The first thing I did upon going over it was basically try to get rid of anything that might be considered “blog-ish”, and rewriting anything else as necessary. In other words, I tried to go with my more normal, straightforward style I pushed aside to begin with.

This is the result:


We’re just under a week away from Christmas, and for some, a burning question remains: “Which video game platform is the best one to get for that special someone?”

Truth be told, that very question is something of a false dichotomy: There is no truly “best” system, only the system that’s best for the person playing it. If you’re looking for first-person shooters or sports simulations which sell themselves by their intense attention to detail and realism, then certainly, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are where you’re going to want to look.

However, despite the many ways in which those next generation platforms triumph, the simple fact of the matter is that there are many types of people out there, even within the shared common interest of video gaming. The industry has come a long way since one platform dominated the landscape with seemingly complete control of the business, and just as there are more types of games than ever, so too do those different platforms best fit different people.

Among them, of course, is the Nintendo 3DS. While not as technologically advanced as Sony and Microsoft’s latest platforms, it is by no means a slouch, and may very well be a perfect choice for those who are hesitant about those high-tech home consoles.

Here are ten fields where Nintendo’s three-dimensional handheld excel.

10. Games That Are Great Calming Experiences


Generally speaking, gaming can be a rather intense pastime, and while they can be a good way to relax, the Nintendo 3DS has formed something of a cottage industry of games with a more calming, tranquil atmosphere. In this regard, they are very much akin to virtual vacations that fit in the palm of your hand.

Pilotwings Resort, for example, offers mellow tunes as you choose to face challenges with planes, rocket belts, or hang gliders, or simply fly around freely and see the sights during the day, dusk, or nighttime. Animal Crossing: New Leaf lets you take on the role of mayor and run your easygoing small country town as you see fit, collecting fossils and meeting new neighbors. There’s also the recent Tomodachi Life, where you get to populate an island with Miis of your friends, family, and even celebrities as they form their own relationships and get into all sorts of zany antics.

9. Great Role Playing Games


While the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 do provide their own role playing experiences with titles such as Dragon Age Inquisition, the Nintendo 3DS possesses a robust library of vast and varied RPGs that is quite difficult to beat.

Suppose you enjoy Final Fantasy, but aren’t so keen on the more recent turns the series has taken. Square Enix themselves have just the answer for you in the form of Bravely Default, a clever game in their classic mold with a unique risk-reward battle system and a sequel on the way.

Maybe you prefer something with a more familiar face? Paper Mario: Sticker Star and Mario & Luigi: Dream Team are both there to whisk you away to a world you might know well from the popular plumber’s numerous other adventures.

Want something completely different? Fantasy Life allows you to choose the sort of adventure you want to have in a fantasy world by letting you choose your own life. Want to become a world-renowned chef? A lumberjack? A fisherman? A hunter? All of these, and more? Numerous options are at your disposal.

And of course, while some would say it’s pushing the term “RPG,” there is nonetheless an abundance of The Legend of Zelda titles in both classic top-down (A Link Between Worlds) and 3D (Ocarina of Time) versions, with the “unique, even for the series” Nintendo 64 classic Majora’s Mask on the way with a remake next year.

8. Different Styles and Decorations


Having a customized console is kind of nice, but can often run up an already hefty price tag for something that’s just going to sit on the shelf in your entertainment center. Handhelds, on the other hand, are a lot more personal. Fortunately, the customization options are also that much more plentiful and cheap, too.

The Nintendo 3DS, as you can see above, has all sorts of different styles, allowing you to pick out the one that best says who you are whenever you pull it out to play with friends or strangers. Are you a Mario fan, or perhaps Pokemon is what you love? Zelda? Fire Emblem? Animal Crossing? Heck, there has even been a Metal Gear Solid “snake skin” version available. Or if you just want a basic color, such as red or blue? You’re covered there, too.

With the Nintendo 3DS, it’s fairly easy to find a look that suits you.

7. Comes In Different Forms For All Types Of Players


When it comes to consoles, there’s something of a “one size fits all” mentality. When the original Xbox launched, you were pretty much stuck with “The Duke” as your gargantuan controller of choice until such a time as Microsoft saw fit to release the smaller controller they’d developed for foreign markets here instead. There are other controllers, of course, but more often than not, they come from third-parties. And unless you dropped a sweet chunk of change on something like a professional fight stick, then more often than not, no one wants to be stuck with the third-party controller.

One almost expects the problem to be worse with handhelds, but in the case of the Nintendo 3DS? There’s quite a bit of variety so that players can find just the right one for them.

Perhaps the standard version is just right for you: Foldable, provides 3D visuals, not too big or chunky. On the other hand, maybe you have larger hands, or are just more comfortable with a bigger screen. In that case, the Nintendo 3DS XL is what excels.

Maybe the issue is that 3D is of little use, even undesirable, or that something a bit more durable is called for. In that case, the Nintendo 2DS gives you access to all of the games and key features, but without such functions as 3D and foldability, allowing it to be priced at even less than the other models.

6. There Are Numerous Deals And Bundles Out There


It should go without saying that unless you know the right people, you’re going to end up paying a lot more for a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One than you are a Nintendo 3DS. Maybe there’s something about those experiences that make it worth every penny, and price is not an option. On the other hand, maybe you’re more frugal, and as long as you’re gaming, you’re happy.

If the latter is the case, then it’s hard to go wrong with the Nintendo 3DS. At half or less than half of the price of the next wave of consoles, you’re free to explore numerous options. What’s more, a lot of the choices out there even come with games included, adding to the value of your dollar.

With so many choices, it’s hard to go wrong.

5. Plays The Entire* Nintendo DS Library

via GameSpot

via GameSpot

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have been out for just over a year now. Meanwhile, the Nintendo 3DS has been out since early in 2011– nearly four years, which means it already has a respectable catalog of titles.

Making things more interesting is the lack of backwards compatibility found in both next generation consoles. All those Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 games, all of those Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Store downloads? With all but a small handful of exceptions (primarily in the case of the latter), the only way you can really make good on those investments is by holding on to your last-generation hardware.

The Nintendo 3DS, however? In addition to its own reputable library of titles, it has access to the entire* Nintendo DS collection of hits, too. That is a full decade of great games you have to choose from, ready to be played on the go.

In fact, the library goes even further back, which brings us to…

* Admittedly, there are a few exceptions, i.e. games such as Guitar Hero which made use of the Game Boy Advance slot on the first two iterations of Nintendo DS hardware. Those are a lost cause, we’re afraid.

4. Virtual Console


When the games of today just aren’t enough; when you want to relive, rediscover, or even try something you missed the first time around, that’s when you turn to the Virtual Console.

It’s here where you’ll find a great selection of classic Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Nintendo Entertainment System, SEGA Game Gear, and even SEGA Genesis and arcade games, ready to download. Super Mario Bros., Metroid, Castlevania, Mega Man, Double Dragon, The Legend of Zelda, and even Sonic the Hedgehog titles from the Blue Blur’s golden era. It’s all here (well, a lot of it is, anyway), whether you want to relive some golden memories or indoctrinate the next generation into how games used to be.

What’s more, games which once seemed unfair or insurmountable (Ninja Gaiden, for example) now have the sting taken out of them by the Virtual Console’s updated features. Now you can create a Restore Point (i.e. a Save State) to prevent yourself from being set back too much when taking on some of those “Nintendo Hard” classics.

3. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS


Occasionally imitated, never duplicated. Super Smash Bros. is the kind of game that can only happen on a Nintendo platform.

Known and loved the world over, Super Smash Bros. is the once-per-generation opportunity to round up all of Nintendo’s biggest icons– as well as a few from other companies who have had great significance to them over the years– and just have them throw down in all-ages friendly pseudo-fighting game for up to four players.

But wait, “once per generation”? Well, not any more; in addition to a new Wii U installment in the series, a Nintendo 3DS version has brought the thrill of Smash to portables for the first time ever. With the same roster and many similar features as the Wii U version, plus a host of unique stages and modes all its own, you can now enjoy Nintendo’s smash hit franchise anywhere.

Oh, and if you have a Wii U and that version of the game? You can use the Nintendo 3DS as an extra controller– great for when you want to fill out an eight-player battle but don’t have enough GameCube and other controllers to go around.

2. Pokemon


Whether they play it or not, there is probably not a gamer alive who doesn’t know what Pokemon is, it’s that huge. While not the juggernaut it once was upon its debut, it’s nonetheless become a fixture in pop culture, like Elvis or WWE.

That said, the Nintendo 3DS is pretty much the place to get the Pokemon experience. Even among Nintendo’s own platforms, there is no real choice other than their handhelds. To this day, there have indeed been console Pokemon games, but never a proper Pokemon console game– that is, the full RPG experience made to be presented on a television screen (Super Game Boy and Game Boy Player aside, of course).

On the Nintendo 3DS, though, there have been two “generations” of Pokemon titles already in Pokemon X, Pokemon Y, Pokemon Alpha Sapphire, and Pokemon Omega Ruby. There will likely be more next year, and if you throw in the Nintendo DS titles, there are three more, and that’s without counting other worthwhile spin-offs such as Pokemon Conquest.

If you want to play new Pokemon games, you want to play Nintendo 3DS. It’s just that simple.

1. Nintendo Exclusives


If there is one theme that has persisted throughout this article, it’s that the Nintendo 3DS has something that neither the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One will ever have: Nintendo games.

Mario, Zelda, Pokemon, Super Smash Bros., Donkey Kong, Professor Layton, Pilotwings, Kid Icarus, Metroid… the list goes on and on. Some will argue that Nintendo doesn’t have the greatest third-party support, and while that may be true, they aren’t completely lacking in that area, either, particularly where the Nintendo 3DS is concerned. But their greatest strength is that of their own first-party properties and titles, and the quality they bring to their own home-grown library.

It’s what separates Nintendo from their competition, and while there is a tough choice between getting a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One, for many, it’s a question of what to get alongside a Nintendo, rather than instead of.

Of course, it’s also worth noting that while there are plenty of reasons to get a Nintendo 3DS now (ten, as you can see), there is one good reason to hold off: Nintendo will soon be releasing a “New Nintendo 3DS”, which is already available in Japan and Australia. It’s not a successor so much as an upgrade of sorts (think “Nintendo DSi to Nintendo DS”, rather than “Nintendo 3DS to Nintendo DS”), with just a bit more power, a right-hand analog nub, and a few other features. Unless something there appeals to you, though, you should be safe in getting one of the current versions.

Honorary Mention: StreetPass

It didn’t feel right to leave this off entirely, and while not worth the purchase of the system to most people, the joy of receiving tags from other Nintendo 3DS owners and using the data transmitted to reach your goals in a handful of mini-games is addictive and not to be underestimated.

So there are our ten places where the Nintendo 3DS excels. Of course, if you have a well-reasoned argument or disagreement, or even concur with what we’ve said, we’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments below.


About 2,600 words this time, and it got rejected again, apparently not being “up to a standard” they could post. Apparently, I was still playing too soft with the other guys in saying something like ”There is no truly ‘best’ system, only the system that’s best for the person playing it.”

In other words, I guess I wasn’t baiting console fanboys enough with it. That’s my takeaway, at least, though I honestly have no idea what they really wanted. Something that slams the others? As I said, I did take some jabs the first time around, but the editor never read it, so who knows if that’s what he wanted? But apparently saying that the others don’t have games with relaxing atmospheres was too much so, enough to drive them to the comments after the first entry, so maybe he wanted something that doesn’t?

I don’t know, and I may never know. I’m okay with that, and I probably should have declined the thing as soon as it looked like it was going to be about clickbaiting for fanboys and trolls.

What can I say, though? Them’s the breaks when you work a gig like this. You can’t dwell on it (and in case you’re wondering, I’m not dwelling on it– I was told I could retrieve the content for personal use, and with two versions of the article to choose from, I decided to use both. This seemed like the best way to do that), you just have to move on to the next job.

I will say that if anything really bugs me about this, it’s that beyond this very post that you’re reading, the whole thing was a complete waste of time from a productive work standpoint. I lost a couple of days to putting this whole thing together and reassembling it later, which pushed back production on another article that I needed to have done soon. A lot of places will offer a kill fee if they provide an assignment that doesn’t work out, but sadly, not this place. Any revenue I get comes from clicks/views, and since the article was rejected, I get zilch.

So, in the end, I just hope that beyond maybe any enjoyment derived from the content itself, any aspiring writers have a better idea of what you’re dealing with out there. Either/or will suffice in lieu of payment for this piece, as far as I’m concerned, and if you do enjoy it, please share!