The Best Wii U Games of 2013

Wii U really came into its own in 2013. Here are our picks for the best games the console had to offer.

By Kyle England. Posted 01/06/2014 09:00 5 Comments     ShareThis

2013 was a roller coaster ride for Wii U. After a decent launch, owners were subjected to half a year of game starvation. The sales reports weren’t boosting our optimism for the console’s future, either. However, Wii U kicked back into gear the second half of 2013, and the games kept on rolling in. While the system still has a lot of ground to cover, that doesn’t change the fact that Wii U got some really amazing games in the past 12 months. So without further delay, here are Nintendojo’s choices for the best Wii U games of 2013.


Super Mario 3D World

Was there every any doubt concerning what game would take home this prize? In Super Mario 3D World, Mario proved once again that he is the king of platforming, and Nintendo EAD Tokyo showed us that the studio’s magic seemingly has no end. Mario and company’s romp through the Sprixie Kingdom was filled with tightly designed levels, imaginative mechanics, lush visuals, and a showstopping soundtrack. Seriously, the music!

Where many other AAA games focus on cinematic immersion and spectacle, EAD Tokyo firmly places the spotlight on gameplay that is fine-tuned down to its essence for maximum fun. Notwithstanding the sheer variety of the platforming levels, 3D World also has a wealth of other fun diversions. Players can navigate the clever Captain Toad areas, post stamps to Miiverse, play some retro Luigi Bros., or just rub on the GamePad screen to see what happens. When you put all of this together, you have the best Mario adventure in years, for solo players or groups. It might have been a year late to the party, but Super Mario 3D World was well worth the wait, and will surely become a staple in all Wii U libraries. Due to its unwavering commitment to fun, it’s no surprise that Super Mario 3D World was voted Nintendojo’s best Wii U game of 2013.


Pikmin 3

We had to wait nine whole years for the return of the Pikmin franchise. While Pikmin 3 did not quite make the “launch window” for Wii U, this threequel did not disappoint. Our return to the Distant Planet was marked by lush visuals, unique use of the hardware, and thoughtful strategic gameplay. The addition of a third captain added an extra layer of depth and allowed for some seriously coordinated multitasking. Pikmin veterans were also challenged to think in new ways with the introduction of Rock and Flying Pikmin.

Pikmin 3 also utilized the Wii U GamePad more extensively than any of the other Wii U games on this list, as it served as an indispensable map and communication device. The game also featured the most difficult and technically advanced boss fights of the series! And still, we aren’t even done with Pikmin 3. Nintendo expanded the life of the game with downloadable challenge maps, and we hope it continues to do so in the future! Pikmin 3 just missed the mark as our best Wii U game of 2013, but it still represents the best of the console’s repertoire.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

Remakes aren’t usually a big deal, but it’s a different case with Zelda games. GameCube’s Toon Link set sail once again in fall of 2013, and this time he was on Wii U with full HD visuals and new gameplay tweaks. While the original Wind Waker was a surprise hit a decade ago, the remastered version managed to make it shine even brighter. The already gorgeous visuals were polished to perfection, and Wii U players were treated to something akin to an interactive 3D cartoon.

Of course, Wind Waker HD didn’t only improve the visuals, as several subtle adjustments were made to make the game less cumbersome. The GamePad menu, faster sailing, and Triforce quest changes all served to make this classic game more streamlined and fun. In a rare case for remakes, Wind Waker HD didn’t remind players of old and tired mechanics, but made them appreciate a 10-year-old game more than they ever had before. Given how well this worked out, who’s to say it can’t be done for other GameCube or N64 games as well?


Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

Capcom gave Nintendo fans an exclusive to be proud of with the combo release of MH3U across Wii U and 3DS. With its addictive gameplay, satisfying combat, and endless replayability, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate really delivered the goods. Hardcore fans of the game might even be scratching their head when reading about other games, because why would you ever need to pop this disc out of your console? You can play it forever!

The Wonderful 101

Platinum Games brought its signature style to Wii U with this high energy action game. The Wonderful 101 has a lot happening on the surface, but when you dig deeper into the game’s mechanics and master the elegant action gameplay, it’s an even more rewarding experience. Plus, it has the charm of a Saturday morning superhero show, complete with the over-the-top grandiose feeling of battles where humanity is at stake. Unite Morph!


Do you agree with our choices? Vote for which game you think should be number one, or choose “Other” and tell us in the comments below!

[poll id=”172″]

5 Responses to “The Best Wii U Games of 2013”

  • 57 points
    kgcarini says...

    Raymon Legends should replace Monster Hunter Tri Ultimate since it was originally on the Wii!

  • 222 points
    PanurgeJr says...

    This list highlights the problem with Nintendo consoles: each year there are a handful of titles that favorably compare with the best found elsewhere, because Nintendo’s studios, and those like Platinum that they choose to work with, are that good, but there isn’t a lot of depth beyond that. This is basically a top 5 list, and I’d rather play these games than the top 5 360 or PS3 games, but once you get to the games that would complete a top 10 or top 20 list, it’s easy to see that there are not just more games but more games worth playing on 360 and PS3, and I’m sure that will continue with XBone and PS4. I can understand a gamer’s decision for a lot of good content over some great content

    • 285 points
      Kyle England says...

      It’s not a problem for gamers with broad horizons! Nintendo is still my #1 game maker, but between Wii U, PlayStation, and PC I can play all of the best games across the board for the foreseeable future.

  • 784 points
    Marc Deschamps says...

    The funny thing about the Wii U this year is that while it may not have had a lot of Third Party exclusive titles, it did have some really great Third Party titles, and many of those also boasted exclusive features. DuckTales Remastered, LEGO Marvel Superheroes and Resident Evil Revelations were some of my favorite games this year, and I played all 3 on the Wii U.

  • 1291 points
    Robert Marrujo says...

    My loyalties are to Nintendo and always will be, but I own almost everything you can play a video game on, and I’ve never found a lack of third-party support to be a problem for me on any Nintendo console. Nintendo always supplies enough of its own games over the course of each year to keep me happy, and more often than not, Nintendo’s third-party games are ten times better than the fluff that Sony and Microsoft get.

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