5 of the Best 3DS Games of 2018

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In the midst of going all-out with hardware and software support for the Switch, Nintendo still proves that it cares just as much for its older 3DS handheld, with constant system updates, software releases and the launch of new hardware variations of the product line. According to Nintendo, the company will still support the 3DS for a couple more years and if you’re a big fan of the dual-screened handheld, this certainly is great news.

As it shows, the 3DS still gets a lot of new content from game developers, with new game releases both on the E-Shop and on physical media. As we get nearer and nearer to 2019, we’ve made a list of some of the best 3DS games released this year. Read on for our recommendations!

WarioWare Gold

Nintendo’s WarioWare franchise had its humble beginnings on the Gameboy Advance. This was followed by sequels on the GBA, DS, and DSi. With the 3DS now aged to perfection, Nintendo has decided to bring the series to its current-generation handheld.

The franchise is now better than ever thanks to the boost in graphics and gameplay offered by the 3DS. There is an in-game achievement system, multiplayer, and incorporates aspects of earlier WarioWare games as well. The graphics remain true to their 2D roots and while the game isn’t presented in 3D unlike other 3DS games, developer Intelligent Systems has made great use of the 3DS’ graphical capabilities and gave us a title with bright, energetic, sprite-based visuals which will certainly appeal to fans of the series.  The true essence of WarioWare Gold, of course, is in its wide collection of minigames, which are just as fun, creative and addictive as they were in earlier titles of the WarioWare game franchise.

Metroid: Samus Returns

When Nintendo introduced the Metroid Prime series way back in the days of the glorious Gamecube, it did so with the goal of reinventing the popular action-adventure series as a first-person shooter, a move that arguably split the fanbase in two. While the series hasn’t seen much handheld action aside from two GBA titles and a somewhat mediocre 3DS spin-off, Nintendo now looks to bring back the good-old side-scrolling glory days of Samus Aran.

Conceived by developers Mercury Steam and Nintendo EPD, Samus Returns is a brilliant remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus originally released for the Gameboy. The 3DS title enables players to revisit the planet of Zebes as the titular bounty hunter, with an upgraded firing system, as well as the addition of melee attacks to fend off foes, as opposed to blasting your way through the entire game. The game also offers you power-ups found in earlier Metroid games.

Luigi’s Mansion (Remake)

Officially the first Luigi’s Mansion game in the series but the second one to come out on the 3DS (that make sense for you?), this remake of the beloved Gamecube title will allow players to experience the first entry in the LM franchise on Nintendo’s dual-screen handheld. Mario is missing, and it’s up to Luigi to rescue him with the help of his trusty Proton Pac-er, Poltergust. Obviously, the game’s controls will be shuffled a bit, as the 3DS has a different control scheme compared to that of the Gamecube. Thankfully, with the addition of the C-Stick, ZR and ZL buttons, the remake’s control scheme somewhat provides an easier transition for players used to the original’s control configurations.

As with most newer 3DS games, Luigi’s Mansion is compatible with Nintendo Amiibo figures through the 3DS NFC function. Using different Amiibos such as Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Boo will unlock different abilities in the game. The game still manages to look great and can be played in 3D as well.

Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology

Another remake on this list, Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology revisits what is probably one of the most underrated games in the original DS library. While it retains the core story, characters, and gameplay, it also makes worthy additions that make this Atlus game a must-have in 2018. The story centers around Locke, and his comrades Raynie and Marco.

The original Radiant Historia had a pretty interesting concept for a JRPG game as it incorporated time travel into the plot and gameplay as well. While playing, your decisions throughout the game make an impact on how certain events play out. This can also depend on which difficulty you choose to play on.

Do note that the game contains DLC (downloadable content) though, so if you’re after more content, be prepared to shell out a bit.

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux

The last game on this list also happens to be another take on an older game. Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux for the 3DS is an enhanced port of the original Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey released for the DS in 2010 by developer Atlus. This role-playing game has you battling different kinds of demons as you try and stop the Schwarzwelt from destroying the Earth completely. Combat is your standard turn-based JRPG fare, with battles as well as world exploration offered in a first-person perspective.

If you’re a fan of the games in the SMT franchise, then this updated and enhanced port is a must-have for players looking to relive their Strange Journey days from the DS.

The Bottom Line

We hope you enjoyed this list of recommendations we have for 3DS game releases in 2018. If there are other titles or comments and opinions you may have on the games or the 3DS, hit us up in the comments section below!

About the author

Mike Viray

A writer with a fondness for consumer tech, Mike is also a music lover, and an avid gamer as well. He and his wife are big fans of Mario Kart.


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  • Oh, wonderful!   Luigi’s Mansion is definitely high on my son’s priority list this year for Christmas.  I’m really excited that he’ll be able to experience the first entry in the LM franchise on Nintendo’s dual-screen handheld.  3D is the best, and he just keeps talking about it, lol.  I’m glad I came upon your website – just wanted to give you a shout out.  Thanks!

    • Thank you for checking out the list!

      The beauty about having the first luigi’s mansion game on the 3DS is that there’s a bit of a difference between how this one plays as compared to the sequel. Also, the game’s just right in time for Halloween, haha.