Feature: The Best Games on GameCube and Wii

Celebrating the cube and the waggle

The Wii is still a current-generation console, just about, so our top 10 is in some respects incomplete. We will revisit this list in the future once the Wii is out of production, but below are our top 10 games on the console to date. We’ve deliberately only included one of a duet of classic titles from a certain moustachioed mascot, while the yet to be released The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword isn’t eligible for consideration. It should also be added that the list is representative of writers in the US and Europe, so some excellent titles that have not yet been released on both sides of the pond failed to accumulate as many votes as would be expected.

Without further ado, let’s unveil the top 10.

10. Monster Hunter 3 (Tri) — Monster Hunter Tri represented a major coup for Nintendo, a Wii exclusive title in the famous franchise that is particular beloved in Japan. There was a concerted effort to bring success to western territories, and the game itself is worthy of attention. This title features a game world with an epic scale, enormous monsters to battle and a level of complexity to satisfy the most eager collectors and completionists. A substantial online experience is also particularly impressive, adding to an overall package of monstrous proportions.

9. Kirby’s Epic Yarn — Good old 2D Kirby adventures were a distant memory, so news of a new title on the Wii attracted interest. The premise of a world made of yarn seemed to be an oddball choice, but the result is a creative, delightful title that looks beautiful. With co-op gameplay and a bead-collecting mechanic to satisfy beginners and veterans alike, this is a welcome return to form for the pink one.

8. Wii Sports Resort — When the Wii originally launched, it became clear that the Wii Remote was innovative, but fell short of expected 1:1 motion control. Two and a half years later, MotionPlus arrived to fulfil that potential, and Wii Sports Resort provided an ideal demonstration of the peripheral’s capabilities. The wide range of mini-games and control experiences on offer are impressive, and a favourite for multiplayer gatherings.

7. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption — The concluding part in the Metroid Prime Trilogy, this title serves as a demonstration of how to makes good use of the Wii’s capabilities. Excellent aiming controls with the Wii Remote, attractive visuals and a shift to action-oriented gameplay delivered an exciting experience. It doesn’t reach the brilliance of the original Metroid Prime, but nevertheless should not be missed.

6. Super Smash Bros. Brawl — This third title in the Smash Bros. series, much like the GameCube predecessor, added even more characters, stages and game modes. The inclusion of third-party characters like Sonic and Snake put the icing on a delicious cake. Although the online multiplayer suffered from lag issues, dedicated fans of the series could lose many, many hours in this title.

5. Mario Kart Wii — Mario Kart has become a key franchise for Nintendo, and the Wii entry brought three key innovations: motion control (with the Wii Wheel), online challenges (as well as online multiplayer) and bikes. With some exciting new (and old) tracks, stunt moves and plenty of content, this title represents another step forward for the series.

4. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess — Released as a Wii launch title, Twilight Princess was originally designed for the GameCube, ironically released on the older console after the Wii edition. The motion controls weren’t perfect, but did add a new sense of immersion to swinging Link’s sword and aiming the bow. An epic adventure that takes many hours to complete, the size of the world and the possibilities for exploration are truly impressive. It does divide fans of the series, but should be experienced by all owners of a Wii, or GameCube.

3. Donkey Kong Country Returns — After the Metroid Prime Trilogy, Retro Studios needed a new Nintendo project. With Donkey Kong Country Returns, they produced a 2D platformer that bore hallmarks of the SNES originals, while demonstrating unbounded creativity and design skill. This is a beautifully constructed game, while being challenging enough to satisfy the most skilled of gamers.

2. New Super Mario Bros. Wii — The release of New Super Mario Bros on the DS brought a welcome return to classic 2D Mario gaming. It was inevitable that the Wii would follow suit, and the home console version is packed with the same terrific gameplay and level design. An added element is the co-op multiplayer for up to 4 players, which can be completely chaotic and and hilarious.

1. Super Mario Galaxy 2 — The number 1 was obvious, wasn’t it? The Mario Galaxy titles represent the pinnacle of gaming on the Wii, blending gorgeous graphics, intuitive controls and wildly imaginative level design. Both entries are exceptional, though we’ve opted for Super Mario Galaxy 2 due to its continuing excellence, fun suit power-ups and the glorious return of Yoshi. This title earned double the votes of the second placed game, making it a runaway choice.

Many terrific titles have missed out, with the 3 nearest runners up on Wii being Sin and Punishment: Star Successor, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars and Little King’s Story: all titles that should be experienced.

So those are our top games on GameCube and Wii. We’d love to hear from you in the comments below: your opinions on the lists, your own top 10 games on both consoles and, of course, the games that have missed out.