Monday, 2 November 2020

Top 10 Nintendo DS / 3DS All-Time Best Games

10. Pokémon Sun & Moon

The last Pokemon generation to release for DS consoles, Sun & Moon went out with a bang. Set on the Hawaii-inspired Alola, it’s absolutely one of the prettiest games in the franchise, combining distinct regions into a living, breathing world. Instead of regular gym challenges, there’s a greater variety of mini-game trials that result in a battle with a stronger, boss-like Pokemon. This, combined with a streamlined battle system makes it one of the more innovative Pokemon titles while retaining the fundamental spirit to please long time fans. 

9. New Super Mario Bros. 2

New Super Mario Bros. 2 doesn’t change things up too much from its predecessor, but when the original was so good, it really didn’t need to. Finding the sweet spot between accessibility and challenge, the side-scrolling adventure is a delight, set against one of the most colourful, vibrant interpretations of the Mushroom Kingdom we’ve ever seen. You can also play co-op with a friend, and what’s a better way to socialise than stomping on Goombas together?

8. Mario Kart 7

Despite having established the timeless formula that kart racers emulate to this day, Mario Kart titles are never afraid to innovate. Mario Kart 7 for the 3DS is no exception, introducing underwater and gliding segments for the first time, adding a layer of depth that’ll surprise even seasoned racers. Throw in beautiful visuals and fantastic new courses, and you’ve got the best racing experience to be found on any DS console.

7. Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story

Who doesn’t want to control the big bad Koopa King? Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story lets you do just that. The third entry in the handheld exclusive RPG series, this time Bowser has inadvertently swallowed Mario and Luigi, meaning he’s free to stomp around the Mushroom Kingdom to defeat the even more fiendish Fawful. All the while, our moustachioed plumbers can be controlled as they have to work their way out of Bowser’s big scaly tummy. With plenty of humour, turn-based action and beautiful pixel art, it makes us wonder why Bowser doesn’t steal the show more often. 

6. Pokémon X & Y

The first fully 3D Pokemon games, X & Y remain supremely innovative to this day. Although the gameplay follows the tried and tested formula of battling other trainers and filling up your Pokedex, this generation has a much faster pace than previous years. That means you’re up and running on your adventure in well under an hour, making it really accessible for newcomers taking their first steps as a Pokemon trainer.

5. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

A Link Between Worlds shakes up the formula of the series more so than perhaps any title since The Wind Waker, and most of these changes prove to be massively successful. Rather than following the usual Zelda formula, you explore both Hyrule and its dark twin Lorule, adding transdimensional travel to proceedings. This allows A Link Between Worlds to swap between the top-down view of A Link to the Past and the side-scrolling action of the first Zelda titles. One of the most ambitious games in the franchise, this is a must-play.

4. Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Like most Animal Crossing titles, New Leaf doesn't feel so much like a game, rather than a magical extension of your real-life routine. You can expect to sink hundreds of hours managing your digital life, spending time fishing, gardening, collecting bugs and whatever else your heart desires. Whether you’re a younger player or a seasoned veteran, everyone needs a little Animal Crossing in their life.

3. Super Mario 3D Land

If you have a Nintendo console, no game collection is complete without at least one Super Mario game (sorry, we don’t make the rules). And if you only pick one, make sure its Super Mario 3D Land. This 2.5D title combines all the classic side-scrolling platforming you’d expect from the series, with stunning visuals and additional challenges to test even the most experienced players. 

2. Fire Emblem: Awakening

The Fire Emblem series is the industry standard for more hardcore RPG adventures, and Awakening is one of the best of this illustrious bunch. With one of the deepest, most mature narratives to be found on the console, and strong tactical gameplay that offers serious challenge, this is an experience that will stay with you long after you finish playing. If you’ve never played a Fire Emblem game before, this is a great place to start.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

A remaster of a game widely considered one of the best ever, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D somehow manages to improve on perfection. The quintessential Zelda story, you’ll explore the beautiful world of Hyrule, defeat mythical beasties and save the princess. With updated graphics and impressive use of the 3DS’ 3D capabilities, this is the best way to play Ocarina of Time.

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