The Wii was host to some truly spectacular gems during its heyday. Sadly, the barrage of shovelware that the console was host to meant that a lot of titles went unnoticed, but great games were certainly there. We’ve taken a look back at 40 awesome games for Nintendo’s shiny box in our quest to present the top 50 Wii games of all time. Now we’re down to the top 10. This is it. What are the Wii’s best offerings?
10. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Nintendo really hit it big when it delivered the first Smash Bros. game on the Nintendo 64, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl really took everything the series had become over the years to create an incredible fighting game experience. This game featured loads of content and several advancements from Melee, giving fans a game that was bigger and overflowing with things to do. Brawl also introduced third-party fighters into the mix, so we got to live out ridiculous dream matches like Snake versus King Dedede.
9. Wario Land: Shake It!
Wario’s always done things his own way, so it should come as no surprise that Wario Land: Shake It! was a 2D platforming adventure that borrowed absolutely nothing from the Mario brand of games. Its anime visuals, action gameplay, and platforming mechanics made for one of the most rewarding treasure hunts seen on a Nintendo console. Admittedly, shaking bags of money and bad guys like crazy was pretty darn cathartic, but it was Wario’s personality that really made Shake It! stand out even more as an excellent example of platforming bliss.
8. Little King’s Story
Several things made Little King’s Story stand out. Not only was this game a perfect example of a new IP worth caring about, but it seamlessly blended multiple gameplay styles. The game provided real-time strategy mechanics, RPG elements, and sim features in what can only be called one of the most joyful experiences on the Wii. Throw in a lovely soundtrack rife with classic tunes and a gorgeous aesthetic, and it’s easy to see how Little King’s Story was a wonderfully robust, amazingly magnificent game.
7. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
After originally announcing The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for the GameCube, Nintendo switched gears and released the game as a Wii launch title. What early adopters got was a magical, fantastical, unforgettable experience. Twilight Princess provided massive dungeons, a surreal world, and a heartwarming tale. Link’s long journey in this debut Wii title was one full of surprises, and even though it revisited a story we were all familiar with, it still managed to shine as a prime fantasy action-adventure game.
6. Super Mario Galaxy
When Super Mario Galaxy launched on the Wii, it took everything that made Super Mario 64 a spectacle and amplified it to the nth degree. The game’s larger-than-life vibe, beautiful orchestrated soundtrack, impressive visuals, and rock solid gameplay made it one of the best 3D platforming experiences at the time, and it proved exactly why Mario was the king of the genre. There’s a reason Galaxy was set in space — this game was way too much for the Mushroom Kingdom to handle.
5. The Last Story
We almost didn’t get The Last Story in North America, and what a shame that would’ve been. Not only was this one of the last great Wii games, but it was also an amazing RPG experience. The gameplay was spectacular, the music was grand, and the story was unforgettable. The Last Story proved that epic RPGs aren’t dead, and it did so by giving us a wonderfully memorable adventure. It’s a good thing North American Wii owners got the chance to experience this game, because it would’ve been damn near criminal to be deprived of such a special RPG.
4. Kirby’s Return to Dream Land
Epic Yarn may have marked a pleasant departure for Nintendo’s resident pink puffball, but Kirby’s Return to Dream Land was exactly what its name implied: Kirby was going back to basics. This wasn’t an archaic-feeling 2D platformer, though. Return to Dream Land had a high level of polish, and its controls and mechanics were incredibly tight. This was also one of the best-looking games on the Wii, showcasing that unique Kirby flavor and unparalleled colorful art style. Return to Dream Land was without a shadow of a doubt the best 2D platformer to land on the Wii.
3. No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
While the first No More Heroes was a remarkable action game, it was held down by an uninteresting open world and ridiculous setbacks in its progression. No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle remedied that by giving fans of the original a linear, uninterrupted hack-and-slash experience. Travis Touchdown was back, and he was thrust into an adventure that was bursting with insane moments, flawless action, sexualized awesomeness, and some of the coolest supporting and antagonizing characters seen in a video game. Desperate Struggle was a damn near flawless romp that brought nothing but sheer joy to its audience.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Twilight Princess may have been a fantasy epic, but The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was an incredible take on the franchise that so many of us know and love. The new art style and authentic soundtrack were fitting for a game that was really attempting to stand out among its franchise brethren. Skyward Sword was instantly revered at launch, and that shouldn’t surprise anyone, really. This latest entry in the Zelda series is easily one of the best, if not the absolute best.
1. Super Mario Galaxy 2
It may have been influenced by its predecessor, but Super Mario Galaxy 2 stood out as more than just a standard sequel. The fact of the matter is that this 3D platformer managed to perfect everything that came before it — every mechanic, every move, every jump — and it introduced even more. Mario Galaxy 2 is about as inventive as you can get with the genre, and it’s really hard to see what other developers, or Nintendo itself, will do next. The crazy power-ups, huge bosses, and level variety were some of the most revolutionary in the genre. It’s hard to pick out a single excellent moment with this game because there are just too many. Whether you were engaging in some head-tilting action and upside-down platforming, experiencing the wonders of a brand new universe, or giving Yoshi a ride, Mario Galaxy 2 was one of the most unique games on the Wii and easily its best offering.
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