Engaged Family Gaming Holiday Guide: Nintendo 3DS

2014 has been a GREAT year for family friendly video games. We have seen new editions of Minecraft. The Toys to Life category is exploding thanks to new editions of Skylanders and Disney Infinity and more competition in the form of Angry Birds Transformers and Nintendo’s amiibo line. Most importantly we have spent the year bearing witness to the phoenix-like resurgence of Nintendo who have slowly started to right the ship with the once maligned WiiU console.

Below is a list of five games for the Nintendo 3DS handheld that are great for families and will be great gifts even if they aren’t number one of your child’s list. (And you know what… YOU might even enjoy them too!)

1. Super Smash Brothers for 3DS – (Read our review here!)

This is the best experience currently available on the system. I definitely recommend

2. Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire

It is hard to imagine owning a Nintendo handheld without owning a Pokemon game for it. What makes these titles particularly interesting is that they are re-imagined version of Game Boy games released over a decade ago.

3. Yoshi’s New Island

Yoshi is a fan favorite and this entire game is built around him. It is adorably drawn, but most importantly it is accessible to younger players. Our review is scheduled to go up soon so keep your eyes on EFG for more info.

4. Bravely Default – (Read our review here!)

If you have an older child who has shown any interest in RPGs then this is one of the best around. It is unfortunate that some of the language rules it out for younger players (Several of the main characters are serious pervs) because it really is very accessible

5. Animal Crossing: New Leaf – (Read our review here!)

Animal Crossing is over a year old, but it is still one of the most entertaining child friendly experiences on the device. What kid doesn’t want to run around and do simple yet fun tasks in a town they get to design and develop?

If they own this one and are looking for similar experiences you can also look to Disney’s Magical World or Tomodachi Life

Honorable Mention: Shovel Knight

Shovel Knight is just plain amazing. If you, or your child, have any interest in classic Nintendo games then this is a great buy for the 3DS. Shovel Knight is great on the home console, but being able to take it on the road is a great experience. The fact that it is a downloadable title that is available on the Nintendo eShop and its low price (under $20) doesn’t hurt!

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