The 3DS and Wii U have hosted many brilliant titles in their lifetime. They bought us Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Super Smash Bros, and hours of competitive fun. But as the countdown begins for their eShop to shut down, gamers are frantically revisiting whatever 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 will close at the end of March 2023, and until then you can buy and download games from these digital stores. However, you only have until August 29, 2022 to redeem your eShop cards.
So with that in mind, what should you make sure you don’t miss once the 3DS and Wii U eShop retire? We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 players to make sure grieving players don’t walk away empty-handed.
1. Pokémon Crystal
Despite launching the physical version of this game on Game Boy, the ridiculous markup of retro Pokemon titles is enough to put off any hardcore fan. So when Pokemon Crystal was announced to be released digitally on 3DS, trainers got to revisit arguably one of the best pokemon titles to this date.
Of course, recent Pokemon releases are fantastic – with the likes of Pokemon Legends: Arceus showing a new side to the mechanics of the series that no 90s kid would have expected to see. But for those days when you miss random encounters and linear storylines, Pokemon Crystal on Nintendo 3DS is still here for you.
Rhythm games that focus on tempo-based combat are easily one of the most satisfying approaches to battering your enemies. No matter your musical talent, they manage to cater for all.
Harmoknight is a rhythm-based platformer where the player uses two buttons on auto-scrolling maps. Sounds pretty easy, right? But with bold colors and a surprisingly in-depth story, Harmoknight is more than meets the eye. Plus, it’s created by Pokemon developer, Game Freak!
Of course, the Nintendo Switch comes with a backlog of rhythm games. But having this little treasure of pocket tempo ready to go on your 3DS when you need it, makes it something to grab before it’s too late.
3. Friday Monster Attack! A Tokyo Tale
Collecting a series of cards adorned with colorful creatures is not a new concept for players at this point. From casting spells and competing with friends (even if it sounds a bit like a glorified game of rock paper scissors) to facing towering terrors every Friday, Attack of the Friday Monsters is a tale magnificent.
Even though when first released this game was referred to as a “Tokyo Life sim”, there are elements of a solid coming of age story as you travel the map meeting locals and interacting with a new house. For anyone looking to disappear into the Tokyo countryside for a while without feeling the threats of overwhelming enemies, then Attack of the Friday Monsters won’t disappoint.
4. Affordable Space Adventures
Platform: Wii U
Sometimes you don’t need to cash in to embark on epic projects. Affordable Space Adventures is exactly what it says on the tin. This stealth adventure game uses the Wii U gamepad to steer your spaceship through a wide range of unexpected environments.
This game also supports up to three teammates so you and your friends can explore together. This provides wholesome but dangerous fun while keeping the price on the cheaper side of things. Even after the Wii U was rated Nintendo’s worst console release, titles like this remind you why it was fun while it lasted.
5. Duck hunting
Platform: Wii U
Much like Pokemon Crystal, Duck Hunt is one of Nintendo’s “classic” titles that has been given a new lease of life. The concept is still as simple as you can remember on NES, but it creates a fun and fast-paced arcade nostalgia. It’s a shooter in its simplest, most memorable form for all the right reasons. Plus, the Wii U supports two players – ensuring no duck is safe from a watchful eye.
It’s hard to find an NES these days. Picking up this title while it’s still available on Wii U, especially with no Switch port announcement, is worth every penny.
Easily one of the most adorable titles ever released on the 3DS, Pullblox blends platforming and puzzle elements into its simple yet enjoyable gameplay. There are over 200 puzzles to solve and friends to help, which can be increased by creating your own levels in the Pullblox studio. It’s a stress-free experience for anyone taking it.
Its unique character design and cheerful soundtrack make it one of those titles you’ll definitely find hard to put down. It works so well on the 3DS because you can literally pick it up a bit, solve some puzzles, and save some kids before putting it away again. It’s too cute to say goodbye.
7. 3D Cave Story
Uncovering the history of a now apocalyptic land sets the stage for a HUGE number of games these days. It’s a concept that hundreds of developers are embracing and using in every possible direction, but it’s very hard to get tired of it. No matter how many times you start a game and a twisted tale of conflict is set in stone – you keep coming back to it. Cave Story 3D on 3DS is much the same.
Using the console’s 3D capability, Cave Story really comes to life. While Metroidvania games take over much of the Nintendo Switch eShop, this title puts things in their place and balances challenge with its story to create highly engaging gameplay. Cave Story showcases what the 3DS was known for while presenting a very wholesome game.
It is also available on Nintendo Switch as Cave Story+.
If you are looking for competitive entertainment then Renegade is the best game to choose. Even with fighting games embracing photorealistic graphics these days, sometimes all you need is a side-scrolling, pixel-sized smasher to satisfy your fighting cravings. It’s as easy as fighting games can get. Defeat some punks, snack on a burger you can find conveniently on the side of the street, and head back to the junkyard.
What Renegade lacks in complexity, it makes up for in charm – adopting an arcade style for graphics and controls. It’s simple and fun and may pass a while before you realize it.
AeternoBlade feels like Castlevania got an anime reboot before Castlevania got an anime reboot. After its initial release in Japan, it has become a sought after title for all metroidvania fanatics. It’s a tough game, but it’s beautiful at it.
Battling monsters in a medieval-inspired landscape sounds familiar to anyone who’s recently played Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night or Ender Lilies on Switch. It’s no stranger to the metroidvania genre but it has charm in terms of storyline and characters. Not to mention the haunting sound and character design.
10. Shin Megami Tensei: Overclocked Devil Survivor
This intense RPG is set in a demon invaded Tokyo that has been abandoned by its government. It’s a fast-paced, tense, action-packed tale where every decision you make impacts the outcome. The art style is absolutely stunning and terrifying demons are introduced during a highly detailed turn-based combat system.
This game is worth picking up without question, with the retail price of a physical copy only going up over time. For anyone seeking justice against an abandoned civilization, this title really has it all. Plus, why not love adopting your own army of relentless destroyers to fight against what left you in the first place.