The Wii U launch is fast approaching, and with it comes a ton of potential for some incredible gaming experiences. In preparation for Nintendo’s upcoming console, let’s look back at its previous effort, the Wii. While the company’s shiny little box was at the receiving end of both praise and criticism, the console still featured quite the library of impressive titles. Seriously. Let’s take a look back at the Wii one last time and celebrate 50 gems that were truly worth playing, and that you can still play on your brand new Wii U! Oh, but before we do so, let’s give a shout out to Captain Rainbow, which sadly never saw the light of day in North America.
50. Sonic and the Secret Rings
This early Wii game from Sega featured both a huge shift and a return to form for the blue blur. On the one hand, Sonic and the Secret Rings was an on-rails action-platformer with RPG elements. On the other hand, its core gameplay was based around one element: speed. After years of underwhelming efforts, Sega released a game that had Sonic going fast again, and it was quite delightful. The game’s RPG elements were actually rewarding, too, allowing players to customize Sonic’s different abilities and grant him different moves. Sonic and the Secret Rings may not have been perfect, but it was hectic, fast-paced, and just plain fun.
49. Wii Sports Resort
While Wii Sports was a fun tech demo-esque Wii pack-in, Wii Sports Resort was a much more complete collection of sports-themed mini-games. The gameplay was fun and inviting, and really, this compilation is definitely the game that should’ve been bundled alongside the Wii at launch. With its tight MotionPlus controls and party game appeal, Wii Sports Resort was a shining example of Nintendo’s “let’s play together” mentality.
48. Mario Strikers Charged
The original Super Mario Strikers played a lot more like hockey than actual soccer, but it was still a total blast, especially when multiple players got together. Mario Strikers Charged threw in some great additions to the formula including more characters, even crazier gameplay, and online multiplayer. It’s a shame that more Wii games didn’t adopt an online component like Charged did, because that element really added to the game’s replay value, inviting folks to take each other on and become the top ranked player. Of course, Charged wouldn’t be worth playing online if it wasn’t fun, and with highly intuitive and addictive gameplay, it was easy to lose track of time while playing match after match against online opponents.
47. Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon
Despite the fact that plenty of individuals had reservations regarding the combat in Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon, there was no denying that the game’s atmosphere was absolutely incredible. The dark environments, foreboding tone, and creepy themes meshed seamlessly with an involving, enthralling plot to create quite the unique Wii experience. The anime visuals also gave the game a sense of style that accompanied the breathtaking and awe-inspiring scenery.
46. Boom Blox Bash Party
So Steven Spielberg designed a game, and it was pretty awesome. Boom Blox wasn’t some cinematic experience, though. What this physics-based puzzler brought to the table was a bit different, tasking players to blow stuff up. It was a simple premise, but one that was a great deal of fun. Still, the first Boom Blox was not without a few flaws, and its sequel Boom Blox Bash Party remedied those issues while infusing even more awesomeness into the experience. Hundreds of stages, space-themed levels with distinct physics, a robust editor, and online level sharing were some of the best components of Bash Party, making this Spielberg sequel a ride well worth taking.
45. Conduit 2
The Conduit on the Wii was a promising FPS that wasn’t as special as it could’ve been. When Conduit 2 hit the scene, however, developer High Voltage Software made sure to give players some incredible level design, impressive bosses, stunning visuals, and tight shooter gameplay. While functional co-op and online multiplayer components were thrown in for good measure, it’s the lengthy and compelling campaign mode that really made Conduit 2 an FPS worth playing on the Wii.
44. Excitebots: Trick Racing
Excitebots: Trick Racing is one of those rare Wii gems that actually featured an online component. Thanks to its magnificent racing gameplay, that multiplayer feature was a brilliant element that made the game shine. As if that wasn’t enough, local multiplayer made it so that two players could take each other on across the game’s varied tracks. Rounding out the package was a collection of offbeat mini-games that were a joy to play. What this all added up to was a totally rewarding Wii racer that simply begged to be played.
43. Tasunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars
The crossover fighter Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars proved that you could have a solid fighting game experience on the Wii. Controls were intuitive, making combos simple to learn and easy to pull off. That didn’t mean the game didn’t have depth, though. With various combos and addictive gameplay, this arcade title quickly managed to become one of the best fighters on Nintendo’s platform. There’s no denying that porting this game to the Wii was a bit of a risky move on Capcom’s part, but thanks to the company taking that risk, Wii-owning fighting game fans got to check out one heck of a title.
42. Animal Crossing: City Folk
Simply put, the Animal Crossing series provides some of the most cathartic experiences on Nintendo consoles. Animal Crossing: City Folk was no different, taking what made its predecessor on the DS such a hit and delivering a similarly joyous experience on the Wii. The game offered collectible items, changing seasons, periodic festivals, and online multiplayer, creating a world well worth visiting over and over again. WiiSpeak was even introduced for City Folk, allowing players to communicate with one another online. It wasn’t very different from its predecessors, but that did little to take away from this richly serene experience.
41. Rhythm Heaven Fever
Rhythm Heaven Fever isn’t only one of the last great games to come to the Wii; it’s one of the best games on the console, period. After the success of the quirky DS original, it only made sense to expand the series to the home console space. What you got with Fever was a remarkably refreshing mix of Japanese style, catchy music, and addictive rhythm gameplay. This game wasn’t going to be released in North America, but Nintendo ultimately opted to bring this stylish experience to this side of the planet, in the process delivering an experience that would certainly put countless ridiculous grins on the faces of many.
We’ve barely touched on a few outstanding Wii games thus far. Stay tuned as we take a look at 10 more incredible experiences on the system as we prepare for the launch of the Wii U. Believe us, there are actually 50 outstanding games on the Wii, and damn it, we're going to get to them all!
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