Picture a universe where Nintendo has as many great third party titles as it does first. Now picture that this place, which I’ve deemed Nintendopia, as a flourishing kingdom with some of the biggest gaming blockbusters you’ve never gotten to experience on a little machine emblazoned with a Big N logo on it. Now, take a deep breath, and come back to reality– where none of this exists. It saddens me to think about the potential that each Nintendo console has shown, and the subsequent treatment it receives from the industry. Some of this is Nintendo’s own doing, but some of it is also conceived by misperceptions and judgments based on what Nintendo’s systems can and can’t do both currently and historically. Because of this, Nintendo has missed out on some the most noteworthy franchises in all of gaming over the years. For today, however, we take a look at a past that never was, but a future that could be.
With Wii U right around the corner, Nintendo is in an interesting position in which it could wipe the slate clean and offer fans games not otherwise found on its previous consoles. We’re already seeing this to be the case with some of its announced launch lineup, which includes various franchises that have never stepped foot in Big N waters. Iconic series bearing the titles of Assassin’s Creed and Batman Arkham City immediately come to mind, while other multiplatform games, which have received scaled down versions on past Nintendo consoles, will see full graphical and feature parody (barring Madden) on Wii U. Better yet, many of these titles will almost be launching simultaneously with their HD cousins.
There’s no doubt that for those who have never experienced these franchises, and/or those who have always wanted to play them on a Nintendo system, are excited. But what if this is a sign of great things to come? What if this means Nintendo is destined for even more game diversity? What if franchises like Final Fantasy, Metal Gear, and Borderlands pop up on the Big N radar? Well that’s what today is all about: looking at the top ten third party franchises we’d play on Wii U.