The Top 20 Games of 2006-2011

As we round out the week, here comes our final Top 20 Games!

By Nintendojo Staff. Posted 05/04/2012 13:00 5 Comments     ShareThis

15. GoldenEye 007 (2010)

GoldenEye 007 Wii box art

Despite its innovative control system that seemed to be a perfect fit, the shooter-genre often struggled to gain traction on Wii. Outside the Metroid Prime franchise, it was often felt that little effort was made to bring the most-popular field of gaming to a console that design-wise was a match made in heaven but was being let down by a lack of online infrastructure and core-gamer ownership. Not even High Voltage Software’s The Conduit could reverse the tide of Wii being a relative no-go for the shooter enthusiast. There was only one thing for it, to resurrect the game that made not only the Nintendo 64 for the mainstream gamer but also cemented shooters as the primary genre for gamers looking to get their multplayer fix. And with that, GoldenEye returned.

Why David Graham loves GoldenEye 007

Whilst verging on belonging to the realm of the archaic, GoldenEye 007 is still viewed as one of the greatest FPS titles ever made and so the new version had a lot to live up to; to recreate the greatest N64 game in my mind (sorry Dad, we disagreed -Ed.)

So it was duly purchased on release day, in the pack with the gold Classic Controller. The game itself did not disappoint me; the levels were very similar, I could use some of the same tactics I used in the original game to swerve the tank, get around the guards and stuff. It looks better, runs smoother but holds onto the ideas of the original game-– although the big Amazonian section that has been added, whilst fun, has nothing to do with the original or the film for that matter. You can still shoot the hats of the guards, which I always found amusing when you’ve tried for the umpteenth time to evade the guards and free the scientists. The zoom feature works well, much better than before. And they’ve used Daniel Craig’s voice better than they did with the old game too– it even actually sounds like James Bond this time.

So, unlike Never Say Never Again (the most atrocious Bond remake with a pensioner at the helm) the game has a new look, a new Bond and is a truly worthy successor to the GoldenEye name, showing the youngsters how it’s done.

14. Wii Fit (2008)

Wii Fit box art

So your entire business has the unpleasant side-effect of making your customers prone to becoming couch potatoes. Problem. The solution? Make a game that gets everyone off their couches and get active! Result. Phase II of Miyamoto’s grand plan to get gamers healthy again after Wii Sports, Wii Fit introduced the world to perhaps the largest peripheral in the history of Nintendo– the beloved Wii Balance Board. And it worked too! With a range of activities from slow, peaceful yoga to running like a madman over Wuhu Bridge, Wii Fit managed make exercise fun again.

It was also one of Nintendo’s more devious Trojan Horses, as it not only encouraged born and bred gamers to get fitter, but it also drew hundreds and thousands more people into the gaming fold. Sure those balance boards may be collecting dust by now, but as we all know, there’s no going back once you’d tasted the Nintendo magic.

Why Eileen Cullen loves Wii Fit

When Wii Fit was released, it was a game unlike anything people had seen before. While the Wii’s whole gimmick had always been motion controls, this was the first time that you actually had to move your entire body to play the game. For a while, I played this game religiously, doing every exercise every day. In hindsight, I’m sure that it looked really stupid when I would pretend to be using a hula hoop for ten minutes straight, or when I was running in place (though I did always laugh when I did the route that makes your Mii jump off a cliff). Just as it probably sounded stupid when I would yell at the television when the trainer said that I did something wrong, which was more often than not when I was doing push-ups (no, I DIDN’T drop my hips). And yet it was all really fun, and I felt compelled to play it again and again. Now if only that talking Balance Board would stop telling me how to live the rest of my life.

13. Advance Wars: Days of Ruin (2008)

Advance Wars: Days of Ruin cover box art

The Advance Wars franchise has a long and colourful (largely by nature) history that spans all the way back to the Famicom in Japan. However in the West, our first exposure to the series was in the form of Advance Wars, a quirky little Game Boy Advance title that proved to be no pushover. (No franchise has sent me scuttling to GameFAQs quite as much as Advance Wars.) Various iterations released in the following years, expanding the cast of cuddly army generals who cheered and jumped about as they sent their own men out to die. It was the bleakest use of candy-coloured artillery we’ve seen in a long time.

And then, one day, something happened. Something even more troubling than a bunch of ten-year-olds ordering missile strikes on enemy forces; the entire Advance Wars universe as we knew it was destroyed. Following a nuclear war, the lovable band of heroes we had followed through several games were no more. All dead. Cheery stuff, Nintendo. In their place rose new heroes, characters who weren’t natural leaders or happy-go-lucky soldiers but survivors who now faced an even bleaker future. After all this time, Advance Wars found its edge.

Why Kyle England loves Advance Wars: Days of Ruin

I have always been a fan of the Advance Wars games, but it was often hard to take the war seriously when the tanks were bright colors and the generals wore gaudy makeup. With Days of Ruin, Nintendo kept the great gameplay but gave the world a makeover. This world was gritty and believable. I understood that this was real war, not some colorful caricature. The addition of new units and the removal of CO powers was a welcome change; when I lose a battle, it’s because of my strategy and not because the other guy was able to take two turns in a row with twice the attack power. Days of Ruin is my favorite strategy game, and it’s a damn hard one at that. I still haven’t been good enough to clear the campaign after all these years!

12. Monster Hunter Tri (2010)

Monster Hunter Tri box art

The first game in its series to breach any Nintendo system, Monster Hunter Tri is miraculous in more ways than one. It has a stable online playerbase, for instance– something that matches and even outclasses games like Phantasy Star Online: Episode I & II did for GameCube– and it’s got message board populations the size of most small towns. And though it’s absolutely gorgeous– something that often sends warning blips in terms of how much gameplay was sacrificed– its series hallmark of pitting the tiny player against gargantuan dragons and dinosaurs is clearly uncompromised.

Every single hour spent battling the Lagiacrus or the Diablos yields resplendent rewards, and every time players go online, they’re hit with a severe sense of victory as they team up with other bright-eyed adventurers to take on monsters both familiar and unfamiliar. (Online mode, you see, is the only way one can fight such creeps as Deviljho and Jhen Mohran– encouraging players to, yes, actually be cooperative. Call of Duty this ain’t.) To play Monster Hunter Tri is to delve into the reasons many so-called hardcore gamers play video games in the first place: to be challenged, defeated, and crushed into pieces, only to be slowly rebuilt into warriors the like of which have never been seen before.

Why Joshua Johnston loves Monster Hunter Tri

Monster Hunter Tri was one of the most dangerous games ever made for a Nintendo console. The Wii-exclusive installment of a Monster Hunter series that has long enjoyed enormous popularity in Japan, Tri was a profoundly addictive combination of hunting action, collecting, crafting, and role playing (both single player and online PvE) that could literally stretch hundreds of hours. The genius of Tri was in the way its many component parts worked together so effectively: collecting and crafting, for example, yielded better equipment to survive tougher monsters. Likewise, since the player character was the same online and off, hunting and collecting done offline could improve chances when facing the much greater online trials. The controls with the Wii remote were pretty bad, but with a Classic Controller the game was a blissfully bottomless, soul-destroying MMO.

11. Mario Kart 7 (2011)

Mario Kart 7 box cover art

Regardless of what the Nintendo console may be, you can be sure that a Mario Kart title will be zooming its way onto the release calendar before long. After successful-but-safe entries such as Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart Wii proving to be money-makers for the company but leaving little in the way of creative space to evolve, Nintendo took the adventurous step of approaching the air and water in this latest racing adventure, broadening out the scope of the franchise spectacularly. When twinned with 3D visuals and a vehicle customisation that proved a first for series, Mario Kart 7 proved that the 3DS is not to be messed with.

Why Eileen Cullen loves Mario Kart 3DS

I’ve never liked the handheld Mario Kart games as much as those on home consoles. Yes, they were still really fun, but something about them felt off. However, this changed with Mario Kart 7. This game shook up the Mario Kart formula more than ever before, adding both hang gliding and driving underwater. I love the idea of huge, single-lap courses and, in my opinion, Mario Kart 7 has the best Rainbow Road to date. Kart customization was also a great addition; my personal favorite combination is the B Dasher with the Mushroom wheels and the Paraglider, driven by Luigi. The inclusion of Dino Dino Jungle from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (my favorite track from my favorite Mario Kart game) made this game complete for me. With awesome courses and added online features, Mario Kart 7 stands out as the best handheld Mario Kart game, as well as one of the best overall. And to Waluigi, I say good riddance.

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