Its Brave/Default system offers one of the freshest takes on turn-based battling we've seen in a long time, and makes leveling up the creatively varied Jobs — everything from Knights and Thieves to Ninjas and Vampires — a joy.The sequel, Bravely Second: End Layer, makes plenty of improvements, but we recommend starting with the first to enjoy them both to the fullest.Nintendo's long-running Fire Emblem series had a real renaissance on the 3DS, with the series' trademark mix of high drama and tactical SRPG gameplay spiced up through an anime-inspired aesthetic and incredibly addictive romance elements.Awakening may have kicked off that trend, but Fates gets our vote as the can't-miss 3DS instalment, thanks to its dual-kingdom setup and engrossing My Castle mode.As a remake of a 1997 Japan-exclusive dungeon crawler for the Sega Saturn, Soul Hackers perhaps sticks out as an underdog on this list, but it's one of our very favourite 'deep cuts' in the 3DS' RPG library.
These adventures are renowned for their storytelling, art design, and stellar soundtracks as much as their town-traveling and turn-based battling, and the 3DS' inaugural entry — a fantastic remake of the Play Station's Dragon Warrior VII — lives up to that reputation and then some.
Using the touchscreen to draw your own detailed map as you traverse its lush labyrinths makes for a truly rewarding experience, and one of the best examples of what dual-screen gaming can bring to the genre.
Add in snappy, class-based combat, deep character customization, a rich orchestral score, and a beautifully verdant vibe, and Etrian Odyssey IV becomes one of the most disarmingly pleasant dungeon crawlers we've ever combed our way through.
Rune Factory 4 is a masterpiece of its own particular sub-genre that sees you tilling and defending the land in equal measure, as you plant crops, romance villagers, and fend off monsters to keep your newly adopted Kingdom of Norad safe and thriving.
It's one of the most fully engrossing experiences we've had the pleasure of diving into on the 3DS, with a dizzying array of things to enjoy and a wonderfully inviting world in which to enjoy them, and it's all full to the brim with bucolic charm. Level 5's answer to the monster-collecting craze, this family-friendly adventure sees you guiding a young protagonist through a Saturday morning storyline as they meet, befriend, and battle eccentric and often unhinged spirits from Japanese folklore.