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.