The 10 Best Nintendo 3DS Games

Nintendo's 3DS line-up is finally starting to show some teeth, as Zelda 3D and Dead or Alive sky-rocket to the front of our countdown. Let's count down to Number 1.

The Background

Now that the Nintendo 3DS is finally out of its launch window stage, we're beginning to see more quality games from the Big N's first-party properties. Even though the 3DS library is relatively small right now, extra features like Street Pass, the Virtual Console lineup of Game Boy games, and augmented reality (AR) content still put the 3D-capable handheld in its own class. Let's take a look at the games.

10. Pilotwings Resort

Pilotwings is a franchise that has always accompanied the release of a new Nintendo system. With the 3DS, the traditions continues with Pilotwings Resort, which take place against the backdrop of Wii Sports Resort's Wuhu Island. While the settings are pretty familiar, the gameplay takes some pretty sharp turns.

9. Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D

Beating rival soccer franchise FIFA to the 3DS party, Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D is every bit the full football experience that fans should expect. With 3D effects that are a notch above most other titles on the Nintendo 3DS right now, the player animations and field effects look extremely convincing, even on the small screen. Also, the sound effects and color commentary are impressive, with engaging play-by-play callouts.

Check out the Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D Review.

8. Ridge Racer 3D

Although Ridge Racer is the best racing game on the 3DS by nature of being the first out on the track, the impressive visuals can’t be ignored. Boasting a smooth frame-rate and small touches like confetti plastering itself in the foreground, Ridge Racer 3D looks like one of the undisputed pack leaders in the 3DS library so far. While the large number of tracks is something to be expected, new control tweaks like drifting can help tackle the toughest corners in tight races, something that'll come in handy during the tour mode.

Check out the Ridge Racer 3D Review.

7. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D

As a remake of Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, the first 3D title in the Tom Clancy video game franchise effectively transfers the stealth mechanics into a portable format, as well as providing a solid template for stealth games on the Nintendo 3DS. Aside from the reshuffled controls that successfully utilize the touchscreen in conjunction with the new analog controls, the visuals also are a marked success. Having a field of depth via the 3D technology adds a new perspective to the gameplay -- and for an older title, that's both a marked improvement and great achievement for Ubisoft's portable ambitions.

Check out the Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D Review.

Check out a Splinter Cell 3D video.

6. LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars

Since the Star Wars prequels released in theaters, one of the lone bright spots in the franchise have been the LEGO Star Wars games. And with the 3DS port of the game, there's plenty of everything: weapons, puzzles, collectibles, mini-games, characters, and 3D visuals. By far, the coolest part of the 3D experience here was seeing the opening crawl seem to jump out of the screen at us.

Check out the LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars Review.

Check out some high-quality Lego Star Wars footage.

5. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars

One of the more innovative titles in the 3DS lineup, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars has the benefit of being directed by X-Com creator Julian Gollop. Taking the action into an overhead perspective, you command a squad of six Ghosts of different classes -- commando, medic, heavy gunner, sniper, engineer, and recon -- through various combat missions in a wide range of tactical situations. Getting the mission is done is essential to keeping your team alive, as your squad members fill very specific roles in eliminating enemies.

Check out Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars Review.

Check out a trailer for the Splinter Cell.

4. Nintendogs + Cats

Nothing in the 3DS lineup has been more adorable than Nintendogs + Cats. With seven brand new breeds to play with -- French Bulldog, Cocker Spainel, Great Dane, Maltese, Basset Hound, Bull Terrier and Pomerainian -- there's a bunch of tricks you can teach each pet, along with the 3DS features that you can use to play with them. Personally, we get a kick out of putting silly hats on our Nintendogs with the help of the augmented reality (AR) cards, as well as interacting with the digital pooches via the 3DS camera technology.

Check out the Nintendogs + Cats Review.

3. Dead or Alive Dimensions

Dead or Alive has been built on the backs of busty brawling beauties, but this new 3DS brawler can't be beat. Interestingly enough, Dead or Alive Dimensions packs a whopping 26 brawlers in its roster, the most of any DOA game yet. It's a graphical beauty, too, especially with the 3D effects turned off -- doing so make the action zip by at a pretty fast clip.

Check out the Dead or Alive Dimensions review, as well as some videos.

2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

What else can we say about The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time? It's still one of the most complete, engaging, and impressive Nintendo games to date, and with the 25th anniversary of the franchise having gone by, we still have nothing but good memories about it. Nintendo's 3D update is a good, faithful, and expertly crafted remake of arguably the greatest video game in history.

Check out the review for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D.

1. Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition

As the most versatile, fully featured, and graphically impressive game of the 3DS lineup, Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition is pound-for-pound the best of the 3DS games right now. More than anything, Capcom's 3D fighter shows off the graphical power of the 3DS incredibly well. All the elements of the heads-up display (life bars, the Super Meter, and the timer) really seem to hover above the action, while the different levels benefit from the added depth of the 3D.

Check out the Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition Review.

Honorable Mentions

Steel Diver

Using the “3D” part of the 3DS engine literally, this submarine combat game has a “Periscope” mode, where you can swivel in place, taking out enemy ships as you spot them in your targeting view.

Bust-a-Move Universe

Always the colorful series, Bust-a-Move Universe also has its own subtle 3D effects. Traveling with main characters Bub and Bob, the theme of this new title sees them going from planet to planet in a large handful of progressively difficult levels.