The short answer to this is yes, it certainly is.
The 3DS has been around for over a decade and remains one of the most popular ways to play games on the go. Is it worth picking up in 2021? That depends on the types of games you want to be able to play and how much time you have available to play them.
If you already own a Nintendo Switch, then you might be in the market for a 3DS. This means you already know and enjoy Nintendo games. You probably like Zelda, Mario, and Pokémon and want more content. This is where the 3DS family shines. The 3DS library is enormous, hosting over 1,300 games. Additionally, the 3DS is backwards compatible with regular DS games, which add another 2,000 games to the list of options. You can often find DS games cheap on eBay or at GameStop, with a few exceptions. As is often the case with Nintendo, first-party games are still more expensive.
If you don’t have a Nintendo Switch, you might still be in the market for a 3DS. If the Switch is too expensive, or you just want to be able to play older games you should look at buying a 3DS. You can often find them on eBay for around $100. If you simply don’t enjoy the games the Switch has to offer, you might not enjoy the 3DS either. The system does have a few differing features, such as the dual screens and the stylus, but content-wise it’s a lot of the same.
As of March 2021, Nintendo still maintains the online 3DS store. This means that you have the option of purchasing and downloading digital games as well. Nintendo will surely discontinue the service in the future – and it does look like the life cycle of the 3DS is coming to a close – but for now, the eShop is going strong.
The 3DS is also a great platform for those looking to install homebrew applications and modify the software to their personal tastes. While this obviously breaks Nintendo’s user agreement and runs the risk of bricking your console, the 3DS homebrew community has grown immensely in the last several years. Unfortunately, there are some limitations to the system. If homebrew is your end goal with the system you should look at investing in a PS Vita.
Ultimately, the 3DS was (and still is) a great system. It has been around for over a decade and it looks like we will see the system in some level of prominence for the next several years at least. It offers a convenient way to play thousands of games and can be bought at a reasonable price point right now. If you haven’t experienced the 3DS yet, the system still has quite a bit to offer in 2021.
Are you looking at investing in a 3DS in 2021? Comment below how you see the system evolving in the next year or two.