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The Nintendo 3DS is one of the most underrated handheld consoles of all time. The console has sold a staggering 75.94 million units worldwide, making it a highly successful handheld unit. It is also estimated that it has had nearly 400 million software sales across the console's life cycle. The best 3DS games have helped to bolster these numbers. This article will cover the 10 best Nintendo 3DS games of all time ranked by sales.
Coming in at number 10 is Yo-Kai Watch 2. Yo-Kai Watch made it big in Japan when released in 2013 as a rival to Pokémon. Yo-Kai Watch follows the same principle as the Pokémon series, involving you catching, battling, and fighting monsters. The game never fully took off with the first game in the franchise but found its feet in 2016 when Yo-Kai Watch 2 got released by Nintendo. The game found a market in Japan and the west, selling an estimated 6.92 million copies globally. Although Yo-Kai Watch never managed to challenge Pokémon in the turn-based RPG space, it still managed to find a niche fanbase.
Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon were the direct sequels to the Pokémon Sun and Moon games. The game was set in the Alola region and included several new features, building upon the original Sun and Moon games. Although Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon faced intense criticism from Pokémon fans due to the game's limited content and relatively poor expansion on Sun and Moon, the game did sell a significant number of copies. Overall the game sold 8.89 million units, making it one of the best 3DS games of all time.
One of the best 3DS games was Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 3DS. The popular Smash Bros series made its debut in 2014 on the Nintendo 3DS in conjunction with Smash Bros on the Nintendo Wii U. The game made perfect use of the 3D technology in the 3DS, making it one of the best in the franchise and one of the greatest fighting games on the system. Super Smash Bros. 3DS is one of the best 3DS games but heavily underrated. In total, the games have sold 9.61 million units.
Super Mario 3D land is quite possibly one of the best Mario games on a handheld. Super Mario 3D land revolutionized how Mario looked and felt on a handheld, taking the popular platformer and giving it a 3D look far removed from the classic 2D Mario platforming accustomed to Nintendo handhelds. The game not only had great level design and graphics but stunning music. 3D land was a great addition to the Mario franchise and a must-play for those who have not already played it. Overall, Super Mario 3D land has sold 12.77 million units worldwide.
Over the last couple of years, the Animal Crossing franchise has taken the gaming market by storm with the release of Animal Crossing New Horizons. However, before Horizons, New Leaf helped lay the foundations for what a good Animal Crossing game looks like. New Leaf was released on the 3DS in 2012 and including a ton of new gameplay features not previously present in the games, such as the ability to build public works and travel to exotic islands in the hope of catching sharks. The game was a masterclass in design and looked stunning on the 3DS console. New Leaf was one of the best 3DS games selling 12.82 million copies.
Super Mario Bros 2 built upon the previous Super Mario Bros on the Nintendo DS in spectacular fashion. The game included new levels, enemies, and bosses in glorious 3D, making 2D Mario platforming stand out. The game was a huge success for Nintendo when released in 2012, making it the most successful Mario game on the 3DS system and one of the best 3DS games. Overall, Super Mario Bros 2 sold an impressive 13.37 million copies.
The third generation of Pokémon was always popular amongst fans of the Pokémon series. So, when The Pokémon Company announced remakes of the third generation, fans went crazy. Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire were direct remakes of the original Ruby and Sapphire games. The games included new features such as primal reversion and the ability to traverse on your Pokémon. The games sold well, selling 14.34 million copies globally.
Pokémon Sun and Moon were the seventh installments in the Pokémon franchise. The games were set in the Alola region and had you defeat island champions rather than gym leaders. The first in the series is not to include gyms. Although the games were criticized for their hand-holding elements and huge dialogue trees, they sold very well, selling 16.2 million copies, making them one of the most successful Pokémon games on the system.
The first Pokemon games on the 3DS system were Pokémon X, and Y. X and Y introduced the series on the platform and successfully transitioned the series over to 3D. Although the games looked rough around the edges, they were stunning introducing fans of the franchise to the Paris-inspired Kalos region in a new and refreshing way. The games included new features such as ridable Pokémon and a range of new Pocket Monsters such as the legendary Yvental and Zygarde. The games were the best Pokémon 3DS games selling 16.49 million copies.
Mario Kart 7 is one of the best 3DS games of all time and the best selling one. The game utilized the 3D elements of the 3DS and quickly become one of the best-selling handheld games of all time. Mario Kart 7 introduced underwater and sky-high racing to the franchise. The popular racing game has sold 18.92 million copies worldwide, making it one of the most successful racers of all time and the best 3DS game in sales.
Overall, the Nintendo 3DS was a very successful console in regards to software and hardware sales. With some of the best 3DS games selling over 15 million units, subscribe to our newsletter in the footer below for more Nintendo-related news and features.
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