While the Nintendo 3DS had a rocky launch, the handheld system recovered gracefully and ended up having one of the best game lineups of any Nintendo system. Many of these 3DS games, like Super Mario 3D Land and Fire Emblem Awakening, were very popular and well-known. Still, the 3DS had a lot of fantastic games that not as many people know about and threaten to be lost to time when the eShop closes down.
The 3DS eShop will shut down soon, preventing people from purchasing new games. As such, we’ve been reflecting on the system’s vast library and all of the fantastic games that 3DS owners will no longer be able to buy digitally. From games that we think will skyrocket even further in price after the store shuts down to some enjoyable hidden gems that didn’t get the attention they deserve, you might want to snag these 3DS games before you can’t anymore after March 27.
Grezzo is one of Nintendo’s most underrated developers. It’s delivered top-notch The Legend of Zelda remakes like Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, and Link’s Awakening. So what if I told you that it used that experience to make an original IP for 3DS that’s one of the best-looking and expansive games on the system? Ever Oasis, a 2017 3DS game, follows a young kid as they help a water spirit named Esna build an oasis and try to save their brother from Chaos.
The result is a mix of 3D The Legend of Zelda and city management games. Players can venture out into surprisingly large open worlds and dungeons to restock and grow the number of “bloom booths.” This mix of open-world exploration, dungeon crawling, and oasis-building will keep players engaged for dozens of hours, and it also stands as one of the deepest and best-looking action-adventure games on the platform.
Ever Oasis didn’t get much attention when it launched because the Nintendo Switch had been released a couple of months earlier. Still, it stands as one of the 3DS’ best games, so it’s a shame that more people don’t know about it. It risks being forgotten forever now the 3DS eShop is closing down, so check it out before the closure; it will surpass your expectations.
Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
On the 3DS, Level 5’s puzzle game series Professor Layton and Capcom’s visual novel courtroom series Ace Attorney crossed over. It follows the titular characters of both franchises as they are transported to a mysterious city called Labyrinthia and must protect a woman accused of being a witch. Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney combines the gameplay of both series, with players solving puzzles to find clues like a Professor Layton game before presenting and arguing with this evidence in court like an Ace Attorney game.
We’d recommend it to fans of both series, but physical copies of the North American version of the game have become increasingly expensive. Like Devil’s Third on the Wii U, This game is already a major investment for those who want to buy it physically, so make sure to knab this crossover digitally before it becomes even more pricey to acquire. Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a unique kind of crossover that we don’t often see in gaming, and it’s unlikely to happen ever again.
Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology
This JRPG from Shin Megami Tensei and Persona developer Atlus harkens back to the classics of the genre with a story that will have players hoping between alternate timelines to save the world of Vainqueur. Radiant Historia was initially released for Nintendo DS in 2010 but got a full-fledged remake for the 3DS seven years later with the subtitle Perfect Chronology. It’s the same great game, but the 3DS version features fantastic new character art, voiceovers, and more. Make sure you choose “Perfect Mode” from the start to access all of the new content before beating the game.
Recently, Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology has gotten quite expensive. Unless Atlus decides to port this game yet again, it will likely become stuck on Nintendo’s defunct dual-screen handhelds. Thankfully, it’s still available digitally on the Nintendo 3DS eShop until March 27, and there’s even a free demo for those who want to test it out before buying.
Ultimate NES Remix
Although you play lots of NES games on Nintendo Switch Online, you can’t engage with them as you do in the NES Remix series. This short-lived series bundled together lots of bite-sized challenges spread across games from the 3DS library. Most challenges are a bit meatier than the microgames in WarioWare, but short enough to where you can boot your 3DS up and play a couple of them when you are only free for a couple of minutes.
While you can also get two NES Remix games on the Wii U, the quick micro-game concept works better on a handheld like the 3DS, and this version’s game and challenge lineup also works as a greatest hits version of those games. If you’re tired of playing the same NES games over and over again, Ultimate NES Remix will have you recontextualizing how you play and experience those games. This entire series will be lost when the 3DS and Wii U eShops shut down on March 27, though, so download it before then.
One of the last 3DS games released by Nintendo itself was a WarioWare game that basically served as the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate of this series. WarioWare Gold brings most of the series’ best microgames back and makes them work on 3DS. As such, it’s a greatest-hits collection for WarioWare that any fan of the series will get a kick out of. The game also lets players redub all of its cutscenes themselves, which can have hilarious results.
Because it came out on the 3DS almost a year and a half after the Nintendo Switch’s launch, it didn’t get much attention. That’s a shame because it’s the best game in the WarioWare series and one of the best titles on 3DS. While WarioWare: Get it Together is good fun, those yearning for a more traditional WarioWare experience should check out WarioWare if they had previously abandoned their 3DS by 2018.
While Game Freak is mainly focused on releasing new Pokémon games or DLC each year, it is occasionally able to branch out and make something unique. One of those titles was 2013’s HarmoKnight, a rhythm-based platformer where players have to jump and attack to the beat of the game’s fantastic soundtrack. It’s a pretty approachable rhythm game, and it even has some bonus stages from Pokémon for fans of that series.
The 3DS has plenty of other great rhythm games, including Sega’s Rhythm Thief & the Emporer’s Treasure and Rhythm Heaven Megamix, but HarmoKnight is a 3DS eShop exclusive that will be unobtainable after it closes on March 27. While Game Freak’s Pocket Card Jockey has the benefit of now being available through Apple Arcade, HarmoKnight is one piece of Game Freak history that will likely stay locked to the 3DS. As such, fans of this developer should pick the game, or at least try its free demo, before the 3DS eShop shuts down.