Mod Aria’s back to do another Top 5 this week! I haven’t done this segment in a while, and I decided I would do it today on a topic that really excites me: 3DS games. I love my handhelds; most of the games I like to play are for the 3DS or PSVita. So, I can honestly say making this list was a bit challenging for me. Either way, I hope you enjoy it!
#5: Super Smash Bros 3DS
The first game I’d like to list in this series is the 3DS release of Super Smash Bros. As someone who has played since the original 64 days, being able to play a Smash Bros game on the go seemed absolutely inconceivable. Then the creator of Super Smash Brothers, Masahiro Sakurai, announced that the newest Smash game would come not only to Wii U, but to the 3DS as well. I was stunned, but incredibly happy.
What makes the 3DS version of Smash so great is also something that places it at the lowest spot on this list: the game is, for the most part, exactly like the Wii U version. With the exception of available stages and a minigame, the game retains all characters, all the nuances and fun extras that Smash always has to offer. What makes Smash on the 3DS almost more fun than the Wii U version is that the featured mini game, Smash Run, is much funner than the Wii U’s Smash Tour.
All in all, the Smash 3DS version was a terrific achievement from Nintendo and an amazing way to help give everyone access to one of the best fighting games around. I hope they continue this trend in the future!
#4: Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Animal Crossing is a beloved franchise, particularly by me. This is a series I’ve yet again started since it’s debut on the GameCube, and I sunk so many hours into that game that I was a borderline addict. It was actually Animal Crossing: New Leaf that spurred me into purchasing my 3DS, and it’s a decision I do not regret.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf is, undeniably, the funniest and most detailed Animal Crossing that’s ever been made. The town you live in has never been more customizable, and the items available for you to collect have never been so numerous. There are villagers that have been in AC since the first game, and there are fun new faces that you’ll be dying to meet. Yet, the game hangs on to so many amazing familiar Animal Crossing features that it doesn’t feel like something wholly new; it feels just like an expanded version of what most Animal Crossing fans already love.
Even when I find myself taking a break from the game, Nintendo adds something fun and different to it that drags me back in. If you’ve yet to try out Animal Crossing, I’d highly recommend trying AC:NL. It’s cute, relaxing and peaceful.
#3 Pokemon (X and Y, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Sun and Moon)
Let’s talk about another series I’ve played since it’s debut on the GameBoy! Coming in at third place is the Pokemon franchise. I know I’m kind of cheesing it; I didn’t pick one of the game sets that released for the 3DS, but stay with me.
Pokemon is a Nintendo icon, so it’s only natural they’d want a ton of games for the 3DS, but the 3DS Pokemon titles that have been released have drastically changed the series. The biggest breakthrough being the change from 2D pixel graphics to a full 3D rendering. That notion was something that my generation had been waiting for since the Pokemon Stadiums, and it’s what really made those 64 games so amazing. The release of X and Y is what brought me back to Pokemon (I didn’t play 4th or 5th gen), with the release of the Fairy Type. And with how different Pokemon was since Sapphire and Ruby, I found myself falling back in love with an old friend.
But it was the remake of my beloved 3rd Gen that really sold Pokemon for me. I bought Alpha Sapphire immediately, and the nostalgia brought a tear to my eye. The music, the gym leaders, Team Magma and Team Aqua, and a gorgeous 3D model for my Pokemon crush, Steven Stone. I couldn’t be any happier. Sun and Moon, the most recent Pokemon titles, were fun and definitely mixed up the original Pokemon formula. I appreciate how refreshing the game was, and I enjoyed the Pokemon that had introduced in this current gen than most previous gens (with the exception of Sylveon). I will say I enjoyed X and Y’s character customization and extras more than in Sun and Moon, though.
Regardless of my personal tastes, Pokemon on the 3DS as a whole has been an enjoyable experience for me, and I’m very thrilled to see what more Nintendo can do with these amazing games.
#2: Bravely Default
The second place in this list is a bit of a dark horse: Bravely Default. I borrowed this game from my husband (then boyfriend), as I wanted a new game to play. He suggested to me because I enjoyed RPGs, so I shrugged it off and gave it a try. And I am so glad I took his suggestion.
Bravely Default, in my opinion, is one of the best RPGs to come out in a long time. And one of the best games that Square Enix has published in a long time. The game isn’t anything fantastic dungeon wise or graphically, but the story of the game is incredibly unique, the voice acting is superb, and the characters are interesting and lovable. My favorites are Edea and Ringabel. But what really makes this game shine is the Asterisk system. Being able to pick up fun new classes with a myriad of abilities is fun, but what’s even more fun is being able to build your characters around a particular set of classes. I love games that give me the freedom to play around with character abilities, and that made the turn-based combat actually fun!
The plot of Bravely Default was also extremely well-written. I can honestly say that the game really surprised me in regards to where it took the plot. The only real complaint I have is that the game gets a bit repetitive for the last fourth of the narrative. It’s primarily due to the way the plot is taken, but it doesn’t detract from the amazing boss fight at the end or the previous three-fourths of the game. Lastly, the other thing that I wasn’t a fan of was the amount of grinding that you must sink into this game. That’s the downside of having changeable classes in an RPG. And nowadays, not a lot of people have time to devote to a game that requires so much leveling up.
Despite its flaws, this is the direction that I wish Square Enix had taken Final Fantasy. It’s a new take on some classic RPG tropes, and if you are a fan of them, I highly suggest picking up Bravely Default. It’s sequel, Bravely Second: End Layer, is also a great game that doesn’t change the loveable qualities of Bravely Default. So, naturally, I recommend picking that up to. You won’t regret it!
#1: Fire Emblem: Awakening.
My first confession: this was indeed my first experience with a Fire Emblem game. My second confession: I have no regrets about it.
Fire Emblem is one of my most treasured Nintendo franchises, and while I’m sad that I did not get to experience it before the 3DS, I don’t lament the fact that Fire Emblem Awakening is, unarguably, my favorite 3DS game of all time. This is, in part, due to the fact I had never played a Fire Emblem before that. And that’s exactly why I wish that I had.
The tactical combat is so enjoyable; it’s one of my favorite parts of Fire Emblem. The plethora of characters that you are able to recruit and meet made the game even more addicting. But it’s the story in Awakening that really grasped my heart. Following Chrom and Robin through the trials they face with protecting the country of Ylisse, coupled with the poignant ending, really opened my eyes to how fantastic this franchise was and still is.
The marriage system was also a really fun element that I’m glad got introduced in Fire Emblem Awakening. Because of my particular penchant for dating sim games, the idea of shipping characters together was a guilty pleasure of mine. But in FE:A, you don’t just ship your characters, you can ship the children your characters create as well! They delve more into this gameplay element in Fire Emblem: Fates, but Awakening is what really put it on the map!
There are numerous call backs to the first Fire Emblem game, and I really got to know more about Fire Emblem because of that. Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed the weapon-breaking system in Fire Emblem, and I’m sad that they seemed to have removed it from the series. But my other favorite new addition is the fact that you are able to choose the gender of your character. Gaming is rampant with titles that force you into playing a male role. As a female gamer, this meant so much to me.
There is so much about Fire Emblem: Awakening that I love and still continue to love, and I cannot feasibly talk about it all here. Suffice it to say, that I hope Fire: Emblem continues to follow the same path that Nintendo started taking in FE:A, and I really hope that the next Fire Emblem game, which has been confirmed for Nintendo Switch, is just as thrilling.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article! There are a lot of 3DS games out there, but I hope at least one game you liked made it on this list. Please feel free to share your favorite 3DS games with me! And keep following NWG for more awesome gaming content. See ya!