We list and review the best horror games that you can buy for the Nintendo 3DS right now, for a scary all-night gaming session under the duvet.
Although the Nintendo 3DS games catalogue is rammed full of kid-friendly fluff, featuring cutesy big-eyed characters that look like giant walking marshmallows, there’s also a small selection of surprisingly mature horror games to be had. From terrifying ghostly adventures to gore-soaked violent action titles, here’s our pick of the best horror games you can pick up on the 3DS.
Best Nintendo 3DS horror games: Resident Evil: Revelations
We’re big fans of the original Resi Evil games here at Recombu HQ, which managed to be incredibly creepy and shocking despite the ridiculous hammy acting. And while recent titles in the series have focused more on frantic action, the Revelations spin-offs are a return to old-school horror.
Revelations made the surprising leap to the 3DS console, and this port is actually pretty good, especially with the second joystick of the New 3DS. The sinister atmosphere and shuffling zombies are present and correct, as is the usual super-cliched dialogue. If it’s schlock and shocks you’re after, this is a solid choice.
Best Nintendo 3DS horror games: The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
The Binding of Isaac is another truly unsettling 3DS title, which is sure to give you all kinds of crazy horrifying dreams when you play late at night.
The hapless Isaac is cast down into a gruesome basement filled with horrible creatures, by his suddenly murderous bible-bashing mother. His only chance of survival is to traverse five levels of terror, taking out the beasties and bosses using some handy bombs and his own tears as weapons.
You don’t get any save points in The Binding of Isaac, so you’ll need to smash through all five levels at once to experience one of the many different (and rather ambiguous) endings. Thankfully each level can be completed in just a few minutes if you’re powering through. That is, if the genuinely disturbing enemies – which include poop demons and disfigured babies – don’t get you first.
Best Nintendo 3DS horror games: Virtue’s Last Reward
Waking up in a manky old warehouse with a demented killer isn’t our idea of a good time, but that’s exactly what happens to our hapless hero Sigma in Virtue’s Last Reward.
This thrilling 3DS horror game is best described as an interactive horror novel. The action is deliberately slow-paced as you work out what’s happening to Sigma and the seven other victims locked inside the warehouse. There are still plenty of puzzles to be solved between the anxious conversations, threats and accusations, of course. And with loads of different endings to see, there’s plenty of reason to replay the game every Halloween.
Best Nintendo 3DS horror games: Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir
Fans of Project Zero, otherwise known as Fatal Frame, will know what to expect in Spirit Camera. You find yourself locked away inside a truly terrifying haunted house and the only way to defeat the ghosts is by capturing their souls with the 3DS’ camera; no super-powered ethereal swords or other weaponry here.
Some clever AR moments have you searching your real-life environment for apparitions, which is just as creepy as it sounds. It can be a rather glitchy experience at times, but Spirit Camera is certainly memorable.
Best Nintendo 3DS horror games: Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D
Unlike the brooding horror of Revelations, The Mercenaries 3D is a straight-up horror action game that sees you slaying as many undead creeps as possible before your time runs out.
It’s essentially just a jazzed-up version of the old Mercenaries mini-games that you unlocked in Resi 4 and 5, but the two-player co-op mode is good fun and there’s plenty of delicious gore to satisfy your bloodlust.
Best Nintendo 3DS horror games: Zero Time Dilemma
Like Virtue’s Last Reward, Zero Time Dilemma is another interactive novel that sees you solving puzzles in order to escape the clutches of the sinister Zero. Moral dilemmas and cruel games must be negotiated and you’re rewarded with one of many endings depending on your in-game performance and the choices you made.
Best Nintendo 3DS horror games: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate
This Castlevania title delivers everything that the series is renowned for, including thrilling and frantic battles against screen-filling bosses. Luckily you can collect and wield some truly devastating weapons and soup yourself up with awesome powers, for a greater chance of survival.
Best Nintendo 3DS horror games: Corpse Party
Moving to a new school seems to be a recurring theme in Asian horror, but Corpse Party involves something a lot more terrifying than general social awkwardness, as you might have guessed.
Student Mayu Suzumoto is moving away from her besties to start a new life, but first her friends decide that it’ll be a good idea to perform some kind of binding ritual that they hear about on the internet. Guess what? Turns out that was a really bad idea.
This top-down retro-style action adventure has you solving puzzles, chatting with classmates and trying not to be offed in horrible fashion. Don’t be fooled by the basic graphics, either. Corpse Party has more than its fair share of horrific moments.
Let us know your own favourite 3DS horror games in the comments below.