While Nintendo’s fortunes were a hot topic in 2013, one thing was unquestionable: the Nintendo 3DS conquered everything else on the market. Nintendo’s latest handheld was a massive success worldwide, and the system boasted a number of new titles that helped propel those sales. New iterations of many of Nintendo’s greatest franchises were released in 2013, and it made this category one of the most difficult to judge. Without further ado, here are Nintendojo’s awards for the best 3DS games of 2013!
BEST 3DS GAME
Fire Emblem Awakening
Fire Emblem sure has come a long way in the last decade. The franchise has been a staple in Japan since the days of the Famicom, but hadn’t had a single title released in the west until 2002. Just eleven years later, Fire Emblem Awakening smashed critical and sales expectations, resulting in the strongest sales the franchise has ever seen in the US. Several critics even called it the best 3DS title after Super Mario 3D Land. With a darker narrative than previous titles in the franchise and new gameplay additions like Casual mode, which made it easier for new fans to experience the game, Fire Emblem Awakening won the hearts of the Nintendojo staff as this year’s Best 3DS Game of 2013. In a year that saw new releases in the Pokémon and Zelda franchises, it was an impressive feat to say the least.
- Read the Nintendojo review.
BEST 3DS GAME RUNNERS-UP
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
A new Zelda game is always cause for celebration, and Link’s latest adventure is no exception. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds piqued the curiosity of many fans the second it was announced. After all, a spiritual sequel to A Link to the Past had lofty expectations to live up to. Many Zelda fans still consider the Super Nintendo classic to be the best game in the series. Luckily, the game not only lived up to those expectations, it easily surpassed them. New gameplay additions like the ability to travel along walls as a painting, and taking on dungeons in the order you choose ensured that the title felt like a true sequel, and never just a retread.
- Read the Nintendojo review.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
There are few video game franchises as addictive as Animal Crossing, and Animal Crossing: New Leaf gave fans a whole new batch of reasons to stay glued to their 3DS. This time around, players found themselves in charge of their town, taking over as the mayor, and dictating which projects the town would pursue. Don’t like the number of bridges in town? Add a couple more. Like playing later at night? You can extend the curfew. Nintendo also extended the game’s replayability with Nintendo Zone exclusive downloadable furniture, and a Wii U app that allows players to share photos on Miiverse. While some had felt the Animal Crossing formula was in danger of growing stale, New Leaf gave the franchise new life.
Pokémon X and Y
“Fad.” That’s what headlines once said about the popularity of Pokémon back in the early 2000s. While the series has managed to consistently disprove that idea, Pokémon X and Y may have just made that idea look downright ludicrous. The titles were a critical and financial behemoth in 2013, pushing sales of the Nintendo 3DS and 2DS far beyond expectations. Pokémon X and Y were the first fully 3D Pokémon titles in the main franchise, and fans lined up to experience them. But the games also added a slew of other new features like customizable character appearances, Wonder Trade, a new type classification, and so much more. While the twin titles may not have earned our top spot for 3DS this year, they definitely more than earned their spot as an honorable mention on our list.
WHAT’S YOUR TAKE?
Do you agree with our choices? Vote for which game you think should be number one, or choose “Other” and tell us in the comments below!