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Home / Articles

Best Selling 3DS Games: Ultimate List [2024]

12 Mar, 2024
Written by
Elizaveta Latinskaya
Elizaveta Latinskaya
Best Selling RPGs: Ultimate List Ranked by Revenue [2024]

The Nintendo 3DS, launched in 2011, marked a significant evolution in handheld gaming, introducing the novel concept of stereoscopic 3D graphics without the need for special glasses. This innovative feature set it apart from its predecessors and competitors, offering gamers a new and immersive way to experience their favorite titles. The 3DS built on the legacy of the iconic DS system, enhancing it with more powerful hardware, improved graphics, and a broader range of functionalities, including augmented reality (AR) capabilities, social features through StreetPass and SpotPass, and backward compatibility with DS titles.

How we calculate Our high-load parsers scrape the web and our marketing analysts process the data to provide up-to-date information for business.
Rank Game Genre Developer Publisher Platform Release Date Sales (million units)
1 Mario Kart 7 Mario Kart 7 Racing Video Game, Action game Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development, Nintendo, Retro Studios Nintendo Nintendo 3DS December 1, 2011 18.98
2 Pokémon X/Pokémon Y Pokémon X/Pokémon Y Role-playing Game Freak Nintendo Nintendo 3DS October 12, 2013 16.72
3 Pokémon Sun Pokémon Sun/Pokémon Moon Role-playing Game Freak Nintendo Nintendo 3DS November 18, 2016 16.32
4 Pokémon Omega Ruby Pokémon Omega Ruby/Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Role-playing Game Freak Nintendo Nintendo 3DS November 21, 2014 14.6
5 New Super Mario Bros. 2 New Super Mario Bros. 2 Platform Nintendo EAD Nintendo Nintendo 3DS July 28, 2012 13.42
6 Animal Crossing: New Leaf Animal Crossing: New Leaf Life Simulation Nintendo EAD Nintendo Nintendo 3DS November 8, 2012 13.05
7 Super Mario 3D Land Super Mario 3D Land Platform Nintendo EAD Tokyo Nintendo Nintendo 3DS November 3, 2011 12.88
8 Super Smash Bros. Super Smash Bros. Fighting, Platform Bandai Namco, Sora Ltd. Nintendo Nintendo 3DS October 3, 2014 9.64
9 Pokémon Sun Pokémon Ultra Sun/Pokémon Ultra Moon Role-playing Game Freak Nintendo Nintendo 3DS November 17, 2017 9.19
10 Tomodachi Life Tomodachi Life Life Simulation Nintendo SPD Nintendo Nintendo 3DS April 18, 2013 6.72

Beyond its technological advancements, the 3DS is celebrated for its extensive and diverse game library, which has something to offer for every type of gamer. From beloved franchises like “The Legend of Zelda” and “Pokémon” to innovative titles like “Animal Crossing: New Leaf” and “Fire Emblem: Awakening,” the 3DS has hosted a plethora of games that have not only achieved commercial success but have also pushed the boundaries of handheld gaming. The platform became a haven for both mainstream and niche audiences, with a wide array of genres represented, including action, RPG, puzzle, and simulation games.

Best selling 3DS Games: Top-10

1. Mario Kart 7

Mario Kart 7

Release date: December 1, 2011

Genre: Kart Racing

As of December 2023, “Mario Kart 7” leads as the best-selling Nintendo 3DS game, achieving impressive sales of 18.98 million units globally. This milestone underscores its immense popularity and enduring appeal among the 3DS gaming community. “Mario Kart 7” is a kart racing game featuring 3D graphics, where players control characters from the Mario franchise as they race against each other on various tracks. Unique to this installment are the hang-gliding and underwater driving mechanics, allowing for diverse race environments. The game also introduces kart customization, letting players modify their vehicles for different performances. The use of the 3DS’s gyroscopic controls for steering adds an immersive layer to the gameplay, showcasing the console’s technological capabilities. “Mario Kart 7” stands out with its innovative 3D races, introducing new gameplay elements like hang-gliding and underwater driving that diversify racing tactics. The game’s kart customization feature allows for personalized vehicle performance, enhancing the competitive aspect. These additions, coupled with the 3DS’s gyroscopic control option, offer an engaging and immersive racing experience, contributing to its status as the top-selling game on the platform.

2. Pokémon X/Pokémon Y

Pokémon X/Pokémon Y

Release Date: October 12, 2013

Genre: Role-Playing Game (RPG)

“Pokémon X” and “Pokémon Y,” released for the Nintendo 3DS, together sold 16.72 million units worldwide, making them among the top-selling games for the console. “Pokémon X” and “Pokémon Y” introduced the series to 3D gameplay, set in the France-inspired Kalos region. These games added over 70 new Pokémon, the concept of Mega Evolution, and featured a deeper storyline involving the ecological theme and the legendary Pokémon Xerneas and Yveltal. With innovations like the Player Search System for online battles and trades, and Super Training for Pokémon stat enhancement, they significantly enriched the Pokémon gaming experience. “Pokémon X” and “Y” further enriched gameplay with features like the Fairy type, enhancing battle strategies, and introduced character customization, allowing players to personalize their trainers. The inclusion of the Kalos region’s visually diverse landscapes and the emotional depth of the storyline, revolving around themes of beauty, life, and destruction, offered a fresh narrative experience, contributing to their significant commercial success.

3. Pokémon Sun/Pokémon Moon

Pokémon Sun/Pokémon Moon

Release Date: November 18, 2016

Genre: Role-Playing Game (RPG)

“Pokémon Sun” and “Pokémon Moon,” released for the Nintendo 3DS, together sold 16.32 million units globally. “Pokémon Sun” and “Moon” feature a journey in Alola with new Pokémon, Alolan forms, and the introduction of Z-Moves. The traditional Gym battles are replaced by the Island Challenge, offering varied trials. The games also include enhanced graphics and a rich storyline that delves into the mysteries of Legendary Pokémon and the Alola region’s unique culture. “Pokémon Sun” and “Pokémon Moon,” released for the Nintendo 3DS, together sold 16.32 million units globally. “Pokémon Sun” and “Moon” feature a journey in Alola with new Pokémon, Alolan forms, and the introduction of Z-Moves. The traditional Gym battles are replaced by the Island Challenge, offering varied trials. The games also include enhanced graphics and a rich storyline that delves into the mysteries of Legendary Pokémon and the Alola region’s unique culture.

4. Pokémon Omega Ruby/Pokémon Alpha Sapphire

Pokémon Omega Ruby/Pokémon Alpha Sapphire

Release Date: November 21, 2014

Genre: Role-Playing Game (RPG)

“Pokémon Omega Ruby” and “Pokémon Alpha Sapphire” are enhanced remakes of the original “Ruby” and “Sapphire” games, set in the Hoenn region. With 14.6 million units sold, they blend nostalgic elements with new features like Primal Reversion for Legendary Pokémon, Mega Evolutions, and the Delta Episode, which expands the storyline. The games add the Soar ability, allowing players to fly and explore the region in a novel way, along with the Delta Episode, a new storyline involving the lore of the Hoenn region and Deoxys. 

They also incorporate the Player Search System, enhancing online interactions, and Secret Bases, customizable areas that can be shared with others, enriching the social and competitive aspects of the game. 

5. New Super Mario Bros. 2

New Super Mario Bros. 2

Release Date: July 28, 2012

Genre: Platform

“New Super Mario Bros. 2,” released for the Nintendo 3DS, achieved sales of 13.42 million units. This game continues the classic side-scrolling adventure but with a unique focus on collecting coins, introducing new power-ups and challenges that enhance the traditional Mario platforming experience. The game also features a Coin Rush mode, challenging players to collect as many coins as possible across three randomly selected levels within a time limit. This mode, combined with the rich level design and classic Mario gameplay mechanics, adds replayability and competitive elements, encouraging players to improve their skills and strategies for coin collection. “New Super Mario Bros. 2” further enhances the gameplay experience by integrating StreetPass functionality, allowing players to exchange Coin Rush scores with others, fostering a sense of community and competition. This feature, along with the game’s focus on coin collection and classic platforming elements, makes it a standout title in the Mario series.

6. Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Release Date: November 8, 2012

Genre: Life Simulation

“Animal Crossing: New Leaf,” released for the Nintendo 3DS, has sold 13.05 million units. In “Animal Crossing: New Leaf,” players take on the role of mayor in a town filled with quirky animal residents. They have the freedom to customize both their character and the town, engage in various activities like fishing, decorating, and participating in events. The game introduced new features such as the ability to enact town ordinances and public works projects, greatly expanding the level of control and customization available to players. “Animal Crossing: New Leaf” enhances the immersive experience with the Dream Suite, allowing players to visit other towns in dreams, and the Happy Home Showcase, where players can view and rate houses of other players they’ve encountered via StreetPass. These features, along with real-time gameplay synchronized with the real world, ensure a dynamic and continually evolving gameplay experience.

7. Super Mario 3D Land

Super Mario 3D Land

Release Date: November 3, 2011

Genre: Platform

“Super Mario 3D Land,” a platform game for the Nintendo 3DS, sold 12.88 million units. “Super Mario 3D Land” blends traditional Mario platforming with 3D gameplay, featuring creative levels that utilize the 3DS’s stereoscopic capabilities for depth perception and puzzle-solving. It introduces the Boomerang Flower power-up and revives the Tanooki Suit, offering new and nostalgic gameplay mechanics. The game is praised for its level design, which cleverly incorporates the 3D effect to solve puzzles and navigate platforms, enhancing the gameplay experience. With its rich, colorful graphics and a mix of new and classic Mario elements, “Super Mario 3D Land” offers a fresh yet familiar Mario adventure.

8. Super Smash Bros.

Super Smash Bros.

Release Date: October 3, 2014

Genre: Fighting

“Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS” sold 9.64 million units, bringing the beloved crossover fighting series to a handheld device for the first time. “Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS” combines characters from various Nintendo franchises in a fighting game format. It features a variety of modes, including single-player and multiplayer, with battles taking place on stages inspired by Nintendo games. The game is known for its expansive roster of characters, customizable movesets, and items that influence the outcome of battles, making each match unique and engaging. The game introduces the “Smash Run” mode, exclusive to the 3DS version, where players explore a large map, collect power-ups, and compete in a final battle. This mode, along with the traditional gameplay and portable nature of the 3DS, offers a unique and versatile “Super Smash Bros.” experience.

9. Pokémon Ultra Sun/Pokémon Ultra Moon

Pokémon Ultra Sun/Pokémon Ultra Moon

Release Date: November 17, 2017

Genre: Role-Playing Game (RPG)

“Pokémon Ultra Sun” and “Ultra Moon,” enhanced versions of “Sun” and “Moon,” sold 9.19 million units. “Pokémon Ultra Sun” and “Ultra Moon” offer an enhanced version of the original Sun and Moon story, set in the Alola region. They introduce new Ultra Beasts, the Ultra Recon Squad, and feature an expanded storyline, including the Ultra Warp Ride for exploring different worlds, and new Z-Moves, enriching the Pokémon training and battle experience. The games also introduce the Battle Agency, a new facility where players can rent powerful Pokémon for battles, adding a strategic layer to gameplay. This feature, combined with the expanded narrative and exploration opportunities, offers players a rich and varied Pokémon experience in the Alola region.

10. Tomodachi Life

Tomodachi Life

Release Date: April 18, 2013

Genre: Life Simulation

“Tomodachi Life,” a life simulation game for the Nintendo 3DS, sold 6.72 million units. In “Tomodachi Life,” players populate an island with Miis, who interact in unpredictable ways based on their traits and relationships. The game features a wide array of activities, customization options, and scenarios, driven by the unique personalities and preferences of the Miis, creating a dynamic and often humorous simulation of life’s various social aspects. “Tomodachi Life” stands out for its quirky humor and the wide range of interactions among Miis, from friendships and romances to quirky behaviors, influenced by players’ decisions. The game’s charm lies in its unpredictability and the personal touch players can add by importing Miis of friends and family.

Chart-Toppers of the 3DS

The article highlights the remarkable diversity and depth of the Nintendo 3DS game library. From the thrilling races of “Mario Kart 7” to the immersive world of “Animal Crossing: New Leaf,” these top-selling titles reflect the 3DS’s broad appeal and the innovative gameplay experiences it offered. As we look back on the legacy of the 3DS, these best-sellers stand as a testament to the console’s impact on players and the gaming industry as a whole.

FAQ

Can you still buy 3DS games from Nintendo?

According to a Nintendo FAQ, the eShops for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U have been shut down for good. This means you can't buy new games or downloadable content from these eShops anymore. However, you're still able to download any games, DLC, and game updates you previously bought.

When did Nintendo stop selling the 3DS?

Nintendo stopped making the 3DS family of systems on September 16, 2020.

What was the original price of the 3DS?

The Nintendo 3DS originally cost $250 when it first came out in 2011. Over time, the price went down to around $100, especially after Nintendo released new versions like the 3DS XL.

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