The Best 3DS eShop Games of 2013

Retail games might have dominated 3DS, but they weren’t its only notable releases. Here are the handheld’s best eShop games of 2013.

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 01/09/2014 09:00 2 Comments     ShareThis

The 3DS eShop had quite a year in 2013, playing host to some of the best titles from both AAA and indie developers alike. With 3D remakes of classic Sega games and quirky titles like Bugs vs. Tanks, the sheer amount of creativity and fun brought to the eShop was rivaled only by Apple’s App Store, which is really saying something. The competition was fierce, but which game ultimately took the crown? Read on!


SteamWorld Dig

Part Metroid, part DigDug, SteamWorld is an odd pairing of genres that shouldn’t work, yet oddly does. The player controls Rusty as he digs down into the depths of a seemingly endless labyrinthine pit, using a pickax to scrounge for precious ore and slaying the occasional beast.  While not particularly innovative, SteamWorld still captivates for the duration of its four to five hours of playtime. There’s something addictive about piling up a mountain of treasure and using it to upgrade Rusty and his equipment that never gets old. Our hats off to you, Image & Form– your game easily deserves the crown.


Attack of the Friday Monsters!

Part of the second Guild series from developer Level-5, Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale is a wonderful snippet of rural life in Japan circa the 1970s. While not especially long or complex, Friday Monsters is more about establishing a sense of place and examining the nostalgia of simpler days in Japan. Main character Sota is the new kid in town, making friends and engaging in simple but fun card battles. It’s not an epic blockbuster, but Friday Monsters does an incredible job of transporting players to an era of Japan’s history not often seen in the West, while also touching on universal themes of childhood and growing up.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies

Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies artwork masthead

Talk about rising from the ashes. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies is a triumphant return for the series, enhancing and maintaining everything that players have come to love about Capcom’s outlandish legal dramadies. An engrossing story and gameplay are accompanied by an all new veneer of three-dimensional characters and environments. This visual transition is perhaps the most apparent, but Capcom pulled it off with aplomb, as it’s a perfect evolution of the previous games’ sprites. The Ace Attorney games are also known for their zany characters and quirky narratives, and Dual Destinies doesn’t disappoint in that regard, either. Expect to catch yourself grinning from ear to ear quite a bit while playing through this excellent game.


Mighty Switch Force 2

Patricia Wagon’s switch (a pun!) from cop to fire woman was a bit of a risk, but developer WayForward did a marvelous job of evolving the signature gameplay of the first game for Mighty Switch Force 2. Replacing her energy pistol with a powerful fire hose was a stroke of genius, allowing the team to incorporate a different variety of light physics-based puzzles to solve. The controls are precise, the music is catchy, and it looks darn good, too.

Gunman Clive

$1.99 is the paltry sum required to play Gunman Clive, an excellent 2D shooter/platformer in the vein of titles like Capcom’s Mega Man. Clive is a fast and fun game that is as tough as the 8-bit classics it harkens back to. Gameplay is tight and the visuals are really something to soak in– the game looks like it was rendered on old parchment, which compliments the old west backdrop perfectly. It’s short, but when there’s no filler to speak of, that’s not always a bad thing.


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!

[poll id=”175″]

2 Responses to “The Best 3DS eShop Games of 2013”

  • 849 points
    ejamer says...

    SteamWorld Dig really was a fantastic game. Tight platforming, catering just a touch to OCD people like me who want to collect everything, but with great speedrun potential at the same time. The game was also just long enough to be fully engrossing without overstaying its welcome – a tough balance for many eShop games. Highly deserving of the recognition.

    It’s interesting to see how often Attack of the Friday Monsters appears on these “best of” lists though – a lot of people seem to enjoy that title, making me more interested in playing it. Definitely my next eShop purchase.

  • 12 points
    Sheldon says...

    Steamworld Dig is definitely one of the betters games this year. I found myself addicted to it and playing for hours. Seeing Friday Monsters more and more is making me want to play it as well, it seems like it deserves a try.

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