Just get your 3DS out of the box and brought it to the nearest Wi-Fi hot spot? Have you hopped on Nintendos eShop, intrigued by whats offered but confused by the cluttered interface and long list of titles? Then youre like many 3DS owners, which is why we created this helpful list. Here are 21 titles that cover the gamut of 3DS original downloadables, cant miss DSiWare and Virtual Console delights. Be sure to make room on your SD card for these must download games
Each puzzle starts with a pixelated version of an object or item for you to reach the top of, but each commands pulling out segments in different orders. Soon the simple rules make for an incredibly brain-bending challenge with a little 8-bit nostalgia sprinkled on top. This should be everyones first download on the eShop.
Mutant Mudds is all about jumping and shooting with watery weaponry. A few blasts from the bubble gun is enough to stop most foes in their tracks, but for the games delicate platforming, Max can get a boost from his jetpack-like water jet. In a style similar to Donkey kong Country Returns, Max can also move from the foreground to the background. All these charming gameplay concepts combine to make a seriously varied 2D experience thats more original than nostalgic.
After designing your critter, you can take him out for a spin for some 2D platforming action. You can also share your creation with friends via Street Pass and QR codes. Finally, you can even bring your Freakyform into real life, with Augmented Reality provided by the 3DSs camera.
Dillon's Rolling Western
Like any good tower defense game, Dillon's Rolling Western is highly replayable. Theres at least twenty hours of gameplay here, and thats just going through the game once. Also, its really sharp looking, with visuals on par with most retail releases.
Mighty Switch Force!
Levels are filled with two sets of blocks that can be shifted in and out of existence. Keeping Patricia on the job means nimble jumping, and swapping blocks at just the right moment. And for you speed run addicts, each level features a par time the game challenges you to beat, and tracks your fastest completion time.
Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword
Continuing the Zelda inspiration, the game features RPG elements like weapons enhancements, leveling up and villages filled with cute NPCs. This rich 3D adventure seems almost too Japanese to get localized, but were incredibly happy it was.
Viridians spaceship is gigantic, we could almost call VVVVVV an open-world platformer. Navigating it, we encountered puzzles of every difficulty, from breezy distractions to blistering challenges. The game isnt easy, but it keeps the frustration factor low with a frequent checkpoints, and no extra lives. Die, and Captain Viridian is beamed right back in for another try.
3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure
The pink puffballs first console release, Kirbys Adventure has everything we love Kirby for: eating enemies, stealing their powers, floaty platforming, and an overwhelming level of saccharine cuteness. While it might not be as deep as modern Kirby titles, the 3D Classics version is a great starting point for Kirby tenderfoots.
Donkey Kong ('94)
Starting with Marios original DK control scheme, the devs added nearly every trick the plumber had learned since. He picked up items and enemies, he did back flips, Mario even climbed ropes and vines just like Donkey Kong Jr. To match those powers, the levels had so many different tricks and ideas that the game stayed amazingly fresh and challenging for the 100 levels it lasted. Perfect in bite-sized installments, Donkey Kong was a monster success in game design and fit the Game Boy like one of Marios white gloves.
Gargoyles Quest had the same unforgiving difficulty as the side-scrolling series it was spun off from. Firebrand cant take more than a hit or two from enemies, and just two deaths will mean starting over from square one. Thankfully, the 3DSs restore point feature helps make this a less punishing retro gaming experience. 3DS owners looking for a blocky, black and white blast from the past with an unusual twist should look no further than Gargoyles Quest.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
After Link shipwrecks on a strange island, he awakens in the land of Koholint where everything feels slightly off compared to Hyrule, and its filled with people that remind Link of characters hes met before. Throughout the game Link must find and explore eight dungeons to collect the sacred instruments to wake the fabled Wind Fish so he can go home. But what happens to Koholint when it wakes up? Links Awakening kept the series winning gameplay and mixed it with a Twin Peaks vibe to create one of the most unforgettable games ever, proving that Zelda could be just as astonishing even at a smaller scale.
Game & Watch Gallery 2
Part of a series of Game Boy games that celebrated Nintendos portable legacy, Gallery 2 had classics like Chef, Vermin and Ball appearing both in their original form and in updated versions starring the cast of the Mario games. Whether played in their original form or with the clever updates, modern gamers can appreciate the modest addictive quality of those titles while also learning some gaming history.
Shinobi (Game Gear)
Just like with Mega Man, certain powers are really useful in the right situation. Still, even if you know that the (spoiler alert) optimal level order is Highway, Harbor, Valley, Woodland, theres a ton of challenge left in this side-scrolling action-adventure classic.
Super Mario Land 2
With its cartoony look and detailed sprites reminiscent of Mario World, a plethora of different theme worlds, and original, but understandable power-ups, Land 2 gave Mario fans what they wanted and did so brilliantly. (Wed love to see Rabbit Mario make a comeback.) SML2 brought lovable asshole Wario into all our lives, as the jerky doppelganger steals Marios castle (Mario owns a castle?), and the mustachioed one has to beat some tough monsters to collect the six Golden Coins and defeat the chunky neer-do-well. It wasnt the easiest game ever, but Mario Land 2 is still one of the best platformers in portable gaming history.
Cave Story (DSiWare)
Cave Story offers a lengthy, challenging quest with a worthwhile narrative and multiple available endings, and we called the DSiWare version a "fantastic action/adventure title on any platform" in our review. The $10 release still comes highly recommended on the 3DS.
Dark Void Zero
Dark Void's jetpack approach transfers over surprisingly well to the side-scrolling aesthetic, and while most players probably won't care about the story bits dealing with the Watchers and an alien invasion, the rock-solid gameplay is enough to pull in fans of retro-stylized adventures. Plus, you start the game by blowing into the 3DS/DSi microphone to knock dust off a virtual NES-like cartridge. Awesome.
Plants vs Zombies
The 3DS version comes packed with 50 adventure levels, 20 mini-games (including Zombiquarium, which is basically Insaniquarium for all you Popcap fans). Best of all, the DS version of PvZ includes Vs. Mode, which allows one player to control the zombies while the other fights for his life as the gardener.
Puzzle League Express
If you never played this on SNES, GBC, N64, GBA or DS, this small taste of the series is perfect. For a small fistful of dollars you can experience what the loves about this underappreciated gem.
Shantae: Risky's Revenge
Shed your perceptions and invest the $12 for this awesome action affair, which we called "worth the money at twice the price" and "proof that the 2D side-scrolling formula still holds up after all these years" in our glowing review last fall. And hope WayForward gets another chance to bring Shantae to the masses somewhere down the line.
Mario vs Donkey Kong: Minis March Again
Full retail releases of Mario vs DK have been enjoyable enough, but a slimmer downloadable like Minis March Again is our preferred packaging. You get a good amount of puzzles to play before the gameplay wears out its welcome or you realize the mechanics arent as deep as they could be. It lasts just long enough to hide the series flaws.
Dragon Quest Wars
Made with the team behind Nintendo's amazing Advance Wars series, DQW had a similar approach to gridded maps and turn-based strategy, but simplified. It's not the deepest game, but if you want to see tactics games mixed with slimes and other cute DQ beasts, this is the title.
What did we miss?
Looking for more info pertaining to 3DS, read our list of the best 3DS games and our round up of 3DS XL news - All the facts on Nintendo's new handheld.