The Best Virtual Console Games of 2014

A countdown of Nintendojo’s best re-released retro games from 2014!

By Kyle England. Posted 01/07/2015 09:00 2 Comments     ShareThis

While Nintendo platforms had many new experiences to offer in 2014, they also offered up a heaping helping of some of the best retro games on the cheap. The Virtual Console had quite an active year, with dozens of great games of yore being re-released for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. And the library gets a little more robust with every new release! Nintendo 3DS continues to give a new home to Game Boy classics, as well as the odd NES classic here and there. Meanwhile, Wii U is still playing catch-up to Wii in terms of its back catalog of console games– and NES and SNES still remain the only supported home consoles on the Wii U VC. But the Virtual Console celebrated a milestone in 2014 with the introduction of Game Boy Advance games to Wii U! More than 30 excellent GBA games now have new life and many more are on the horizon.

Our votes at Nintendojo are in, so here are our best Virtual Console releases of 2014!


Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

2003’s Mario & Luigi: Superstar was one of the best Game Boy Advance games ever released, so it’s no surprise to see that the RPG still remains just as playable on Wii U. This series has a few games under its belt by now, but it all started here to establish a pedigree of action-packed fights, creative enemies, a deep world, and hilarious writing. Mario and his reluctant brother Luigi travel to the neighboring Beanbean Kingdom, and the events that unfold there send them on an adventure that ends up being a lot crazier than your typical save-the-princess storyline.

Many Beanbean Kingdom locales are named after different sounds for laughter, and that’s what you’ll likely be doing a lot of while playing Mario & Luigi. The game relentlessly makes fun of Mario’s history and has some truly unusual and unique characters. Even poor Luigi is the butt of many, many jokes, as every opportunity is taken to belittle and lampoon the sad green man. Superstar Saga‘s gameplay also shines, with engaging and unique abilities backed with solid RPG mechanics. The standout combat system really took timing based commands to the next level. Adept players can rack up massive damage and even completely avoid damage!

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga was a great game before, and it’s a great game now. Releasing it on Wii U was an excellent choice that gives many more players the chance to enjoy Nintendojo’s choice for Virtual Console game of the year!


Golden Sun

Golden Sun was an early title in the GBA’s lineup, but it remained one of the handheld’s best. Camelot’s gorgeous 2D RPG plays like the best classics of the genre for SNES as Isaac and his companions explore the world of Weyard, harnessing the powers of Psyenergy and the Djinn to stop a plot to unlock an ancient power that would bring ruin and conflict. The game follows tried-and-true mechanics, but its customization options, intriguing world, and amazing visuals set it apart. Golden Sun was a no-brainer to bring to the Wii U Virtual Console, just as it is to include in our best games of 2014.

Advance Wars

The Famicom Wars series has been running since the 1980s in Japan, but it wasn’t until 2001’s Advance Wars that Western gamers got a taste of that sweet, addictive, strategic gameplay from Intelligent Systems’ awesome franchise. This Game Boy Advance strategy classic turned the grimness of war into a colorful and lighthearted affair where troops pilot cute little tanks to their doom. The game features a perfect battle system that has just the right amount of depth for anyone to get into its turn-based war tactics. This combined with the energetic characters and setting makes for an incredibly addictive and compelling experience. It’s right at home on the Wii U GamePad!


The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

You can never get enough Zelda games, and the release of The Minish Cap on Virtual Console can hopefully introduce many more gamers to this more low key entry in the series that was developed by Capcom. It features some interesting mechanics, items, and dungeons that make it a great handheld Zelda. Shrink into the world of the Minish, trade Keystones, and find secrets throughout Hyrule! Just don’t let that old codger Ezlo talk your ear off.


It looks like we particularly enjoyed the addition of Game Boy Advance to the Virtual Console here at Nintendojo! What Virtual Console games did you enjoy the most in 2014? And what do you want to see on the service in 2015?

[poll id=”188″]

2 Responses to “The Best Virtual Console Games of 2014”

  • 819 points
    Toadlord says...

    Advance Wars was at the top of my list. And honestly, it’s also the only Virtual Console title I downloaded in 2014. (All of these nominees are worthy though)

    I have a decent sized list of titles that would be instant purchases for me if they came out on the VC, but a majority of the weeks this year were disappointing. This is something I hope really gets addressed this year more than anything else on the Wii U.

    But yeah, I’d take more Advance Wars in a heartbeat.

  • 111 points
    roykoopa64 says...

    Hmm, no Demon’s Crest?

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