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15 Best 3DS Games for 5 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.

Did you know sushi could be a weapon? Or that there ain’t no party like a Mario Party? Have you ever raced against Sonic? Or solved a mystery with Detective Pikachu? If the answer is no, you clearly never had a Nintendo 3DS, which is packed full of amazing games for 5-year-olds.

Whether they love jumping around with Mario, creating art in the Disney Art Academy, or growing food and making friends in Animal Crossing or Harvest Moon, the 3DS has games that will appeal to every child. They can play with friends or on their own, at home or on the move.

We’ve picked out the 15 best 3DS games for 5-year-old Nintendo fans and have made sure each game is fun and suitable for them by eliminating any fake online reviews, so you can trust that they’ll have an amazing time exploring these 3D worlds.

Be sure to also check out our guide to the best 3DS games for four year olds as there are plenty of options for smaller hands.

Game
Our Favourite
Best for Sports
Preview
Rayman 3D - Nintendo 3DS
Animal Crossing New Leaf -Nintendo 3DS (World Edition)
Mario Sports Superstars - Nintendo 3DS
Pros
Includes new characters, unlockables, and more with adjustable 3D graphics
Allows players to message each other and post screenshots of their town
Comes with one card from the Mario Sports Superstars amiibo card series
Cons
It would be great if it were a dual-player game
We’d love to see even more villagers added to the Animal Crossing universe
It would be nice to have more AI difficulty settings
Price
$38.49
$26.99
$49.96
Our Favourite
Game
Preview
Rayman 3D - Nintendo 3DS
Pros
Includes new characters, unlockables, and more with adjustable 3D graphics
Cons
It would be great if it were a dual-player game
Price
$38.49
More information
Best for Exploring
Preview
Animal Crossing New Leaf -Nintendo 3DS (World Edition)
Pros
Allows players to message each other and post screenshots of their town
Cons
We’d love to see even more villagers added to the Animal Crossing universe
Price
$26.99
More information
Best for Sports
Preview
Mario Sports Superstars - Nintendo 3DS
Pros
Comes with one card from the Mario Sports Superstars amiibo card series
Cons
It would be nice to have more AI difficulty settings
Price
$49.96
More information

1Sushi Striker: The Way of The Sushido (Best Budget Option)

Sushi Striker: The Way of The Sushido (Best Budget Option)

In this role-playing puzzle, children need to think strategically to battle evil and establish good – with sushi! They’ll need to match plates of sushi with conveyor-belt sushi to fight the Empire’s tyrannical monopoly of all the sushi in the world. Players become Sushi Strikers and help Musashi fight the villains by making friends with the Sushi Sprites who have powerful skills in battle. You can assemble a team of three that you can take into battle. We hope you’ve written notes! 

The aim is to eat stacks of sushi and throw the plates at the enemy to make them back off. The main Sushi Sprite is Jinrai, who is Musashi’s side-kick and spreads sushi around the world. Jinrai travels with Musashi in miniature form floating in midair. If you’re looking for a fun, tongue-in-cheek game for your little one with an interesting story, check out Sushi Striker!

What we love

  • Included are special Sushi Sprite skills such as healing, shields, and other powers
  • The hero Musashi can be played as male or female

What We Don't Like That Much

  • We recommend short sessions of play, as gameplay may be a little repetitive after a while

2Animal Crossing New Leaf (World Edition)

Animal Crossing New Leaf (World Edition)

In this chilled-out, relaxed game, players become the mayor of their very own town. The other villagers have real personalities and add color to each and every day. You’re able to explore both day and night in real-time, and you can build your own house, as well as other buildings, to improve the town over time. That’s not to mention, you can even customize the appearance of your character and home. 

This is a time-based game, with different events happening throughout the day. Animal Crossing is well-known to be therapeutic, helping players unwind from daily stresses, with its calming soundtrack and easygoing vibe. However, it also promotes real-life skills and interactions, as well as an appreciation for the environment and its critters.

What we love

  • This game has a feature that allows players to message each other and post screenshots of their town
  • You can extend play with the Animal Crossing Plaza application that is sold separately

What We Don't Like That Much

  • We’d love to see even more villagers added to the Animal Crossing universe

3Disney Magical World 2

Disney Magical World 2

Disney Magical World 2 is a follow-up to the popular franchise Magical World and includes several different types of new adventures. Within the game are six Disney-themed universes such as Disney Frozen, Magical Dream events, and dancing with a Disney princess. Does that sound enticing or what? All the favorite Disney characters appear for action including Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Elsa, Anna and Olaf, Ariel, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Daisy Duck. 

This game has very mild cartoon violence but is suitable for young children. The Disney characters have their own voices for short phrases. Magical World 2 is an upgrade from the first game and has a larger town that allows you to be neighbors with your favorite Disney characters.

What we love

  • Very little reading is required with short sentences that tell where to go or what to get next
  • This version has puzzle pieces that allow you to enter a dream episode and play with different Disney characters

What We Don't Like That Much

  • We’d prefer it if you could roam the game without sitting through the initial tutorial

4Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

Here we have our favorite hedgehog, Sonic as a racecar driver! Each character in this game has a unique vehicle that can transform into a plane, boat, or car to speed through challenging and ever-changing terrain. It has 16 dynamically changing courses that are inspired by SEGA’s famous gaming history, and along with the 20+ legendary characters, it has new characters from SEGA that join the race. 

Unexpectedly, land, air, or water will appear beneath you and you must transform your vehicle to accommodate the new challenge. Players learn to barrel roll, drift, and overtake rivals. This is a fast-paced game with a specific goal that requires concentration, is thrilling to play, and is easy for children to play without needing a tutorial.

What we love

  • Included are special weapons to aim and shoot as well others that block or evade other characters
  • Players can find alternative routes or shortcuts to gain the advantage

What We Don't Like That Much

  • We’d love to see some extra tracks added to the game, helping increase replayability

5Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon

In Luigi’s Mansion, players have fun alongside Mario’s clumsy brother, Luigi as he becomes a somewhat-terrified ghost hunter. The game involves solving puzzles in five huge haunted mansions to open doors and corridors to find hidden secrets. Luigi has a Poltergust 5000 vacuum cleaner to capture ghosts and other creatures and must battle monsters. Other gadgets include a Dark Light Device and a Strobulb to help Luigi in his mission to capture the creatures haunting the mansions. 

Players guide Luigi through the mansions to find the pieces of the Dark Moon. The main ghosts are Greenie, a mild-mannered ghost that can still cause trouble, Slammer, who lets out a powerful blast of energy, and Hider, who hides and throws things at you as you walk by.

What we love

  • You can team up with up to three online ghost hunters for rare, online multiplayer challenges that are not in the main game
  • This game offers plenty of challenging puzzles that need to be solved so Luigi can move forward

What We Don't Like That Much

  • We would like it better if the camera angles didn’t purposely block Luigi from seeing some of the hidden challenges

6Tetris Ultimate

Tetris Ultimate

Tetris is a time-honored game and 3D Tetris Ultimate takes it to the next level. Tetris, as we all know, requires skill as the pace picks up. The game can be played with a partner or up to four friends. You can get social feeds to stay up to date with in-game events as well as track your friend’s scores. A leaderboard allows you to post your scores and see other players’ scores from around the world. The game has six modes with new features and visuals. 

This is an upgrade of the iconic game that offers more challenges and more fun. It is suitable for any level of player because it encourages improvement and development of strategy and skill. It will also display the original 2D version of Tetris if you choose to.

What we love

  • Tetris Ultimate captures and saves your games, so you can view your past strategies and mistakes to increase your skill level
  • This version has an exclusive challenge mode

What We Don't Like That Much

  • It would be nice if you could choose your background music

7Detective Pikachu

Detective Pikachu

The iconic pokemon that we all know and love, Pikachu stars in this game as an ace detective solving strange occurrences throughout Ryme City. Players have thrilling and mysterious adventures as they take notes, investigate crime scenes, gather testimonies, and uncover information to solve the case. Along the way, you will meet other Pokémon characters to solve these mysteries. The player is Tim Goodman, who partners with the self-proclaimed great detective Pikachu. 

Meanwhile, Tim is searching for his father who is missing and somewhere in Ryme City. He encounters Pikachu, who is fast-talking with his helpful hints, and they band together to solve mysteries. The game contains more than 150 animated cutscenes with Pikachu and is based on the interactions between Pokémon and their partners, as opposed to being focused on battling as other pokemon games normally are. If your little one loves a mystery and pokemon, this is the game for them.

What we love

  • This game calls upon thinking skills to solve cases and stop the mastermind behind the disturbances in the city
  • The graphics are whimsical and the cases are easy for youngsters to solve

What We Don't Like That Much

  • We would like it better if the voice of Pikachu were the same as in the movie

8Rayman 3D

Rayman 3D

Based on the famous Rayman series, this 3D game is an adaptation of Rayman 2 on Dreamcast, considered the most popular of all the Rayman games. The whole Rayman universe is found within this 3D version and has improved graphics with the advantage of an analog stick. Players will find a huge diversity of environments with 13 regions in 45 areas for more than 15 hours of fun gameplay. The characters are action-based and can run, swim, climb, fly, and loop-the-loop. It even has waterskiing! 

In this version, Rayman battles mechanical pirates that are led by the evil Admiral Razorbeard who wants to enslave the world’s whole population. Included are the Henchman along with other creatures that create challenges for Rayman. He frees many creatures and picks up magical fragments of the world’s energy core called lums along the way.

What we love

  • Rayman still has his superpowers such as flying like a helicopter with his hair as the propeller
  • The game includes new characters, unlockables, and more with adjustable 3D graphics

What We Don't Like That Much

  • It would be great if it were a dual-player game

9Mario Sports Superstars

Mario Sports Superstars

Mario is one of the most popular computer game characters of all time, and here he is in the world of sports. This game is a compilation of five sports including horse racing, tennis, baseball, golf, and soccer. You can train to hone your skills or take on single-player tournaments. There’s plenty of characters from the Mario universe that players can choose between.

As you play, you will master all aspects of each sport. You can change your team’s formation in soccer or learn how to use an infield shift in baseball. In horse racing mode, you can build a stable of horses and train them to race. Each sport is a full-fledged version, with fun minigames and challenges. After practicing and learning new skills, you’re sure to become a superstar in every sport!

What we love

  • It comes with one card from the Mario Sports Superstars amiibo card series
  • The soccer game is a full 11 vs 11 player game

What We Don't Like That Much

  • When you single-person play against the computer, it would be nice to have more AI difficulty settings

10Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn

Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn

Kirby is a much-loved, classic character from Nintendo, and this epic 3D yarn game is a fantastic advancement in the series! Every character and prop in Patch Land is made of yarn in this game, even the robots. Players work to beat courses made of yarn by learning how to master the use of yarn itself. It includes all the stages that were in the previous version, as well as some new features. 

As you play, you pick up items that help you make bigger yarn balls, and you have the advantage of conjuring wind to gather beads. An added challenge is the speed-demon Devil you will need to outrun in Devilish Mode. You will see some familiar characters if you ever played the original game.

What we love

  • This is a creative, colorful, and visually spectacular game that youngsters especially enjoy
  • It comes with two minigames for an extra challenge

What We Don't Like That Much

  • We wish the gameplay lasted a little longer, as it currently has an expected playtime of seven hours

11Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions

Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions

This is a renewed classic of the game that launched the Mario and Luigi series. This version arrives with mind-blowing 3D graphics! The brothers Mario and Luigi work together to solve puzzles on their adventures and, in this game, the brothers go to the Beanbean Kingdom. Players must dexterously avoid enemy blows and other challenges as the enemy strike in patterns. It requires a little skill and good timing for the player to cause as much damage as possible. 

This game includes a new mode called Minion Quest: The Search for Bowser. This storyline takes place during Mario and Luigi’s classic adventure from the perspective of Bowser’s minions. Players can gather their own minion army to fight battles and help locate the missing leader.

What we love

  • Players control Mario and Luigi simultaneously as the brothers use their unique powers to unravel puzzles and win every battle
  • For players who know the classic adventure, this game shows what happened behind the scenes

What We Don't Like That Much

  • We’d love to see some character cameos from other Nintendo games, such as an animal crossing villager or Link from Zelda

12Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning

Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning

In this title, you can create and customize your very own farm as well as other buildings in the town. You can shift trees to make space for larger buildings. It’s fun and relaxing for children to create and interact with the game’s environment. This version also has a forest where players can engage in mining. Other activities include growing cotton/flax, shearing sheep, and selling their farm produce for money. You can even customize your character’s hairstyle in the salon.

A New Beginning allows you to progress faster than some of the other Harvest Moon games, reducing the time it takes to achieve certain goals. Even though this is the next level of the Harvest Moon game and is played the same way, it contains new characters that are not the same as in the original and is jam-packed with features that will have your little one enthralled the whole time.

What we love

  • Has a wonderful customization system for creating your unique characters
  • Players can choose a spouse and raise a family

What We Don't Like That Much

  • We wish you could interact with friends by visiting their farms or engaging in co-op gameplay

13Disney Art Academy

Disney Art Academy

This is a fabulous game for children to create unique artwork that brings their favorite Disney and Pixar characters to life. It comes with a bundle of drawing tools, including markers, paintbrushes, pastels, and more. The game gives instructions for learning to draw more than 80 animated characters, including Elsa and Olaf, Mickey Mouse, and many more! The tools include a pen, pencil, marker, airbrush, paintbrush, eraser, graphite charcoal, and a smudge blender. 

The instructions do not require a lot of reading, and once young children are shown how to use the features, they can do it themselves. When each beginning lesson is completed, you get five categories that each have three lessons. If your little one is itching to develop their creative flair, they’ll love this game!

What we love

  • Contains a Magic Brush that adds glitter, stars, bubbles, hearts, asterisks, and dots
  • The instructions show you how to draw each character step-by-step before they allow you to draw it on your own

What We Don't Like That Much

  • It would help if the warm-up lesson allowed you to complete one character instead of just completing the finishing touches

14Mario Party: The Top 100

Mario Party: The Top 100

Grab your friends and get ready to have bundles of fun with 100 Mario minigames! These games test your luck, speed, and memory for many hours of fun. The set includes a variety of game modes, and you will surely find many that suit your playing style. Do you love pizza? Eat to your heart’s content. Do you love to dodge penguins? No problem, there are many pushy penguins to dodge. 

Mario Party includes new features such as a favorites option for quick selection and shorter instructions. You can preset the number of rounds to play, and if you tap the new Goomba or Koopa amiibo figures, they instantly unlock respective minigame packs. If your little one likes to play games with their friends, then this is a wonderful game for them to enjoy, with many hours of laughter and fun.

What we love

  • With download play, up to four players can play on their own systems even if they do not own the game
  • It’s great to have a set of short-play games for younger children or the times when you just want to play for an hour or so

What We Don't Like That Much

  • We’d love to see a highlight mode, where hilarious moments can be saved and replayed in the future

15Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue Special Edition

Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue Special Edition

 

This game contains Finding Nemo movie clips in jaw-dropping 3D! It has three different game modes including the Tank Gang that escaped the dentist’s office to the Big Blue. You need to continue playing to get the gang further out to sea. Using touch mode, you’ll roll the baggie towards the shore where the bag pops and the fish are set free. Once you complete this part of the game, you can choose to play minigames as Nemo, Dory, or Marlin. 

You receive sea tokens to buy items from the Interactive Reef. It includes more than 30 minigames, and you can create and populate your own reef. In this game, the fish are friends, not food!

What we love

  • Once you free one of the Tank Game characters from the plastic bag, you can play as that character for the rest of the game
  • The 3D graphics in this brilliantly colored game are very attractive for young children

What We Don't Like That Much

  • It would be nice if there were some levels that were a little more challenging

In Conclusion

For kids who love video games, the Nintendo 3DS is still a great option thanks to the vast number of games that are out there for 5-year-olds, starring all of their favorite characters. There are challenging puzzles to solve, bad guys to stomp, races to win, and a cute little fish called Nemo to find.

Or if you want to teach them about gaming history, why not buy the new version of the classic Nintendo Game & Watch system from the early 1980s, which comes with the iconic NES game Super Mario Bros.

If your 5-year-old already has a Nintendo Switch, you can check out our list of the 10 Best Nintendo Switch Games for 5-Year-Olds for some inspiration.