Best Nintendo 3DS Games: 2011 Edition

Best Nintendo 3DS Games: 2011 Edition

Nintendo World 2011 over in Japan solidified some of the mistier elements of the Nintendo 3DS. For instance, we now know which games will launch with the handheld–at least across the sea.

We still have little idea about which games are going to accompany the 3DS through its American launch in March, but we do have a general idea of what’s coming to the Nintendo 3DS in time, and it’s all very exciting. The movies, trailers, and screen shots presented at Nintendo World 2011 only served to make us press our nose up against the window pane and drool harder. Here’s a sampling of the most tantalizing-looking games coming up for the Nintendo 3DS.

Kid Icarus Uprising — Poor Pit hasn’t had a game of his own since some long-forgotten Game Boy adventure that existed for a time in the ’90s. The trailer for Kid Icarus Uprising, revealed at E3 2010, elicited an audience response akin to a tribe of starving monkeys occupying the vicinity of a banana grove. Pit has since become something of an angelic mascot for the Nintendo 3DS and all its heavenly promises–though on the flip side, it’s hard to tell how well the game will play, much as how the Nintendo 3DS will have to prove itself in a handheld market that’s grown tougher and more crowded. The 3D adventuring looks pretty sweet at a glance, though–not unlike the 3DS.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D — All we can really say is “Oh man,” and “Yes, please.” The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time lit the world on fire when it was released in 1998, and that fire hasn’t quieted much: It’s still one of the most beloved games of all time, garnering high ratings from Metacritic and other collective review sites. And now we’ll get to revisit Hyrule in 3D thanks to the Nintendo 3DS re-release. Too bad we can’t actually touch Link–but give it another 12 years.

Resident Evil: Revelations — This upcoming 3D survival horror title from Capcom is a great example of the marvelous potential of the Nintendo 3DS’s graphic-processing power. The game looks magnificent, almost sexy, even though bullets frequently tear apart zombies’ soft, maggot-gnawed heads.

Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition — Another great-looking game by Capcom. Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition is a Nintendo 3DS port of a fighting game that’s been around for a little while. On the downside, maybe you’ve played it before and just aren’t interested in another version. On the upside, it’s a very solid 2D fighter, a genre that doesn’t receive the attention it once did. And a competent iPhone port is a good indication that the game will play spectacularly on the 3DS.

Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright — Two of the Nintendo DS’s greatest masterminds are teaming up on the Nintendo 3DS to solve their biggest mystery ever. Even if the game consists of nothing but the two holding a belching contest, it deserves applause for its mere existence.

Paper Mario 3DS — Mario always fares well in his 2D papercraft games (the weight loss agrees with him), so we may as well assume that Paper Mario 3DS will feature good times with fun battles and a sense of humor. Hopefully, the automatic implementation of 3D will make manual shifts to the third dimension (as seen in Super Paper Mario) unnecessary.

Mario Kart 3DS — Mario Kart Wii was a bit lacking, according to some fans, but its predecessor, Mario Kart DS, is still regarded as one of the best in the franchise. Hopefully Nintendo manages to replicate a bit of that old handheld magic.

Nintendogs + Cats — You can say that frolicking with virtual puppies and kittens does nothing to warm your heart, but you’d be telling a terrible lie.

Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D “The Naked Sample” – We don’t know much about Kojima’s Nintendo 3DS project at this point in time, but it exists, and it stands a good chance of being awesome. Less awesome is having to type out the game’s bizarre name. Game writers: Now’s the time to come up with a clever abbreviation and attain hero status.

Star Fox 64 3D — Sure, it’s the game you played on the Nintendo 64 (“in threeee deee!”), but that’s not a bad thing: Fox McCloud has been lacking basic space-shooter adventures since, oh, the release of Star Fox 64 for the N64.

Animal Crossing 3DS — The Animal Crossing games are adorable romps that are all about making friends with strange animal-people in a stranger town. Animal Crossing: Wild World for the Nintendo DS improved hugely over the original N64 title–but Animal Crossing City Folk for the Wii was a bit too familiar. Now’s Nintendo’s chance to prove that Animal Crossing has the potential to evolve alongside other life sims instead of just sitting aside and stagnating.

About Nadia Oxford
Nadia is a freelance writer living in Toronto. She played her first game at four, decided games were awesome, and has maintained her position since. She writes for, Slide to Play, GamePro and other publications, and is’s Guide to the Nintendo DS.

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