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Why The 3DS Is The Best Console For RPGs (Right Now)

Why The 3DS Is The Best Console For RPGs (Right Now)


I don’t regret getting my 3DS in the slightest. Sure, the system may have gotten off to a bit of a shaky start, but just look at how much there is to offer now, especially if you’re like me and love yourself a damn good adventure. Honestly, I’d say it’s hands-down the best console for RPGs and its related genres by far right now. Sure, there’s some interesting stuff going on with the PC and games like Undertale and modern classics like Bastion, but let’s have a look at exactly what makes the 3DS so damn good, shall we?

Everyone knows that Zelda = adventure. Every game in the franchise, no matters its faults, has at least managed to capture that feeling. And you have four of them available on handheld, with the classics Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask showing up as enhanced remakes, the co-operative Triforce Heroes carrying Four Swords’ legacy onwards and the absolutely sublime A Link Between Worlds being among the best entries the series has ever had. All four of those games are absolutely quality, and there’s something there for everyone.


If you like games with a more sedate pace, where you get to work your way up through the world and build a nice little life for yourself, there’s Fantasy Life, two Harvest Moon games, along with an entry in the Rune Factory spin-off franchise and Story of Seasons, a Harvest Moon game in all but name developed by the original team.

If you prefer to co-operate with friends, besides the aforementioned Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes, there are several entries in the venerable Monster Hunter franchise, and the recently-released Final Fantasy Explorers providing that series’ take on the formula, with players teaming up to take down some of the series’ most legendary summons.

I’m a sucker for strategy games. I’m actually playing through Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones again, and I’ve got Final Fantasy Tactics lined up after I’m finished that. But as for strategy options on 3DS, you have the amazing Fire Emblem Awakening and the just-released Fire Emblem Fates, with its unique spin of having three full stories to play through. Apart from that, there’s Stella Glow, a fun-looking game by the studio behind Luminous Arc on the DS with a nice music-themed twist.

You want pure, hardcore retro-JRPG action? Look no further than Bravely Default and Bravely Second, a demo for which just released. Bravely Default was one of the most satisfying RPGs I’ve played in years despite its rubbish second half, with huge customisation options available for both the characters and game itself and a ton of features to make grinding less of a chore and cut out some of the worse aspects of JRPG gameplay. Dragon Quest fans will also be pleased to hear that the seventh and eighth games are lined up for a release on the console, for those who want to play some of the most colourful games ever developed.


Oh, and Pokémon. Can’t forget Pokémon, can we? Whether it’s the brilliant X and Y versions or the nostalgia-laden Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, there’s something to satisfy anyone looking for their ‘mons fix. There’s a good few entires in the Mystery Dungeon series, which I personally never got into but will satisfy any fans of the series or other roguelikes. And for the purists who refuse to accept that anything happened outside of Gen 1, Red, Blue and Yellow will be releasing on the Virtual Console in around a week’s time.

Speaking of the Virtual Console, it also has some fantastic games on its service, like the Game Boy Colour Legend of Zelda entries, and they’re really inexpensive. This is all without mentioning that there’s a Mario & Luigi game which crosses over with the Paper Mario series. Etrian Odyssey has a few games on 3DS for anyone who wants old-school dungeon crawling, difficulty level and all. There’s a Kingdom Hearts game on there too, which is a series I am way too late to get into now, but I know there’s plenty of fans out there! And let’s not forget Xenoblade Chronicles, which might have been a lackluster port but was so hard to find on Wii that it’s the only way many are going to get to play this cult classic.

Basically, what I’m saying is: look at that variety. I know the PS Vita may have some great games on it like the Final Fantasy X remaster and a whole bunch of other stuff to please your weeaboo hearts, but for pure unadulterated adventure, there’s really only one option: Nintendo.