Next year we’ll be celebrating fifteen years since Nintendo changed the game with Wii, the little motion-controlled console which broke away from the competition and started a revolution. Its brilliantly compact design (the size of three DVD boxes, remember?) and approachable and accessible controller helped it open up gaming to a whole new audience, young and old alike.
Despite its reputation as a casual, ‘kiddy’ console, Nintendo Wii hosted a huge library of fantastic and varied titles, the best of which took advantage of its unique controller and provided opportunities for experiences that simply weren’t being offered on other consoles at the time. Thanks to the efforts of Nintendo Life readers, we’ve now assembled our list of the top 50 Wii games ever.
Any Wii game with at least fifty User Ratings is eligible. Remember, though, that this list is not set in stone. The ranking will continue to evolve automatically according to user scores submitted to the Nintendo Life game database, so don’t worry if you missed out on ‘voting’ — you can still do so by simply scrolling down and rating them now, and the order will be influenced!
You can find more details on the game by reading our vintage reviews, which are accessed by clicking the ‘Review’ button for each game (funny, that). And if you just can’t get enough of ranked lists, we’ve previously assembled lists of the top 50 N64 games, 3DS games, Game Boy games, Nintendo DS games and GameCube games. More than enough to be getting on with!
Enough chatter — it’s time to dive into our list of the top 50 Wii games ever. We begin, as is customary, at number fifty…
Mario Super Sluggers never saw the light of day in PAL regions (probably a wise decision given our general apathy for baseball around these parts — it’s basically American cricket, right?), but this Now Production and Namco Bandai-developed slugger was a sequel to Mario Superstar Baseball on GameCube and put the plumber and his pals on the ball field in a thoroughly serviceable take on the sport.
We’ve got a very soft spot for Excite Truck, and this sequel — which was never made available in PAL regions — upped the ante with a slightly more playful take on 4×4 racing, with animal-themed ‘bots adding a bit more personality to proceedings. We Europeans are still sore that we never got Excitebots: Trick Racing, and along with Nintendo’s other racing franchises, we hold out hope we’ll see it (again) in some form in the future.
A Wii port of the 2002 GameCube remake featuring new controls, Resident Evil (or Resident Evil Archives: Resident Evil to give its full title) provides what we came to expect from Wii re-releases of previous gen titles: a more accessible, incrementally improved control experience with box art that’s a bit rubbish. Just concentrate on the horror of the game rather than the horror of the box and you’re golden.
A continuation of the story of everyone’s favourite attorney at law, there are a half dozen better ways to play Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All these days. That said, if you’ve got the WiiWare version sitting on your console (tough luck if you haven’t as it’s unavailable for purchase now) and you can overlook the clunky implementation of this handheld game ported to Wii without pointer controls, the game itself is as fun as it ever was.
Mega Man 10 was an old-school sequel that built on the retro rebirth of Mega Man 9, with 8-bit graphics that made the game feel like you’d gone back in time — back to a reality where SNES never released and Capcom just kept iterating on the classic Mega Man formula. Inti Creates and Capcom did remarkable work here, and while it would be several years until the character returned in another numbered sequel, that was worth the wait, too.
Publisher: RedOctane / Developer: Neversoft
Releasing at the zenith of the plastic instrument craze, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock on Wii intergrated the Wii Remote’s rumble and speaker into the gameplay — hardly a game changer, but a welcome addition in a game which plays largely the same regardless of platform. Rock on.
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Good-Feel
A gorgeous, low-stress game that transports Kirby into a world of fabric and thread, Kirby’s Epic Yarn was the first of Good-Feel’s material-based platformers and is arguably still the best. We adore it, and anyone who says it’s lacking in challenge is correct but missing the point entirely — it’s one of the most joyous and creative games on Wii, or indeed any platform.
Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Inti Creates
Winding back the clock to Mega Man’s NES routes with a potent throwback, Inti Creates and Capcom tapped into our nostalgia beautifully with Mega Man 9, returning the bombardier bleu to his original 8-bit stylings in the first numbered entry in the original series for twelve years. Simply making it look authentic wouldn’t have been enough, though. Fortunately, Inti Creates crafted a tight little run-and-gun platformer worthy of bearing that hallowed digit.
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo SPD
A early showcase of the Wii Remote (or the ‘Form Baton’ as it’s known in-game), WarioWare Smooth Moves brought the anarchic mini-gameplay and aesthetic of the handheld series to the Wii in an entry which surely ranks as the most widely played of any WarioWare title. You never quite knew what was coming next, and this ranks up there alongside Wii Sports as an off-the-wall demonstration of the console’s potential in those first few months.
Before the sublime Rayman Legends, there was the sublime Rayman Origins. A 2D platformer par excellence (as they say in Ubisoft’s homeland), the limbless wonder always had an impressive heritage in the platforming genre, but this arguably raised him up alongside the invention and beauty of Nintendo’s own offerings — perhaps even higher if you ask players who aren’t fans of Super Mario’s ‘New’ adventures.