The 12 best Nintendo 3DS games

UPDATED: Pokémon Sun and Moon shake up our portable picks

We're more than five years into the lifespan of the 3DS, but it's never too late to start enjoying the best of Nintendo's quirky little handheld.

Pokémon Sun and Moon are the latest and greatest reasons to power up this portable, whether you have the standard 3DS, the streamlined 2DS, or the enhanced New Nintendo 3DS, but there's plenty more worth investigating.

Yes, classic series like Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda are present and accounted for, but dig a little deeper and you'll find more reasons to stay glued to this dual-screened device. Here are 12 of the absolute top games you can play today on Nintendo 3DS.

Pokémon Sun and Moon

Got Pokémon Go to thank for your newfound (or revitalized) interest in monster-bagging? It's time to turn your attention to Pokémon Sun and/or Pokémon Moon instead. These fully-fledged series entries augment the classic collecting and battling approach with some nice tweaks.

The tropical Alola region and its inhabitants give the game a sunny disposition, while dozens of new monsters, glossier graphics, and fresh Z-Move attacks boost the familiar formula. While not a dramatic change from the classic template, it's arguably the best Pokémon has ever been.

Super Mario 3D Land

Finding the perfect middle ground between the series' equally brilliant 2D and 3D platform-action templates, Super Mario 3D Land is bursting with creative stages and scenarios. It effortlessly shifts between side-scrolling and free-roaming moments, with the camera framing the action a little differently in each new area, making the whole game feel fresh – and really tailored for the 3D effect.

It's one of Mario's top adventures, even in a series marked by some of the best-loved games of all-time. 

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Rather than release another Zelda remake for 3DS, Nintendo opted instead to return to the world of fan-favorite A Link To The Past from the SNES and design a whole new adventure.

A Link Between Worlds has the familiar charm of the 16-bit entry, but also modern touches, not to mention a big twist: the ability to turn into a 2D drawing and slide along walls and around hazards.

The less-linear quest is bright and memorable, making for yet another classic action role-playing entry. And if it's remakes you want, don't miss The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time 3D and Majora's Mask 3D, which update the respective beloved N64 adventures. 

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