The Wii U, Nintendo's new tablet-inspired game console, arrives in stores in just a few weeks. And since it's backwards compatible with existing Wii games and accessories, now is a good time to reflect on the top 15 best games the Wii had to offer. Even if you don't own a Wii, if you plan to buy the Wii U you should check these titles out.
A whole new gang of unsavory villains need to be taken to the cleaners in No More Heroes 2. Travis Touchdown returns to the sleazy town of Santa Destroy, where players will enjoy more of the same killer action and punk style of the original game, minus some of its hang-ups. You no longer have to drive to each destination and the side jobs play like simple retro 8-bit arcade games, which streamlines the experience considerably.
This re-imagining of the 8-bit classic stars a helpless boy who befriends an invincible alien blob that loves jellybeans. Different beans cause the blob to transform into various shapes, which must be used strategically to survive levels filled with enemies, pitfalls, and obstacles. It's a great concept that is brought to life with simple but charming 2D graphics and animation. With 40 levels and another 40 mini-challenges, there's plenty here for fans of traditional puzzle-platform games to chew on.
Konami's Wii exclusive makes good use of the controller's tilt functionality to control a water droplet named Dewy. The slippery controls can be frustrating at times (and explains the low Metacritic average), but they work ok and give the game its unique feel. The player can transform Dewy into ice and steam for different effects throughout each level. Don't be fooled by its cute and colorful graphics, which are among the best on the Wii: Dewy's Adventure is a challenging game with imaginative puzzles and level designs.
Vanillaware's gorgeous 2D artwork is Muramasa: The Demon Blade's biggest selling-point. It's a fast-paced action game with fierce combat split between two heroes (each with their own stories and boss encounters). Mythological demons from medieval Japan come to life in screen-filling battles, while RPG elements allow you to upgrade your characters and equipment. The convoluted story is a bit tough to follow, but the addictive swordplay and amazing set pieces will keep you coming back for more.
This remake of the 1997 PlayStation classic will make a fantastic addition to any game library. It's a 2.5D game, which means the play field is 3D but the player is limited to a 2D plane. This makes it clear where you can and can't go while avoiding the troublesome camera issues found in many free-roaming 3D games. The story and presentation are nauseatingly cute, but if you can look past that you'll be rewarded with a fun game with great graphics, music, and play control.
Despite the Wii remote's pointer functionality, the Wii isn't exactly known for great first-person shooters. Thanks to the third installment in Retro Studios' take on the Metroid universe, the Wii got at least one game that does things right. What it lacks in competitive multi-player it more than makes up for with a solid single-player campaign.
Originally a freeware PC title developed by independent developer Nigoro, La-Mulana is a love letter to all things retro gaming, but with its own distinct puzzles and logic. You set off after your father in search of the secrets of La-Mulana, said to be the cradle of civilization. This Metroidvania was a labor of love crafted over many years, and the result is truly special. The WiiWare version costs around US$10 dollars and features remastered graphics and music.
Nintendo commissioned this role-playing epic from Mistwalker, led by Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. Rather than retreading old territory, Sakaguchi delivers a progressive RPG experience with real-time, team-based combat that proves a bit overly ambitious. However, the story has excellent pacing, features a strong cast of characters, and sports unusually high production values. If you're a fan of RPGs, chances are good that you'll dig The Last Story.
Treasure, a developer known for its action shooting games, delivers one of the most jaw dropping rail-shooters ever with this sequel to the N64 cult-classic from 2000. Choose from one of two siblings and take on legions of bosses that require intense concentration and pattern memorization. You won't believe your eyes as you fly through varied settings like ruined cityscapes, deep sea trenches, desert highways, and more, including some that play like traditional 2D space shoot-em-ups.
This point-and-click adventure game makes excellent use of the Wii remote's various functions. You direct our hero, Zack, to examine objects of interest by pointing at the screen, and interact with them using all sorts of motion controls. It's a great looking game with diorama-like levels and intricate puzzles. But since you'll often have to resort to trial and error, patience is a must to see this pirate adventure through to the end.
The Kirby games have always been designed so that everybody can finish them, so don't expect anything too challenging here. However, the inventive level design wherein Kirby transforms into a UFO, a robotic tank, a fire engine, a dolphin, and more, are simply fun to play. And the unique arts and crafts inspired visuals make this one of the most visually pleasing 2D games ever made.
Monolith Software tried their best to rejuvenate the role-playing genre with Xenoblade Chronicles, and the result is considered one of the best RPGs of its generation. Its innovative game system successfully marries some aspects of MMORPGs with traditional single-player games. While parts of its presentation could be better, the sprawling vistas and cinematic cut-scenes will keep you glued to your controller for the 60 or so hours it will take to complete this mammoth RPG.
You'll build a buzzing kingdom, amass an army of loyal citizens, and rescue several princesses from the evil hordes in Little King's Story. This real-time strategy game owes much to Nintendo's Pikmin series, but brings plenty of new ideas to the table. Along the way you'll conquer surrounding kingdoms by besting their eccentric rulers in wildly different battles. Soldiers, carpenters, miners, hunters, farmers, cooks, and more are under your command, and bringing the right combination with you is the key to victory.
We're cheating a little bit with this entry, pairing together two games, but it would be a shame to play one and not the other. Both games offer around 35 hours of adventure, each with their own unique settings, characters, and game mechanics. Twilight Princess has a darker visual style and a more traditional Zelda setting than those of Skyward Sword. However, Skyward Sword makes better use of the Wii's motion controls, and introduces more ideas to the time-honored Zelda formula. You can't go wrong with either one.
Topping our list is another combination of games best played together, like two halves of the same coin. Nintendo reignited the old Mario magic with new gravity-defying levels, fun new power-ups, and plenty of gargantuan boss battles. The sequel is more or less an expansion of the first game, but the addition of Yoshi (Mario's trusty dinosaur steed) and other new ideas keep things interesting. Despite the Wii's limited horsepower the graphics are fantastic, and both games feature excellent orchestral scores. Considered by many to be two of the best games ever made, Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 belong in every gamer's collection.
Any list like this is subjective, so there are bound to be some Wii classics we've missed that make your list. Let us know what they are by dropping us a line in the comments.
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