It’s time to look back at all the achievements the Wii U brought to the forefront and give it a proper send off now that I have wrapped up The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. With the arrival of the Switch, Nintendo has moved on and retired the Wii U. It attempted to bring in tablet style off screen gaming to the household, but didn’t quite work out in practice. With it’s clunky UI, to limited game pad range, and lack of graphical horse power, it was a tough sell to 3rd party developers. The game pad touchscreen controls weren’t always utilized by many, which was supposed to be one of the big selling features. Although it may not have been a commercial success, there is still no denying the quality and sheer joy some of it’s under appreciated games delivered. It was especially good at bringing people to play together locally. When it comes to the Wii U, quality certainly comes over quantity, as it had a handful of excellent games that should be played by anyone who was never sold on the console. Here are my top 10 games for the Wii U.
There are some notable titles missing, but I’m simply going by what I’ve experienced first hand.
10. Wonderful 101
The Wonderful 101 is one of the early titles to come out on the Wii U. Developed by Platinum games, this title offers great action packed madness. Being able to control a legion of heroes, things get hectic very fast, especially when taking on some of the games impressive bosses. The Wonderful 101 boasts some cute and quirky character design, and it’s hard not to fall in love with the hilarious, yet powerful cast of heroes. Despite it’s steep learning curve, there is much fun to be found. The Wonderful 101 is truly a unique title worth checking out.
9. Xenoblade Chronicles X
Xenoblade Chronicles X is far from a perfect title with some questionable design choices, and an underwhelming story. Regardlesd, it was still a significant game that boasted some of the most gorgeous open world design we’ve ever seen. In addition to that, the game allowed the player the ability to explore every corner of the world, including the huge vertical segments provided through the luxury of Skell flight. It truly is a sight to behold. Despite it’s problems, it still had great influence, being able to help bring JRPG’s back into the spotlight. Also being able to do what it did with open world design on an under powered console was a huge technical achievement. Through this technology, Nintendo was able to use Xenoblade Chronicles X greatest strength to help shape the future of Zelda as we know it. It’s not for everyone, but people should at least explore it’s impressive world.
8. Mario Kart 8
Easily one of the systems best selling titles, Mario Kart 8 brought to us the well establish track racing mayhem we’ve all come to love on the Wii U. Not only did the game finally bring us Mario Kart in glorious 1080p, the game played like no other. There is a plethora of tracks to choose from, both new and old. The hovering segments of each stage bring on some fun unexpected twists that we’ve never experienced in a Mario Kart game before. The game boasts easy accessibility for new comers, and great challenge for veterans through things like 200cc mode. With the great DLC that was being released at the time, things just got better and better the longer the game was out. Only disappointing aspect was the battle mode. Despite the Deluxe version of the Switch now taking the spotlight, we should never forget that Mario Kart 8 first made it’s impact felt on the Wii U.
7. Shovel Knight
Although Shovel Knight has been released on virtually every platform currently out, it made one of it’s early homes on the Wii U. It was fitting this titles early appearance was on a Nintendo platform, as it drew heavy inspirations from classic titles such as Zelda II, Mega Man and others. The game brought us excellent platform gaming with charming retro visuals and sounds. It was hard not to be brought back to the days of old when playing Shovel Knight.
6. Rayman Legends
Originally announced as a Wii U exclusive, Rayman Legends is easily one of the most fun experiences on the console. After re-defining Rayman in it’s previous title, Rayman Origins, Ubisoft rode the success of it, bringing us more of what we wanted. Along with it’s excellent and very challenging platforming, the game features some of the best 2D graphics that I’ve ever laid eyes on, and one of the cutest and quirkiest sound tracks ever. This game always makes me laugh when I see a funny animation, hear some super adorable song, or hear random grunts from a Mexican Luchador dashing randomly across the screen. This was also one of the few games that actually utilized the Wii U second screen for something besides maps or inventory management. The game pads screen was used for wide variety of level controlling abilities. Being able to assist your partner by making holes in obstacles, creating terrain, or holding switches controlling platforms added a very enjoyable co-op element that required players to really work together.
5. Bayonetta 2
Following the critical success of it’s first entry, Bayonetta 2 brings us more of Platinum Games over the top action brawler. Bayonetta 2 doesn’t do anything uniquely new for the series, but man does it make everything bigger and badder. The enemies you face are challenging as ever and trying over and over to them them down is a thrill. The boss fights in Bayonetta 2 have become even crazier, as you have your traditional boughts with large monsters, but now you can assume control of Bayonetta’s large creatures to take on things like dragons and other demons. It’s a visual spectacle, despite running with last gen technology, the game looks and runs super smooth. Like the first game, I didn’t care much for the story, but loved watching the cut scenes because this game is so good to look at. This is one of the biggest overlooked exclusive gems on the Wii U.
4. Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze
I loved Donkey Kong Country returns on the Wii. It was a welcome return to modern day game for the series. Now headed by Retro Studios, the series has reached new heights. Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze brings us more of what it’s predecessor did so well and expands it with new playable characters. There isn’t much new added to the formula, but it still works wonders. The game visually looks more stunning. Character designs are well done and their animations are phenomenal that capture such quirky personalities of the enemies and bosses. Where this game truly shines however it co-op play. Never has it been more fun and hilarious to navigate some of the tricky levels with a friend. With all the twists and turns this game throws at you, it’s hard to put it down.
3. Super Smash Bros.
Making it’s fourth entry in the series, Super Smash Bros. continues to perfect it’s archaic formula of dishing out Nintendo’s best ambassadors against each other. The game is more fluid than ever. Super Smash Bros. plays very fast, and some of the stunts you can pull off I swear are something straight out of a well animated action packed anime. It’s a sight to behold some of the moves you can do. Only bummer here is that there is no inclusion of any kind of story mode like we got from Brawl, and there are some notable characters missing from the fray (RIP Solid Snake). But regardless, there still is a huge impressive roster to play with, and what seems like an endless supply of items and things to unlock. Super Smash Bros. is just brimming with things to do. Easily a must play, especially for those competitive players out there.
2. Super Mario 3D World
Super Mario 3D World is not only one of the Wii U’s best titles, but a game every other company should emulate. This game was built to play with other people. Never have I seen a game bring four people together with such joy sharing laughs and good times. It also boasts some of the best simplified 3D visuals I’ve ever seen. Things here look like they are straight out of a pixar film. Everything is vibrant and textures are super clean. Anyone from any age group can find something to love about Super Mario 3D World. It serves as a great platform for younger kids to get accustomed to gaming and learn the tricks of the trade, and also serves as a bigger challenge for the older crowd looking for something tough to complete. Nothing beats gathering around the TV and sharing the joy that is Super Mario 3D World.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Lest not forget, even though the game was highly showcased on the Switch, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was a title intended originally for the Wii U. It not only redefined the open world genre, but also the Zelda series as a whole and has solidified it’s place amongst some of the best games ever made. Never has a game peeked my curiousity like Breath of the Wild. Straying of the beaten path and simply exploring the beautiful world of Hyrule has never been so fulfilling. It’s ability to let you do what you want, when you want has given us a new sense of freedom like never before. It’s only fitting that Breath of the Wild is the Wii U’s last title. The Wii U truly went out with a bang with this one and couldn’t have gotten a better send off.
Well there you have it, my top picks on the Wii U. What are your thoughts? Are their any games on the We U that you love that I haven’t mentioned? If so, let’s get chatting in the comments section below!