These games are amazing in their own rights, and mark a high point in some aspect of gaming.
Tokyo Mirage Session #FE
Formerly SMTxFE, this JRPG oozes style, and features a strangely appealing J-Pop soundtrack and focus on the Idol industry of Japan. While it's subject matter is not as dark as SMT fans are accustomed to, it has a lot of core elements borrowed from Persona and Fire Emblem. Beneath its bright and bubbly exterior is a great JRPG that really could have used a modern "fast-forward combat" feature.
Super Mario Maker
This is the greatest use of user generated content in the history of gaming. Super Mario Maker gives millions of fans an easy to use development tool, filled with amazing variety and content that's entirely new to the franchise, then lets them upload and share their creations with the entire world. Human-kind's creativity is mind boggling, and nowhere is that more evident than the fan creations of Super Mario Maker. Like the fully functional "Mecha Bowzilla" depicted above.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Many gamers were disappointed to see Nintendo announce yet another 2D side-scrolling platformer in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. This most definitely wasn't the game Nintendo needed to announce for the struggling hardware, but that's not because it wasn't a good game. On the contrary, many feel Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is the best 2D platformer ever made. I wouldn't go that far, but here's a reason it's being mentioned in this article, and it's not just the stellar soundtrack.
Super Mario 3D World
Pure joy incarnate. This game is divisive because it's a more linear and less open version of 3D platforming, but anyone that tells you the game is anything less than amazing is lying to you. Super Mario 3D World merges 2D Mario's linearity and precision with the third dimension, creating a highly polished experience somewhere in between.
1. Xenoblade Chronicles X
Oh man that swerve! Most people were probably expecting a Super Mario game to be placed here when they opened this list, but no. Xenoblade Chronicles X is a game of excess. Planet Mira is one of the largest game maps ever designed by humans, not counting procedurally generated games. The world is truly seamless too, with a load screen only appearing when players send their characters through the barracks or when using fast travel.
While other games have large maps too, the traversal is usually somewhat limited. Players can literally go anywhere on Xenoblade's map. Freedom is the selling point of this game, and unlike No Man's Sky, there's actually stuff to do.
The world of Mira is beautiful. Yes, it has a low resolution, the textures aren't perfect, there's pop in, the shadows aren't dynamic, the combat tutorials don't explain the full depths of combat very well, and the (completely optional) fetch quests can become repetitive, but Xenoblade Chronicles X is the first time I have ever played a game set on not-Earth, and felt like I was on an actual alien planet. Fantasy and science fiction come together to make a gorgeous world that's packed full of life. There is always something to do, and virtually every task gives EXP and other rewards, meaning characters are progressing no matter what the player sets out to accomplish.
I have spent 300+ hours in the world of Xenoblade Chronicles X and I have placed every probe, found every sightseeing spot, and unlocked what is arguably the strongest Skell in the game. However, I'm still nowhere near finishing everything the game has to offer: There are still Tyrants to kill, super bosses hunt, Skells to unlock, characters to recruit, treasure to salvage, gear to augment, weapons to design, story lines to tie up, etc. Hell, while revisiting the game to write this article, I found a hidden area with a powerful super boss just chilling in it.
Xenoblade Chronicles X is flawed, but the strong points are so overwhelming, and the content so expansive, that even the big flaws are overshadowed. Like fellow game of epic scope The Witcher 3, Xenoblade Chronicles X is a game players can buy and play almost endlessly. Unlike The Witcher 3, though, combat doesn't suck in Xenoblade Chronicles X.
There you have it. I'm sure some of you will disagree, especially with Xenoblade's placement, but that's why we have a comments section. In fact, let's turn this on its head: Tell us what your list is in the comments section below, and I'll let you know why you're wrong about Xenoblade Chronicles X, if it's not in the #1 spot.
3. Bayonetta 2
Surprised? You shouldn't be, Bayonetta 2 is the best action game in years. The original Bayonetta overtook Devil May Cry for the right to were the crown when it comes to character action games, and an upgraded port came to the Wii U as a free pack in with Bayonetta 2. Sadly, I made the mistake of playing Bayonetta 2 first: After playing the sequel, the original just couldn't compare.
Bayonetta 2 doesn't have a perfect frame rate, but the flow of action feels silky smooth. The rigidity of the original is gone, replaced with a fluidity of control that was only recently matched by Metal Gear Solid V:The Phantom Pain. The simple act of moving around feels great and lends itself well to long combo chains and sick action. If you love action games and want to test your skills, there's not much better on the market today, and if you want to relax and just enjoy a game where cool stuff happens, there's a mode for that: Bayonetta 2's touch controls make it so anyone can enjoy the combat. In fact, the game won an accessibility award from AbleGamers.
Bayonetta 2 actually makes the original game's story become somewhat coherent. You'll never catch me saying it was good, but it brought some understanding to a clusterf%*k and made it even more awesome. The stakes have been raised as this time Bayonetta takes on the forces of heaven and hell, and nothing can quite compare to the visual spectacle and outlandish situations our heroine thrusts herself into.
2. Mario Kart 8
The best selling game on the Wii U. When I say most Wii U owners have this game, it's not an exaggeration: Over 57% of Wii U owners have Mario Kart 8. The game deserves even more sales though, which is why it's allegedly coming to the Nintendo Switch as an enhanced port.
Mario Kart 8 is a triumph of visual design, remaining one of the best looking video games of the generation through its well realized artistic direction. The sound is no slouch either, with a jazzy, orchestrated soundtrack that will stay in your ear long after the console is turned off. Then, we come to the rock solid gameplay, where the anti-gravity segments add something new by rewarding players with speed boosts for ricocheting off of select objects and other racers.
Add to that total package a free 200cc update, plus some of the best, and most reasonably priced, DLC to ever grace a video game, and it's not hard to see why Mario Kart 8 sold so much on a system that sold so little. Bonus: Mario Kart 8's wild sales popularity made Polygon look like utter fools after they ran an article predicting it would only sell about 2 million copies, complete with the worst pie chart ever made. They have since removed the pie chart from the article, but the internet never forgets.
Mario Kart 8 could have easily topped this list, but I'll be damned if it's going to take the top spot after what Nintendo did to the battle mode. You can't have a battle mode on regular race tracks you imbeciles, what the hell were you thinking!?
The Wii U is officially dead, the confirmation coming a mere week after Nintendo denied rumors of its passing. Quite frankly, the system was an underappreciated, but flawed gem. I still maintain that the Wii U possesses the best games of the generation, many of which will find their way to the Nintendo Switch as updated semi-sequel ports.
In light of the Wii U's passing, we've decided to bring you the top five games the Wii U has to offer, starting with:
People laughed when they heard Nintendo was going to make a competitive shooter on their own. Almost everybody in the gaming community pinned it as a flop, or at very least severely underestimated its potential appeal. Very few realized it would go on to be the best shooter of the generation.
That's not hyperbole, I stand by my claim that Splatoon, as it is now, is the hands down best console shooter in the world, followed very closely by DOOM. It's not flawless, the single-player campaign is laughably short, and the inability to pick your own stages in standard online is a drag. Some say the lack of voice chat is a negative, but its absence has prevented the toxicity of modern shooter chat in a game that has an unusually high number of younger children. Besides, who doesn't have Skype these days?
Splatoon took the most violent genre in gaming, made it child-friendly, and used the ink mechanic to create dynamic levels that other shooters simply cannot replicate. The ink is the lifeblood of the game. It's ammo, it alters how players can traverse the map, and laying ink to claim territory or alter how the opponents can proceed allows less skilled players to contribute greatly to their team's success. It's unique and genius.
The spirit of 90's Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network is alive and well within the confines of Splatoon. It did something different, reinvigorating the completely stale shooter genre. The ease of entry and obscenely high accessibility is simply amazing and is part of the reason why the game has sold over 4.5 million copies, despite being on a console that has failed to sell much more than 13 million units. If the Nintendo Switch is a success, it's not a big leap to assume Splatoon will become the biggest shooter IP on a single platform metric. Just like…
4. Super Smash Bros for Wii U
Super Smash Bros. is currently the best selling fighting game series in the world. There are five games in the series (if you count Wii U and 3DS separately), which make up five of the top eight best-selling fighting games in history. In fact, positions 1-3 are held by Smash. With a new version coming to Nintendo Switch, the franchise is set to overtake Tekken as the best selling fighting game series of all time.
In this illustrious franchise, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the worst selling entry due to it being on a failed console, is the cream of the crop. You may hear some Melee fans cry loudly about wave dashing, etc, but SSB4 is the most balanced gameplay experience in the series. It has the biggest roster, the best online, 8 player smash, runs at 1080p/60fps, has a lot of customization, and boasts the best crossovers in all of gaming. Best. Smash. Ever.
It would rank higher on this list, but the single-player campaign is nonexistent after Brawl had the utterly amazing Subspace Emissary. Also, the new mini-games are garbage. Board the Platforms and Break the Targets were ingenious ways to teach players how to use their character's techniques to the best of their abilities. The new stuff? Not so much.