A closer look at 10 of the 20 free games current 3DS owners will receive

With just one press release Nintendo unleashed a torrent of news: 3DS didn’t sell as well as hoped, the price is being cut to $169.99 as of August 12, games got official titles, and most important to this article, Nintendo is offering early adopters (aka the people who paid full price) 20 free downloadable games. Only half have been announced so far, and though there are a few clunkers, the current list looks pretty worthwhile. So don’t get gloomy Nintendo fans, just look at a sampling of what you get for buying a 3DS early.

NES Games

Super Mario Bros

You may have heard of this one. To many it’s a contender for greatest game of all time, and even the most anti-Nintendo troll has to admit that despite its age, the original Super Mario Bros still has most of the charm, fun, and engrossing gameplay that drew us in all those decades ago. We’re honestly shocked Nintendo would give away such a desirable game.

Balloon Fight

A Joust clone from way back in Nintendo’s catalogue, Balloon Fight is a fairly simple arcade game that isn’t the company’s worst, but is certainly forgettable. Some were probably introduced to this game by 2002’s Animal Crossing, which means it might scratch an entirely different nostalgia itch for some of you, which has got to be worth something.

Donkey Kong Jr.

Know what’s almost as good as Donkey Kong? Donkey Kong Jr. Its first sequel made the daring move of recasting Mario as the whip-wielding villain keeping Donkey Kong in a cage, with DK’s son as the hero out to save his poppa. The NES port isn’t flawless, but it’s still a memorable part of Mario’s legacy.

Ice Climber

This one is a must have for Smash Bros fans, as the cooperative parka-wearers are fan favorites since their inclusion in Super Smash Bros Melee. This one is a bit simplistic even by NES standards, but at the very least it works as a fun history lesson.

The Legend of Zelda

Here’s another all-time classic that Nintendo is just giving away free of charge to the early buyers. Though it may not hold up as well as later Zelda entries, the top-down classic is entirely replayable today, and is easily the densest and most engaging of the five NES games know are on offer.

We know what you’re thinking: “Yawn, I downloaded all these years ago on Wii.” That’s why we saved the more-exciting GBA games for the second page. Read on…


  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - August 13, 2011 12:38 a.m.

    Hope to see Fire Emblem on there.
  • Moss257 - August 3, 2011 2:57 a.m.

    So... I've logged into the E-Shop like everyday for the past week. (minus yesterday and today) Am I in the ambassadors club or no? Is there a way to check if your an ambassador? I mean hell, I already downloaded Super Mario world and Links awakening DX (about 2 months ago). I'm pretty sure I'm in, but I would like confirmation.
  • Elitepwnsface - July 31, 2011 9:58 p.m.

    I am glad we are at least getting something for being first.
  • AXELSTORM44 - July 30, 2011 11:01 p.m.

    i could honestly care less about the price drop. i got mine on launch day and enjoy it very much, but 20 free games sounds great to me either way. hopefully the price drop will convince some of my family and friends to pick 'em up tho.
  • Ravenbom - July 30, 2011 7:54 p.m.

    I've never owned a GBA, so this is actually really exciting to me.
  • Darkhawk - July 29, 2011 9:04 p.m.

    Mario Kart is da bomb
  • Aletheon - July 29, 2011 7:20 p.m.

    Even when Nintendo does major things to help appease gamers, they are still just negative and bitching. there is no hope for gaming. what a shitty culture for this hobby.
  • SpacedOutSimian - July 29, 2011 6:46 p.m.

    I think The poeple upset about the price drop are looking at this in a rather shortsighted manner. Sure you payed more than you could have had you waited a few months. Sure some of the games you get for "free" are a bit crap. But as someone who invested in the system early,I am glad that Nintendo is doing everything in their power to get ahead of the slow adoption issues. 3rd parties will not continue to spend time and resources to develop for a system that has too small an install base, and that $250 machine would become a paperweight for most of us. If the discount takes, and nintendo gets more of these in the hands of consumers it means more games period. More for people jumping on the bargin and early adopters alike. A similar thing happened to the first Iphone and that has worked out pretty well for apple.
  • Defguru7777 - July 29, 2011 6:17 p.m.

    Enjoy Metroid Fusion early adopters, I genuinely mean that. If Nintendo would make Golden Sun one of the ten other games that gets revealed, that would make it up for me (even though I'm not an early adopter). But WHY THE HELL are Nintendo not planning on releasing those GBA games to everyone? They spent the time making them compatible with the 3DS, why not get your money back and release them to the general public? That just seems stupid to me. And goddammit can this ReCaptcha get any more ridiculous? I swear I'm looking at sanskrit or some shit here. I swear that one of the words is upside down.
  • harrisongeorge - July 29, 2011 6:05 p.m.

    I have a question. im getting a 3ds on the 1st of august. will i still get the games. cuz if not im gonna wait til the 12th.
  • MCN2011 - July 29, 2011 5:29 p.m.

    Some amazing games there. Can't wait.
  • statutoryreparez - July 29, 2011 4:52 p.m.

    Only gamers would complain about free stuff, if you didnt think 250 was a fair price for a 3ds then you would have waited for a price drop in the future and for those complaining that some of these games arent good, THEY ARE FREE, you know as in at no extra cost. What is there to bitch about? Also i love you nintendo which is why i got my 3ds on day 1
  • MegatronD - July 29, 2011 2:48 p.m.

    I'll take that Metroid and Mariokart.
  • Dondada - July 29, 2011 2:45 p.m.

    About 90% of those games I hated 25 years ago. How does Nintendo keep pulling this off...or will they?
  • kassmageant - July 29, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    Many people pointed out " who else except nintendo did something like that to compensate price cut for earlyu adopters" - exactly, no one. Why? because no one had to. The fact that this whole situation happened is a proof that Ninny screwed something along the way. And yes, these are great games for free - too bad i had GBA at its prime and played them! it was supposed to be new system not a frickin time machine with only " reverse" mode avaliable : |
  • Soopakoopatroopa - July 29, 2011 12:42 p.m.

    I RRREEEEEEEEAAAAAALLLLY want Mario and Luigi: superstar saga and duck hunt
  • thing1amc - July 29, 2011 12:42 p.m.

    In my opinion, Metroid Fusion is understated here. Its my favorite game on GBA, and up there on my favorite games list. If 3DS owners havent played it yet, it well deserves that minuscule amount of money.
  • mikeleddy83 - July 29, 2011 12:39 p.m.

    @nai1210 - There are press releases for Australia, UK, Japan and USA so it's a worldwide thing by the looks of it. I don't think there's any difference in the game selection depending on your region.
  • pr0tostar - July 29, 2011 12:26 p.m.

    Not hating on you "ambassador" people, but thinking about it from your perspective, I can't fathom how this is any form of compensation. From my perspective, I'm quite content with having access to any of these games, and that I'll be purchasing a 3DS at a more down-to-earth price when more defining titles are released for it. To me, this whole thing is redundant, and in a sense makes Nintendo look like douches towards future/potential buyers: "You launch buyers are our most important customers!!!" ....right lol.
  • philipshaw - July 29, 2011 11:42 a.m.

    I'm happy with the games they are giving away, hope we get advance wars

Showing 1-20 of 54 comments

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