As promised on the last episode from the PSVG Nintendo Shack, Kevin, Jason, and Donnie put their heads together and after much deliberation and negotiation we’re finally ready to share with you our “Best 25 Wii U Games.”
Have a Wii U and feel like we left something off the list? Just disagree with a specific ranking on our list? Let us know on Twitter @PSVG or by commenting below.
#25 The Wonderful 101
A truly wacky experience that makes interesting use of the Gamepad. Wonderful 101 puts you in charge of the Wonderful 100, a sprawling team of superheroes that must save the world. Be prepared for over the top action, cheesy one-liners, and frantic button mashing. This game has some of the hardest battle sequences I’ve faced and with every death screen, I came that much closer to throwing my gamepad across the room. Regardless, the humor and charm more than make up for the shortcomings, and you are left with a great action experience on the Wii U. The typical experience from Platinum Games.
Oh Runbow, how much I loved thee. I am somewhat amazed that I haven’t played a game like Runbow before 2016. Its such a novel concept. Let’s make a platformer with a hook that adds Smash Bros level of competition without complexity. In Runbow, 13AM games accomplished just that. A simple platformer pits players against each other in a race to finish the course. The hook? It’s all in the colors. Each platform has its own color and as the background flips through different colors platforms appear or disappear. Add in the ability to punch your couch playing friends, support for up to 9 people playing at a time, and a short level design that keeps each level frantically fun and what you have is one of the Wii U’s best games. The fun hearkens back to the old days of Mario Kart 64’s battle mode, a definite must own for any coach co-op session.
#23 Rayman Legends
The Wii U is known to those of us who have played through it to have some of the most “interesting” visual style choices of any current console I would say. Rayman Legends is a beautiful game to watch and in action it’s even better. While not a lengthy experience per say (probably about 10 hours worth of content), it is a blast to play with friends. Thanks to the Wii U Gamepad you can play with up to 5 players at once! While it is available on other consoles, this game was clearly designed with the Wii U in mind as many different aspects play much better on it vs PS4/Xbox One/PC.
#22 Ultimate NES Remix
Ultimate NES Remix is a bite-sized blast of “NES”talgia wrapped up in a shiny new package. Take your favorite characters and drop them into brand new scenarios or a simple timed challenge. I’ve had a blast getting 5 stars on every stage and really where this game has shined, is bringing friends into the mix. Taking turns trying to beat the best times or survive a horribly frantic twist on Super Mario Bros is a fantastic way to pass the time. Regardless if you grew up with the original games they are remixed from, Ultimate NES Remix is a game you shouldn’t pass up.
#21 Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
Let me be clear – Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is not for every Wii U owner. That said, TMS#FE is a great looking J-RPG and is exclusive to the Wii U. Fans of the Persona series, or even to a lesser degree Pokemon, will be right at home here. In TMS#FE, you control a party of characters with their own move sets and abilities. This band of merry j-pop performers travel across a comic-anime Japan performing on stage in front of the masses and completing side-quests that advance friendship and relationship story arc’s. When trouble arises, the crew enters the Idolasphere (another dimension, where they encounter Mirages, wandering spirits that latch onto humans to draw out their Performa) to battle foes and obtain items. The journey is a fun one that provides plenty of challenging dungeon crawling grind to any level of gamer. The gameplay loop of battling, healing, leveling up, and fighting the boss is an addictive one for those that give the game a chance because the turn-based battle system is presented with superb visuals & menus and offers plenty of strategic abilities and attacks to impress any Fire Emblem fan. While Nintendo-fans of the Fire Emblem series were hoping for a bit more Fire Emblem in the #FE, I can only recommend Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE to any gamer looking for a meaty RPG.
#20 Super Mario Bros U (incl. Luigi U DLC)
The game that probably surprised no one after the success of New Super Mario Bros on the Wii, Super Mario Bros U took everything that was done right in the previous iterations and ramped it up to near perfection. A great game to play solo for fans of the classic Mario experiences (Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario World) or to play with friends if you want some complete insanity and hilarity. Out of these two I will say I enjoyed Luigi U a little more than the original, but I’m a sucker for Luigi games!
The game that got me hooked on Wii U. As we discussed on the podcast, the Wii U’s launch lineup wasn’t so hot but Ubisoft definitely brought a must-own when they released ZombiU. Arguably the best implementation on the Wii U, ZombiU told the tale of a Brit trying to survive a zombie apocalypse in one of the better uses of zombie trope. Players use the gamepad to manage inventory, set way points on the map, and solve puzzles. The game has a neat plot and a really cool backstory as you weave your way through London’s landmarks. ZombiU is one of the best games in the horror genre in years especially on Wii U where the gamepad enhances the experience by adding an extra layer of stress that you can’t get on other systems. Definitely a must-play-must-own for any Wii U gamer.
#18 Bayonetta 2
A witch fighting angels and demons, with her hair and high heels with guns in them…not much more to be said. A surprising exclusive to the Wii U library, a literal punch in the mouth to those who claim the console has no Mature content. A great action title with tons of over the top moments. Bigger, badder and bolder than the original. There is tons of blatent over-sexualization though, which can be hard to swallow for some gamers, definitely not a title to play around kids….or your wife/girlfriend….or pets….just play it alone ok?
#17 Child of Light
Child of Light was the first game my daughter can say she beat as she assisted me throughout our coop campaign. That’s my lasting memory with the Ubisoft “indie” game. Child of Light is the perfect RPG for those looking to dip a toe in the RPG pool or up and coming gamers like my daughter. The story is told in rhyme making the reading a fairy tale experience and the game’s sytems are simple and easy to grow accustomed to. However, its easily the games’ art and music that set Child of Light apart from any game you’ve played. Child of Light can easily make a case for the prettiest game to grace the Wii U. The musical score brings this game to life and when added to the animations and vistuals the game comes off as a painting moving in real life. All that the budget price (less than $20!?) and you’ve easily obtained one of the best games on Wii U.
#16 Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze
The best DKC platforming experience since SNES. Tropical Freeze looks great, sounds great, and has co-op gameplay. Now I will say that the difficulty here, especially if you are going for a 100%, can test even the most hardcore of gamers, it is still worth your time. Regardless, DKC: TF is a great platformer and a great return to the series. Do yourself a favor and revisit some old friends, but don’t forget a banana.
#15 Shovel Knight
If you could go back in time and make a classic 8-bit platformer with some of modern gaming’s techniques and power, it would be Shovel Knight. It’s a love letter of nostalgia and pixellated glory! Shovel Knight is just a fantastic game. Much like my other picks on this list, the music is fantastic and the challenge ramps up right along with the gameplay. Yacht Club games not only create a new series but a new mascot as well. Shovel Knight is a fantastic character filled with charm and persona. Speaking of Yacht Club, they also expanded this game with additional DLC content for free! You owe it to yourself to dig in with Shovel Knight, so what are you waiting for?
#14 Jotun: Valhalla Edition
Jotun: This one was a pleasant surprise when we first reviewed it here on Play Some Video Games. It is a very simply game mechanically speaking but features some of the toughest boss fights I’ve ever experienced in a video game. The art is simply breathtaking and the music does well to set the tone for the adventure you are embarking on,Mixing AAA quality with an indie heart, Jotun brings frame-by-frame animation and classic, honest gaming to the indie scene. Will you Impress the Gods?
#13 The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
Twilight Princess HD is a definitive version of one of the better 3D Zelda games in the series. The game’s environment, dungeons and journey remain 100% in tact from the original versions (GameCube & Wii) and are better than ever due to many updates. This remaster takes advantage of the Wii U’s gamepad for inventory management, map control, and some fun and rewarding amiibo options. Visually, Twilight Princess is a treat to stare at as well due to the new HD textures, solid frame rate and character models. Players will have over 40 hours of ingeniously crafted dungeons woven together with a classic Zelda narrative that culminates with the over the top cinematic ending.
#12 Yoshi’s Wooly World
One of the many things Nintendo does do right is take something tried and true (in this case Yoshi’s island) give it a fresh coat of paint and make it something new and exciting again. The visuals in this game are some of the best on the console, everything is made of a crafting item (wool, yarn, cotton, etc) and the design team got very creative on how to use them. A great co-op game to play, 100% collected everything while playing with my wife, some stages do move a little fast to play with two people. Overall though this is a happy romp once again through the Mushroom Kingdom, one that kept me going back again and again to unlock each and every Yoshi. Coming in 2017 to the Nintendo 3DS with the addition of Poochy, I will most likely revisit this game again and again.
#11 Hyrule Warriors
While I don’t often like to give Donnie credit for being right….I had to on this one. When this title was first announced it seemed pretty cool but didn’t move the needle for me at all. Once I decided to pull the trigger on this title I did not regret it. The hack and slash action makes for great fun,it looks fantastic, and there is A LOT of content in this title from over a dozen unlockable warriors, weapons, and stages this game is definitely a MUST PLAY for any Wii U owner.
#10 Captain Toad Treasure Tracker
Captain Toad is looking for treasure…obviously. I simply love the vibe of this game. It is very much a sit back, relax, and just enjoy what is happening on screen. A great characteristic you will find in many Nintendo games. Each level finds you rotating the stage as you guide our hero, Captain Toad, thru obstacles, puzzles, and enemies as you grab all the needed stars to advance. The difficulty ramps up perfectly from super easy to what the heck, but it is never frustrating enough to make you stop playing. A colourful journey with an awesome soundtrack, Captain Toad was a fantastic adventure. Why its length is smaller than your typical game, you’ll find the price-point perfectly matches. You won’t want to miss this one, go go go, Captain Toad!
#9 Xenoblade Chronicles X
Xenoblade Chronicles X is a Wii U must own and a one of a kind for the Wii U. The open world RPG is filled with monsters and quests of tremendous scale and the gameplay loop of completing your missions, sub-quests, and building your party are oddly addictive. As someone who has never considered myself a fan of RPGs proper, I played Xeno X for over 50 hours and enjoyed every minute. Even the story is better than to be expected and engaging enough to give your explorations purpose. Oh, yeah…. MECHS!
#8 Mario 3D World
A Mario experience for the whole family. 3D World is a colorful and charming entry to the series that features a ton of levels and collectibles to snag along the way. While not as revolutionary as 64 or the Galaxy series, 3D World carves its own path in the Mario universe. The level design and variety kept things fresh and allowing friends to drop in and out at any time is a great feature. The game oozes charm and is just fun to play! Another game I like to just fire up on the Wii U when I’m looking to relax and have a great time. Mario!
#7 Paper Mario Color Splash
Although this game came out way too late into the WIi U life cycle it is not one to be missed. In my opinion this is the best Single Player experience to be had on the Wii U. While the last few entries in the Paper Mario series has left me with a sour taste in my mouth since the 1,000 year door…this game saved it. Brings back the humor that made the series great in the first place and looks great on the console as well. Combat has some fresh new innovations that even though can get a little redundant by the end of the game, was a ton of fun. If you are still hanging on to your Wii U, pick this one up…you won’t regret it.
#6 Pikmin 3
Here is the game that has been played the most amount of hours on my Wii U console…Pikmin 3. One of the best looking games on the console without a doubt. if you are a fan of the series this entry took everything great about the previous installments improved on them even more and added a bunch of multiplayer add-ons. The wife and I still even now boot it up every once in awhile for some co-op gameplay or some VS mode fun….its a classic and a great way to get your significant other involved if they aren’t much of a gamer.
#5 Super Mario Maker
Super Mario Maker is the quintessential Wii U game. No other game can demonstrate how the Wii U’s controller can profoundly impact a gaming session with so little words. The concept is simple, you get to build you own Mario levels across a gambit of 2D styles ranging from the original Mario Bros, Super Mario World, Mario 3, and current day’s New Mario Bros U and then share them with your friends. The game doesn’t feature a traditional Nintendo built campaign, but that’s offset by a never ending stream of content being created by millions across the globe. Add in the Nintendo World Championship courses and some awesome Amiibo ideas and you have a $60 dollar game that never grows old busting from the seams with creativity and nostalgia.
#4 Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
If you have been around PSVG for any period of time, you’ve probably already heard Donnie and myself gush about this game enough already. Simply put, it’s the best looking Zelda game you can experience on the Wii U at this time. The HD visuals paired with the game’s art style are a beautiful match. The characters, the story, the music…. Man, Wind Waker is just an amazing game regardless of it being in the Zelda franchise. A MUST PLAY for any Wii U owner out there. You’ll never forget your journeys on the Great Sea…
#3 Super Smash Bros
What can I say about Smash Bros? This is MY series. I have such fond memories from my high school days of playing the original after school with friends. Melee was the reason I purchased a GameCube and when I heard that we were getting a new version for the Wii U, I was ecstatic. A mash-up of some of the best franchises in gaming in a brutally fun slugfest. If you are any sort of Nintendo fan, man, there is so much to be had here, from the characters, to the music…. Ugh! While the networking leaves a little to be desired for online play, I still jump on For Glory from time to time to take to the skies as my boy, Falco Lombardi. Personally, I prefer the air!
Splatoon, in my personal opinion, is the shining star of the Wii U. With Splatoon, Nintendo finally brought their family friendly consoles a first-person shooter that didn’t involve blood, gore, and mature military themes. Most importantly, Splatoon’s gameplay is also fun for the whole family by providing any gamer, regardless of experience, an opportunity to partake in an multiplayer-centric shooter without being immediately destroyed. Not very good at online shooters? Just paint as much area as you can and you can help your team. Better at sniping individual players? Rank up the splats by deploying an arsenal of nerf-super soaker esque weaponry. There’s also a fun platforming campaign mode for some solo fun and a local 1 vs. 1 mode. Add in a style that is truly a “new Nintendo” and there’s no question that Splatoon is Nintendo’s “freshest” idea since Wii Sports and should be around for a long long time.
#1 Mario Kart 8
Here it is ladies and gentlemen, the crown jewel of the Wii U. Pure racing perfection but easy enough to even get Grandma involved in all of the shell chucking action. Every iteration of this game gets better and better. More characters, more tracks, more weapons. Plus two great DLC packs to add in even more! Online multiplayer is always fun as well, if you’ve played with the PSVG guys you already know that. If you’ve played previous installments of Mario Kart you already know it’s known for the crazy tracks and this one is no different taking the race to the walls and upside down this time around. Perhaps we will see what Nintendo can do in the future to better this game…but for now it is the undisputed King of the Wii U!