We know the Wii didn't have a very strong year. In all honesty, 2011 was pretty darn pitiful for Nintendo's shiny console. Remember when awesome exclusives like No More Heroes 2, Little King's Story, Donkey Kong Country Returns, and Super Mario Galaxy used to launch on the Wii? Yeah, 2011 didn't provide a very successful library of games for the family-friendly platform, but there were still a few winners. We decided to painstakingly fish out the top top five exclusives to release for the Wii in 2011.
5. Conduit 2
What the heck happened? The Wii seemed like an optimal platform for first-person shooters, yet we hardly got any we could really care about. That is, of course, with the exception of Conduit 2. While the first game presented some cool ideas, it was Conduit 2 that really set itself up as one of the best FPS games on the Wii, and a great game for any fan of the genre regardless of console preference. With stunning visuals, fun multiuplayer modes, and impressive controls, Conduit 2 is a shining example that developers can make a great FPS on the Wii.
Arguably the best WiiWare game to launch this year, MotoHeroz provides a more cartoon-like experience from the folks who developed Trials HD. Offering addictive side-scrolling racing, this physics-based game is fun to play alone or with friends. And while the argument can be made that it should have included a traditional online multiplayer component, there's no denying that MotoHeroz may very well be one of the last great games on WiiWare.
3. Bit.Trip Complete
That's right, we're including a freakin' compilation on this list. Hey, the Wii was light on releases, go easy on us! Despite the fact that you can play Bit.Trip games on multiple platforms, it's impossible to forget that the series got its start on WiiWare. And now that each of these masterfully crafted rhythm / action games have been compiled on a single Wii disc, we'd be hard-pressed to find a better value elsewhere. The Bit.Trip games are a testament to game design that's both challenging and fun, and Bit.Trip Complete is an easy recommendation to any serious gamer with a Wii.
2. Kirby's Return to Dream Land
The Kirby series is known for its simple, inviting platforming. Though it may not be complex, it's most certainly compelling, rewarding, and just plain fun. The level design in Kirby's Return to Dream Land is some of the best in the series, and the pink puffball's new copy abilities are nothing short of impressive. Whether you're playing alone or with up to four players, Kirby's Return to Dream Land is one of the best platformers of 2011, and any Wii owner with a lick of sense would do well to add this game to his or her library.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
The best Zelda game in years is also one of the best games of 2011. The game's world is a sheer joy to behold, the music is brilliant, the graphics are amazing, and the gameplay is absolutely fantastic. If you own a Wii and have yet to play The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, we don't know what's wrong with you. Featuring stellar puzzles and combat that rely on MotionPlus technology, Western RPG elements, and all of the rich history that the Zelda series is known for, Skyward Sword is a great way to end 2011 for the Wii. This game almost makes it easy to forgive the Big N for not releasing more noteworthy titles on the Wii throughout 2011. It's that damn good.
It's possible that 2010 was the last truly great year for the Wii. After all, titles such as Metroid: Other M, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Monster Hunter Tri, and Super Mario Galaxy 2 all made it great to own a Wii last year. That said, there were a few games worth playing on the Big N's current home console in 2011. Conduit 2, MotoHeroz, Bit.Trip Complete, Kirby's Return to Dream Land, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword were all worthwhile releases that you should have definitely dusted off your Wii to play this year.