Travel to a different world and immerse yourself in the full-motion glory of the best 3DO games of all time!
Hold up; what on earth is the 3DO?
The 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, or the 3DO for the rest of this article, came from the aptly named ‘The 3DO Company’ and was first produced by Panasonic.
This thing should have gone on to great heights. I’ve written the words ‘this game was a 3DO exclusive’ so many times below, and it had awesome technology that shouldn’t have been possible in 1993.
Maybe all the alien games alluded to intergalactic hands working on the production line; who knows!
Time magazine loved it, critics loved it, and I imagine Panasonic loved it too. Still, gamers’ wallets didn’t like the price tag, and like so many amazing consoles, it joined the ‘could have been great’ pile and disappeared from existence.
Like any failed console, the 3DO is now a highly sought after collectors item. The games that did release over the consoles short lifespan were fantastic and boasted some of the best graphics in the business.
Here are the 15 best 3DO games to try if you manage to get your hands on one of these brilliant machines. Be prepared for your credit card to weep and your wallet to run away, however; this stuff don’t come cheap!
Space Hulk: Vengeance of the Blood Angels takes the 15th spot on this list of the best 3DO games of all time! Expect alien beasts and brutal brawls, many of which are fought in a hand-to-hand fight to the death!
Fans of Warhammer will feel right at home with the weirds and wonderful characters in this game. It’s based heavily on the Game’s Workshop game ‘Space Hulk’ and takes place in the Warhammer 40,000 timeline.
That means classic Warhammer Factions such as the Chaos Space Marines, Genestealers, and the Patriarchs make an appearance throughout the adventure.
But what’s the score? What’s going on in this Space Hulk adventure?
Well, Its your job to stop a deserted spaceship from crashing into a planet and smashing it into a thousand-million pieces. As a member of the Blood Angels, you must fight Genestealers, stop the spaceship, and save the world.
No problem, right?
This game reminds me very much of a cross between Doom and Half-Life. The pre-rendered graphics look pretty retro today but still manage to instil fear into the heart of players everywhere. It’s real pant-filling moment when a Genestealer comes hurtling around a corner towards you!
The Horde could win the prize for the oddest cover art in the history of gaming. Don’t judge a book by its super weird cover, however; this 3DO original is one of the most interesting action/strategy games going and boasts some cool visuals and cutscenes.
The cover also gives away that this game has some FMV scenes in it. For those not in the know, that means real actors appear in video sequences to add movie clip-like action to the game.
There are other examples below, but bookmark the best Sega CD games for more info if you want to delve into this style more!
I can best describe this game as a cross between Harvest Moon, Sim City, and Golden Axe…
… I know, that’s a combination that just shouldn’t work but totally does.
Players control a dude raised by cows, which is very ‘amoosing’… amusing… get it?
He must build a village, tend to crops and animals, and then protect all of it from a Horde of demons referred to as Hordlings.
Players get the chance to buy more land to cultivate and protect as the seasons pass, with newer building styles and tougher Hordlings to smash.
It’s bizarre, but its a great 3DO game and one that’s worth checking out!
Road Rash is up next on our list of the best 3DO games of all time. Some of you may have played the original 1991 game on the Master System, but the ’94 version with its better graphics, music, and gameplay is a surefire hit.
This is another game that first arrived on the 3DO before making its way onto Sega and Sony consoles.
Just check out the background on the track below; the scenery is stunning! The 3DO was a powerful machine; that’s one thing we can’t dispute.
Imagine if Panasonic had managed to keep their success going; we could all be carrying Panasonic Jungle handhelds and fighting scalpers for The 3DO Series S or something!
Firstly, having Soundgarden as part of the soundtrack blew me away. Nothing aids punching other racers into the dust than Chris Cornell pumping out some 90s grunge classics.
Racers must come first, second, or third in each race to proceed, but it’s not always about your racing acumen. Smashing riders with fists, chains, and other weapons to knock them out of the game is just as important as accelerating out of corners.
Playing dirty is the aim in this vehicular combat game!
Stopping Nazis from conquering the globe, infiltrating castles, and humungous weapons – sounds like Wolfenstein 3D to me!
It’s no secret that this is one of the most influential shooting games of all time. Ok, so it’s got that Windows 98 maze screensaver feel to the levels, but look past that. Look at the amazing gameplay, the immersive story, and the fact that without Wolfenstein 3D, games like Halo and Fortnite wouldn’t exist.
Sometimes Animal Crossing won’t cut it , and you just gotta wield a machine gun through the bowels of a Nazi base and show Hitler and his savage minions who’s boss.
Players control an American spy with Polish heritage through Doom-style missions while destroying evil soldiers. This guy isn’t likely to ask questions before shooting, let alone later or ever!
Unlike the previous stealthy games, Wolfenstein 3D is all about gun-toting action. I guess the level ‘Die Führer Die’ might give you an idea about the general feel of the game!
Alone in the Dark takes the 11th spot in this list of the best 3DO games of all time. Fans of Silent Hill will love this survival horror title filled with mystery and dark power.
Just thinking about writing the piece below gives me chills!
Get ready to delve into the innermost thoughts of Jeremy Hartwood’s dark mind. His untimely and unexplainable suicide mixed with a veil of dark secrets draws you into a scary and foreboding mansion brimming with monsters and demons.
Ok, so it’s not as frightening as Resident Evil, but it’s still got jumpy moments and a horror vibe that will leave some players reaching for the light switch. It was the first ever 3D survival horror game, however, which means that titles like Kuon might not be here without it!
Players control P.I David Carnaby while exploring shadowy corners and endless corridors, very much alone and in the dark. An antique dealer wants you to check out the dead guy’s old piano. Why? How? Where? What?
Is the piano the killer or something?
Anyone looking for the best 3DO games with a killer storyline should definitely grab a copy of Alone in the Dark, and at $15 average price for the disc on its own, it’s a bargain!
Make way for the most famous fighting franchise of all time! That’s right; Super Street Fighter II Turbo is up next on this list of the best 3DO games ever made!
We’ve all played Street Fighter in some guise at some stage in our lives, and Super Turbo is one of the most advanced versions of the game with new moves and extra characters.
It might surprise you to know that this is another game that was first ported to the 3DO from arcades back in the day. Think of this game as the Rocket League of its time; it still has competitive players and tournaments to this day!
Let’s get into the nitty gritty of the game. We already know the 3DO can produce some pretty epic graphics, and many critics still think this one of the best looking versions closest to the arcade original.
Still, some of the characters don’t have the same movement animations, and fights sometimes look jumpy as the game loads mid battle.
If it wasn’t for the lag during multiplayer battles, this game would have featured a lot further down this list. Despite all that, Super Turbo is a cracking game and the second best fighting game on the console.
That’s right; I said second. Keep reading to discover which is the best!
Myst takes the 9th place in this list of the best 3DO games of all time. It’s one of the most exciting point and click adventures ever made and a real meaty adventure to relax down with.
Back in the 90s, the 3DO version of Myst garnered a raving 5* review, with many critics boasting how it looked and played exactly like the original Apple Macintosh title, if not better!
For those who have never heard of it, the game sees players transported to the mysterious island of Myst (see what I did there?). It’s a strategy-puzzle title where gamers search for clues that reveal information about the character’s pasts.
Players point and click on different areas to move around the island, solving puzzles along the way. Weirdly, and quite different to other titles of the time, there’s no time constraint or pressing objective to solve.
With zero chance of dying and no bad-guys trying to bump you off, Myst makes for quite a relaxing title. It’s rare that the main objective is to just ‘explore’, but that’s very much the aim of the game here.
Collecting is crucial, as some items found on one island may only become useful in another. Patience and a steady head are the only things you need to complete Myst, though we can guarantee you’ll not want it to be over too quickly!
The Need For Speed is up next in this list of the best 3DO games, bringing more high-octane racing action to the 3DO.
Once again, this console proves that it can blast out some beautiful graphics and stunning scenescapes. Not bad for a game made in ’94, right?
Who doesn’t want to race choice rides from Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Dodge, and more. It’s what I think about every time I climb into my Vauxhall and trundle down the street!
I know what you’re thinking, and yes; this is the very first Need for Speed game. It’s the title that kickstarted the series and brought games like NFS Hot Pursuit and Most Wanted to the table!
Yet another game that made its debut on the 3DO (this thing had all the exclusives), The Need for Speed boasted eight exciting race cars and a handful of spectacular racetracks.
As staple elements in the later NFS games, it no surprise that navigating traffic and outrunning police vehicles play a huge part in this title.
The game feels like the real thing and still has a raw yet honest quality to it that I love. It doesn’t need decals, turbo, or neon lights to make it work; it’s old-skool and plays like a dream!
We’ve all thought about what it would be like to suddenly find ourselves on another planet fighting for survival in an Out of this World experience… haven’t we?
Well, I certainly have, and so has our haphazard scientist protagonist Lester, who finds himself in this very situation after an experiment goes very, very wrong.
Transported from this hi-tech lab to an unknown alien world, Lester has to survive with no weapons and no armour. Yes, it’s an Alex Kidd ‘instant death’ situation where getting hit just once means game over.
Cutscenes and exciting effects that show off the sheer power of the 3DO make this game impressive from all angles. The storyline and visuals are fantastic, and you can really tell that Out of this World went on to inspire Ico, one of the best PS2 games of all time!
Play hots up once Lester teams up with an Alien ally and steals a pistol from an enemy, but this is very much a situation of a dude being way out of his depth in a world where death lies in wait around every corner.
Find checkpoints to save progress, kick stones to kill aliens, and do everything possible to stay alive. Come on, Lester, you can do it!
Those waiting to see which title beat Super Street Fighter II Turbo to the top spot can finally relax; Samurai Shodown is here!
Imagine, if you will, the one thing that would make Street Fighter even better. That’s right; weapons.
Instead of combo kicks, long arms, or air punches, fighters wield all-manner of blades in this retro fight to the death.
It’s been called ‘the mother of all fighting games’ and this is one mother that I wouldn’t want to mess with!
Take you eye off the ball for a second in this game and you’re mincemeat… literally. It’s all about landing the right type of hits in Samurai Shodown; you can’t win simply by pummelling opponents until the health bar goes down.
It’s like Street Fighter with added finesse… and badass weapons, plus a dude that is way too big to be real.
Listen, how many other games do you know of where fried chicken lands on the floor from off camera so you can regain your health? It’s my ultimate day out!
Return Fire takes the 5th spot in this list of the best 3DO games ever made! It’s one for the army fans out there and takes the age old classic of ‘capture the flag’ to a whole new level.
Played from a topdown view, a style used by many games in the early ’90s, players must capture a flag and return it to their base by battling in vehicles with gnarly firepower.
Choose from one of four souped up vehicles as you blast your way across treacherous terrain in search of a piece of fabric on a stick.
Seems a little intense doesn’t it?
Still, the game is fantastic, and launching rockets from an armoured vehicle will never, ever get old.
Try not to run out of fuel or get blown up. Both of those things aren’t going to help your campaign in anyway whatsoever, so keep an eye our for refuelling stations along the way.
It’s simple in looks but packs a punch in addictive gameplay. Give it a try and let us know your thoughts!
The Incredible Machine is about as close as you could possibly get into Alan Turing’s methodical mind. It’s a crazy ‘old game with some of the best brain-melting puzzles on any computer game.
Professor Layton would have a field day with this one!
Fans of WarioWare, Mario Party, and other games that focus on mini game madness will be all over this title like Wario at an all-you-can-eat garlic buffet. It’s tough, but the rewarding feeling you get after completing a puzzle is euphoric!
Ok, that’s a bit strong, but it certainly makes you want to clap yourself on the back!
This game only took 9 months to make with a budget of just $36K. That’s pretty impressive considering that some of the games we cover today cost millions and millions of dollars to make!
My mates and I spent hours playing on Cannon Fodder back in the day. It’s played from a top-down perspective like Return Fire and has a Worms meets Pikmin kind of vibe to it.
Players take a small troop of fighters through various levels, crossing open terrain and infiltrating enemy encampments.
One shot from a players machine gun will take down a target, but enemies get tougher and use more sophisticated weapons as the game goes on.
Talk about lulling players into a false sense of security early on!
With 72 levels, Cannon Fodder is a game that gives great value for money, especially now this game fetches a pretty penny on resale sites. We’re talking over $100 in most cases!
With a point and click interface, the game feels a little like a computerised version of Strategeo or Risk. And like Risk, running in all guns blazing won’t do you any favours.
Cannon Fodder is all about tactics as much as it is taking down enemies. Splitting up and taking defensive positions or using fewer troops to avoid detection is how to get ahead in this game.
Can you keep your finger off the trigger and your nerves steady?
A game with a huge budget starring Mark Hamill in FMV scenes; it can only be the epic Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger!
With the slogan of ‘Don’t watch the game, play the movie!’, Wing Commander III provides one of the most immersive video gaming experiences of all time. And we’re not talking a pants FMV game like Night Trap either; this is the real deal!
Over 2 hours of original footage was filmed for this movie, with the Luke Skywalker himself starring as the game’s protagonist, Christopher ‘Maverick’ Blair. It’s the first game tin the series where the main character even has a name, which is a pretty big deal!
Look at those graphics! Essentially, Wing Commander 3 is a space flight simulator that see’s players gunning down enemies in space. Imagine Rogue Squadron first-person play or put yourself in the seat of an X-Wing in your mind…
… either will do!
The cutscenes make for a bonafide nerdfest and really make you feel like you’re right there in the heart of the action. They don’t just drive the narrative; they make every part of the plot explode into being and keep you hooked from start to finish.
What more could a gamer want?
Finally, Star Control 2 takes the crown as the best 3DO game of all time!
While not as ‘Hollywood’ as Wing Commander III, this game is a space-nerds dream. If travelling through hyperspace communicating with alien life forms and promiscuous-looking blue ladies is your bag, then you need this game in your life!
This is an open world adventure that’s not even in this world. The whole galaxy is your playground, and it’s up to players to recruit alien races to help them protect the Earth from attack.
As with many other adventure games of the time, the main format of the game is text selection story-based gameplay. Saying the wrong thing can land you in hot water, so take your time and choose your questions and answers wisely.
This level of freedom and making your own choices was pretty exciting back in the day. We take open world games for granted these days, but this level of exploration must have been mind-blowing!
Many critics still cite Star Control 2 as one of the most influential PC games ever made, but in true 3DO fashion, the home console port improved on the PC version tenfold. With better FMV sequences and killer graphics, it’s one of the most exciting titles on the console and a must have for budding space cadets everywhere.
Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 31 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.