Top 10 Wii U Games (So Far)

Wii U

The Wii U is a devastatingly underrated system. It’s ousted the GameCube as Nintendo’s least-selling home console of all time. Because of that, gamers all over the internet, true to their  cynical nature, see that as a reflection of the quality of the system itself (of course, they also dismissed the original Wii because it sold well, so go figure). But despite being the butt of jokes on the internet and its less-than desirable sales figures, the Wii U actually boasts a really impressive library of games.

Sure, Nintendo really needed to emphasize the console over the controller in its early marketing strategies, the Gamepad needed to be used more effectively in more games, and one can’t help but think that simply naming the console “Wii 2” could have helped boost sales by itself (because seriously, what does the “U” mean?). Despite this questionable decision-making and marketing, the Wii U has ultimately proven to be a terrific console where it counts, and that’s the games.

Yes, the Wii U had a slow first few months, but once it started picking up steam around mid-2013 it’s released some of the best games in recent years. Arguably the best part is that you can’t play them anywhere else. Though console exclusives are becoming rarer on competing hardware, they often prove to be the more definitive titles of their generations, and it’s an area in which Nintendo always excels.

Though the Wii U still has some big games on the horizon (including a new Star Fox and The Legend of Zelda), I think it’s safe to say that rumblings of Nintendo’s next console, codenamed “NX,” means that its days as a priority for Nintendo are slowing down. Sure, Nintendo has stated that they’ll still support the Wii U even after NX launches, but I think the Wii U’s underwhelming sales will make it a short-term continued support (Wii U might have a good few months and a couple of big games after NX, but I can’t imagine it would go much farther). I feel now is a good time to reflect on the many great games the Wii U has provided over the past three years, even if I may have to make a revised edition after the last waves of big games hit the console in the year ahead.

Despite Nintendo being backed into a wall in regards to the Wii U, or perhaps because of it, Nintendo has ended up creating some of the greatest lineups of games in their history for the console. It’s given us the most balanced Mario Kart, the most intricate Smash Bros. and the best version of the best 3D Zelda yet made. But which Wii U games are the best?

The following is my list of the top 10 greatest Wii U games. The ten Wii U titles that are the most fun. The 10 most definitive. The 10 games that all those people who still refuse to get a Wii U are missing out on the most. Seriously people, stop using the whole “waiting for Zelda” excuse as a crutch. Nintendo consoles are more than just a Zelda title.

One final note, I have decided not to include The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD in this countdown. Despite being one of my favorite video games, it would feel kind of cheap to list a remake here with all the original Wii U titles, even if Wind Waker HD has some of the best uses of the Gamepad.

So without further ado, the top 10 Wii U games! But first, some runners-up!

 

Runner-up: Nintendo Land

Nintendo Land

No, Nintendo Land didn’t prove to be the second coming of Wii Sports that the Big N hoped it would be. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a whole lot of fun. Granted, you kind of need a full party of five players to fully enjoy Nintendo Land, as the single-player options feel pretty empty compared to Wii Sports. But if you can get said party together then Nintendo Land is an incredibly good time. Games like Luigi’s Ghost Mansion and Animal Crossing: Sweet Day make this a must-have for parties. It’s some of the most fun local multiplayer in recent memory.

Runner-up: Rayman Legends

Rayman Legends

Rayman Legends is an absolutely gorgeous game to look at, and an incredibly fun one to play. I admit I prefer more strategic platformers as opposed to the momentum-based style of Rayman’s resurgence (thus explaining why it’s a runner-up and not in the top 10), but there is no denying the charm and fun that exudes from this game. Though it didn’t end up a Wii U exclusive as it was originally promised, the Wii U version of the game remains its definitive version as it matches its original vision the closest.

Runner-up: New Super Mario Bros. U

NSMBU

We all know that the New Super Mario Bros. games tend to play things safe, as they prefer to stay in tried-and-true formulas as opposed to reinventing them like the 3D Mario games. Not to mention Nintendo was quick to turn New Super Mario Bros. into its own sub-series, with perhaps one too many sequels being released too quickly.

2012 saw two titles in the sub-series emerge in New Super Mario Bros. 2 on 3DS and New Super Mario Bros. U on Wii U. While the former is arguably the worst and most uninspired Mario platformer, the latter actually boasts a huge improvement in level design for the series. And when four players get thrown into the mix (and a fifth using the gamepad to help or hinder them), things really pick up.

It may not reinvent the series, but this is the best New Super Mario Bros. yet.

Runner-up: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Captain Toad

Super Mario 3D World is a brilliant game (more on that later), and some of its highlights were the Captain Toad stages, in which players navigated a jump-less Toad through compact, singular screen stages. They were so fun that the team behind 3D World decided to expand them into their own game a year later.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a very fun, challenging, and underrated puzzle adventure that proves the Captain Toad levels were far too good to be relegated to a side dish. It’s a game that oozes charm and creativity from the get-go.

Plus, Toad finally stars in his own game (Wario’s Woods doesn’t count, Wario got top-billing)! Now if only Nintendo could make a Bowser game…

And now, on to the top 10!

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “Top 10 Wii U Games (So Far)

  1. AfterStory

    You’d be hard pressed to find a better list than this. I’ll probably make a list of my own one day, but it would probably include most, if not all, of the games you’ve listed, probably in a different order however. I have yet to play Tropical Freeze, but I shall rectify that sooner than later as I see you speak highly of it. Absolutely love the fun facts btw! They’re brilliant 🙂 Awesome list 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. themancalledscott Post author

      I like to think these are the essential games for the console, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see you list many of the same games. You really need to get to Tropical Freeze. You won’t regret it.

      Like

      Reply
  2. Mike_Scorpio

    This is a really good top 10, I would have arranged some of the games differently but they are pretty much all there. Though I think Assassin’s Creed IV should be on the list unless this is first party games only 😉 Anyhow Great Article.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. themancalledscott Post author

      Believe me, thinking of the order of the games was the hardest part. Especially the top four, which I feel are on equal footing in a lot of ways. I basically had to nitpick between them. Sadly, I have yet to play Assassin’s Creed IV, which explains its absence here. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  3. Justacommenter

    I think it’s fair to say the WiiU’s problems with its library are barely any different from what we saw with Nintendo consoles from the N64 onwards, good 1st party support, not so much with 3rd parties. I don’t own one at the moment, as the games I want for it are rather limited to justify buying an expensive console, but I’ll say it’s the closest thing I want to a current gen system (excluding the 3DS as I already own one).
    I have already played Shovel Knight on PC, but the amiibo unlocking coop might impulse me to double dip and get one of those figurines I never cared for before, and I’m sure my GF is curious to try out Wooly World sometime down the road. My personal interests are Bayonetta 2 and Smash Bros, but I also want to give Rainbow Curse a shot, despite reading some disappointing aspects about it in comparison to Canvas Curse, and Zelda will hopefully be out by next year to see how it handles the whole open world thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. themancalledscott Post author

      Nintendo has had troubles with third-parties for a long time now (except Capcom), and it now doubt has an affect on many people’s outlook of their consoles.

      If you do decide to buy a Wii U, all the games I listed would justify the purchase I think. I’d say Mario Kart 8 alone would justify it. Definitely a lot of great games.

      Like

      Reply
  4. revaryk

    Yeah. I agree with you on your opinion on the Wii U. My personal favorite games are Splatoon and Super Smash Bros for Wii U. Splatoon is exactly what I want a multiplayer shooter to be like. (Also, the style reminds me of 90’s Nick, y’know, before it got dethroned to bad live-action comedies? There’s a reason I mistook it to be a Nick game at first.) And Smash 4 is just endless fun. It’s one of those games that I just cannot explain why I love. (The wait was worth it.) Zelda Wii U would probably be at the top of my list now… if it was out… *Sad Violin*

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. themancalledscott Post author

      Part of me wanted to put Splatoon in the top 5, but in the end I had to nitpick which ones were better. But Splatoon is an amazing game nonetheless, and so original. And I’m not sure I should admit how many hours I’ve put into Smash in less than a year’s time…

      Definitely looking forward to Zelda, hopefully it can live up to The Wind Waker, which I still feel is the best 3D entry in the series.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  5. Matt

    Great list! I am not surprised to see Tropical Freeze ranked so high (and I fully agree with all the reasons given to support its position) and I was shocked to see Super Mario Maker top all games (some of which I was sure it would be trailing). As an endless source of Super Mario goodness, though, it has certainly earned its place!

    I am also glad to see positive comments towards Super Mario 3D World and New Super Mario Bros. U. It seems that just a few years after their respective releases some fans are forgetting how absolutely awesome those games were.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. themancalledscott Post author

      Tropical Freeze deserves every bit of praise it gets (which should honestly be more than it’s received). It’s a masterful platformer. The only reason it didn’t top this list is because of the lack of Gamepad features, which prevents it from being the “definitive” Wii U game. It’s a better singular experience than Mario Maker, but as Mario Maker is an endless treasure box of Mario that allows me to make my own Mario levels, and it uses the Gamepad better than any other game, it just had to claim top honors.

      Super Mario 3D World definitely deserves more acclaim than it gets. It was beloved at launch but now seems to be talked about like a “lesser” Mario game, which it certainly isn’t. NSMBU is also better than it gets credit for, but I simply think people were New Super Mario Bros’ed out by that point.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  6. Pingback: First Annual Christmas Special/One Year Anniversary Celebration! | Wizard Dojo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s