5 best Pokemon games available on the Nintendo 3DS

The 3DS has some of the best Pokemon games ever (Image via Nintendo)
The 3DS has some of the best Pokemon games ever (Image via Nintendo)

Even though Nintendo's Switch hybrid console has surpassed every other platform from the Japanese publisher in terms of popularity, its predecessor is no slouch.

The 3DS was launched in 2011 as a successor to the DS. Despite a slow start, it racked up an impressive library, especially on the JRPG forefront. Pokemon games, in particular, have been responsible for the success of the dual-screened, glasses-free-3D device.

Though that can be said for every Nintendo handheld the monster taming franchise has graced. So here are the five best Pokemon games available on the 3DS.

These Pokemon games are also some of the best experiences on the Nintendo 3DS

5) Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon


While not for everyone, the Mystery Dungeon games have garnered a cult following throughout the years. Developed by Spike Chunsoft of Danganronpa fame, Super Mystery Dungeon first launched on Nintendo 3DS in 2015.

It follows the same dungeon-crawling formula as its predecessors, including the human-turned-Pokemon plot.

With over a dozen playable starters to pick from, players again explore floors of dungeons teeming with wild Pokemon and battle them with turn-based attacks alongside their party members.

Survival elements like the Belly system are making a comeback. However, many changes like the new Connections mission system spice up the gameplay. Can you figure out the mystery behind Pokemon being turned into stone?

4) Detective Pikachu

Don your detective hat and grab your magnifying glass – a new #DetectivePikachu trailer is here, shedding new light on the story! Just one month to go... #3DS🔍…

Released back in 2016 for the Nintendo 3DS, Detective Pikachu is a unique spin on the lore set up by Game Freak. It is a narrative-driven adventure game from Creatures, one of the co-affiliates of The Pokemon Company.

Protagonist Tim Goodman encounters a talking Pikachu who claims to be a detective. The duo soon team up and are thrust into a situation that could determine the fate of Ryme City.

Players will explore the aforementioned town with Detective Pikachu in tow. Many human NPCs and Pokemon alike await the duo's assistance in solving cases.

Players will piece together clues, engage in cinematic QTE set pieces, and solve various cases. The game also spawned a movie of the same name in 2019 with a similar plot and was well received.

3) Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon


Acting as an enhanced version and alternate universe retellings of Pokemon Sun & Moon, 2017's Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon improve upon its predecessors. As a budding new Pokemon trainer, players will explore the isles of the Hawaii-inspired Alola region while stumbling across a mysterious legendary Pokemon called Cosmog.

Players explore various areas of Alola and take down both Island Trials and the shady Team Skull. The latest mainline Pokemon entries on the Nintendo 3DS feature a ton of content. There are many legendary monsters to catch (including the new Ultra Beasts), a new dimension to explore, and new people to meet.

With the threat of Necrozma on the horizon, create the perfect Pokemon team and battle foes in the iconic Type-driven turn-based battles.

2) Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire


Running on the same engine as Pokemon X & Y, Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire breathe new life into the iconic 2002 GBA classics. They are remakes of the third generation of Pokemon games, Ruby and Sapphire, featuring the same storyline but reimagined in 3D.

Players will return to Hoenn to battle Gyms and eventually the Elite Four to emerge as the best trainer. Depending on the version picked up, players will face Team Magma or Team Aqua, aiming to awaken their legendary Pokemon, Groudon and Kyogre.

But besides an engine overhaul, there are new features too: Mega Evolutions, new Primal forms for both legendaries, a new chapter called Delta Episode, and a new flight system on Latios/Latias. In short, it's one of the best remakes in Nintendo's popular series.

1) Pokemon X & Y


Introduced in 2013, X & Y mark the mainline series' first jump to entirely 3D graphics. Set in the France-inspired region of Kalos. Although the plot retreads the familiar ground of becoming the best Pokemon trainer in the region, players must contend with Team Flare this time.

In addition to scenic 3D backgrounds and full 3D Pokemon models, X & Y also implemented many new features that would become a mainstay. Mega Evolution, for one, allows certain Pokemon to transform into more powerful versions, altering their appearance in some ways.

Pokemon Amie allows players to pet and interact with their Pokemon, showing detailed character models. Developer Game Freak even introduced a brand new element, the Fairy Type - resulting in some of the most cherished monsters like Sylveon and X's mascot Xerneas.

Pokemon X & Y were a big step forward for the beloved series, and that is why they are the best Pokemon entries on the Nintendo 3DS.

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Edited by Yasho Amonkar
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