For a console which sold 100 million units (just under 20 million more than its contemporaries) the Wii is surprisingly divisive. Some blame it for the motion-control phase which each of the big three tried their hands at to varying degrees of success, while other lamented that the console was limited when it game to its games library compared to the PS3 and 360. However, while the Wii generally didn’t receive many ports of the more popular and well-known franchises, it certainly didn’t lack interesting and fun games. Sure, there was some bad shovelware but that shouldn’t take away from the amount of good games that were released.
So in that vein, here’s a selection of 10 games which we think are good fun to play and would still recommend picking up if you haven’t already. This isn’t meant to be a definitive list of the ‘best Wii games ever’ nor are the games ranked in any particular order, other than how they popped into our heads.
I’ve lumped these two together as one because the sequel is pretty much the first game again with some extra bits. While not quite the revolution that Super Mario 64 turned out to be, Super Mario Galaxy is arguably the better game, with some intricate level design and some of the best visuals on the console (even now it still manages to look good). Furthermore, controlling Mario using the Wiimote feels surprisingly tight and precise, and the motion controls aren’t too intrusive to the experience. And that soundtrack… a masterpiece.
If you like this, try: Epic Mickey, De Blob
Little King’s Story is what happens when an RTS, RPG and a life simulator meet up on a Nintendo console. The cutesy visuals are charming, but don’t be fooled into believing this is a game for strategy beginners; there’s a lot of depth here with tricky battles throughout. An utter delight to play through, both relaxing and challenging in equal measure
If you like this, try: Pikmin 1+2, Animal Crossing: City Folk
Wii Sports was the game that sold the concept of the Wiimote, but it was Sports Resort that really drove home how good some of these mini-games could be, utilising Wii Motion Plus in a very strong fashion. All the sports have their own draw, but we’re a particular fan of Archery and Swordplay, as well as the incredibly relaxing Piloting sections where you’re able to explore the island on an aerial vehicle with no outside pressure
If you like this, try: Go Vacation, Endless Ocean
While the game itself can be pretty easy even by Kirby’s standards, it’s the endearing fabric world that really sets this title apart. It’s obvious that the game’s creators had a lot of fun fitting in as many ideas as they could into each level and the vast majority are interesting mechanics and genuinely enjoyable. A great game to unwind to (no pun intended) – if you’re after more of a challenge, check out the ‘if you like’ titles below.
If you like this, try: Donkey Kong Country Returns, Rayman Origins
There aren’t many RPGs on the Wii, but it doesn’t mean that ones on it aren’t impressive – in fact, Xenoblade Chronicles was (and still is) one of the best recent JRPGs we’ve seen. It’s certainly a game that pushes the Wii visually further than pretty much any other title, and its backed up with good characters, and intriguing story and more modern mechanics (including a more MMO-style battle system) than its JRPG bretherin. Just don’t be put off by the voice acting…
If you like this, try: The Last Story, Pandora’s Tower
Is Mario Kart Wii the best game of the series? Definitely not – however, it’s certainly still a fun game to play with your friends. The addition of bikes and stunt boosts added a new dimension to the racing and though the motion control steering can be disorientating and lacks a certain amount of precision, it just about works and is great for newcomers to the series. Add in a good selection of classic and new tracks and you’re all set.
If you like this, try: Excite Truck
The Boom Blox series is all about knocking things off other things by throwing things around, and it’s great fun for a group of friends thanks to its implementation of the Wiimote. In single player as well, there’s a good selection of puzzles for you to solve either in limited throws or trying to not knock certain things down. Who’d have thought Steven Spielberg’s first foray into game design would be quite so good.
If you like this, try: Rayman Raving Rabbids, Wario Ware: Smooth Moves
Put simply, there is no better rhythm action game on the Wii. Making use of the simplest of controls (only the A and B button are used), you perform your actions based on the rhythm and beat of the music – these actions can range from spinning dogs on office chairs to interviewing a wrestler. You’ll have a blast.
If you like this, try: Samba De Amigo, DJ Hero
Skyward Sword can be looked down on a little due to the motion controls, but it’s certainly no stinker. In fact, it’s one of the few games designed specifically around the Wii, and shows off some impressive visual style for what was essentially an amped-up Gamecube. While the game can take a while to get going, the dungeons are some of the best the series have seen, and there’s still something fun about swishing the Wiimote around to control the sword. If you don’t mind 30-40 hours of that, you’ll be golden
If you like this, try: Okami, Super Paper Mario, Zack and Wiki
Who said the Wii doesn’t do mature games? HotD: Overkill is a fantastically campy horror shooter made all the better thanks to the Wiimote’s sterling turn as a light-gun (it’s definitely worth searching this type of game out, it’s almost what the Wii seemed to be made for).
If you like this, try: No More Heroes, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Madworld
So there you have it, 10 Wii games that are still fun today, with plenty of further reading if you like them. Tell us what your favourite game on the Wii was and if you think it still holds up, or spend your time in the comments section berating us for not including Super Smash Bros. Brawl.