The Buyer's Guide

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76 Engadget Score
A good product that falls short of greatness.
76

A good product that falls short of greatness.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

If you've been holding off from buying a 3DS, the improvements to the screens and battery are enough to warrant a purchase, but some issues still remain.

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76 Engadget Score
A good product that falls short of greatness.
76

A good product that falls short of greatness.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

76
 

User Reviews

90
Engadget Reader
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget
70
13xforever
Honestly, I held onto buying this console for all this time, and only bought...read more
90
Engadget Reader
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget
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Score Breakdown

 
78
Average Critic Score
 
80
TrustedReviews
This is a better version of an already fine handheld with a good and growing line-up of software, but in some respects it’s still something of a missed opportunity. It’s the best 3DS so far, but maybe not the definitive version.
 
70
Eurogamer
This enlarged system is the clear choice if you've yet to dip your toe into the waters of glasses-free 3D gaming, but we're not entirely sure it offers enough benefits over the previous hardware model to justify the making the transition.
 
80
The Guardian
It's a straightforward upgrade, one that doesn't provide enough of a leap in form and function for the average 3DS player ... For newcomers ... it's the system to go for, adding battery life, screen size and a seasoning of style to a handheld that is arguably still yet to truly find its identity.
 
80
Stuff
For those who already own a 3DS, though, the lack of an extra stick does make the XL a tough sell. For those wondering whether to take the plunge with Nintendo's 3D handheld, the XL may just be enough to persuade you.
 
80
T3
A portable gaming professional with much to recommend about it, a whopping great screen and a decent raft of games being high among them. While smartphones reign the masses, the 3DS has proven there is still a market for dedicated gaming handhelds for at least the near future.
 
70
Wired UK
For first-time buyers of Nintendo's 3D experiment, the XL is definitely the way to go. For owners of the current model ... ask yourself this: how often do you actually use your 3DS? ... If you answered "quite often" and "a reasonable amount", then it's worth considering the upgrade for sure.
 
80
Pocket-Lint
It’s the spate of new games that really makes the 3DS XL a fun handheld console. It may not have the charm or iconic design of the original Gameboy from all those years ago, but the 3DS XL makes more sense than the original 3DS ever did thanks to the available content.
 
70
Engadget
The new size is an improvement in so many ways, including ergonomics and playability. The bigger screen makes 3D gaming less tiring, and offers a larger sweet spot for Nintendo's all-important gaming effect, while the curved edges simply fit your hands better.
 
60
CNET UK
The larger screen is very welcome but can show up graphical flaws, while the increased weight could become a burden. More expensive than the original but with no charger in the box, potential buyers should still consider opting for the regular 3DS.
 
80
Wired
The 3DS XL is a good update of the original design. It seems to have been created with a few cost cutting measures in mind, but this doesn’t detract from the benefit of those beautiful bigger screens and extended battery life.

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