3DS Music Games

I'm a fan of music games. This webpage documents any and all music / rhythm / music creation titles on the Nintendo 3DS, including DSiWare.

This list is sorted alphabetically, with transliterations of Japanese titles where necessary. Languages other than English and Japanese are ignored.

Prices are in US dollars unless otherwise indicated.

If I'm missing any titles, or you don't think a certain title qualifies, please let me know.

Recommended titles are marked in green. Titles that are okay, but that I wouldn't completely recommend are marked in orange. Titles that I wouldn't recommend are marked in red.

What is a music game?

A music game is a game that has music as its primary focus. There does not have to be any rhythmic/precision aspect for a game to be a music game -- it just has to be a game that involves music for its gameplay.

Popular music games on other platforms include Geometry Dash and Just Shapes and Beats.

What is a rhythm game?

A rhythm game is a type of music game that focuses on precision and rhythm. Generally speaking, a player will press buttons to the rhythm of the song. Not all music games are rhythm games, but all rhythm games are a form of music game.

Popular rhythm games on other platforms include osu! and Dance Dance Revolution.

Music-making applications?

For some reason, the 3DS has several titles intended for creating music, some of which I can't even begin to understand.

3DS Software

Aikatsu series

Aikatsu Stars: First Appeal

Japanese title: アイカツスターズ!ファスートアピール

  • Price: Free (1 song); Unknown DLC price
  • Type: Rhythm Game
  • Language: Japanese

This appears to be a free demo-type version of Aikatsu! My No. 1 Stage!. The rhythm game consists of a linear course with targets on it, where players must press the correct button with the correct timing.

It's a fine rhythm game, but it's also kind of pointless if you don't already have it -- get My No. 1 Stage instead.

Aikatsu! My No. 1 Stage!

Japanese title: アイカツ!マイナンバーワン ステージ!

  • Price: 5210 JPY
  • Type: Rhythm Game
  • Language: Japanese

This game appears to expand on First Appeal, with the exact same type of rhythm game, and probably some actual storyline. The song list consists of idol music.

It seems to be a solid rhythm game. I'd recommend it if you're into the idol music that it offers.

BIT.TRIP SAGA

  • Price: $14.99
  • Type: Music Game, Rhythm Game, Platformer
  • Language: English

BIT.TRIP SAGA is a compilation of six games in the BIT.TRIP series.

  • BIT.TRIP BEAT - music game where you deflect flying dots, kind of like Breakout
  • BIT.TRIP CORE - rhythm game where you use lasers to destroy flying dots to the beat
  • BIT.TRIP VOID - music game where you move a circle to consume dots to grow larger, kind of like that fish eating smaller fish game
  • BIT.TRIP RUNNER - music/rhythm game where you platform to collect gold and avoid obstacles, kind of like Geometry Dash. Levels seem to be well-synced, so it could possibly be considered a rhythm game
  • BIT.TRIP FATE - music game that is basically a shooter
  • BIT.TRIP FLUX - music game: BIT.TRIP BEAT but inverted.

The game is done in an 8-bit, retro style. The main gimmick is that gameplay, graphics, and music are upgraded and downgraded depending on performance in the game.

Most people should be able to find something they enjoy with the six games, even if they don't like music/rhythm games all too much.

Brain Age: Concentration Training (Piano Player)

  • Price: $29.99
  • Type: Rhythm Game (minigame)
  • Language: English, Japanese

Brain Age: Concentration Training is a brain training game that offers a brain training exercise where you play sheet music (usually traditional or Nintendo music) using an on-screen piano. The game grades you based on mistakes and rhythm while playing the song. The rest of the game is not a music or rhythm game in any capacity.

The game is about the same as other Brain Age games, and the sheet music minigame is just one very small part of it. You should obviously only buy this game if you want to do the brain training or other minigames.

Dedede's Drum Dash series

Kirby: Triple Deluxe (Dedede's Drum Dash)

  • Price: $19.99
  • Type: Rhythm Game, Platformer
  • Language: English, Japanese

Dedede's Drum Dash is one of three games in Kirby: Triple Deluxe. The game has you control King Dedede as he travels a course by jumping on platforms to the beat. You can jump higher by pressing the A button when Dedede hits the ground, and you can perform a 'backbeat' by jumping while Dedede is at his highest point.

This portion of the game spans three 'levels', and one bonus level, all using Kirby songs. While it's a solid rhythm game, it's probably not worth the purchase unless you intend to play the other two games in Kirby: Triple Deluxe.

Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe

  • eShop exclusive
  • Price: $6.99
  • Type: Rhythm Game, Platformer
  • Language: English, Japanese

This eShop exclusive expands upon the original game found in Triple Deluxe with additional songs, for a total of six Kirby songs that appear to be somewhat different from the ones found in Triple Deluxe. The mechanics are identical, with small QOL improvements like a "halfway there" marker and a replay function.

This game is certainly well worth its value. It's short, but you're also only paying $6.99 for it.

Harmoknight

  • Price: $14.99
  • Type: Rhythm Game, Platformer
  • Language: English, Japanese

Harmoknight is a story-based rhythm platformer where the player collects notes by jumping to the beat and hurts enemies by hitting them to the beat. Original music is used, inspired from the Pokemon games as this is a Game Freak title.

The game is definitely worth it, especially given its current price.

Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai series

Hatsune Miku and Future Stars: Project Mirai

  • Price: Off the market (Amazon: 2564 JPY)
  • Type: Rhythm Game
  • Language: Japanese

This is the first game of the Project Mirai series. Gameplay is fixated on a circle, with an arrow hand moving similar to a clock. The notes become bigger when it is time to hit them. The song list consists of popular Vocaloid songs.

This game has various other features, including dressing up the Vocaloid characters, AR games, and a shop.

This game is generally not recommended because the later games feature the same song list, offer more features, and have a more intuitive rhythm game.

Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai 2

This title has been removed from the 3DS eShop as of May 27th, 2015.

  • Price: Off the market (Amazon: 4150 JPY)
  • Type: Rhythm Game
  • Language: Japanese

Project Mirai 2 offers many of the same features as the first Project Mirai game, but also includes a Puyo Puyo minigame, shops, and a mode where you interact with the Vocaloids. There are roughly twice the number of songs, with all old songs returning.

The rhythm game has been changed to a linear course with targets.

While the game is very solid, there is very little reason to search for it or buy it because Project Mirai DX offers the same features and more, as well as an English version.

Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX

  • Price:
  • Type: Rhythm Game
  • Language: Japanese, English

Project Mirai DX, based on Project Mirai 2, is the definitive Project Mirai game on 3DS, released worldwide. It adds a reversi minigame, one new song, modifies some charts, and a fourth, harder difficulty for a few songs. It also apparently 'replaces videos with real-time animations'.

Project Mirai DX saves can be imported between regions with save editors like JKSM. I'm not sure if Project Mirai 2 saves will work.

There is not much reason to buy the other games over this one, unless you really want Project Mirai's UI or Project Mirai 2's videos.

Karaoke JOYSOUND

Japanese title: カラオケJOYSOUND
This title has been removed from the 3DS eShop as of May 25, 2020. Online service remains up, but it appears that tickets are no longer purchasable.

  • Price: Variable
    • 1 day: 300 JPY
    • 7 days: 500 JPY
    • 30 days: 1000 JPY
    • Offline music packs: Variable (Free to 500 yen + tax)
  • Type: Music Game (Karaoke)
  • Language: Japanese

Karaoke JOYSOUND is a Japanese karaoke application. The online features offer access to over 100,000 songs. There are at least 100 songs available for purchase in packs to use offline -- mostly J-POP with a small selection of anime and Vocaloid songs. The base game seems to offer five English and five Japanese songs to get you started. This title is also available on the Nintendo Switch.

The game offers several modes that I don't completely understand, including one that grades you on your pitch and rhythm. If you enjoy Japanese karaoke, this title is pretty decent, but take note that text will usually only display in Japanese kana unless the lyrics use an English word.

KORG DSN-12

  • Price: $37.00
  • Type: Music-making application
  • Language: English

KORG DSN-12 is a synthesizer/music workstation, inspired by the physical MS-10 analog synthesizer. I have no idea how it works, but it seems really capable. Creations can only be shared locally with other owners of the title.

I would only recommend this application if you have something you explicitly want to do with it. It is by no means a casual application, nor is it intuitive to use.

KORG M01D

  • Price: $34.00
  • Type: Music-making application
  • Language: English

KORG M01D is a music workstation, based on the physical KORG M1 machine. I have no idea how to use it, but it seems great music can be created with it. Songs can be shared locally with other owners of the title, through the Internet, or exported as MIDI.

It is possibly a little less confusing than the DSN-12, but I'd still only recommend it if you have something you want to do with it.

Musicverse Electronic Keyboard

  • Price: $7.99
  • Type: Music-making application
  • Language: English, Japanese

Musicverse Electronic Keyboard is a basic electronic keyboard on the 3DS. It offers basic functions of an electronic keyboard, such as different instruments, backing chords in various styles, a metronome, and the ability to export your creations as QR code or AAC.

It's a pretty okay budget option and probably one of the easier music-creating applications to use, but I'd probably recommend Rytmik Ultimate over this title, even if it's more complicated to use and more pricey based on its expanded array of online capabilities.

Radiohammer

  • Price: $5.99
  • Type: Rhythm Game
  • Language: English

Radiohammer is a rhythm game where you hit enemies to the beat, kind of like Muse Dash. It appears to offer its own music to play along to, mostly DJ themed. Each song is relatively short, lasting less than a minute. The early songs are pretty easy, but I don't know how high up the difficulty can go.

Overall, I'd recommend this game.

Rhythm Heaven Megamix

Japanese title: リズム天国 ザ・ベスト+

  • Price: $29.99
  • Type: Rhythm Game
  • Language: English, Japanese

Rhythm Heaven Megamix is a collection of rhythm games, where players complete games by pushing specific buttons to the beat. It also offers incentive to "perfect" charts, a relatively difficult 'challenge' mode where games must be completed consecutively with certain conditions, and a goat.

This game is one of the essential rhythm games on the 3DS. There's lots to do, and it even has a relatively active modding community.

Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure

  • Price: $19.99
  • Type: Rhythm Game
  • Language: English, Japanese

Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure is both a rhythm game and a story-based adventure game. The rhythm games themselves generally involve the touchscreen and buttons -- it varies from game to game. While the minigames are rhythm games, there are also music-based puzzles and hidden items throughout the game.

I would recommend this title, both for the rhythm game and for the story.

Rytmik Ultimate

  • Price: $17.99
  • Type: Music-making application
  • Language: English

Rytmik Ultimate is a music workstation that offers a cloud service to share songs. There seems to still be a relatively active community, with tracks still being uploaded daily. Music can be exported as WAV, or uploaded to the "Rytmik Cloud" for all to see and hear.

I'd recommend this title solely based on the capabilities of the tool and the active community where you can listen to and share music.

Taiko no Tatsujin series

This game may also be known as "Taiko Drum Master" to some in the West.

Taiko no Tatsujin: Chibi Dragon to Fushigi na Orb

Japanese title: 太鼓の達人 ちびドラゴンと不思議なオーブ

  • Price: 2970 JPY
  • Type: Rhythm Game
  • Language: Japanese

This is the first of three Taiko no Tatsujin games on the 3DS. Compared to other rhythm games on the 3DS, it has a pretty high difficulty ceiling, as does the arcade game that it's based on. The game offers a story mode, but there is no English patch for this game. As with the other Taiko no Tatsujin games, there is a variety of music, including J-POP, Vocaloid, and anime tracks, as well as a plethora of original Namco songs.

Compared to the other Taiko no Tatsujin games, the game is considered inferior due to weird timing issues, a small song list, and the lack of DLC. Because of this, I would only recommend it if you really want to play the songs from this game, or if you want to experience the story mode.

Taiko no Tatsujin: Don to Katsu no Jikuu Daibouken

Japanese title: 太鼓の達人 どんとかつの時空大冒険

  • Price: 5119 JPY; 500 JPY for DLC packs
  • Type: Rhythm Game
  • Language: Japanese; English patch available

This is the second of three Taiko no Tatsujin games on the 3DS. It offers a different story mode, presumably about an adventure through space-time. DLC is available. An English patch exists, but the story is not translated -- install instructions are available here. This game offers the same types of songs as the first game, but separates Vocaloid songs into its own category.

This game is definitely one I'd recommend, but if you're only able to get one of the games, Dokodon! Mystery Adventure is likely better because of better modding support and an easier-to-apply English patch.

Taiko no Tatsujin: Dokodon! Mystery Adventure

  • Price: 5280 JPY; 500 JPY for DLC packs
  • Type: Rhythm Game
  • Language: Japanese; English patch available

This is the final Taiko no Tatsujin game on the 3DS. It is functionally very similar to the second 3DS game, but it is arguably a bit more polished. It offers the same types of songs, DLC, and offers yet another story mode -- this time an RPG. An English patch is available for this game, but does not translate the story mode. The game also has modding capabilities, with it being possible to import songs from other Taiko no Tatsujin titles.

This game is definitely one I'd recommend.

Theatrhythm series

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy

  • Price: ???
  • Type: Rhythm Game
  • Language: English, Japanese

There are over 70 songs in this game.

I don't have enough information on this title to make a recommendation.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call

  • Price: $39.99; $0.99 for DLC
  • Type: Rhythm Game
  • Language: English, Japanese

Curtain Call is the sequel to Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. It offers over 200 songs from the Final Fantasy series, as well as DLC songs from Final Fantasy and other Square Enix games. Gameplay involves one lane, with notes scrolling towards the right. The circle pad is heavily used. The game has you choose characters like in an RPG, with characters gaining EXP/levelling up after successfully clearing songs. There also seems to be some sort of quest/medley mode.

I recommend this game, even if you have never played or don't enjoy the Final Fantasy games. The songs are still solid, and this is a very solid rhythm game.

Theatrhythm Dragon Quest

Japanese title: シアトリズムドラゴンクエスト

  • Price: 6380 JPY
  • Type: Rhythm Game
  • Language: Japanese

There are over 60 songs in this game.

I don't have enough information on this title to make a recommendation.

Zombie Slayer Diox

  • Price: $2.99 CAD
  • Type: Rhythm Game
  • Language: English

Zombie Slayer Diox is a rhythm game where you disable zombies by sliding your stylus in the specified direction to the beat while holding a specific button. The songs seem to be original and have an emphasis on rock and roll. There appear to be roughly 12 songs available.

I definitely recommend this game, as it's pretty cheap and a pretty enjoyable experience overall.

DSiWare

Music on: series

Music on: Electronic Keyboard

  • Price: $1.99 CAD
  • Type: Music-making application
  • Language: English

Music on: Electronic Keyboard is a basic electronic keyboard, functionally equivalent to Musicverse Electronic Keyboard.

If you're on a budget, this is a viable option, but being DSiWare it's a bit more limited than 3DS titles.

Music on: Retro Keyboard

  • Price: $1.99 CAD
  • Type: Music-making application
  • Language: English

Same as the above, but... retro?

I don't have enough information on this title to make a recommendation.

Music on: Acoustic Guitar

  • Price: $1.99 CAD
  • Type: Music-making application
  • Language: English

A virtual guitar... and drums? Also offers finger placement instructions for playing things on an actual guitar.

I don't have enough information on this title to make a recommendation.

Music on: Electric Guitar

  • Price: $1.99 CAD
  • Type: Music-making application
  • Language: English

Same as the above, but with an electric guitar.

I don't have enough information on this title to make a recommendation.

Music on: Drums

  • Price: $4.99 CAD
  • Type: Music-making application
  • Language: English

A music workstation, but only for drums.

I don't have enough information on this title to make a recommendation.

Music on: Learning Piano

  • Price: $1.99 CAD
  • Type: Rhythm Game
  • Language: English

Music on: Learning Piano offers a virtual piano to play provided classical sheet music... one note at a time, because the DS does not have multi-touch capabilities.

I don't have enough information on this title to make a recommendation.

Music on: Learning Piano Volume 2

  • Price: $1.99 CAD
  • Type: Rhythm Game
  • Language: English

Same as above, but with different classical songs.

I don't have enough information on this title to make a recommendation.

Music on: Playing Piano

  • Price: $1.99 CAD
  • Type: Rhythm Game
  • Language: English

Same as above, except the notes come down like in Synthesia. Offers traditional songs.

I don't have enough information on this title to make a recommendation.

Rhythm Core Alpha series

Rhythm Core Alpha

  • Price: $4.99 CAD
  • Type: Music-making application
  • Language: English

Rhythm Core Alpha 2

  • Price: $9.99 CAD
  • Type: Music-making application
  • Language: English

The Rhythm Core Alpha series are music workstations. I don't know how to use them.

The other music-making applications, like Rytmik Ultimate, are probably more capable for being 3DS titles rather than DSiWare, but otherwise I don't have enough information on this title to make a recommendation.

Rytmik series

Hip Hop King: Rytmik Edition

  • Price: $7.99 CAD
  • Type: Music-making application
  • Language: English

Rytmik Retrobits

  • Price: $7.99 CAD
  • Type: Music-making application
  • Language: English

Rytmik World Music

  • Price: $7.99 CAD
  • Type: Music-making application
  • Language: English

Rytmik: Rock Edition

  • Price: $1.99 CAD
  • Type: Music-making application
  • Language: English

Rytmik

  • Price: $7.99 CAD
  • Type: Music-making application
  • Language: English

This is a series of music workstations, catered to different genres. There is no point purchasing these in this day and age, given their price, platform, and Rytmik Ultimate being much better.

Nintendo DSi Metronome

  • Price: $1.99 CAD
  • Type: Music utility, Rhythm Game
  • Language: English

As the name suggests, Nintendo DSi Metronome is a metronome. Aside from a basic metronome with tempo options from 30 to 250 and beat options including 1/4 to 7/4, eighth notes, triplets, and sixteenth-notes, there is the Donkey Kong Metronome game where players clap to the beat. Score is judged by precision.

There are free metronomes with more features available on mobile devices with speakers louder than the 3DS, making it kind of pointless to have this title except for the rhythm game. The game is relatively neat, but probably not something you want to spend $1.99 on.

Nintendo DSi Instrument Tuner

  • Price: $1.99 CAD
  • Type: Music utility, Music Game
  • Language: English

As the name suggests, Nintnedo DSi Instrument Tuner is an instrument tuner, with options for 435 Hz through 445 Hz. In addition to the tuner, there is the Tuner Fight game where players pop balloons by playing the note shown on screen.

Free instrument tuners exist on mobile devices with speakers louder than the 3DS, making it kind of pointless to have this title except for the music game. The game is neat, but probably not something you want to spend $1.99 on.

More Research Needed

The following titles are likely to be music games of some sort (or incorporate some sort of rhythm game element), but I have no idea how they play or even what they are. Once I have a full description and recommendation for the title, they'll be moved to the 3DS list. I'm aware that most of them appear to be idol simulation titles that happen to have a rhythm game embedded. If you have any information on these titles, please contact me.

AKB48+Me

This title has been removed from the 3DS eShop as of October 24th, 2013.

Aikatsu series

These titles have been removed from the 3DS eShop as of April 1st, 2020 and earlier.

Two additional titles; WIP

Bonbon Ribbon: Tokimeki Coord Kira Kira Dance

  • Price: 5280 JPY
  • Type:
  • Language: Japanese

Daigasso! Band Brothers P (series?)

Doki Doki! Pretty Cure Narikiri Life!

UNSURE: Dolly Kanon Dokidoki Tokitoki Himitsu no Ongaku Katsudo Start desu

This title has been removed from the 3DS eShop as of December 28th, 2018.

Dopamix

  • Price: 630 JPY
  • Type:
  • Language: Japanese

Gakki de Asobu - Tanoshii Douyou series

These seem to be kids learning games.

  • Price: 110 JPY/ea
  • Type:
  • Language: Japanese

UNSURE: HappinessCharge PreCure! Kawarun Collection

This title has been removed from the 3DS eShop as of March 29th, 2019.

Hello Kitty & Friends: Rockin' World Tour

  • Price: 4212 JPY
  • Type:
  • Language: Japanese, English

Hello Kitty and the Apron of Magic: Rhythm Cooking

This title has been removed from the 3DS eShop as of November 22nd, 2017.

Jewelpet series

Kiniro no Corda 3 Full Voice Special

  • Price: 5657 JPY
  • Type:
  • Language: Japanese

UNSURE: Kuroko Style

  • Price: 200 JPY
  • Type:
  • Language: Japanese

Mahokore Mahou*Idol Collection

  • Price: 6090 JPY
  • Type:
  • Language: Japanese

UNSURE: Mansion Percussion

  • Price: 300 JPY
  • Type:
  • Language: Japanese

Miracle Tunes! Game de Tune Up! Tabun!

Japanese title: ミラクルちゅーんず ゲームでチューンアップ だプン
This title has been removed from the 3DS eShop as of March 31, 2020.

  • Price: NONE
  • Type: Rhythm Game
  • Language: Japanese

UNSURE: Osawari Tantei Ozawa Rina: Nameko Rhythm

  • Price: 5184 JPY
  • Type:
  • Language: Japanese

peakvox Ririrhythm

  • Price: 514 JPY
  • Type: Rhythm Game, Platformer
  • Language: Japanese

Pretty Rhythm series

Pretty Rhythm: My*Deco Rainbow Wedding

Pretty Rhythm: Rainbow Live: Kira Kira My Design

Expanded version of game: PriPara & Pretty Rhythm: PriPara de Tsukaeru Oshare Item 1450!

PriPara series

SoniPro

This title has been removed from the 3DS eShop as of June 24th, 2015.

Tamagotchi no Puchi Puchi Omisecchi Ninki no Omise Atsumemashita

This title has been removed from the 3DS eShop as of September 28th, 2018.

Ushimitsu Monstruo: Linze to Mahou no Rhythm

  • Price: 4860 JPY
  • Type:
  • Language: Japanese