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Top 10 essential games for your new Nintendo 3DS XL

Big names for a big handheld
Product: Nintendo 3DS XL | Publisher: Nintendo | Format: 3DS
Nintendo 3DS XL 3DS, thumbnail 1
So, you've put your pre-order in for a spanking new 3DS XL. You're excited. Heck, we understand that.

Oh, goodness me, though: which games should you purchase in preparation for its release on Saturday?

Never fear! As usual, your pals here at Pocket Gamer have already prepared the answer to this type of question via the medium of the handy top ten list.

So, here are the ten games you really, really, really ought to stick in your new 3DS XL's slot.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy
By Square Enix

A must-buy for any self-respecting Final Fantasy or music game fan, this spin-off moves away from the dungeon and overworld exploration of the main series into the realm of rhythm-action.

Almost all of the choicest cuts from the Final Fantasy soundtracks are included here, with more to come via regular slices of DLC.

Bit.Trip Saga
By Gaijin Games

That lovely big screen on the 3DS XL is the perfect place for the sharp visuals of this superb collection of chiptune-based rhythm-action games.

Commander Video is a modern gaming icon; the games in which he appears equally so. And that bleepy bloopy soundtrack is so good you won't mind how brutally difficult this game can get.

Resident Evil Revelations
By Capcom

When people talk about home console-quality gaming on the go, it's more than likely they'll point to Resident Evil Revelations as evidence. Substantial, stunning to look at, and suitably scary.

The only caveat is that you might want to wait for the XL version of the Circle Pad Pro if you just can't manage without a second control stick.

By Nintendo

This quaint little eShop downloadable title surprised and impressed in equal measure upon its release. We found it so impressive, in fact, that we gave it that rarest of things: a Pocket Gamer Platinum Award.

If you want to see what Nintendo can really do in the downloadable space, as well as check out one of the best uses of QR codes in recent years, add this to your collection. Yesterday.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
By Nintendo

There are no two ways about it: Ocarina of Time is a bona fide classic. It's a ruddy huge adventure, crammed with ingenious puzzles, epic boss battles, and dozens of Easter eggs.

What's more: this updated version of the dazzling original looks better and plays smoother than the Nintendo 64 edition, making the 3DS revamp the best iteration of it yet.

Heroes of Ruin
By Square Enix

Your Vita-toting friends will tell you that only Sony's latest handheld can do multiplayer right. But, show them Heroes of Ruin's online co-op mode - in which you can chat with chaps in faraway lands an' all that - and watch them squirm.

Then, you can, in good conscience, slap them in the face for being such colossal naysayers.

Art of Balance Touch!
By Shin'en Multimedia

Balancing objects to ensure they don't fall over doesn't sound like much fun, but Art of Balance Touch! is without doubt one of the most beguiling downloadables on the eShop's shelves.

There's a certain Zen-like quality about this title, and when you're in the zone (and taking advantage of the larger bottom touchscreen on the 3DS XL) it's a mesmerising experience.

Mario Kart 7
By Nintendo

Just as night follows day and hangover follows tequila, so, too, a new Mario Kart game follows a Nintendo product launch.

In the case of the 3DS, Mario Kart 7 is that 'new' game. And, guess what, it's bloomin' ace.

Sure, it's 'just' more of the same - albeit with karts that can glide in the air and dive underwater - but Mario Kart has never been anything other than fast-paced fun with friends and enemies alike.

Super Mario 3D Land
By Nintendo

One of the very few games on this list in which the 3D effect is vital to the experience, Super Mario 3D Land hopped, skipped, and jumped onto Ninty's portable console last November.

It also happens to be a brilliant (and deceptively lengthy) platformer - kinda like a curious cross between Super Mario Galaxy and New Super Mario Bros.

SpeedThru: Potzol's Puzzle
By Nintendo

Puzzle games and Nintendo's downloadable service seem to go hand-in-hand, as SpeedThru: Potzol's Puzzle is the third title in the genre to make it onto this list.

The aim of this particular game is to spin a shape until it can successfully fit through a gap in the wall by rotating it in 3D space. While you're hurtling towards the objective at high speed. In ancient South America.

Well balanced and chock-full of levels, this is one game you'll return to time and time again just to beat that one infuriating puzzle.

Reviewer photo
Peter Willington 26 July 2012
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