The Best Games on Wii U: #10-6

What games made the cut on our penultimate list?

By Nintendojo Staff. Posted 05/03/2017 12:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

Everyone may be enamored with Nintendo’s newfangled portable/home console hybrid, but its predecessor, Wii U, will always have a fond place in the ‘Dojo staff’s hearts. While the system will likely go down in the annals of history as the poorest performing home console to bear Nintendo’s name, it nevertheless managed to amass a truly impressive library of titles, many of which made a compelling case for its unorthodox (if never fully realized) dual screen display. Nintendo may be glad to finally be rid of its bungled Wii successor, but we’ll always be a little sad the system never got the attention it deserved, so this week we’ll be highlighting all of the truly great games Wii U had to offer.

#20-16 | #15-11 | #10-6 | #5-1

10. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD

While it may not have been as visually striking as Wind Waker’s high-definition remaster, Tantalus’s Wii U port of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was nevertheless another impressive showcase for the console. With lusher textures and a crisper resolution, Twilight Princess looked genuinely stunning on Wii U, and thanks to the GamePad’s dedicated touchscreen, item management was considerably more streamlined, making the entire experience smoother for players.

Of course, it certainly helps that Twilight Princess remains one of the most engrossing installments in its series. Its version of Hyrule may seem quaint compared to the sprawling wilderness found in Breath of the Wild (which we’ve consciously excluded from the running, as we’ve felt that game was more representative of Nintendo’s new Switch), for its time Twilight Princess featured a vast, awe-inspiring world that beckoned to be explored. Throw in a diverse and genuinely fun arsenal of tools to use, not to mention the finest dungeon design in any 3D Zelda game to date, and Twilight Princess remains one of the best Nintendo games, period, whether you play it on GameCube, Wii, or Wii U.

– Kevin Knezevic

9. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

Despite The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker’s initially lukewarm reception on the GameCube, it ended up being one of the most iconic Zelda games of all time, and its cel-shaded art style went on to feature in a number of subsequent entries. In fact, the distinctive art is one of the key reasons why the Wii U remaster works so well, with the more recent Twilight Princess remake on the other hand sporting a design that just didn’t age as well.

Wind Waker HD improves on the original game in a number of significant ways. The HD graphics look stunning (thanks in part to that art style) and the increased draw distance makes far off islands all the more enticing. Having maps and charts on your Wii U GamePad removes the need to constantly pause while sailing, while the upgraded sailcloth significantly reduces the tedium of sailing around a massive, but quite sparse map. Perhaps most importantly, by streamlining the Triforce fetch quest, arguably the most criticized part of the original game, the forward momentum was greatly improved toward the end of your adventure.

All of this combines to make one of the best and (until now) biggest Zelda games even more of a joy to play, even (or especially) if you have already completed it on GameCube.

– Jon Stevens

8. Xenoblade Chronicles X

Before players could lose themselves in the endlessly rolling hills and deep forests of Breath of the Wild’s Hyrule, there was planet Mira, an alien world vaster than any players had ever had a chance to explore, especially on a Nintendo console. Each of the planet’s five continents was bigger and more stunning than the last, from the thick, bioluminescent jungles of Noctilum to the lightning-wracked dunes of Oblivia. So big was the planet, in fact, that the most effective way to explore it was by Skell, a mobile mechsuit that could transform into an armored vehicle and, after acquiring the corresponding upgrade, even soar through the air, giving you access to even more parts of the world you didn’t even know about.

Of course, all that exploration wouldn’t be nearly as satisfying if the systems underpinning it weren’t equally as engaging, and fortunately Monolith Soft has proven to be an expert of its craft, making Xenoblade Chronicles X, without a doubt, the deepest and most compelling RPG on Wii U. From the game’s Art-based battle system to the myriad of quests to undertake and armor and weaponry with which to tinker around, Xenoblade Chronicles X had enough depth and lasting appeal to satisfy both hardcore RPG players and more casual explorers alike.

– Kevin Knezevic

7. Super Mario Maker

Not to be outdone by years of ROM hacks, Nintendo created Super Mario Maker to give players the opportunity to craft their own Mario platforming levels. And when it was unleashed upon the world, the masses truly became the Mario makers. Insanely difficult levels, avant garde story pieces, puzzle dungeons, and true abominations all came to life with the game’s incredibly intuitive level creating tool.

The breadth of endless content and creativity on display in the community is staggering. Nintendo allowed its most beloved platformer to become crowd-sourced, and the results entertained and showed the true potential Mario has when in the hands of a worldwide brain trust.

Super Mario Maker has infinite replayability and is a great reason to keep your Wii U plugged in. The Nintendo 3DS version simply does not compare. The developers poured so much love into every facet of the game — such as the toy-like interface, Amiibo specials, challenge mode, and the physics distinct to each Mario era. And of course, you can always keep contributing your own levels should the creative urge come over you. At some point you might get tired of being bested by a level created by some sadist on the other side of the world.

– Kyle England

6. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is ​a stunning piece of software. As a fighting game, in this writer’s estimation, there aren’t that many other franchises that can get within sniffing distance of it from a pure entertainment standpoint. Smash is fast, it’s fun, and it’s surprisingly deep when someone makes the effort to invest the time in learning how to play it at an advanced level. Within the fighting community, Smash for Wii U has broken into the tournament scene and looks like it won’t be going anywhere soon; being featured at EVO, the game’s status only continues to rise.

Still, as a pro fighting game, Smash might be a top contender, but the real action with this game comes from battles at home with friends and family. Smash can bring out the competitive side in almost anyone, and the battles that ensue are appropriately epic, as a result. Especially as, with this installment, up to eight players can fight at once. Eight! It’s crazy trying to keep track of everyone in those hectic fights, and that’s half the fun. The other half comes from some of the best Nintendo fan service of all time. Boasting a huge roster and Amiibo compatibility (almost the entire roster has been released as these plastic figurines), nearly every Nintendo character a fan could want to play as is available, and if they aren’t, they either pop in as an Assist Trophy or a regular Trophy. In short… Smash is a veritable masterpiece and a huge achievement on Wii U.

– Robert Marrujo

That concludes the penultimate installment in our week-long countdown! What do you think of the selections thus far? Let us know in the comments!

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