3DS Exclusives You Need To Download Before March 27 (With Links And Prices)

The end is nigh for the Nintendo 3DS. The ability to purchase download software will terminate on March 27. After this date, users will be able to redownload past purchases and updates, but will not be able to buy digital games. A lot of these games are going for great prices in preparation for the 3DS eShop closure, so now’s the time to make those last minute purchases. Please note that none of these links are affiliate or sponsored, we just provide them for convenience!

We won’t be including games on this list that aren’t exclusive to the 3DS. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D or Miitopia are excellent games, but they’re also playable on Switch at present, even if their other versions are different. We’ve also mixed in a bunch of download-exclusive titles, to make sure you can grab the games at most risk with the eShop closure. With that, let’s get into the 3DS exclusive games you need to download! Before March 27!

If you need to know how to add funds to your 3DS account, check this out here to merge your Switch eShop funds with your DS.

Super Mario 3D Land

Super Mario 3D Land
Super Mario 3D Land delivers the first and only level-based handheld 3D Mario game.

The first and only course-based 3D Mario title available on a handheld system, Super Mario 3D Land is a brilliant time. This game sets the foundation that would be built on for Super Mario 3D World on the Wii U (and the Switch), but also has its own identity and charm. 

From the iconic Tanooki power-up getting its first ever 3D iteration after being released 23 years prior, the collectable star medals and the absolute banger of a soundtrack, it’s not a game to be missed.

Get Super Mario 3D Land for $20 in the USA.
Get Super Mario 3D Land for £16 in the UK.

Flipnote Studio 3D

Flipnote Studio 3D
Animate your heart out with Flipnote Studio 3D.

The magic of Flipnote Studio 3D is a unique one. A drawing and animation app, that’s both feature rich, yet very light and accessible. Flipnote Studio 3D lets you create drawn, flipbook style animations on your 3DS. It won’t be around for long though, and it’s actually never been available to purchase by conventional means.

Hope isn’t lost though. Flipnote Studio 3D is obtained with a My Nintendo reward that is still active at time of writing. For 200 Platinum Points you can redeem the app and download it to your 3DS, as long as your My Nintendo account and Nintendo Network ID are linked.

Get Flipnote Studio 3D from My Nintendo rewards.

New Super Mario Bros. 2

New Super Mario Bros 2
The series may be tired at this point, but Nintendo struck gold with New Super Mario Bros. 2.

The New Super Mario Bros. series is one that many of us got tired with in the 3DS and Wii U era. There was no escape from the franchise, and each subsequent entry felt less and less unique. In my opinion though, New Super Mario Bros. 2 does the best it can to distinguish itself from its predecessor and home console counterparts.

The emphasis on coins is a fun angle, for what has conventionally been so useless in Mario games. It’s flashy, it’s fun, it’s Mario. It’s the only dedicated 2D Mario platformer on the 3DS, so you know you’re going to pick it up already!

Get New Super Mario Bros. 2 for $30 in the USA.
Get New Super Mario Bros. 2 for £40 in the UK.


Harmoknight’s charming unique take on the rhythm genre hits the right note.

An extremely underrated gem, Harmoknight is a platform-rhythm game hybrid from Game Freak, creators of the legendary Pokémon franchise. There’s over 50 levels, including some epic music-based boss fights that are some of the most unique I’ve ever played in gaming.

Not only does this game come from the Pokémon developers, it even features Pokémon songs. There are five bonus Pokémon stages, with original remixes from Game Freak themselves. This isn’t one to miss for fans of smaller relaxing games, Pokémon or rhythm game fans. It’s a download-exclusive game, so when March 27 comes around it’s gone.

Get Harmoknight for $15 in the USA.
Get Harmoknight for £13 in the UK

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Animal Crossing New Leaf
There’s endless fun to be had in the quaint town life of Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

There is no Animal Crossing game better than New Leaf. Don’t get me wrong, New Horizons is an excellent entry, but it lacks the charm and the variety that New Leaf has to offer. From the variety of unlockable stores on Main Street to the minigames of the Island, nobody’s doing it like Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

This is also the game that introduced Isabelle, a franchise mascot ever since. Animal Crossing: New Leaf has infinite replay value, and for a little patience and dedication, you can build the Animal Crossing town of your dreams.

Get Animal Crossing: New Leaf for $20 in the USA.
Get Animal Crossing: New Leaf for £16 in the UK.


Pushmo’s puzzling mechanics and cute art will tug at your heartstrings.

For those who kept up with the smaller 3DS games, you’ll likely know Pushmo. For those who only engaged with the bigger 3DS titles, you might be entirely new to the game. Pushmo is a puzzle game, in which you push and pull interlocking puzzle blocks to create platforms and navigate to the goal. 

The game developed somewhat of a cult following, being extremely well received by critics despite not being a mainstream AAA Nintendo game. Not only is it an excellent little puzzle game, but it’s also packed full of levels and is very cheap.

Get Pushmo for $7 in the USA.
Get Pushmo (named Pullblox, comedically) for £5 in the UK.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

The Legend of Zelda A Link Between Worlds
Explore the darkness of Lorule in A Link Between Worlds.

No Nintendo list is complete without an entry from the Zelda series, and this 3DS list is no exception. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is a continuation of the iconic A Link to the Past SNES game, albeit much further ahead in the future with a different Link. 

In A Link Between Worlds, Link gets the power to traverse across and through walls as a 2D painting, inspired by the magical paintbrush-wielding sorcerer Yuga. This isn’t a Zelda entry to miss. It’s also the last traditional 2D-style Zelda we’ve had in a long time, as the game that followed this was Breath of the Wild, and we all know how well that went for Nintendo.

Get The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds for $20 in the USA.
Get The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds for £16 in the UK.

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy
Professor Layton’s farewell adventure is a solid (temporary) conclusion to the series.

The king of puzzle games made his final appearance in this 3DS game, as the wonderful Professor Layton would soon disappear after this entry back in 2013. There was another game in 2017 that would feature Layton’s daughter, but this was also a mobile title. 

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy marks the end of the prequel trilogy of Layton games, and it goes out with a bang. It’s a globe-trotting puzzle adventure, and a great game to play between now and the recently revealed return of Professor Layton headed for the Switch sometime in future. 

Get Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy for $40 in the USA.
Get Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy for £40 in the UK.

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

Mario Luigi Dream Team
Dream Team focuses on the green with an emphasis on Luigi.

Speaking of endings, the fate of AlphaDream’s Mario & Luigi games are uncertain after the company was shut down, filing for bankruptcy in 2019. It’s the second last original entry in the series, followed by Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam.

Whilst Paper Jam is also a fine game with a fun Paper Mario crossover, Dream Team feels more original. Dream Team puts a spotlight on the less popular sibling with Luigi, and has all the silly dialogue and engaging combat you could ask for from a Mario & Luigi title. 

Get Mario & Luigi: Dream Team for $20 in the USA.
Get Mario & Luigi: Dream Team for £16 in the UK.

Tomodachi Life

Tomodachi Life
A completely unique and completely bonkers predecessor to Miitopia.

So, Tomodachi Life is insane. Some of the most chaotic and cursed Nintendo memes I’ve ever seen came from Tomodachi Life, and there’s not long left to claim your digital copy of the game if you’ve yet to experience the mess for yourself.

The game is a social life-sim game that uses your own Miis as its characters. In ways it’s a predecessor to Miitopia, but less refined and more goofy. Your characters have conversations speaking full robot-voiced English, acting out whacky scenes full of drama and laughs. If you’ve never played Tomodachi Life, it’s worth a try at least once.

Get Tomodachi Life for $20 in the USA.
Get Tomodachi Life for £35 in the UK.

Metroid: Samus Returns

Metroid Samus Returns
MercurySteam’s Metroid debut hits the mark.

A remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus, the amusingly unoriginally-named Metroid: Samus Returns changed up the Metroid formula a lot. Developed by MercurySteam, this game impressed Super Metroid director Yoshio Sakamoto so much that he pushed them to develop Metroid Dread, the first original 2D Metroid game in 20 years on the Switch.

Metroid: Samus Returns adds a melee counterattack, a scanner to find hidden secrets, fast travel, free-firing weapons from any angle and even a new post-credits ending scene. It’s a wonderful update to one of the most dated entries in the Metroid series, so worth a look for any Metroidvania fan.

Get Metroid: Samus Returns for $40 in the USA.
Get Metroid: Samus Returns for £40 in the UK.

Pokémon… All of them!

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon
Gotta buy ’em all if you wanna catch ’em all.

Obviously. Obviously! Pokémon is a landmark series for any Nintendo handheld, and the 3DS was no different. There are two generations of Pokémon on the 3DS, split across two different pairs of games, as well as one remake pair and one upgraded game pair. In total, that’s eight mainline games for all versions.

Pokémon X and Y brought the main Pokémon series to 3D for the first time, and introduced the highly popular Mega Evolution mechanic. The games may not be the best, but they’re a part of Pokémon history. Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire followed, being remakes of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. These games have some fun updates, like the handy PokéNav Plus, the ability to fly around on Latios and Latias, and the presence of 32 catchable legendary Pokémon, the biggest of any game! 

Finally, there’s Pokémon Sun and Moon, and their upgraded versions Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. These games are divisive, but like every Pokémon entry they have their highs and their lows. The Alola region is a fun one, and the introduction of regional variants was an exciting addition to the franchise. Whichever games you prefer, every 3DS Pokémon game has a lot of fun to offer.

Get Pokémon X (or Y) for $40 in the USA.
Get Pokémon X (or Y) for £40 in the UK.

Get Pokémon Omega Ruby (or Alpha Sapphire) for $40 in the USA.
Get Pokémon Omega Ruby (or Alpha Sapphire) for £40 in the UK.

Get Pokémon Sun (or Moon) for $40 in the USA.
Get Pokémon Sun (or Moon) for £40 in the UK.

Get Pokémon Ultra Sun (or Ultra Moon) for $40 in the USA.
Get Pokémon Ultra Sun (or Ultra Moon) for £40 in the UK.

There’s plenty more 3DS games, but those are the ones we thought were most important. Did we miss any you think others should know? Share them in the comments below! Keep your eyes on GameLuster for more gaming news.

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