The 3DS and the Wii U were home to a lot of brilliant titles during their lifespan. They bought us the likes of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Super Smash Bros, and hours’ worth of competitive fun. But as the countdown begins for the closure of their eShop, gamers are frantically revisiting any nostalgia they can. As much as we love roaming around our own island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons or visiting the ancient land of Hisui in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, sitting down with an older console takes any Nintendo fanatic back to their very first experience.
The Wii U and 3DS eShops are closing in late March, 2023, and until then you’ll be able to buy and download games from those digital stores. However, you’ve only got until August 29, 2022 to use up your eShop cards.
So, with that in mind, what should you make sure you don’t miss out on once the 3DS and Wii U eShop retire? We have compiled a list of our top 10 to ensure any mourning gamers don’t leave empty-handed.
1. Pokemon Crystal
Despite the physical version of this game launching on Game Boy, the ridiculous markup of retro Pokemon titles is enough to put any diehard fan off. So, when Pokemon Crystal was announced to be released digitally on 3DS, trainers alike got to revisit arguably one of the best Pokemon titles to this date.
Sure, the recent releases from Pokemon are fantastic – with the likes of Pokemon Legends: Arceus showing a new side to the series’ mechanics that no 90s kid would’ve expected to see. But for those days where you miss random encounters and linear storylines, Pokemon Crystal on Nintendo 3DS has always got your back.
Rhythm games that focus on tempo-based combat are easily one of the most satisfying approaches to pummelling your enemies. No matter your musical talent, they manage to cater to all.
Harmoknight is a rhythm-based platformer in which the player utilizes two buttons across automatically scrolling maps. Sounds easy enough, right? But with bright colors and an unexpectedly thorough story, Harmoknight is more than meets the eye. Plus, it’s made by Pokemon developer, Game Freak!
Of course, the Nintendo Switch is equipped with a backlog of rhythm games. But having this little pocket-sized tempo treasure ready to go on your 3DS whenever you need it, makes it something to grab before it’s too late.
3. Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale
Collecting a series of cards adorned with colourful creatures isn’t a new concept to any gamer at this point. From casting spells and competing amongst friends (even though it feels a bit like a glorified game of rock paper scissors) to facing off with towering terrors every Friday, Attack of the Friday Monsters is a gorgeous tale.
Even though upon its first release this game was referred to as a ‘Tokyo Life sim’ there are elements of a solid coming of age story as you run around the map meeting locals and interacting with a new home. For anyone looking to disappear into rural Tokyo for a while without feeling the threats of crushing enemies, then Attack of the Friday Monsters will not disappoint.
4. Affordable Space Adventures
Platform: Wii U
Sometimes you don’t have to cash out to go on some epic endeavours. Affordable Space Adventures is exactly what it says on the tin. This stealth adventure game utilizes the Wii U gamepad in order to direct your spacecraft through a vast spectrum of unexpected environments.
This game also supports up to three crewmates so you and your friends can embark on exploration together. It makes for some wholesome yet hazardous fun all whilst keeping the price on the cheaper side of things. Even after the Wii U being classed as Nintendo’s worst console release, titles like this remind you why it was fun whilst it lasted.
5. Duck Hunt
Platform: Wii U
Much like Pokemon Crystal, Duck Hunt is one of Nintendo’s ‘classic’ titles that got a new lease of life. The concept is still as simple as you can remember on NES, but it makes for some fast paced, fun, arcade nostalgia. It’s a shooting game in the simplest form and is memorable for all the right reasons. Additionally, the Wii U supports two players – making sure no duck is safe from a keen eye.
It’s hard to come by an NES these days. Picking up this title whilst it’s still available on Wii U, especially with no announcement a Switch port, is worth every penny.
Easily one of the most adorable titles ever released on the 3DS, Pullblox intertwines elements of platforming and puzzle into it’s simple yet sweet gameplay. There are over 200 puzzles to solve and friends to help, which can be increased by creating your own levels in Pullblox studio. It’s a stress-free experience for anyone who picks it up.
It’s unique character design and joyful soundtrack make it one of those titles you will no doubt struggle to put down. It works so well on the 3DS because you literally can just pick it up for a bit, complete some puzzles and save some children before putting it away again. It’s too sweet to say goodbye to.
7. Cave Story 3D
Discovering the history of a now apocalyptic land sets the scene for a HUGE number of games nowadays. It’s a concept hundreds of developers take and run with in every direction possible, yet it’s very difficult to get bored of. No matter how many times you begin a game and some twisted tale of conflict is carved into stone – you keep coming back to it. Cave Story 3D on 3DS is much the same.
Using the 3D ability of the console Cave Story really comes to life. Whilst metroidvania games swamp a lot of the Nintendo Switch eShop, this title takes things back to how they should be and balances challenge with its story to make for some very engaging gameplay. Cave Story showcases what the 3DS was known for whilst also presenting a very wholesome game.
It’s also available on Nintendo Switch as Cave Story+.
If you’re on the hunt for some competitive beat-em-up fun, then Renegade is the best game to opt for. Even with fighting games adopting photorealistic graphics these days sometimes all you need is a side scrolling pixel sized smasher to satisfy your fighting cravings. It’s as simple as fighting games can get. Beat some punks up, snack on a hamburger you conveniently find on the side of the street and go back to scrapping.
What Renegade lacks in complexity, it picks up in charm – adopting an arcade style to graphics and controls. It’s simple and fun and can pass any amount of time before you realize.
AeternoBlade feels as if Castlevania got an anime reboot before Castlevania got an anime reboot. After it was initially released in Japan, it became a sought-after title for any metroidvania fanatics. It’s a challenging game but it’s a beautiful one at that.
Facing off with monsters in a medieval inspired landscape sounds familiar to anyone who has recently played Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night or Ender Lilies on Switch. It’s not unfamiliar to the metroidvania genre but has it’s on charm in terms of storyline and characters. Not to mention it’s haunting sound and character design.
10. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked
This intense RPG takes place in a demon invaded Tokyo which has been abandoned by its government. It’s a fast, tense, action-packed tale where every decision you make impacts the outcome. The art style is absolutely beautiful, and some terrifying demons are introduced during a thoroughly detailed turn-based combat system.
This game is worth picking up without a question asked, with the retail price of a physical copy only increasing as time goes by. For anyone seeking justice against an abandoned civilization this title really has it all. Plus, what’s not to love about adopting your own army of hell-bent destructors in order to fight back against what abandoned you in the first place.