The Nintendo Switch releases this Friday and I’m excited to get my hands on it and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Before I go forward with the Switch, I will first pay my respects to the console that preceded it: the Wii U. The Wii U had a tough lifespan starting with its confusing introduction a few years back at E3 and its lack of third party support, but through it all the console managed to give us a great lineup of exclusive titles. Despite the console being out of production for the past month or two, everyone should know that the Wii U had hard hitting titles in its defense that you couldn’t play anywhere else. So to kick off CSG’s Nintendo/Zelda week I present to you my top 10 Wii U games.
Honorable mentions: Xenoblade Chronicles X, Yoshi’s Woolly World, Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker, FAST Racing Neo
10. Super Mario Maker: Super Mario Maker had the opportunity to be the Mario game to end Nintendo game droughts, but it ended up being a Kaizo filled online experience. I love my Super Mario experiences even when difficult, but I hate the fact that I can’t go online and play legitimate Mario levels due to the online community’s love of trying to outdo each other with insanely difficult maps instead of fun ones. Overall, I enjoyed my time playing other people’s stages and making decent Mario levels that would make Miyamoto proud.
9. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse: Most wouldn’t agree with me on this title due to the fact that a television isn’t even needed to play the game. Instead of being a sequel to Canvas Curse on the 3DS, Rainbow Curse acts an individual Wii U title. Luckily for me, this was a great game to get my non-gamer girlfriend playing console games cooperatively. Hell, I didn’t even purchase this game myself, she did. Rainbow Curse has the power to get non-gamers into gaming with simple and fun mechanics.
8. Super Mario 3D World: Super Mario Mario 3D World stands as a solid spiritual successor to Super Mario 3D Land and serves as Mario’s sole 3D outing on the Wii U. 3D World made levels bigger, prettier, and much more challenging while adding the ability to play with three others. What seemed like a simple rehash became the biggest surprise on the console. I loved this game from the moment I started it to the second I 100% it. Games this fun are a rarity nowadays.
7. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U: It’s Super Smash Bros. and let’s face it you al knew this would be on here. Sakurai added more (a lot more) characters, stages, and weapons to this game, easily making it the biggest Smash game to date. I still play it and I enjoy it every time. The DLC added even more replay value to it and I know I’ll be playing it for years to come. Nintendo really out did themselves with Sm4sh. Hopefully, they port this version over to the Switch with added content to keep us early Switch buyers entertained until the inevitable Smash Bros. 5.
5. Shovel Knight: Shovel Knight was the game that made me jealous of Wii U owners. Yacht Club Games originally released the amazing action-platformer on the Wii U first and it pushed me towards buying Nintendo’s latest console. Shovel Knight sounds, looks, plays, feels, and probably even smells like yesteryear’s greatest games. This has the best game mechanics from all the best NES games mashed up into one and it works. Shovel Knight isn’t just one of the Wii U’s best titles, it’s one of the best games of all time.
4. Splatoon: Splatoon is a game that I previously had no interest in playing, but I tried it out for the site and I loved it immensely. I still haven’t been able to put my gamepad down from playing the game’s addicting online battles. As a single-player mostly driven gamer, putting over a dozen hours (and much more) is a rarity. Nintendo managed to steal away all my free time and will continue to do so until the Splatoon 2 releases on the Switch.
3. Bayonetta 2: Another sleeper title on my list. See people, this is why you try to play game genres out of your comfort zone as you’ll never know what you might instantly fall in love with. Bayonetta 2 is the best character action game I’ve ever played. From the moment I started up the over-the-top campaign I could not put down my Pro Controller. These types of games mostly focus on the action and Platinum mastered a way to fuse the action with a story I actually gave a damn about (similar to God of War, but cranked to 11). Hopefully the rumored Bayonetta 3 becomes a reality as I would love to see Cereza’s next adventure.
2. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE: Last year’s surprise sleeper title came in the form of a J-pop infused turn-based-JRPG that blew me away. It was my personal game of the year for 2016 and it’s my second favorite Wii U game. Nintendo’s partnership with Atlus was a dream come true as the best aspects of Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei are infused to make one super game. Sadly, hardly anyone played this hilarious game and I’m hoping Nintendo ports it to the Switch because I guarantee that old-school JRPG fans will instantly fall in love with this lengthy game.
1. Mario Kart 8: As a long time player of the series, since the SNES days, I’ve loved my time racing around with Nintendo favorites like Koopa Troopa, Yoshi, Bowser, and now more recently Tanooki Mario and Link. Mario Kart 8 added a new dimensions to the tracks by allowing you to race upside down and on walls, completely defying the laws of gravity. Mario Kart 8 also feels like a spiritual successor to F-Zero with its free 200 cc update, making the game the best of both worlds. I’ve said it for years and I will continue to say it, Mario Kart 8 is the perfect racing game, blending plenty of fun times with bright colors that look absolutely beautiful on television.