The official end of the WiiWare service may not be until early 2019 but we wanted to give everybody as much of a chance as possible to remember all of the great games that Nintendo’s first every download service brought us. Last week we counted down the first 10 games in our look at the Top 20 WiiWare games ever made, and if you haven’t had the chance yet you can check out those picks right here but now we switch our focus over to the very best that WiiWare has to offer so if you still have a Wii (or a Wii U) kicking around make sure to download these games before they are lost forever.
(Note that as a rule we are sticking to one game per series).
10 – LostWinds
In last week’s article I said that Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King was the very first game I downloaded on WiiWare but it was actually my 2nd download that was my favorite to play when the service launch in 2009. LostWinds is an absolutely charming Metroidvania style platformer with gorgeous visuals and sublime gameplay thanks to the Wii Remote pointer controller the wind. The game even got a sequel a little bit later and the two combined titles make one of the best stories available on WiiWare.
9 – And Yet It Moves
WiiWare was the first time Nintendo and indie game developers got together and released content together, a trend that is stronger than ever as apparent by the special ‘Nindie’ branding. One of these best early indie games that got a lot of love on WiiWare was A Yet It Moves, a visually arresting puzzle/platformer that challenges players to navigate treacherous caves and labyrinths.
8 – Art Style: Rotozoa
I love the Art Style series of games. These short games from the WiiWare and DSiWare services each had a unique feel and gameplay but at the end of the day I think Art Style: Rotozoa was the best of them all. In this game you control an amoeba like creature and must collect smaller bugs in order to grow. But be careful as if two colors that don’t match touch you’ll lose part of your tail and have to start all over again. Its fun, its frantic and its the 8th best game on WiiWare.
7 – Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth
Hey look! Another entry in Konami’s ReBirth set of games! Unlike the Contra game which made its way onto the service which was a brand new game, Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth is an enhanced remake of the Game Boy introduces sharp new 16-bit visual a la Castlevania IV and improved gameplay from the black and green original. Really, this is not only an excellent remake but one of the best examples of how an old, now very hard to go back to, game getting new life on a new platform.
6 – Cave Story
One of the greatest Metroidvania style games ever made, Cave Story absolutely earns its spot in the top half of this list. With tight gameplay, a deep story and gorgeous 2D art the game is a must play on WiiWare – though it also released on nearly every other platform on the face of the Earth so there’s really no excuse to avoid this one.
5 – Swords & Soldiers
Swords & Soldiers is one of the freshest real-time strategy games to release in the past-decade. With all 2D visuals you would think that a full-on strategy experience might be a bit hard to pull off on this plane but Swords & Soldiers pulled it off perfectly. Not only that but the game is an absolute looker with sharp graphics and a comical art style. Thankfully, like Cave Story this game is available on nearly every system under the Sun, so give it a download when you get a chance.
4 – Retro City Rampage
One of the final games released on WiiWare (months after the Wii U was out mind you) Retro City Rampage is like if Grand Theft Auto and the NES had a baby… in the 80’s. Excellent gameplay, a fantastic soundtrack and tight gameplay this game was a great reason to keep putting up the Wii Mode on your Wii U. And if you have a Nintendo Switch you won’t have to wait too long as the DX version will be coming in just a few months.
3 – BIT.TRIP: Runner
Choosing just one of the BIT.TRIP games to take a spot on this list was actually a really hard choice (I’m personally a big fan of BIT.TRIP: Beat) but at the end of the day we chose the only game in the series to go on and gets its own franchise on it’s on. Featuring extremely challenging gameplay that you can feel make you a better player, it’s no secret that the Wii U (and soon) the Switch were also visited by Commander Video.
2 – World of Goo
The very first smash hit on WiiWare, World of Goo is an instant classic that fans of physic based puzzles need to check out. The game was perfectly suited for the Wii Remote’s pointer that let you build towers and structures with ease. I distinctly remember downloading this game and thinking myself ‘ok this is fun’ and then looking at the clock and noticing hours had gone by. And for those who want to dig deep enough
1 – Mega Man 9
While many fantastic games hit WiiWare the choice for the number one spot was a fairly easy one. Mega Man 9 is an excellent throwback to the NES days of the Blue Bomber that just nails everything that made the series so great back in the 80’s. The music is perfect, the gameplay is tight and challenging and the 8-bit visuals look like they are ripped straight from the 8-bit Nintendo. The game got an excellent sequel too that also came to WiiWare but at the end of day we chose to stick to #9 to take the crown as the best WiiWare game of all time.
And that’s our list! Now we want to hear from you! What are you favorite WiiWare games? Let us know in the comments below!