As of March 2023, the Nintendo 3DS eShop has officially closed down, meaning players can no longer purchase content on the system. This is quite the detriment for both 3DS fans and game developers whose projects will likely fade into obscurity. However, there's still an opportunity for many titles owned by Nintendo to find a new home on the Nintendo Switch.
Many games have already seen re-released on the Switch, such as 3DS titles like Monster Hunter Generations and Hyrule Warriors Legends. Still, plenty of iconic Nintendo titles from the handheld console would delight fans who have moved onto Nintendo's current-gen console. These titles would be the most exciting for longtime Nintendo players.
10 Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
The Mario & Luigi series takes Nintendo's most iconic brother duo and inserts them into the world of RPG battles. The franchise has mostly remained on handheld platforms like the 3DS or the GameBoy Advance, but that recently changed in 2023. With GameBoy Advance games coming to Switch Online, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga is now on Nintendo Switch.
Hopefully, this will open the door for Nintendo to port other beloved titles in the franchise on their latest console. One of those is Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, which was released in 2013 as part of Nintendo's Year of Luigi. The only thing currently preventing the re-release of Dream Team is the closure of the game's developer, AlphaDream, in 2019.
9 Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon
Another entry in Nintendo's Year of Luigi was the long-awaited sequel to Luigi's Mansion, titled Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. It was one of the best-selling titles for the 3DS, and involves Luigi exploring various haunted mansions rather than one like in the original title. It also introduced online co-op into the popular Luigi-centric franchise.
Nevertheless, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon was followed up by Luigi's Mansion 3, which released exclusively on the Switch. However, since Nintendo later ported the original Luigi's Mansion to the 3DS alongside Dark Moon, perhaps it's not out of the ordinary that Nintendo would do the same for Luigi's Mansion 3's predecessor.
8 The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Many Zelda titles on the 3DS were ports, such as Ocarina of Time 3D and Majora's Mask 3D. However, the console was also home to one fan-favorite, albeit sometimes forgotten Zelda title: A Link Between Worlds. The game is a direct sequel to the SNES title The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, often considered one of the best in the series.
A Link Between Worlds would also find a cozy home with other top-down Zelda titles on the Switch, such as the remake of Link's Awakening which released in 2019. Since A Link Between Worlds released in 2013, perhaps 2023 would be the perfect time for Nintendo to announce a 10-year anniversary release of the beloved sequel for the Nintendo Switch.
7 Pokemon X & Y
Remakes have had a recurring presence in the Pokemon franchise since Pokemon FireRed & LeafGreen in 2004. They've been common in most generations, with the Nintendo Switch recently being home to both Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl, as well as the spin-off title Pokemon Legends: Arceus set in an ancient version of Gen 4's Sinnoh region.
Although Nintendo is obligated to get to Gen 5's Black & White before the first Pokemon games on the 3DS, many fans are likely eager to see X & Y get re-made. Particularly, this could reintroduce the mechanic of Mega Evolution into the Pokemon competitive scene, which has greatly missed the mechanic since Gen 7.
6 Metroid: Samus Returns
Technically, Metroid: Samus Returns was already a port in it of itself. Released in 2017, Samus Returns is a remake of Metroid II, which originally released in 1991 for the original Game Boy. Prior to the release of Metroid Dread for the Nintendo Switch, Samus Returns was the series' official return to the 2D platformer genre.
For Metroid fans, a lot of time has passed since Nintendo promised Metroid Prime 4 for the Switch. Hopefully, another Metroid release like porting Samus Returns would hold fans over until the release of the long-anticipated Metroid Prime title. Samus Returns was even developed by the same team who worked on Metroid Dread on the Switch.
5 Fire Emblem: Awakening
The Fire Emblem series was completely revived on the 3DS with Fire Emblem: Awakening, which centered on iconic characters like Lucina, Chrom, and Robin (who are all playable in the Switch's Super Smash Bros Ultimate). The series has since continued on the Switch with titles like Fire Emblem: Three Houses, as the latest 2023 game Fire Emblem Engage.
However, giving Fire Emblem: Awakening a second-life would be greatly adored by longtime fans of the franchise. The game even features many cinematic sequences that would look great rendered in HD compared to the 3DS's tiny screen. Additionally, they could re-include the DLC packs that are no longer available to purchase on the 3DS eShop.
4 Kid Icarus: Uprising
Fans of Kid Icarus: Uprising aren't the only ones hoping for a Switch port. The game was created by Super Smash Bros director Masahiro Sakurai, who expressed recently on his YouTube channel that he would like to see the 3DS game ported onto the Switch. After all, Kid Icarus: Uprising owes its redesigns of characters from Pit's inclusion in Brawl.
Nevertheless, the title has remained one of Nintendo's best narratives of the past 10 years, though many potential fans were turned off by its handheld controls. Perhaps, with more streamlined control schemes on the Nintendo Switch, more fans will gravitate towards the game's lovable characters and intense gameplay, as well as its online modes.
3 Bravely Default
Bravely Default is an RPG for the 3DS which originally released in Japan in 2012. It wasn't until 2014 that the title made its way over to North America, where critics were very complimentary of its design and narrative. It has since been followed up with two sequels: one on 3DS, and Bravely Default II debuting on the Switch in 2021.
However, given that the original Bravely Default remains a 3DS exclusive, perhaps it'd be useful for fans who caught onto the series with Bravely Default II to experience the game on the Nintendo Switch. A re-release could also gain the attention of fans of the first game, who have maybe abandoned their 3DS systems in favor of the Nintendo Switch nowadays.
2 Tomodachi Life
Given how popular Animal Crossing: New Horizons is on the Switch, one can only imagine how popular Tomodachi Life would be as well. The simulation game centers on a system's Mii characters occupying an apartment building, where they can interact, fall in love, play, and build friendships with one another.
However, the game was criticized upon release for not including same-sex relationships, which Nintendo promised to fix if they ever made a sequel. Sadly, that hasn't happened yet, although Miitopia released for 3DS and was later ported to Switch, which carries over many ideas from Tomodachi Life, so hopefully a Tomodachi Life port isn't impossible.
1 Dillon's Rolling Western
Among the many titles that players won't be able to purchase and download once the 3DS eShop closes is Dillon's Rolling Western. The eShop exclusive centers on Dillon, a cowboy armadillo, defending helpless frontier villages from monsters. The series was praised enough to warrant two additional sequels that released on the 3DS in 2013 and 2018.
The protagonist Dillon has even made an appearance in the Super Smash Bros series as an Assist Trophy, despite his series' impending death. Hopefully, Nintendo will do the right thing with a lot of 3DS eShop exclusives, and port the three Dillon's Rolling Western titles on the Nintendo Switch eShop, or even potentially release it with physical copies.