The diversity of titles available for Nintendo 3DS is astonishing. The best available are rich in content, with huge stories to tell and inventive mechanics that reward dedication to master. Our top 10 presents the best of the magical escapes available that are cut above the kind of experiences available on smart devices now, and for the foreseeable future.
1. Pokémon: Ultra Sun and Moon
If you ever stop to wonder why Pokémon continues its global rampage, consider this 2017 overhaul of the 2016 seventh-generation adventures. A terrific game worth playing all over again to savour the visual upgrades, but moreover enjoy a revamped story mode with cool new features such as surfing and The Battle Agency that loans powerful Pokémon. With every new iteration, Pokémon becomes more open to newcomers while finding ways to inspire the most experienced trainers out there. Ultra Sun and Moon boasts entirely new dimensions to explore, with 100s more Pokémon, magically transporting us to Ultra Space.
2. Animal Crossing: New Leaf
There's a cute Sim City vibe to New Leaf that takes the edge off stressful one-upmanship, while offering more opportunity to demonstrate your creativity. Rather than arrive in town as an ambitious busybody, your role is acting mayor, meaning you are responsible for public areas as well as your personal space. As mayor you have the town layout to think about while going for a swim, you can spend hours pondering everything from furniture design to fountains in the square. We love that there are Dream Suite versions of villages, essentially a showroom that nobody can mess with.
3. Fire Emblem: Awakening
This would be the perfect time to sample the beloved, but not too well-known tactical RPG from Nintendo. While at its core Fire Emblem is a battling game that tests serious strategic thought, the series owes its popularity to charismatic heroes that we sincerely care about. To encourage everyone to sample arguably the finest instalment yet, Awakening offers four difficulty settings - from Normal through Lunatic Plus - plus two gameplay styles: Casual or Classic. The latter entails watching fallen comrades remain dead, while Casual works more along the lines of most RPGs, in that they can, thank goodness, recover.
4. Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies
More crazy courtroom cases to solve in this interactive drama starring defence attorney Phoenix Wright. This now feels much closer to the anime escapades that surely inspired the series, with colorful and clear attractive cut-scenes and sumptuous presentation when it comes to the action itself - including 3D if that's your thing. The whole story takes around 30 hours to solve, with investigations that reward a keen eye as well as reading between the lines. If you're not a fan of dialogue this may not be for you. Otherwise, you'll enjoy solving mysteries involving demons and seriously moody students.
5. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Elven hero Link's 3D adventure is bursting with smart ideas, which include squashing him into the form of a 2D painting in order to explore. That's just one example of how familiar puzzles are renewed in A Link Between Worlds, while the pure videogame charm of 1992 classic Link to the Past is revisited. It's a Zelda game that's perfectly balanced for portable gameplay, as opposed to more 'meaningful' epics along the lines of Skyward Sword that glue you to the sofa. Puzzle-themed dungeons are truly challenging, but in a logical and jovial way to keep anyone enthralled.