Don't let these unappreciated titles slip away. You can still buy most on the cheap.
Strike a conversation about the best 3DS games, and the list is obvious. Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7 and Star Fox 64 3D will make the cut, along with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and a handful of third party hits, more notably Dead or Alive Dimensions and Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition.
All of these are must plays. Select just one, and you'll have a great time.
That said, there are a handful of titles you may have missed. With this in mind, make sure to check out the following lesser-known 3DS games that deserve your attention.
Personally, I consider Pilotwings Resort the single biggest casualty of the 3DS launch. Perhaps because my local GameStop received roughly four copies, one of which I pre-ordered, and the fact that it failed to crack 100,000 units sold in Japan within the first five weeks.
It's easy to see why. A lot of consumers refused to purchase 3DS at the initial $249.99 launch price, and Pilotwings is more of a niche franchise. Besides, Nintendo slashed the price of the system in August, more than four months after this game debuted. It was easily forgotten, to which I say, give it a chance. Pilotwings Resort is one of the system's more underrated efforts, a flying simulation that lets players explore a tropical island while inside a plane or using a hang glider and rocket belt.
Just $16.99 on Amazon.
Developer Gaijin made a name for itself with the Bit.Trip series on WiiWare, then surprised me by releasing all six titles (Beat, Core, Void, Runner, Fate and Flux) on 3DS. None of these games are especially deep, but each one offers a unique experience (Runner is a personal favorite) bathed in Atari 2600 inspired graphics and catchy tunes that'll have you tapping along.
The initial asking price ($39.99) was a huge turnoff, but you can grab it from Amazon for less than $21.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Shadow Wars
With no Advance Wars 3DS in sight, Shadow Wars fills the void nicely, and why not? Julian Gollop created it, the same guy behind one of my favorite strategy games for GBA, Rebelstar: Tactical Command.
The goal? Lead a bunch of army dudes into combat, making all the right turn based moves to slaughter the opposition. Definitely one of the best 3DS launch titles, especially from Ubisoft, the company that mostly ruined the launch with shoddy ports.
Cave Story 3D
You may already know of Cave Story, the PC classic adapted for both the Wii and DS. It was released for 3DS as well, but this charming platformer received a 3D facelift, complete with redesigned levels and music. Plays similar to Metroid and Castlevania, as you explore a large and mysterious cave blasting enemies and acquiring different weapons.
Unfortunately, it still costs $39.99, but here's the link to buy, just in case.
It's safe to say Nano Assault bombed, since Amazon already discounted it from $29.99 to $19.99, but hey, that's what Majesco gets for releasing its 3D shooter in December, with only a few copies headed to each store.
The price, though, doesn't necessarily reflect its quality. I think quite highly of this game. Developer Shin'en created a believable microscopic world, and the transition from Super Mario Galaxy planetoids to on-rails segments keeps things from growing stale. Definitely worth $20.