Christmas Eve is finally here, so we are getting down to the wire where people may be doing their last minute shopping. However, there is still the time after the holidays to spend all those gift cards you may get as well. Over the last week we have brought you guides based on the three modern consoles on the market with PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Wii U. However, now it is the handheld’s time to shine with Nintendo’s 3DS.
Unlike the others, this is one case where it is a little hard to completely recommend picking up a 3DS system itself, as the New Nintendo 3DS will be debuting in early 2015 in the US, so it wouldn’t be the best idea to get a soon to be outdated system. However, we will include that anyways, as well as some of the top games for the system.
This list will consist of the top games of 2014 for the handheld, a selection of the must own titles that released prior to this year, as well as the top digital games for the system that can be downloaded through the eShop. The following are the handhelds and games that you should be looking for this holiday season. As always, the prices in the parentheses are the retail prices for the games, so without further ado, this is the Nintendo 3DS Gift Guide for 2014.
Nintendo 3DS XL ($199.99)
While technically the original version of the Nintendo 3DS can still be bought, there is absolutely no reason not to get the far superior XL model at this point. Depending on where you are at, you may be able to find special bundles at the regular $199.99 with Mario & Luigi: Dream Team or most recently Mario Party: Island Tour. These would obviously be the better deal price wise, so it would be best to try and find one of them.
Nintendo 2DS ($99.99)
A secondary option that Nintendo dropped upon us last year was known as the Nintendo 2DS. Forgoing the clamshell design for one solid piece that felt more like the old Tiger Electronics, the Nintendo 2DS was surprisingly quite comfortable and is a much cheaper option at half the price. While the system is missing the 3D feature, many games really don’t even use it that much to where it is a big deal. Overall, it is more of an aesthetic choice, with this one being the bulkier of the two that is harder to carry around in your pocket.
Super Smash Bros. for 3DS ($39.99)
If you have read our Wii U Gift Guide, you will have seen that Super Smash Bros. made it on that list, so there is no surprise the 3DS version had to be on its respective gift guide as well. Sharing the same roster, the game offers a different selection of stages, along with some different game modes. The controls work surprisingly very well and those who purchase both games have the opportunity to get not only an exclusive soundtrack, but also the addition of Mewtwo later.
Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire ($39.99)
Revisiting the Hoenn region was something we knew had to be coming, based on the past remakes, but it was pretty surprising the way in which they announced these games earlier this year without any warning. Releasing just a month ago, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire take what was already great about the originals and brings them to life once again on the 3DS, providing tons of playtime to make it more than worth the money.
Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy ($39.99)
While not a first-party series, Professor Layton has certainly become quite synonymous with the Nintendo handheld ever since its debut on the Nintendo DS. The latest entry in the mainline series released earlier this year as the bookend to the Professor Layton prequel trilogy. Offering a fantastic story and the puzzles you know and love, this is one that has to be played, though one should try to search out and play at least Last Specter and Miracle Mask beforehand, so that the story can make more of an impact.
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call ($39.99)
The Final Fantasy franchise has long been known for its music almost as much as its gameplay, so it was no surprise when they released a music-based game a couple years ago. We then saw the follow-up in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call, which took the majority of the songs from the original and added tons more to the lineup. With DLC still being added to the game, including from other Square Enix franchises, this is one that any Final Fantasy fan has to pick up.
Check out page two for more of the top games to release in 2014 for the Nintendo 3DS.