Friends, it’s time to say goodbye since in just a few short weeks Nintendo will be passing the baton from the Wii U over to the Nintendo Switch. And so, as we prepare for the dawn of a new generation of Nintendo gaming we decided to see the Wii U safely off into the sunset by taking a look back at its life and all the great moments of gaming joy it brought us. So expect a lot of reminiscing about Nintendo’s 6th console over the next week or so as we prepare to welcome their 7th on March 3rd. And what better way to look back at the Wii U then looking at the games that defined the system? Of course limiting ourselves to only 10 entries would be doing a huge disservice to the console and its great games, so we’ve decided to make this a Top 20 list! You can check back next Friday for #10-1.
20 – Zombi U
The very first Wii U game I ever played was Ubisoft’s survival horror game Zombi U and I still consider it one of the most innovative titles to come to the system. The Wii U GamePad was put to excellent use here, not only in helping manage your inventory but also as an immersive tool that help ratchet the game’s horror elements as many of the game’s puzzles had to be solved while looking at the GamePad, but the game wouldn’t pause and you could be attacked by zombies while fiddling with a locking mechanism. This level of immersion truly felt like a leap forward in gaming and sold me on the Wii U’s concept. It’s a shame though that not many other games took Zombi U‘s lead and put thought into the GamePad’s unique features.
19 – Severed
In case you haven’t noticed – we here at Link-Cable LOVE this game. In our review we gave it a very solid 8.9/10, it won our Best Action Game of the Year award as well as PS Vita and Wii U game of the year honors before being named our runner-up to Game of the Year. With all these accolades it’s easy to see why this indie darling also makes this list of best Wii U games… period.
18 – Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯ FE
One of the most underrated Wii U games, Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯ FE is a solid JRPG that blends the worlds of Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem into one for an exciting and thought-provoking look at Japan’s pop idol industry. Releasing late into the Wii U’s life and without much fanfare this game was looked over by many gamers, especially on the RPG-lite Wii U, but if you fancy yourself a fan of RPG’s and still have a Wii U kicking around you need to play this game. Oh and the soundtrack is fantastic too!
17 – Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
You know what makes a good ‘Nintendo’ game? It has to put fun first, and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker does just that. Building off the concept of the Captain Toad levels from Super Mario 3D World and turning them into a full-fledged title may seem like an ‘easy’ and ‘safe’ move for Nintendo but the final product was anything but. With some of the most creative challenges and puzzles seen on a home console game in quite some time, this game soon became a fan favorite and helped give Toad’s first starring role a place all its own in the pantheon of Nintendo greats. Here’s hoping that Nintendo revisits this idea sooner rather than later on the Switch.
16 – Shovel Knight
Shovel Knight may have released on systems other than the one’s Nintendo’s made but it definitely feels at home on the Wii U. The gameplay is reminiscent of classic NES titles like Mega Man, Super Mario Bros. 3 and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and seamlessly blends these different styles into something all its own. Not only that but this single game has catapulted its hero into gaming stardom with Shovel Knight now making cameos in other games as well as getting his own amiibo figure.
15 – Yoshi’s Woolly World
Spoiler alert – this is the cutest game on this list, though that would be very hard to top. Yoshi’s Woolly World takes the aesthetic that Good Feel championed in Kirby’s Epic Yarn on the Wii and combined it with the classic gameplay from the older Yoshi games to make a 2D platformer that both looks refreshing and plays like a classic. With a ton of large levels to explore and so many collectibles to… collect that your head will spin just thinking about it, this was a game with a decent level of challenge to it, something it’s equally fuzzy predecessor was lacking.
14 – The Wonderful 101
Ok you want to talk underrated? The Wonderful 101 is one of the most creative, challenging, funny and fun games to come out in a long time… and nobody bought it. Seriously, this game could have gone down as one of the most innovative games of the generation if only people had given it a chance, but for those that did play it they found reason to believe that the Wii U could be home to experiences that couldn’t be found anywhere else. Kamiya-san, if you’re listening, please please PLEASE give us a new Wonderful game.
13 – Splatoon
What started out as a small project by an inexperienced team at Nintendo quickly became a worldwide phenomenon and the reason many gamers decided to pick up a Wii U. Splatoon‘s fun, pick and play gameplay is bolstered by its competitive nature and finally gives Nintendo fans a reason to hop online and try to climb the worldwide ranks. Which is very important because not only does Nintendo have a brand-new IP they can market but it shows the typically stubborn company the important of creating strong online experiences, and from what we’ve seen so far Splatoon 2 on the Switch looks to carry this mentality front and forward.
12 – Hyrule Warriors
Currently this is my most played Wii U game (though Xenoblade Chronicles X is quickly catching up) and there’s a good reason for that. Hyrule Warriors nails that feeling of meaningful progression. If you run into a challenge you can’t conquer right away it’s easy to play an easier map to gain a level or two and try again, and while this may sound like grinding the game somehow makes it fun thanks it it’s strong gameplay, memorable settings and of course the vast cast of characters which are just a blast to as (except Agitha… she sucks).
11 – Rayman Legends
Another early Wii U game that showed why the Wii U GamePad matters, Rayman Legends is also a tragic story for the console. The game was originally announced as a Wii U exclusive set to release in February and bolster the console’s lineup through the spring. Then the delays happened and the game lost its exclusivity and released in the fall. While the damage done to the Wii U and its lineup was rough the game was anything but. With it’s absolutely gorgeous visuals, tight gameplay and rocking soundtrack this is definitely a game that Wii U gamers should check out.
And that does it for the first half of our list. Make sure to check back next week when we reveal the top 10 Wii U games! In the mean time though let us know what your favorite Wii U games are in the comments below.