The Nintendo 2DS XL is now available, and, despite the fact you can’t play games in 3D, it’s a pretty good little handheld system, based on our just-posted review of the system. It’s durable, light, easy to use and has great functionality, especially when it comes to running new games and scanning Amiibo figurines for extra features. (That’ll be handy when Metroid: Samus Returns rolls around in a couple of months.)
If you’re picking up a 2DS XL for the first time, you might wonder what some of the best games are for it. There are quite a few to choose from – particularly if you’re a fan of the Pokemon series – but it can be quite overwhelming if you’re not used to Nintendo’s massive game library.
Not to worry, as we have a few suggestions that will be perfect for your new system. Grab some money and indulge in these six great titles!
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Released back in 2013, A Link Between Worlds has proven to be one of the best classic Zelda games ever made, a follow-up to the SNES favorite A Link To the Past. Using a top-down setting, the adventure really pays off here, with a great new play tactic where you can traverse along walls as a painting before transforming back into your normal self. Filled with intricate puzzles, great gameplay, and a presentation that’s still heart-warming after all these years, A Link Between Worlds is the quintessential Zelda handheld experience. (And yes, that’s putting Majora’s Mask and Ocarina of Time into consideration – though you should grab those, too.)
Super Smash Bros.
Although this fighting fest came out for both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, the handheld version sold better, mainly due to its accessibility – and being able to kick anyone’s butt, either with local or online multiplayer. The 2014 beat-em-up still stands strong today, with an epic cast of characters (Nintendo favorites, alongside the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man), strong gameplay, and a number of options that let you fight your way. Even in 2D, the game looks tremendously good, and connecting with others in a brawl is just as easy as it’s ever been. Either this or Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition are just the things to get your fisticuffs on with.
Mario Kart 7
Of course we’re going to recommend a racing game – but not just any racing game. Even with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe making the rounds on Nintendo Switch, Mario Kart 7 remains a quintessential driving experience, with its abundant amount of tracks, fun online multiplayer, and splendid presentation. On top of that, the dual-screen set-up works wonders for each race, as you can keep tabs on opponents and try to avoid losing the lead. Of course, those damn spiked shells are back with a vengeance, but we’ve come to expect those in Mario Kart games anyway, so it’s not the end of the world. Pick this up and take a few laps with it!
Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
If you’re looking for a more affordable piece of software for your system – and don’t mind waiting a small while for the game to download – then Yacht Club Games’ Shovel Knight is the game for you. It’s simply old-school side-scrolling bliss at its best, as you portray the mighty hero while setting out on a mission to conquer the other rival knights in the land. The bump-up to Treasure Trove has paid off for the game tremendously, with the addition of characters like Plague Knight and Specter Knight, both of whom are a lot of fun to play in their own right. This game feels like a complete package – and it definitely shouldn’t be missed.
Fire Emblem: Awakening
Even though we’ve gotten some new Fire Emblem titles since the release of Awakening, there’s something about this adventure that really sticks with you. It’s got one of the best stories we’ve seen from the saga in some time, along with multiple difficulty settings, so you can always step up for a challenge if you feel like it. On top of that, the strategic/action gameplay really draws you in, as you attempt to take over new corners of the map and fight for justice alongside your noble heroes. Other games like Radiant Dawn and Shadow Dragon are worth checking out as well, but make sure you put Awakening at the top of your list.
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
Even though it’s not in 3D anymore, that doesn’t stop Donkey Kong Country Returns from being a challenging, exciting romp. You’ll guide DK and his ally Diddy across a number of danger-filled levels, collecting everything like crazy and occasionally defeating difficult bosses that rise to the challenge. The game looks great, plays even better, and has a ton of unlockable content that’ll keep you busy for some time. You’ll go, ahem, bananas over it. But if you seek additional platformers, make sure you try out Kirby: Triple Deluxe and Kirby: Planet Robobot as well! Enjoy them, because they’re great for all ages.