Top 10 3DS Games in my Backlog (2021)
Image source: Andre Moura

Top 10 3DS Games in my Backlog (2021)

I’ve heard many times that the 3DS is an amazing handheld due to its awesome library of games. I got my New 2DS XL in 2018, so this fantastic library is one I’ve only scratched the surface of since I haven’t been playing 3DS games for very long. Here are 10 3DS games that I’m looking forward to playing soon(-ish)!

10. Stella Glow

  • Developer: Imageepoch
  • Release: November 17, 2015

Stella Glow is a strategy RPG from the developers of the Luminous Arc series. Its plot focuses on protagonist Alto’s fight against the Witch of Destruction, who he must combat by recruiting other Witches to his side and using their “Song Magic.”

I don’t really know what to expect with this one. With the “Song Magic” mechanic, there might be a lot of J-pop in it. I enjoyed the songs in Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE Encore, so maybe I’ll enjoy the songs in Stella Glow too. Also, I’m always down to try a new SRPG!

9. Bravely Second: End Layer

  • Developer: Silicon Studio
  • Release: April 15, 2016

Bravely Second: End Layer is the direct sequel to Bravely Default, not to be confused with Bravely Default II which is a standalone title not related to Bravely Default or Bravely Second’s stories. This series is weird with game titles.

Bravely Second actually has a lower Metacritic score than Bravely Default (81 compared to 85). With as many issues as I had with the monotonous pacing of a certain section in the first game, you’d think this would turn me away from the sequel. I’ve also read that the characters in Bravely Second aren’t as good as Bravely Default’s cast, and can be grating. Even in light of all this, I’m still curious about Bravely Second because the job and battle mechanics of Bravely Default were so cool. Hopefully it maintains an enjoyable pace throughout the entire journey, because that would address my biggest issue with the first game!

8. LBX: Little Battlers Experience

  • Developer: Level-5
  • Release: August 21, 2015

I’ve read that this game is sort of similar to Custom Robo, and that’s all I needed to hear to get me on board.

LBX is actually a series that spans several games and other media, but most of it only released in Japan. A few of the anime series were dubbed in English and aired on Nicktoons in the US, around the same time the 3DS game released in North America. I’m hoping that you don’t really need any knowledge of the anime to follow the game’s story, but I guess I’m not really playing this game for the story so it won’t really matter. If I can customize a little robot with tons of different parts and battle other robots in fun battles, I’ll be a happy camper.

7. Ever Oasis

  • Developer: GREZZO
  • Release: June 23, 2017

Ever Oasis was developed by the same studio who created Ocarina of Time 3D and Majora’s Mask 3D for 3DS, so there’s a cool bit of trivia for you.

A spiritual successor to the Mana series in some ways, Ever Oasis is an action RPG wherein you switch between three party members to battle enemies. It also has dungeons with puzzles, and even a little bit of a city-building mechanic as you use the spoils of your adventures to build up a prosperous oasis. I’ve heard this is a grossly underappreciated gem on the 3DS, and I’m looking forward to trying it!

6. Yo-kai Watch 2: Psychic Spectres

  • Developer: Level-5
  • Release: September 29, 2017

Just like the earlier LBX entry, this game is part of a series developed by Level-5 too! Yo-kai Watch was reportedly the “Pokémon Killer” franchise, but that didn’t really pan out. That headline has definitely stuck in my mind since then though, and left me curious enough about the series that I have to give it a try myself!

Like Pokémon, Yo-kai Watch 2 features several different versions of the same game, with a few version-exlusive Yo-kai in each. Psychic Spectres is sort of like the Pokémon Yellow or Pokémon Platinum of Yo-kai Watch 2. It released after the initial 2 versions. If you’re going to play Yo-kai Watch 2 nowadays, it sounds like Psychic Spectres is the best way to do so since it has almost all of the exclusive Yo-kai from the original 2 versions, as well as extra content.

5. Kid Icarus: Uprising

  • Developer: Project Sora
  • Release: March 23, 2012

Mixing both aerial and ground gameplay segments, Kid Icarus: Uprising is a 3rd-person shooter in which you control the angel Pit as he does battle against Medusa’s armies at the behest of Palutena, the Goddess of Light. The aerial shooting segments are on-rails while the ground battles give you more control over Pit’s movement.

Uprising garnered pretty positive reviews from critics, with reviewers enjoying pretty much every aspect of the game. It’s that praise that has piqued my curiosity with this one. This type of game isn’t something I regularly crave, but I’ve definitely enjoyed a few on-rails shooters in the past, so I’m looking forward to seeing what Uprising is like!

4. Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions

  • Developer: Alphadream
  • Release: October 6, 2017

I’ve played an entry in the Mario & Luigi series before: Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time on the DS. I’ve always been really curious about the first game in the series though, because it’s often considered a better game than Partners in Time.

The Mario & Luigi games are turn-based RPGs with active command elements, similar to Super Mario RPG or the early Paper Mario games. The battle system in Partners in Time could be very hectic since you had to control both Mario and Luigi and their baby counterparts (just go with it) at the same time while dodging attacks. It was definitely a fun system though, so I’m looking forward to playing more of that, but with only 2 characters to worry about at a time.

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

  • Developer: Intelligent Systems
  • Release: March 13, 2015

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a turn-based strategy game with third-person shooter elements mixed in, sort of like Valkyria Chronicles. That alone got me interested in this one, but what sealed the deal is that I was able to get a brand new physical copy of it for only US$3.59. For that price, I’m definitely willing to give it a try! That’s a lot cheaper than most digital games go on sale for!

Reviews for this one are pretty mediocre, so I’m not expecting anything as stellar as Valkyria Chronicles, but if the two share somewhat similar gameplay it should still be a fun time.

2. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked

  • Developer: Atlus
  • Release: August 23, 2011

Edit: Devil Survivor Overclocked was a lot of fun! There were a few difficulty spikes, but the gameplay is very rewarding when you figure it out. You can read more of my thoughts on it here, spoiler-free. Definitely glad I played this one!

Put simply, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor takes Shin Megami Tensei gameplay and reshapes it into a strategy RPG. As a fan of SRPGs and a Persona fan only just getting into SMT, Devil Survivor seems like something I’d really enjoy.

Originally released for the DS in 2009, Overclocked is an enhanced remake for the 3DS that released only a few years later. I’m looking forward to seeing and battling more of the fantastic SMT demons, as well as experiencing this new SRPG version of the combat system. I’ve heard this 3DS version is considerably easier than the original DS release, though I don’t remember exactly why that is. Regardless, it definitely seems like the 3DS remake is the one I should try, both for the difficulty changes and the additional features!

1. Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse

  • Developer: Atlus
  • Release: September 20, 2016

Edit: Finished! This game included everything I enjoyed about the first game while polishing the experience more and removing the parts I didn’t like about its predecessor. It was awesome! You can read more of my first impressions on it in this post.

As of this writing, I’ve actually already started playing this game, so it kind of has to be at the top of the list!

A sequel to Shin Megami Tensei IV that takes place during an alternate timeline that at first only slightly differs from the first game’s Neutral Route ending before continuing the plot in a radically different direction, Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse builds upon the solid foundation of the first game. It features even more demons than its predecessor, while adding a few new mechanics and tweaks to this iteration of the Press Turn battle system. There are also many quality of life improvements across the board. The result is another great game, if my experience with it so far is any indication!


The self-proclaimed "Guy with the Backlog", as of this writing his Steam backlog is slowly growing to the point of consuming him. Meanwhile, he spends most of his time trying to catch up on the retro classics he missed, as well as replaying the games he grew up with.

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