When a brand-new game console comes out, I like to write a blog about the console that came before it, and talk about my favorite games on it. So now that the Nintendo Switch has been released, I’d like to honor the Wii U and go over my favorite games for that system (not in any particular order).
It’s a shame that the Wii U didn’t do so well. But I actually really liked it! In fact, it was the first Nintendo console since the SNES that I only had one console from that generation and not anther competitor’s to go with it. With the N64, I got a PlayStation. In the GameCube days I got a PS2 and Dreamcast. And after the Wii I got an Xbox 360 and later a PS3. But I didn’t have a PS4 or Xbox One alongside the Wii U. Now, granted, I still played and reviewed games on my PS3, 360, iPad, and 3DS, so it’s a little different, but you get the idea. I just now got a PS4 a few months ago, but that was only after the Wii U was pretty much dead. But anyway, let’s take a look at my favorite games on the Wii U.
Indie games and third-party titles
The neat thing about these games is that most of them are cross-platform, so if you don’t have a Wii U, you can still enjoy them on other systems. But I played and enjoyed them on the Wii U, so that’s why they go on this list for me.
In 2016, this Metroid inspired game won my Best 2-D Platformer award. It even beat out Kirby: Planet Robobot. So you know that if it beat out Kirby, it has to be good!
This was made by the same folks who did Mutant Mudds, but this one is WAY more playable. It’s also like a Metroid game, but a bit shorter, so I like to call it Metroid Lite. I think I got it at a discount, too. It’s a fun little game.
First popular on Steam, this 2-D platformer is basically a Sonic clone, but done right. It also mixes in some elements of Treasure games. I attended a panel at PAX one time with the creators of this game, and they said they put it on the Wii U because it was always a dream of theirs to have a game they made be on a Nintendo console. I wonder if the sequel will be on the Switch?
Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse
I’m a big fan of the Shantae games, and this one is probably my second favorite. Half-Genie Hero was good, but they took out one of my favorite things in the other games: fun puzzley dungeons!
Of course everyone knows the success of Shovel Knight. It really is a good game, even though it’s a bit hard. And it has one of the best soundtracks since 8-bit Mega Man!
Toki Tori 2
I played the original Toki Tori way back on the Game Boy Color! The sequel is still a 2-D platform puzzler, but plays a bit different. You play as a little bird who waddles around and peeps to get other creatures’ attention, and that’s it. But each one will react differently. The game teaches you how to do everything in the game with no words at all. It also has some Metroid exploration elements, so if you know what you’re doing at the beginning, you can get to places you normally shouldn’t be able to go. It’s really neat how they did it. You can also play an updated version of the original Toki Tori on the Wii U as well. Shame the company who made those games kind of went under somewhat.
Adventures of Pip
Since the success of Shovel Knight, there’s been all sorts of imitators, making 8-bit looking games. Adventures of Pip is the only one of those I’ve played that’s any good, mainly because of the solid controls. Plus it was made by former WayForward and Yacht Club Games (Shovel Knight) programmers, so that probably explains some things.
This is a fun little music game where you are a tadpole swimming on a music staff avoiding obstacles. The original music in the game is actually pretty catchy. The game was made in Louisiana, which is known for fine music, so maybe that’s why it’s also good here.
Octodad: Dadliest Catch
This game may not control very well, but I think that’s the point of the game. Luckily you can have a second player help you, which is what I did. You play as an octopus disguised as a regular family man to avoid a revengeful French chef. The game is just full of laughs, and would even work well as a cartoon! The game even has a theme song at the beginning!
It’s just a collection of two games in the Steamworld series. Steamworld Dig is a cross between Dig Dug, Mr. Driller, and Metroid. The sequel, Steamworld Heist, is more like a strategy game, but it’s also pretty fun and has excellent 2-D graphics.
This is a multiplayer competitive 2-D platformer race game where the background changes color and causes colored platforms to appear and disappear. It’s a lot of fun and a frantic multiplayer game. And hey, Shovel Knight and Shantae make guest appearances in it, so it can’t be too bad, right?
This is LEGO’s answer to Skylanders, but it’s pretty enjoyable and humorous and it’s probably the closest thing we’ll get to a Portal 2 sequel for a long while. I’m still reviewing expansion packs for it, so it’s the only reason why my Wii U is still hooked up right now. Special shoutouts should go to other LEGO games I’ve reviewed on the Wii U, like LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and LEGO Jurassic World.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2
I got this game on sale, because the main reason why I wanted to try it was to see the Wii U edition features. There’s a mode where Mario power-ups appear and affect your characters in the fight (Mushrooms, Super Stars, etc.). Each character also had special alternate costumes that were based on Nintendo characters. Nina Williams dressed as Zelda made it look like Zelda ate her spinach! There weren’t very many fighters on the Wii U, so this is one of the best we got on that console.
Scribblenauts Unlimited & Unmasked
Unlimited is a really creative game where you type in words and they appear as objects on screen to help you solve puzzles. It originally started out on handhelds, but moved to home consoles with the Wii U. Unmasked is like the original game, but adds DC superheroes to the mix. Only problem I have with that one is that it helps to know the characters’ powers to progress. But both are still very creative and fun.
Tank! Tank! Tank!
A lot of people put this one on their ‘Worst Wii U Games’ lists, but I didn’t think it was THAT bad. I kind of liked it, but I did wait until it went on sale, though. It’s kind of a cross between Namco’s Tokyo Wars arcade game (Namco made this one, too), and a giant monster ‘kaiju’ movie. The single player modes get too hard after a while, but multiplayer is still a blast. It’s just good, arcadey fun, and it originally was an arcade game to begin with.
Nintendo First Party Titles
Ever since the N64, Nintendo’s home console strengths have always been their first party titles, so the rest on this list are games from Nintendo that you can only find on the Wii U.
Wii Fit U
I didn’t get Wii Fit when it came out on the Wii for many reasons. But when the Wii was dying out, I found the balance board on sale at a store, and when Wii Fit U was on sale as well, I decided to give it a try and see what all the fuss was about. I wasn’t really that impressed, and I don’t know why it spawned a huge number of fitness games back then. But at the same time, it is an interesting concept and the Wii Fit Trainer told me in the game that I was as strong as a bodybuilder. Hey, I know she isn’t real and can’t even see me, but hey, I’ll take any compliment I can get! Ha ha!
Wii Sports Club
I think one of the reasons why the Wii U failed was because it tried to imitate the success of the Wii with the same games, just gussied up for the Wii U. Wii Sports is still my favorite sports video game and Wii Sports Club is still fun. But I think it was just too little, too late.
Game & Wario
Here’s another game that a lot of people put on their ‘Worse Wii U Games” lists, but I dunno, I kinda liked it. But then, I like WarioWare titles and weird games in general.
Speaking of WarioWare, NES Remix is pretty much just like it, except the challenges are related to NES games. Some get pretty wacky, like putting Link in Donkey Kong! It was originally a downloadable game with a sequel, but they eventually put both on a disc, as well as port it to the 3DS. Heck, it was even used in the new Nintendo World Championships!
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD
You know, the Wii U never really had its own Zelda game. Yeah there’s Breath of the Wild, but we all know that was really made for the Switch. So to make up for it, we got two Zelda HD remakes on the Wii U! The first was Wind Waker. It always annoyed me that Wind Waker got so much hate on the GameCube for looking cartoony, as I thought it was one of the best looking games on that system. And now it looks even better in HD!
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
This game is significant for me because when I played it on the Wii, I didn’t like it that much. The graphics were so brown and muddy that it was hard to see things. The HD version fixes all that, and gets rid of the motion controls that, while cool at the time, were really fiddly. Controlling with just buttons is much better. I like the game much more now!
And speaking of Zelda, this is just a Dynasty Warriors game with Zelda characters in it. But it’s still pretty fun, has lots of DLC, and is a great two player game, too. Plus you can finally play as favorite characters like Princess Zelda, Impa, and Agitha.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
Canvas Curse on the DS was never one of my favorite Kirby games, but they did improve it somewhat with Rainbow Curse. The multiplayer options were great and the clay animated graphics were amazing.
Wii U Top Ten?
So there are only ten games left on this list, so you can probably consider them my top ten favorite Wii U games.
New Super Mario Bros. U
The New Super Mario Bros. 2-D games have been kind of same-y and are getting a little stale, but they are still fun games. I was a bit disappointed with Super Luigi U, as it was just stupid hard.
This is a 3-D fighter featuring Pokemon. It’s very good, and both novices and pros can enjoy it. The fights are what I’d imagine real Pokemon battles would look like. The reason why the game is so good is it was made by the same folks who do the Tekken games, hence the name “Pokken.”
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
The best way to describe this game is that it’s a “Cary” game. It’s an action puzzle game based on the Captain Toad mini-games in Super Mario 3-D World. In fact, in Super Mario 3-D World, I posted on Miiverse that they should make a whole game out of it! And they did! The history behind Captain Toad’s game is pretty interesting. It was conceived way before Super Mario 3-D World and was originally going to be a Zelda game! And it’s not the first game to star Toad either, that honor goes to Wario’s Woods!
Super Mario 3-D World
And speaking of which, Super Mario 3-D World is a great game in its own right. It’s more or less a sequel to Super Mario 3-D Land on the 3DS. After the crazy complex levels of Super Mario Galaxy, I liked how 3-D Land kept things simple. But 3-D World had a lot of great new additions like fun, new power-ups and four player multiplayer with Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Peach. Kind of like Super Mario 2!
Yoshi’s Woolly World
Not only do the yarn graphics make this game look great (and the music makes it sound great, too), but it’s also a return to form for Yoshi’s games. It has all the fun of the original Yoshi’s Island on the SNES that the sequels kind of missed the mark on.
Mario Kart 8
This is probably one of the best looking Wii U games graphically. The anti-gravity mechanic was fun and it had plenty of old and new tracks, as well as fun DLC like tracks and characters based on Zelda, F-Zero, Excitebike, and even Animal Crossing! The game is so good that it’s getting an update on the Switch, with Splatoon racers and new battles modes. I may skip out on it, though, as I played it to death on the Wii U.
It was a bunch of mini-games featuring Nintendo characters, but it may be the closest thing we get to a new F-Zero game for a while! A lot of the multiplayer modes, like Mario Chase, Luigi’s Mansion, and Animal Crossing Sweet Days were just variations on Pac-Man Vs. (which Miyamoto also made), but I still had tons of fun playing this with friends. I wonder if this is what inspired Nintendo and Universal to make a theme park together.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
It’s Smash Bros., so you know it’s good. The Wii U and 3DS versions were notable for having two of my favorite video game characters as guest stars: Mega Man and Pac-Man! And it also started the amiibo craze. Only bad thing about this game is that I didn’t get to play it with friends as much as I did past entries in the series, so I feel like I didn’t enjoy it as much.
Super Mario Maker
This is one of the coolest ideas Nintendo’s had in a long time, and one of the best games on the Wii U. Using Mario Paint tools to build your own Mario levels is easy and fun to do, and playing other levels that people have made give this endless replay value. I kind of wish they’d make a Mario Maker for the Switch, too, although I don’t know how they’d do it. Maybe they could do a Zelda Maker?
I was on the fence with this game at first, as I’m not big into multiplayer shooters, but once I tried the Splatfest demo, I knew I would get it. It’s a shooter than anyone can pick up and play. I let family members who never play video games try it, and they got used to the controls right away and even won a few online matches! That’s how good this game is. Splatoon 2 will probably be the next major game I get for the Switch!
Goodbye, Wii U
And those are my favorite Wii U games! In the comments section, let me know what you think of my picks, and tell me YOUR favorite Wii U games as well! Later! –Cary