Owning a Wii U feels like knowing something others don’t. The console represents a tremendous value with arguably the best first party games between it and the Xbox One/PlayStation 4. You also don’t have to worry about mandatory 20GB installs, or debates concerning 1080p resolution and frames per second. You can even play games off the discs! Unbelievable!
Nintendo’s system started slow, but the machine hit its stride in 2014 with titles like Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. That said, these are the most wanted Wii U games currently in stores, the majority of which were published by Nintendo.
10. Super Mario 3D World
There’s an unwritten law that states you cannot own a Wii U without this outstanding Mario game; thankfully both come bundled together. Critics complain about the lack of difficulty, but we think they’ve never gone after the three green stars per level, so the challenge is most definitely there. We adore Cat Mario, as well as the handful of Captain Toad levels and the beautiful graphics. Regardless of whether you outwit Bowser alone or with friends via co-op, 3D World’s a must have.
9. Bayonetta 2
Two third person beat-em-ups for the price of one. Not only do you receive this lavish sequel starring the gun-toting witch, but also the critically acclaimed original effort that put the sexy heroine on the virtual map. While we adore the first Bayonetta, part two easily surpasses its predecessor with sharper visuals, more over the top boss battles and screen clearing maneuvers like the powerful Umbran Climax. Definitely not for kids, but ideal for players in search of mature content on Nintendo’s system.
8. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Gamers who grew up with Donkey Kong Country on Super Nintendo will shed a nostalgic tear playing this entertaining romp, which stars Donkey Kong, Diddy, Dixie and Cranky through a variety of stages filled with hard to find collectibles. What’s especially cool is the change in perspective as you send the loveable apes from barrel to barrel, and like Mario 3D World, the difficulty ramps up for players who strive for 100 percent completion.
7. Wii Fit U
We thought the Wii Fit craze died several years ago, but here’s the Wii U version going strong! The new game still comes with the Balance Board, but now there’s a Fit Meter that tracks your daily progress. In addition, Nintendo has a plethora of mini games that compliment the yoga, strength training and aerobics exercises.
6. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
The Wind Waker took our breath away on the GameCube, and Nintendo managed to improve upon those glorious cell shaded graphics in this Wii U reboot. The plot and gameplay remain mostly the same, except now you can view Link’s inventory and items with the GamePad, while the Swift Sail lets you navigate the high seas much faster.
5. Hyrule Warriors
Long live the hack and slash! Nintendo scored a huge win with this Dynasty Warriors and Zelda mash-up, which features several characters from the Zelda franchise battling swarms of enemies. Smash pots to collect rupees, unleash devastating attacks and play as different heroes for the first time in the Zelda franchise. Plus there’s amiibo support!
4. Just Dance 2015
Of all the lists we’ve done throughout the week, this is the first time Ubisoft’s dancing game appeared, a testament to its popularity on the Wii U. The 2015 version lets you cut a rug to songs from Ariana Grande, Kat Perry, Pharrell Williams and Maroon 5 to name a few.
3. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
While playing Super Mario 3D World, we hoped Nintendo would create a brand-new game inspired by those aforementioned Captain Toad levels. Thankfully the publisher delivered with this late 2014 release starring the heroic adventurer. You can forget about jumping and throwing fireballs. Each stage is a puzzle filled with riches, and it’s up to you to guide Captain Toad from point A to point B without falling victim to the Goombas, Shy Guys and other enemies.
2. Mario Kart 8
It was hard to ignore the Wii U when the newest Mario Kart arrived. Part 8 introduces new tracks with cool anti-gravity features that’ll have you racing along walls and upside down. There’s online play, a new Mario Kart TV channel for uploading your finest moments and the option to play as the Koopalings.
1. Super Smash Bros.
There are few options when it comes to Wii U fighting games, but considering how good the new Smash Bros. is, who needs competition? Smash Wii U features the largest roster in series history, new brawlers like Pac-Man and Mega Man, the chaotic 8-Player Smash, support for every current Nintendo controller imaginable, online play and amiibo functionality where you train the small plastic figures to fight all the way to level 50. Grab it and invite some friends over.
Check back next Thursday to see which Nintendo Wii U games made the top 10!