The 3DS and Wii U eShop is shutting down in 2023 – download these games before they’re gone
You have until March 2023 to access the eShop on these consoles.
Nintendo’s 3DS was one of the gaming company’s most popular consoles. The Wii U wasn’t nearly as popular, but still had some great games available. Sadly, both consoles’ eShop will be shutting down in the near future.
Nintendo is currently focusing all of its efforts on the Switch, which has become one of the most popular gaming consoles in the world. In fact, Nintendo recently announced that it would soon be ending its eShop support for both the 3DS and Wii U in March of 2023.
To catch you up, the 3DS was a dual-screened handheld console that solidified Nintendo’s spot as king of handheld gaming. And the Wii U was the predecessor to the popular Switch, offering users the ability to play games on their TV or on the touchscreen included on the Wii U GamePad.
With gamers losing the ability to purchase games digitally on the 3DS and Wii U next year, we thought it would be a good idea to put together a list of some of the best eShop games that you should download and try on those consoles before you lose the ability.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the games that stand out on both of these consoles. This is by no means a comprehensive list of the games available on the 3DS and the Wii U. These are just some of the ones that stood out to us.
These Nintendo 3DS games defined a generation
We’ll start by taking a look at some of the Nintendo 3DS games on the eShop that you won’t want to miss out on. For years, the 3DS was the ultimate handheld gaming experience, and Nintendo supported the console with tons of games.
From Mario to Zelda and tons of other familiar Nintendo franchises, the 3DS has an outstanding library of Nintendo games that you can experience. Here are some of our favorites.
Super Smash Bros. for 3DS
First up on our list is a franchise that most Nintendo fans will be familiar with. Like others in the franchise, Super Smash Bros. for 3DS brings some of the most iconic Nintendo characters together for some all-out-brawl entertainment.
Super Smash Bros. for 3DS gives you the excitement of Smash Bros. right in the palm of your hand. Smash Bros. has always been chaotic excellence in the form of a video game, and this game follows that same pattern.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
Next up, we have everybody’s favorite Italian plumber siblings in a 2012 return to form. New Super Mario Bros. 2 brings back the 2D side-scrolling, platformer action that helped millions fall in love with Nintendo in the first place.
But this time around, the focus is a little different. You may notice that everything is gold in New Super Mario Bros. 2, and that is definitely by design.
Not only must you make your way through the various levels in the game, but you’re also tasked with collecting as many gold coins as you can, to try to compete against high scores from other players.
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
Monster Hunter is another recognizable franchise in the Nintendo gaming world. And Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is one of the franchise’s best entries.
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate contains tons of monster-hunting action that you can experience with your friends. And it’s no walk in the park, either. You’ll spend hours mastering monster mechanics as you hunt the game’s hardened enemies and fight your way through its amazing storyline.
Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation
Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation is a unique entry in this list. It is the third campaign in the 2016 title Fire Emblem Fates. And Revelation is only available as downloadable content.
Fire Emblem Fates was released in two different versions. Each version tells the same story of two kingdoms at war. Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright sees the player fight for the side of the kingdom where they were born. The second version, Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest, has the player fighting for the other side.
Fire Emblem Fates: Revelations is sold as a DLC for one of the games. This campaign sees the player unite the two kingdoms to fight together against a shared enemy. This campaign is only available digitally, so you’ll want to grab it before the eShop is gone for good.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D
Of course, we couldn’t make this list without showing some love to the Zelda franchise. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D is the 2015 remake of the classic Nintendo 64 title.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D sees the player take control of Link, the series fabled protagonist, as he is stuck in a three-day time loop.
Stuck inside the parallel world of Termina, you must use what you learn over the three-day period to defeat Skull Kid and stop the moon from crashing into and destroying the world.
Mario Kart 7
And here we have one of my favorite game franchises of all time. If I could have majored in Mario Kart in college, then it definitely wouldn’t have taken me five years to graduate.
Mario Kart 7 for the Nintendo 3DS took everything we loved from the franchise and delivered it to the most popular handheld console at the time.
The game introduces new mechanics, like gliders and underwater driving, while maintaining the tight, exciting mechanics that we all know and love from previous Mario Kart titles.
Metroid: Samus Returns
Metroid: Samus Returns is a 3DS remake of the Game Boy title by the name of Metroid 2. This sidescrolling shooter features improved mechanics over the original, like 360-degree aiming and an arsenal of new powers and abilities.
And the graphics are miles ahead of what the original game had to offer. Metroid 2 was released back in 1991. Metroid: Samus Returns catapults the game into the 21st century, and it’s a game you won’t want to miss on your Nintendo 3DS.
Fire Emblem: Awakening
Closing out our list of 3DS games, we have Fire Emblem: Awakening. Considered to be a very difficult game in its time, Fire Emblem: Awakening is a strategy RPG with unique mechanics and deep customization.
You will have to use a combination of tactics and character building as you move your way across the battlefield in Fire Emblem: Awakening. If you are a fan of turn-based or tactical RPGs, then you definitely want to check out Fire Emblem: Awakening on the 3DS eShop while you still can.
Now for a few Wii U games that you’ll want to check out
And for those of you still enjoying gaming on the Wii U, you’ll also, unfortunately, be losing access to the eShop in March of 2023.
But you still have some time to download and try out some of the games that the console has to offer. Here are some of the Nintendo Wii U games that you should check out while you have the chance.
Xenoblade Chronicles X
First up on the list, we have Xenoblade Chronicles X. Being a spiritual successor to the original Xenoblade Chronicles, this game brings a combination of familiar gameplay alongside some new mechanics and improved graphics.
Xenoblade Chronicles X is an open-world action RPG. The player explores the vast open world of the planet Mira. You will fight enemies and complete quests to gain experience along the way.
Experience is used to enhance your character’s abilities with new skills and improved stats. You can even hop into a Skell, an armored mech that makes traversing the dangerous planet of Mira a bit easier. If exciting, action RPG combat is what you like, head to the eShop and give Xenoblade Chronicles X a try. Or, wait until Xenoblades 3 is available.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
And next, we’re on to another amazing addition to the Zelda franchise that you won’t want to miss. Released back in 2013, fans were initially skeptical about the graphical decision that Nintendo made with The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD.
That skepticism quickly vanished after players got their hands on the game. At its core, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD is a Zelda game, and it stays true to its roots.
This HD version is a remake of the 2003 GameCube title. It features familiar characters and gameplay alongside a barrage of new enemies and obstacles. Zelda fans who haven’t tried this game out yet should definitely add it to their collection.
Next up we have the popular party game Nintendo Land. Somewhat reminiscent of games like Mario Party, Nintendo Land is a game best enjoyed with friends. It features several exciting mini-games that will keep you on your toes as your Mii avatar.
But you can still enjoy this game by yourself. Some of the mini-games are solo, so it’s just you against the clock. Much like Wii Sports for the original Wii, Nintendo Land became one of the staples of the Wii U console.
Where Splatoon 2 has become a fan favorite on the Nintendo Switch thanks to its exciting multiplayer gameplay, the original Splatoon is where the excitement all started.
In Splatoon, you and your team take a variety of paint guns onto the map to try and cover it with as much of your team’s color as possible. It’s chaotic and bright and full of non-stop colorful action.
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate was one of the best games to come to the Nintendo Wii U early in the console’s lifetime. This game was released on both the Wii U and the 3DS. And it featured cross-save gameplay so you could play at home or on the go.
The Wii U version of the game was received much better than the 3DS version, with improved gameplay and better graphics. The Monster Hunter franchise has been a huge success on Nintendo consoles, and Monster Hunter 3 HD for the Wii U is one of the series’ most popular entries.
Mario Kart 8
Lastly, to close this list out, we have maybe the best Mario Kart game to ever come out. I’m a little biased, having spent dozens of hours learning how to cheat my way to victory on Rainbow Road in Mario Kart 64. But the success of Mario Kart 8 speaks for itself.
The game built upon everything that gamers love about the series, and refined it. You can customize your carts and experience 16 all-new tracks. With all of your favorite Mario characters, like Peach, Yoshi, Toad, and Bowser, the hours of fun that you can have in Mario Kart 8 are endless.
We couldn’t fit every game that you should try on the Wii U or the 3DS on our list. There are tons of games on the Nintendo eShop for these consoles that are worth a try. Here are a few honorable mentions that we found along the way.
There are a few honorable mentions for each console. Again, we couldn’t fit every single game on this list. If we missed a must-play game for either of these consoles, let us know down in the comments.
There are dozens more Nintendo Wii U and 3DS games to experience
In this list, we have 14 of the games that stand out the most to us on the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS consoles. But that doesn’t even begin to scrape the surface of what these consoles have to offer. These consoles were popular for years. And each one has dozens of great games that Nintendo fans will love.
But these are the ones that caught our eye. And with Nintendo abandoning the eShop on both of these consoles in March of 2023, your chances to try out these games are becoming pretty slim.
Now is the time to explore the eShop on your Wii U or 3DS and try out some new games. Before too long, you’ll no longer have a chance to do so.
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