Despite all the hubbub about Microsoft’s and Sony’s new-gen consoles around this time of year, there are still plenty of reasons to pay attention to your dear old Nintendo 3DS handheld. The system had a great year in 2014 with plenty of excellent games releasing for the console, including everything from platformers to role-playing games to fighters, but the fun isn’t over yet. Sure, the 3DS isn’t as shiny and new as the home consoles flying off store shelves, but the portable system is a great thing to have in your pocket when you’re out and about, especially with its upcoming slew of games. But with so many titles releasing in the near future, which ones should you have on your radar?
We’ve gathered the best upcoming Nintendo 3DS games for your convenience. Read on to find which ones make a great fit for you.
1. Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
The Persona series is a strange one, but it’s almost universally loved by all who discover its charm. The Japanese role-playing games Persona 3 and Persona 4 are revered for their uniqueness, and Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth combines elements of the two for a game any fan of the franchise will love. Watch your favorite characters interact with each other over minutes-long cutscenes before delving into a dungeon for some monster-slaying. If you’re into grinding for experience points or dungeon crawling, you’ll find that in spades here. Of course, this isn’t a great introductory game for the series, so newcomers might be better off leaving this one alone until they’ve tackled previous Persona entries.
Release date: November 25
- Old school touches
- Predictable and charming cycle
- Character interactions
- Handheld Persona
- Has been out in Japan for months
- As of now, you can only buy the Japanese import on Amazon
- Lots of grinding
2. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy
The Phoenix Wright games sound like a disaster on paper: Spend a whole game playing as a defense attorney analyzing evidence and objecting against outlandish claims from the quirky plaintiffs. Despite the somewhat strange and unconventional premise, the Phoenix Wright games are critically and commercially loved. Now on December 9, for the first time ever, gamers will have the ability to purchase the first three games in the series (Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright: Justice for All and Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations) in one neat trilogy package. All three titles have been remastered in HD and 3D for the Nintendo 3DS, making it a great time for new and old players alike to pick them all up for the console. Get ready to shout “Objection!” all over again.
Release date: December 9
- Three games in one
- Unique premise
- Remastered in HD and 3D
- Screaming “Objection!” never gets old
- Only available on Nintendo eShop
- No new content
- Price undetermined
- Linear design
3. Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire
If you don’t love the Pokémon games, I question what kind of childhood you had. People like to make fun of the unconventional designs of the new Pokémon, but the truth is that weird-looking Pokémon have been around since Pokémon Red/Blue hit store shelves in the ’90s. Another thing that hasn’t changed is how fun these games are. I’ve poured close to a thousand hours into the series. There’s nothing quite like breeding, training and raising hundreds of fighting critters in a quest to be the very best. Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire bring with them new mega evolutions, the 3D graphics of Pokémon X/Y and new features to make capturing and fighting Pokémon even more fun. If you’re itching to play through the original stories of Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald, there’s no better time than now to nab Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire.
Release date: November 21
- More mega evolutions
- Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre
- Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire remade in 3D
- New features from old games
- No new Pokémon
- Needs even more mega evolutions
- Somewhat easy
- Distracting content
4. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
The Monster Hunter games look like they’re made for the most elite gamers out there, but they’re really for anyone patient and determined enough to learn the ropes. The fourth entry in the series is sure to give players more of what they know and love: spending dozens of hours gearing up by making weapons and armor before venturing out to find some huge beast to slay with an oversized bow or sword. In Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, there were a dozen weapons to learn and master, ores and minerals to collect and new monsters to fight even 50 hours into the game. With fun cooperative multiplayer and the ability to switch your save between the Wii U and your 3DS, here’s hoping Capcom incorporates the best mechanics of previous games into Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate to make another thrilling beast-killing adventure.
Release date: Early 2015
- Tons of content
- Satisfying combat
- Huge monsters
- Awkward controls
- Circle Pad Pro might be necessary
- Time sink
5. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D
Nintendo was smart to port The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which is lauded as one of the greatest video games ever made, to the 3DS a few years ago. I personally loved playing through the game for the first time ever on my handheld, enjoying the updated graphics and 3D functionality. Well, it turns out the rumors are true: Majora’s Mask is the second Nintendo 64 Legend of Zelda game to get the Nintendo 3DS treatment; the full game is being ported to the handheld sometime in 2015. Allegedly, Majora’s Mask will be somewhat easier than the original game to assist new, younger gamers. If that means more people get to experience what makes Zelda games so amazing, that’s fine with me.
Release date: Mid-2015
- Updated graphics
- New content
- 3D functionality
- Majora’s Mask is now portable
- Made easier
- No Navi
- Time limit
- The moon is terrifying