While the console is essentially dead, the Nintendo 3DS has one of the most robust libraries stacked full of quality titles, even if that wasn't always the case. This may be hard to believe, but when Nintendo's handheld originally launched it was looking like it would be a failure. Thankfully, the console's tides turned and it's now considered one of the greatest handhelds of all time.
We want to celebrate the best titles from this great handheld, but you've probably played all the big guns in the console's library at this point. Instead, we want to focus on those great titles that may have flown under the radar. So, with that in mind, 10 Hidden Gems On The 3DS Every Gamer Needs To Play.
10 Heroes of Ruin
If you've ever played a game in the Diablo series, then you'll get the base idea of Heroes of Ruin. Developed by n-Space and published by Square Enix, this isometric action-RPG utilizes a lot of the 3DS' online capabilities like SpotPass and Street Pass, which allowed players to trade items and complete daily challenges.
Taking place in a magical kingdom where a city's guardian has been cursed, players can customize their character and set out for some classic dungeon crawling either solo or with friends online. While Heroes of Ruin will never reach the heights of other Square Enix classics or the games it's been inspired by, it's a decent enough title to jump into and a solid entry on the 3DS.
9 Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars
If you forgot there was a Ghost Recon game on the 3DS, don't worry we don't blame you. But, that doesn't mean Ubisoft's turn-based tactical title should be overlooked. Taking notes from franchises like Fire Emblem, the Wars series, and even Final Fantasy Tactics, Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars won't surprise you in terms of basic gameplay, yet, the addition of cover mechanics makes the franchise feel fresh.
With multiple modes to play and a story that takes around 35 hours to complete, there's a lot to enjoy here. Somehow, despite all this, the game seems to have been overlooked.
8 Code Name: S.T.E.A.M
In many ways, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M feels like Nintendo's answer to Sega's Valkyria Chronicles series, but weirder. Named Lincoln vs Aliens in Japan, this title developed by Intelligent Systems mixes turn-based tactical gameplay with third-person action, as Abraham Lincoln takes on hordes of aliens in a steam-punk inspired adventure.
The game is equal parts bizarre and well designed, being a truly perfect fit on the 3DS. Yet, for some reason, it seems like it's been ignored. Maybe it's because of its deep, more complex mechanics, or maybe there just isn't enough love for steampunk Abe Lincoln, but it's still a fantastic game.
7 Ever Oasis
Inspired by the legendary Mana series, Grezzo's action-RPG blends town-management with classic adventure gameplay in a seamless way. With an overarching story of restoring a town, players must bring in new residents, help them out, and reap the rewards. They do so by taking on quests that require them to leave, meaning every decision made impacts your little oasis.
What makes this game so great, however, is that your progress isn't only seen through character stats. There is a real, tangible, visual development to see as your town moves from little sand dunes to a lush city full of life.
6 Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked
Shin Megami Tensei is one of the best RPG franchises around, and many of the series' best titles have a home on the 3DS. Now, the most popular may be Shin Megami Tensei IV and its sequel, but Devil Survivor Overclocked is just as good.
As a remake of a fantastic 3DS title, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked takes the gameplay and plot — which sees modern-day Tokyo under attack by digital demons only our protagonist can stop, capture and fuse — and extends it, updates the visuals, and gives us more goodies from the original 2009 release.
5 Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy
Final Fantasy is one of the longest-standing franchises in video game history, and its soundtrack is iconic. So, it's no surprise that Square-Enix tasked developer indieszero with creating a title that celebrates a beloved part of the storied series.
Allowing players to develop a party of four consisting of characters from the first 13 games in the series, they will take on massive boss battles and play through entire stages all to the beats of some of the most iconic music in gaming. It's a celebration of Final Fantasy, and fans of the series need to play it.
4 Shinobi 3D
At one point, before Sonic The Hedgehog, Shinobi's Joe Musashi was Sega's unofficial mascot. The 2D-ninja platforming series may not have been the most popular franchise in the world, but there were some truly great games that are beloved to this day. Sega brought the franchise back on the 3DS with a fantastic side-scrolling adventure.
Putting players in the shoes of Joe's father, Jiro, who is transported 800 years into the future and even into outer space. While this game does retcon the long-time protagonist in the series' existence, it's a fantastic arcade-centric title on a system that doesn't have a lot of games like this in its library.
Game Freak may be known for their insanely popular Pokémon games — heck, the 3DS has 2 sets of games — but every once in a while they produce something outside of that universe, and it's usually really good. Case and point, HarmoKnight. Blending rhythm and platforming, players run through 2D levels collecting musical notes, building their own soundtrack in the process.
Taking control of Tempo, players must run through automatically scrolling levels collecting music notes along the way. Yet, mistiming a jump can lead to a slight miscue, meaning the game's soundtrack may be off by a half-second. This kind of design calls for incredible accuracy, but it's easy to get back on track.
2 Rune Factory 4
For a long time, gamers always wondered how Harvest Moon would play if you added dungeon crawling elements to the game. Well, Rune Factory answered that question, and the fourth entry in the series may have been its best.
With a three arc plot that sees our protagonist waking up in a small town, players must farm, craft, and dungeon crawl their way through the story, all while building relationships in the process. That last point is a major mechanic of the game, and there are events scattered throughout the plot to help strengthen these relationships. Not all are romantic either, which makes the game feel a little more honest.
1 Corpse Party
Corpse Party is one of those games that, to certain players, is very important, yet it never reached mainstream success. That's not to say it hasn't been successful, in fact, the game gets ported to newer consoles every few years, and for good reason too. As a survival horror title, Corpse Party puts players in the shoes of a group of friends who, after unknowingly performing an occultist ritual, are teleported to a demonic school full of monsters who want nothing more than to inflict pain.
The game is very heavy on the narrative aspects of storytelling while featuring no combat. This makes your character very vulnerable, making the game — that is pretty cartoony on the surface — that much scarier.