While Nintendo’s slow descent into mediocrity started for me with the Nintendo 64, it was the Wii that turned me off to the company completely. It’s funny that Nintendo was notorious for being super-strict back in the day about the “Nintendo Seal of Quality” during the NES heyday (even going as far as limiting how many games a company could publish), because they obviously didn’t care about the quality of games by the time the Wii was on the market. Released in 2006, the Nintendo Wii was plagued with shovel-ware — all kinds of fly-by-night publishers and developers trying to make a quick buck by using the gimmick of the Wii-mote and nunchuk and trying to fool parents and little children alike with some of the worst-looking family/party games ever created.
I’m not sure what all goes into gaining the rights to create a game for a console these days, but Nintendo really messed up by letting so much shovel-ware come out for this system. It hurt both the Nintendo brand and the reputation of the Wii, at least as far as my personal opinion goes.
Further compounding the issue of a poor library of games, was the fact that the Wee didn’t have a lot of third-party support (a trend that started with the N64). The Wii was way under-powered, way too gimmicky, and catered to a way different crowd than Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox One, which made it difficult for majors developers and publishers to be interested in creating games for the Wii. Despite this, Nintendo sold over 100 million Wii consoles and “won” its console generation war against Sony & Microsoft in terms of most units sold. The Wii was a cultural phenomenon, but I consider much of its success to be a fluke, in all honesty. It was a novelty.
Nintendo tried to repeat the process when they released the Wii-U in 2012, but that system was such a flop the company quickly began work on a new console in 2014. That console was the Nintendo Switch, which was released in February 2017.
Okay, enough of a history lesson. The Wii isn’t a great console, in my opinion, but it did offer a few great games and a number of fun ones. That said, here is my personal list of the best of the Wii. These games are all Wii-exclusives, unless otherwise noted.
Oh, and keep in mind I gave up on the Wii a few years before Nintendo did, so if there’s any glaring omissions from the last few years of its lifespan, that’s why.
MadWorld is unique in that it’s one of the few M-rated games to appear on the Wii. It’s black & white Sin City-influenced visual style only served to highlight the violence by way of the bright red blood that would see splatter all over the screen. Along with its use of dark humor, the game was a complete breath of fresh air for me as a Wii console owner. I’m surprised it ever made it to the Wii and that neither Sony nor Microsoft have ever ported this game for their consoles. I wish they would, or at least give us a legit sequel. As I’m writing this, I’ve discovered both PS3 & Xbox 360 got a “spiritual sequel” called Anarchy Reigns. I’m gonna have to track down a copy of that.
Well, if the black and white art style of MadWorld isn’t your thing, then try de Blob! In this game, you’re some weird creature living in a world where all of the color has been taken away and it’s your job to literally paint the town red (or blue, or yellow, or green, or purple, et cetera). It’s an addicting puzzle platformer.
Wii’s Klonoa is a remake version of Klonoa: Door to Phantomile, which originally appeared on the original Sony Playstation. I’ve never played the PS1 version, but I loved this Wii remake. Great platforming with a sense of humor and a lot of heart. This is another series of games I wish someone would bring back.
Mario Kart Wii
It’s Mario Kart. Does anything else need to be said? This game is easily the one I devoted the most hours to on the Wii. The option to play with others all over the world was a new and fun idea for Nintendo.
Super Mario Galaxy
One of the most beautiful looking games on the console. Such a weird, wacky concept, but it worked. I never got around to playing the sequel though as I had left the Wii behind by that point.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Not since the Super Nintendo had we seen a side-scrolling Mario game on a home console… and it featured four-player co-op! I was really excited when this game came out. Never got around to beating it though, but it was fun. Maybe I should dust off my Wii and this game and give it a shot again.
2008, Zoo Games
Not a great game, but a fun time waster. It’s a cooking simulation that is often frustrating and difficult as you’re trying to get a good rating for your restaurant from a food critic.
No More Heroes
Much like MadWorld, this was another over-the-top M-rated game. It isn’t perfect (or easy) but it’s fun going around challenging assassin as you work your way up the list on your way to becoming the best killer of all!
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
I have to be honest, I’m not a huge Super Smash Bros. fan. I’m not a fan of fighting games in general, but still, this was a fun game and I enjoyed the side-scrolling storyline mode.
Super Paper Mario
Another great addition of the Paper Mario series. The Paper Mario games are some of the funniest and wittiest games I’ve every played. This one upped the ante by allowing you to “flip” between the 2D world and 3D world. If I ever bought the now discontinued Wii-U (and I probably never will), it would be so that I could play Paper Mario: Color Splash.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Okay, this game isn’t an exclusive at all. But I had a lot of fun playing it on the Wii. It was a natural fit slinging you light saber around with the Wii-mote. A lot of games felt forced (no pun intended) with the use of the Wii-mote motion controls, but this game pulled it off very well. Additionally, the game had a good story line, which made it all the more enjoyable.