The 45 Best 3DO Games Of All Time (Ranked)

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Despite being a pretty obscure piece of gaming history, the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer was one of the most powerful machines of the 32-bit era.

More than simply a gaming console, the 3DO was a multimedia center capable of playing CDs and visualizing them – and its ability to play movie-quality video clips was exploited by developers by injecting their games with plenty of FMV sequences.

Some even went all the way and released interactive movies, something the 3DO became known for.

If you’re interested in this fantastic console and even want to try it out, you may want to know what gems are hiding in its library of games.

Let me be your guide to this slice of video game history.

 

45. Zhadnost: The People’s Party (1995)

Zhadnost: The People's Party 3DO game screenshot

The name might suggest some dark and gritty dystopian simulation similar to “Papers, Please”.

But Zhadnost is actually a party game… set in a communist dystopia.

The game mimics what it would be like to participate in Jeopardy if the show was produced by an authoritarian government and aired on state television.

It’s fantastic as a party game the first few times, but it does get old. Even then, it’s an interesting title worth playing just out of curiosity.

 

44. NeuroDancer: Journey into the Neuronet! (1994)

NeuroDancer: Journey into the Neuronet! 3DO gameplay

The 3DO was home to more than a handful of “adult” titles.

NeuroDancer stands out as one of the few that actually had a good concept and interesting gameplay beyond the beautiful ladies.

The gameplay loop consists of exploring this strange, seemingly dystopian future to collect credits that unlock sessions with the virtual dancers.

You probably shouldn’t get this game for the narrative – but it does have a funny sense of humor, and it doesn’t take itself seriously at all.

 

43. Theme Park (1994)

Theme Park 3DO game screenshot

If you’re a fan of tycoon-like games with careful resource management and plenty of business decisions to make, Theme Park is the way to go.

You’ll build a park, fill it with exciting attractions, earn money from your visitors, and pour it back into growing your theme park.

The gameplay is pretty engaging. But my favorite part is the gorgeous spritework of your park’s attractions. They’re bright and colorful – just like a theme park should be.

 

42. PGA Tour 96 (1995)

PGA Tour 96 3DO gameplay

Golf games are surprisingly fun despite the real sport’s slow pace.

And PGA Tour 96 was no different.

Despite the ball physics being a bit faulty, which angered some golfers, the game was easy to jump into and enjoy without much practice – and the stunning, lifelike graphics made for an unforgettable experience.

 

41. John Madden Football (1994)

John Madden Football 3DO gameplay

The 3DO was the best console for sports games for a while.

And John Madden Football was among the titles that helped cement that reputation.

It wasn’t so much that the console was better suited for these games, but that EA kept pumping out fantastic sports titles for the 3DO.

Exclusives have always been the defining factor in the console wars.

This fantastic Football game featured contemporary NFL teams and some historical ones, and even a couple of all-star teams for when you wanted to see a clash of titans.

 

40. FIFA International Soccer (1994)

FIFA International Soccer 3DO gameplay

Much like John Madden Football, FIFA International Soccer was the best you could get at the time thanks to its smooth controls and incredible visuals.

Another big win for FIFA was that it could be played by up to six people simultaneously with the corresponding controller add-on.

The isometric viewpoint centered on the ball, which was also appealing for soccer lovers at the time since it mimicked the way TV cameras would follow the prized orb while airing matches.

 

39. Star Fighter (1996)

Star Fighter 3DO screenshot

This mission-based shooter puts you in control of the Predator MKIV – a ship capable of both atmospheric and space flight – through several 3D scenarios.

The premise is simple:

You’re a pilot. You fly a cool ship. You shoot baddies and avoid obstacles.

What’s not to like?

Despite the relative lack of conceptual depth, the game isn’t at all dull or repetitive. In fact, it’s pretty similar to Nintendo’s own Star Fox – albeit with better graphics due to the 3DO’s superior hardware.

 

38. Way of the Warrior (1994)

Way of the Warrior in 3DO

One of the most unique fighter titles of the decade was Way of the Warrior, a 3DO exclusive developed by Naughty Dog – now known for the Uncharted and The Last of Us series.

Instead of creating actual sprites for the game’s characters, the development team brought in their friends and family to pose for pictures in different costumes.

These pictures were later cut-out and implemented as the playable character sprites, giving the game a somewhat campy photorealistic look.

 

37. Cannon Fodder (1994)

Cannon Fodder 3DO video game

If you love shoot-em-ups with unique game mechanics, you’ll enjoy Cannon Fodder.

This game mixes the simple pleasure of shooting baddies with squad-based tactics.

You’ll command a group of army men against a massive enemy force, but watch out – they’re pretty fragile.

If they do survive, they’ll get promoted – so it pays off to restart the first mission until you manage to clear it with no losses.

Fun fact: According to the developers, the title of Cannon Fodder was supposed to convey an anti-war message. Unsurprisingly, it landed pretty badly.

 

36. Icebreaker (1995)

Icebreaker 3DO gameplay

In Icebreaker, players control a small white pyramid – dubbed the “Dudemeyer” – and attempt to destroy other pyramids in the field.

There’s a specific way to destroy each type of pyramid, and some of them can damage the Dudemeyer, so you’ll need to progressively learn how to deal with these geometrical foes as you make your way through its 150 levels.

 

35. The Incredible Machine (1994)

The Incredible Machine 3DO gameplay

Puzzle games weren’t the 3DO’s strong point.

But there were some fantastic ones out there – including The Incredible Machine.

This brainy game has you assembling complex 2D machines to accomplish elementary tasks, much like the ones you’d see in old-timey cartoons.

Each level gives you a mission like turning on a fan or dropping a ball in a basket. The rest is up to you.

 

34. Advanced D&D: Slayer (1995)

Advanced D&D: Slayer 3DO screenshot

This fantastic dungeon crawler is based on the second edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.

Players can create a character or pick from class-based presets and explore custom-generated dungeons that always end with a challenging boss fight.

It features in-depth stat management and most of what players love about Dungeons & Dragons.

Not the best D&D video game based on modern standards, but at the time it was really a sight to behold.

 

33. Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Serrated Scalpel (1994)

Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Serrated Scalpel in 3DO

If you’re a fan of mystery novels and Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic Sherlock Holmes series, you can’t skip this one: The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Serrated Scalpel.

In this adventure game, Sherlock and Mr. Watson must investigate the murder of a young actress with a modus operandi that’s awfully similar to Jack the Ripper’s.

But , of course, things are never that simple.

The 3DO version of the game introduces FMV clips with real actors rather than purely rely on text-based storytelling, and the soundtrack is excellent.

 

32. Blade Force (1995)

Blade Force game screenshot

In this dystopian sci-fi aerial TPS, you’ll have to free the city of Meggagrid from the tyranny of the Pitt criminal family by shooting up their henchmen, blowing up their facilities, and generally being a force of destruction.

Its crisp graphics and intense colors make it pretty exciting at a distance, and the flawless gameplay doesn’t disappoint.

At least if we’re talking about ’95 standards.

 

31. Total Eclipse (1994)

Total Eclipse 3DO video game

Total Eclipse is a great-looking third-person space flight rail shooter that’s fast-paced, fluid, and full of exciting action.

Humanity is under attack from the Drak-Sai alien race, who’re trying to make the sun go supernova to end all life in our system.

The colorful planetary landscapes are one of its best features, as it makes the most of the 3DO’s powerful hardware to keep every level exciting.

 

30. Psychic Detective (1995)

Psychic Detective 3DO screenshot

Psychic Detective is an interactive movie-game that follows psychic Eric Fox after being hired by a beautiful and exotic woman to investigate her father’s mysterious death.

To achieve this, the player will have to use Eric’s powers to look into the origins of items that may serve as clues, read minds, and even possess other characters to influence their mood and decision-making.

It’s easy to get lost in the game’s enigmatic narrative.

 

29. The Horde (1994)

The Horde 3DO gameplay

If “The Horde” reminds you of Gears of War’s Horde Mode, you’re right on the money.

This action/strategy title revolves around defending your rural town from a horde of goblins who want to destroy your crops and eat your children.

Much like in GoW’s Horde Mode, you’ll have to prepare your defenses and design a stronghold to keep the goblins at bay. Once you’re done with that, the game turns into an isometric hack-and-slash where you’ll make the goblins pay.

 

28. Foes of Ali (1995)

Foes of Ali 3DO gameplay

If you’re a fan of all-time boxing superstar Muhammad Ali, you can’t miss the Foes of Ali on the 3DO.

Its impactful title and excellent cover art are faithful to what you’ll find in this fantastic game. Playing as “The Greatest”, you’ll take down his most famous opponents one by one on beautifully-rendered 3D fights.

The controls are smooth, the battles challenging, and while the game certainly could have used a little more love on the soundtrack department, it remains one of the most memorable titles on the system.

 

27. Killing Time (1995)

Killing Time 3DO gameplay

If Castlevania was a 3D FPS on the 3DO, it would be called Killing Time.

This exciting title lets you explore a large mansion shooting at all sorts of ghouls and monsters.

The ambiance remains terrifying despite its dated graphics, and the creepy sound design makes sure you can never relax in these dark corridors.

This fantastic title is the 3DO’s alternative to DOOM – not because the latter didn’t exist on the 3DO, but because the port was terrible.

 

26. Alone in the Dark (1994)

Alone in the Dark in 3DO

Alone in the Dark was a pioneering title in the survival horror genre that would later give us Resident Evil and Parasite Eve.

Trapped inside the haunted mansion of Derceto, you’ll get to play as either Edward Camby or Emily Hartwood and help them find a way out of this Lovecraftian nightmare.

The gameplay was cerebral and, above all, tense. The excellent soundtrack on the 3DO release contributed to amplifying the chilling ambiance.

 

25. Lemmings (1993)

Lemmings 3DO video game

Who doesn’t know Lemmings?

This classic title challenges you to lead a small army of anthropomorphic lemmings – an adorable Australian rodent. You’ll use them to solve puzzles and try your best to keep them alive despite their seemingly limited intellect.

Despite the 3DO version lacking anything to distinguish itself from previous releases, the game still holds up as one of the best puzzle games ever made.

 

24. Gex (1995)

Gex 3DO screenshot

Ask anyone who owned a 3DO back in the day what their favorite games were, and you’ll hear about Gex four out of five times.

This unique platformer follows a witty gecko as he makes his way through six worlds with themes such as “Kung Fu” or “Graveyard. Each of these features four distinct levels and ends in a climactic boss fight.

The gameplay was fluid and innovative thanks to Gex’s ability to stick to walls and spit fire, but probably wouldn’t be as fondly-remembered if it weren’t for its appealing graphics.

 

23. BattleSport (1996)

BattleSport 3DO gameplay

One of the most exciting games you can own on the 3DO is BattleSport, a first-person shooter/sports game hybrid with a fantastic multiplayer mode.

In this unique title, you’ll have to pilot a high-tech battleship and avoid your opponent’s projectiles while trying to shot an energy ball into their goal.

The game’s intense colors, excellent graphics, and exciting futuristic death-sport aesthetics were a hit with gamers at the time.

 

22. Panzer General (1998)

Panzer General gameplay screenshot

Panzer General is a cult classic, reminiscent of games like Endless Legend and Civilization. Not only because of the turn-based strategy, but because the map is divided into a hex grid.

For most missions, you’ll be given several armored units and an objective – such as capturing certain cities or wiping out the enemy forces.

The game features a whopping 38 scenarios based on real and fictitious battles from WWII, all woven together into a coherent campaign.

 

21. D (1995)

D 3DO gameplay

One of the most critically acclaimed titles among the many interactive movie games available on the 3DO is D – a horror experience with plenty of puzzles and a tense atmosphere.

The game follows Laura Harris as she investigates a hospital where her father – who allegedly just went on a murder spree – has barricaded himself. As she enters it, the hospital transforms into a medieval castle – and the horror begins.

It’s very violent and features disturbing imagery you wouldn’t expect to have gotten through censors at the time.

Fun fact: Game director Kenji Eno submitted a less extreme demo to the censoring authorities, but went ahead and released the uncut version afterward – because that’s how he rolls.

 

20. Road Rash (1994)

Road Rash 3DO screenshot

Road Rash finds its way into most 1990s-based “best games” lists for a reason.

The title’s gameplay consists of riding bikes and hitting other bikers with bats for points. As you progress through the game, you’ll get to improve your bike and out-perform yourself over five courses.

What makes the 3DO version so special is the freedom to choose your character, as well as its beautiful photorealistic backgrounds and fantastic soundtrack.

 

19. Space Hulk: Vengeance of the Blood Angels (1995)

Space Hulk: Vengeance of the Blood Angels 3DO gameplay

Set in the Warhammer 40.000 universe, Space Hulk is a real-time tactical first-person shooter where positioning and planning ahead are critical for your survival.

Genestealers are among the scariest things you can run into in space, but they’re hardly the only horrors. Your bio-engineered Space Marine will have to face Magus, Patriarchs, and Chaos Space Marines as well to bring glory to the Emperor.

The game’s graphics and sound quality were simply superb on the 3DO, and there’s lots of depth to discover in this title.

 

18. Crash ‘n Burn (1993)

Crash ‘n Burn game screenshot

Being one of the launch titles gave players plenty of time to familiarize themselves with Crash ‘n Burn, a combat racing title set in a post-apocalyptic Earth during the year 2044.

Basically, it’s Mad Max.

The game lets you choose from six unique drivers and 30 racing tracks to burn rubber on. Keep winning races, and you’ll get funds to make your car faster and more robust.

It featured incredible graphics at the time, which made its high-octane races all the more exciting.

The game’s major drawback that keeps it from being truly great is that it lacks a multiplayer mode. Was it really so hard?

 

17. Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed (1994)

Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed in 3DO

The first title in the Need for Speed saga saw its best release on the 3DO’s then-superior hardware, with a very detailed cockpit view and lush photorealistic tracks to race in.

Unlike current NFS titles, the game leaned more into the realistic racing simulation to give the user the immersive feeling of driving eight incredible supercars, including the Lamborghini Diablo and the Ferrari 512TR.

Regrettably, it only has three courses. So it’s likely to entertain in small doses at a time.

But the exotic track design and great attention to detail still made this title one of the best on the system.

 

16. Guardian War (1994)

Guardian War 3DO video game

If you like the Final Fantasy Tactics series (or any other Tactical RPG, for that matter) the Guardian War is a fantastic option to try on the 3DO.

You’ll play a Golem who must travel the world, reviving other golems to grow their army and eventually face the evil forces of Azrael.

Each golem has its own abilities – such as healing, attacking at a distance, or casting spells. They’ll progress and grow as you acquire experience, unlocking new skills and branching classes.

Guardian War differentiates itself from other contemporary titles in the genre for its use of 3D animation, which was unusual at the time.

 

15. Super Wing Commander (1994)

Super Wing Commander 3DO gameplay

Super Wind Commander on the 3DO wasn’t only the best 3D space combat simulator of its time, but the best version of the game ever released.

Released initially as Wing Commander on the MS-DOS, the title was reworked for the 3DO and released with enhanced graphics and full voice acting.

It also featured the previously released “Secret Missions” expansions and an all-new third campaign.

 

14. Wing Commander 3: Heart of the Tiger (1995)

Wing Commander 3: Heart of the Tiger 3DO gameplay

Half interactive movie, half intense dogfight simulator, Wing Commander 3 offered players a fierce space combat campaign with the cinematic elements you’d expect from the 3DO.

Rather than hiring underpaid amateurs like most other games used to get, Origin Systems went out of their way to employ big-name professionals.

These include none other than Mark Hamil – who plays the main character Colonel Cristopher Blair.

Live-action cutscenes were played in-between exciting combat sequences, feeding the player’s imagination, and keeping them hooked on the game’s plot.

 

13. Syndicate (1995)

Syndicate 3DO gameplay

Syndicate is a unique tactical/strategy game where you’ll command multiple cyborg mercenaries through cyberpunk isometric environments.

Besides managing your fighters on the field, the game also asks you to conquer territories and tax them for funds to fuel your R&D of new weapons for your squad.

These territories can rebel, and you’ll have to conquer them again – so you need to be strategic about how much you pressure them for funds.

All things considered, it’s a pretty deep game with some fascinating mechanics.

 

12. Wolfenstein 3D (1995)

Wolfenstein 3D game screenshot

Wolfenstein 3D is one of the most recognizable and critically acclaimed games ever released on the 3DO, and the console’s powerful hardware helped it become the best shooter it could be.

Escaping from Castle Wolfenstein had never looked this good.

The game featured much better graphical fidelity than previous ports, with almost no pixelation and very fluid movement.

The soundtrack was also fantastic.

 

11. Immercenary (1995)

Immercenary 3DO video game

Based on Neal Stephenson’s fantastic sci-fi novel Snow Crash, Immercenary is an early FPS that puts you in the role of a terrorist trying to take down an AI to free countless souls from a massive simulation.

To do this, you’ll have to astral project into the Garden, a battle arena where those trapped fight for supremacy, and fight your way up to its final boss – Perfect1, the AI running the show.

While the game’s clunky controls leave a lot to be desired, Immercenary was very innovative and exciting (back in the day) thanks to its open-world “arena” and unusual storyline.

 

10. Captain Quazar (1996)

Captain Quazar 3DO gameplay

One of the most iconic titles on the 3DO was Captain Quazar, an isometric shooter full of satirical humor and wild narrative developments that keep it fresh to this day.

You play the eponymous Captain Quazar, a futuristic space-Rambo with a massive manly chin who employs guns, missiles, bombs, and other bad-ass weapons to wipe the floor with criminals in outer space.

Other than the funny humor and appealing graphics, the game shines for its exciting co-op gameplay.

 

9. Off-World Interceptor (1994)

Off-World Interceptor 3DO screenshot

As the title suggests, Off-World Interceptor has you playing as a bounty hunter tracking down criminals hiding in outer space.

Once you’ve identified a suspect, you’ll have to race them, fend off their goons, and eventually cut off their escape route.

The more criminals you hunt down, the more cash you’ll get to improve your ship. That way you can go after harder – and better paying – bounties.

While the sound effects were decidedly mediocre, the game shines for having some of the best graphics on the system, along with fantastic gameplay.

 

8. Flashback: The Quest for Identity (1994)

Flashback: The Quest for Identity in 3DO

After crash-landing in a jungle on Titan (the largest moon of Saturn) the amnesiac Conrad B. must face the challenges of this alien planet to get back to Earth and recover his memories.

The hand-drawn backgrounds and rotoscoped sprite animation are gorgeous, and it’s pretty cinematic overall.

For the 3DO version, some cutscenes were replaced with FMV sequences to show off the console’s playback capacity – but I’m not sure it was such a good idea, as it takes some consistency away from the experience.

 

7. Samurai Shodown (1995)

Samurai Shodown 3DO screenshot

Samurai Shodown is one of SNK’s most iconic games.

It was a hit on the Neo Geo, and its 3DO port is just as good.

It takes place in 18th century Japan and features a wealth of characters, like samurai, ninja, and monks you’d associate with this period. There are also some monsters among the cast and even a couple of foreigners for variety’s sake.

Unlike some other releases, the 3DO port doesn’t censor blood. It also includes all characters, and it features dynamic zoom during battles.

If you can’t grab a physical version then consider a ROM for at least trying this out, because it’s a classic ‘90s title.

 

6. Super Street Fighter II Turbo (1995)

Super Street Fighter II Turbo gameplay screenshot

Street Fighter II and its many subsequent iterations, including SSF II Turbo, were some of the most popular titles in arcades during the 90s – and this 3DO port is remarkably faithful to its cabinet counterpart.

It features tons of characters, flashy special moves, and a crunchy combo system that rewarded precision and input speed. SSF II Turbo also brought more stages and all of the previous upgrades seen in the Champion’s Edition.

Something that made the 3DO version special was a high-quality rearranged soundtrack featuring jazzy remixes of the game’s classic tunes.

 

5. Shockwave: Operation JumpGate (1995)

Shockwave: Operation JumpGate 3DO screenshot

The original Shockwave was a fantastic space-combat simulator that garnered a sizable fanbase back when it came out, and this new and improved expansion only made it better.

The game sends you on several missions as the Wildcard – humanity’s best pilot. You’ll have lasers and rockets at your disposal to end all alien activity in our Solar System once and for all.

The game opens with a corny live-action cutscene detailing your victory over the aliens in the first game. The acting isn’t fantastic, but it does successfully get you pumped for what’s to come.

 

4. Out of This World (1995)

Out of This World in 3DO

Also known as Another World in Europe, Out of This World is a cinematic platformer with the best pixel art you’ve ever seen.

It’s a stunning game, worthy of comparison to more recent titles like Ori and the Blind Forest or Gris.

The sprites are tasteful and fluidly animated, the backgrounds are breathtaking, and the way it uses color to craft awe-inspiring scenarios was ahead of its time.

The game’s engrossing storyline did the beautiful graphics justice, and the platformer gameplay was varied enough to keep you engaged throughout the campaign.

 

3. Lucienne’s Quest (1996)

Lucienne's Quest 3DO video game

Lucienne’s Quest is one of the most talked-about games ever released for the 3DO, in part because it’s one of the very few JRPGs released on the console.

It was only ever released in English on the 3DO, making it a 3DO exclusive on Western markets, which also accounts for some of its popularity.

It follows classic JRPG tropes, tells a nice story, and it looks fantastic on the 3DO’s powerful hardware.

 

2. Return Fire (1995)

Return Fire 3DO gameplay

Return Fire is one of those titles that really made a splash in the 3DO’s roster, and it’s easy to see why.

This vehicular combat title was a sequel to 1987’s Fire Power, and everything that game did well, this one did better.

You can choose between a Tank, a Helicopter, a Jeep, and an HRSV Multiple Launch Rocket System to triumph in a capture-the-flag competition that was awfully addictive if playing with friends – possibly its biggest selling point.

Fun fact: Rather than spend resources creating new music for the game, developer Silent Software simply used public-domain classical music to fill the void, giving the game an odd yet special appeal.

 

1. Star Control 2: The Ur-Quan Masters (1993)

Star Control 2: The Ur-Quan Masters in 3DO

My favorite title on the 3DO is Star Control 2: The Ur-Quan Masters, a mash-up of resource management, RPG, and arena shooter with a choose-your-own-adventure kind of storytelling.

The game follows the player as they travel the stars searching for support and alliances that might help save the Earth from its oppressors.

The order you choose to explore the universe is completely up to you, and there’s a lot to discover in the sea of stars.

It’s fully voiced and has an orchestral soundtrack that promotes immersion in a way that the PC version just doesn’t achieve.

Truly a multimedia experience.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.