As Wii U production ends and gamers eagerly await the release of its successor, the Switch, it can be easy to write off the Wii U as a failure to be forgotten about. While the Wii U was less powerful than its competitors, had fewer games and sold poorly, it still had some excellent games going for it. Rumors so far, have indicated that the Switch will not have backwards compatibility and won’t be able to play Wii U games. So, I put together a list of what I think are the best games that you should play on the Wii U while you can still get your hands on one.
Legend of Zelda Wind Waker HD
I was always in the camp that thought a cel shaded cartoon Zelda game would be cool. Originally released in 2002 on the Nintendo GameCube, The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker was a major departure for the Zelda series. In addition to the animated art style, the horseback riding in the traditional fantasy setting was switched out with sailing in an oceanic world where tiny islands were few and far between. The updated 2013 version for the Wii U was given a thorough facelift. In addition to looking better visually, the Wii U game pad allowed gamers to more easily manage their inventory and view maps of the sections they were exploring. I would recommend a strategy guide for this one, that ocean was easy to get lost in.
Super Smash Brothers 4
I considered not adding this to the list since it was a bit too obvious but felt like I was worth driving home. Super Smash Brothers is basically the Marvel Avengers of Nintendo games, a video game ensemble with some of the most iconic video game characters from the past 30 years. In addition to Mario, Donkey Kong, Link and Samus – Mega Man, Sonic and Pac Man join the cast of nearly 60 characters (including downloadable ones.) It’s a fighting game but in the user-friendly Nintendo style which is easy to learn but difficult to master. Since the release of the original cult hit, Smash Brothers has become the flagship game that features everything from single player challenges, quirky mini games and a robust multiplayer mode.
Metroid Prime Trilogy
This is my wildcard selection. As the name suggests, this is actually three games bundled together. The trilogy first appeared on the Wii as an upgraded collection of collection of two GameCube games (Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes) and a Wii game (Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.) While the Metroid Prime trilogy didn’t get the same kind of graphical upgrade as Wind Waker, it has been previously hard to find and should be played. The Prime series translated the 2D side scrolling Metroid games into 3D shooters featuring lush alien environments, diverse fauna and challenging puzzles and bosses. It’s worth playing even if you don’t like shooters.
Mario Kart 8
Mario Kart is one of those Nintendo games closely tied with nostalgia. Generations of gamers have settled disputes over games of Mario Kart and conversely, started disputes due to obnoxious blue shells. The game has embraced this lineage by including redesigned courses from games throughout the series, including the first one. Mario Kart 8 shows that despite the Wii U’s graphic limitations, it can still produce some gorgeous visuals. The DLC for the game fleshed out the already generous content and included six new characters and 16 new tracks including Link and Hyrule Castle from the Zelda games.