As you no doubt know if you’re a follower or a fan, the Wii U is here, meaning Nintendo‘s previous system, the Wii, is now left to slowly fade into our memories… so I figured it’d be nice to take a look back at some of the games that helped Nintendo‘s little underpowered box compete against, and beat, the significantly more powerful PS3 and Xbox 360.
If you haven’t played this yet, shame on you. While the sequel is seen by most as the better of the two releases, I’ve got a more fond spot in my heart for the first. It showed off what the Wii was visually capable of if you were actually trying, and the gameplay was absolutely perfect. The best 3D Mario game, and one of the most enjoyable games of all time.
While the Wii launched with a Zelda, Twilight Princess was nothing more than a GameCube port held off so it could be released on two systems at once (and the GameCube version is seen as the superior one by many fans). The final big Nintendo release for the Wii, Skyward Sword, was built from the ground up with not only the Wii, but specifically the Wii’s Motion Plus add-on, in mind; and it was incredible. Bright visuals, challenging puzzles, a story that actually made you care about Zelda and Link‘s relationship, and true 1-to-1 swordplay make Skyward Sword one of the best games in the Zelda franchise.
Late into the Wii‘s lifespan, we saw releases slow to a trickle, with most developers giving up on the system in favor of the flashier, more powerful competition. Leave it to Nintendo to, once again, show us that graphical power is all in how you use it. While in standard definition, Kirby‘s adventure still looked like it truly was made out of nothing more than yarn. A visual spectacle, and while it was impossible to lose since you had infinite lives, definitely a challenging title worthy of your time.
I know what you’re thinking. It’s a Sonic game… but seriously, Sonic Colors not only showed that Sega was finally getting 3D Sonic games right, but it was a Wii exclusive that practically everyone was urged to play. Being one of the rare “good” Sonic games since Sonic Adventure didn’t hurt.
Capcom‘s Zelda-but-as-a-dog game may now be outmatched with an HD release on the PS3, but at the time of its release it was, and in some ways still is, a brilliant masterpiece. A visual flair all its own, gameplay that utilized the Wii Remote‘s pointer function, and a compelling story. Worth picking up.
Yes, Wii Sports Resort did it better (and sold a lot of Wii Motion Plus add-ons), but Wii Sports did it first and was played by millions more. It showed us for the first time the potential of motion controls, and helped initiate millions of people who otherwise would have never even thought about gaming.
Keep in mind, there are many more titles that had an impact. I’m not even scratching the surface here… Resident Evil 4, Muramasa, The Last Story, Punch-Out, and Red Steel 2 are also awesome experiences, and there are loads more. The good news is you can pick up most, if not all, of these titles for cheap now that the Wii U is out… and it’s fully backwards compatible.