Top 25 Wii Games
Nintendo has ended its seven-year relationship with the Wii, and moved on to its new life with the Wii U, and we've taken this moment to reflect on the console’s best games. With more than 100 million units sold, the Wii had a successful run. Here are the best games the Wii has to offer.
For more on the best Wii games of all time, head here for a video of us showcasing and discussing a sampling from the list.
25. No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle (2010)
Grasshopper Manufacture and Suda 51 have always struggled to balance polish with its creativity and humor. The first tale of Travis Touchdown and his mail-order lightsaber is interesting, but full of undeniable problems. For the sequel, Grasshopper ironed out the wrinkles and polished the best bits to deliver its best title to date.
For our review of No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, head here.
24. A Boy and His Blob (2009)
A Boy and His Blob is a NES game highly regarded for its innovation – and its unnecessary challenge. As longtime fans, developer WayForward decided to reimagine the world with all-new content, impressive animation, and a more forgiving difficulty.
For our review of A Boy and His Blob, head here.
23. Little King’s Story (2009)
Taking a few cues from Harvest Moon, Animal Crossing, and Pikmin, Little King’s Story tasks players with building a town from the ground up. Using a diverse set of mechanics, players achieve victory by exploring surroundings, maintaining their town, and building relationships with their townspeople.
22. Zack & Wiki: Quest For Barbaros’ Treasure (2007)
Point-and-click adventure games have made a comeback in recent years, but back in 2007 when Zack & Wiki released, they were still largely out of the public eye. Zack & Wiki is an excellent fit for the Wii Remote, as players interact with the environment to solve puzzles and uncover untold riches while experiencing the tale of a treasure-hunting pirate and his monkey pal.
21. House of the Dead: Overkill (2009)
Modeled after B-movie horror and released around the same time as the double feature film Grindhouse, House of the Dead: Overkill throws a curveball at the rail shooter genre with its profane, comedic dialogue and campy veneer. This is one game definitely intended for adult audiences only.
For our review of House of the Dead: Overkill, head here.
20. Rhythm Heaven Fever (2012)
In a time where rhythm games seemed to have passed their prime, Nintendo released something wholly original, challenging, and hilarious that demands an excellent sense of musical timing. Rhythm Heaven Fever’s quirky action all comes down to pressing either the A or B button in time with the assorted bizarre musical vignettes. One minute you are playing golf with a monkey, and only a few minutes later you are interviewing a wrestler, all in time to a great soundtrack.
For our review of Rhythm Heaven Fever, head here.
19. Sin & Punishment: Star Successor (2010)
Sin & Punishment was a well-regarded Nintendo 64 game that never made its way to the United States. After building a fanbase among importers, Nintendo decided to bring its sequel to North America via the Wii. The high-octane, on-rails shooter never stops to catch its breath as you ride dinosaurs and eventually travel into space, shooting everything on the way there.
For our review of Sin & Punishment: Star Successor, head here.
18. Madworld (2009)
Madworld was one of the first games that unapologetically tried to prove M-rated games could find a home on the Wii. With its profane commentary, encyclopedic collection of killing methods, and a black-and-white aesthetic that constantly gets painted red by blood, Platinum Games’ absurd game isn’t for the easily offended or squeamish.
For our review of Madworld, head here.
17. Cave Story (2010)
Similar to World of Goo, Cave Story existed outside of the Wii, but Nintendo’s console is where many got their first taste of this great independent platformer. With inspiration from Metroid, and a healthy dose of platforming challenge, Cave Story offers all the nostalgia of old-school gaming, but with modern polish and conventions.
For our review of Cave Story, head here.
16. World of Goo (2008)
World of Goo released on PC and Wii on the same day, but not for competing consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 – and for good reason. Building bridges with the titular goo is better suited for play with a mouse or a Wii Remote than it is with control sticks. The unique premise made 2DBoy’s game one of the first Nintendo eShop success stories.
15. Punch-Out!! (2009)
The Punch-Out series was hugely popular on the NES and SNES, but disappeared during the Nintendo 64 and GameCube years, presumably to let the swelling go down. For its revival on the Wii, familiar boxers and the classic Punch-Out controls return to the ring courtesy of developer Next Level. The only thing missing is Mike Tyson himself.
For our review of Punch-Out!!, head here.
14. Mario Kart Wii (2008)
It wouldn’t be a Nintendo console without Mario and pals driving around on go-karts, doing their best to make sure everyone else crashes before reaching the finish line. With the addition of motorcycles, motion controls, and online play, Mario Kart Wii is an infinitely replayable racer.
13. Boom Blox Bash Party (2009)
Before Angry Birds taught us the joy of knocking things over with assorted objects and animals, Steven Spielberg joined forces with Electronic Arts to create Boom Blox – a game where you knock over structures with assorted objects and animals. Bash Party is the much improved sequel, offering a polished multiplayer-focused version of one of life’s simplest joys: breaking things.
12. Kirby’s Epic Yarn (2010)
To play Kirby’s Epic Yarn is to stare in the face of happiness. Kirby is already one of Nintendo’s most charming characters, and seeing him converted into a yarn outline and placed into a world of fabric and buttons makes him even more adorable. It also helps that Kirby can turn into a gigantic yarn tank.
For our review of Kirby’s Epic Yarn, head here.
11. Wii Sports (2006)
Wii Sports might not have offered the deepest gameplay, but it made everybody understand why the Wii was special. Bowling and tennis with a Wii Remote have come to define motion-controlled gaming. The simple gameplay helped a new demographic of players understand the appeal of video games for the first time.
10. Super Paper Mario (2007)
Arriving early in the Wii’s lifespan, Super Paper Mario is a crossover between Mario’s typical platforming shenanigans and his turn-based RPG outings. With clever dialogue, a funny story, an attractive paper aesthetic, and atypical Mario gameplay, Super Paper Mario is one of the Wii’s hidden gems.
9. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (2009)
New Super Mario Bros. Wii offers the first chance for four players to play simultaneously in a non-sports Mario game. The ability to grief your friends as you precariously avoid lava and goombas in this 2D platformer makes the game all the more enjoyable and infuriating.
For our review of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, head here.
8. Donkey Kong Country Returns (2010)
Where Super Mario Galaxy delivers some of the best 3D platforming of any video game generation, Donkey Kong Country triumphantly offers some of the best side-scrolling platforming. Beautifully remixing the original soundtrack and posing an impressive level of challenge, Donkey Kong Country Returns should stand the test of time.
For our review of Donkey Kong Country Returns, head here.
7. Xenoblade Chronicles (2012)
Xenoblade Chronicles arrived late to the Wii party, and very nearly didn’t arrive at all, but RPG fans are glad it showed up. Taking place on the backs of two warring giants frozen in time, Xenoblade Chronicles’ experience is surprisingly deep and stunningly beautiful, reminding players of a time when the genre was at the top of its game.
For our review of Xenoblade Chronicles, head here.
6. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (2011)
It took five years to bring a fully realized, exclusive Zelda game to the Wii. Skyward Sword gives fans a fuller picture of the relationship between Link and Zelda and features a level of control that improves upon the simplified swordplay of Twilight Princess.
For our review of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, head here.
5. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (2010)
Taking many of the ideas that couldn’t fit on the first Super Mario Galaxy’s disc, Nintendo released a sequel three years later that added Yoshi and only a handful of repeated mechanics. This second 3D Mario platformer for the Wii easily stands with the best the console has to offer.
For our review of Super Mario Galaxy 2, head here.
4. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (2007)
When the Wii was first shown to the press, Metroid Prime was retro-fitted to use the console’s Wii Remote and Nunchuck to showcase how shooters could work with the new controller. Metroid Prime 3 released a few years later, ending developer Retro’s trilogy with a flourish by offering a precise and immersive shooting experience.
3. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008)
Super Smash Bros. had one of the best E3 reveal trailers yet, surprising everyone with the inclusion of Sonic and Solid Snake as part of its fighting roster. When the game finally released, it did not disappoint. With the biggest cast in series history, a new story mode, the inclusion of the Smash Ball, and a sampling of online play, Brawl is one of the best ways to make (and lose) friends on the Wii.
For our review of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, head here.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006)
Twilight Princess began its life as a GameCube game, and suffered a long delay when the decision was made to use it to launch the Wii, but it was worth the wait. The game brings a mature, dark tone to the Zelda franchise, and gave us our first chance to play out our pantomime dreams with the Master Sword.
1. Super Mario Galaxy (2007)
Mario popularized platforming, and after elevating the genre with games like Super Mario World and Super Mario 64, we wondered if Nintendo could surprise us again. We were all excited to revisit Mario in a 3D setting after five years away from the genre, but nothing could have prepared us for jumping off a planet and letting gravity take over. Super Mario Galaxy rekindles some of the joys we experienced when we saw Princess Peach’s castle in 3D for the first time in Super Mario 64, all with fantastic gameplay and the best graphics the Wii ever produced.
For a recent episode of Replay where we played Super Mario Galaxy, head here.