Best Wii U Games (Updated 2021)

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Summary List

The Wii U is a console filled with a unique and intriguing library that a lot of Nintendo fans sadly didn’t get to experience. But with the current ubiquity of the Nintendo Switch, and the growing list of ported Wii U titles, many have been reviewing and discussing the Wii U (and its library). While there are a ton of recognizable, iconic series’ titles like Super Smash Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon, there are also a ton of lesser known games that are equally as fantastic.

If you haven’t had the chance to play the Wii U before, or you’re looking for a gift for a friend or family member, it might feel like it’s a bit difficult to find games that fit your preferences. But if you keep in mind factors like gameplay, visual style, story, and genre, then it’ll be a lot easier to narrow down your search and find the game that you’re looking for.

Mario Kart 8 is a summation of all of the best elements of previous iterations in the series, with the addition of fantastic, novel gameplay mechanics that feel like they should’ve always been a part of Mario Kart. With Mario Kart Wii previously being seen as one of the best titles in series, Nintendo definitely had expectations to live up to with their next home console release in the series.

Mario Kart 8 offers a significantly larger amount of content than many of its predecessors, with a total of 32 tracks and 36 characters. Choose between tons of familiar faces as you race on tracks both old and new. And for the first time, players are given the option to experience a more intense speed — 200 cc.

Maps now include segments that involve paragliding, and vehicles are fully customizable, allowing players to find their perfect, unique settings. A variety of new items have been added alongside all of the most familiar ones, and tracks very extremely in terms of length and difficulty.

The graphics are flat out gorgeous, with noticeable meticulousness having been given to character design, stage design, and general visuals. And like with every previous Mario Kart title, the music will be stuck in your head from the moment that you start playing it!

So, if you’re a fan of the Mario Kart series, or you’re looking to become a fan after hearing about one of the series games, you need to give Mario Kart 8 a try. Although it’s counterpart on the Nintendo Switch offers a variety of additional features (e.g., more characters, more stages, etc.), Mario Kart 8 still holds a mighty candle to it’s deluxe version on Nintendo Switch today.

Key Features
  • Optimized and refined title in Mario Kart series
  • Variety of ways to play with friends and family
  • Endless hours of fun; replayability
  • Vs, Battle, and Grand Prix modes
Specifications
  • Genre: Kart Racing
  • Mode: Single-player, Multiplayer
  • Rating: E
  • Publisher: Nintendo
Pros
  • Large variety of characters and stages
  • Extremely engaging gameplay
  • New speed levels/difficulties
Cons
  • All DLC characters/stages and more included in Deluxe
  • Limited amount of game modes

For many who spent years playing their Wii after its release, there was a particular game that kept these fans coming back. Wii Sports was a game that was nearly omnipresent after its release, attracting the attention of tens of millions of non-gamers and gamers alike. With the massive success of its release, and its continued success years later, Nintendo was bound to take another stab at the sports genre with their familiar, family-friendly touch.

Wii Sports Club is Nintendo’s response to fans wanting more from Wii Sports, and although there are a few minimal differences, it’s essential an HD remaster of it’s predecessor. With nearly all of the sports involved in this game having been in Wii Sports, people have the chance to relive the joy they first experience playing the title on the Wii.

Choose between updated versions of Tennis, Bowling, Boxing, Baseball, and — the new addition — golf. Players can use tactile or gyroscopic (i.e., motion-sensing) controls depending on their personal preferences, respective to the sport they’re playing. Games have been visually updated, and minor adjustments have been made to make gameplay smoother and more intuitive.

Although it’s definitely a great game to enjoy with family and friends, and offers an enjoyable opportunity for those uninterested in conventional games, Wii Sports Club is noticeably lacking in terms of new or original content. This game is a re-packaging of the previous console’s title, with a lot less effort but the same level of enjoyability.

If you’ve already had the chance to play Wii Sports, then this game may feel a bit redundant. But if you haven’t had the chance to play or own Wii Sports, then you should definitely try this game, because it’s sure to give you hundreds of hours of fun with family and friends for the foreseeable future.

Key Features
  • Relive the joy of Wii Sports in this HD remaster
  • Choose from 5 enjoyable sports
  • Play with friends and family
  • Great for gaming newcomers
Specifications
  • Genre: Sports
  • Mode: Single-player, Multiplayer
  • Rating: E
  • Publisher: Nintendo
Pros
  • Engaging and responsive gameplay
  • Refined graphics/visuals
  • Variety of modes/sports to play
Cons
  • Very limited amount of new content
  • Minimal updates to gameplay and controls

Splatoon is one of Nintendo’s newest intellectual properties, with Splatoon 2 consistently being one of the most played multiplayer games on the Nintendo Switch. With many of Nintendo’s most popular series and titles being RPG/Action/Adventure-centric, it’s understandable that the company decided to expand its core audience by branching out into the realm of third-person shooters.

The main characters in Splatoon are known as Octolings and Inklings, and they’re able to shape-shift between two different forms (their human form and a squid-like form). The game involves offline/online multiplayer and single-player modes that allow players to quickly familiarize themselves with the extremely unique and novel gameplay. In your human form, cover your enemies and the arena in ink; in your squid form, swim through the ink on the ground/walls to quickly attack or escape

The art style of Splatoon is colorful, dynamic, and stylish, calling back to the aesthetic of games like Jet Set Radio (minus the cel-shading). The music is equally charming and noteworthy, comprising a surprisingly underrated gem in the Wii U’s library.

Still, Splatoon isn’t a game without limitations. It’s relatively one-dimensional gameplay and amount of modes offers players an experience that can definitely become repetitive over time. Although, its gameplay is extremely unique, it can also feel very one-dimensional.

Splatoon is an exciting game for its time that demonstrated a huge amount of potential that could be expanded and improved upon for the sequel. As one of the best games in the Wii U’s library, there are a bunch of enjoyable elements to experience — and it also an intriguing experience for any fans of Splatoon 2 who might’ve not had the chance to try the first title.

Key Features
  • Third-person shooter title on Wii U
  • Interesting characters and plot
  • Colorful, chaotic four vs. four battles
  • Single-player and multiplayer modes
Specifications
  • Genre: Third-person shooter
  • Mode: Single-player, Multiplayer
  • Rating: E
  • Publisher: Nintendo
Pros
  • Unique and well-crafted art style
  • Inventive and refreshing gameplay
  • Lots of replayability
Cons
  • Limited single player modes
  • Gameplay can occasionally feel one dimensional

Bayonetta 2 is an homage to the hack and slash genre and its most infamous titles. The original Bayonetta title was created by PlatinumGames, but more specifically, was directed by Hideki Kamiya. Kamiya’s unique creative style and taste is reflected in his meticulousness with character design, plot/writing, and depth of gameplay; and this level of finesse emanates from nearly every facet of Bayonetta 2.

You play as the titular character, Bayonetta, who — after watching her friend, Jeanne, lose her soul to a demon — races to a mountain named Fimbulventr (known for housing the Gates of Hell) to find and save her companion. Through the course of this quest you’ll encounter a myriad of enemies, bosses, and entrancing landscapes while you collect new weapons and abilities.

Kamiya, this series’ creator, also made the Devil May Cry series, which is evident in the gameplay and rating system of both Bayonetta and its sequel. Chain together seemingly endless combos as you try to set new records for your combat rankings (e.g., C, B, A, S, etc.).

Combat is extremely dynamic and versatile, with the number of potential combos you can create being substantially large. But battles also feel rewarding and impactful; enemies are difficult, and time frames for dodging and countering can be extremely tight. Dodging at the right moment will activate ‘Witch Time’ — an ability that slows down time, allows you to deal higher damage, and builds up your magic gauge. Once your magic gauge has filled, you can activate the ‘Umbran Climax’, which is a new ability that will allow you to deal massive amounts of damage.

Bayonetta 2’s art style is as gorgeous and thoroughly developed as its soundtrack. The iconic character designs, environments, and gameplay elements have all influenced subsequent hack and slash titles. With the release of Bayonetta 3 potentially on the horizon (having been announced as in development back in 2017), there’s no better time than now to explore the series if you haven’t had the chance to yet!

Key Features
  • Fantastic sequel to Bayonetta
  • Battle countless demons as you race to save a friend
  • Customize your arsenal for a unique an individualized experience
  • Single-player mode
Specifications
  • Genre: Hack and Slash, Action
  • Mode: Single-player
  • Rating: M
  • Publisher: Nintendo
Pros
  • Extremely customizable and versatile gameplay
  • Challenging and rewarding battles/puzzles
  • Extremely replayable
Cons
  • Relatively short game
  • Limited amount of game modes

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a clear masterpiece that’s not only one of the best Zelda titles ever released, but is one of the best action-adventure games ever made.

Breath of the Wild combines a variety of the best elements from previous titles, but introduces them in a completely different context — an expansive and vast open world. Breath of the Wild is the first mainline Zelda title that offers players complete freedom to choose the route of their story and experience, rather than the usual linear gameplay that previous titles have incorporated.

From the moment the game begins, you’re greeted with the familiar expressionless face of Link, our beloved hero of Hyrule. As you complete the beginning of the introductory tutorial, you’ll be introduced the breathtaking, lively world of Hyrule. As you look around you and realize that everything within your field of view is fully accessible and traversable, the gravity of the scale of the world of this game truly begins to set in.

Gameplay is refined, tight, and extremely responsive. With battle mechanics being reminiscent of iconic titles like Twilight Princess, Link seamlessly switches between combat and free roaming as you decide whether or not to battle the enemies you encounter along your journey. Attacks and dodges are crucial, and have been appropriately fine-tuned; weapons and shields can now break, increasing their temporary value in tight spots and pressing situations. With a world this large comes the possibility of running into undefeatable enemies (in the early stages of the game), so beware the path you walk!

The stunning art design, the hyponitizing melodies and soundtrack, the enticing and intuitive gameplay, and the jaw-dropping narrative all comprise a literal tour-de-force in both the Wii U’s and Nintendo’s overall library. If you haven’t had the chance to play Breath of the Wild, or potentially haven’t had the chance to play a Zelda title at all before, please give this game a try — calling it one of the best games on the Wii U simply doesn’t do it justice.

Key Features
  • Masterpiece and most recent title in Zelda series
  • Compelling narrative expressed through world-building
  • Immersive world and detailed characters
  • Available on both Wii U and Nintendo Switch
Specifications
  • Genre: Action-adventure
  • Mode: Single-player
  • Rating: E
  • Publisher: Nintendo
Pros
  • Fantastic and refined gameplay
  • Gorgeous art design/visuals
  • Multitude of bosses, shrines, and secrets
Cons
  • Not much replayability
  • Needs more dungeons (ancient beasts)

In the later 90s and early 2000s, Pokémon was just as much of a tour de force on home consoles as it was on handheld consoles. With the most recent iteration of Pokémon being Sword and Shield on the switch, and with the Nintendo Switch having hybridized home consoles and handhelds, the two worlds of Pokémon have finally merged.

But prior the Nintendo Switch, there was a long period of time where fans of the series wanted continuations to the titles we had so greatly enjoyed (e.g. Pokémon Stadium, Pokémon Colosseum, etc.). Fans wanted a Pokémon-based experience that would focus more on diversifying and improving combat — and the fantastic answer to this desire was Pokkén Tournament.

Pokkén Tournament is a fantastic fighting game that revolutionizes the potential of combat, gameplay, and actual Pokémon in terms of the world of Pokémon. Choose from a familiar selection of Pokémon as you learn their specific abilities and combos. Battles are reminiscent of titles like Street Fighter IV, with combos being easy to string, and potential damage being extremely high.

Whether you’re familiar with the world of Pokémon or not, Pokkén Tournament is a fantastic game that has something for almost everyone to appreciate. If you’re not much of a fan of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate because of its occasionally hectic gameplay and pacing, then you’ll probably prefer this title due to its more casual pacing and easier controls.

Between the gorgeous graphics, the extremely unique characters, the hard-to-forget soundtrack, and the satisfyingly in-depth mechanics, Pokkén Tournament is a hidden gem on the Wii U that almost anyone can enjoy.

Key Features
  • Refreshing and engaging Pokémon title
  • Brawl and battle tons of familiar Pokémon
  • Play with friends, family, or alone
  • Available on Wii U and Switch
Specifications
  • Genre: Fighting
  • Mode: Single-player, Multiplayer
  • Rating: E(10+)
  • Publisher: Nintendo
Pros
  • Extremely replayable
  • Diverse cast of playable characters
  • Accessible controls and gameplay
Cons
  • Relatively repetitive gameplay
  • Limited amount of game modes

For a long time, fans of the Star Fox series have been hoping for the release of a title that’s reminiscent of some of the series’ older titles (e.g., Star Fox 64). With the release of Star Fox Zero on the Wii U, longtime fans and newcomers alike were able to experience the mystifying, high-flying galaxy of Star Fox in HD.

Star Fox Zero is a particularly fantastic game for the variety of homages that it pays to iconic titles from previous decades. Gameplay is tight and refined, incorporating the scrolling shooter aspects from Star Fox 64 and Star Fox 2, and more subtle gameplay elements like vehicle transformation. But even if you’re unfamiliar with previous Star Fox titles, or maybe if you haven’t been able to play any Star Fox games at all, you’ll still be able to have a fantastic experience with this game. Fly through hordes of enemies and bosses as you rush to save, help, or fight alongside your many companions.

But wait — there’s actually more. You can also play alongside your friends and fight enemies and bosses together as you discover everything the world of Star Fox Zero has to offer. The use of the Wii U gamepad is innovative and effective, allowing for easy control of your ‘Arwing’.

Star Fox Zero’s strength lies in its ability to unite longtime fans and newcomers with its appealing art design, world-building, gameplay, and characters. Whether you’re looking to dive back into games in your Wii U library, or you’re looking to add a few more that you missed along the way, you’re sure to get hours of fun out of Star Fox Zero from start to finish.

Key Features
  • Exciting and engaging Star Fox title
  • Gorgeous art design and soundtrack
  • Difficult bosses, battles, and enemies
  • Scrolling Shooter experience
Specifications
  • Genre: Scrolling shooter
  • Mode: Single-player, Multiplayer
  • Rating: E
  • Publisher: Nintendo
Pros
  • Variety of play-styles
  • Battle alongside friends and family
  • Challenging yet rewarding gameplay
Cons
  • Relatively one-dimensional gameplay
  • Extremely short game

For fans of Xenoblade Chronicles, or even potential fans who were unable to get their hands on its hard-to-find copies, the anticipation of a sequel, or even a potential spiritual successor, was visibly palpable. Players didn’t know exactly what to expect, especially with the ending of Xenoblade Chronicles being open-ended but effectively concluded. Xenoblade Chronicles X was an answer to the cries of fans of the series, but it’s critical reception reflects the tumultuous journey this game experienced from its development to its release.

Xenoblade Chronicles X is a story with less glimmer and mystery than its predecessor, and more focus on optimization of gameplay and character design. After the destruction of earth is facilitated by extraterrestrial beings in a full-scale conflict, only dregs of humanity remain — some of whom managed to escape shortly before humanity’s downfall.

Unlike Xenoblade Chronicles, the protagonist in this title is totally customizable by abilities and appearance, which personalizes the experience more, for the better.

You’re greeted by a person named Elma on a planet called Mira, where you seemingly have stumbled into another planetary conflict. You become a member of a paramilitary group named BLADE, who protects the dominion you now inhabit from a litany of enemies.

The gameplay in Xenoblade Chronicles X is truly a point of contention. There are a variety of elements that are clearly fantastic, refined, and enjoyable: the open-world and free roam, the full customization of your abilities and character, and the expansion of attack types. But the actual combat can feel extremely lackluster, with most attacks occurring automatically — unlike the active/reactive gameplay of it’s predecessor.

Xenoblade Chronicles X is a tale of identity reflected in both the game’s narrative and itself as a whole. If you haven’t had the chance to experience this game before, and you’re a fan of either Xenoblade Chronicles or Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (particularly 2, which is largely modeled off of this game), then you should consider trying Xenoblade Chronicles today. Though it’s far from perfect, the world-building, characters, and underlying narrative all create a compelling and memorable experience.

Key Features
  • Second title in the Xenoblade series
  • Intriguing narrative with detailed characters
  • Single-player experience
  • Fantastic soundtrack and visuals
Specifications
  • Genre: Action role-playing
  • Mode: Single-player
  • Rating: T
  • Publisher: Nintendo
Pros
  • Gorgeous character and art design
  • Very long playtime
  • Challenging enemies and bosses
Cons
  • Limited game modes
  • Lacks replayability

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker earned cult classic status thanks to a devout set of fans amongst the franchise. It certainly wasn’t the most beloved game in the Zelda franchise, however, those who admired the fresh new take loved the game. This HD remake of The Wind Waker for Wii U is an ode to Nintendo’s desire to innovate.

Nintendo shocked fans with their newest Zelda title in 2002. The game looked nothing like its predecessors. With the franchise seemingly dominating commercial and critical categories, the decision to change the formula was a bold one. The Wind Waker opts for a cell-shaded art style. This marked a huge shift in stylistic tone for the franchise. It gave the game a cartoonish look that provided a ton of charm.

Unfortunately, the new look divided the fan base. Due to its divisiveness, The Wind Waker did not perform as expected in terms of sales. However, the game earned heaps of praise for pushing the franchise in a new direction.

If the stylistic and graphic changes were shocking then, this HD remake released in 2013 is an even brighter display of what makes this game so endearing. The color and art style are a joy to behold throughout the adventure. Players travel across the sea as Link in this ocean-themed adventure.

No Zelda game is complete without a compelling story and mesmerizing audio to enhance the adventure. Utilizing your arsenal to perfection is the key behind effortlessly getting past dungeons and progressing through the game. Keep in mind, as in most Zelda games, certain puzzles will require some commitment and brainpower.

Key Features
  • Sea-based adventure
  • HD remake
  • Cartoonish art style
Specifications
  • Genre: Action-adventure
  • Mode: Single-player
  • Rating: E10+
  • Publisher: Nintendo
Pros
  • Gorgeous graphics
  • Incredible original music
  • Interesting story
  • Difficult puzzles and dungeons
Cons
  • Some fans preferred the previous art style

If video games with a high level of difficulty frustrate you easily, then you might want to stay away from Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. This game is sure to test even the most astute gamers. The level design is without a doubt its strongest feature. Each level is imbued with such detail and charm that you’ll forget you’ve been playing for hours.

The boss battles in Tropical Freeze are yet another respectable feature. You’ll find yourself straining to get through levels only to be met with yet another well-designed roadblock in the form of a boss battle. As with most Nintendo franchises, the audio quality is sublime. The original audio composition is yet another defining factor.

The game does offer cooperative play. However, the levels are so difficult that finding success with two players working in perfect tandem is often impossible. Both players need to be perfect to succeed in cooperative play. Anything short of perfection and your frustration is sure to rise.

The plot is a mere afterthought here and the story progression is clearly on the back burner. Essentially, players must navigate side-scrolling platformer levels. The player must make it to seven different islands in order to defeat the villains. Donkey Kong’s companions make for a fun cast of characters including the popular Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong. Each member of the cast has their own unique abilities. Figuring out when to utilize each member is the key to getting through levels with minimal fuss.

Key Features
  • Cast of characters
  • Colorful world
  • Frozen landscapes
Specifications
  • Genre: Platformer
  • Mode: Single-player, multiplayer
  • Rating: E
  • Publisher: Nintendo
Pros
  • Excellent original audio
  • Challenging for experienced gamers
  • Level design
  • Boss battles
Cons
  • Extremely unforgiving levels
  • Lackluster plot
  • Cooperative play is disappointing

Super Smash Bros for Wii U is an intriguing title in the Smash Bros. series that is somewhat under-appreciated — largely due to the relatively lackluster sales of its console. With its counterpart on the 3DS selling nine million copies (nearly four million more than the Wii U version), Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is one of the lower selling games in the series — which in no way reflects the gorgeous, engaging, and enjoyable gameplay of Smash Bros. for Wii U.

Each Super Smash Bros. title has it’s own pacing of gameplay and sense of gravity, with Smash Bros. for Wii U feeling light-footed, fast-paced, and noticeably rewarding. Gameplay is similar to previous titles, with characters having special and regular attacks, shields, and varying levels of mobility (relative to weight and size).

Choose from as many familiar faces as you can name as you fight with up to 7 other players in battles of literal chaos. With a total of 58 characters and 55 stages — the most characters/stages available in a Smash Bros. title prior to the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate — players are given a truly staggering amount of variety in terms of gameplay and play-styles.

Unlike previous titles, the place where Smash for Wii U truly excels is in the careful crafting of its characters. With almost none of the characters feeling identical, finding the perfect character for you feels that much more personalized. But on the other hand, it’s the one of the only Smash Bros. titles that doesn't have a single-player ‘adventure mode’ (having solely ‘classic mode’), which is definitely a missed opportunity. However, this seems to directly reflect the meticulous level of detail put into characters, stages, and music.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is a game that excels in its accessibility; players of all skills levels will be able to enjoy this game. Whether you’re a newcomer or a longtime fan of the series, it’s easy to see the love and dedication that was put into the gameplay, music, and character/stage design.

Key Features
  • Fourth title in the Smash Bros. series
  • Variety of characters and stages
  • Gorgeous music (occasional re-recordings)
  • Single and multiplayer experience
Specifications
  • Genre: Fighting
  • Mode: Single-player, Multiplayer
  • Rating: E
  • Publisher: Nintendo
Pros
  • 58 characters to choose from
  • Extremely exciting and engaging gameplay
  • Detailed art, character, and stage design
Cons
  • No single-player story mode
  • Frequent issues with online mode

With the successful releases of Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 on the Wii, fans of Nintendo witnessed the true potential of immersive, detailed 3D platformers. With fans not knowing what to expect, Nintendo had the ability to take the series in any direction — whether that be familiar or unfamiliar territory.

With the release of Super Mario 3D Land on the 3DS, it was difficult to predict what sort of Mario title would next be released on a home console. Although fans would’ve definitely been okay with a Super Mario Galaxy 3, Nintendo chose to innovate with the series, in an effort to challenge the tastes of their core audience.

Super Mario 3D World was released to widespread acclaim, effectively reinventing a multitude of the aspects of previous 3D Mario titles that fans had come to adore. Mixing the 2D side-scroller and 3D sandbox elements of previous, Super Mario 3D World is a multifaceted experience for Nintendo fans of all ages. Players can choose between Rosalina, Mario, Peach, Luigi, and Toad, with each character having their own specific skills and abilities.

Choose to play on your own or with friends as you traverse a seemingly endless amount of levels, worlds, and stages. As you battle with enemies and bosses both familiar and unfamiliar, you’ll come to love the staggeringly detailed, unique world of Super Mario 3D (World). With levels as colorful as its characters, Super Mario 3D World creates a memorable experience that marks a period of noteworthy innovation by Nintendo.

Key Features
  • Innovative Mario title on Wii U
  • Engaging, novel gameplay and mechanics
  • Variety of levels and worlds to enjoy
  • Single-player and multiplayer experience
Specifications
  • Genre: Platformer
  • Mode: Single-player, Multiplayer
  • Rating: E
  • Publisher: Nintendo
Pros
  • Lots of replayability
  • Gorgeous, detailed levels
  • Variety of characters to play
Cons
  • Finicky camera angles
  • Relatively short playtime; 10 - 20 hours

There are a nice selection of fantastic games on the Wii U, the successor to the Wii, many of which are now being enjoyed or remade on the Nintendo Switch. But regardless of how you plan to play them, how do you know which Wii U games are for you? Here are a few factors to consider that’ll help with your search.

It's All (Or At Least Somewhat) Appearances

A video game’s visuals are one of its most important elements. With so many games on the Wii U having completely different art styles and visual influences, there’s a wide range to choose from. Are you looking for a game with more photorealistic graphics or one that’s more cartoonish? Maybe you’re a fan of cel-shaded graphics? If you’re trying to get into a certain series, try to watch some of the actual gameplay to see the art style. The difference between, for example, the art styles of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild might be enough to make your introduction to the series that much more enjoyable.

What's Your Favorite Genre?

Another important factor that’s a bit more obvious is the genre. Whether you’re looking for a fighting game, an adventure game, an action game, or a puzzle game, it's important to try and find similarities between the games you’ve played, and enjoyed, and the games you’re looking for.

Certain games like Breath of the Wild will incorporate multiple genres (e.g. puzzle, action-adventure, RPG, etc.), while other games will focus solely on one genre. Are you looking for a game to play with family and friends? Then, maybe a party game, racing game, or fight game will work well. Are you looking for more of a solo, lengthy experience? Then action-adventure and RPGs will be more up your lane.

A lot of trailers nowadays are made up largely of cutscenes from games, rather than actual gameplay. But in reality, the gameplay is the aspect that you should pay the most attention to when trying to find the best Wii U games for you. If you’ve already got some games in mind, then it’s worth it to watch a bit of its gameplay before you decide to try it. If you’re a fan of RPGs, you’ll want to distinguish between turn-based combat and active/reactive combat. In the case of fighting games, you should distinguish between more accessible combat (like Super Smash Bros). versus more competitive combat (like Street Fighter or Dragon Ball FighterZ). These are just a few examples, but once you have a good idea of what a game’s gameplay is like, you’ll have a much better idea of whether it actually fits your preferences.

These are just a few of the things that you should keep in mind while looking through this guide. Hopefully, you’ll end up finding a new favorite series — and if you haven’t played the Wii U before, maybe even a new favorite console.

FAQ

Q: Are the Wii U and Wii different consoles?

The Wii U and the Wii are two different consoles from different eras of gaming. In fact, the Wii U is the direct sequel to the Wii. It’s not often we see Nintendo consoles receive direct sequels. The Wii U was released back in 2012 as the successor to the Wii. It belongs to the eighth generation of video game consoles. Stylistically the Wii U’s white exterior greatly resembles the Wii. The console itself even keeps the same shape. However, the Wii U comes with a gamepad that features a touchscreen as the focal point. The Wii U made Nintendo history for being the company’s first console to support HD graphics. Some of the best Wii U games are available in HD.

Q: Was the Wii U a success?

Unfortunately, the Wii U was deemed a colossal failure. Nintendo had just created one of their most successful consoles of all time in the Wii. The Wii sold approximately 101 million units. This is the fourth best-selling home console of all time. It is also Nintendo’s best-selling console of all time. Naturally, the Wii U was never going to meet these absurd standards. The Wii U sold a meager 13.56 million units. To this day the Wii U is one of Nintendo’s worst-performing consoles. The fact that this console did not mark a huge improvement from the Wii hurt its chances of commercial success. Most people had purchased a Wii. The Wii U did not provide enough hardware advancements to warrant another purchase so soon after the Wii.

Q: What are the best-selling Wii U games?

Even though the console did not perform well in terms of sales, Nintendo fans still got a ton of great games. Some of the best Wii U games consist of the most iconic Nintendo franchises. Interesting titles across the top ten include The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD which occupies the ninth spot with approximately 2.34 million units sold. Super Mario Maker was quite the innovative game and thus performed admirably in seventh with 4.02 million units. A brand new franchise in Splatoon ranks sixth with 4.95 million units sold. Super Smash Bros Wii U occupies the fourth spot with 5.38 million units sold. Meanwhile, the top three spots belong to the Mario franchise. In third, we have New Super Mario Bros U with 5.81 million units sold. Next up is Super Mario 3D World with 5.87 million units sold. The top spot goes to Mario Kart 8 with over 8.45 million units sold.

Q: Is the Wii U portable?

Contrary to popular belief the Wii U is not a portable system. Nintendo’s plan for console development was to provide gamers with handheld consoles and home consoles. The Wii U console is meant to be played indoors and the gamepad is meant to operate in the vicinity of the console. Considering the success of the Nintendo DS at the time, it didn’t make sense for Nintendo to offer a hybrid experience. They had a home console and a handheld console separately available. However, once the Nintendo DS was discontinued, Nintendo ushered in the new era with the Nintendo Switch. The Switch is a hybrid console that can be played both as a portable console or a home console.

Q: Is the Wii U backward compatible?

Not only is the Wii U compatible with every Wii game ever made, but it is also compatible with most Wii accessories. Enjoying the best Wii games and the best Wii U games on the same console were made possible by Nintendo. They understood that so many people cherished their Wii games and memories that they readily made them available on their next-generation console.

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