The best Nintendo 3DS games you can buy right now

The top picks to pluck from the handheld's launch line-up...

The Nintendo 3DS has finally landed on shelves and has probably, by now, made its way into your hands and eyes.

There's already a load of entertaining software pre-loaded onto the Ninty handheld - Face Raiders and a clutch of augmented reality games will do enough to force a smile to spread across your face every time you play - but you're quickly going to want to get your hands on a full-fat title or two to make the most of your new gadget.

It's probably reasonable to say that the best Nintendo 3DS games are yet to come, with highly anticipated titles like Dead or Alive Dimensions, Steel Diver, Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater and of course Zelda: Ocarina of Time fast approaching.

But the 3DS launch line-up available right now in exchange for dollar is by no means a line of lame ducks; while there are a few that you should avoid like a spike pit, there are a handful of great games ready and waiting to get you started on your glasses-free 3D journey.

Here's what you should be looking for:


A fight fan favourite on the big time consoles and brilliant recreated as a powerful handheld offering, Super Street Fighter IV makes a nice transition to the 3DS maintaining its values while at the same time offering some new console specific features.

From a visual standpoint SSFIV maintains the intricately detailed character models introduced in Street Fighter IV along with their sea of fighter specific animations.

With the traditional side-on camera angle the 3D effect does little more than push the back wall even further back, but switching to the console specific 3D view gives an over the shoulder shot that really shows off the capabilities of the Nintendo handheld giving proper depth to both the environment and the fighters themselves.

In terms of control, signature moves can be optionally mapped onto four panels on the touch screen in SSFIV's Lite Mode, meaning beginners are be able to ease into the experience while still requiring some level of skill. The inclusion of a Pro Mode for the experience fighter who wants to play with a control scheme closer to what you might call traditional though, Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition really does give every kind of fight fan something to get their teeth into.


Thanks to its subject matter, Nintendogs + Cats perhaps isn't a game you'd pass around the hardcore aggressors of the Street Fighter fanbase but, make no mistake, the playful pups and cute cats offer just as much technical prowess to show off what the 3DS can do.

The concept is a pet sim, where players can choose, care for and play with their dogs or cats. Feeding them, stroking them, throwing toys around the room are all standard fair in the series by now.

Tricks also play a big part in nurturing your little animal and can be assigned to voice commands via the 3DS mic after you've plied your pet with treats.


We spent a good while pondering on whether to include Pilotwing Resort on this list at all. As you can see in the end we decided to give a nod to the fun flyer but not without a hefty dose of caution and caveat.

The game that helped launched the SNES and the N64 returns as one of the prettiest things on the 3DS and probably the best example of the handheld's capabilities out there.
It's also a lot of fun with a host of quality missions. Speed gates can now only be smashed through if you've picked up enough speed, which forces you to pull off manoeuvres that are far more risky than anything you were required to perform in Pilotwings 64.

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