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Best Wii Games: Top 10 Titles On Nintendo's Unique Console
The Nintendo Wii was a bonafide phenomenon with a lot of great games.
The Nintendo Wii took the world by storm and became a genuine phenomenon with its mass market appeal. It ended up selling more than 100 million units worldwide to become one of the most successful platforms in the history of video games. No console succeeds without great games, and the Wii had plenty of them. To celebrate the iconic console and its games, we're rounding up the top 10 best Wii games of all time, from Nintendo and other developers.
More than 1,000 games were released for the Wii, so there are a lot to choose from, but here we present what we believe are the very best. We've listed our picks in alphabetical order below, and yes Zelda and Super Mario make multiple appearances each.
Donkey Kong Country Returns
2010's Donkey Kong Country Returns for the Wii was developed by Retro Studios, which was a big change since the series had been developed by Rare before that. Reviving the series, Donkey Kong Country Returns did in fact return the series to its glory days with its challenging gameplay, varied locations, dynamically changing environments to keep players guessing, and whimsical characters. We also praised the game for its fantastic visual design and its earworm of a soundtrack. "Donkey Kong Country Returns is another great game for Nintendo's furry mascot, and it's a must-play for anyone craving an old-school platformer," we said in our review at the time. Donkey Kong Country Returns is also playable on Nintendo 3DS.
See our Donkey Kong Country Returns review.
Kirby's Epic Yarn
HAL's 2010 platformer Kirby's Epic Yarn is a joy. This is an adorable game that will surely put a smile on your face, we said in our review at the time. Praised for its incredible visual design, intelligently designed levels, and numerous mini-games to unlock and enjoy, Kirby's Epic Yarn is a fantastic platformer that was one of the Wii's very best games. "Every moment you spend in this world is an utter delight," we said in our review at the time. "Kirby's Epic Yarn is a great platformer that goes far beyond its eye-catching visuals to deliver an irresistible adventure that's difficult to put down." An expanded port dubbed Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn is available on 3DS.
See our Kirby's Epic Yarn review.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2011's Skyward Sword was the first mainline Zelda game developed specifically for the Wii, following the GameCube title Twilight Princess, which also came to Wii as a launch title. Skyward Sword, as its name suggests, takes Link to the skies of Skyloft. Overall, we said Skyward Sword was an "engrossing experience in this venerable franchise." The game was praised by GameSpot and others for its impressive visual design, its excellent soundtrack, use of the Wii Motion Plus accessory, its compelling puzzles, combat, and its open-ended structure. Skyward Sword was yet another exciting adventure for Link, and an enhanced port with updated features recently released on Nintendo Switch.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
A launch title for the Wii (which was also released on the GameCube), The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is one of the best Zelda games of all time. The gameplay and story focused on a dark, parallel universe known as the Twilight Realm. Link could transform into a wolf when the twilight took over, which opened up new possibilities for gameplay and exploration. Twilight Princess is also remembered for its fantastic puzzles and memorable characters. In total, it stays true to the origins and spirit of the Zelda series while leaving its own stamp as well. Twilight Princess was also ported to Wii U in HD.
Metroid Prime Trilogy
One of the easiest games to recommend for Wii was Metroid Prime Trilogy. Released in 2009. The game bundles together three Metroid games: Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Critics enjoyed the newly added motion controls for Prime and Echoes. The three Metroid games are brilliant, and putting them together into one package created a must-have bundle for Wii owners looking for the definitive Metroid experience, now with motion controls and other new quality-of-life features like a reworked menu and UI. Now, if we could just get Nintendo to give us some info on Metroid Prime 4. The Metroid Prime Trilogy is available to download on Wii U for cheap.
See Metroid Prime Trilogy reviews at Metacritic.
While many of the best, most memorable Wii games were developed by Nintendo, Capcom's 2006 action adventure game Okami came to Wii in 2008 and it was a stunner. Directed by Hideki Kamiya, who went on to join Platinum Games and create the Bayonetta series, Okami's Wii version added motion controls for its celestial brush mechanic and took players to a beautiful, big world for a long and enjoyable adventure. We said in our review at the time, "At a time when the majority of action games are more focused on destruction than renewal, this is an elegant and poignant reminder that some of the most meaningful experiences in games are the ones that enrich and rejuvenate us." Okami has been ported to a bunch of modern platforms, including the Nintendo Switch.
See our Okami review.
Super Mario Galaxy
2007's Super Mario Galaxy for Wii ranks at the top of our list for being one of the best Mario games of all time--one that offers incredible level design, tight controls, and a brilliant presentation package. In short, it was a game that could be recommended to anyone, and one that many fondly remember as a high point in Mario's platforming career. Mario goes to outer space in Super Mario Galaxy, and this opens up all manner of exciting and compelling new opportunities for the plumber, like gravity-based puzzles and physics that had never been seen before in the long-running series. Here at GameSpot, we praised Super Mario Galaxy and gave it a score of 9.5/10 for its excellent level design, beautiful graphics, stellar controls, and wonderful soundtrack. Super Mario Galaxy is available to play in Super Mario 3D All-Stars for Switch. Though the compilation was technically discounted earlier this year, you can still find it for retail price.
See our Super Mario Galaxy review.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
The 2010 sequel to the acclaimed original Mario Galaxy, Super Mario Galaxy 2 once again took Mario to the heavens where he bounced between galaxies in a bid to save Princess Peach. The game is fondly remembered for taking the best parts of Super Mario Galaxy and adding on to them with even more of what people love. There were new power-ups and the ability to ride Yoshi that opened up completely new and exciting opportunities for players. Here at GameSpot, we scored the sequel a 10/10 and said it would be hard to imagine a Mario game getting any better.
See our Super Mario Galaxy 2 review.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Nintendo's beloved mascot fight game series came to Wii in 2008 with Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and it was great. Released to both critical acclaim and massive sales, Brawl elevated the series to new heights with its expanded single-player mode, Subspace Emissary, and the addition of third-party characters on its roster, including Sonic and Snake, which would pave the way for Nintendo to further embrace crossover DLC with future games. The game also allowed players to revert to classic GameCube controls instead of being forced to use the Wii Remote--this was a widely praised move from the fighting game community and players at large who wanted a more precise control setup for the button-mashing game. Here at GameSpot, we adored Brawl, calling it a must-have game thanks to its simple yet deep control setup, excellent online play, and for its new features like the ability to create custom levels and watch replays.
See our Super Smash Bros. Brawl review.
Wii Sports was much more than one of the best-selling for any system of all time thanks to how it was bundled with the Wii. It represented the "eureka" moment for many people as they first tried the system. Connecting with a tennis serve and smacking a well-placed backhand with force, or lining up a bowling ball just right, or nailing the timing with the baseball bat to crush a home run to center field--it felt so new and fresh with the Wii's innovative motion controls. It felt magical, with motion controls being a relatively new gameplay control style at the time. Wii Sports was a fantastic introduction to the system, and it was a great game on its own with fun, simple gameplay that pretty much anyone could enjoy. Wii Sports also introduced the world to Miis, or digital avatars that players could create and tailor to their liking. Wii Sports was so successful that Nintendo released another game, Wii Sports Resort, in 2009 as a standalone title (before getting bundled again later).
See our Wii Sports review.