Nintendo's current flagship handheld, the 3DS, is nearly seven years old, spawning different iterations of the console within that time period, first with the bulkier original 3DS XL, followed by the non-3D 2DS, and finally, the New 3DS and New 3DS XL, packing beefier internals under the hood.
Seven years old is basically a death knell for a system, but if there's a company who knows how to protract a lifespan, it's Nintendo, and it does it best by releasing still-engaging titles despite the console's limited power and age.
Here are the most anticipated games for the 3DS this year.
Pikmin, a classic Nintendo original, will finally head to the 3DS this year, the first time the game ever lands on a handheld, although by the early looks of it, it's not exactly what Pikmin fans expected. For its 3DS entry, the developers of Pikmin shunned the classic 3D gameplay and converted it to a 2D side-scroller, which is a bit of a disappointment.
Still, there's huge flecks of the classic Pikmin experience in the handheld version, replete with colored Pikmin that'll help players finish tasks, fight enemies, and breeze through puzzle-solving antics.
Mario Sports Superstars
Mario's spin offs, particularly his sports games, are quite stellar in their own right. He has appeared in Tennis apparel; has gone head-to-head with staple Nintendo characters in Basketball matches; and he has raced alongside formidable foes in Mario Kart. Mario Sports Superstars takes all these sports — baseball, soccer, tennis, golf, and in a bizarrely surprising turn, horse racing — and bundles them into one, essentially creating the complete Mario sports game omnibus.
Mario Sports Superstars comes out in Spring.
Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy may have been the last Layton title featuring the eponymous dapper gentleman himself, but the Layton series isn't over yet. The professor's daughter, Katrielle, will continue the series, bringing the game's signature excellent puzzle-solving and intricate storytelling.
Lady Layton arrives on Nintendo 3DS, Android, and iOS devices sometime this year.
Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World
With the Wii U's abysmal sales and eventual production halt, it's no wonder that some of its titles would migrate to the 3DS to at least accrue fanfare from a wider user base. This is the exact situation Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World has undergone, a title originally released for the Wii U but has since been ported over for the 3DS, to be released early February. It features a deftly-sewn Yarn-enthused world, making for a cutesy sidescrolling platformer that'll surely leave players awestruck.
Dragon Quest 8: Journey Of The Cursed King
Arriving late January for the 3DS, Dragon Quest 8: Journey of the Cursed King is a big-name role-playing title from the popular Dragon Quest series of games. It was originally released for the PlayStation 2 in 2004, and then ported to Android and iOS in 2013. Like the usual RPG fare, players will get a massive world, a laundry list of monsters to battle, unique attacks and skills for players, and more.
Excited for another 3DS title not on this list? Tell us in the comments section below!