The rankings include downloaded versions of physical game releases, download-only software and virtual console titles.
In 2020 Animal Crossing: New Leaf was number one in Japan, with the download-only version of Game Boy Colour title Pokémon Crystal coming in at number two. Pokémon Crystal also took the number two spot in 2019 and the number one spot in 2018.
Other popular titles include the free-to-play tower defence game Nyanko Great War, released in 2016, and classic Game Boy Pokémon titles like Pokémon Yellow, Red, Gold and Silver continually made the cut as popular downloads as well.
In 2011 The Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX was number one, and Super Mario Land was number two, both of which are older titles re-released on the 3DS.
These download rankings for the 3DS eShop in Japan have been released following the news that the 3DS and Wii U eShops will close in March 2023. This means titles like Pokémon Crystal, which is currently only purchasable officially through the 3DS eShop, will no longer be available to buy from Nintendo. However, games purchased through the Wii U and 3DS will still be playable after March 2023.
In May 2022, credit cards will no longer be able to add funds to player accounts through the Wii U and 3DS, with eShop cards ceasing to work in August 2022 as well.
A now-deleted part of the Q&A concerning both the Wii U and 3DS shop closures answered the question of how fans will be able to purchase Nintendo’s classic library. It said the company has “no plans to offer classic content in other ways [outside of Nintendo Switch Online].”