It’s that time of year again – time to do your last minute shopping and satisfy the gamer needs of your family, friends and other loved ones. Rather than rushing out and buying a forgettable game, though, how about getting those ideal stocking stuffers they’ll love? If you need assistance with that, don’t worry, we’re here to help!
For this guide, Nintendo’s latest home console, the Wii U, gets its turn to shine. Although the system was a little slow coming out of the gate for 2013, it eventually found its footing with a number of excellent times. Here are 10 selections that are sure to make ideal stocking stuffers!
Lego City Undercover (Nintendo)
We’ve seen a lot of Lego games over the past few years, but Lego City Undercover stands out in its own right because it’s completely original. A lighthearted take on the open-world Grand Theft Auto games, Lego City puts you in control of a police officer trying to clean up the streets while collecting various goodies around the city. With miles of terrain to cover either on foot or in vehicles, Lego City’s world comes alive with bouncing bricks, enjoyable characters and hours’ worth of missions to complete. Even if you think you’ve seen everything Lego games have to offer, it’s worth booking a trip to this city.
Sonic: Lost World (Sega)
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a new platformer featuring Sonic the Hedgehog, so when Sega introduced one with the wildly creative Lost World, we were happy to take it. Featuring vast 3D worlds to explore, a number of challenging new gameplay power-ups to master and that classic essence that made the series so irresistible to begin with, Lost World recreates the platforming hero for a new generation of players to enjoy.
Disney Infinity (Disney Interactive)
Disney Infinity comes to life better than any previously released game that the company has put out. That’s because players get to enjoy adventures however they see fit, selecting from a number of available characters and playsets. From there, they can either run through previously built campaigns or hop into the Toy Box and create their own from scratch, using hundreds upon thousands of tools from the classic Disney film and TV library. The game’s only been out a few months and we’ve already seen more levels than we have time to play. That’s replay value right there – and a surefire hit for kids of all ages this holiday season.
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD (Nintendo)
Originally released for the GameCube several years ago, this “dark horse” in the Legend of Zelda franchise has since become a cult classic, with its unique art style and classic gameplay, which both veteran players and newcomers came to love. Now, Nintendo has gone and given the game new life on the Wii U, complete with full GamePad compatibility, a refreshing high-definition visual gloss-over that makes it look better than ever and a quest that’s worth rediscovering for hours at a time.
The Wonderful 101 (Nintendo)
While we patiently await the arrival of Platinum Games’ previously announced Bayonetta 2, there’s another game from the developer that fans and super hero wannabes can enjoy. The Wonderful 101 puts players in control of a group of unlikely heroes, setting out to destroy evil with collective team attacks. Featuring an exquisite isometric art style, memorable music (how about that Wonderful 101 battle theme) and gameplay that utilizes both analog and touchscreen gameplay, it’s definitely a world-saving effort.
Need For Speed: Most Wanted U (Electronic Arts)
Electronic Arts may have moved on to newer racing pastures with the recently released Rivals for other consoles, but before it did so, it gave the Wii U its best street racing game to date with Most Wanted U. The game features all the thrilling racing action of the original release, along with some exclusive Wii U based content, such as the ability to control weather conditions, traffic flow and other items in the game. In addition, previously released DLC for the game is included right on the disc, so players don’t have to worry about sacrificing precious hard drive space. Last but no least, it’s dirt cheap right now, going for $20. It’s well worth signing up for a test drive at that rate.
Pikmin 3 (Nintendo)
After a long wait, Pikmin 3 finally arrived this past August and thrust players back into its imaginative world. Featuring a collective number of Pikmin creatures to choose from, Pikmin 3 also benefitted from revamped gameplay that took full advantage of the Wii U hardware, as well as beautiful visuals that showed the series’ devoted transition to high-definition. Throw in some challenging boss enemies and additional stages, and you’ve got a great stocking stuffer.
Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure (WB Games)
The original Scribblenauts did an outstanding job introducing players to an interactive world, where they could create whatever they wanted to help solve puzzles. With Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure, that inventive style of gameplay returns, but this time it comes with a huge comic book universe to explore. Players can call upon heroes while battling familiar villains in clever puzzle-solving combat. With hours of fun, thousands of items to choose from and the appeal of the DC Comics license, Scribblenauts Unmasked will easily save your loved ones’ holiday season.
Super Mario 3D World (Nintendo)
Last year’s release of New Super Mario Bros. U did a great job reintroducing players to the multiplayer antics of the plumber and his friends. However, Nintendo managed to top itself with the captivating Super Mario 3D World. Featuring a number of thrilling new 3D worlds to explore, as well as power-ups to take advantage of – like the helpful cat suit – the game thrives with its quotient of fun. On top of that, like last year’s game, up to four players can take part in the fun, collecting green bonus coins and completing challenges to uncover secrets and stop Bowser once and for all. Kids will love this game, and we know their parents will enjoy it as well.
Rayman Legends (Ubisoft)
Rayman Legends was supposed to come out earlier this year for Wii U, but Ubisoft opted to delay it as a multi-platform release. It turns out the game was worth the wait, featuring hundreds of new levels to tackle either with a single player or up to four folks in slap-happy multiplayer. With a wondrous art style, plenty of challenging areas to run through and hidden secrets galore, the Wii U version also has enhanced gameplay, utilizing both the Wii U’s gyroscope technology and touch-screen to immerse players even further. Get this for someone’s holiday and you’ll make it a good one.