Ah, the Wii U. You are so, so different from your predecessor and everything else in the gaming market. You've had a turbulent life so far, as we approach the third anniversary of your E2 2011 reveal. And now, your fate seems tied to one or two games, the loyalty of longtime fans, and a bit of luck.
But enough serious talk. This is a thread of celebrating the Wii U! This little console that many say is doomed to fail has given us some memorable experiences since late 2012. Based on voting in this thread, I compiled a list of the Top 11 Wii U games, as chosen by the members of VGChartz. Why Top 11? Just the way numbers worked out really.
So, without further ado, here are the Top 11 games for the Wii U.
11. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (21 Points)
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is the "Super" edition of the 2009 Wii game, and was a release title for the Wii U in Japan. Monster Hunter has always had a cult following, but many would say that this was the best game in the series yet. Not only did it have oodles of content, online play, HD visuals, local multiplayer, etc, but it was cross-compatible with the 3DS version of the game. Back in March of last year, this was part of the second wave of major Wii U releases after launch, and rewarded those who played it with countless hours of content.
10.Nintendo Land (23 Points)
Sure, it may have been a glorified collection of minigames designed to showcase the GamePad. But like Wii Sports before it, Nintendo Land was a great "casual" introduction to the Wii U. Between its 12 games based on various Nintendo series, you had a full range of single-player, cooperative, and competitive experiences. And for every dud like Octopus Dance, there was a gem like Metroid Blast. Now that the game is no longer bundled with the Wii U as widely as it was at launch, it may likely fade into relative obscurity. But I think many of us will remember that time our friends ganged up on us for years to come
9. LEGO City Undecover (24 Points)
The first Wii U exclusive ever shown back at E3 2011, LEGO City was both very familiar and very weird. Sure, it was the billionth LEGO game since LEGO Star Wars made waves a bit under a decade ago. But not only was this an exclusive, it featured an original open world in the vein of a blocky Grand Theft Auto. And despite the lack of multiplayer, this game's countless collecatables, witty sense of humor, and huge countless variety of activities made this the rare LEGO game to stand out. Just don't confuse it for the 3DS game released a month later.
8. ZombiU (27 Points)
Although the Wii U had over twenty retail launch titles in the West, including big names like Mario and Arkham, it was this new IP that stood out for many people. A zombie game that was actually scary? With roguelike elements? And hold on... what do you mean a playable character's death is permanent? Not only that, but to this day, this was one of the games to best use the GamePad. It was a minimap, a bio-scanner, an inventory... and all in real time. Sure, it may have been a little rough around the edges, and the multiplayer lacked online play. But ZombiU was a horror game worth playing for anyone who truly loves horror in games.
7. The Wonderful 101 (33 Points)
The first title from Platinum Games for the Wii U, The Wonderful 101 is... hard to describe. I haven't actually played it through yet myself, but apparently the guys down at Platinum were watching some Power Rangers while eating questionable fungi and decided to make an Action-Adventure-RTS-thing out of it. The result was a game that was hard to learn, but definately worth mastering. This was on account of the ridiculous story and awesome action and bosses apparently. I'm sorry guys, I'll get this game after Mario Kart 8, okay?
6. New Super Mario Bros U (46 Points)
The Wii U was the first Nintendo console to launch with a new 2D Mario since the SNES. Well, this is that 2D Mario, and it has since gone on to become the best-selling game for the system by a wide margin. Furthermore, according to VGChartz members, it was the best Wii U game of 2012. It's hard to pin down why. After all, it was hardly the most original game, or the one that made most extensive use of the GamePad or the Wii U's HD capabilities. Probably the reason this game was so liked was that it was the culmination of the entire "New Super Mario" experience. This developer had been working on new 2D Mario games for nearly a decade, and it all showed in this game.
5. Rayman Legends (51 Points)
Rayman Legends has the honor of being both the highest rated 3rd party game and non-Wii U-exclusive game on this list. The latter is a sore point considering how this game was originally an exclusive, but the fact that this game was still so well received after the controversy speaks volumes of its quality. With over 120 levels, this game was not lacking in content when it finally came out. And it was a visual wonder, being arguably one of the best presented games of the generation thus far. And of course, the game ran best on the Wii U, especially when using the GamePad to aid another player.
4. Pikmin 3 (83 Points)
It only took about 9 years, but Pikmin got a third game! It was about as well received as its predecessors... which is to say it was fantastic! The combination of action and RTS gameplay worked beautifully, and the reimagining of the Survival aspect of the original game combined with the collectables of the second made for a compelling main game. Throw in some great side content, excellent boss fights, and useful new varieties of Pikmin, and you have one of the best strategy games in Nintendo history.
3. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (113 Points)
Tropical Freeze might not have been what many wanted from Retro Studios at E3 2013, but considering how it beat out Mario and Rayman for the honor of "Top 2D platformer on the Wii U," perhaps Retro knew what they were doing. Tropical Freeze is largely a straight sequel of its 2010 predecessor, DKCR for the Wii. Sure, it only had a few dozen levels compared to the 100+ of Rayman Legends, but the levels in Tropical Freeze were always varied, bringing something new every few moments of play. The addition of two new playable characters and super attacks made this more than an expansion pack of Returns, and the level of challenge was just what people were looking for.
2. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (119 Points)
Sure, it may be an HD remake. But THIS is how HD remakes should be done! In the same vein as Ocarina of Time 3D for the 3DS, Wind Waker HD doesn't reimagine the original experience. They give it a makeover, teach it a few tricks, and trust the original to carry its weight. The best thing I've heard people say about Wind Waker HD is that playing it felt more like playing the original back in 2003 than playing the original does today. It takes a special kind of talent to make that kind of a remake.
1. Super Mario 3D World (203 Points)
At E3 2013, many were disappointed by the reveal of Super Mario 3D World. Many thought that the game was going to suck. After all, how can a game based off a 3DS title using a bunch of characters with different abilities have well-designed levels, take advantage of the Wii U's abilities, and above all else, be a worthy sucessor of games like Super Mario 64 and Galaxy?
Fortunately, people were wrong.
By an overwhelming margin, people on VGChartz agree that 3D World is definately the greatest game the Wii U has to offer. The best way I can describe it is that if 3D Land was akin to the original Super Mario Bros, 3D World is akin to Super Mario Bros 3. The sheer amount of content, the level of polish, the technical and artistic perfection, the catchy soundtrack... it's all good. But what makes this game stand out might be the way it finally makes playing Mario games with a friend a blast rather than impossible at best or a chore at worst.
|Deus Ex: Human Revolution|
|Batman: Arkham City|
|Mass Effect 3|
|Sonic Lost World|
|Splinter Cell: Blacklist|
|Call of Duty: Black Ops 2|
|New Super Luigi U|
|Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag|
|Assassin's Creed III|
|Game & Wario|
|Resident Evil: Revelations|
|Sonic Racing Trnasformed|
|Cabela's Big Game Hunter: Pro Hunts|
|Bit Trip Runner 2|
|Child of Light|
|Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures|
|NES Remix 2|
|Tekken Tag Tournament 2|
|Wii Party U|
|Batman: Arkham Origins|
- Of the Top 11 Games, in the West, three were launch titles, two were released in Quarter 1 of 2013, four were released in Quarter 3 (including Wind Waker HD's digital release), one was a Holiday 2014 title, and one was a Q1 2014 game. So in theory, the Summer of 2013 was the best time to be a Wii U owner if only these twelve games are taken into consideration.
- Between the three 2D platformers and 3D World on the Top 11, it's clear where the Wii U's strong point is. Note that the Wii only began getting a lot of its biggest 2D platformers in 2009 or so, a couple of years into its existence.
- Nintendo EAD made five of these games, and Retro made a sixth, but besides that, about half of the Top 11 was developed outside of Nintendo, even though The Wonderful 101 and LEGO City were published by them.
A special thanks to the users of Miiverse for providing most of the above screenshots.
Love and tolerate.