Nintendo 2DS review: Nintendo's portable gaming machine is a better deal than ever

The Good The Nintendo 2DS is the most affordable portable system for a younger gamer or for those not interested in 3D visuals. It packs in a 4GB SD card and gives players access to the 3DS' impressive library of cartridge-based and downloadable games. Best of all, it comes with a free download code for Mario Kart 7.

The Bad The 2DS feels cheap and has only one speaker, which sounds a little lacking. Though it's designed for children, there are a few vulnerable spots on the 2DS, and it might not survive a bad fall. By today's standards, its screens feel too small.

The Bottom Line With a new low price, the 2DS offers a huge array of compelling games and makes for a great entry-level system for uninitiated first-time gamers.

7.2 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Ecosystem 8
  • Features 7
  • Performance 7
  • Value 8

Remember the Nintendo 2DS? Yeah, that little wedge-shaped portable console without all the bells and whistles the 3DS XL has? It's now even cheaper.

Starting May 20, the price of the 2DS will drop from $100 down to $80 -- and that's still including a free download code for Mario Kart 7. That's 38 percent less than the $130 price at which the 2DS debuted in October 2013.

It's important to reinforce that the 2DS is Nintendo's no-frills, entry-level portable. The 2DS plays nearly all games for the Nintendo 3DS platform, but it can't display anything in 3D. It also has the smallest screens of any of the current DS models, and it doesn't have a great-sounding speaker.

Moreover, there's no hinge to keep it closed, so you'll want to protect it with a case. It also feels cheaply made and likely wouldn't survive a decent fall. But if you can look past those issues, I think the 2DS is perfect for younger players.

Editors' note: This review has been updated from its original publication in October 2013 to reflect a major price drop and changes in the competitive landscape.