10 3DS Virtual Console Titles Worth Checking Out Before the eShop Closes

With the 3DS eShop set to be officially closing in March of next year, now is the perfect time to look at the many exclusive or unique titles it has to offer that are mostly, or entirely, unavailable on other digital platforms. The price of retro games has drastically increased over the years, so having many of these gone for the forseeable future outside of those who have access to physical is a shame. This time we’re looking at 10 3DS virtual console games that are worth checking out, whether it’s individual titles or certain series that have multiple entries that will soon be disappearing. As these are virtual console titles, most of them will be under $10, often times under $5, so easy to pick up a couple that happen to catch one’s eyes.

1. The Legend of Zelda (Various)

3DS got a great variety of Zelda games originating on Game Boy and Game Boy Color. Although Link’s Awakening did get a remake on the Switch, the original DX version is available here and not anywhere else at the moment. The Zelda Game & Watch has the original but not DX, making the 3DS the superior version. Both Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons are also available here, so players can get the complete original Game Boy collection with a whopping 3 different adventures to play.

2. Pokemon (Various)

Perhaps the most popular on this list to many is the Virtual Console versions of Pokemon Red, Blue, Yellow, Silver, Gold and Crystal. All of these titles are not cheap to buy physically, so being able to pick them up here and play them whenever is a huge benefit. They also have connectivity with Pokemon Bank which will still be available provided it’s been downloaded before next year, so Pokemon that people wish to carry over can still make it to Home and future Pokemon entries on Nintendo Switch.

3. Wario Land (Trilogy)

Wario may have started as Mario’s opponent, but he soon after got a series dedicated to the garlic-loving mastermind himself. The 3DS is home to the original Game Boy trilogy which are some of the most charming and underrated entries in Nintendo’s platforming Library. Enjoy the origins of many of Wario’s iconic personality traits and moves, in addition to just getting to enjoy some of the coolest Game Boy soundtracks around. If we had to pick just one, it’d be Wario land 3, but every single one is well worth picking up and playing.

4. 3D Classics (Various)

The 3D Classics were a relatively short-lived spin off series for a variety of NES titles and one Arcade title that offered some great visual twists on classics in gaming. This includes Kirby’s Adventure, Kid Icarus, Excitebike, TwinBee, Urban Champion and Xevious. Unless players absolutely want the original, these are very much worth picking up over their counterparts due to a lot of improvements both visually and in some control departments. This is also the only platform they’re likely to ever be released on, so they are possible to be lost in the future for those who want to keep this little piece of history.

5. Harvest Moon (Various)

Harvest Moon had a great set of titles on the Game Boy and the 3DS is home to three such titles if players wish to revisit the originals. Here players can find Harvest Moon, Harvest Moon 2 GBC and Harvest Moon 3 GBC. While this series may have many superior titles in the franchise at this point, it’s always nice to revisit the originals and enjoy humble beginnings both on handheld and just to see where series staples started at.

6. Kirby (Spin-Offs)

While it’s easy to get most of the well-known mainline Kirby titles, the 3DS is home to a slew of Game Boy spin-offs that people often forget about. This includes the likes it Kirby’s Star Stacker, Kirby’s Pinball Land and Kirby’s Block Ball. Every single one of these is a unique delight featuring everyone’s favorite pink puff ball, so they’re worth checking out for fans of both Kirby and puzzle arcade-styled games. They’re another set of titles that’s relatively hard to come by these days physically, so why not give them a go on 3DS to make sure they’re always accessible.

7. Spelunker

Ever wanted to see where the hit indie Spelunky got some of its inspiration from? Look no further than Spelunker, a difficult retro dive into caves for treasures that await the brave spelunker who will fight against various cave-dwelling creatures below. Spelunker isn’t terribly long, but the difficulty might keep players entranced in the caves for quite a while in order to make their way through to the end.

8. Mole Mania

Wanna know one of Shigeru Miyamoto’s lesser-known titles? It’s none other than Mole Mania! Players take on the role of a mole named Muddy whose family has been kidnapped by a farmer, and it’s up to his clever skill to put an end to the farmer in unique pushing puzzles and get his family back from him. Along the way Muddy will also gather food and stop other nasty foes who are trying to make his life misery all in the name of love for his family he wishes to see home with him once more.

9. Pinball: Revenge of the Gator

Fans of the original Game Boy might remember this simple, yet extremely charming take on Pinball for the early handheld system. While there’s nothing terribly crazy, wild or exciting about this, it’s a classic and charming take on pinball featuring tons of adorable gators as blocks and threats in the way to get the latest pinball high score time and time again. Playing continually will earn lots of different looks at what awaits players who hit certain objects or manage to get certain scores and it’s just a great look at one of the earliest Game Boy entries.

10. Legend of the River King

One might easily see this entry and think: really? A fishing game of all things? But don’t let looks deceive you, Legend of the River King is a story centered around a young fisher who must find the Guardian Fish, the only creature that can save his sibling from their illness. This is one title in a longer-running series about fishing that brings some creative RPG elements to its fishing, meaning there are enemies waiting to be fought as well, making it a uniquely charming adventure. There’s also an optional mode that lets players raise and take care of their own fish just for fun. For anyone who likes the first title the sequel is also on the 3DS Vritual Console as well as an extra nice touch for those who discover the charm of fishing with an RPG twist for family and fun.