The 3DS is now retro. Yes, we said it. With its retirement last year from the eShop and this April marking the end of its online services, Old School Gamer takes a look back at five great 3DS games you may have missed.

*Note: Some of these titles use online functions that won’t be available later this year, so enjoy them now!

Pocket Card Jockey

Why We Love It: When you hear the name Game Freak, you automatically think of “Pokemon,” not a Solitaire/horse racing sim, “Pocket Card Jockey.”

But thanks to an innovative gameplay system, a ton of playability and an adorable story, it’s easily the little “horsea” that could on the 3DS and one of the best games on the handheld this year.

What? That does not make any sense. A horse-racing game with a solitaire engine, is good? No, sorry. It is great. From the first cinematic and your conversation with an angel, you’ll be hooked. And although the game takes a few hours to truly get the ins and outs of, the payoff is a wonderful one. Simply put, this little downloadable title is a game you can easily squeeze 30 plus hours of gameplay on and even more if you’re one of those crazy completionist types.

Yo-Kai Watch

Why We Love It: Yo-Kai is not Pokemon. Stop thinking that.

Featuring the type of story that makes the plethora of fetch-quests enjoyable and palatable, “Yo-Kai Watch” is the best (North American) 3DS game of 2015.

Those looking for a cheap-Pokemon clone will be disappointed. Away from creating a team and collecting these unique characters, there aren’t nearly as many similarities as you’d think. Not only is Yo-Kai completely original in terms of a story, but the battle system is the complete opposite of Pokemon. Using a “Spirit Meter,” similar to the old Limit Break system of the PlayStation One Final Fantasy Games, Yo-Kai is all about unleashing special maneuvers. While you’re never in direct control of  every move of your team, you can control who is in battle and when they use their special abilities. It may take some time to get used to, but it’s a unique battle system that grows on you the more you play.

Project X Zone 2

Why We Love It: Utilizing a combo-centric combat system, the visuals are a bit dated, but when you start hitting specials and get multiple characters involved, things heat up fast and the anime-inspired look changes a bit. Buzzing off 60-hit combos is a feast for the eyes and in the end, is one of the best parts of the game. With 50-plus hours of gameplay and a plethora of characters, all with different fighting styles, there’s a ton of things to see, do and experience here.

Pokemon Rumble World

Why We Love It: “Pokemon Rumble World” is as fun as a free to play game on the Nintendo 3DS can be.

In the end however, its gameplay nature may only cater to hardcore Pokemon fanatics.

Everyone else will find it a nifty and charming beat-em-up that’s fun to play for a while, but not cool enough to fork up cash for.

Much like the last game in the series on the 3DS, “Pokemon Rumble World” has you venture around the Pokemon Toy Universe, collecting toys to build an impressive army in order to take down baddies. Part “Gauntlet,” with classic beat-em-up elements and all the strengths and weakness elements of previous Pokemon games and the Rumble series is a different experience from the mains series, but one that can devour hours of time.

The coolest thing here is that everything that has made the previous games fun is dialed up in “Pokemon Rumble World.” The added Mii integration, enhanced StreetPass functions and inclusion of all 719 Pokemon definitely adds some polish to the formula. While the original game was a blast that could take anywhere from 30-40 hours to finish and even longer if you wanted to get all the unlockables, it’s fair to say that “Pokemon Rumble World” has even more playability.

Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies

Why We Love It: If you loved this series before, your affection for this game will be more passionate than a fox with nine tales or a killer whale with a mustache (if you don’t get those references, you haven’t played the game yet). Regardless of several aesthetic and gameplay improvements, if you weren’t a fan before, this title won’t change your mind.

 Like a great TV drama, the Phoenix Wright series requires you to fall in love with both the story and the characters. More an electronic and immersive graphic novel than a fully-fledged video game, the series isn’t for casual button mashers. Just like some gamers prefer first-person shooters over RPGs, the group that prefer this hybrid title will instantly fall in love with “Dual Destinies.” Those who would rather spend their time looking through a sniper’s scope, than reading a plethora of text can’t and won’t appreciate what the series has to offer.

That doesn’t mean that they can’t appreciate the look of the game though. For the first time in full 3D, there’s more than the signature story telling that makes “Dual Destinies” shine. The courtroom and the characters look beautiful, as well as the many cinemas that help put the pieces of the story together. You won’t expect the game to look this good. Considering its narrative-heavy diet, it certainly doesn’t need to either. Nevertheless, it’s easily one of the game’s biggest selling points.

Patrick Hickey Jr. Patrick Hickey Jr. (326 Posts)

Patrick Hickey, Jr., is the founder and editor-in-chief of and a lecturer of English and journalism at Kingsborough Community College, in Brooklyn, New York. Over the past decade, his video game coverage has been featured in national ad campaigns by top publishers the likes of Nintendo, Deep Silver, Disney and EA Sports. His book series, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Game Developers," from McFarland and Company, has earned praise from Forbes, Huffington Post, The New York Daily News and MSG Networks. He is also a former editor at NBC and National Video Games Writer at the