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The Missing Nintendo Games on 3DS

by Alex Culafi - January 19, 2015, 3:30 pm EST
Total comments: 3

Detective Alex is on the case to ask: Why aren't these games on 3DS yet?

We’re almost four years into the system’s life, and most major Nintendo franchises have shown up on 3DS. We have two Pokémon games, two Mario games, three Zelda games (counting the remakes), soon-to-be two Fire Emblem games, Animal Crossing, Kid Icarus, and more. Even otherwise console-exclusive games like Luigi’s Mansion, Paper Mario, and Super Smash Bros. have found a handheld home in 3DS. So the question remains: what’s left?

After scouring a few Wikipedia pages and looking at the Super Smash Bros. character select, I think I’ve found a mostly complete list of 14 missing franchises (that aren’t completely uncalled for) that have some chance (even 1%!) of getting a 3DS entry. And like my last editorial, I’m dividing my predictions into categories of likelihood, though there are only four this time: Probably, Maybe, Probably Not, and Definitely Not. If you see anything I’ve missed or have speculation of your own, feel free to sound off below.



This one seems like a matter of time. Whether it’s this year or next, WarioWare 3DS is made for a fun, off-the-cuff Nintendo Direct announcement. As for what it will actually be like, hopefully the eye-tracking 3D on the New 3DS will allow the game to get more creative with moving the system while keeping the 3D on.

Advance Wars

We’ll probably get one of these. Plenty of people want one and it feels like the next game Intelligent Systems is going to focus on after they finish this new Fire Emblem and finish cancelling Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem. Is this what’s next for the Code Name S.T.E.A.M. squad?


There’s no real argument for putting this here other than “I can feel it,” but a 2D Metroid title seems like a real possibility. I have no idea who will make it or what it will be like, yet it just feels like it’s going to happen. Either way it would be a nice 2016 holiday title for the system.

Dr. Mario

We’ll probably get one on the eShop this year or next. Why wouldn’t we?



The New 3DS has a lot more potential for a Pikmin game than the regular 3DS did thanks to its added controls. This one might be far less deserving of having faith in, but this seems too perfect as a New 3DS exclusive. It wouldn’t sell anything, and I know this, though wouldn’t it be a ballsy move of them?


I think Next Level Games is working on a new Punch-Out!!, and I think it’s for 3DS. No proof, though Punch-Out!! seems ripe for a Luigi’s Mansion-style handheld shift in terms of its bite-sized gameplay potential and lack of needed gimmicks. I also think Punch-Out!! would look amazing in 3D. Then again, the re-release of the Wii game on the Wii U eShop could point to Nintendo’s new console as the home for the next Punch-Out!! game.

Puzzle League

This would be an eShop game like the last one if it came out, but the chances of a new Puzzle League don’t seem terrible.

Custom Robo

The last Custom Robo was released in 2006, so who knows the odds of a new one? Developer Noise’s latest work was on the Japanese-only 3DS title Gyrozetter: Wings Of The Albatross in 2013 – which carries a somewhat similar style to the Custom Robo games. Maybe we’ll be lucky a Japanese Nintendo Direct later this year. Alternatively, the series could be silent because, as they say, “dead men tell no tales.”

Probably Not:

Donkey Kong Country Returns

I wanted Monster Games to work on Donkey Kong Land Returns after doing a good job on those new Donkey Kong levels, though the fact that they’re on the Xenoblade port makes me think they’re mostly considered a port team now.


Until F-Zero is actually announced, I doubt its odds.

Big Brain Academy

Brain Age was enough and the “brain games” fad seems to be a thing of the past.

Star Fox

We already got the Star Fox 64 port and there’s no way we get another Star Fox game until we see how Miyamoto’s game does sales-wise.

Golden Sun

Looking at Camelot’s release schedule, they seem to put out a game about once every two years. Mario Golf: World Tour came out last year, so 2016 could be a good time for this game to come out. Of course, they could redirect their efforts toward a Wii U sports game instead, and they probably will, considering how lukewarm the reception of the DS game was.

Definitely Not:


Nintendo of America doesn't seem interested in the series' potential growth in the West, and creator Shigesato Itoi has been quoted flat-out saying, "I’m not going to release a MOTHER 4; MOTHER is over now." This is never going to happen.


fred13January 19, 2015

I'm just happy to see you list Advance Wars up there with the high probability.I own 4 advance wars games and I love all of them and want to make it 5!!!

TylerTreeseTyler Treese, Contributing WriterJanuary 21, 2015

Nothing would make me happier than a new Advance Wars and WarioWare game on the system.

Mop it upJanuary 22, 2015

I was disappointed to see Intelligent Systems is making a new Fire Emblem, as I wanted them to be working on Advance Wars instead.

I think they may be out of ideas for WarioWare games. The last couple seemed less-than-inspired and didn't sell so well.

Maybe the Dr. Mario game will be Dr. Yoshi as we have a Year of Yoshi.

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