The Best Wii U Games of 2014

Which Wii U title took this year’s top crown?

By Marc Deschamps. Posted 01/08/2015 09:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

It’s no secret that Wii U has struggled to win the hearts of a large audience. Nintendo closed out 2013 with Super Mario 3D World, one of the finest titles to feature the company’s mustachioed mascot, but the company needed to build off that success if it had any hope of regaining sales ground. While the console still has an uphill battle to face, sales have slowly started to increase as the publisher released a number of strong first party titles in 2014. Without further ado, here are Nintendojo’s top Wii U games for the year!


BEST WII U GAME

Mario Kart 8

Racing into our number one spot this year, Mario Kart 8 showed that the franchise still had some gas left in the proverbial tank. Mario Kart 8 could have easily coasted on its own brand name, but instead the latest iteration in the franchise offered a perfect mix between the new and familiar. The much-hyped addition of zero gravity vehicles opened up each track like never before, while high-definition graphics made the experience a visual feast. Online gameplay and the ability to share replay videos on YouTube helped round out an already stellar package.

Of course, Mario Kart 8 also gained some notoriety as the first Nintendo game to fully embrace downloadable content. Earlier in the year, many fans balked at the addition of licensed vehicles, but Nintendo quieted even the most cynical fans with the announcement of characters and tracks based on the Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing series. With the latter content pack scheduled for release this spring, Nintendo has helped to assure that fans will continue to enjoy the game well into 2015.

Mario Kart 8 proved to be well worth the cost of admission, but Nintendo saw the title as an opportunity to lure fans to its newest console. The game came with one more incentive: an additional downloadable retail title for early adopters. With options like The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD and Pikmin 3, potential buyers had a lot of reasons to check out Mario’s latest racer.


BEST WII U GAME RUNNERS-UP

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

One of the most anticipated titles on Wii U, Super Smash Bros.‘ place on this list was all but guaranteed. The latest in Nintendo’s fighting franchise was a close candidate for our number one position. As the first HD title in the franchise (are you noticing a pattern?), the title looked prettier than any previous Smash Bros. game. The title also expanded the roster with a slew of characters that fans have wanted to see for years. And in a year where strong third party support has dried up on the console, faithful recreations of icons like Mega Man and Pac-Man helped to fill the void.

Super Smash Bros. also received some extra features in the form of Amiibo, Nintendo’s attempt to cash-in on the NFC craze. Amiibo provided the title with even more to do in the game, and proved to be a popular collector’s item for fans. Coupled with increased online features, GameCube controller support, and a bevy of new options, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U represented another fantastic entry in the venerable fighting franchise.

Bayonetta 2

Platinum Games endeared itself to a number of Nintendo fans last year when it released The Wonderful 101 on Wii U. In 2014, the team followed that success with Bayonetta 2. The title proved to be exactly the type of game that Wii U needed. A high-quality, M-rated action game with a unique sense of style, Bayonetta 2 made the most devout Sony and Microsoft fans froth at the mouth with jealousy.

Bayonetta 2 received wide spread acclaim for its combat system and co-operative gameplay. Making the package even more enticing, Nintendo packaged the game with the original Bayonetta, which now included a variety of Nintendo-inspired outfits for the game’s titular character.


HONORABLE MENTION

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

In a year of strong releases, it might have been easy to overlook Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. After all, Wii U played host to some of the industry’s biggest icons this year. The captain could have very easily been overlooked amidst such strong titles, but Treasure Tracker still captured the hearts of the Nintendojo staff, and reviewers everywhere. The budget-priced spin-off of Super Mario 3D World proved to be anything but cheap. With over 70 stages, the title provided plenty of puzzle adventure for Wii U owners.


WHAT’S YOUR TAKE?

Those are our Top Wii U picks for 2014! What do you think? Tell us your favorite in the poll (and comments) below!

What is the best Wii U game of 2014?

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