The Buyer's Guide

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85 Engadget Score
An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.
85

An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.

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

Both of the new 3DSes bring enough improvements to warrant an upgrade from the original system. Nintendo has finally managed to make the 3D effect work comfortably, and hardware looks more refined on both models. If you already own a 3DS, an upgrade in 2015 is a wise decision.

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Pros
  • 3D screen works better, is more enjoyable to use
  • Secondary analog pad offers richer control options
  • Upgraded processor does everything faster
Cons
  • Some games work differently on the last-gen 3DSes
  • Customizable plates only offered on the smaller New 3DS
  • Buying games and apps is still a chore
85 Engadget Score
An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.
85

An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.

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

85
 

User Reviews

100
John
I love the Damn thing . I got it as a birthday present years ago and I'm still...read more
80
William
Aesthetically and functionally the greatest handheld gaming-centric device ever...read more
100
Ahmir
A gadget unicorn - Engadget
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Score Breakdown

 
92
Average user Score
 
100
John
07.19.19
I love the Damn thing . I got it as a birthday present years ago and I'm still fascinated with the graphics and amazed with the 3D .... I recently bought Castlevania Lords of shadow/Mirror of Fate and was telling my son how great it looked , then I noticed that the 3D slider was set to off .. When I tried it on WOW !! AMAZING !! I get such a kick out of the 3D games and apps ..... It did so much more then just play gaming .. I'm still creating 3D stop motion movie clips with it ... It's just a great all in one system .. It takes pictures movie clips it has a sound recorded . I'm even trying a bio feedback with the sound recorded for my tinnitus .. What can I say , I still love it to death ! But like all good thing it might come back around again .... I feel it was sent to pasture too soon
 
80
William
07.13.19
Aesthetically and functionally the greatest handheld gaming-centric device ever built. Whereas the New 3DS XL would typically take that title, or maybe even the Switch, the New 3DS has two things that set it above the others. 1. Portability. Far greater portable shape and size than the New 3DS XL or the Switch, and even the Vita for that matter. Fits in a pocket easily, albeit with a slight bulge. 2. Aesthetic. Some folks will say the New 3DS XL special editions looks better, and in the case of the Majora's Mask edition, I would be inclined to agree but the simple off-white tone with the SNES buttons make this an immediately more attractive system. But the best part? Customization. Faceplates representing franchises like Zelda, Pokemon, Mario, etc make this a worthy investment and a lot of fun in itself. Personally I rock the Blastoise plates from the 20th Anniversary Pokemon Edition (btw greatest special edition console ever made IMO) but there are plenty of different flavors to choose from. While the system does have it's flaws, it's completely forgiven for the things it gets right. But on the subject of flaws, they do exist. For instance, the battery life is horrid when compared to even smaller phones processing much more than some polygons. 3D will have a noticeable effect on battery life. Best to keep a charger nearby. Also, while it is a simple update, it was outshined graphically by the Vita a couple years prior and completely devastated by the Switch a few years later, all while being rocked by smartphones entirely. Resolution is a bit better than the New 3DS XL but that doesn't make it even remotely pleasant when playing a game like Xenoblades. Personally I find this to be its biggest flaw but I understand most won't see that as big an issue. All in all, the updated processing power, superior games library and all around sleek, refined feel make this the best 3DS variant, and by extension handheld, ever built. I would highly recommend getting one while you still can.
 
100
Ahmir
07.13.19
A gadget unicorn - Engadget
 
90
aaronmarks
07.13.19
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget
 
90
yourify
05.11.15
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget