10 Most Underrated Nintendo 3DS Games of All Time

The 3DS has had an impressive run in the gaming world. We’ve witnessed numerous exciting titles gracing the dual-screen marvel, with some of the biggest names in the industry receiving the 3D treatment, bringing their adventures to life.

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However, what about those hidden gems? The games that deserved your attention but somehow went under the radar? The titles that still shine today but need more recognition?

That’s where we come in!

So, without further ado, let’s commence with my selection for Number 10, a choice that’s sure to spark early discussions!

10. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D (2015)

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D (Nintendo 3DS) : Amazon.co.uk: PC &  Video Games

Yes, you read that correctly. We’re starting this list with Majora’s Mask for a compelling reason—it has long dwelled in the shadow of Ocarina of Time.

Regular readers might not be surprised that I’ve always favored Ocarina of Time over Link’s Clock Town adventure. However, the 3DS version of Majora’s Mask changed my perspective entirely. Perhaps it was the convenience of playing it on the go or my personal maturation, but I found myself enjoying it more than ever.

Playing Majora’s Mask on the 3DS was a more enjoyable experience. The updated graphics, user-friendly interface, and the 3DS’s captivating 3D gameplay made the Happy Mask Salesman’s antics feel more tangible. It breathed new life into the game.

Admittedly, this is a subjective opinion, and some may argue it’s an overrated choice due to the game’s long history. Nevertheless, I’ve finally changed my tune about Majora’s Mask after all these years. It only took about 23 years!

9. Pilotwings Resort

Pilotwings Resort: Nintendo 3DS: Video Games - Amazon.ca

Pilotwings Resort takes the spotlight next—a game that promised excitement but fell short upon release.

How many of you remember playing Pilotwings on the NES or N64? It was a peculiar and thrilling concept when it first emerged, but that’s Nintendo’s hallmark, isn’t it?

Nintendo took a 15-year hiatus before releasing a new game in the series. This long gap caused some to lose interest and move on.

While the concept remains largely unchanged, it didn’t achieve the same popularity as mainstream titles like Luigi’s Mansion 2. It felt more like an extension of the “Mii” series than the original, which might not sit well with everyone.

With only one island and three flying modes, it’s not the most challenging experience either. But, for die-hard Nintendo enthusiasts like us, anything with the Pilotwings label holds significant value.

8. Metroid Prime: Federation Force (2016)

Metroid Prime: Federation Force Review (3DS) | Nintendo Life

Metroid Prime: Federation Force secures the 8th position on our list of the most underrated 3DS games of all time, and it’s a regrettable placement.

The main issue here is that, despite its Metroid moniker, it doesn’t quite feel like a “true” Metroid title. We had been waiting so long for a new Metroid Prime game that we expected something akin to Samus’s GameCube adventures.

What we received was a cooperative shooting game that lacked the revolutionary nature of a Metroid title.

However, it’s important to set aside these disappointments and appreciate the fact that it’s another game featuring Samus Aran. Teaming up with friends to battle Metroid villains in 3D action is undeniably enjoyable.

While it may not be the Metroid experience we initially desired, it’s still a blast to play, especially when shared with friends.

7. Corpse Party (2008)

Corpse Party Review (3DS) | Nintendo Life

Corpse Party, recently featured on our list of the best Anime PSP games, is also one of the most underrated titles on the 3DS.

Many of these underrated games share a common trait—they weren’t popular when they were released. However, they have since gained a cult following in later years. Corpse Party, a survival horror title, has enjoyed steady success over its lifetime, with a surge in popularity on second-hand markets in recent times.

The game’s title might not scream “family-friendly Nintendo,” but it plunges players into a terrifying narrative as a group of ill-fated teenagers trapped in a monstrous school.

In this spine-tingling adventure, there are no combat elements; instead, players experience the narrative aspects of a game where characters are vulnerable, and danger lurks around every corner. Prepare for some hair-raising moments!

6. Cave Story 3D (2011)

Cave Story 3D - Wikipedia

Cave Story has a special place in our hearts here at Retro Dodo, and the 3DS version elevates this classic to new heights.

Just as the 3DS version of Majora’s Mask breathed fresh life into the legendary tale, Cave Story’s 3DS iteration feels brighter, more exhilarating, and more fun.

We’ve always been avid fans of Metroidvania-style games at Dodo, and while this version differs slightly from the original, stepping into a 2D classic with a 3D twist never gets old.

It’s a challenging and captivating game from start to finish. While it may not be a top-tier underrated title, it’s one worth exploring.

5. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars (2011)

Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars (Nintendo 3DS) : Amazon.co.uk: PC & Video Games

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars claims the 5th spot on our list of the most underrated 3DS games of all time.

When you think of a Tom Clancy game, you likely envision shooting, stealth, and covert operations from the shadows, right? Well, this game is a strategic departure from that stereotype, offering a tactical experience that would make Poirot dizzy.

If you adore the military strategy elements of Advance Wars but yearn for a blend of Age of Empires and Fire Emblem, you’ve found the right game.

Shadow Wars is also lengthy, providing a minimum of 30 hours of gameplay, depending on your strategic deliberations. If you’re the type who forces opponents to concentrate so intensely during chess matches that they get nosebleeds (like my friend Josh), be prepared for a challenging and engrossing experience.

4. Kid Icarus: Uprising (2012)

Kid Icarus: Uprising [Nintendo 3DS] : Amazon.in: Computers & Accessories

Kid Icarus claims the 4th spot on our list. If you’re new to these titles, you might recognize Pit as a character from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the Nintendo Switch.

Once you delve into these games, you’ll discover an incredible blend of gambling-style gameplay and aerial magic reminiscent of Space Harrier.

Kid Icarus: Uprising seamlessly combines aerial and ground-based gameplay, allowing you to adjust the difficulty level before diving in. This feature means you can play each level up to nine times, each time offering a different experience—an excellent value for your time and money.

Speaking of difficulty, the game rewards players who complete levels without dying, encouraging skillful play. And if you want a break from the main gameplay, there’s a deathmatch-style multiplayer mode for you and your friends to enjoy.

It’s a fantastic side-scrolling adventure with nostalgic charm and a modern look. If you’re a fan of Super Smash Bros., experiencing one of Pit’s original games is a must.

3. Final Fantasy Explorers (2016)

Amazon.com: Final Fantasy Explorers - Nintendo 3DS : Square Enix USA: Video  Games

It took us a while to include a Final Fantasy game on this list, but here it is—Final Fantasy Explorers takes the 3rd spot!

If you enjoy titles like Crystal Chronicles, Explorers will feel familiar. Unlike most Final Fantasy games known for their extensive storylines, Explorers takes a different approach.

It revolves around embarking on multiple quests, offering more action and fewer overarching narratives. As the title suggests, exploration is a key element, with a whopping 500 items and objects to discover along the way.

While some may liken it to Monster Hunter, it’s unfair to label it as a mere copy. Although it shares similarities, it stands on its own with various job classes and unique gameplay elements.

However, it could have scored higher if it provided a more challenging experience. Seasoned gamers might find it a bit too easy.

2. Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D (2004)

Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater (Nintendo 3DS) (NTSC) : Amazon.in: Video Games

Our silver medal goes to a title from one of the greatest game series of all time—Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D.

If you’ve played the original Snake Eater, you’ll find few surprises here, except for the added 3D experience that, when it doesn’t strain your eyes, adds a cool dimension to the game.

Players get an updated version of a classic, a portable masterpiece that utilizes the DS’s dual screens for both maps and gameplay simultaneously.

While Snake Eater may not be the first title that comes to mind when you think of the 3DS, it’s a solid game with a polished appearance that looks fantastic.

1. Fantasy Life (2014)

Amazon.com: Fantasy Life - 3DS : Nintendo of America: Video Games

Now, it’s time to crown the champion of this compilation—the most underrated 3DS game of all time: Fantasy Life.

We all adore simulation games like Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing, but what if you could do more? What if you could embark on Zelda-style adventures while choosing from a multitude of jobs and battling monsters?

Fantasy Life delivers precisely that!

If you’ve ever gazed at a Froggy Chair and wished for more, your time has come. Choose from 12 jobs and experience the game in 12 different ways. The possibilities are endless, and there’s no right or wrong way to play.

We need more free-roaming RPG titles like this in our lives, and it’s baffling why more people haven’t given this game a chance. I urge you to seize the opportunity and explore this gem now!

Don’t wait any longer—dive into Fantasy Life and experience a world of endless possibilities!

4.9/5 - (154595 vote)


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