When it was first released in 2011, the Nintendo 3DS appeared to be little more than a gimmick. It was the successor to the hugely popular Nintendo DS console but relied heavily on its stereoscopic 3D functionality to set it apart. However, in spite of a rocky start the 3DS family of consoles would ultimately become one of the most successful handheld devices of all time—largely due to its incredible library of outstanding games and software.

Ways to shop for Nintendo 3DS, 3DS XL, and 2DS games

The Nintendo 3DS family of consoles has been around for nearly a decade, but new games are still releasing for the platform. You can check out upcoming releases under the “Preorder” section, and even reserve your copy in advance. You can also see which games released most recently under “What’s New.”

In addition to a wide selection of brand new 3DS titles, Best Buy also carries a variety of refurbished cartridges. You can check out the options for purchasing used 3DS games under the “Previously Played” section.

Finally, codes for many 3DS, 3DS XL, and 2DS games can be purchased by browsing the “Digital Downloads” section. When purchasing digitally, you will be emailed a code shortly after your transaction that will allow you to download a digital copy of the game directly to your console.

Nintendo 3DS, “New” 3DS XL, and 2DS game compatibility

The 3DS console has seen a large number of revisions over the years which can be confusing to some consumers. However, despite the variety in 3DS consoles, nearly all titles are compatible across all devices, with just one small exception.

The only 3DS games that are not compatible with any 3DS, 3DS XL, or 2DS console are those branded “Only for NEW Nintendo 3DS XL”. The New Nintendo 3DS XL is the most powerful revision on the console and features extra processing power. That said, there are only a very few games that require the New 3DS XL console to play, such as Fire Emblem Warriors and Xenoblade Chronicles 3D. They are clearly marked on the packaging as being only for that specific console revision.

Outside of these, all other 3DS games are compatible across all other 3DS consoles. The Nintendo 2DS console for example can still play any 3DS-branded game—it just doesn’t include the stereoscopic 3D effect. It’s also worth noting that all Nintendo DS cartridge games are also compatible with the 3DS family of consoles.

The biggest handheld hits of all time

The Nintendo 3DS family of consoles are home to some of the best-selling handheld software releases in the history of gaming. Its library includes entries to the largest Nintendo franchises of the past 30 years. There are additions to the epic Super Mario Brothers franchise such as Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7, as well as a new entry to the Zelda franchise with The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, and ports of the Nintendo 64 classics Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask.

The vast library of Nintendo 3DS, 3DS XL, and 2DS games also boasts multiple entries to one of the most popular handheld franchises of all time—the Pokemon series. This includes titles such as Pokemon Sun and Moon, as well as ports of earlier Pokemon games in the form of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.

Other massive hits in the 3DS stable include Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Fire Emblem Awakening, and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon.