By: Chris Buffa March 21, 2011 0 Comments

Don't spend a small fortune on 3DS. Just head to the App Store.

Nintendo's 3DS debuts Sunday, March 27th, and while it looks tempting, the system carries a hefty $249.99 price tag. On top of that, the games retail for $39.99 a piece. That's a lot of cash, but if you have an iPhone or iPad, you can already experience many of these upcoming titles sans 3-D and save money in the process.

The best part? It'll cost nearly $350 to buy these games for the 3DS, whereas the iOS versions (combined) will run $60 or less, depending on whether you choose iPhone or iPad.

Instead of playing Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition, download Street Fighter IV

First, the game's on sale through tomorrow for $0.99, and second, it still delivers a quality fighting experience that features 14 characters, unique move lists, eleven environments and head-to-head battles via Bluetooth. Sure, you miss out on the 3-D effect, Figurine Mode and over the shoulder perspective, but for a buck, you'll definitely get your monies worth.

Instead of playing Ridge Racer 3DS, download Ridge Racer Accelerated

Don't pay $39.99 for a bunch of recycled tracks. Ridge Racer Accelerated (there's also an HD version for the iPad) is a solid port of the impressive PSP launch title from 2005. Old? Sure. Still outstanding? Absolutely. You'll need to shell out $8.99 on the iPad (as opposed to $4.99 for the iPhone), but that's still cheaper than the inferior looking 3DS game.

Instead of playing Rayman 3D, download Rayman 2: The Great Escape

Here comes Ubisoft, once again porting the beloved Dreamcast Rayman to yet another platform. Although the 3-D will add a newfound sense of depth to an already phenomenal game, you can always opt to experience it on the iPhone for a very reasonable $4.99.

Instead of playing Super Monkey Ball 3D, download Super Monkey Ball 2 or Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition

At this point, we've had all the Monkey Ball we can stand. That also means we refuse to shell out another $40 for essentially the same thing, but with eye straining 3-D. Of course, there's the iPhone and iPad games that cost $2.99 and $4.99, respectively. Even better, you can still maneuver those adorable monkeys using tilt controls.

Instead of playing Asphalt 3D, download Asphalt 6: Adrenaline HD

Having played Asphalt 3D a short while ago, we prefer Adrenaline. Not only does it run smoother on the iPhone and iPad, but it also looks incredible, with a plethora of real world sports cars and beautiful tracks inspired by destinations from around the world. Ah yes, and the iPhone/iPad versions cost $4.99 and $6.99.

Instead of playing Madden NFL Football 3DS, download Madden NFL 11

The concept of playing a 3-D enabled football game should make armchair quarterbacks around the world do a little victory dance. Hey, fair enough, it's a sweet concept, but as a whole, it doesn't seem like this Madden beats the iPad edition. It's tough going back to pressing buttons after drawing hot routes on the screen and tapping receivers.

Instead of playing The Sims 3, download The Sims 3

OK, so the option to import your face into the game with the 3DS camera is a cool feature, but come on. You can enjoy The Sims 3 on the iPhone at a fraction of the price; $6.99.

Instead of playing Bust-A-Move Universe, download New Bust-A-Move HD

Like Monkey Ball, we'll die happy know that we've had our fill of Bust-A-Move. That said, we don't expect much from the 3DS game, aside from the same bubble popping puzzles. Square Enix did everyone a favor pricing it $29.99, but that still doesn't beat spending $4.99 for the sharp looking iPad App.

Instead of playing Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D, download Pro Evolution Soccer 2011

Here's another port, this time from Konami. Pro Evo 2011 looks better on the 3DS, but try telling that to the budget conscious gamer who will receive roughly the same game on the iPad at $6.99. In this case, we'd gladly trade improved graphics for having a bit more cash in our wallets.

Instead of playing Nintendogs + Cats, download Touch Pets Dogs, Touch Pets Dogs 2 and Touch Pets Cats

Sure, you can fork over $39.99 for Nintendo's newest virtual pet, or you can pick up three for the low price of zero dollars. Ngmoco's Touch Pets series may not have the high level of artificial intelligence and fur shading, but come on. How many hours do you expect to spend scratching a virtual critter's head? Thirty minutes? Just download the free games.

[Editor's Note: Before downloading, make sure the games are compatible with your iPhone or iPad.]

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