good times with friends.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star: A back-to-basics role-playing affair for Mario, Sticker Star focuses entirely on familiar elements of the Mushroom Kingdom. Its sticker mechanic keeps things interesting, and its no-nonsense lack of hand-holding makes you work for your victory.
Dillon's Rolling Western: One of Nintendo's most original titles in ages, this download-only game combines several very different genres in interesting and clever ways. Definitely worth a look.
Yumi's Odd Odyssey: As challenging as it is strange, Yumi's Odd Odyssey seems doomed to obscurity thanks to its unusual aesthetics and almost invisible release onto eShop. It deserves notice, though. It's the first US release of a long-running cult series from Japan, and – more importantly – it's loads of challenging fun. Don't judge it by its looks - just check it out!
Yoshi's New Island: Yoshi's New Island may not be the game fans of the original wanted, but it's definitely the game its creators set out to make. Yet despite any disappointment that might be felt about how it turned out, it's nevertheless a lot of fun, and shouldn't be overlooked.
3D Afterburner II: A meticulously ported slice of classic 80's arcade action. Without doubt the best version of Afterburner II around - and that includes the original arcade game.
Inazuma Eleven: If you want a serious soccer game, or if you favor monster-slaying to sportsmanship, Inzuma Eleven won't do much for you. If you're open to the idea combining the genres into an experience that's solid and a bit silly, Inazuma Eleven will make you laugh and cheer. Ole ole ole.
Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy: Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy follows a grand tradition of puzzle-adventures. Filled to the brim with brain teasers of all shapes and sizes, The Azran Legacy is a relatively non-linear exploration of the series' last mysteries. Will you like it? It depends. How much do you enjoy having your mental processes challenged?
Code Name S.T.E.A.M: There are some things that drive me crazy about Code Name S.T.E.A.M's mission design, and I really think the difficulty balance could have used another pass, but these issues are balanced by the excellent mechanics. Intelligent Systems know their way around the strategy genre, and it shows in Code Name S.T.E.A.M's deep roster and intricate level design. It's more frustrating than it should be in the early going, but stick with it. Silly as it might be, Code Name S.T.E.A.M is ultimately worth it.
Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker: Record Breaker improves on the original version of Devil Survivor 2 in every respect. Anyone who passed it over the first time around, in the dying days of the DS, absolutely needs to give it a look. Veteran players should give it a thought, too, despite its premium price — the new material is substantial, and you can jump immediately into the Triangulum chapter. In all, this is a hefty and well-crafted RPG, and it puts a great spin on the time-tested rules of MegaTen.
Puzzle and Dragons Super Mario Edition: Puzzle and Dragons Super Mario Edition offers more immediate gameplay, while Puzzle and Dragons Z adds a storyline and RPG elements. Ultimately, both offer puzzle action that's addictive, fun and surprisingly deep.
The games above are the best games that we believe 3DS has to offer right now. But which ones are our own personal favorites? Over to Team USG to reveal their best 3DS games.