The Best of 2013: Peter’s Top 10 3DS games of the year – Retail Edition

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Join members of El33tonline as we release our lists of the very Best Games of 2013, including our own personal lists and round-ups of the best games on each platform.

Here is Peter’s list of the top ten 3DS games of 2013.


The 3DS truly came into its own this year. We had some great games last year, sure, but the bomb was dropped in 2013 with hit after hit being released. We still have a limited number of quality third-party games but 2013 was not bad with four titles from other publishers in my top ten.

Meanwhile, Nintendo’s output on 3DS has been top notch, and my top four games are all rated five stars by me, which made it very difficult to order them. Let’s start with games I have not yet played:

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

This is a must-play series for me but I haven’t been able to try this one yet. Mario & Luigi team up in another role-playing game, this time with Mario entering Luigi’s dream world. These are some of the funniest games around with witty self-deprecating humour being thrown around willy-nilly, so they’re perfect for holiday-time lazing.

– Read El33tonline’s Review


Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

Having played this original a lot on the Wii I chose to forgo the 3DS version of it to give me the chance for a life – Monster Hunter is a drug and I felt I needed to stay clean this year. Despite its immense popularity in Japan this is a game for the hardcore, those willing to spend hours collecting what they need for one hunt and willing to endure dying many times in the pursuit of perfecting the timing of their axe swing.

Bravely Default: Flying Fairy

Square-Enix has taken the classic JRPG formula of a story of four saving the world one turn-based battle at a time, and created a new series. It was well received in Japan and Japanese RPG fans are bound to enjoy this one.


Now on to my top ten 3DS games of 2013 (Note: This top ten is for retail games only. I hope to do a separate list for eShop game recommendations, too):

10.) Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D

DK Country Returns is still a great game and with the small adjustments made to the difficulty and the addition of 3D effects it retains its class, but being an enhanced port of a recent game it was never going to compete with the other big 3DS games this year. Still, it’s the pick of the platformers released at retail this year for the platform.

– Read El33tonline’s Review

9.) Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate

It’s Castlevania, but instead of being rooted in the legacy of handheld Castlevania games it’s an offshoot of Lords of Shadow from the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Mirror of Fate is 2D action-platforming with a horror castle theme and some classic MetroidVania exploration, but those looking for the grindy style of Dawn of Sorrow may be disappointed.

– Read El33tonline’s Review

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate Screenshot 2

8.) Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies

A new Ace Attorney will always be welcome but it’s a good thing Capcom wait until it has a quality script before going ahead because these games live and die by the quality of their scenarios and writing. Dual Destinies is comparable in quality to other games in the series in terms of writing, a step up in production values and a step lower in gameplay, so it wouldn’t win the title of ‘Best Ace Attorney Game’ but should entertain Ace Attorney fans. Those looking for a fun story and some laughs with a bit of light deductive gameplay would do well to pick up Dual Destinies.

– Read El33tonline’s Review

7.) Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan

It looks and feels like a DS game, but its low production values are made up for by quality gameplay mechanics and pacing. A dungeon-crawling, first-person, squad-based Japanese RPG with turn-based random battles and a draw-your-own-map aesthetic, this is one for those more interested in levelling their characters than being involved in a story.

– Read El33tonline’s Review


6.) Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy

Layton is a known entity by now, but the quality of the games has been kept high through all five. It’s held together by fantastic animation cut-scenes and a variety of puzzles to satisfy any puzzle fan. The story is at least as over the top as others in the series but it’s head and shoulders above anything else in a sparsely populated genre.

– Read El33tonline’s Review

5.) Luigi’s Mansion 2 (Dark Moon)

For a change of pace from Mario games check out Luigi’s Mansion 2 (aka Dark Moon). Explore the mansion’s rooms battling ghosts and finding your way in the dark. There’s a lot of singleplayer content as well as some great online multiplayer modes to enjoy.

– Read El33tonline’s Review

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon Artwork Image 2

4.) Pokemon X/Y

A new generation of Pokemon games, the first in 3D, the first to have diagonal running… There are so many firsts in X/Y that it’s the one to pick up if you haven’t played Pokemon in many years.

– Read El33tonline’s Review

3.) Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Animal Crossing was becoming a little stale with each release feeling like a small upgrade from the last, but New Leaf is a serious upgrade at last. The island is back, the town is closer and has more shops, you can add rooms to your house, you can see other houses collected via StreetPass… you can do a vast number of things. I have a hankering to go back to my little village called Wooten, but I’m afraid it might be overgrown with weeds.

– Read El33tonline’s Review

Animal Crossing: New Leaf Banner Logo

2.) Fire Emblem: Awakening

A new Fire Emblem is always a big event for me. Awakening is a bigger Fire Emblem than most and should satisfy any Fire Emblem fan, or anyone looking for a strategy RPG. Awakening features characters from all other Fire Emblems and a bunch of downloadable maps, too, for those looking to extend it even beyond its 40 hour plus core game.

1.) The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

I enjoyed Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks but they were like a slow amble in the country compared to the mountain hike of A Link Between Worlds. Tough, snappy and rewarding, A Link Between Worlds takes A Link to the Past and reinvents it with all new dungeons, items and mechanics. It’s a classic handheld Zelda game, and deserves a high position on any ‘Best Zelda Games’ list. It’s my 3DS game of the year.

– Read El33tonline’s Review


What do you think of Peter’s top ten list of 3DS games for 2013? Which 3DS games would make it into your list?

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