Presented by Adam Sarson
Note from Racketboy: Normally, we don’t do guides for current systems as they can be tricky to keep up with, but we have a new contributor on board that wanted to do a writeup for the 3DS and what is available for the new handheld. If you think we missed something good, please mention it in the comments. We’ll try to update this over the years as well too 🙂
Are you considering making the Nintendo 3DS your next big gaming purchase, but aren’t sure what retro content the handheld has to offer? Despite not having the greatest start to its life cycle, the 3DS has definitely started to hit its stride. Compelling content has been the key, and retro offerings have been a major part of the system’s quick turnaround. In this feature, I’ll take a look at the best retro content available on the 3DS. For the purposes of this article, we’ll be focusing on two different areas:
- Remakes of games that have been enhanced on the 3DS.
- Games that have a distinct retro feel.
Now, the 3DS also has a bevy of games released in their original form on the Virtual Console. Since those games have been sufficiently covered on Racketboy in the past, we’re going to leave those alone. See a full list of those games.
3D port of Rayman 2: The Great Escape
When Rayman 2 was originally released in 1999, it was showered with praise and given the critical acclaim label. Originally released on the PS1, N64, PC and Dreamcast, Ubisoft’s platformer has now been ported over to six other systems, with the 3DS seeing the most recent release. Chances are you’ve already played it somewhere else, but if you haven’t, it’s definitely worth picking up.
Shop for Rayman 3D on eBay
Shop for Rayman 3D on Amazon.com
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
3D port of the N64 version
What more can be said about Ocarina of Time? Considered one of the greatest games of all time, the 3D port more than holds up today. Some criticize Nintendo for releasing the same content over and over again, but not surprisingly, Ocarina of Time 3D is a critical and commercial success. In addition to the 3D, a new Boss Challenge mode has been added, allowing players to fight all the bosses one at a time or in sequential order. The Master Quest is also included with the game.
Shop for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D on eBay
Shop for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D on Amazon.com
Star Fox 64 3D
3D port of the N64 version
Much like Ocarina of Time, Star Fox 64 is another classic from the N64 library. The big difference between the two though is that in my opinion, Star Fox is actually a better version on the 3DS than the original. The game is gorgeous, and the 3D effect works really well. You can play each level individually to try and record high scores and gyro controls have also been added, although the traditional control stick method is likely the preferred option.
Shop for Star Fox 64 3D on eBay
Shop for Star Fox 64 3D on Amazon.com
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 3D
3D port of the PS2 version
Konami’s legendary MGS series made it’s way onto the 3DS just last week. Nintendo is certainly hoping that future MGS titles will be coming to Nintendo hardware going forward, and this is a good first step. It hasn’t aged as well as I would have liked, but it’s still an incredible experience. If you’re willing to invest the time, this is a must buy for any 3DS owner, especially if you missed it the first time around.
Shop for Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 3D on eBay
Shop for Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 3D on Amazon.com
Cave Story 3D
3D port of the PC/DSI version
I’m sure most of you are aware of Cave Story, but just a little background. You play as Quote, a robot who is attempting to stop an evil doctor from completing his experiments. The game has a very early Metroid feel to it, as you go through dungeons, picking up weapons and destroying enemies. The full 3D version is available at retail, while the DSI port is also available as a downloadable title in the eShop.
Shop for Cave Story 3D on eBay
Shop for Cave Story 3D on Amazon.com
3D Classics: Excitebike, Kid Icarus, Kirby’s Adventure, TwinBee, Xevious and Urban Champion
3D remakes, available in the eShop
I’ve lumped these six games together in the same area. All of them are the original games with 3D visuals, and they’ve all been well received, except for Urban Champion. Most notably, Excitebike’s track editor has been enhanced with save slots. Each game will cost you $5 to download from the eShop.
Retro style games
Made to look and sound like a Commodore 64 game, VVVVVV is a 2D platformer published and developed by Terry Cavanagh (and ported by Nicalis), the same team behind the release of Cave Story. You control Captain Viridian who has been separated from his crew after his spaceship needed to be evacuated. Your goal is to reunite with your five crew members and find 20 trinkets sprinkled throughout the game. Instead of a traditional platformer, you control gravity by flipping Viridian from the floors and ceilings. If you can find the 20 trinkets, you will be rewarded with additional levels created by fans and developers. VVVVVV is available for $7.99 in the eShop.
Developer Renegade Kid has described Mutant Mudds as a 12-bit action platformer. The game is definitely reminiscent of something you would have seen 20 years ago. The most interesting mechanic involved in the game gives you the ability to jump into the foreground and the background of the levels, using your trusty jetpack. The main character, Max, is armed with a water cannon and he must destroy the Mutant Mudds, while collecting water sprites. With 40 levels and great gameplay, you’ll definitely get a ton of value out of your $8.99 spent in the eShop.
What Did We Miss?
Can you think of any games that we should include on here? Please share your thoughts in the comments below! Obviously, new games will be coming out over time, so we will try to update this guide every now and then.