7 Best Nintendo 3DS Action Games that moves in every dimension

Action games are only second to platforming games (note that technically platformers are action games) in sheer quantity on most Nintendo handhelds. On the 3DS, there are also a lot of them, and seven of the best of them are featured below.

Best nintendo 3DS action games

7. Samurai Warriors Chronicles

Samurai Warriors Chronicles delighted fans of the Feudal and Sengoku eras with its immersive narrative and captivating visuals. Set against the backdrop of historical conflicts, the game allowed players to rewrite history alongside iconic figures like Nobunaga Oda and Ieyasu Tokugawa. Its compelling storytelling and comprehensive exploration of pivotal battles made it a standout title in the Samurai Warriors series.

Visually, Samurai Warriors Chronicles excelled with its impressive graphics and dynamic cutscenes, delivering an epic Japanese aesthetic that looks great on the 3DS’ screen. The game's 3D presentation enhanced the overall experience, complemented by detailed character designs and expressive animations that brought the era to life.

While the gameplay mechanics stayed true to the series' hack-and-slash roots, Samurai Warriors Chronicles introduced new features like the warrior switch system, adding strategic depth to the familiar formula. However, criticism arose over the game's AI shortcomings, particularly the erratic behavior of ally NPCs, which required micromanagement to ensure mission success. Samurai Warriors Chronicles’ challenging difficulty and extensive replay value, with unlockable content and StreetPass functionality, cemented its status as a must-buy for fans of the series and enthusiasts of action games on the hack-and-slash titles subgenre, offering hours of immersive gameplay on the 3DS platform.

6. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon continues the story of Luigi as he navigates through Evershade Valley to restore peace after the Dark Moon is shattered. Guided by Professor Elvin Gadd, players embark on a quest to retrieve the missing pieces of the Dark Moon and tame the once-playful ghosts turned hostile. With its straightforward yet engaging plot, the game sets a comical yet adventurous tone as Luigi faces the daunting task ahead.

The game excels in its sound design and music, with eerie yet fitting tunes that enhance the atmosphere of the haunted mansions. From Luigi's occasional hums to the satisfying sound effects of ghost encounters, the audio elements contribute to the immersive experience. Graphics-wise, the game has detailed environments and clever use of lighting effects.

Dark Moon’s puzzles offer engaging challenges, and its replay value is bolstered by hidden collectibles and mission objectives, ensuring prolonged enjoyment for players seeking completion and mastery.

4. Kid Icarus: Uprising

Kid Icarus: Uprising delivers an unparalleled gaming experience, which will never be achieved anymore due to the change in Nintendo’s approach with their handhelds / consoles. The game seamlessly integrates aerial and ground combat, with each chapter offering unexpected twists to keep players engaged. Aerial battles rival those of the Star Fox series, featuring exhilarating speed, precise controls, and addicting gameplay. Ground combat combines elements of third-person shooting and Zelda-like combat, creating a thrilling roller coaster of action, dodging, and strategic attacks. Despite an initially challenging control scheme, customizable controls and included accessories will eventually allow players to enjoy the game. 

While the fast-paced nature of the game can make following dialogue challenging, the engaging narrative and memorable characters contribute to the game's overall excellence. The game's soundtrack, partly composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, complements the action with memorable and catchy themes, while stunning graphics and exceptional use of 3D further enhance the visual experience.

With its extensive content and replay value, Kid Icarus: Uprising offers an abundance of gameplay opportunities beyond its 15-hour campaign. Achievements, collectibles, and multiplayer modes provide endless entertainment, ensuring that players will continue to uncover new challenges and experiences. 

3. Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D emerged as a standout among Nintendo 64 classics remakes on the 3DS, offering a unique and immersive experience that diverges from its predecessor, Ocarina of Time. The game's approach to crafting a sequel defies expectations, eschewing the temptation to simply expand upon its predecessor's success with larger-than-life elements. Instead, Majora's Mask introduces a darker, more introspective narrative set within the enigmatic world of Termina, challenging players with its haunting atmosphere and impending doom.

In Majora's Mask, the game's design reflects a departure from traditional Zelda conventions, prioritizing a sense of urgency and exploration within a world teetering on the brink of destruction. The game's central hub, Clock Town, serves as a focal point for the player's journey, offering a recurring backdrop for the game's cyclical structure and thematic depth. Despite its departure from the conventions of its predecessor, Majora's Mask stands as a testament to the creative vision and bold experimentation that define the Zelda series, presenting players with a dark and captivating adventure unlike any other.

3. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Oh, look, another Zelda game. But this is so well-deserved. It surpasses entries like Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword, Spirit Tracks, and Phantom Hourglass, showcasing a level of maturity and finally fully grasping the franchise’s potential. Despite its familiar formula, the game effectively shakes up longstanding Zelda conventions/

The game excels in nearly every aspect, from its expansive yet interconnected world to its charming graphical style reminiscent of Super Paper Mario. A Link Between Worlds cleverly utilizes the top-down perspective, reintroducing it to the series after a hiatus since Four Swords and Minish Cap. Combat mechanics and item usage remain quintessentially Zelda, but with innovative twists such as Ravio's rental system and the Ravio Meter, which adds a layer of strategy and resource management.

Hyrule and its dark counterpart, Lorule, are meticulously crafted worlds brimming with content and atmosphere. The dense overworld encourages thorough exploration, rewarding players with hidden treasures and cleverly placed puzzles. Lorule's eerie ambiance and challenging dungeons provide a stark contrast to Hyrule, offering a refreshing yet familiar experience. With a surprisingly intricate storyline and timeless gameplay, A Link Between Worlds proves to be a standout title on the 3DS, deserving of its accolades and praise.

2. Monster Hunter Ultimate 4 Ultimate

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate offers both familiar elements and exciting changes to the franchise's gameplay. The core concept of hunting monsters for materials to upgrade equipment remains intact, but the game introduces notable improvements in character mobility. Players now enjoy increased agility, allowing for smoother movements, easier evasions, and dynamic actions like climbing ledges and jumping off cliffs mid-combat. The addition of the mounting mechanic adds another layer of strategy, requiring players to master the skill of mounting monsters to secure rare materials.

While many aspects of the game will feel familiar to veterans, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate also introduces fresh content to keep the experience engaging. Two new weapon types expand combat possibilities, offering players new strategies to master. The expedition mode introduces randomized areas with exclusive monsters, adding variety to the hunting experience. Despite some recycled monsters and towns, the game's vibrant graphics and smooth performance on the 3DS showcase the hardware's capabilities, enhancing immersion in the hunt.

With its extensive content and replay value, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate offers countless hours of gameplay for both solo adventurers and multiplayer enthusiasts. Whether embarking on quests alone or teaming up with friends online, at the time of its release that is, players can expect a challenging and rewarding experience. 

1. Metroid: Samus Returns

Metroid: Samus Returns marks a significant turnaround for the franchise, which faced uncertainty following the disappointing release of Metroid Prime: Federation Force. Set after the events of Zero Mission and the Metroid Prime series, the game follows Samus Aran's mission to exterminate the Metroids on SR388, adding depth to the classic storyline with impressive artwork and music.

The gameplay mirrors later entries in the series, offering streamlined mechanics reminiscent of Super Metroid and the Prime series. While maintaining familiarity, the game introduces new abilities like precise aiming and the Melee Counter. Challenging encounters with evolving Metroids and formidable bosses demand strategic planning and skillful execution, contributing to a rewarding gameplay experience that can take 6-10 hours to complete.

For the visuals, the game surpasses its predecessor, featuring detailed environments, expressive characters, and captivating music. Despite its challenging nature, the game's difficulty adds to its appeal, offering high replay value for completionists. It is always no-surprise when a Metroid game tops the best of list.