Top 10 Wii U Games (So Far)

 

10: Yoshi’s Woolly World

Yoshi's Woolly World

Released: 2015

Fun fact: Finding all the Wonder Wool in the game’s secret levels unlocks Yoshis themed after Nintendo’s consoles, starting with a Wii U Yoshi and ending with an NES Yoshi.

If you want to play a game to put a smile on your face, just pop Yoshi’s Woolly World into your Wii U and enjoy.

A spiritual sequel to both Yoshi’s Island and Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Woolly World takes the gameplay of the former and merges it with the fabric aesthetics of the latter. It’s a rare case of visuals complimenting the gameplay, as the new cloth motif puts a new spin on the classic Yoshi’s Island formula.

The game is easy enough for beginners, but hunting down all of its hidden collectibles will be a challenge even for platforming veterans. Combine that versatility with some great level design, wonderful music, and visuals that simply couldn’t be more adorable, and you have one of the Wii U’s very best games.

9: Bayonetta 2

Bayonetta 2

Released: 2014

Fun fact: Bayonetta 2 became a Wii U exclusive after Nintendo proved to be the only party to show an interest in the title.

Bayonetta 2 is only number nine. It hurts, I know. Most people seem to place this title at the very top of best Wii U games lists, or at least second to one of the Mario titles. It’s a fair statement, since there are few action games as energetic as Bayonetta 2, and none that control better.

Bayonetta 2 showcases incredible action set pieces, massive boss fights, and combines arcade-style gameplay with the intricacy of a fighting game. But in terms of control, Bayonetta is the Mario of her genre, with every action and move feeling precise and fluid. You won’t find many games that feel built so strongly around the main character’s control, but it’s a lesson more developers need to learn.

Why is Bayonetta 2 only number nine? It’s certainly not through any major fault on the game’s part. But when I think “Wii U” it isn’t the first game that comes to mind. As great of a game as it is, I feel there are more definitive titles for the console. Am I just making excuses for the difficulty in numbering this list? Probably. But it’s my list.

In short, Bayonetta 2 is great.

8: Shovel Knight

Shovel Knight

Released: 2014

Fun fact: Shovel Knight will be getting the first official third-party Amiibo.

Shovel Knight is the only multiplatform game to crack the top 10, and it’s because of that that it isn’t ranked even higher (again, “definitive” is one of the key ingredients here). But make no mistake about it, this is a phenomenal game on virtually every front.

Shovel Knight draws heavy inspiration from the 8-bit era of video games, and even adopts their graphics and sound effects. But whereas other indy titles have tried and failed in this same area, Shovel Knight wildly succeeds in creating its own identity through its use of retro aesthetics, instead of relying solely on nostalgia.

Shovel Knight boasts simple but fantastic gameplay that combines elements of Mega Man, Mario and Castlevania, all while feeling like its own distinct adventure. The level design is great, as are the boss fights, visuals, and even the story. And the music…I don’t even know where to begin there.

As an added bonus, anyone who completes Shovel Knight can now play the “Plague of Shadows” campaign, which is akin to being the game’s own sequel. Two additional campaigns are planned, making Shovel Knight a gift that keeps on giving.

7: Splatoon

Splatoon

Released: 2015

Fun fact: Splatoon was originally going to be a shooter game with Mario characters.

Nintendo gets understandable flak for the often lacking online capabilities of their games. But Splatoon is proof that Nintendo can do online as well as anyone when they want to.

It’s the online shooter with a Nintendo spin. Instead of musclebound space-marines, players control creatures called Inklings who can change into kids and squids at the press of a button. Your guns don’t shoot bullets, but colored ink. The goal isn’t to rack up the most kills, but to cover more of the ground in your team’s color.

Simply put, Splatoon is a game that brought life and creativity back into the shooter genre, which for years now has felt at a creative halt. Ironic that Nintendo of all people would be the ones to do just that, seeing as they previously wouldn’t touch the shooter genre.

Splatoon is one of the most fun online gaming experiences around, and seeing as Nintendo keeps updating the game, there always seems to be new content to explore. It’s swimming in originality and made the most tired genre feel new again. That alone is a testament to Splatoon’s genius.

6: Pikmin 3

Pikmin 3

Released: 2013

Fun fact: The wait for Pikmin 3 wasn’t an easy one, as it was released nine years after Pikmin 2.

Pikmin remains one of Nintendo’s most inventive series. And seeing as it took it so long just to reach its third installment, it’s still one of their freshest. Part real-time strategy, part puzzle game, part adventure, Pikmin is a series that’s difficult to place in any one genre.

It’s also a series that somehow manages to combine the adorable with the macabre, without ever feeling misplaced. The Pikmin themselves are among the most adorable video game characters, but watching them get devoured by the droves by a giant monster and seeing their ghosts fly away is effectively horrifying. This contrast gives Pikmin a unique sense of urgency.

Pikmin 3 is the most balanced entry in the series. It finds a good mix of the strategic elements from the first game and the combative elements of the second. The levels are clever and require a good deal of thinking on the players’ part. And the new Rock and Winged Pikmin types, as well as three playable captains, put interesting twists on the gameplay.

Series creator Shigeru Miyamoto has recently stated that a fourth Pikmin game is already well in development. Let’s hope so. Nine years is just far too painful a wait to revisit this wonderful series.

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Author: themancalledscott

Born of cold and winter air and mountain rain combining, the man called Scott is an ancient sorcerer from a long-forgotten realm. He’s more machine now than man, twisted and evil. Or, you know, he could just be some guy who loves video games, animations and cinema who just wanted to write about such things.

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

    1. 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

  3. 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

    1. 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

  4. 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

    1. 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

  5. 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

    1. 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

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