Feature: Nintendo Holiday Gift Guide

Have a Mario holiday

The Nintendo Wii may be in its final stretch, but five years on the market also means that it has a vast library of games to offer. With the reconfigured Wii available for exceptionally low prices, now could be the time for those who’ve resisted Nintendo’s motion-controlled behemoth up to now.

Wii Console Bundles

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These new bundles just hit the market across the world, and represent good value for money for anyone yet to climb on the Wii bandwagon.

As one word of warning, these consoles do not support GameCube controllers or accessories. While this mainly means you can't play titles from Nintendo's previous console, you should also be aware that some Wii games — Family Trainer or Dance Dance Revolution, for example — come with mats that plug into the Wii's GameCube ports, so you wouldn't be able to play these games on the reconfigured Wii.

Black Wii Console with Mario Kart and Wii Wheel

Mario Kart Wii has been a huge commercial success, and for good reason. It’s a fun experience for the whole family, so this bundle provides a nice introduction to the console that all can enjoy.

Blue Wii Console with Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games

This rather snazzy blue Wii comes bundled with another title that can be regarded as ‘family fun’, Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. There will be waggle, and there will be plenty of mascots playing crazy versions of Olympic sports: sounds like ideal holiday gaming to us.

Family

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For millions, Wii time is family time. The console has a huge back catalogue of family-friendly games, but we've picked two recent titles that are ideal for getting everyone together for a good time.

Just Dance 3

There are an awful lot of dance games available for the Wii, but none match the polish and enjoyment of this entry. Perfect for a party atmosphere, and forgiving enough for anyone to feel like they can dance, this can certainly be enjoyed by the whole family.

Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure

A clever marriage of toys and video games, this title is potentially every young child’s dream. Clever interaction between the plastic figurines and the game add a whole new dynamic, even if parents will notice a significant lightening of their wallets.

Adventuring

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As with 3DS, when it comes to adventuring there's no better series than The Legend of Zelda.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Five years after the launch of the Wii, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is the game that truly demonstrates the versatility of motion controls. Epic in scale, beautifully presented and an incredible experience overall, this has the potential to take over the holidays.

Old School

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This year has seen the triumphant return of Rayman and Kirby to the land of 2D platforming. Both offer four-player co-operative play as well, and either is ideal if your clan has already conquered New Super Mario Bros. Wii and is after something similar.

Rayman Origins

In danger of being swallowed up by a congested release schedule, this 2D platformer from Ubisoft is an absolute gem that will not disappoint, bringing Rayman back to the forefront. Bursting with creativity and flair, it deserves to be enjoyed, either alone or with friends.

Kirby’s Return to Dreamland

Another 2D platformer, this time drawing on a popular Nintendo character. The fact that it includes four player multiplayer is a bonus, and although it may be too easy for experts it’s nevertheless bursting with nostalgia and fun.

Alternatives

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Buying for someone older or eager to prove the Wii can do shooters with online play? You have a few options, with this year's Call of Duty as good as any.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Seeking alternative Wii releases that have been released recently is a challenge, a reflection of the quiet release schedule on the console. Modern Warfare 3 does represent a solid version of Activision’s unstoppable FPS franchise, so could be a good option for fans without a rival console.

That wraps up our holiday recommendations for Nintendo consoles. We’ve focused on recent game releases and console bundles, but there are many more options available in stores. For those investing in a Wii for the first time, in particular, there is a huge backlog of exciting games to consider.

Whatever your Nintendo console of choice, there’s plenty of fun to be had this holiday season.

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