In unfortunate news, Nintendo has announced that it's closing the 3DS and Wii U eShops next year. Furthermore, fans won’t be able to make credit card or eShop points purchases later this year, so players may have nab these exclusives sooner rather than later.
Thankfully, we’re here to help you out by picking the top 3DS eShop exclusives currently available. Unless Nintendo announces Switch ports for these games, most of these will sadly be lost to time after March 2023.
If you're looking for Wii U games, we've got a few suggestions on that front. Otherwise. here are the top 3DS eShop exclusives we’ve chosen, in no particular order:
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Pushmo, Crashmo, and Stretchmo are some of the most charming puzzle games available on the 3DS. These games never had a physical release on 3DS, and the only port of Pushmo we’ve had is Pushmo World on Wii U, which is also closing.
Our next pick is another charming puzzle game, this time from Kirby creators HAL Laboratory. BOXBOY, BOXBOXBOY, and BYE-BYE BOXBOY are adorable games, where the titular BOXBOY makes shapes to get through levels. Switch owners can buy BOXBOY + BOXGIRL, but anyone interested in the originals could only get them on 3DS.
Away from Pokémon, Game Freak tends to work on quirky little games like the 3DS rhythm platformer HarmoKnight. Jam-packed with fun levels and catchy music, some based on the Pokémon series. A free demo is available for those looking to give it a try.
Rhythm Heaven: Megamix
Though the game was physically released in Europe, Rhythm Heaven: Megamix is a digital download elsewhere. Admittedly, it’s one of the pricier eShop games out there, but as far as rhythm games go, few can touch the fun had with Rhythm Heaven: Megamix.
Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move
Nintendo fans soured on the Mario and Donkey Kong games over time, but Minis on the Move made things fresh again. Moving and rotating areas in a 3D plane for the Minis to move through, this entry had additional depth.
Both Nintendo and Sega released 3D Classics versions of older games, some includijng exclusive features that aren’t available elsewhere. 3D Classics: Excitebike lets you save multiple custom tracks, Kid Icarus adds level backgrounds that helps progression, and Kirby runs in a consistent framerate.
This isn’t even mentioning Sega’s contributions, with 3D versions of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Streets of Rage, and more being really fun. Definitely pick these up when you can.
Phoenix Wright Games
Switch owners might have access to the Ace Attorney Trilogy and Ace Attorney Chronicles, but Apollo Justice's remaster, Dual Destinies, and Spirit of Justice all remain on 3DS, though mobile ports exist. If you enjoy the wacky scenarios of Phoenix Wright, definitely give these a shot.
Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale
Easily the most relaxing game on the list, Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale is a charming visual novel with basic card battling mechanics. However, the visuals and story are top-notch. Anyone who loves that anime feel you can only get from Level-5 should pick this up.
Dedede’s Drum Dash Deluxe
Originally a mini-game in Kirby’s Triple Deluxe, Dedede’s Drum Dash Deluxe adds more levels and becomes a great rhythm game in its own right. Easily one of the best expanded Kirby mini-games.
Another hidden gem from Level-5, this unique strategy RPG is a tribute to table-top RPGs, complete with characters being presented as figurines. If you like D&D and have a 3DS, this is worth picking up.