We already covered some of the best games for the 3DS this year, including Yo-Kai Watch and Code Name S.T.E.A.M. However, there’s always room for improvement, and 2016 looks pretty good when it comes to new releases for Nintendo’s handheld.
On that note, make sure to put these games on your must play list.
Hyrule Warriors Legends
As the original 2014 release proved on the Nintendo Wii U, the Legend of Zelda universe fit perfectly into the Samurai Warriors mold, as you control a single character to battle dozens of enemies while completing various missions. Hyrule Warriors Legends continues to follow the same blueprint, as you guide Link and countless other characters across the field of battle, defeating anyone that stands in your way with special abilities. Legends should excel even further with the addition of many new characters, including female Link.
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
The Mario & Luigi games have done a superb job blurring the line between action/adventure and role-playing, taking place everywhere from Luigi’s dreams to Bowser’s stomach. For Paper Jam, the series takes a unique twist, delving into the world of Paper Mario to create an all-new universe to explore and plunder through. With the developers at Alpha Dream working on the game, you can bet this adventure won’t be, ahem, paper-thin.
Final Fantasy Explorers
While we wait patiently for Final Fantasy XV and the Final Fantasy VII Remake to arrive sometime over the year, we have another game to keep us busy – a fun little spin-off tailor made for the Nintendo 3DS. In the game, you’ll take on a variety of monsters while hunting down crystals in a sprawling universe, with a number of characters at the ready. Fans of the series won’t want to miss this adventure, as it’ll have a lot to offer. Even without Cloud Strife.
Project X Zone 2
The original Project X Zone was a brilliant crossover project, bringing together the universes of Sega, Bandai Namco and Capcom. However, the sequel, which is just a couple of months away, promises to be even bigger, with more characters (including some from Nintendo franchises like Xenoblade Chronicles and Fire Emblem) and a bigger story that ties everything together. The battles will be much bigger and more exciting this time around, so gather your battle party!
Fire Emblem Fates
The ambition behind the upcoming Fire Emblem games (yes, there are two) is unparalleled, as the team at Intelligent Systems has been hard at work on creating a vast, explorable universe with huge battle potential and beautiful visuals. Both versions of the game offer lots of depth, even more so than the critically acclaimed Fire Emblem Awakening. For good measure, the title will have a solid mixture of old and newer characters alike, which should please fans of all ages. Bring on the Emblem!
Bravely Second: End Layer
The huge success of the first Bravely Default game pretty much guaranteed we would get a sequel, and Bravely Second looks to easily fill the void. With a story that takes place a few years after the original game, End Layer promises to bring back a number of familiar faces, along with a new storyline and hours worth of combat scenarios that will put your best tactical skills to the test. Look for more details on this highly anticipated sequel within the next few months.
Metroid Prime: Federation Force
Last but not least, while some feelings behind this forthcoming spin-off in the Metroid series appear to be mixed, there’s no question it’ll bring plenty of fun to those looking for a fast-paced shooter. Federation Force looks to pack a lot of challenges for both single player action and local multiplayer, as well as a unique soccer game that will enable you to literally “shoot and score,” as it were. Sure, the visuals may be a little cartoony than previous games in the series, but fans should still enjoy the run-and-gun antics Federation Force will provide.