Holiday Shopping Guide: 10 Awesome Nintendo 3DS Games for 2011

After a shaky start, the Nintendo 3DS has firmly planted itself into the hands of children and adults everywhere. And if you or a loved one is lucky enough to own this new piece of tech, here are 10 games that need to be in your library.

Cave Story 3D box artCave Story 3D

Metacritic: 84

Average price: $39.99

You wake up in a strange land with no memory. The people who have taken you in are in danger. You must traverse stages in attempts to free these rabbit people from oppression.

Although a remake of a PC cult classic, this game makes full use of the Nintendo 3DS while allowing players to feel like they are playing an old-school 2D adventure game.

Dead or Alive: Dimensions box artDead or Alive: Dimensions

Metacritic: 79

Average price: $31.70

Dead or Alive is a fighting franchise similar in style to Tekken. If a player can begin juggling his opponent, a match will be over in moments.

Unfortunately, DoA forgot its roots a few years ago and started making volleyball games. After all, nothing says the beach like death and violence.

Dimensions remembers what made Dead or Alive a great fighting game. Juggle your opponents in stunning 3D and battle your friends online using the 3DS’s WiFi connections.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D box artThe Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Metacritic: 94

Average price: $38.18

When The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time hit the Nintendo 64, I didn’t get it. I loved the Super Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and I thought this was just a remake of that game.

I got as far as the Forest Temple and quit the game.

Then, I played it on the 3DS and realized I’ve been doing this game a grave injustice for too many years. Ocarina of Time may have had similar story elements to A Link to the Past, but it was definitely its own game.

The 3DS remake features updated graphics, and the glasses-free 3D allows players a new level of depth perception that did not exist on the Nintendo 64. Also, when players beat the game, they will get a chance to play the Master Quest, a mirrored version of the game with increased difficulty. It isn’t much, but for fans who have memorized every inch of Hyrule, the Master Quest will change the score.

Mario Kart 7 box artMario Kart 7

Metacritic: 86

Average price: $39.98

The king of kart racers hits the 3DS this year, instead of the Wii.

And with its 3D look, Mario and company have tricked out their karts with gliders and a slew of power-ups.

The Mario Kart games haven’t changed much since the original, only adding one new play mechanic with each version, but somehow, it remains the top kart racer available.

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked box artShin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked

Metacritic: 80

Average price: $39.99

Ported from the Nintendo DS, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked adds voice acting and 20 new demons to the game.

The biggest criticism of the game is the lack of 3D use.

However, for fans of JRPGs, this is a fantastic addition to any library, especially since it adds so much to the original. Hopefully, the 3DS’s tech will be better utilized in Devil Survivor 2, due to the DS in early 2012 and (hopefully) to the 3DS in mid to late 2012.

Star Fox 64 3D box artStar Fox 64 3D

Metacritic: 81

Average price: $39.58

Another Nintendo 64 that never caught on with me is the mostly on-rails flight sim, Star Fox 64.

Again, though, I will freely admit that my lack of depth perception was primarily to blame.

Star Fox 64 3D fixes the depth issues and adds infrared multiplayer with other friends. The game offers many paths to the end, and players will enjoy the nostalgic return to the first 3D shmup to hit consoles.

Super Mario 3D Land box artSuper Mario 3D Land

Metacritic: 90

Average price: $42.99 (most offer at $40)

The Tanooki Suit has returned, and even if PETA is up in arms over a video-game power-up, it makes all the difference in Super Mario 3D Land.

The game features solid 3D and 2D platforming. Players will replay levels trying to collect everything. The game fully utilizes the 3D, and the gameplay is solid.

Did I mention it has the Tanooki Suit?

It has the Tanooki Suit!

Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition box artSuper Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition

Metacritic: 85

Average price: $26.70

As a launch title for the 3DS, Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition remains the top fighting game for the handheld.

Admittedly, if a console version is already owned, this handheld feels weak. But for players who want to get into the system and want a solid fighter in their collection, this will not disappoint.

Tetris Axis box artTetris Axis

Metacritic: 75

Average price: $30.98

When I was a child, the only gaming system I spent several hours with was the Game Boy, and the only game I played until Metroid II was Tetris.

For that reason, I have been in love with all releases of this fantastic puzzle game.

However, it isn’t fanboy schmoozing to claim that this is the best version of Tetris since the GB and NES days. With several play modes and an interesting use of 3D visuals, Tetris Axis will bring joy and tears with intense puzzle action.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow War box artTom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars

Metacritic: 77

Average price: $20.33

$5 says you’ve never heard of this tactical game.

While critics were not overly impressed with the cheap title, players have loved it.

While the game features a dull story, the tactics in this game offer depth and challenge. Rather than building experience points and buying new weapons or abilities, players are awarded based on achievements. In other words, playing better leads to better rewards.

At its low price, all 3DS owners should include this in their library.


About Ben Davis

Ben writes for KWCR 88.1 Weber FM, Studio 76, the Signpost, and and can be contacted on Twitter (@GameTaffyBen) or at!

Posted on December 5, 2011, in Holiday Shopping Lists and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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