This March marked the fifth anniversary of 3DS’s release, and what a ride it’s been thus far. While the handheld got off to a rocky start, a dramatic price cut helped reverse its course, and it quickly became home to some of the finest titles to ever grace a Nintendo systems. With such a robust library of titles to play, it’s certainly tough for anyone to pick a favorite, so the staff decided to settle it the scientific way– by looking at their Activity Logs to see which games they’ve played the most. So, which 3DS games have held the staff’s attention the longest? Read on to find out!
- Fire Emblem Awakening – 93 hours
- Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones – 43 hours
- Pokémon Y – 40 hours
- Animal Crossing: New Leaf – 35 hours
- ?? – 30 hours
I wasn’t really shocked to discover that the game that I have put the most time into is Fire Emblem Awakening. It’s perfect for both long sessions and a quick few minutes on the tube (that’s the London Underground for those outside the UK!). Strategy games and RPGs are probably my favorite game genres, and I just can’t play enough of them at the moment– have I mentioned just how excited I am about the UK release of Fire Emblem Fates this week?
I missed out on the second Fire Emblem game on the Game Boy Advance, so decided to make up for lost time when I got Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones as part of the 3DS Ambassador program. While not quite as good, in my opinion, as the latest games due to the new features added, it’s well worth playing the GBA games in the series if you haven’t before– graphics aren’t really a major aspect of the series (and the 2D design in them is great anyway) and the actual gameplay is incredibly similar. Highly recommended.
For me, the fact that Pokémon Y is my third most played game just shows how much it did to reinvigorate my interest in the series. The change to 3D was huge (and long overdue!) and I can’t wait to see how Pokémon Sun and Moon build on this. The overall story needs improving and the moral messages downplaying for sure, but I’m confident that the next games in the series will address these– if Nintendo can do that then I am sure that I’ll have a new number 3 (at least) on my system!
(Oh, and I have no idea what the mysterious “??” is that I have played for so long. It has a mysterious black and white image and I haven’t played it for four years. Spooky…)
When I checked my records on both of my 3DS systems, I was shocked to discover my records for Smash 3DS and Fire Emblem Awakening: over 400 and 300 hours, respectively! I know I spent a huge chunk of time playing them (I’ve played through Awakening at least five time!), but not that much! With how Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Pokemon X, and Kid Icarus: Uprisingscored over a hundred hours as well, maybe I should seek help…
Since its release, the 3DS has been home to much of my favorite handheld memories, including the countless encounters via StreetPass, the endless town building of New Leaf, discovering how Sakurai and co. gleefully reforged the world of Kid Icarus, and my ongoing obsession with Smash Run. It’s hard to select a specific memory as my favorite, but if forced to choose, it was probably when I played Smash 3DS after midnight release on the hill outside my college dorm. Seeing the recreation of Magicant was a thing of beauty.
With all the rumors swirling around about Nintendo’s upcoming consoles, I grow to recognize I don’t want to 3DS to go away! There’s still so many StreetPass costumes and puzzles to unlock, and I still regularly play many titles on the system. It really has me wondering how Nintendo could surpass their quality output on the 3DS, as I’ve loved so many titles on the system! Time will tell, I suppose, but in the meantime, I’ll just keep playing.
I don’t have anything on my list nearly as impressive as Anthony, but I was still a bit surprised by my Top 3. I knew Animal Crossing: New Leaf was going to take the top spot, but I was still unprepared to see just under 168 hours! Honestly, the only game I can ever recall playing for that amount of time was my initial playthrough of Pokemon Red (which ended up deleted shortly after I hit 200 hours). That number really does blow my mind, because New Leaf was the first game in the Animal Crossing franchise that I had played since GameCube (and I know for a fact I didn’t come close to 168 hours on that). It also made me a little sad though, because it’s been more than a year now since I’ve visited that town. Not to mention the fact that I didn’t even come close to that number with Happy Home Designer (which I do intend to get back to).
Speaking of sad things, Majora’s Mask 3D took my number 2 spot, but… I never finished it. I made my way to the end boss, but after multiple unsuccessful attempts, I gave up. To this day, I’ve never completed the game on any system I’ve played it, which is a shame, because it really is fantastic. Since I plan on checking out Ocarina of Time 3D soon, that might be the perfect excuse to finish the sequel up. It’s long past time I saved Termina; it seems like I’ve been turning the clock back for 16 years now!
The rest of my list isn’t nearly as impressive as the top spot. Unsurprisingly, the Pokemon franchise takes up quite a bit of the list, with X, Black 2, Omega Ruby and Red all around the same 30-38 hour ballpark. While my love of the franchise has not diminished, my ability to sink time into the Pokédex has. It’s just too hard to catch them all, these days!
I knew I spent a lot of time with Animal Crossing: New Leaf, but not to the amount of 327 hours! I used to play every day, sometimes to the exclusion of everything else. I caught every fish, bred every flower, and ran out of space for all my seasonal furniture. I did as much as I could before I just started getting bored. There were few new missions to accomplish and objectives to achieve. In fact, according to the Activity Log, I haven’t played the game since November 20th of 2014! I guess I just burned out, never to return. I used to play with my mom all the time, but she stopped playing too, in favor of smartphone games. She got bored of Happy Home Designer in about a day or two, so who knows if she’ll ever come back. Also, I played the game 500 times on the nose!
Next on the list is Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, where I clocked in at 101 hours. That’s insane for a game of this relatively small size! I’m a completionist wherever possible, so I defeated every enemy without taking damage and got the coveted reward for rescuing all of the island’s inhabitants from their stone graveyards. Did I mention I did this all with the crappiest armor the game gives you? I didn’t change my armor until the final boss, which could be why it took me so long to get to the end of the game.
I must have a love/hate relationship with Paper Mario: Sticker Star because it comes in at number 4 with nearly 69 hours of gameplay! I also completed almost everything in this title, even though I couldn’t stand the direction the game went. Getting every sticker in my possession took forever. I hope the new Paper Mario for Wii U rectifies this lack of character development.
I know it’s way down at 7th on the list, but Harmoknight surprised me in that it took me 48 hours to complete. I got the high score (Great status) on every level everything except the final hidden level and final boss on fast tempo, where I can get to the end and then always mess up on the final blow.
Like a lot of the other staffers, I too have sunk an exorbitant amount of time into Animal Crossing: New Leaf— 438 hours, to be exact, making it far and away the most played title on my 3DS. It’s safe to say it’s also one of my favorite games for the handheld. While I don’t play it nearly as often as I once did (I only pop in to visit my town about once a week and clear out any stray flowers), I’ll never forget how entranced I was by it when it first released. After the disappointment of City Folk, giving players the agency to customize their towns with public works projects and ordinances was exactly what the series needed to reinvigorate it, and I spent countless hours manicuring my little village with lampposts, benches, and all kinds of shrubs. It helped that the game doled out new features on a daily basis, so every day there was something new to discover. Until New Leaf came along, I didn’t think there was any way the series could top the GameCube installment, but Nintendo proved that it still had some creative ideas for the franchise.
Coming in at number 2 is, perhaps unsurprisingly, Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, which I’ve played for 247 hours (and counting). Truth be told, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the original Sapphire version when it released back on Game Boy Advance; I remember disliking so many of the new monster designs when they were first unveiled, and the whole game felt like a regression from Pokémon Gold and Silver because it excised the day/night system that those titles introduced and only featured one region to explore. But Game Freak did a wonderful job reimagining it for 3DS, and it has become one of my favorite entries in the series. In fact, I still play it regularly, either challenging the Battle Maison or attempting to breed some of my favorite Pokémon, so I may very well crack the 300-hour mark before Sun and Moon come out– and there’s no telling how much of my time those versions will consume once they’ve hit the market. If there’s a cure for Pokémon fever, I certainly haven’t found it!
My third most played 3DS title is Mario Kart 7 at 83 hours. While it may not have impressed me quite as much as Mario Kart DS did (which is still perhaps my favorite entry in the series), the game was a regular presence in my 3DS after its release, thanks in large part to some of the best course design in any Mario Kart game– 7’s iteration of Rainbow Road is as close to perfect as a Mario Kart track has come. There hasn’t been much incentive to return to the game since 8 launched on Wii U, but I still pop it into my 3DS every now and then, and it’s still just as fun.
Rounding out my personal top 5 are Fire Emblem Awakening at 71 hours and Pokémon X at 59 hours, with an honorable mention to Tomodachi Life, which consumed 56 hours of my life (and constitutes most of the photos I’ve uploaded to Facebook). It’s hard to believe it’s already been over five years since 3DS first launched, but looking back at my Activity Log just reaffirms how much I’ve enjoyed playing the handheld, and I wish it would stick around for a little while longer.
What are your most played 3DS games? Tell us below in the comments!