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 3DS FEATURE

The best Nintendo 3DS games of 2016

Hanging in there
Product: Nintendo 3DS | Publisher: Nintendo | Format: 3DS
 
The 3DS is the handheld that just doesn't know when to quit.

Half a decade later and the specs-less stereoscopic system just got another batch of brilliant games - from courtroom dramas to horse-card hybrids.

Let us know your favourites in the comments.

Fire Emblem Fates

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A sprawling tactical adventure, that spans different nations, two sides of the same war, and three different games.

You've got Birthright, to ease you into the game, Conquest to really test your skills, and the Revelation DLC to wrap up the plot. Whichever you play, expect a tense turn-based experience with high stakes: characters who fall in battle are gone for good.

Pokemon Sun and Moon

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It's the most radical change for the Pokemon series yet, with old staples of the franchise - like gyms and HMs - either changed or outright removed.

Most of the changes are there to make the games more approachable for new gamers, who have yet to get a taste of this wonderful RPG series. Pack your Pokeballs, wade into the long grass, and start collecting a team of vicious (but cute!) critters.

Monster Hunter Generations

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Like Pokemon above, this new instalment of Monster Hunter is made to get welcome players into the fold. It's still about toppling gigantic beasts, but now with proper tutorials, and some of the most tricky quirks ironed out.

Older players shouldn't feel turned away, though: the game celebrates a decade's worth of monster hunting by featuring beasts and locations from previous adventures in the series.

Shin Megmi Tensei IV: Apocalypse

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Sound familiar? That's right, there was already a fourth Shin Megmi Tensei on 3DS a few years back. But, as the subtitle might suggest, this one is a follow-up, set after a cataclysmic, world-ending event.

It's not just the same game but with rubble everywhere, though. There's an all-new story to play through and plenty of gameplay tweaks that are - on the whole - for the better.

Rhythm Heaven Megamix

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Rhythm Heaven isn't as well known as Nintendo's other franchises. The first game never left Japan, for example. But anyone who has played one of these toe-tapping rhythmic challenges will tell you that they're fantastic.

Now you can see what all the fuss is about with this this compilation album, which mixes mini-games from the GBA, DS, and Wii editions of the series. There's plenty of new stuff, too, including a Wario cameo mode.

Pocket Card Jockey

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Tea and biscuits. Mountain Dew and Doritos. Some things just go together perfectly. But solitaire and horse racing? That's going to need some explanation.

But turns out it's a pretty good match - clearing cards makes your horse go faster so you've gotta play fast to win the race. Add in an RPG backbone and you've got a quirky little gem.

Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma

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If you ever wake up in a room with eight other people - you should know that you're probably going to have a bad day. This is the third game in a series about nine people getting stuck in a tortuous game.

To stay alive you'll need to make moral decisions, solve puzzles, and switch between protagonists. And while you don't need to have played 999 or Virtue's Last Reward, those who have should know this one's story is set between the two.

Kirby: Planet Robobot

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Kirby is Nintendo's unsung hero. But this is his year to shine, baby. Where's Mario on this list, eh? Where's Zelda? Where's Metroid… oh, the less said about that last one, the better.

With the spotlight all to himself, Kirby showed that he's talented too, with this gorgeous and inventive platforming romp - that has better robot suit bits than Titanfall 2. Stick that in your mech and smoke it.

Bravely Second: End Layer

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Final Fantasy XV might be the biggest RPG of the year, but don't forget about this one. This sequel to the much-loved Bravely Default might not be massively different, but is there too much of a good thing?

Yes. Just ask the guy who celebrates Christmas every day (and is in tremendous debt and dangerously obese).

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, this game's got a clever chaining system where you can boost your rewards if you risk fighting multiple random encounters in a row.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice

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The saga continues. The most loopy courtroom drama returns, with another batch of wrongly-accused murderers and actual murderers who have the most absurdly convoluted plans ever.

This one brings in all the ideas from previous games - Apollo's bracelet, Athena's emotion computer, and more - and adds another, in these wacky séance scenes. It's silly and over the top, and we love it.
 

Reviewer photo
Mark Brown 13 December 2016
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