The 3DS’ first calendar year has been eventful to say the least. Nothing short of a disastrous start has ended with incredible success, with the device now outpacing the original DS and even the sales behemoth the Wii. So maybe the doom of portable consoles due to the rise of mobile gaming was a little premature. Mike Luckett and Darren Bolton give us the top 5 releases of the year


5. Pilot Wings

First game I played on 3DS, extremely enjoyable, great 3D effect, but very short. We’ve all been clamouring for a sequel to this incredible service and it doesn’t disappoint, the game is as fun as ever, but there really should be more locations, and with this being Nintendo’s next gen handheld, we would have liked more connectivity features (this game cries out for DLC) and even a multiplayer – co op mission would be delightful. Oh well, maybe we can get them in the sequel in about 15 years time!

4. Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D

I had no idea this would be so much fun! They managed to make it feel like a full game with different levels and weapon combos, very enjoyable arcade style game. Online co-op worked well too which is a nice surprise on a Nintendo console. The only big downside with that though was you can’t talk to your partner; a friend and I ended up having our phones connected so we could talk while playing. But other than this niggle, an excellent showcase for the 3DS and perfect portable bite sized Resident Evil.

3. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of time 3D

A brilliant classic game reborn! This was the first Zelda game I played when it was released on N64 and boy I loved it, this has been updated on the 3DS extremely well and the game includes the master quest (although it would have been nice if that was available from the start and not when you complete the main game). The 3D is great, and the visual overhaul and little additions like the shops having more items in and the market looking busier, make the N64 version seem bland and boring!

 2. Mario Kart 7

Mario Kart is a great series, always enjoyable and the perfect multiplayer game. Although this has a few negatives (poor street and spot pass, cheap AI etc), overall it is probably the best entry yet – it looks gorgeous, the controls are pretty much perfect, the weapon balance is the best yet, the new courses, while lack the series best, is probably the best overall collection and the multiplayer is as great as ever. Hundreds of hours will be lost to this game.

1. Super Mario 3D Land

A great mix of NSMB with Galaxy makes this a great pick up and play handheld game, each level only takes a few minutes and with the added feature of saving after each level (something NSMB was missing) you can play in short bursts or long sessions. It starts off a little slow but before you know it you’re hooked; yes it is easy, but it is always a delight to play with unparalleled creativity and level design. The game is also surprisingly huge (shame on the reviews which slated it’s length and clearly never finished it) – aside from collecting all the coins (which will take an age) and getting all of the gold flags (if you’re anally inclined), the game doubles in size once completed. Easily the 3DS game of the year!


Starfox nearly made it in at number 5, but due to it being (another) remake, we had to reward Pilotwings. Do you agree?

2 Responses

  1. David Brook

    Surprisingly I’ve only got 2 of these games (Zelda and Mario Kart). I really need to buy Mario Land, I went and bought Skyrim instead which is sacrilege! I can only afford one game at a time 🙂

    I actually really like Ghost Recon and Ridge Racer – I think they’re underrated. Street Fighter is awesome too, although I’m not the biggest fan of vs. fighting games so I’ve not put many hours into it.

  2. Darren Bolton

    Loads of people rated Ghost Recon as the big surprise hit on the 3DS. I have loads of games and like them all. Tetris is a great version, Ridge Racer like you say is really good, the biggest disappointment for me was Fifa 12, pretty back in all regards!

    You have to get Mario though, it is unbelievable! 🙂 (better than Skyrim)


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