On The Road Again: Five Fun Video Games To Take On A Trip

Summer is here, which means a chance to get away for that long overdue vacation to someplace exotic or a short trip to visit family. Whether it’s a long or short trip, and you’re a gamer, it also means spending time away from your console or PC. As gamers, we love our games but we also have lives outside of Mario and Zelda. How can a gamer have their cake and eat it too? If you own a portable game system, like a Nintendo 3DS or even a Nintendo DS, you bring that with you on the road. Here’s my personal five fun games I’ve taken with me on trips to pass the time between flights or rest stops. The list will focus on games that can be played on the Nintendo 3DS.

1.  Ace Attorney Series

If you like courtroom drama with a side of over-the-top absurdity and a cast of colorful characters mixed in, the Ace Attorney series will be for you. I’ve taken a few of the games with me on longer trips, finding it a great opportunity to complete a single episode, or at least sections of a court case I’m currently playing through, when I’m not going sightseeing. With the entire Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney trilogy now available to play on the 3DS through the Nintendo eShop, it’s easier than ever before to start the series from the beginning and discover why Phoenix Wright is one of the most well-known and beloved video game characters to ever exist. Unfortunately, if you have an interest in playing every single Ace Attorney game to ever be released in North America so far, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney and Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth are still only playable on a Nintendo DS. I can’t imagine a better travel companion than Phoenix Wright.

2. Fire Emblem Awakening

As a late bloomer with video games, I’ve missed out on playing games that are considered classics or have been around the block for years. This includes the Fire Emblem series. Any chance to play one of these games when they’re released on a system I actually own is a chance I don’t hesitate taking advantage of. Fire Emblem Awakening is my first introduction to the Fire Emblem series and a highly reviewed game. The gorgeous 3D cutscene animations, the smooth tactical gameplay, and one of the best story experiences I’ve ever had in a game makes Awakening one of the best games to bring on a trip. Of course, Awakening is a long game and not exactly one you’ll finish while you’re away. You’re on vacation to actually see and do stuff, right? But there are other things you can do in Awakening, like building bonds of friendship or romance with your companions or play through optional challenge battles that has no connection to the main story, especially if you want to level up your weaker characters more. If you find you have nothing to do during a longer than a few days trip, Awakening is a game you might want to consider packing.

3. Super Smash Bros. 3DS

I’m a big fan of Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii, so when a new Super Smash Bros. released for the 3DS back in 2014, it became a must-own game for me. I’m not the best fighting game fighter, but I do like a good beat ’em up session now and then. My favorite go-to characters to play as have always been Marth, Princess Zelda, Kirby, and Meta Knight to name a few. If you have a friend or family member who has the game and are traveling with you, it’s the perfect game to take for a little multiplayer fun during the trip. I find a game like Super Smash Bros. 3DS a good one for shorter trips when you only have time for a quick 15 or 20 minute gaming session.

4. Pokemon Series

Far too many Pokemon games have released for the Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS over the years. Everyone is going to have a different opinion on which Pokemon game they think is the best in the series to play. If you’re thinking of games to bring on a trip, no matter what the length of time is you’ll be away, Pokemon would be at the top of my list. There’s a certain allure in wanting to catch all the Pokemon, or maybe just your favorites, and continuing the long-standing tradition of becoming the greatest Pokemon master in the world. It’s the closest thing to living out a childhood dream of being in Ash’s shoes, traveling all over to become the very best with your very own Pikachu by your side. Whichever Pokemon game you choose, the series will keep you busy in short or long bursts of time, whether it’s combing through the grass for new Pokemon to catch or visiting the gyms to earn a new gym badge to bring you one step closer to the Pokemon League.

5. Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Some might have a divided opinion on putting a game like this one on any list. Animal Crossing: New Leaf is one of those games you’ll either find fun to play or a boring waste of time. Picking fruit from trees? Fishing or catching insects? Where’s the fun in doing chores? I’ll pass, thanks. I hear you, and I actually didn’t have much of an interest in the Animal Crossing games either. I just didn’t really get the appeal. I also learned later that Animal Crossing is a series that has been around for a while too.

When Animal Crossing: New Leaf released in 2012, you bet I didn’t exactly have this game high on my list of games to own. If it wasn’t for a friend and his girlfriend who already owned the game and wanted to make me an Animal Crossing convert too, he and his girlfriend succeeded by giving me the game as a birthday present one year. I sort of see the attraction of playing New Leaf. I certainly enjoy building your town the way you want it to look, the seasonal and holiday events the game has for players to come back for, and discovering which new neighbors move into my town. I would definitely say that New Leaf is by far the least stressful and most casual game to take on a trip, if you really don’t want anything too involved. It’s not a game I play every single day, but I like coming back to it on and off. It’s a game you play when you don’t have too much time to play a longer video game, but you still want to scratch that gaming itch satisfactorily. New Leaf is almost always a game I’ll pack and play on trips when my attention span is a bit short and I’m bored. It’s also nice to check in on your town and residents now and again, though the residents sure do freak out when you’ve been gone weeks or months at a time. What a clingy bunch!

There are plenty more games not on this list that would make a perfect traveling buddy on a trip. I’ve listed some of mine. What are yours?

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11 thoughts on “On The Road Again: Five Fun Video Games To Take On A Trip

  1. Nice choices! I enjoy all of these games/series immensely, and having them on trips is super helpful for passing the time while still having fun.

    1. Thanks and I agree! There are other games I’ve played that would make this list too, but I thought I’d focus on semi-recentish games for this list and playable on the 3DS.

  2. Nice choices! I like that you provide a bunch of different genres too. Awakening is definitely a game I rec to anyone who wants to get into FE. I’d also add The World Ends With You since it’s fairly short but has been a huge favorite of mine for a long while. As an alternative to Animal Crossing, I’d choose Story of Seasons ^^

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I wanted to have variety on the list to cater to whatever tastes a gamer might have. I definitely agree with The World Ends With You making the list. I played and beat the game ages ago. There’s so much to do in it that would keep someone busy during trips. 😀

  3. Though I’m just a newcomer to Ace Attorney, I totally understand why people adore them so much. The first game was a regular for me to play during my work commutes; and I just started in on the second game, as well. They make great traveling companions (though how often did I try not to LOL on a crowded train! The characters are too much, sometimes.), and they are easy games to pick up and put down, which is perfect when you’re on the go.

    One type of game that I like to have handy on trips is a word game, like Scrabble or Words with Friends. They’re easy to play on a phone or tablet, and they are great for passing the time during travel, whether you’re stuck in a car or an airport. Or, when you’re stuck at a family picnic and you need a little “alone” time, haha. 🙂

    1. Yeah, having a game that’s transportable for you to play when you’re away is great! Even when I know I’ll be sightseeing most of the time, you still have those small pockets of time when you’re doing absolutely nothing. Having games like Ace Attorney or Scrabble are essential for trips! 😉

  4. All great choices! My main travel games have always been Animal Crossing, Pokemon, the mario & luigi games, and any of the handheld Zelda games. Oh! and when was the last time you booted up New Leaf? It got a new update not too long ago! They added a new add-on to the house, a new area in the town, and a couple other things.

    1. Yeah, Mario or Zelda are always good choices! I have one Zelda game I have yet to play. In time, hopefully. 🙂 Yeah, I know about the New Leaf update. I’ve played around with it a bit, but I haven’t booted up the game in the last few weeks or so? I definitely don’t go on vacation without Animal Crossing!

  5. Great list! I definitely agree with your choices. Not only are these games great to play at home, but when traveling, I find games like Animal Crossing and Pokemon very easy to pick up and put down on a whim. I haven’t played the entire Ace Attorney series, but seeing this post has inspired me to maybe finish the series haha

    1. Thank you! You really do need those games that are easy to pick up and then put down when required. That’s why I think Animal Crossing and Pokemon are great games to pack on a vacation when you may have a lot going on, but still have pockets of time in between for a bit of gameplay. 🙂 I definitely encourage you to stick with Ace Attorney, especially if my post inspired you to continue! The characters are great and there are some cases that are real gems. You’re bound to have some favorites as you continue to play the series.

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