The end of the 3DS and Wii U era has arrived, with Nintendo announcing their plans to shut down the consoles’ eShops in March 2023. Before games like Pokemon Sun and Moon end up going for $100 a piece on eBay, here are some games you should grab.
Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS)
Based off of the 1991 Game Boy title, Kid Icarus: Of Monsters and Myths, Kid Icarus: Uprising is a shooter developed by Super Smash Bros. creator, Masahiro Sakurai. The game has unique controls and makes use of the 3DS’s touch screen to aim and shoot. It’s also accompanied by a stellar story based off Greek mythology and features some gut-busting dialogue. So far, the 3DS is the only platform through which the game can be played, so definitely pick this up while you can.
Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U)
An open-world RPG, Xenoblade Chronicles X is a stand-alone game in the Xeno series while also consisting of elements similar to its predecessors. It takes place on the fictional planet of Mira after Earth gets destroyed due to an alien war. While Xenoblade Chronicles has been ported to the Switch, Xenoblade Chronicles X remains the only game from the series that’s missing from the hybrid console. Free data packs are also available for the game on the Wii U’s eShop, so make sure you don’t miss out on those either.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS)
Spiritual successor to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, A Link Between Worlds takes place between the kingdom of Hyrule and its parallel world, Lorule. It plays like any other top-down Zelda game but with a few refreshing elements of its own. As one of two only original Zelda games on the 3DS (the other being Triforce Heroes which is multiplayer for the most part), A Link Between Worlds is a must have on the 3DS.
Tomodachi Life (3DS)
If you’re looking for a chill social simulation game on the 3DS that’s not Animal Crossing, Tomodachi Life might be what you’re looking for. Instead of cute animal creatures that speak in gibberish, you have your own Miis talking amongst each other through a text-to-speech voice. It’s an uncanny experience with plenty of wackiness, such as making your Miis put on a concert, having them face each other in rap battles, and drawing mustaches on them while they sleep.
Nintendo Land (Wii U)
Nintendo Land is a party game that includes 12 different mini-games based off (you guessed it) Nintendo’s IPs, such as Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda. The game was meant to be what Wii Sports was to the Wii, with mini-games demonstrating the use of the gamepad to players, as well as utilizing the Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk. The game was removed from the Wii U’s eShop in 2013, but later resurfaced in 2016, so best get this one before it disappears again for good.
Dragon Quest VIII (3DS)
While also available on PS2, Dragon Quest VIII on the 3DS is the definitive way to play the game. The 3DS version includes several significant quality-of-life updates and features extra content. Aside from that, it’s a downright good game and is a must-play for JRPG fans, especially Dragon Quest fans. As the first entry in the Dragon Quest to have 3D visuals, it includes a localization that’s nothing short of brilliant, voice acting, and a vast world map, making it a must have on the go.
Shin Megami Tensei IV (3DS)
Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Shin Megami Tensei IV (and its sequel, Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse) is a title from the series that’s exclusive to the 3DS. A fan favorite in the Megami Tensei series, Shin Megami Tensei IV is also considered a good entry point for newcomers while presenting enough of a challenge to seasoned players, making it another essential JRPG to have on the 3DS.
Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr’s Journey (3DS)
A remake of the original game on the Nintendo DS, Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr’s Journey is the final installment in the Mario and Luigi series. The remake includes updated graphics, remastered music, quality-of-life improvements, and a new side story featuring Bowser Jr. It’s also the last Mario game published for the 3DS, so make sure you don’t miss out on this one.
Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (Wii U)
Let’s face it, we’re not going to get Windwaker or Twilight Princess HD on the Switch anytime soon. Out of the two though, while both are great games, The Wind Waker HD does get a much better makeover in terms of its graphics. Its adorable art style, expansive world, and memorable storytelling make it a Zelda classic.
Fire Emblem Fates (3DS)
Fire Emblem Fates is a special entry in the Fire Emblem series, in the sense that it’s split into three different versions, namely Birthright, Conquest, and Revelation, each one following a different storyline with the same characters. Out of these three however, Revelation was the only one to not receive a physical release, and it's only available as DLC through the 3DS eShop. Unless you’re one of the lucky few that got the special edition cartridge with all three campaigns, definitely pick this one up before it’s gone for good.
Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology (3DS)
An expanded remake of Radiant Historia for the Nintendo DS, Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology is a turn-based JRPG from Atlus. The game focuses on travelling between multiple timelines with your actions affecting the final outcome of the story. The remake includes additional content, voice acting, and a new ending. Radiant Historia is a standalone game and has only made its way onto the 3DS, so this one’s bound to be a rare find in the future for sure.
Literally any Game on the Virtual Console
Sadly, with both the 3DS and Wii U eShops shutting down, it’ll mean the end of Virtual Console as well. Sure, Nintendo Switch Online exists, but if you don’t want your games tied to a subscription service (as it should be), definitely take a look at what games the Virtual Console has to offer. On the 3DS Virtual Console, you’ll find classics such as Pokemon Red and Blue for the Game Boy and rare finds such as Dragon Crystal for the Game Gear. As for the Wii U, you’ll find games from a number of consoles, all the way up to the Nintendo DS.