3D gaming: Take your plays to the next level with these innovative games
3D gaming never exactly boomed the way game developers thought it would. Since the early 80s developers have been working on making 3D games an accessible reality. All that effort reached its tipping point when Nintendo released the 3DS in February of 2011.
Since then, the 3D gaming fad has begun to fade. The general consensus seems to be that 3D games are neat but unnecessary, and the rise of virtual reality games promises to make traditional 3D obsolete. Despite that, the drive for 3D led to some fantastic games, on the 3DS and other systems, and 3D also brought new life to old classics. Here are some games you need to check out to understand all the hype around 3D gaming.
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
Atlus’s Persona series has a long and prolific history. Western audiences began to appreciate Persona en mass after the release of Persona 5, but the series had been making waves well before that. In 2014 Persona Q became one of the best 3D role-playing games ever made.
Persona Q is a 3DS exclusive that blew the doors off the Persona series. The 3DS game transformed Persona into a tactical RPG that pulled in characters from many previous entries in the series. The visual style of Persona Q leaned more heavily on anime tropes than its predecessors did, and the game absolutely shines in 3D.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask
Both of these classics from the Nintendo 64 were reworked for the 3DS. In a series packed with great entries, Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask stand out as two Zelda all-timers. The 3DS remakes changed nothing about the core games, but they revitalized their visuals for a new era.
Few video game remakes capture the original magic of a game while also making it relevant for a new time and system. These do. Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask feel like they were designed to be 3D games. Nintendo cleaned up the original textures, character models, and animations, so on the 3DS these games look like dioramas brought to life. There’s no better way to play these standout Zelda games.
Doom 3 BFG Edition
3D games aren’t all cutesy animations and Japanese art styles. The 2012 remastered Doom 3 brought demons, hell, and plenty of gore into the third dimension. The game was built for consoles two generations ago (Xbox 360 and PS3), but it’s also still playable on Windows & Linux (and OSX if you’re crafty).
Doom in 3D is a pulse-pounding delight. Demons will pop out at you when you least expect it. Blood and gore from your enemies will fly out of the screen. By the end of a multi-hour session, you’ll feel as unstoppable and blood-soaked as Doomguy himself.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
With a 2018 release, this game came in at the tail end of the 3D gaming craze. Clearly the developer behind it wanted 3D as an option but realized demand for 3D was fading. Shadow of the Tomb Raider only supports 3D on its PC iteration, but if you’ve ever wanted to experience a triple-A title in full 3D glory, this is your best shot.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the continuation of the massively popular Tomb Raider reboot. As Lara Croft, you’ll sneak, shoot, and fight through another epic adventure. The graphics are gritty and realistic, and they look as polished as you’d expect from a game published by Square Enix. In 3D the result is total immersion.
Elite Dangerous might be the only “current generation” game that plays in 3D, but calling it current is a stretch. It first released on Windows in 2014, but soon expanded to Xbox One, PS4, and OSX. It’s still actively updated and supported by Frontier Developments. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t have 3D support when it’s played on the PS4, but it looks amazing in any format.
Elite Dangerous is a space-flight simulator that’s the size of the Milky Way galaxy – literally. In Elite you can fly through the stars, fight off pirates, and, with a soon-to-be-released update, explore the surface of alien worlds. It’s hard to describe how incredible stars, planets, and ships look flying out of your screen. Visually, there’s no 3D game that can compete with the scale 0f what Elite Dangerous has to offer.