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Best Games on Nintendo 2DS|3DS

The Nintendo 3DS was the follow up to the Nintendo DS. It offers two screens in a hinged form factor. The visuals are higher resolution and the top screen offers lenticular 3D effect that you don't need glasses to see. There are a number of versions of the handheld: 3DS XL was a larger version, 2DS was a hinge-less version for younger players, New 3DS offered enhanced visuals and controls and the New 2DS offers a robust hinged version.

There are a huge range of games available on the 3DS. You can purchase cartridges or buy them via the electronic store that is on the system. You can also play all of the DS game library on any of the 3DS/2DS systems.

DetailsPlatform Details

Genres: Action, Adventure, Battle, Brain Game, Collecting, Communication, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Physically Active, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy, Traversal and World Building
Era: 1981 - 2024
Total Games: 79
Total Likes: 1,681
 

 

Terraria

Release Date: 25/11/2013, updated in 2019

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On, Blocks, Day and Night, Persistant World, Pixels and Weather

Terraria looks like a 2D, lesser version of Minecraft. However, this is a game every bit as complex and creative as the better-known block-building game. To the world-crafting and survival, it adds hundreds of items to collect, characters to defeat and...

Pokémon (Series)

Release Date: 27/02/1996, updated in 2019

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GBA, Game Boy and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Pokémon Sword and Shield are role-playing games where you explore a fictional world and collect different creatures called Pokémon. You progress through the game by exploring the world, talking to characters and winning turn-based battles with the...

Kirby's Epic Yarn

Release Date: 17/10/2010, updated in 2019

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Kirby's Epic Yarn is a running and jumping game starring Nintendo's Kirby character who can absorb enemies to gain their abilities and powers. It's set in Patch Land, a world made completely out of fabric. You use your platforming skills to collect...

Lego City: Undercover

Release Date: 04/04/2017

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Blocks, Cartoon and Open World

Lego City: Undercover offers an open world to explore. While most Lego games have an open-world element in at least some areas, this one keeps play open throughout so that children can enjoy exploring at their own pace.

Luigi's Mansion

Release Date: 14/09/2001, updated in 2018

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS and GameCube

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

Luigi's Mansion is an adventure game where you investigate a haunted mansion to capture the ghosts. As long-standing Nintendo character Luigi, you play a ghostbuster to capture various mischievous ghouls and rescue Mario. It stands out for the unusual...

Skylanders (Series)

Release Date: 14/10/2016

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Skylanders uses toy figures to unlock characters and save progress. It is no longer manufactured but can be found second-hand quite cheaply and is a lot of fun for young players, particularly when played in cooperative two-player mode.

Style Boutique / Savvy Style (Series)

Release Date: 23/10/2008, updated in 2017

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS and DS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon

Style Boutique / Savvy Style is a role-playing game where you play a fashion shop owner. You work on the style of your fashion collection as well as your own clothes, makeup and so on.

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney (Series)

Release Date: 12/12/2014, updated in 2019

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, GBA, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney is a courtroom murder mystery series where you piece together clues to challenge testimonies and uncover the truth. It’s like a visual novel, although you must interact with characters and evidence to progress.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Release Date: 22/11/2013

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Hand-Made and Open World

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is an action-adventure game in the Zelda series. It's the seventeenth game and spiritual successor to the 1991 game The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. A more open adventure with a novel world-jumping...

Advance Wars (Series)

Release Date: 10/09/2001, updated in 2023

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GBA, Switch, Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Grid

Advance Wars is a classic turn-based strategy game re-released as Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp on Nintendo Switch. You take charge of an army in strategic, turn-based combat. With land, air, and naval units across the battlefield, you work to take...

Steamworld Heist

Release Date: 16/11/2015, updated in 2016

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, PS Vita, PS4, Stadia, Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On, Hand-Made and Pixels

Steamworld Heist is a platform shooting game where steam-powered robots fight for space supremacy. It sounds like the script for a 1950s B-movie but as in those matinee hits, the point here isn’t realism but interesting characters. Like the related...

Luigi's Mansion 2

Release Date: 20/03/2013

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon

Luigi's Mansion 2, or Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon in the US, is an adventure game about investigating five haunted houses in a community overrun by ghosts. As Luigi, you use your flashlight and ghost trap in the mansions, capturing ghosts and collecting...

Pocket Card Jockey

Release Date: 05/05/2016, updated in 2023

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Apple TV, Mac, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On, Cards and Grid

Pocket Card Jockey is a horse racing game you participate in by playing a series of Solitaire card games. You race, breed and nurture a stable of horses for a range of owners, trainers and other interesting individuals. It stands out as both a brilliant...

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Release Date: 08/11/2012, updated in 2016

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Cartoon, Day and Night, Open World, Persistant World and Weather

Animal Crossing: New Leaf is a life simulation game where you design your dream village in a world filled with anthropomorphic animals. Like other Animal Crossing games, you design and decorate your home, collect and sell items, chat and play with...

Super Mario Maker

Release Date: 10/09/2015

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

Super Mario Maker is a game-making system. It’s simpler than tools like Dreams or Roblox but still offers a huge array of ways to create running and jumping platform games that can then be shared online. You can play hundreds of games that other...

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

Release Date: 26/06/2014

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove is a retro-style platform game where you play as a Knight whose primary weapon is a shovel. It can either be used to attack enemies head-on, dig up treasure, or aim below while jumping to bounce on enemies. You can get...

Minecraft

Release Date: 23/11/2017, updated in 2019

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, 3D Third-Person, Blocks, Day and Night, Open World, Persistant World and Weather

Minecraft is an open-world adventure where you collect, craft and construct structures and items. Play involves exploring the world to find resources and good locations to build. Some of the best aspects of the game are less well known; along with the...

Lego (Series)

Release Date: 01/02/2005, updated in 2020

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, GameCube, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Switch, Wii, Wii U, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Blocks, Cartoon and Open World

Lego, a popular film franchise and a video game is a rich recipe for gaming fun. The series of Lego games has been developed since the first release on Nintendo DS. Not only do these games offer a chance to explore, destroy and fight in a world made of...

Sonic the Hedgehog (Series)

Release Date: 23/06/1991, updated in 2017

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, GameCube, Mac, Megadrive, PC, PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Sonic the Hedgehog is a series of games starring an athletic blue hedgehog who runs, jumps and bounces his way around platform levels. Created as Sega's answer to Mario, Sonic is now on all modern video game platforms.

FIFA (Series)

Release Date: 15/12/1993, updated in 2021

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, Mac, Megadrive, PC, PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Wii, Wii U, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, 3D Third-Person and Cards

FIFA, now superseded by EA Sports FC 24, was one of the two main football video games (the other being Pro Evolution). Each year its released with improved visuals, more realistic physics and enhanced competitive play. For those who follow the game...

Paper Mario: The Origami King (Series)

Release Date: 11/08/2000, updated in 2020

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GameCube, Switch, Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Hand-Made

Paper Mario: The Origami King is a role-play game featuring Mario and other Nintendo characters. Although cute and cartoon-like in appearance, these games are known for the quality of writing and the well-balanced and enjoyable turn-based combat.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

Release Date: 14/08/2014, updated in 2020

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is part of a series of hack-and-slash action games set in the Legend of Zelda Universe and focused primarily on close combat against large groups of enemies. The latest in the series Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity,...

Rayman Origins

Release Date: 15/11/2011, updated in 2013

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, PC, PS Vita, PS3, Wii and Xbox 360

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Rayman Origins is a platform game where you run, jump, swing and attack your way through fantasy cartoon levels. It stands out because of the strong characters and variety of different enemies ranging in difficulty.

Sonic Racing (Series)

Release Date: 23/02/2010

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Sonic Racing is the latest kart racing game in a series featuring Sonic the Hedgehog and other Sega characters. Like Mario Kart, you control one of 15 characters in races using fantasy sports cars, while performing tricks,...

Another World

Release Date: 30/11/2019

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Another World (Out of This World in North America) is a retro cinematic running, jumping and shooting game about a young scientist who, as a result of a failed experiment finds himself in a dangerous alien world where he is forced to fight for his...

Pac-Man Vs.

Release Date: 27/11/2003, updated in 2017

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GameCube, Switch and Wii

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

Pac-Man Vs. is a version of Pac-Man adapted for multiple players. One player controls Pac-Man and tries to eat the pellets, while the others control the ghosts to try to catch him. Each team scores points in different ways, and the first team to hit the...

Yoshi's Woolly World

Release Date: 25/06/2015, updated in 2017

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS and Wii U

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Yoshi's Woolly World is a running and jumping game where you play a character in a world made of wool and other craft materials. You explore, jump and run your way around, solving puzzles and collecting items to complete each stage. It stands out for...

Professor Layton (Series)

Release Date: 07/11/2008

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon

Professor Layton is a puzzle-game series. In different locations, you must solve brainteasers with maths, logic, maze-solving and lateral-thinking skills to move the story on.

Super Monkey Ball (Series)

Release Date: 23/06/2001, updated in 2021

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, PS Vita, PS4, PS5, Switch, Wii, Xbox, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Super Monkey Ball is a rolling and balancing game where you tilt platforms to control the path of a hamster ball containing a monkey. The peculiar premise is matched with accurate challenging gameplay and some great multiplayer modes (like Monkey...

Monster Hunter

Release Date: 26/03/2021

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, PS2, PS4, PSP, Switch, Wii, Wii U and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night and Open World

Monster Hunter is a series of action role-playing games where you hunt, kill and trap large monsters through wide-ranging landscapes. Each successful hunt rewards you with materials that accrue to slowly upgrade equipment that in turn enables you to...

Myst

Release Date: 01/01/1983

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, Mac, PC, PSP, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS

Components: 3D First-Person

Myst is a classic video game graphic adventure. Published in 1983, and selling over six million copies, it pre-dates many modern adventure games and created a new genre for gaming. Exploring by clicking in the world to move, you use a special book to...

Donkey Kong Country Returns

Release Date: 21/11/2010, updated in 2013

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

Donkey Kong Country Returns is a running, jumping and bashing game where you play Donkey Kong and other characters trying to reclaim their island from the Tiki Tak Tribe. It's a return to the side-on platforming of the classic Donkey Kong 64 in 1999.

Bomberman (Series)

Release Date: 15/03/2018

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, Mac, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Grid

Bomberman is the spiritual ancestor of last-player-standing battles like Fortnite and Apex Legends, but here you all play on the same screen and have the same bomb weapon. There are lots of versions, but in all of them, you battle with up to eight...

Kirby Fighters (Series)

Release Date: 24/09/2020

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS and Switch

Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon

Kirby Fighters is a light-hearted fighting game where you play as the round Nintendo character, Kirby. You can choose from various abilities that your character "copies" from opponents. You fight other characters from the Kirby games in fights against...

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Series)

Release Date: 06/11/2007, updated in 2019

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, DS, Switch, Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games is a series of simple competitive sports games featuring characters from Nintendo and Sega. Each game in the series is themed around a different Olympic year and location.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon (Series)

Release Date: 17/11/2005, updated in 2020

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, DS, Switch and Wii

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Pixels

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon is a series of fighting games where you control different cartoon creatures as they make their way through randomly-generated dungeons, defeating enemies and adding them to your team. It's a simple roguelike game where you take...

Xenoblade Chronicles (Series)

Release Date: 01/01/2010

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Switch and Wii

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night and Open World

Xenoblade Chronicles is a series of open-world role-play games. They take place on the frozen bodies of two warring titans, the Bionis and the Mechonis. In the first game, during an attack on his colony, protagonist Shulk discovers his ability to wield...

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Release Date: 13/11/2014, updated in 2018

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a running, exploring, puzzle game where you guide the Toad character to save Toadette from the villain Wingo and retrieve the Power Stars on each level. You navigate puzzles and obstacles, fighting enemies to reach the...

Persona (Series)

Release Date: 20/09/1996, updated in 2022

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, DS, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Persona 5 (also known as Shin Megami Tensei: Persona) is the latest game in a series of role-playing games that focus on a group of students. You explore the world and take on enemies like other role play games. Here though, you manage relationships...

WarioWare: Get It Together (Series)

Release Date: 27/07/2018, updated in 2021

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GBA, Switch, Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

WarioWare: Get It Together is the latest in the mini-game series. Games don’t get any sillier than the WarioWare series. Each of its mini-games presents a basic yet peculiar challenge for the player. A simple scene appears on the screen with a...

Bubble Bobble

Release Date: 01/10/1986, updated in 2016

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, DS, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Bubble Bobble is a running and jumping game where you control a small dragon that can blow and jump on bubbles. It rose to popularity in the arcades when released in 1986. In each of the 100 levels you and another player defeat each enemy by trapping...

Hey! Pikmin

Release Date: 28/07/2017

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS

Components: 2D Side-On

Hey! Pikmin is a spinoff game from the Pikmin series. In this game Captain Olimar crash lands on a planet and needs to find fuel to escape, leading a group of Pikmin through 2D side-scrolling levels collecting the Sparklium. Players enter a level and...

Scribblenauts (Series)

Release Date: 15/09/2009

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, DS, PC, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One and iOS

Components: 2D Side-On, Cartoon and Hand-Made

Scribblenauts is a series of puzzle games which you solve by typing the names of everyday objects so they appear in the game and let you progress. What's surprising is the sheer number of items included in the game. This means you can solve problems in...

Mario Tennis Aces (Series)

Release Date: 28/08/2000, updated in 2018

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, GameCube, Switch, Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Mario Tennis Aces is the latest in the series of tennis game. These games recreate a relatively traditional game of tennis, although you play as Nintendo characters who each have special moves and powers.

Prince of Persia (Series)

Release Date: 03/10/1989

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Components: 3D Third-Person

Prince of Persia is a long-standing game series dating back to the early 90s. The games all feature the titular prince who must escape a maze of platform-based levels. The game first impressed with its unusually fluid movement and life-like animation...

The Binding of Isaac (Series)

Release Date: 28/09/2011, updated in 2021

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, PS5, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One

Components: 2D Overhead and Pixels

The Binding of Isaac is a series of adventure games where you progress through randomly generated rooms, collecting items and fighting off monsters. It's a twist on the simple Zelda dungeon, with hundreds of enemies, room variations and upgrades. The...

Doodle Jump (Series)

Release Date: 06/04/2009, updated in 2020

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, DS, Xbox 360 and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Doodle Jump is a jumping video game where you guide a hand-drawn four-legged creature up an endless series of platforms. Once you fall to the bottom of the screen it's game over.

Super Mario World

Release Date: 21/11/1990, updated in 2002

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, GBA, NES, Super NES and Switch

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Super Mario World is a running and jumping game where you help Mario on his quest to save Princess Toadstool and Dinosaur Land from Bowser and his minions. Play is similar to earlier Mario games, only here the levels are larger and have vertical height,...

Tomodachi Life

Release Date: 06/06/2014

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Cartoon

Tomodachi Life is a social simulation game where you develop an island to accommodate inhabitants and offer them a fuller life. You do this by interacting with islanders and solving their problems to earn buildings that expand the options for your...

Air Traffic Controller (Airport Hero)

Release Date: 01/01/1998, updated in 2020

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, DS, PC and PSP

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Day and Night and Weather

Air Traffic Controller (Airport Hero) is a series of games where you take charge of an airport. You deal with landing planes, directing them to runways and gates while ensuring things run on time and without accidents. Each session is a unique set of...

Angry Birds (Series)

Release Date: 11/12/2009, updated in 2021

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, PSP, Web, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, iOS and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Angry Birds is a series of puzzle games where you catapult cartoon birds to destroy the pigs who have stolen their eggs. The latest game, Angry Birds Reloaded, is a remake with new levels, graphics, locations, birds, and story elements. The series'...

Cooking Mama (Series)

Release Date: 23/03/2006, updated in 2022

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, Wii, iOS and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead

Cooking Mama is a long-running series of stylised cooking puzzle games where you complete recipe minigames to cook various dishes. From mixing ingredients in a bowl to deep frying the food, you mirror on-screen instructions to create sweet and savoury...

Runbow

Release Date: 27/08/2015

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, PS4, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One

Components: 2D Side-On

Runbow is an unusual racing game where each player controls a coloured figure who must run and jump their way through the platform levels ahead of their opponents who are trying to do the same thing.

Disney Magical World 2: Enchanted Edition (Series)

Release Date: 10/12/2014, updated in 2021

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS and Switch

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Open World

Disney Magical World 2: Enchanted Edition is an open world full of Disney characters and locations. It is a huge universe, full of mini-games to play, characters to meet and things to craft, which gives any Disney fan can enjoy for hours.

Mario & Luigi (Series)

Release Date: 17/11/2003, updated in 2017

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, DS and Wii U

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Mario & Luigi adventure games feature Mario and Luigi as the heroes, accompanied by playable characters from the Nintendo pantheon. Each adventure pits you to defeat Bowser in different ways. Progress is through talking to characters, exploring,...

Metroid

Release Date: 06/08/1986, updated in 2017

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GBA, GameCube, Switch, Wii and Wii U

Components: 3D First-Person

Metroid is a series of running, jumping and exploration games where you play bounty hunter Samus Aran who protects the galaxy from the Space Pirates. It includes the platforming of a Mario game, but the focus is more on fighting enemies, finding new...

Steamworld Dig (Series)

Release Date: 31/08/2017

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Mac, PC, PS Vita and PS4

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

SteamWorld Dig is an action platform game where you play steam-powered robots trying to recover their lost civilisation. The two games in the series draw on classics like Dig Dug, Rick Dangerous, Repton and Boulderdash.

Art Academy

Release Date: 25/12/2009, updated in 2016

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, DS and Wii U

Components: 2D Side-On

Art Academy is a creative painting game for Nintendo systems, that leads children through step-by-step art lessons. An in-game tutor teaches you to develop basic art skills and techniques. Along with the lessons, there's a free paint mode with all the...

Fire Emblem Engage (Series)

Release Date: 20/04/1990, updated in 2023

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, GBA, GameCube, Switch, Wii, Wii U and iOS

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Cartoon, Day and Night and Grid

Fire Emblem Engage is a series of strategy games where you help an ensemble cast of characters fight off evil. You gather heroes, unlock weapons and special abilities to aid your fight in tactical turn-based combat. It's not just a tactics game though,...

Gunman Clive (Series)

Release Date: 02/01/2012, updated in 2020

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, PC, PS4, Switch, Wii U and iOS

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Gunman Clive is a platform game where you traverse through a hand-drawn western landscape, negotiating moving platforms, traps and enemies. Shooting is a major part of the game, and the player can pick up specialized weapons such as a spread shot,...

Mario Golf: Super Rush (Series)

Release Date: 11/06/1999, updated in 2021

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, GameCube and Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Mario Golf: Super Rush is a sports game that combines running and jumping with golfing skills. It's a proper recreation of golf, but with novelties, modes and characters to make it more entertaining for younger players.

Colors!

Release Date: 05/04/2012, updated in 2020

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, PS Vita, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

Colors! is a painting game for handheld gaming devices. It introduces concepts of creating digital art in an easy and accessible way. You take on challenges to draw pictures and can share them with others online. You can also play back your drawings to...

Mario vs. Donkey Kong (Series)

Release Date: 24/05/2004, updated in 2024

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, DS and Wii U

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Mario vs. Donkey Kong is a series of puzzle games where you guide miniature Nintendo characters to the end of the level. The twist is that you must manipulate the level by adding and removing platforms to reach the goal. The exact interactions vary from...

Miitopia

Release Date: 08/12/2016, updated in 2021

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS and Switch

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Cartoon

Miitopia is a role-playing adventure game where you embark on a quest to save your friends and thwart a Dark Lord's evil plans. You do this by recruiting various cartoon-looking characters to join your party in turn-based battles with the Dark Lord's...

Rhythm Paradise

Release Date: 31/07/2008, updated in 2016

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GBA, Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon

Rhythm Paradise (also known as Rhythm Heaven, Rhythm World and Rhythm Tengoku) is a Japanese rhythm game where you perform everyday action in time with a musical beat.

Rhythm Thief and The Emperor's Treasure

Release Date: 05/04/2012

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS and iOS

Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon

Rhythm Thief and The Emperor's Treasure is a narrative rhythm game told with cartoons interwoven with rhythm-action challenges. You play an 18-year-old boy with a secret identity as an art thief. He’s searching for his father and, in order to find...

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown (Series)

Release Date: 30/06/1995, updated in 2019

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is the latest flying and shooting game in the Ace Combat series of games. It features lots of real-life aircraft to master and weather conditions that impact gameplay and controls, while still retaining a fast-paced...

Cave Story

Release Date: 20/12/2004, updated in 2018

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, DS, Mac, PC, Switch and Wii

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Cave Story is a running and jumping game styled after classic Metroid and Castlevania games of the 1980's. Unusually, it was initially overlooked until it gained popularity on the internet and then received widespread critical acclaim. The simplicity,...

VVVVVV

Release Date: 11/01/2010, updated in 2017

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Web and iOS

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

VVVVVV is a running and jumping game, without the jumping. Not having the ability to jump may seem like a disadvantage, but instead you can flip gravity to get around the various rooms of the abandoned space station. It looks like a 1980's game for the...

Zero Escape (Series)

Release Date: 10/12/2009, updated in 2016

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, DS, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Xbox One and iOS

Components: 2D Side-On

Zero Escape, is a series of adventure games that follows a group of nine individuals, who are kidnapped and held captive by a person who goes by the name "Zero", and are forced to play a game of life and death in order to escape.

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.

Release Date: 13/03/2015

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Blocks and Cartoon

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a turn-based strategy game where an elite group of soldiers (inspired by characters from American literature) defend Earth from alien invaders in an alternate steam-powered future. While it sounds wacky, there's a surprising...

Donkey Kong

Release Date: 01/01/1981, updated in 2015

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, GameCube, Switch and Wii

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Donkey Kong is a series of running and jumping games where you play Mario, who navigates a single screen to rescue the princess. It was the start of the platform game genre and although is now dated, can still be played on a wide range of systems.

Hotel Dusk

Release Date: 22/01/2007

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS and DS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 is a point-and-click adventure game about detective Kyle Hyde staying in a Twin-Peaks-like, rundown motel near 1979 Los Angeles. You move around the hotel to find clues, talk to other guests and ultimately solve what happened to his...

Toki Tori (Series)

Release Date: 12/09/2001, updated in 2018

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii, Wii U and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Toki Tori is a puzzle game where you traverse 2D levels and use limited resources to rescue all the eggs. Similarly to the Mario vs. Donkey Kong games, you can build bridges over gaps. Here though, you can also unlock...

Kid Icarus Uprising

Release Date: 22/03/2012

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Kid Icarus Uprising is a shooting-adventure game set in a world loosely drawn from Greek mythology. You play as angelic warrior, Pit, on a mission to save humanity via airborne shooting and ground-based third-person exploration. It stands out for the...

Starship Patrol

Release Date: 18/12/2009, updated in 2011

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS and DS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Grid and Hand-Made

Starship Patrol (Starship Defense) is a shooting game where you defend your ship from waves of enemy attackers. You have a combination of static guns and defence ships to form an efficient strategy. It's well executed, but most unusual for its hand...

Theatrhythm Final Bar Line (Series)

Release Date: 16/02/2012, updated in 2023

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, PS4, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On, Cartoon and Grid

Theatrhythm Final Bar Line is a series of rhythm games where you hit notes and perform actions in time to the music. In Theatrhythm Final Bar Line, you play along to tracks from the famous Final Fantasy Series and...

HarmoKnight

Release Date: 28/03/2013

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

HarmoKnight (Rhythm Hunter: HarmoKnight in Japan) is a rhythm based running, jumping and whacking game. You play a boy named Tempo who is fighting enemies with a musical note staff. You are joined by an archer named Lyra, a buff warrior named Tyko, and...

Williams Pinball

Release Date: 09/10/2018

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, Mac, PS3, PS4, Wii, Xbox One and iOS

Components: 2D Overhead and Hand-Made

Williams Pinball is a series of simulation games that recreate the classic pinball experience in a virtual space. You shoot the balls up the table, use the flippers to keep it up, and can even nudge the table to stop it from sinking. It stands out for...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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