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15 Best 3DS Games for 4 Year Olds

Updated 2 November 2021

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Author
Author avatar Daniel Booth

Daniel is our primary content producer here at TheToyZone. He is a big kid at heart and a self-confessed geek. His mission is to find toys that kids will treasure.

Despite the popularity of the Switch, the Nintendo 3DS is still going strong thanks to its simple controls and fun, colorful games that give 4-year-olds the chance to explore new worlds, look after pets, and jump up and down on walking mushroom bad guys.

All their favorite characters are here, from Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi to Sonic the Hedgehog, SpongeBob SquarePants, Olaf, and Snoopy, all starring in bright and exciting games that burst out of the 3DS screen. They can play at home or on the go, making it ideal for long road trips or vacations.

We’ve picked out the 15 best 3DS games for 4-year-olds, doing our research carefully to find games that are appropriate and fun, ruling out any fake online reviews so you can trust that kids will love playing these games.

Game
Our Favourite
Best for Exploring
Best for Sports
Preview
Luigi's Mansion - Nintendo 3DS
Nintendo Selects: Tomodachi Life - Nintendo 3DS
Mario Kart 7
Pros
Play along locally with a friend as one can control Luigi and the other his counterpart, Gooigi
Kids can create their own songs for the Miis to perform
Features cool 3D effects that make the game even more exciting
Cons
Some of the controls, like the aiming function, can take some getting used to initially
We wish there were missions that transform the island itself
It would be amazing if there were extra missions added for additional content
Price
$45.50
$39.99
$36.48
Our Favourite
Preview
Luigi's Mansion - Nintendo 3DS
Pros
Play along locally with a friend as one can control Luigi and the other his counterpart, Gooigi
Cons
Some of the controls, like the aiming function, can take some getting used to initially
Price
$45.50
More information
Best for Exploring
Preview
Nintendo Selects: Tomodachi Life - Nintendo 3DS
Pros
Kids can create their own songs for the Miis to perform
Cons
We wish there were missions that transform the island itself
Price
$39.99
More information
Best for Sports
Preview
Mario Kart 7
Pros
Features cool 3D effects that make the game even more exciting
Cons
It would be amazing if there were extra missions added for additional content
Price
$36.48
More information

1Super Mario 3D Land (Best Budget Option)

Super Mario 3D Land (Best Budget Option)

With Super Mario 3D Land, younger children can find excitement and entertainment in this world filled with fun enemies and interesting level designs. There are natural 3D visuals that can aid them in their journeys, making it easier for kids to see depth and distance so that they can time their jumps properly. Mario has plenty of moves in his arsenal too besides just jumping and simply running. Rather, he can perform cool rolling somersault attacks on enemies or even dash at them.

What’s even more exciting about this game is that the fan-favorite Tanooki Mario makes his return. This suit doesn’t just let Mario look even cooler, but it’s crucial to help Mario tackle the challenges ahead of him. Kids can utilize the tail on the suit to help Mario float safely down from heights or to even attack enemies.

What we love

  • There are easy parental controls so parents can monitor the 3D visuals in the game
  • The graphics are vibrant and filled with colors to instantly attract children

What We Don't Like That Much

  • As the difficulty progresses throughout the game, kids may need a little helping hand getting through some levels

2Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World

Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World

Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World is an adorable and unique side-scrolling game. It’s filled with enough challenges to inspire creative thought in children, such as having to toss yarn to create platforms to jump and move across. Players can even power up their characters too so that they can uncover more secrets and quickly get the knack of beating levels.

With Mellow Mode, unraveling secrets is even more exciting as there are cool Poochy Pups that help solve the mysteries. Kids can become increasingly excited as the more that they uncover, the more rewards they can unlock. Besides that, children can also get creative with the game by designing their own personal Yarn Yoshi to play as.

What we love

  • Movement is fluid so that it isn't hard for children to learn and understand the controls
  • It's simple to change the gameplay to make it easier or more challenging for kids

What We Don't Like That Much

  • We wish the main boss fights featured more diverse attack patterns and stages, to help make them more unique

3 Luigi's Mansion

 Luigi's Mansion

For kids who enjoy a game that’s sure to make their hair stand on end, then Luigi’s Mansion is the perfect game for them. Luigi’s Mansion is full of awesome and spooky ghosts, with a creepy setting that doesn’t go too overboard to completely frighten young children. Instead, the graphics still have a kid-friendly vibe to it that is instantly appealing, especially seeing as children work to power through these levels so Luigi can capture these pesky ghosts.

Luigi is equipped with more than enough fun tools to let him step up to the challenge like the amazing Poltergust 3000. There are plenty of puzzles for kids to work through, as well as trying to handle the consequences of Luigi’s typical clumsiness.

What we love

  • Kids can go back and re-battle enemies to try to beat their own scores
  • There’s the ability to play along locally with a friend as one can control Luigi and the other his counterpart, Gooigi

What We Don't Like That Much

  • Some of the controls, like the aiming function, can take some getting used to initially

4Yoshi's New Island

Yoshi's New Island

In Yoshi’s New Island, kids can guide Yoshi as well as baby Mario through incredible stages on a truly fantastical island. The pair embark on a fun quest to save Luigi, discovering various secrets and collectibles along the way. Yoshi’s world is fully immersive with awesome and versatile levels so that nothing remains stagnant, keeping kids completely entertained the entire time.

There is a lot going on as well, with many cool controls and features for kids to experiment with. They can, of course, jump their way through levels. However, they can also use the incredible Mega Eggdozer (essentially a giant Yoshi egg) to plow through levels, clearing out a path so that they can uncover new parts of the level, full to the brim with surprises.

What we love

  • It is forgiving for younger or new players as there is the option to give Yoshi wings for extra help
  • Seamless movement and controls ensure there are no technical hiccups along the way

What We Don't Like That Much

  • If played continuously from start to finish, the game can be completed quite quickly. We recommend regular breaks to get the full experience

5Nintendogs + Cats: Toy Poodle and New Friends

Nintendogs + Cats: Toy Poodle and New Friends

The Nintendogs + Cats: Toy Poodle and New Friends is the go-to pet simulation game for any child that has ever begged to have a pet of their own. Now they can do so in a more contained area that lets them live out their pet owner dreams, without the mess! There are 27 breeds, and the puppies and kittens feature unique designs so that they are as authentic as possible to the real breeds. Thanks to the 3D graphics, they are even more expressive.

With the touchscreen, camera, and microphone, the pets will react to touch and the sound of your child’s voice. Kids will be able to not just take care of their pets through bathing and feeding, but they also get to play with them and enter them in competitions.

What we love

  • Thanks to facial recognition technology, pets light up when they recognize your child's face
  • Kids can own a total of six pets at a time, keeping three at home and three at a hotel

What We Don't Like That Much

  • Some of the pet training can be a bit advanced to grasp initially; we wish it had a slightly easier learning curve

6Sonic Generations

Sonic Generations

Players don’t have to be old fans to find enjoyment in Sonic Generations. The modern-day Sonic races through time to save his friends and encounters the older, classic version of himself. They must work together to rescue their friends and defeat their enemies. Kids can choose which version of Sonic they wish to play as though.

A cool thing they’ll notice is that both the classic Sonic and the modern Sonic can perform their trademark special moves. Each of them will also race through levels designed specifically for them. Whenever any of their friends are freed, players can then go back and re-do the levels to discover new challenges and secrets, but this time, their friends will be battling at their side.

What we love

  • There are plenty of levels and special stages so that kids have plenty of content to explore
  • It has multiple game modes, providing kids with tons of different ways to play

What We Don't Like That Much

  • We wish some of the levels were a bit longer, to really help immerse the player

7Mario Kart 7

Mario Kart 7

Mario Kart 7 is a joy for any young racer to practice their skills. This fantastic game is absolutely packed full of diverse and interesting tracks, in which kids find themselves racing through the sky or even diving deep under the ocean. Mario Kart 7 even has several cool racing karts to choose from, allowing kids to further express themselves and race with their favorite characters and vehicles.

When racing, there are awesome abilities for them to try out, letting them race defensively or offensively to race to the finish first. They don’t have to just race against the computer either. Instead, they can meet up with friends either locally or online for even more friendly competitive racing. A game that will inspire as many laughs as it will tears of joy at finishing first, Mario Kart 7 is a family-friendly game that kids adore.

What we love

  • It's well-balanced so experienced and new users can equally enjoy the game
  • Features cool 3D effects that make the game even more exciting

What We Don't Like That Much

  • We never want the fun to end, it would be amazing if there were extra missions added for additional content

8Tomodachi Life

Tomodachi Life

Tomodachi Life is a wonderful, safe game to introduce young children to the world of simulation. This is simple for children to express themselves and dive into their imagination with a beautiful island world. They can create numerous Mii characters, making them look however they’d like and wear whatever they want. This includes making versions of themselves or their friends and family.

From there, children serve as the directors of the game. They can have the characters do whatever they wish, such as play some games, hang out with friends, or even form deeper relationships. These cool characters can even indulge in music, rocking or rapping their way to success. Or they can have a laidback day of just shopping for new items and clothes.

What we love

  • Kids can create their own songs for the Miis to perform
  • Ability to customize the characters' personalities and the things they say

What We Don't Like That Much

  • We wish there were missions that transform the island itself, in order to make players feel as if they are making an impact on the world

9Spongebob Hero Pants: The Game 2015

Spongebob Hero Pants: The Game 2015

Spongebob Hero Pants: The Game is a wonderfully fun game for any young fan of the popular and long-running cartoon show. Their favorite characters are transformed into superheroes thanks to SpongeBob’s ever-active imagination. Inside this new vivid world, players will encounter unique villains such as the Lollipop Creatures, working with SpongeBob and his friends with their new superpowers to overcome the enemies.

Characters don’t just stick with their starting abilities either. Rather, players must gather up enough coins so that they can upgrade the characters so that they can defeat the tougher bosses. There are various obstacles to get through as well as several puzzles to solve. All of this takes place in cool new environments such as Prehistoric Bikini Bottom.

What we love

  • There are six playable characters so kids can play with their favorite from the show
  • The game features hidden items that give players a bit of a challenge to uncover

What We Don't Like That Much

  • Some of the objectives could be clearer so kids know exactly what to do

10Frozen: Olaf's Quest

Frozen: Olaf's Quest

Frozen: Olaf’s Quest centers on the fan-favorite character from the always popular Frozen series. Players take over the role of the lovable and carefree snowman, and because of Olaf’s design, kids get to experience some truly unique gameplay. Olaf has a more fluid form, and this type of movement makes it easier for him to get out of tricky situations, fitting for the game at hand.

This game balances platforming gameplay with some puzzle solving woven in between. The design gives children more than enough to work with to stay entertained. There are 60 levels in all, but beyond that, players can unearth some additional challenges and hidden collectibles to track down. Throughout the game, they can even unlock some customizable items.

What we love

  • Since the character can't be defeated, the game keeps going, making it easier for young children to manage
  • Olaf is highly interactive, he can even sing and talk!

What We Don't Like That Much

  • We’d love to see some extra content featuring the rest of the Frozen gang, with them as playable characters

11Kirby Planet Robobot – World Edition

Kirby Planet Robobot – World Edition

In Kirby Planet Robobot, players embark on a mission to save Kirby’s world from being dominated by invaders who wish to mechanize it. Kirby, however, must utilize all of the robotic power he can acquire if he is to stop the enemies. This armor is just as colorful and pink as the bubbly character, but it’s cool and easily stands out.

The awesome armor is equipped with everything players need to stomp out these invaders. Kids will enjoy being able to shape-shift the armor to suit different modes. It works to scan and copy enemies too so that Kirby can throw their moves right back at them. Moves are copied the traditional way that Kirby fans love: by inhaling them. This isn’t just a single-player game though. Rather, once the world is saved, players can then join in with others in Team Kirby Clash mode that supports up to four players.

What we love

  • Each level features equally colorful and vibrant graphics
  • Features various ways to play and defeat enemies thanks to the shape-shifting abilities

What We Don't Like That Much

  • The 4-player battle system is a little complex and takes a bit of practice to get used to; we wish the tutorial was a little more extensive

12Mario Party Star Rush

Mario Party Star Rush

Mario Party Star Rush features a simplified version of the cult-classic Mario Party that younger children will be able to enjoy. Four players can dive into this game simultaneously as well, keeping up with the group aspect Mario Party is well known for. There are eight characters in the game to pick from, allowing players plenty of options to choose their allies as they play. This includes the likes of Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad.

There are several maps for kids to explore, from haunted mansions and castles to beautiful island worlds. The game also includes a handful of standard minigames as well as boss-centered minigames, each of them being distinctive in their own way to keep kids on their toes and eager to play through to the next game.

What we love

  • It doesn't have a turn-based system on the gameboard, taking away some of the hard competitiveness for younger players
  • Features a reward system as players can unlock additional game modes

What We Don't Like That Much

  • We’d love to see more variety in the items that can be collected, which helps to give players the edge

13Scooby Doo & Looney Tunes Cartoon Universe: Adventure

Scooby Doo & Looney Tunes Cartoon Universe: Adventure

Worlds collide within Scooby Doo & Looney Tunes Cartoon Universe: Adventure! Kids who adore the classic cartoons will be thrilled to see all of the recognizable characters and locations from the shows. Before that though, they can customize their character, mixing up their clothes so that they can truly fit into the loony world they find themselves in.

From there, kids can join along with Scooby and the gang to solve a mystery, or ally with Bugs Bunny and his friends to discover the secret behind the defective MOCME products. There are fun puzzles to solve and even cooler enemies to face down. Not only that, but players can fully immerse themselves into the crazy cartoon world as they can use the likes of an umbrella to protect themselves from massive falling objects.

What we love

  • Simple to find treasure and other loot so that kids can continually upgrade their characters
  • Each of the cartoon world and characters are uniquely designed so that they're instantly recognizable

What We Don't Like That Much

  • It would be great if you could also play as the characters from the world rather than just have them as allies

14Disney Magical World

Disney Magical World

In Disney Magical World, kids will jump headfirst into the glorious, enchanting world of Disney. There are so many worlds to explore that any fan will recognize. They can dive into the fantastical world of Alice in Wonderland and join in with the fun tea party or explore with Aladdin and the Genie. In fact, they can meet more than 60 Disney characters in total.

Not only can they hang out with these characters, but players can also help them out. There are different ghosts they can battle so that these characters can find some special missing items. Besides that, players can work on managing their own café in the Disney world, making it a hotspot for other famous characters to come and visit.

What we love

  • The game has a slower, more leisurely pace that is fitting for young kids new at playing games
  • Worlds will unlock gradually, gently pushing children to keep exploring to discover more

What We Don't Like That Much

  • Players may have to go through the same dungeons/areas a few times to get enough money and items for upgrades

15Snoopy's Grand Adventure

Snoopy's Grand Adventure

Snoopy’s Grand Adventure dives deep into Snoopy’s imagination as he ventures through a fantastical world to find Charlie Brown and friends. Woodstock is, of course, along for the ride. If kids decide to play the 2-player co-op multiplayer mode, then both Snoopy and Woodstock can work at the same time to beat the levels and find their friends.

As players go through the game, they will collect a variety of items. These items will help them unlock more abilities to help them through the levels, as well as grant them additional rewards. Besides that, kids can have a laugh at seeing the Peanuts comic strips that come up in between each of the levels.

What we love

  • Features a large variety of scenic environments to explore
  • The game is forgiving and gives players enough time to regain health when they're hit

What We Don't Like That Much

  • We wish the loading screens were a little quicker, so kids can immediately get into the action

In Conclusion

Nintendo consoles have been popular with kids for generations (since MY generation at least) because they know how to make fun and kid-friendly games that are bright, colorful, and not too complicated. So whether exploring Luigi’s Mansion or Yoshi’s New Island, you can know that they’ll be having a great time.

 Or, even better, you can introduce them to some real classic games by buying a Super NES Classic console, which comes loaded with the likes of Super Mario Kart, Super Mario World, Street Fighter II, and all of the other SNES games that I adored when I was 12.

If the 3DS isn’t the right option, the Nintendo Switch is currently the king of video gaming for kids so why not check out our 10 Best Nintendo Switch Games for 4-Year-Olds?