The Nintendo 3DS has not had the best year. Even the most staunch Nintendo defenders will agree to that. But, this is still an incredible piece of kit with an unbeatable library of games.

From Mario to Pokemon, and Monster Hunter to Fire Emblem, if you want deep, involving, and expertly designed games from Japan, to play on the go, then you simply need a 3DS in your pocket.

That's why we've put together this handy gift guide, which shows you where to get each model of the console, and five essential games, on the cheap this Christmas.

Just "accidentally" leave this web page open on a loved one's computer, and then cross your fingers until Xmas.

New 3DS

New 3DS

The New 3DS has an improved design, head-tracking tech for better 3D, amiibo support, and extra guts under the hood to power a (very) select band of exclusive games.

Also, the New 3DS has interchangeable faceplates on the top and bottom, so you can change how the console looks.

The cheapest way to get this one is from ShopTo. The console is available for £129.85 in Black and White, with free UK delivery.

New 3DS XL

New 3DS XL

This is like the console above, but significantly bigger. The screens are huge and inviting, but the thing won't fit in your pocket quite so easily. Plus, you can't use faceplates on this one.

ShopTo wins again, with the Black and Blue versions available for £139.85 a pop. Free postage on both.

3DS XL

3DS XL

Finances a little tight? Then you may want to look at the 3DS XL. It will play all current 3DS games except Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, and is just missing a few handy features like amiibo support.

Don't care about all that? Then get yourself to Smyth's Toys, where you can get the Pink Tomodachi Life, Silver Luigi's Mansion 2, and Blue Pokemon X bundles for £99 each.

Just note that the game comes pre installed on the console, so you can't sell it on eBay to make back some scratch.

There's free shipping on all, or you can click and collect at the shop.

2DS

2DS

The 2DS is the real budget option. This thing doesn't have a 3D display, and the console doesn't have a clam-shell design so you'll have to try and carry it around in that awkward wedge shape.

If you're cool with that, we recommend the £77.86 Mario Kart 7 bundle on ShopTo. You'll get free delivery, too.

Don't forget a charger!

For some absurd reason, Nintendo chose not to stuff a mains charger in the box of any of the above consoles, except the 2DS. So you'll need to buy one separately.

The official one is £6.99 on Amazon but you can get a cheapo USB cable for about £2.09 on some site called Mini in the Box.

Five essential games

Nintendo games are renowned for holding their value. The best games on the system will essentially cost the same amount of cash - if not more! - as the day they came out.

Fire Emblem

Take the terrific strategy RPG Fire Emblem Awakening, which has you commanding a team of heroes that can each be killed off for good if you make bad decisions on the battlefield. This one is £30.79 with free postage at Base.com.

Link Between Worlds

The Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds is a lot cheaper (if you're okay with the ugly Nintendo Selects box). This wonderful and inventive adventure is £13.85 with free postage at Base.

Pokemon Y

Fancy some Pokemon? You can get the most recent version of the critter-collecting RPG, Pokemon Y, for just £20.00 with free postage at Amazon.

Majoras Mask

One of this year's best 3DS games was the remastered version of Majora's Mask. You can get this bleak but brilliant game for £30.61 at Amazon.

Monster Hunter

As for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, the best place to get this is from MMOGA as an eShop code, as it's only £30.04. You get the code via email, so no need to pay postage.