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Feature: Nintendo Holiday Gift Guide

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

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


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.



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.



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


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.



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.

From the web

User Comments (28)



Platypus said:

FOOL! I don't need you to tell me what to buy!!!1..........gets everything on the list



AUnkownFuture said:

I was gonna pick up Sonic Generations but i decided to pass. Mario Kart 7 is a game im gonna get for myself and my little brother for christmas. Im dying to get Mario Kart 7 tomorrow and play against racers online including Nintendolife members. I really dont want to miss out on this game. Cheers for the games list though but right now Mario Kart 7 ill be getting tomorrow and next week for my little brother.



shoopdawoop70 said:

I'm getting everything except Profeesor Layton (Sorry DS!), Starfox (I'm not a starfox guy) and MW3 (it's call of duty)



zezhyrule said:

Hmm... That Zelda 3DS sounds like a good idea :3
as does MK7. And Zelda: SS. why you release so many good games nintendo >:[



ThomasBW84 said:

I'm glad some of you approve! A mention for @James is due, as he added some lines and the all important info about the reconfigured Wii consoles not supporting GameCube (and even a couple of Wii) games

I'm glad I'm not a parent of a gaming kid, as I'd have to take out a loan. That said, being a big kid myself I may need a loan anyway...

@Hejiru - James found that rather snazzy image when I was away from my computer, a google search will do the trick for you.



Punny said:

Most of these games are already on my list. Thanks for reassuring me that they are great.



FluttershyGuy said:

This ShyGuy wants a present from Yoshi too!

Next year, depending on how far away from Christmas it comes, is anyone else thinking of holding off opening their Wii U until Christmas morning? I've gotten every Nintendo handheld except 3DS for Christmas, but never a console. So thinking how cool of a first that would be!



SpaceKappa said:

Good call on Skylanders, Thomas; if it wasn't on the list, I would have had to prepare a short essay (and PowerPoint presentation) explaining why it SHOULD be.



Ryno said:

@FlutterShyGuy: Wow never thought of that one. I dont think I could hold off that long though. I never got a system for Christmas before, only games. Well actually come to think of it I got my original Gameboy on Christmas, that is it though.



Weskerb said:

3DS + Super Mario 3D Land would be my personal recommendation for a Nintendo gift. I can't see anyone being disappointed with that on xmas morning, or for weeks to come.



k8sMum said:

the only one i have trouble with is thinking there is any way to find one of the zelda 3ds's still available for the true price and not horribly inflated on ebay. it ain't gonna happen...



Reggie4Life said:

Want everything on the list... Maybe besides Professor Layton and Rayman. Great list, guys. I can tell you put in a lot of work. Just imagine a parent trying to find games for their kid when they stumble upon the list. That'll be like Christmas for them! Thanks again for the awesome list!



john2468 said:

3DS + Super Mario 3D Land + Mario Kart 7 = Best Christmas EVER.
And those other great games like OoT and Star Fox. Non-3DS owners get your wallets ready!



Odnetnin said:

Not a bad list at all!

Might add BIT.TRIP COMPLETE/SAGA for retro-arcade-rhythm-music fans, though I see why you didn't make an entire category for that.



FluttershyGuy said:

If it came in August/September, like Super Nintendo/Nintendo 64, no way I'd wait that long to play it. I'm patient, but not THAT patient! If it came in November like GameCube/Wii, I could make it a month.

If it came in between, like October, it depends on what else I have to play around that time. If there's an awesome game released for 3DS or Wii that was announced at E3, like The Last Story or the Link to the Past remake Miyamoto keeps hinting at, I could survive until Christmas.



Jono97 said:

can't it be nintendo holiday gifts? :3 But, I'l just wait until everything gets cheaper... I doubt my mum will let me buy stuff when they are at their most expensive point.



Magicpegasus said:

I like this article except for one thing: older releases make great gifts too. Especially in the case of MW3, there's a lot of great "hardcore"
wii games in the bargain bin that would be better gifts than this game IMO. NBA Jam, Godeneye, DKCR, NMH2, HotD:O, Metroid Prime Trilogy, or Bit.Trip come to mind...Sin and Punishment, Monster Hunter...

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