List of best-selling Wii U video games
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This is a list of video games for the Wii Uvideo game console that have sold or shipped at least one million copies. The best-selling game on the Wii U is Mario Kart 8. First released in Japan on May 29, 2014, it went on to sell over 8.4 million units worldwide.
There are a total of 21 Wii U games on this list which are confirmed to have sold or shipped at least one million units. Of these, eleven were developed by internal Nintendo development divisions. Of the 21 games on this list, 20 were published in one or more regions by Nintendo.
By March 31, 2021, over 103.35 million total copies of games had been sold for the Wii U.
- ^Only the initial release date on this platform is listed.
- ^Initial release was as downloadable content for New Super Mario Bros. U; a stand-alone retail version was released in the following months.
Ranking Every Wii U Game Published By Nintendo From Worst To Best
Even though the Wii U hosts some of Nintendo’s greatest games, the console sold poorly. This partially had to do with Nintendo’s lineup; after all, the best games released long after the Wii U’s launch. Nintendo relied heavily on sequels and remakes, but many of those games weren’t different or innovative enough to attract players—including Nintendo fans.
The Wii U also suffered from poor, unclear advertising. Using “Wii” in its name and Wii Remotes for gameplay, the Wii U strangely functions more like an enhanced Wii than an independent console. Several games rely more on the GamePad than Wii Remotes, but the GamePad isn’t a very good controller. The touchscreen works well, but the other controls feel awkward beneath your fingers.
Nintendo included more DLC starting with the Wii U, particularly with amiibo. These figurines have mixed reception; in my opinion, their price doesn’t match their usefulness. Some Wii U games require amiibo, though, so you may find certain amiibo figurines worthwhile.
Despite its flaws, the Wii U offers a lot of great titles. Fortunately, Nintendo is developing some of these games for their most recent console, the Switch. Other games are currently exclusive to the Wii U. If you own the console, you absolutely need to play these games. Here are the 50 Wii U games published by Nintendo, ranked from worst to best so you know which to buy and which you should avoid at all costs.
50 Star Fox Zero
Thanks to Star Fox’s core shooting mechanics, fans expected the franchise to dominate the Wii—yet Star Fox never appeared on the Wii. Because of that (as well as the 10-year gap between Command and Zero), Star Fox Zero built an incredible amount of hype.
Sadly, that hype was misplaced. Apart from its beautiful graphics, Star Fox Zero disappoints players in every way. The GamePad’s gyroscopic motion controls are clunky. Zero introduces poor mechanics like the Walker, weird camera angles, and unnecessary aiming on the GamePad’s screen.
Nintendo delayed Star Fox Zero in response to negative feedback, yet they failed to improve the gameplay. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Nintendo mistakenly threw out the characters and storylines from previous Star Fox games, making Zero an awful reboot that ruins the franchise.
49 Mario Party 10
Nobody asked for a new Mario Party game, yet Nintendo nonetheless created Mario Party 10 and ruined everything we love about the series. The previous titles perfectly combined board game elements with mini-games. Mario Party 10, on the other hand, focuses solely on the mini-games. Every player moves together in a single cart, thus turning boards into linear tracks. Instead of strategically racing ahead of players, crushing them, or pursuing secret routes, you must follow whatever path other characters choose—and you can’t interact with those characters.
In addition to ruining the board games, Mario Party 10 includes terrible mini-games. Nintendo designs misbalanced mini-games where some players get an unfair advantage. Even the fair competitions are usually chaotic. Apart from the occasional well-designed mini-game, nothing in Mario Party 10 is fun to play.
48 Pokkén Tournament
A real-time version of Pokémon Stadium may sound amazing, but Pokkén Tournament skewers the fighting game genre. Most fighting games wisely stick to a 2D perspective, but Pokkén Tournament awkwardly switches between Duel Phase (2D) and Field Phase (3D). Field Phase ruins the game with its terrible camera. The camera works somewhat well during single-player mode because it stays behind your character; in multiplayer, you never know where the camera will go or which player will have the advantageous perspective.
Pokkén Tournament entirely takes place in circular arenas. These arenas nicely pay homage to Pokémon Stadium, but they’re boring for a real-time fighting game.
The battles themselves are somewhat fun, but too many delays and cinematics accompany your attacks. With smoother gameplay and more varied level design, Pokkén Tournament could have amazing.
47 Mario & Sonic At The Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Every Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games title’s been worse and less original than the last, making Rio 2016 the worst of the bunch. Most of the Olympic mini-games come from previous games, and they feel just as bland as they did before. The new sports—football, rugby, and boxing—are even less interesting thanks to underdeveloped gameplay and little variation between character stats.
Rio 2016 boasts amazing graphics, but the settings barely make use of those graphics. Every mini-game takes place in drab stadiums except Duel Football and Archery, which offer beautiful views of the city. Nintendo ought to show more of Rio to justify the setting and visually entertain players. As it is, Rio 2016 combines boring gameplay with boring visuals.
46 Devil’s Third
Only the multiplayer of Devil’s Third is any fun, and the multiplayer is vastly inferior to other shooters like Halo and Call of Duty. With clunky controls and an awkward third-person camera, you’ll only occasionally enjoy online multiplayer.
The single-player campaign, on the other hand, is impossible to enjoy. Both regular attacks and cinematic kills look terrible. Ivan and his enemies move awkwardly, slashing at each other like brick walls. In addition to awful attacks, the enemies have poor AI programming and sometimes move away instead of fighting you.
Finally, the story and characters are so bad you’ll never want to finish the campaign. With poor voice acting and an abundance of cutscenes, you’ll cringe throughout the campaign—although you’ll enjoy the occasional well-written joke.
45 Game & Wario
Originally designed as a launch title for the Wii U, Game & Wario released half a year after the Wii U came out. The 16 mini-games show 16 different ways you can use the Wii U—and they’re incredibly boring. With clunky controls, slow pacing, and singular objectives, the mini-games show why so many people criticize Wii U mechanics. The simplistic games also demonstrate why mechanics—no matter how brilliant they are—need good content so you can fully appreciate those mechanics.
The game would have been bad no matter what, but it’s especially disappointing as a member of the Wario franchise. Game & Wario throws in our favorite Wario characters while abandoning the quirkiness, fast pace, and varied gameplay that make Wario games so much fun.
44 Wii Party U
Like Mario Party 10, Wii Party U combines a linear, uninteresting board with a list of unpolished mini-games. These mini-games use strange mechanics and even stranger objectives, leaving you confused and dissatisfied after every round.
The only reason Wii Party U trumps Mario Party 10 is its charm. While Mario Party 10 lacks originality, Wii Party U isn’t afraid to be weird. You’ll find yourself laughing as yours Miis throw themselves across the screen and beat each other silly with hammers. I highly recommend playing the game with other people; if you play alone, you’ll want to stop playing as soon as you start. With your friends, you can laugh together at just how terrible and bizarre Wii Party U is.
43 New Super Mario Bros. U
New Super Mario Bros. Wii is one of the most overrated games of all time, and its sequel isn’t any different. New Super Mario Bros. U uses the same music, aesthetics, and controls of its prequel, giving fans a completely unoriginal game. While the Wii game added great power-ups like the Penguin Suit to the franchise, the Wii U sequel adds boring outfits like Flying Squirrel Mario (which is just a worse version of Cape Mario).
Instead of fixing the franchise’s problems or making an innovative platformer, New Super Mario Bros. U is a worse version of its prequel. The majority of levels and bosses still feel stagnant, and multiplayer is still a chaotic mess. If you want an exciting 2D Mario game, you should play New Super Luigi U instead—but you’ll find out all about that further down the list.
42 Dr. Luigi
If you enjoyed Dr. Mario, you might enjoy Dr. Luigi—but I don’t guarantee it. Dr. Luigi upgrades the franchise with 3D, HD graphics—and they actually worsen the game. Luigi and the viruses move outside the playing field, distracting you from the core gameplay. Even the playing field looks terrible: the 3D pills move nauseatingly across the screen. Nintendo should have stuck with older, smoother graphics and avoided outside the movement. With Luigi awkwardly swinging his arm back and forth, you’ll never want to look in his direction.
Apart from the annoying visuals, Dr. Luigi preserves the gameplay of Dr. Mario. In fact, the gameplay’s almost exactly the same. If you’re looking for an original sequel, Dr. Luigi isn’t the game for you.
41 Sing Party
Outside of its wonderful song selection, Sing Party has no outstanding features. Single-player and competitive karaoke are fun enough, but Sing Party also includes terrible “party” modes. Other players can participate as backup singers or audience members. After trying these roles, however, you’ll never want to play them again. You barely participate; when you do, you perform bizarre, boring actions like cheering and dancing. Nobody wants to cheer and dance in a singing game, particularly when the developers put so little effort into those modes.
Fortunately, Sing Party does well with its primary singing modes. The Wii U microphone interprets voices well—it’s very good at reading both notes and words. Sing Party occasionally includes great visuals, but the backgrounds are usually uninspired, odd visuals like 3D polygons. You’d probably enjoy regular karaoke more than playing Sing Party, particularly if you’re singing with friends.
40 Mario & Sonic At The Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games
I’ve always enjoyed the winter versions of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games more than the summer games. The winter mini-games take place in larger, more varied settings—and the snowy courses look better than running tracks.
Sochi 2014 also improved the franchise in multiple ways. The game introduces online multiplayer, making Sochi 2014 more worthy of your money and time than previous titles. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games has always been more fun with other people. Nintendo finally realized this and included online multiplayer, giving you more people to compete with.
The game adds Figure Skating Pairs to the franchise, which is quite entertaining. Two players must work together in a variety of actions, including holding hands, jumping, and spinning around each other. The other mini-games may bore you, but Figure Skating Pairs will make you and your friends laugh in no time.
39 The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
Twilight Princess HD is fairly fun for new players, but it’s frustrating for those of us who played the original Twilight Princess. Everyone expects better graphics in HD remasters, yet Twilight Princess HD looks almost exactly the same.
Nintendo only made minor changes to gameplay, too. Switching items and transforming into a wolf is easier. Hero Mode offers more challenging combat. Unfortunately, Nintendo added poor ideas like the Ghost Lantern (which points you toward Poes) and fewer Tears of Light, making the easy game even easier than it should be.
Instead of focusing on making new Legend of Zelda games, Nintendo pointlessly remastered Twilight Princess. If you’ve already played Twilight Princess on GameCube or Wii, there’s no need for you to play the Wii U version.
38 Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
While previous Ninja Gaiden games wonderfully challenge players, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge abandons difficult combat for “epic” gameplay. Countering and dodging no longer play an important role thanks to the cinematic kills of Razor’s Edge. These cinematic kills not only interrupt combat but also emphasize how clunky the combat is. In Razor’s Edge, Ryu only kills enemies fluidly during cinematic kills; otherwise, he awkwardly hacks at enemies. Other Ninja Gaiden games use consistently fluid combat, turning every press of the button into a satisfying, believable attack.
Earlier games featured more difficult and more varied enemies, keeping players on their toes from one fight to the next. Ninja Gaiden 3 discards that difficulty, making the game accessible to a wider audience but disappointing most Ninja Gaiden fans.
37 Pokémon Rumble U
Of all the odd Pokémon spin-off games in the world, Pokémon Rumble U least deserves a place in the franchise. The game abandons turn-based strategy for real-time hack and slash—except instead of hacking and slashing, you beat your head against other Pokémon until they collapse. Your Pokémon’s type helps against certain enemies; apart from that, the game lacks any strategy.
Nonetheless, Pokémon Rumble U surpasses Pokkén Tournament. Both games solely use circular stages, but Pokémon Rumble U occasionally adds obstacles to keep gameplay interesting. Unlike Pokkén Tournament, Pokémon Rumble U has a stable camera with only one angle. Finally, Pokémon Rumble U features a 4-player cooperative mode. You won’t enjoy this game alone, but the game can be pretty entertaining when played with friends.
36 Wii Sports Club
Wii Sports Club—an HD remake of Wii Sports—improves upon the original game by adding online multiplayer. That’s it. Despite the HD graphics, Wii Sports Club looks just like Wii Sports. The five mini-games are still fun, but they feel the same as in the prequel—except for Golf. You still swing your virtual golf club with the Wii Remote, but now you place the ball at your feet with the GamePad. This makes Golf more realistic, challenging, and fun; just make sure you don’t accidentally step on the GamePad.
If you want to enjoy Wii Sports with online friends or strangers, you should get Wii Sports Club. Otherwise, there’s little point in buying the remake, even if you haven’t played the original game. After all, Wii Sports is one of Nintendo’s most overrated games.
35 Hyrule Warriors
While the bigger, tougher enemies in Hyrule Warriors are fun to fight, most of the game offers no satisfying challenges. You hack and slash through mobs of weak enemies like Bokoblins and Stalchildren—which is surprisingly disappointing thanks to the lack of difficulty. Cutscenes, cinematic attacks, and useless enemy hordes make gameplay far less interactive than it should be.
As an uncreative rip-off of Dynasty Warriors, Hyrule Warriors feels out of place in the Legend of Zelda series. I loved the opportunity to finally control Zelda on the battlefield, but the other changes worsen the franchise. With poor voice acting, oversexualized female characters, and boring combat, Hyrule Warriors entertains some players but angers many Zelda fans.
34 Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash
If Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash was redesigned as a regular tennis game—one completely unrelated to Mario—it’d be a pretty good game. You can hit the ball a variety of ways, all giving matches a realistic, quick pace. The game may bore you after a while, but it’ll keep you entertained for at least a few hours.
As a Mario Tennis game, however, Ultra Smash is a major disappointment. What happened to the amazing power-ups and character abilities that make Mario sports games so much fun? The only power-up in Ultra Smash is the Mega Mushroom, which you can only access in Mega Battle mode. The Mega Mushroom isn’t particularly fun or exciting—particularly since your character blocks most of the screen.
33 Art Academy: SketchPad
Art Academy: SketchPad functions more as an application program than a video game. Giving you every color you’d ever want of pencils, colored pencils, and pastels, SketchPad is a wonderful digital drawing tool. Drawing on the GamePad feels great (unless, of course, you prefer feeling paper beneath your fingers).
SketchPad improves upon previous Art Academy games through online functions. Now you can share your work with an online Nintendo community, and you can view amazing drawings made by strangers.
Unfortunately, SketchPad doesn’t include drawing lessons like other Art Academy games. With lessons, SketchPad could have been a helpful, informative app. Instead, it’s a tool that supports your hobbies without necessarily enhancing them. Nintendo learned from this key mistake in the sequel, Art Academy: Home Studio—which you’ll see later in this article.
32 NES Remix
NES Remix takes moments from classic NES games like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda and combines them with short, simple challenges. That might sound like a fun idea, but Nintendo terribly executes the concept. The challenges just aren’t challenging. I’d much rather play through the NES games or their ports; the original games offer more satisfying, authentic challenges.
Since you only spend a little time with each game, you have to learn a lot of controls. NES Remix forces you through excessive tutorials before the challenges. You almost spend as much time beating the challenges as completing the tutorials. No video game should require tutorials, particularly one that consists of 16 separate NES titles.
31 New Super Luigi U
New Super Luigi U is the fast-paced, fresh game New Super Mario Bros. U should have been. Nintendo originally released New Super Luigi U as DLC for New Super Mario Bros. U, but the game can now be purchased separately. The DLC converts the original game’s stages into more challenging levels. With more enemies and a shorter time limit (you only have 100 seconds to complete each stage!), New Super Luigi U challenges even the greatest Super Mario players.
As the DLC of an uncreative game, New Super Luigi U still isn’t particularly innovative. However, the game makes up for its lack of new ideas with a thrilling mashup of old ideas. If you enjoy the unforgiving difficulty of early Super Mario games, you’ll love New Super Luigi U.
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The 10 Best Wii U Games of All Time Ranked by Sales
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The Nintendo Wii wasn’t just a successful Nintendo console, it was one of the best-selling and most successful consoles of all time. Nintendo’s next console, the Nintendo Wii U, would never reach the height of its predecessor.
It’s one of the company’s worst-selling consoles. However, the Wii U still had a ton of great games. Even though they weren’t played by tens of millions, plenty of people still enjoyed the console and the games it had to offer. So, here are the best Wii U games of all time ranked by sales.
The Best Selling Wii U Games
- 10. Mario Party 10
- 9. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
- 8. New Super Luigi U
- 7. Super Mario Maker
- 6. Splatoon
- 5. Nintendo Land
- 4. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
- 3. New Super Mario Bros. U
- 2. Super Mario 3D World
- 1. Mario Kart 8
10. Mario Party 10 - 2.2 Million Copies Sold
Mario Party is a staple for Nintendo consoles, the majority of their consoles have a Mario Party game to go along with it, and there’s a reason for that.
The Mario Party games are a blast, and even though things can get quickly heated, that adds to the experience of the game. Mario Party 10 is no exception and is another fun installment in the series.
Released in 2015, this Wii U game sees players competing on a board game to get as many stars as possible. You do this by traversing through the map and playing minigames to collect enough coins to buy stars.
Some of the minigames include Cheep Cheep Leap, Bobsled Battle, and Paintball Battle.
The Mario Party series is massively popular, and Mario Party 10 proved it once again. The game would go on to sell 2.2 million copies.
9. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD - 2.3 Million Copies Sold
A remaster of the GameCube game, Wind Waker HD takes players back to the world of Zelda. In this adventure, Link must once again stop Ganon except this game puts a heavy emphasis on sailing, as Wind Waker takes place on the sea.
To sail, Link must use the Wind Waker baton to control the wind. Equipped with this baton and being surrounded by his new friends, Link takes the fight to Ganon.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker sold well on the GameCube, and it’s able to say the same on the Wii U.
The game managed to sell 2.3 million copies, outselling other Zelda games such as Hyrule Warriors and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD. It’s the best-selling Wii U game in the Zelda franchise.
8. New Super Luigi U - 3 Million Copies Sold
The often-overlooked brother of Mario, Luigi would get his time to shine in 2013. Officially titled the “Year of Luigi” by Nintendo, numerous Luigi-centered titles were released by the company. One of these games was New Super Luigi U, an expansion to the New Super Mario Bros. U game.
A big change in the game is the difficulty. New Super Luigi U is harder than the original game, with each level having a 100-second timer. Luigi fans everywhere jumped at the chance to play this challenging game, and it went on to sell 3 million copies.
New Super Luigi U is one of the best-selling Wii U games of all time, and we think it’s an indication that Luigi deserves to star in more games.
7. Super Mario Maker - 4 Million Copies Sold
For fans of platformer Mario games, Super Mario Maker is a must-have. This 2015 game allows players to not only create and upload their platform levels but also allows them to play levels from players all over the world.
The levels can be inspired by games such as Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. U.
Super Mario Maker gave players an outlet to create the levels of their dreams. If they wanted to add 10 Bowsers, or if they wanted to make the hardest level possible they could. This creative game would go on to sell 4 million copies, and would eventually get a sequel on the Nintendo Switch.
6. Splatoon - 4.9 Million Copies Sold
Another Wii U game with a heavy emphasis on online play is Splatoon. This 2015 game was the first entry in the new third-person shooter franchise from Nintendo.
Shooter and Nintendo in the same sentence may seem off, but the game is kid-friendly and on-brand for the company. Opposing teams shoot colorful ink at each other in various game modes. Some of these modes include Turf War, Splat Zones, and Tower Control.
Even though Splatoon is a newer series, it still sold well on the Wii U. It sold 4.9 million copies. Its success would lead to a sequel being made for the Nintendo Switch.
Splatoon characters were included in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe rosters. Splatoon 3 is set to release sometime in the future.
5. Nintendo Land - 5.2 Million Copies Sold
Nintendo consoles are home to fun games to play with the whole family, and Nintendo Land was another game in that category. The game is packed with 13 minigames that are based on Nintendo franchises.
Some of the franchises represented include The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Animal Crossing, and Super Mario Bros. The minigames can also be played by different-sized groups. It can be played by one person, or by a group of 5.
Nintendo Land would go on to sell 5.2 million copies. Although no official sequel was released, another minigame title was released for the Nintendo Switch. 1-2-Switch was also a launch title for the console, similar to how Nintendo Land was the launch title for the Wii U.
4. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U - 5.3 Million Copies Sold
The Super Smash Bros. franchise has been popular since its first installment in the Nintendo 64.
Since then, it has grown exponentially, both in success and its gameplay. What started as a small roster of Nintendo characters fighting each other evolved to a roster of 58 that includes guest characters such as Mega Man and Ryu.
Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U sold an incredible 5.3 million copies. A 3DS version of the game was released at the same time and sold 9.6 million copies.
Super Smash Bros. is one of the best Wii U games not only in terms of sales but also because it’s one of the most fun games the console has to offer.
3. New Super Mario Bros. U - 5.8 Million Copies Sold
Mario and his friends go back to their roots in this platforming game. Released in 2012, New Super Mario Bros. U is another installment in the New Super Mario Bros.
The game can be played by one person, or they can be joined by three other friends. The plot is a simple but classic story, Princess Peach is captured by Bowser. It’s up to Mario and Luigi to rescue her and save the day.
New Super Mario Bros. U was a success for the franchise and sold 5.8 million copies. The game’s success wasn’t just contained to the base game, New Super Luigi U also sold well. The game would eventually get ported over to the Nintendo Switch, and it would include the Luigi expansion.
2. Super Mario 3D World - 5.87 Million Copies Sold
Another Mario platformer, Super Mario 3D World came out a year later after New Super Mario Bros. U. As the title states, this game is a 3D platformer as opposed to the usual 2D Mario platformer games.
The game can be played by up to four people, and has a heavy emphasis on a new power-up. A cat upgrade transforms the player into a cat that can climb up walls, scratch enemies, and do an air dive.
The second best-selling Wii U game of all time, Super Mario 3D World sold 5.87 million copies. The game’s success didn’t just end with the Wii U. Like other Wii U games, Super Mario 3D World made its way to the Nintendo Switch and was successful there too.
1. Mario Kart 8 - 8.4 Million Copies Sold
To the surprise of nobody, Mario Kart 8 sits at the top of the best Wii U games of all time. Every Mario Kart is a fun game that can be played with a group of friends, and this game is no exception. The game has a mix of new and returning race tracks for a combined total of 48.
Mario Kart 8 also features new items such as the boomerang item and the super horn. The latter item is used to destroy any incoming items such as the infamous blue shell. Besides the new items, the game also features new characters that include Link, Isabelle, and the Villager.
Mario Kart 8 sold 8.4 million copies, almost 3 million more than second place. Although this is a massive number, it gets even higher.
Nintendo released Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch; it included the base game and all additional content. It would go on to sell 37 million copies, making it the best-selling Switch game of all time.
Mario Kart 8 reigns supreme as the best-selling game on two Nintendo consoles. It’s definitively one of the best Wii U games of all time.
However, the other games on this list are great as well, and there are other good games that didn’t make the top 10. Although the Nintendo Wii U didn’t sell well, the games were incredible nonetheless.
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The 25 best Wii U games
The best Wii U games are a fantastic celebration of everything Nintendo's previous console had to offer. The perpetually beleaguered Nintendo console launched in 2012 following the success of the Wii, and a short five years later has found itself all but forgotten, as Nintendo gradually but inevitably replaces it with the much more exciting and much more versatile Switch. It was a failure by virtually all metrics, except the one that really matters: the games.
Even with the lackluster sales and cumbersome GamePad, Nintendo's Wii U played host to some of the best games the publisher/developer has ever made. Strange games that have no business existing like Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE and Bayonetta 2, new franchises like Splatoon, and some of the best Super Mario and Super Mario-adjacent games all found a home on Wii U, and while not every game took advantage of the GamePad's unique input features, those that did were unlike anything you could find on any other device. So as Nintendo enters an exciting new era, let's take a few minutes to celebrate the 25 best Wii U games ever made.
25. Lego City: Undercover
We've heard you joking, saying, "someone should make Lego Grand Theft Auto!" whenever a new Lego game was announced. You never expected anyone to do it, did you? But then, all of a sudden, Traveller's Tales actually went there, and it turned out to be a great game too. Lego City: Undercover includes a massive city to explore and all the charm Lego games are known for, without the Adults-only rating that open-world crime games usually get. Instead, it's a fun trip through a blocky city that anyone can enjoy, filled with things to build and people to save.
Exploring the world as Chase McCain is a ton of fun, and being able to change into eight different outfits to take on new jobs adds plenty of gameplay variety. Donning an astronaut costume will let you zoom around in a jetpack (because apparently astronauts have jetpacks), and dressing as a firefighter allows you to put out fires you find in the open world. Though you'll likely miss co-op, which was oddly omitted from Lego City, there's a good chance you'll be distracted enough by the dozens of hours of content that you'll barely notice it's missing.
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24. The Wonderful 101
Don't mistake The Wonderful 101 for some sort of group-management sim like Pikmin - this is a full-on action game wrapped in a Viewtiful Joe disguise. You control a superhero in a wonderfully realized world full of sass and puns (no surprise considering The Wonderful 101 comes from Platinum Games, the team behind Bayonetta). With dozens of followers under your command, you're tasked with saving the world one GamePad stroke at a time.
See, your superhero can command his followers to form giant weapons - whips, swords, etc - which is achieved by drawing the corresponding shape of said weapon on the GamePad's touchscreen. While this is a great use of the Wii U's unique controller, in practice it can be rather difficult to draw certain shapes on the fly while simultaneously dodging attacks onscreen. Still, The Wonderful 101 is packed with charm and humor in equal measure, and even though its gameplay doesn't always translate into fun, it's a mostly enjoyable adventure all the same.
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Ubi’s surprise launch day hit is still as terrifying as it was back in 2012. London has been hit by the zombie virus and you’re one of the few survivors out there who hasn’t turned into a brain hungry staggering fiend. It’s not like zombies haven’t been done to death (or undeath), but ZombiU manages to crank up the tension in a number of ways. It’s permadeath for one thing. Send your intrepid survivor out into London town and die and you’ll restart as another person entirely, complete with backstory. All that’s left of your previous character is a shambling corpse and one that you’ll probably have to kill if you want your precious rucksack of stuff back.
ZombiU is brutal and nasty. Survival is difficult, weapons are scarce, but a lot of the fear stems from some terrifyingly inventive uses of the GamePad. While you’re rummaging around in your rucksack for loot, you’re prime zombie munching fodder, so every gaze into your inventory is a serious risk. Looting enemies and sniping is all done through the GamePad too so it all genuinely feels designed for the console instead of shoe horned in. Officially the scariest game on Wii U.
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22. Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a rarity: a reboot that's immensely better than its source material. It takes the granularity of the original PC classic, cuts much of the excess baggage, and streamlines the experience with tightened combat and modern open-world design touches. The result: a game that honors its past while looking forward, all wrapped up in a transhumanist narrative that combines real existential questions and typically schlocky conspiracy narratives to thrilling effect.
The Director's Cut arrived a few years later on Wii U, fixing the boss fights to allow for non-lethal methods of engagement, enhancing the graphics, lighting, AI, and more, and even integrates the second screen on the GamePad to allow for more intuitive and immediate controls. It may have lost exclusive status like nearly every other non-Nintendo Wii U game, but it's still a great version of a stellar game.
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21. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze,
If you've ever played the Donkey Kong Country series on Super Nintendo, you know that those games are hard. Yet despite the fact that you will die again, and again, and again, it never seems so bad because the challenge is fair, and even the trickiest platforming section feels conquerable with enough effort. That same spirit of sublime difficulty is alive and well in , the Wii U sequel to Retro Studios' excellent 2.5D reboot of DK's jungle-stomping franchise.
Besides the tough-but-gratifying running and jumping, Tropical Freeze has great presentation and polish. It's packed with subtle detail and vibrant visuals, and a great soundtrack makes the whole experience all the more enjoyable. Plus, the three different Kongs you can partner up with--Diddy, Daisy, and Cranky--each have a unique ability, providing some variety in the way you approach each challenging obstacle. Sure, Tropical Freeze is tough, but it's difficult in all the right ways and is a must-own title for any Wii U owner.
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