There's no question that the Wii U is starting to come into its own with some terrific games, including the likes of Mario Kart 8, Bayonetta 2 and Super Smash Bros. However, there's one factor that some players might just be missing out on – the system is fully backwards compatible with the original Wii.
While some probably won't use the feature, mainly due to the fact that some of the Wii's library consists of forgettable shovelware, it's a shame more people aren't taking advantage of it. That's because that, if you dig deep enough, there are games that deserve to be played again, mainly due to the gameplay they provided – and how they look just a slight bit better with an HD hook-up.
So we've come up with a few suggestions of games that are worth playing again on the Wii U. Some of them will be a bit costly, but they're certainly great experiences when you're looking for something to play between your crazy Smash and Mario Kart sessions. Dig in!
It's going to be a while before the next Xenoblade game shows up on the Wii U, with "X" slated to arrive sometime next year. With that, there's no better time to go back and discover the game that put the series back on the map for the original Wii. Chronicles helped redefine the franchise with memorable JRPG action, introducing us to a number of great characters and scenarios that would stick with us for some time. On the Wii U, the game looks better than ever, and the controls are still finely tuned. This one will cost you around $50 at GameStop – more than worth the price of admission to experience its lavish world.
Metroid Prime Trilogy
It's hard to say when – or even if – we'll see another chapter in the Metroid Prime series on the Wii U, so you can treat yourself to the next best thing with a copy of Trilogy. Featuring all three original games in the series, including the highly appreciated Corruption, Trilogy provides superb first-person shooting controls, as well as beautiful visuals that still look great after all these years – especially with the slight HD upgrade. Although the multiplayer features are gone, the single player component remains rich, with hours worth of gameplay and plenty of hidden upgrades. This one also goes for about $50 at GameStop, but is worth the investment.
Gunblade NY & LA Machine Guns
An arcade shooter for the Wii U generation? Why not? Sega's compilation of two arcade favorites, Gunblade NY and L.A. Machine Guns, is perfect for those looking to let off some steam after a long day's work. Both games are fast-paced, with swiveling camera angles and plenty of renegade robots to shoot at, and they're good fun for two players as well – or one player who prefers to play John Woo-style with two Wii remotes in hand. Better still, you can probably find a used copy for around $10 – that's a more than reasonable price for all the chaos that's included.
Sin and Punishment: Star Successor
Nintendo made a smart move giving Treasure's Sin and Punishment series a fighting chance on our shores, considering that the Nintendo 64 game didn't get such an opportunity. Star Successor is a splendid sequel, packing more than enough shooting action with weird enemies galore, from a renegade over-sized eagle to a factory run amuck. (Yes, an entire factory.) Its gameplay still holds up after all these years, and the visuals are quite impressive for Wii standards – and even more so on the Wii U. Best of all, the game's pretty cheap these days, going for around $5-$10 at most used shops. Definitely pick it up.
The original Punch-Out!! is a tour-de-force for the classic NES, but Next Level Games really took us for a loop in 2009 with the release of a new version of the boxing game, complete with refined visuals, better controls, and plenty of challengers to bring down to size – including Donkey Kong! Punch-Out!! successfully carries the spirit of the original, but feels like a contemporary game in its own right – and the local multiplayer can be quite a trip as well. This one runs for around $30 or so, but is worth the investment, especially if you're a fan of the original. It's time to fight!
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Finally, considering it'll probably be a little while before we get a new Super Mario Galaxy game for the Wii U (hurry up, Nintendo!), there's the next best thing – the superb Super Mario Galaxy 2. This game looks wondrous on the Wii U, with its large, colorful worlds and unique Mario transformations. For good measure, the gameplay still feels just about right too, whether you're jumping across clouds in the sky or working your way through a dangerous ghost world. It's one of the best sequels from this past Wii generation, and a title well worth owning. Plus, it's only $30 these days – not bad at all.