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UNF Spinnaker

Cheap games guide: Nintendo 3DS

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Welcome to our cheap games guide where we’ll break down the best video games for the best price. Today we’ll be focusing on Nintendo’s 3DS handheld console. This is part one of five.

Gaming, much like college, can get expensive. Consoles and PCs cost hundreds of dollars, games can be upwards of $60 and replacing controllers and keyboards from repeated use (or rage) can be costly as well.

Most college students are lucky if they can afford one new release a month. But some of the best experiences can be found with indie titles, hidden gems and even those games you might have passed up years ago when they were asking full price.

We fully recognize that pre-owned games, flash sales and humble bundles can offer heavily discounted copies of games. For the purpose of these lists, we’ll be focusing on games that are $20 or under in new condition physically or via digital download.  

Being broke college students ourselves, we haven’t been able to play every game for every system. But trust me when I say, we’ve played games a lot more than most people should.

To start off our cheap games guide, we’ll be focusing on Nintendo’s 3DS console.

Arguably one of the greatest games ever made, Ocarina of Time was the first Legend of Zelda game to switch from a top-down perspective to a third person adventure. This remaster brings a classic back to life for a new generation and simply can’t be missed.

Resident Evil Revelations became one of the first “must have” games for the Nintendo 3DS when it was released in early 2012. A truly haunting experience, the game returns the Resident Evil series to its roots of survival horror first, shooter second. The game is a necessity for anyone wanting a horrendously good time.

A launch game for the 3DS, Super Street Fighter 4: 3D Edition still holds a spot as one of the best fighting games on the handheld. The gameplay and stylized visuals have held up remarkably. If you do pick up this title, no button mashing please.

The time commitment necessary to see everything this village management sim has to offer is extreme, but being a virtual mayor in Animal Crossing: New Leaf  is one of the most rewarding gameplay experiences seen on the 3DS. You’ll soon feel anxious every time you’ve left your citizens for more than a day.


Don’t let the cute appearance of Pushmo trick you, this puzzle game will punish those who expect to breeze through every level. Pushmo is a 3DS exclusive and one of the best games on the platform regardless of price. With a level creator and downloader included, this unique game has huge replayability value.

A challenging platformer that lends itself to chasing high scores, Mutant Mudds is simple and complex. The goal is simple, the execution can be complicated, but the game is always fun.


Cheap, fast and fun, Mighty Switch Force acts as an alternative to those tired of the simplicity and laid back pace of side-scrolling platformers. In its place is a puzzle platformer that creates a surprisingly good time despite being the least expensive game on the 3DS list.


Shovel Knight is featured on both of our handheld lists for a reason. While available on nearly every platform, the game is best when played on a portable console. There’s something special about an indie game that elicits nostalgia without having any previous entries released. Cementing this, a Shovel Knight amiibo is an instant classic.


Speaking of classics…the gaming world simply would not be what it is today without Mega Man. This compilation of six games from the powerhouse franchise is one of the best remastered collection available and should not be missed.


How do you follow up the cute yet demented world of Super Meat Boy? You make a significantly more demented game in the style of classic Legend of Zelda dungeons. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is a twisted and sometimes sad game that will have you fighting through some of the weirdest enemies the randomly generated stages have to offer.

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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