The Last Days of the 3DS

    In March 2023, the 3DS and Wii U eShop will close for good. After this, you’ll still be able to download titles that you’ve already bought, but you won’t be able to purchase new games. Many great games that are exclusive to the 3DS and Wii U eShop will be gone for good. Titles like the RPG Crimson Shroud, the best version of Shantae and the Pirates Curse, and the great The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds will no longer be able to be purchased digitally. As a result, even for the games that you’ll still be able to buy physically, their price is sure to shoot up. This effectively creates a limited number of units on the market, which means 3DS titles will climb to prices unimaginable.

    For me, the 3DS eShop is sentimentally valuable. I used it all the time during the days of the Wii U, especially since I didn’t even have a Wii U for most of the generation. I feel it has some great titles that have been consistently overlooked. The Pokemon and Zelda titles alone on the system make it so precious for Nintendo fans. It’s the only machine where you can download both the original Pokemon games and the N64 Zelda titles, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. This is one of the few consoles you can legally download and play these titles. The newest Nintendo hardware, the Nintendo Switch, does not have any of these titles.


    The Nintendo 3DS is a great little machine. There are so many versions of the system and all of them have a solid build, even the 2DS. I still use my original 3DS from 2011 and I’ve never had a problem with it. The top screen is bright and the 3D can be impressive with most games. The ‘New’ 3DS and ‘New’ 3DS XL have even better screens. Two of the best 3D effects I’ve seen are with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, and Sonic (Sega 3D Classics). The bottom screen is also bright and looks good. The 3DS is powerful (I don’t think a game needs 4K graphics to look good) and is basically like having a handheld Gamecube.

    New 3DS Eshop Article

    Games are art in my opinion (this could be a different discussion), and stylized games add to the escapism that video games are meant to provide. Castlevania: Mirror of Fate is an example of excellent, artistic style in terms of graphics on the 3DS. The system also has great sound quality with a universal headphone port. The buttons are also responsive on every model that I’ve played, and I’d say my original 3DS button quality is significantly superior to the buttons on the basic Wii U I had. Overall, I think the hardware of the 3DS is capable, durable, and versatile.

    Indie Games

    When the Eshop closes, many 3DS indie games will be gone. Most of these games you can’t pick up physically, so once they are gone, you won’t be able to play them on the 3DS (unless you’ve got a hacked system). The dual screens of the 3DS mean that some unique experiences are on the platform, and they can’t be easily re-created on other systems. The 3DS Eshop is home to many cheap titles, and even the full digital versions of physical titles are usually quite a bit cheaper than their Switch counterparts. Indie games like Xeodrifter, Fairune, and Cave Story are all budget titles on 3DS, yet offer great, immersive story-driven experiences.

    Xeodrifter 3DS

    While a lot of titles have been removed from the Eshop since the last few full games released for it in 2019/2020, there’s still lots of great fun to be had on the 3DS. Even though the Eshop closes in March, one developer, Jerrel Dulay, is trying to publish some digital titles just before it closes. Jerrel Dulay is the developer of the Silver Falls games, a horror series that has had releases on the 3DS. One of the new games takes inspiration from Game Boy titles and it looks really good. However, Jerrel had COVID recently, and he said this has delayed the games. Let’s hope that they can make it to the platform in time.

    Virtual Console

    The Virtual Console on the 3DS, like on the Wii U, and Wii before it, is home to some excellent SNES and NES games. However, on the 3DS, there are also Game Boy and Game Boy Colour games. At the time of writing, the 3DS Virtual Console is the only place where you can officially play Game Boy and Game Boy Colour games (other than original hardware and software). Titles include the great Super Mario Land games, the first two generations of Pokemon games, and the Zelda: Oracle of Ages / Oracle of Seasons games.

    Super mario Land 2 3DS

    There are also some titles specifically adapted to take advantage of the 3D capability of the 3DS. The Sega 3D Classics range is a group of Sega arcade and Genesis/Megadrive games that use the 3D and the effect is really well done. Sonic 1 & 2 are there, as well as the great Shinobi 3: Return of the Ninja Master. There’s also Nintendo’s line of 3D Classics, which include Kid Icarus and Kirby. 

    Only 3 Months Left!

    There are less than three months to pick up some of these titles on the Eshop, so get them while you can as you might regret it afterward. The 3DS has a diverse range of Nintendo, Sega, Square Enix, Capcom, and Konami titles. The fact that you can play so many Zelda and Pokemon titles make it one of my favorite systems. It’s been over ten years since the system was released and it’s sad to see it finally on its way out, but there might still be time to pick up and play one or two great titles.

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