The Rarest and Most Valuable Nintendo 3DS Games

The Nintendo 3DS may not have been far removed from the mainline retail scene, but collectors are already starting to target the hidden gems and the harder-to-obtain releases to fill in their collection (but there are also some affordable gems).  While some of the prices in these games might be a bit surprising, some of the more rare games might just rise strongly from here, if history is any guide.

You may notice some of the high-ranking rarities had relatively low prices on the low end of the spectrum. The low range on these listings are for cartridge-only games. While some of these games are still hard to find as a bare cartridge, the real premium is on complete copies. And while the Nintendo DS cases are much more durable and useful than the cardboard boxes for the Game Boy lineup, a lot of DS cases have been discarded by the likes of GameStop stores that have policy do scrapping cases before selling the games (sad, but true).

The second price in the value ranges is the highest price in the past three months which is usually the price for a mint, complete copy. An average price is also shared for a sealed copy if one has sold recently. The list is ordered by the balance of the two primary prices. Note that some of these games are not rare in the sense that there are not many available, but rare relative to demand, which makes the games expensive.

Check out the full Rarest and Most Valuable Games Guides Lineup

Barbie: Groom and Glam Pups: $470-$3400

The Nintendo portables have always been prime real estate for licensed titles for kids and the Barbie franchise has been a frequent guest on the platforms over the years.

The Barbie Groom and Glam Pups game, in particular, was released on multiple platforms — primarily the Wii and DS. THQ published those two releases in North America. A 3DS-specific port was produced and saw release in Europe and Australia before a smaller publisher, “Little Orbit”, took on the task of publishing a North American release, but exclusively in Canada.

Once US-based 3DS collectors caught onto this, they started paying up for copies to increase their chances of having a complete North American set.

The game garnered extra attention back in March of 2022 when Reddit user Gladius paid $1600 for a copy to complete his North American 3DS collection. At the time, it was viewed as paying well above the “going rate” and he admitted that he “should have bought it” a few years prior for the $700.

However, even though some of the retro market has cooled over the last year, this particular release has seen an eBay sale for more than double Gladius’s price in just 9 months when it sold for over $3400 USD in December 2022.

It will be interested to see how this progresses over the next few years. Will more copies surface to fill the demand or will be see the stakes continue to be raised?

Check for Barbie: Groom and Glam Pups on eBay
Check for Barbie: Groom and Glam Pups on Amazon

Alien Chaos 3D: $135-$450

Despite the 3D in the title, this indie release is a two-dimensional arena shooter. The game from Lutris is a semi-sequel to their XBLA game Mama & Son Clean House.

The game was primarily an eShop release due to its indie nature but did get a pretty small print run in physical form, even making to Amazon.

The release made its rounds as a nondescript budget game and it still is one of those games that most people might not think much about in the wild. A perfect example is this anecdote about somebody scoring a copy on Facebook Marketplace for only $1.50. So this could still be one that you could score on the cheap if you’re shopping at places that don’t research all the values in advance.

Check for Alien Chaos 3D on eBay
Check for Alien Chaos 3D on Amazon

Yo-Kai Watch Blasters: Red Cat Corps: $190-$300 ($400 Sealed)
Yo-Kai Watch Blasters: White Dog Squad: $180-$290 ($350 Sealed)

These two games are part of a spinoff series based on the Blasters mini-game in Level-5’s main series game Yo-kai Watch 2. (We will be touching on the main Yo-kai Watch series below)

These spin-off games are intended as a Ghostbusters spoof/homage (and was named after it in the Japanese release). However, due to copyright and licensing issues, the western release was had most of the overt Ghostbuster references were toned-down significantly.

There are two versions of the Watch Blasters: Red Cat Corps and White Dog Squad. Like with the main series (not unlike the Pokémon series), several different yo-kai are only available in each game (though they can be traded with). The free expansion Yo-kai Watch Blasters: Moon Rabbit Crew is also available digitally.

The Japanese releases of the Blasters games were published in 2015, but this North American version didn’t get published until September 2018. As the reach of both the 3DS platform and the Yo-Kai Watch series started to decline, these releases were relatively limited.

Check for Yo-Kai Watch Blasters Series on eBay
Check for Yo-Kai Watch Blasters Series on Amazon

Guide Louvre: $125-$350 ($400 Sealed)

Nintendo has historically been quite proactive in bringing their technology and experiences into the “real world” to get them exposed to people that aren’t typical in the “gaming” world. This occurrence was especially noticeable in the Wii and DS eras as the platforms were both technologically innovative and cost-effective.

In 2012, Nintendo teamed up with the Louvre museum in Paris, France to create a virtual tour of the museum and its collection of artwork. The software originally was exclusive to the rentable 3DS units at the museum to work as a tour guide to visitors. It was designed to work perfectly in tandem with exploring the galleries in person and had many innovative touches that could keep the attention of young museum-goers and adults alike.

Smartphones had been around for a few years at this point, but Nintendo was able to create a more impressive software experience on their hardware at that point.

The software eventually was rolled out to the eShop so that 3DS owners could explore the Louvre’s collection without having to travel to Paris. With a full “retail” version being available, a physical cartridge release was also sold exclusively in the Louvre gift shop.

It’s technically up for debate on if this should be included as a “North American Retail Release”. The eShop version was sold in North America (and the cartridge release didn’t seem to have region designations, but did have different language variants), but with the physical release wasn’t sold in retail stores.

Check for Guide Louvre on eBay

Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn [Not For Resale]: $73-$160

Over the decades, Nintendo has had a handful of these types of cartridges that are intended for demo units at retail stores.

While most of the Nintendo Not-for-Resale carts have a modest premium on them compared to their mainline counterparts, this one is especially hard to find.

Not only did the game come out as the 3DS was declining in the post-Switch era, but Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn also happened to be Nintendo’s last first-party game for the 3DS and was a port of a Wii game that had come out 9 years prior. All these factors contribute to it being a cartridge that is especially hard to find in the wild.

Check for Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn Not For Resale on eBay

Yo-Kai Watch 3: $140-$250 ($300 Sealed)

For those that aren’t aware, Yo-Kai Watch is a Japanese franchise created and developed by Level-5 that may feel similar to the Pokemon franchise and consists of this RPG video game series in addition to a manga and anime series. The franchise centers on the Yo-Kai, supernatural creatures that are invisible to the human eye and can only be seen by the player character.

This third entry in the mainline series introduced a new battle system and is considered the definitive version of the series.

The Japanese release of this third installment was in 2016, but it was released in other regions much later. Europe and Australia saw the game localized in 2018, but North America didn’t get their version until all the way in 2019.

Even though fans of the series found this installment to be satisfactory, it was just a bit too late to the market to be a commercial success in North America and remains a premium collector piece in the 3DS library.

Check for Yo-Kai Watch 3 on eBay
Check for Yo-Kai Watch 3 on Amazon

Rhythm Thief & The Emperors Treasure: $130-$250

The DS family has been home to some great rhythm-based games over the years. Sega blessed the 3DS with a creative combination of great beats, interesting puzzles and charming personality that made for a real under-the-radar gem back in 2012.

In addition to the rhythm-based mini-games, the game also features a variety of adventure elements, such as exploration and puzzle-solving. As players explore the streets of Paris, they will encounter various characters and objects that they can interact with to gather clues and advance the story. Players will also have to solve various puzzles and riddles in order to progress through the game.

With its interesting mix of gameplay and style, Rhythm Thief & The Emperors Treasure game glimpses of the innovative Sega that was taking chances in the Dreamcast era.

Check for Rhythm Thief & The Emperors Treasure on eBay
Check for Rhythm Thief & The Emperors Treasure on Amazon

Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: $99-$195

The touchscreen setup of the DS and 3DS set up the success of new powerhouse franchises such as Ace Attorney and Professor Layton. These two thrived on portable systems for more than a decade before culminating with this crossover adventure puzzle game in 2014 (2012 in Japan).

The game was co-developed the Level-5 and Capcom and was lovingly crafted to incorporate the aspects that worked so well for both franchises, while also adding some new elements to round out the experience.

Overall, Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a unique and engaging game that combines elements of puzzle-solving and investigation, and offers a challenging and satisfying gameplay experience for players of all skill levels.

Check for Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney on eBay
Check for Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney on Amazon

Yo-Kai Watch 2: Psychic Specters: $85-$175

Obviously, this game was in the middle of the mainline Yo-Kai Watch series on the 3DS. This release actually contains all the Yo-Kai from the “Bony Spirits” and “Fleshy Souls” installments as well as a wealth of extra content in the way of quests, a new location and more.

While it might not be in as large of demand or have quite the late release as its predecessor, mentioned above, it’s still selling for high enough amounts that it ranks pretty well on this list at this point.

Check for Yo-Kai Watch 2: Psychic Specters on eBay
Check for Yo-Kai Watch 2: Psychic Specters on Amazon


Additional Games of Value

  • Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy: $95-$155 ($160 Sealed) (eBay)
  • Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King: $84 -$143 (eBay)
  • Metal Gear Solid 3D: $70-$129 (eBay)
  • Style Savvy: Fashion Forward: $77-$117 (eBay)
  • Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse: $63-$130 (eBay)
  • Moco Moco Friends: $69-$120 (eBay)
  • Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn: $69-$100 (eBay)
  • Zero Time Dilemma: $68-$93 (eBay)
  • Etrian Mystery Dungeon: $60-$100 (eBay)
  • Project X Zone 2: $62-$97 (eBay)
  • Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight: $55-$100 (eBay)
  • Radiant Historia Perfect Chronology: $66-$85 (eBay)
  • 7th Dragon III Code VFD: $66-$84 (eBay)
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers: $58-$80 (eBay)
  • Frozen: Olaf’s Quest [Nintendo Selects]: \(60-\) 75 (eBay)
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse: $54 -$80 (eBay)
  • Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past: $52-$80 (eBay)

Most Valuable Limited/Premium Editions

  • Fire Emblem Fates [Special Edition]: $ 400-$500 (eBay)
  • Pokemon Ultra Sun & Pokemon Ultra Moon [Steelbook Edition]: $130-$200 (eBay)
  • Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth [Showtime Premium Edition]: $135-$170 (eBay)
  • Pokemon Ultra Sun & Pokemon Ultra Moon Dual Pack: $130-$160 (eBay)
  • Zelda Majora’s Mask 3D [Limited Edition]: $110-$122 (eBay)
  • Stella Glow Limited Edition: $99-$125 (eBay)
  • Corpse Party: Back to School Edition: $93-$120 (eBay)
  • Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth [Wild Cards Premium Edition]: $92-$120 (eBay)
  • Bravely Default [Collector’s Edition]: $100-$110 (eBay)
  • Pokemon Sun & Pokemon Moon [Steelbook Edition]: $90-$100 (eBay)
  • Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Limited Edition: $78-$110 (eBay)
  • Kid Icarus Uprising [Big Box]: $78-$103 (eBay)
  • Final Fantasy Explorers Collector’s Edition: $78-$99 (eBay)
  • Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends Of The Titan [Limited Edition]: $72-$105 (eBay)
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV Limited Edition: $85-$89 (eBay)
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker [Launch Edition]: $74-$95 (eBay)

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prfsnl_gmr says:

Great article, as always! I’m trying to round out my 3DS collection, and some of the prices for games released not that long ago are astounding.

Cool story…I picked up my copy of Alien Chaos 3D out of a K-Mart(!) bargain bin for $9. There were a few copies sitting alongside the publisher’s other games Boulder Dash XL and Top Trumps NBA All-Stars. It’s weird to me that Alien Chaos is worth so much while the others aren’t particularly valuable.

Goatlll says:

It is insane how quickly game prices shot up. Pretty much when covid hit, a lot of older games started to move, but 3DS games just disappeared from used game shelves. I have most of the Megaten games, but I didn’t get around to picking up Devil Survivor 2 because it was everywhere and fairly cheap.

Then boom, it just vanished, along with a ton of PS3 games. I mean, I picked up a copy of Soul Hackers from Target in late 2019 for 10 bucks. I am astounded how at how hard it is to find all but the most common 3DS games at used game stores.

Secondly, I would like to see the values of other markets, I actually have no clue about what games are rare in Japan.

phamster says:

Go to Ebay and check out the rare titles you missed out on. A lot of them are sold from Japan at prices somewhat lower than the US and EU prices.

Obscenity says:

Strange that Cubic Ninja isn’t on this list, everyone wanted it, so it was hard to find.

Crafty says:

It was because it was one of the first breakthroughs for 3ds modding I’m pretty sure. There was an oversight in the level editor where you were able to enter codes for levels, but there wasn’t a limit on how many characters you could enter so it would overflow, giving access to a back door

Crafty says:

It was because it was one of the first breakthroughs for 3ds modding I’m pretty sure. There was an oversight in the level editor where you were able to enter codes for levels, but there wasn’t a limit on how many characters you could enter so it would overflow, giving access to a back door

william says:

I’d feel like I had exploited a mentally ill person charging them 200 bucks for my copy of rhythm thief that I originally paid about 3 bucks for.
One main reason these games are scarce is once they hit bargain prices at retail the vultures/adult-collectors bulk bought the lot and put them in boxes to drive the price up.

PierreJG says:

Living in South Africa it can sometimes be tricky to find stuff. An example is a steam deck that has to be imported and people are asking 30-40k for one ( the same price about as a RTX4090 ). I love handhelds. My Gameboy introduced me to Pokemon. I am looking to buy a new 3ds on the second-hand market because they are well priced. I wanted to get a switch but I am not willing to pay for a switch the same price as a PS4….

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