The Best Games on Wii U: #5-1

We’ve reached the end of our countdown. Which game did we think was the very best on Wii U?

By Nintendojo Staff. Posted 05/04/2017 15:00 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

5. Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart 8 is as addictive as it is beautiful – I’ve spent countless hours trying to earn a triple-star rank in each cup, but even more of my time has been spent competing against other racers online. Some of the tracks that are new to the series, like Sunshine Airport, Electrodome, Mount Wario, and Shy Guy Falls, to name a few, are visually impressive, not only due to the game’s fantastic graphics, but also because each stage’s anti-grav sections send you racing up the faces of waterfalls or looping upside down above portions of the track. The game’s DLC brought well-loved characters Link, Isabelle, and the Animal Crossing Villager to the roster of racers, as well as fantastic stages set in the Zelda and Animal Crossing universes.

Mario Kart 8 also breathed new life into classic Mario Kart tracks; old stages weren’t just graphically remastered, but given the Mario Kart 8 anti-grav touch with portions of the track sending you soaring over your opponents or racing up walls, which added some surprises to these tracks and gave players a new way to tackle a course they may have been familiar with from a previous game in the series. With an extensive amount of content, a solid online experience, and the incredibly fun, competitive multiplayer we’ve come to expect from the Mario Kart franchise, Mario Kart 8 very easily and quickly launched itself to the top as my favorite Mario Kart title.

– Angela Marrujo

4. Super Mario 3D World

When Super Mario 3D World was first announced, the response was surprisingly muted as gamers assumed it was more or less a simple extension of Super Mario 3D Land for 3DS. However, while the Wii U game used several aspects of the portable adventure, like the isometric view, as a base, it ultimately proved itself to be an astonishingly brilliant game in its own right.

Players quickly learned that 3D World was a much more ambitious game than its portable predecessor. Not only were levels larger, but there were many, many more of them, and the scale and scope was made all the more apparent by the lovingly detailed world map they were spread across; a nice addition hearkening back to the days of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World. Gameplay was also expanded with new items, including the incredibly cute and now iconic Cat Suit. But the biggest change came in the form of multiplayer for up to four players and the addition of Luigi, Peach, and Toad as playable characters, each with their own unique handling and jumping abilities.

While it might not have been Mario’s most revolutionary adventure, Super Mario 3D World still stands tall as one of the hero’s biggest and most beautiful games, as well as on of Wii U’s must own titles.

– Andy Hoover

3. Pikmin 3

Nine years of waiting paid off in what I personally consider to be Wii U’s masterpiece. Blending the original Pikmin’s time limit with Pikmin 2’s freedom grants a wondrous flexibility I can hardly compare with anything else, and three years later, I still find myself aiming for high scores not just in the campaign but in the tough-as-nails mission mode. Even now, I’m not only discovering new ways to gather fruit and command Pikmin, but uncovering new secrets: has anyone else found the mysterious drawings etched throughout the world of PNF-404? All are quite cleverly hidden, so make like a Pikmin and dig about!

Moreover, it is unbelievably, astonishingly beautiful, being in possession of the most inspired aesthetic ever introduced by Nintendo. The game’s Wii origins are all but forgotten in the face of breathtaking sunset reflections on rain-soaked dirt and stones, and all the fruit looks good enough to, well, eat! Without fail, I’m never not taken by the beauty of the Pikmin world.

Pikmin 3 is the rare game I would call perfect; true, I still lament Bingo Battle didn’t have online and/or CPU options, but the sheer euphoria that greets me every time via title screen, rainy days or lily-pad rides renders it the finest example of atmospheric video games. As the unknown entity that is Pikmin 4 looms ever closer, all I can think of is: how can it possibly top its Wii U predecessor?

– Anthony Pelone

2. Bayonetta 2

In 2010, Sega published Bayonetta, one of Platinum Games’ earliest titles, and in short time it was being talked about as one of the greatest action games of all time. Unfortunately, that critical praise didn’t translate to commercial success, and the resulting mediocre sales seemed to kill hope for a sequel. But that hope was rekindled when Nintendo partnered with Platinum and took the financial risk of giving the nascent franchise another go.

Bayonetta 2 released in 2014 and somehow managed to top its predecessor in just about every way imaginable. The skill-driven combat was both expanded in terms of diversity and tightened in terms of controls, and the outlandish set pieces and boss battles were made all the more ridiculous. Furthermore, all of this was presented with beautiful visuals and a rock-steady 60 frames per second, in spite of those who derided Wii U for being under-powered.

Of course, it’s also worth mentioning that not only did those who picked up the game early quite possibly the greatest action game ever made, they also got a copy of the much celebrated original as well. These titles alone made Wii U indispensable for hardcore fans of intense action experiences.

– Andy Hoover

1. Splatoon

New video game franchises are always a gamble. While fans claim they want something different, they are also notoriously slow to embrace new properties. To say that Splatoon was a risk for Nintendo would be an understatement. An online, all-ages shooter from a company that struggled with online play in a genre dominated by “M”-rated titles? The title could have easily been a flop for Nintendo.

Nearly two years have passed since the launch of Splatoon, and it’s hard to imagine where the Wii U would have been without it. The game’s online Splatfest competitions kept fans actively returning to the title, while a passionate community blossomed on Miiverse and Twitter. Nintendo was initially slow to realize the game’s merchandising potential, but now Splatoon Amiibo, World of Nintendo figures, t-shirts, art books, and more are either currently available or on the way. It’s safe to say the Inklings have carved themselves out a major spot among Nintendo’s most recognizable icons.

While Wii U gave fans instant classics such as Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, and Super Smash Bros., it’s hard to deny Splatoon rose above all the rest as the console’s biggest title. Wii U will likely not be remembered as fondly as so many other Nintendo systems. It faced notorious struggles as third party developers quickly abandoned the console and sales stalled. But the system also delivered one of the biggest new franchises Nintendo has had in nearly 20 years. For that reason alone, Splatoon guaranteed that Wii U can never truly be considered a failure.

– Marc Deschamps

That concludes our list of the 20 best titles to grace Wii U! What did you think of our selections? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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