39 best 3DS eShop games you should get before they are gone forever

Update: We’ve added ten more recommendations to the list below, including a few absolute winners who got physical releases in Europe but which were only digital in North America.

There is still plenty of time to grab games from the 3DS eShop before removing them, but you will not leave it to the last minute, do you? Stay browsing while you can, all relaxed …

3DS eShop closes after more than ten years of service. It’s not a big surprise, but it’s a huge defeat, because it means we only have until March 2023 to buy some of the best games on the console – the ones that were only ever available on 3DS eShop.

While the 3DS ship is slowly beginning to sink, however, we have gathered our selection of the best cargo to rescue so you can grab it and run.

Just be aware that you can not use credit cards to pay for 3DS eShop games after May 23, 2022, and you will not be able to add money via gift cards at all last August 29, 2022 (even if you have your Nintendo Network ID linked to your Nintendo account, the total funds will still be available in the closed stores until March 2023). So now is the time to top up on gift cards while you can – and, if you feel like it, get a smart 10% discount with our eShop gift card discount code. Details below!

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When you’re full of cash and ready to spend, check out our top 29 games that you should buy in the eShop before it’s too late …

BOXBOY!  (3DS eShop)BOXBOY!  (3DS eShop)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: HAL Laboratory

Release Date: April 2, 2015 (USA) / April 2, 2015 (UK / EU)

You absolutely need to get BoxBoy and all of its successors on the 3DS, and you do not even have to pay that much for these groundbreaking puzzle platformer games: Each game in the trilogy (BoxBoy, BoxBoxBoy, and Bye-Bye BoxBoy) is under $ 5 / £ 5.

There’s a physical release of BoxBoy, but you’ll never get it – it’s exclusive in Japan, and it’s going to cost you several hundred kroner, also without shipping. In addition, it is regionally locked. It does come with Japan-exclusive, super-rare amiibo Qbby, though, so maybe it’s worth it?

Pullblox (3DS eShop)Pullblox (3DS eShop)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Intelligent systems

Release Date: December 8, 2011 (USA) / December 8, 2011 (UK / EU)

You absolutely must have Pullblox (or Pushmo in North America) on your 3DS, state. This innovative little puzzle platformer game is all about pushing and pulling blocks to create the platforms yourself, and it’s a lot harder than it sounds. It’s also sweet as heck, with bright colors and a thick little player character called Mallo squashing, stretching and jumping around on each level like a little marshmallow.

Be sure to grab the sequels, which are just as good: Fallblox (AKA) Crashmo), and Fullblox (Stretchmo). No, we also do not know why the names are so different. It’s a bloody nightmare.

There is also Pullblox World (Pushmo world) on the Wii U eShop, but that’s for another list.

Liberation Maiden (3DS eShop)Liberation Maiden (3DS eShop)

Publisher: Level-5 / Developer: Level-5

Release Date: October 25, 2012 (USA) / October 4, 2012 (UK / EU)

Level-5’s 3DS days were, in hindsight, some of their best work. Liberation Maiden is a collaboration between their publisher arm and Suda51’s Grasshopper Manufacture as developers, as part of the Guild01 collection in Japan, which also included Aero Porter, Crimson Shroud and Weapon Shop de Omasse (all of whom are on this list, of course).

Liberation Maiden is a short but sweet mech shooter in which you play as a schoolgirl who is elected president after her father (the former president) is assassinated. And so, as the president is usually expected to do, she must fight an invading force. In a mech suit. Did we mention it’s a Suda51 game?

HarmoKnight (3DS eShop)HarmoKnight (3DS eShop)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Play Freak

Release Date: March 28, 2013 (USA) / March 28, 2013 (UK / EU)

Occasionally, Game Freak is released from the Pokémon cage for a quick run around the park, during which time they make some strange and wonderful games. HarmoKnight is one of their best: A rhythm platform game created by James Turner, who you may remember as the first Westerner to create official Pokémon designs and Art Director for Sword and Shield … or more simply as “the guy, who invented the ice Pokémon “.

HarmoKnight is amazing. Play HarmoKnight.

3D Classics: Kid Icarus (3DS eShop)3D Classics: Kid Icarus (3DS eShop)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo

Release Date: March 23, 2012 (USA) / January 5, 2012 (UK / EU)

Poor Pit! He has not been recognized by Nintendo (except in Smash Bros., which does not count) in ten years. Well, at least you can play the original Kid Icarus on the 3DS and show the little guy some love.

This is not only way to play Kid Icarus, of course, but that changed Pit’s jumping physique a bit to make this the best version of the NES play bar for anyone. All 3D Classics series also added stereoscopic 3D, making them unique emulations that can not be experienced in exactly the same way on any other platform – although many of them are on the Nintendo Switch Online service. And with that in mind …

3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure (3DS eShop)3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure (3DS eShop)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: HAL Laboratory

Release Date: November 17, 2011 (USA) / November 17, 2011 (UK / EU)

… You should probably download this 3D remaster of Kirby’s Adventure too! This early Kirb platformer is not it best use of 3D and it does not use the bottom screen at all – which is a wasted option if you ask us – but it’s still an ingenious game and it’s worth grabbing to hang out with the old pink puffball and have pops up a little on you. It also has a pink border! Pink!!

Pocket Card Jockey (3DS eShop)Pocket Card Jockey (3DS eShop)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Play Freak

Release Date: May 5, 2016 (USA) / May 5, 2016 (UK / EU)

Do you remember how we said Game Freak is sometimes released from the Pokémon cage? Here’s another example: The incredible, weird Solitaire Encounter horse racing game that is Pocket Card Jockey. It’s a simple yet addictive premise, accompanied by appealing chibi visualizations, and you’ll also get to play a horse matchmaker and give your horses funny names like ‘Obi-Ham Baloney’.

What is not to love?

My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (3DS eShop)My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (3DS eShop)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo

Release Date: March 31, 2016 (USA) / March 31, 2016 (UK / EU)

Picross !! Everyone loves it. And all of them also love Zelda. What if they were squeezed together?

It’s the idea here in this My Nintendo-only game that takes iconic images from Twilight Princess and turns them into Picross puzzles. If you have a wealth of Platinum Points, you should spend 1,000 of them on this, and then hope Nintendo makes more weird crossovers like that in the future.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies (3DS eShop)Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies (3DS eShop)

Publisher: Capcom

Release Date: October 24, 2013 (USA) / October 24, 2013 (UK / EU)

Poor Phoenix and poor Apollo – their digital-only exploits will soon be lost forever, trapped in the 3DS eShop prison. Dual Destinies marks a fantastic turn in the Ace Attorney series towards glossy 3D images and dark storytelling, plus the introduction of the new lawyer Athena Cykes and the one case where you have to defend a killer whale that has been charged with murder.

If only they would reissue this one, right? TIP TIP TIP

The attack of the Friday monsters!  A Tokyo Tale (3DS eShop)The attack of the Friday monsters!  A Tokyo Tale (3DS eShop)

Publisher: Level-5

Release Date: July 18, 2013 (USA) / July 18, 2013 (UK / EU)

Another game in Level-5’s game jam-like Guild collection released as independent in the West, Attack of the Friday Monsters is a look into Japanese country life in the 1970s that you simply will not find anywhere else – except designer Kaz Ayabe’s second series, Boku no Natsuyasumi, but it’s just Japan.

If you love the pastoral magical realism of Ghibli movies like My Neighbor Totoro, you need to give Attack of the Friday Monsters a try.