2015 was certainly a strong year for the Wii U. While the console’s software lineup is a bit on the smaller side, this year Nintendo put strong quality over quantity, despite the fact that Zelda and Star Fox slipped to 2016. Fortunately, Nintendo’s biggest offerings included a diverse number of options, from classic platformers, to RPGs, and even a third-person shooter.
Without further ado, here are Nintendojo’s Wii U Games of the Year!
BEST Wii U GAME
Who would have ever expected it? While Nintendo’s third-person shooter received tons of accolades prior to its release, there’s still a sense that Splatoon came out of nowhere. Nintendo seemed completely unprepared for the game’s success. How else can you explain the minimal amount of merchandise for what could be considered Nintendo’s biggest new IP since Pokémon? While Nintendo seemed to hope that Yo-Kai Watch would appeal to audiences throughout the world the same way it did in Japan, the company might have backed the wrong horse. Splatoon seems poised to enter the company’s upper echelon of franchises, as it’s found a strong appeal amongst gamers of all ages.
At its core, Splatoon has the look and style of a game made by Nintendo, but it also seems completely different from anything the company has ever offered. Instead, it almost seems like the kind of IP we would have seen in the early PlayStation era. Of course, that particular console couldn’t offer the robust online multiplayer that Wii U has with this particular title. The game’s quick online multiplayer matches keep players coming back, long after they would have normally moved on to something else. They’re so easy to get sucked into that players can find themselves engrossed for hours, despite the fact that each match only lasts for a handful of minutes.
In a year that gave us strong new options in the Mario, Yoshi, and Kirby franchises, it’s extremely telling that Splatoon is the game that earned Nintendojo’s Wii U Game of the Year. While Wii U has had a number of strong titles since its release, 2015 might have delivered the biggest reason to own the console. No one ever expected it would have been a brand new franchise that showed gamers that Nintendo still has the old magic.
BEST Wii U GAME RUNNERS-UP
Super Mario Maker
Games that allow players to make their own unique creations aren’t exactly new. Titles like Mario Paint and Minecraft have provided experiences that reward the most creative of gamers, but there has never been anything quite like Super Mario Maker. Super Mario Maker grants players the ability to build their own Mario levels by taking elements from four of the mustachioed plumber’s greatest titles, offering fans an unprecedented look at the game development process. With a strong online community and an interface that makes it easy for fans of all ages to build their own levels, it’s easy to see why Super Mario Maker has been such a hit. The title’s intuitive use of the GamePad controller has also made a stronger case for the second screen than any previous game on the console.
Xenoblade Chronicles X
2015 was defined by unique titles on the Wii U. Take Xenoblade Chronicles X, for example. There just isn’t another game on Wii U quite like it. Monolith Soft’s massive, sprawling title provided the Wii U library with an impressive JRPG. The game’s incredible open-world environment can be daunting, but it also helps provide players with a strong sense of accomplishment, as well. The title certainly isn’t for everyone, but those willing to spend the time to take in the game’s story, music, and world will surely walk away impressed. Offering an abundance of content, Xenoblade Chronicles X might not be our pick for the best Wii U title of 2015, but it’s certainly the biggest.
Yoshi’s Woolly World
Nobody makes platforming games like Nintendo. Wii U already had a number of solid titles in that category, but 2015 probably provided the most well-balanced platformer to yet grace the console. Yoshi’s Woolly World is the perfect all-ages Nintendo title, offering a decent difficulty level that increases for those looking to discover all of the game’s different unlockables. Developer Good-Feel’s follow-up to Kirby’s Epic Yarn kept the fabric aesthetic from that particular title, while cranking up the difficulty just a touch, and applying the formula that worked so well for Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. The developers also dropped that insufferable Baby Mario, so you could say they addressed the two biggest complaints with both of those games!
WHAT’S YOUR TAKE?
These are our picks for 2015’s best titles on Wii U, but what do you think? Please, let us know below and if something else comes to mind, choose “Other,” then make your voice heard in the comments below!