Hey, Check Out the 7 Best Action Games on Nintendo 3DS!

How‘s it going? I wanted to share the absolute must-play action titles in the Nintendo 3DS library. As a long-time fan of Nintendo‘s handhelds, I‘ve played through tons of games across various genres. And when it comes pure action-packed fun, these 7 titles stand tall!

But what makes a great 3DS action game? For me, it comes down to gameplay and visuals that feel tailor-made for the system. These games have energizing movement, intuitive controls using the touchscreen and cameras, and eye-popping stereoscopic 3D. High scores and popularity reflect their fantastic reception as well.

Most importantly though, they‘re just a blast to play. When an action game locks you in a state of euphoric focus and flow, leaving you breathless once the console finally gets shut, that‘s something special.

Let‘s dive into the cream of the 3DS crop! I‘ll overview how they play, showcase key data on their impact, and explain why they‘re so dang fun.

An Action-Packed System

First, some background! Nintendo designed the 3DS hardware to excel at rendering fast-paced games in 3D without need for glasses. This made it a perfect fit for platformers, fighters and other action-focused titles.

Developers clearly recognized that potential early on. Looking just at Metacritic data, over 15 action games secured strong 90+ critical review averages on 3DS. Far more racked up impressive sales numbers as well, per Nintendo‘s figures.

So in short – the 3DS library offers a lot of fantastic action! But in my opinion, these 7 deliver the most intense, polished and gratifying gameplay experiences you can have.

#7: 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Back in 1992 on the Genesis, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 immediately shot up to prestige as one of the best platformers ever made. Its breakneck traversal and wondrous level themes cemented Sonic‘s reputation. So adapting it to the 3DS using new stereoscopic tech was a genius move by Sega.

Key Info:

Title3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Original Release1992 (Genesis)
3DS Release2015
My RatingπŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯⭐
  • Classic Sonic zones enhanced via lush 3D backgrounds
  • Signature speed and platforming tuned perfectly to the 3DS
  • New power-ups like the Fire Shield change up strategies
  • Local multiplayer support races Sonic against Tails

When playing 3D Sonic 2 on my 3DS, I‘m constantly impressed by the excellent translation of Genesis-era visuals into glasses-free 3D. Watching chunks of machinery crumble into the background adds this wonderful sense of depth to Sonic‘s antics.

Most importantly though – the tight controls and game feel that made Sonic 2 so seminal remains untouched! Soaring through Emerald Hill Zone in stereo 3D at 60 FPS is basically a gamer‘s heaven. From longtime Sonic fans to newcomers, Tyson Hesse‘s gorgeously revamped spritework makes this version the best way to play an absolute platformer legend.

#6: Rage of the Gladiator

Now for a truly unique title – Rage of the Gladiator might seem like an odd inclusion, but just hear me out! This first-person fighter takes heavy inspiration from Punch-Out, while reinventing its strategic boxing for the 3DS.

Key Info:

TitleRage of the Gladiator
Original Release2010
3DS Release2011
My RatingπŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯

Intuitive first-person melee battles
100 unique enemy fights keep gameplay fresh
Customizable magic/skills let you build your own hero
Touchscreen controls feel natural

Rage of the Gladiator pioneered a gameplay style that feels perfect for 3DS. Holding my system vertically, it really looked like I peered through the warrior‘s helmet to target foes. And pulling off combos truly tests your dexterity, memorization skills thanks to the touchscreen controls.

See, each enemy has unique attack patterns demanding quick reflexes to evade and counterattack. I love gradually unlocking new skills between bouts then applying them in rematches. The Gladiator himself reminds me of custom fighters from wrestling games – your equipment tweaks totally transform his playstyle too.

It all blends into this super rewarding gameplay loop of learning, upgrading and testing skills against colorful fantasy foes. For 3DS owners craving intense melee combat, Rage of the Gladiator is absolutely worth battling!

#5: 3D Streets of Rage 2

I have tons of nostalgia for those classic Sega Genesis beat β€˜em ups. And Streets of Rage 2 in particular stands firm as the best of 16-bit brawlers 26+ years later. 3D enhanced rereleases like this 3DS version help cement that legacy status for new generations too.

Key Info:

Title3D Streets of Rage 2
Original Release1993 (Genesis)
3DS Release2013
My RatingπŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯
  • Legendary co-op beat β€˜em up enhanced via stereoscopic 3D
  • New character Max adds fresh boxer fighting style
  • Arcade-perfect mechanics polished to a sheen
  • Up to 2 local players boosts replay fun

Streets of Rage 2 holds a special place for me – some of my earliest co-op gaming memories are teaming up with my brother to pummel pixelated thugs. And that local multiplayer chaos translates wonderfully on the 3DS. The visuals breathe new dimension into urban brawls too – arriving police helicopters look super badass now!

Most importantly, the addictive combat flow tying smoothly chained attacks together persists flawlessly. Comboing foes as Axel, Blaze or Max retains that kinetic crunch that made this a instant classic. Whether you seek couch co-op or solo serving of vigilante justice, 3D Streets of Rage 2 hits the spot!

#4: 3D Gunstar Heroes

Treasure carved a niche for themselves on Genesis crafting slick, arcade-inspired titles with Gunstar Heroes sitting high as their crown achievement. Porting it to 3DS with new visual perspective helps cement that classic status!

Key Info:

Title3D Gunstar Heroes
Original Release1993 (Genesis)
3DS Release2015
My RatingπŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯
  • Run-and-gun shooting polished to a T
  • Mix-and-match weapon combinations keep things chaotic
  • Minimalist lore lets the explosive gameplay shine
  • Updated visuals reinvigorate Genesis classic

I‘m consistently amazed at how ahead of its time Gunstar Heroes felt even back on Genesis – the gonzo weapon combos, multi-phase bosses and constant visual spectacle keep gameplay hypnotically entertaining a half hour or five later.

Elements like enemy gems altering weapons seem like standard features nowadays. But Gunstar Heroes pioneered those staples which later titles iterated upon! Beyond the technical feats, the anarchic fantasy world brims with an infectious enthusiasm too. Who knew stopping a giant biomech would prove so gosh darn fun?

If you ever wanted your action gaming to emulate a rollercoaster ride of enemy blasting, weapon merging and screen-filling spectacle, Gunstar Heroes is your ticket aboard!

#3: Super Mario 3D Land

You can’t mention Nintendo handhelds without bringing up Mario – it‘s the law I think! And for the 3DS, Super Mario 3D Land stands as the definitive solo outing for gaming’s mascot. Expanding core platforming into literal new dimensions.

Key Info:

TitleSuper Mario 3D Land
Original Release2011
18.70 million copies sold
My RatingπŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯
  • Legendary Mario platforming enhanced by stereoscopic effects
  • New cat suit power-up enables fresh aerial moves
  • Challenging late-game levels test veteran platforming chops
  • Vibrant new settings like shifting sands and seaside cliffs

It felt like playing a β€œbest of” collection spotlighting 3D Mario‘s greatest level concepts. You’ll run across Mushroom Kingdom staples like lava fortresses and haunted manors. But the sopscopic layers breathe new whimsy into the proceedings!

Developer Nintendo EAD Tokyo executed on that concept flawlessly while retaining the "it just feels right" play control Mario veterans expect. Cat suit climbing in particular adds wonderful verticality to exploration. And seeing hazards approach from the screen‘s depth queues your jumps more intuitively. They struck platforming gold here!

For longtime Nintendo fans or folks simply seeking junction- stomping thrills, Super Mario 3D Land‘s creative level designs deliver hours upon hours of kinetic, freewheeling fun.

#2: Shovel Knight

I adore this game! Shovel Knight represents a heartfelt love letter to 8-bit classics, forged into its own identity through expertly tuned platforming, gorgeous audiovisual design and content-rich adventure.

Key Info:

TitleShovel Knight
Original Release2014
My RatingπŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯
  • Challenging 2D platforming tuned to perfection
  • Lush 16-bit presentation with catchy FM synth tunes
  • Clever integrations of shovel gameplay
  • Witty storytelling and humor
  • Frequent free DLC expansions add substantial value

I admire developer Yacht Club Games‘ attention to detail emulating NES-era action adventures while avoiding blind nostalgia. Tiny nuances like picking from an inventory of special relics or panning intro shots before boss fights demonstrate their design chops.

It feels like a temporal clash blending gaming‘s past and present strengths into an exemplary action-platformer. One standout mechanic involves stabbing your shovel downwards mid-jump – timing that properly enables some extremely skilled platforming! Between pogo-bouncing off enemies or clinging to walls for a climbing boost, Shovel Knight‘s namesake tool gets cleverly woven into level designs and strategies.

For a modern encapsulation of 8-bit gaming‘s heyday wonderfully adapted onto Nintendo‘s glasses-free 3D handheld, Shovel Knight simply can‘t be beat!

#1: Cave Story

This trendsetter pioneered an entire genre – what began as a solo effort by Japanese developer Pixel evolved into the quintessential modern indie success story! Building upon Metroid‘s exploratory platforming while adding RPG upgrade elements.

Key Info:

TitleCave Story
Original Release2004
3DS Release2011
My RatingπŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯
  • Genre-defining metroidvania formula fusing action platforming with upgrades
  • Multiple narrative branches encourage repeated playthroughs
  • Accessible gameplay with surprising depth
  • Still influencing indie games over 15 years later!

It‘s staggering how much Cave Story innovated gaming as an indie project originally made for free. The fusion of gun and platformer grew into its own distinct genre that titles today still iterate upon.

Playing it again on 3DS proved just how masterfully balanced Pixel‘s creation remains too. Grazing enemy fire to recharge weapons, puzzling through obtuse secrets and gradually increasing challenges constantly push you a bit beyond prior comfort levels. This perfect tuning curve keeps progression intoxicatingly addictive all the way to multiple late-game endings.

For its profound legacy pioneering entire genres and development scenes alike, Cave Story earns its place atop Nintendo 3DS’s action pantheon! Finding Pixel’s magnum opus on a handheld remains a godsend for gamers.

Time to Play!

And those are my picks for the absolute cream of the crop action experiences you can have on Nintendo‘s excellent 3DS system! Each offers intense gameplay refined to perfection paired with visuals enhanced specially for the handheld‘s glasses-free 3D screen.

Obviously the 3DS sports many more fantastic action options beyond just these seven as well! Smash Bros, Street Fighter IV, Resident Evil: Revelations or even that Zelda remake surely deserve shoutouts too. But when judging the entire 3DS library based on breakneck gameplay, acclaim and just sheer fun factor – I believe these seven titles rise above the rest in quality.

Here‘s hoping you discover some new favorites! If you own a Nintendo 3DS already, make sure to track some of these down. Or if you‘ve yet to enjoy this handheld generation entirely, these games alone justify that purchase. Thanks so much for reading and enjoy the recommendations!

Did you like those interesting facts?

Click on smiley face to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

      Interesting Facts
      Login/Register access is temporary disabled