News Article

Feature: Nintendo Life's Top 20 Wii Games

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

The best of Wii

Yesterday we brought you a retrospective for six years of Wii, as we prepare for the not-too-distant future when the system will become Nintendo's "last generation" console. It's an emotional time, to be sure, and nothing touches raw and frayed nerves quite like a top 20 games list. With most of the likely candidates already in stores, we thought now was a good time to poll the Nintendo Life staff and decide once and for all — until the next poll, anyway — what games merit a place in our everlasting affections.

The only rules for voting were that Virtual Console games weren't valid, but retail collections of re-mastered or bundled retro games were eligible. WiiWare games were contenders, while we decided to incorporate votes for Metroid Prime 3: Corruption with those for Metroid Prime Trilogy, to avoid the same game potentially appearing twice or distorting results. Each staff member gave a full list of 20 games, with the points then added up for the final results; the outcome was an incredibly diverse range of titles, with 17 staff members voting for a total of 92 games.

Let's be clear that we're not stating that these are the top 20 Wii games as some kind of incontrovertible scientific fact; that would be silly. These are the favourites of our team at this moment in time, and already has differences from our top ten Wii games from last year. We do hope, whatever your views on this list, that you'll agree it represents some of the best of what we saw on Wii.

You'll also notice there were two positions tied, an indication of the competitiveness of the voting. With that out of the way, let the results and frenzied debate begin.

If this was a Nintendo 64 poll, this title's namesake would in all likelihood be near the top of the list. This one may not get Nintendo gamers as misty-eyed as the original, but it's a solid FPS that incorporates a lot of modern ideas and trends, with some suitable reverence for the source material. After all, your first enemy in the Facility level is still in a toilet cubicle...

From a technical perspective, this collection does everything that the original Wii Sports could have done with MotionPlus technology. With plenty to do, charming visuals and Miyamoto's newest "character", Wuhu Island, this is ideal for summer gaming with friends and delivers on the promise of motion controls.

In terms of sheer scale, ambition and execution, this is one of the most impressive games on Wii. Capcom cleverly masked the limitations of the hardware with a number of small areas to create a large world, while battling enormous monsters with over-sized swords is always plenty of fun. As for the online component, by Wii standards it's a revelation.

It says much for the enduring quality of Resident Evil 4 that it makes this list, despite originally being a flag-bearer for the capabilities of GameCube. The Wii version delivers Remote pointer controls that make shooting members of Los Ganados in the face easier and more satisfying than ever. Throw in the additional content previously exclusive to PS2, and it's some package.

While Wii missed out on some high profile fighters, this is one that Nintendo gamers can boast about. Though the Tatsunoko cast of characters may not be familiar to many, it matters little; this is a visually appealing, solid fighting game that's full to the brim with bombastic combos and charisma. Online play may be sketchy at times, but this one is a treat for fans of the genre.

Treasure's long-awaited sequel to the cult-classic on Nintendo 64, this has an equally baffling storyline to confuse, well, everyone. Who cares about that, though, when it serves up intense on-rail shooting action at 60 frames per second. With an art-style that looks fantastic, bar the odd iffy cut-scene, and typically imaginative and intriguing enemies flooding the screen, this should be played by all shmup fans. Oh, and it's pretty darn hard, too.

One of the infamous "Operation Rainfall" titles to arrive from Japan late in Wii's lifespan, this is an epic RPG in every sense of the world. It has a dynamic, intense combat system, a ridiculous amount of depth and side-quests, and a lengthy adventure that'll take months to beat fully. If you like JRPGs, want a grand scale and value for money, you owe it to yourself to play this.

The game that started it all. It would be churlish to exclude Wii Sport due to it being a pack-in game — though it wasn't in Japan — as it arguably made Wii what it is today. We all have memories of the first time we swung a tennis racket or bowled a strike, which makes it an indispensable part of Wii history.

Perhaps a surprising inclusion, this X-rated zombie blasting light-gun game brought a much needed mature angle to Wii when it was released. It has plenty of content to wade through, including a "Director's Cut" mode, stylish visuals and a lot of crude humour and language to justify its 18 rating. Sometimes simple games are compulsive and great fun to play, and this is one of them.

A typically stylistic and brash offering from SUDA51, this title exudes cool from every line of its code. It has a slightly wonky over-world, yes, but the uber-violent action and humour is, like HOTD: Overkill, a welcome bit of variety for the system. With fun, instinctive Wii Remote controls, a pet cat and saving on the toilet, who could possibly turn this one down?

It's the top ten, and now we're getting serious. The Wii entry in the Smash Bros. series had to feature in this list, especially as it has plenty of modes, stages, settings and a ridiculous number of collectibles to unlock. Anyone who achieves 100% completion in this one has spent many, many hours brawling with Nintendo mascots. The only blot on this one's copy-book is the online play, which can be a lag-fest.

When Kirby's Epic Yarn was unveiled, many may have wondered why on early the pink ball was being turned into fabric material. It doesn't matter a jot, really, as this is a thoroughly charming, well designed and enjoyable slice of platforming excellence. Designed so that anyone can beat it, there's also plenty of challenge for those that simply have to achieve top ranks and achievements.

After the success of his 2D return on DS, the "New" Mario Bros. series stepped up a notch on Wii; while some debate and question whether the level design has that magic, plenty think that it does. It's classic Mario platforming in single player, which rapidly transforms to chaotic madness when extra players join in. It's 2D Mario, and the sales figures suggest that people still love it.

After completing the Metroid Prime series, plenty wondered what assignment Retro Studios had been given by Nintendo. Much excitement ensued when it transpired that it was developing Donkey Kong Country Returns, which only went up a notch when gamers actually played it. With challenging, stimulating levels and gorgeous art design, this one's so good that most can overlook the rather unnecessary waggle controls. One for platforming wizards that want a challenge.

It's Retro Studios again with the trilogy that started it all, rather fittingly tying with its platforming revival of Donkey Kong. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption was an accomplished first-person adventure game that showed how Wii pointer controls should be done, with an epic storyline and a strong mix of action and exploration. When the two original GameCube titles were then released with the final part in a compilation, with Wii Remote controls applied retrospectively, it became an exceptional and irresistible package.

Probably Nintendo's last grand first-party release on Wii, some may be surprised that The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword isn't higher than fifth place. This adventure incorporates much of the classic Zelda gameplay but makes some notable tweaks, such as Link having a stamina bar and greater athleticism. The main difference, of course, is MotionPlus controls and swordplay, making many people's fantasies come to life. Critically acclaimed and adored by plenty, its position has perhaps been affected by some noticeable repetition and, possibly, some quirks with the MotionPlus controls. Still, fifth best in Wii's whole generation isn't bad, right?

Being one of the best games on the system doesn't necessitate being a challenging and epic undertaking for gamers. Mario Kart Wii is proof of that, which delivers 32 tracks, a sizeable cast of characters and, most surprisingly, motorbikes. Some may prefer conventional controls, but the Wii Wheel and Wii Remote capabilities mean that this is possibly the most accessible kart racer ever released. With solid online, previously regular competitions through the Mario Kart channel and a lot of fun all part of the bargain, this is a title that still gets a regular airing in plenty of households.

In the battle of the Zelda titles, it's the Wii launch release that triumphs. Originally developed for GameCube — and actually released for the older system — this was the star of the show for most that picked up a Wii on day one. It's a lengthy, involving quest that traverses a simply enormous Hyrule environment, with plenty of characters and plot developments along the way. Some still love the art style, and the waggle controls for sword play felt rather good when the game first arrived, even if that impression may change in a current-day play-through. It's fairly divisive amongst fans, but a large part of the Nintendo Life team feels that it's the strongest Zelda experience on Wii.

We suspect that everyone already had an inkling of the top two before this started, but now we know the order in which they fall amongst our staff. When Super Mario Galaxy was unveiled it blew minds, and that didn't change once gamers got hold of the final release. With wonderfully realised, gorgeous 3D worlds, tight controls that make subtle use of the Wii Remote and level design that delights at every turn, this is a definitive experience on the system. A true leap forward for 3D Mario platforming.

What could possibly be better than Super Mario Galaxy? Its sequel, of course. While it can be argued that this is really Super Mario Galaxy 1.5, when the gaming is this good, and the standards so inexplicably high, we're not sure that anyone should care about originality. This title takes the ideas from the ground-breaking début and does even more, with a simpler structure and more individual and varied stages to take on. With a stellar appearance from Yoshi, innovative and joyful power-ups at every turn and plenty of challenge for completionists, this is one of the great games not just on Wii, but on any system.

So there you have it, our team's top 20 Wii games. Honourable mentions must go to the highest-placed WiiWare games that were only a few points from making the list: World of Goo and BIT.TRIP RUNNER.

You know what we think, but what about you? We'd love to read about your favourite Wii games and opinions on our list in the comments below.

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User Comments (151)



Morpheel said:

You could've put the Mario Galaxies together, that way you'd have room for one more game.



birthgirth said:

I just started replaying Galaxy yesterday. Planning on starting Galaxy 2 right after. Glad to see they're at the top because they truly are incredible games. I needed something to take my mind off the Wii U countdown, and those games are perfect.



feelingkettle said:

I would've replaced House of the Dead with Muramasa. I own House of the Dead, and it's fun, but it's not a great game. There are major frame rate issues at times, and it's really not more than a good arcade style game.

I feel that Muramasa is severely underrated, and is up there as one of the best looking games on the Wii, and I'd argue, this generation. It's a shame it didnt' get more recognition.



bezerker99 said:

I disagree with your top 4, but at least there's no Other M to be found. Nice list, guys!



SpaceKappa said:

Muramasa was on my list! That game was rad.

It was really cool seeing all of our individual lists come together to form this one super-list. Some of my top games are towards the bottom of this list (and some of my lower-ranked games didn't even make it at all!) but all in all I think it's an incredibly solid top 20.



photofool83 said:

Great List!!

Personally, I would add these to it:
Wario Land: Shake It!!
A Boy and his Blob
Pikmin 1 & 2
Endless Ocean: Blue World
Sonic Colors
Punch Out!!



Knux said:

This list is decent at best. Xenoblade Chronicles is at 14 when it should be number 1 (WTF?), Twilight Princess is rated higher than Skyward Sword, Mario Kart Wii is rated higher than Brawl, and Kirby's Return to Dream Land is nowhere on the list. It's better than IGN's top whatever lists, but that's not saying much.



Tasuki said:

I figure the Mario Galaxy games would be in the top five but I didnt guess the top 2. Kinda surprised some games didnt make it on the list. Now what you guys need to do is the top 20 worst games on the Wii.



Fudge said:

Decent list, but come on. New super Mario Bros? Mario Kart Wii? DKC Returns? Those shouldn't even be in the top 20.



ThomasBW84 said:

@Philip_J_Reed It sadly didn't get any other votes, I wonder why?

I concur with those that mourn the absence of Muramasa, but it wasn't a widely played game, unfortunately. It was on my list, because it was gorgeous and fun and brilliant and... (add superlatives here)



Mahe said:

I would have preferred a Top 50 or Top 100, especially as WiiWare games weren't counted separately.

Definitely don't agree with Super Mario Galaxy games being that high.



Xilef said:

Can't we make a top 20 Wii games by the NL readers? Oh, and good list, even if i disagree with alot of placements...



MegaWatts said:

I was just happy to see my precious Donkey Kong Country Returns earn an honourable post - what a cracking game!



Moonhillwat said:

"What could possibly be better than Super Mario Galaxy? Its sequel, of course."

I'll have to disagree with you there. Though don't get me wrong, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a fantastic game and I enjoyed every moment of it, it doesn't hold a candle to the mind-blowing awesomeness that is the first Super Mario Galaxy.



Late said:

Only have 10 out of these 20 games and 5 of missing ones I'm gonna get eventually.



WiiLovePeace said:

My #1 wii game & #1 of all time is Xenoblade Chronicles. I blew nearly 200 hours into just one play through & I didn't even complete it. Other than that I have no idea what my top 20 would be, though Super Mario Galaxy would definitely be higher than SMG2.



Moonhillwat said:

Oh, and I'm glad to see that Goldeneye made it in there. It's a really fun game and the multiplayer, though not without its problems, is also a blast!



Tasuki said:

@Blizzaga: Agree I still play GoldenEye with my son and we have as much fun with it now as we did on the day of its release. In fact I just played it last night.



EdEN said:

Own every single game on that list, adn then some.

Now, as for games that might be "missing"? Last Story, Zack and Wiki and I'd favor No More Heroes 2 over the first one.



Portista said:

Here's my list:
1. Monster Hunter Tri; I spent over 600+ hours on in!
2. Super Smash Bros. Brawl; spent over 300+ hours on it with friends!
3. Super Mario Galaxy; never got to try its predecessor, but loved the first!



Auracle said:

Not too bad, but I would have swapped out several for Metroid: Other M, Sonic Colors, and Rayman Origins. Xenoblade should have been a bit higher, though.



cyrus_zuo said:

Great list, I loved seeing many of my favorites like TvC on the list!

My most played Wii game:
MARIO KART WII - I really enjoyed the 12 player online races!

Best Wii party game (tie):
MOTO HEROZ - Though I complained about the single-player difficulty, I've bought 3 copies of this game and have always found delighted players, perfect mix of skillful challenge and random action.
NBA JAM - Perfect mix of action and motion controls, slamming down the controller as your character does an amazing dunk on the screen is wonderfully rewarding.

Favorite Wii game:
WII MUSIC - I know it was hated, but I loved it. There are few games where I've been able to be more expressively creative than Wii Music.

Most replayed Wii Game:
METROID OTHER 'M' - I've played through it 3 times and am on my 4th. The quick-action and wonderfully unique 2D to 3D approach to the game totally overwhelm the questionable cut scenes and terrible scanning scenes to make Other 'M' a true gamer's game. You really get a feel for it! (and notably it is the ONLY game I've played more than 1x through in a VERY long time .

Best 'sick-day' Wii game:
RUNE FACTORY FRONTIER - I was quite unwell for a couple of weeks and this game was the perfect therapy. The mix of Zelda/Farming/Dating Sim is wonderful.



DF2506 said:

I knew Animal Crossing: City Folk wouldn't make this list. Disappointed in that. House of Dead makes the list but not Animal Crossing?

Personally City Folk is my number 1 game for Wii. Its not perfect BUT I'm still playing the game unlike any other Wii games. Lots of replay w/ Crossing.

I knew it wouldn't be #1 for a list like this but imo, it should be somewhere in the top 20.




Some people won't get it but I think that's a solíd list. I'd only disagree on placings. Surprised u had Twilight Princess above Skyward Sword considering u only gave it 7/10 on here. I'll post mine a bit later



Pete_Stooge said:

I truly love skyward sword, but i love twilight princess just a bit more. Can't tell grows on you.



gefflt said:

Switch Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Xenoblade Chronicles and I'm fine with this list.



Tobias95 said:

Skyward sword and Super Mario Allstars 25th aniversary edition is my two favorite wii games.



WreckItRyan said:

Like someone said before me, I would've definitely had Little King's Story on my list, easily in the top 7 or so.



TheRavingTimes said:

Where in gods name is Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn, The Last Story, and Silent Hill Shattered Memories? At least Sin and Punishment made the list, I could only beat the game on normal with Isa and Kachi together ... with my friend's help as player 2.



KneehighPark said:

I had a lot of fun voting for this list, even though 4 of my favorites didn't make the cut:

Rayman Origins, Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure, Little King's Story, and World of Goo

@Philip_J_Reed - I think Ninjabread Man surpasses every game on this list. Its godly status is too much for this mortal list.



MrWalkieTalkie said:

Nice list! I dont have most of those games sadly, I really screwed up when trying to collect Wii games, but I'm determined to get every good game out there on Wii U!



Wildfire said:

I agree with the major part of this top only changing a few things. For example I would have only one game per franchise, that way I could put Sonic Colours, Red Steel 2 or Madworld on this list. Anyway I'm happy for the single fact that No More Heroes made it's way into the top!



DRL said:

Very good list. Loved finding DKCR ranked so high. Would've been nice to see Rayman Origins somewhere on here though...



chewytapeworm said:

Pretty good list to be honest, spans the classics and most of the fan favourites in the Wii library pretty accurately. And House of the Dead Overkill, is completely hilarious.

@DRL Actually you're right. Surprising to see it missing...



Fudge said:

I think a user voted list would be better. Like get every game that got a 7/10 from NL and allow users to vote for their top 20 out of those.



IAmNotWill said:

@Fudge: DKCR shouldn't be in the top 20? Are you mad?

Pretty good list. You guys should have made it a Top 25. Naturally I disagree with some placements, but the only real complaint I have is that I have is how Wii Sports is higher than Resort.



PinkSpider said:

Needs some Dead Space Extraction, one of the most satisfying Wii shooters ever. Fantastic graphics, quality characters, good acting, just like playing a movie
Played that game to death



kobe1724 said:

I think it's a toss up between LoZ: SS and SMG2 for the top spot IMO. And didn't TP get a lower score than SS on NL? Doesn't really make sense that TP's ranked higher.



Fudge said:

@IAmNotWill there's so many more innovative games left out of this list. DKCR just felt like a nice looking, but generic platformer that didn't do much different.



Mason said:

@kobe1724 This is a 'personal favourites' list from a collective group, not based on scores.

Personally I wish Zack and Wiki had made it, and I ranked Excite Bots pretty high in my voting.

EDIT: Also Rhythm Heaven Fever / Beat the Beat.




Mine, if I may:

1. SMG 2
2. SMG
3. LoZ Skyward Sword
4. SS Bros. Brawl
5. MK Wii
7. LoZ Twilight Princess
8. Wii Sports Resort
9. Metroid Prime Trilogy
10. Wii Fit Plus,
11. Boom Blox Party
12. Tatsunoko vs Capcom
13. Punch Out!
14. Sin and Punishment 2
15. Warioland Shake D
16. Rayman Origins
17. Sonic Colours
18. NPC Pikmin 2
19. DK CR
20. Zak and Wiki

Very hard. Hope I didn't forget anyone!



Varia01 said:

Metroid Prime Trilogy should have been 2. (I've never played it but played its three awesome games). I'm shocked that Twilight Princess is 3 after NL's review for it. And I personally think that SMG1 is better than 2. Smash Bros Brawl deserves to be number 1. I never really played three fifths of these games though... And where is Other M, it was AWESOME and should have had no haters. If Other M were on here it would be in the top 10.




Forgot to mention Resi Evil 4, Other M, Boy and his Blob, Little King's Story amd Mario and Sonic WInter Olympics, Kirby Epic Yarn etc all just miss out .



hYdeks said:

Basicly this is a list of most of the good games in the Wii lol Great list!



IAmNotWill said:

@Fudge This list is not the Top 20 Most "Innovative" Wii games. Just overall quality and fun. DKCR is a throwback game, building upon already existing ideas. You may have not liked it, but most critics did because it was challenging and an overall fun game. The game has a 87 on Metacritic and leaving it out of the Top 20 would be foolish because it was just so highly rated.

Of course, not everyone is going to agree with this list. Arguing the placements of certain games is just silly. I get forgetting to include some favorites, but complaining where a particular title should go is pointless.



Nintendaholic said:

I completely agree on number 1. i have played many games throughout my life and none could the amount of fun i had with super mario galaxy 2. great pick



Philip_J_Reed said:

Favorite Wii game: WII MUSIC - I know it was hated, but I loved it. There are few games where I've been able to be more expressively creative than Wii Music.

High five!



AVahne said:

Would personally rearrange the entire list and change many of the games, but eh, your top 20.
Pretty great list though.



AVahne said:

Not really most. There's still quite a lot more good Wii games that aren't covered in the list, just look at the comments.



fortius54 said:

I know this may not be popular among posters, but I agree with Galaxy 2 over Galaxy. I distinctly remember during one of the worlds in G2 thinking that it was one of the greatest platformers ever. I would definitely have Zack and Wiki in my top 5 or 10, but you can't please everyone in these lists.

As an aside, I would like to see the Top 20 lists for 360 and PS3. I bet that if you compared the three systems you would find there were just as many good games on each one.



Kyloctopus said:

I would have put Goldeneye a little more ahead of the rest. And I would have added Sonic Colors and Metroid Other M. Other than those, your list really matches with mine.



shinpichu said:

Twilight Princess higher than Skyard sword? WUT? To each their own, I guess, but still, it's a bit surprising.



Boo_Buster said:

I find The Last Story to be a bit more enjoyable than Xenoblade, and I really like Xenoblade. Good list though NL



Void said:

You should've made it a top 50 list, atleast.



I-U said:

If not number 1, Xenoblade should have been seventh on that list. I COULD see how the game would fall to 6) Metroid Prime Trilogy, 5) Skyward Sword, 4) Mario Kart Wii, 3) Twilight Princess and the Galaxies (1's better than 2). Actually 13 would've been okay, as Xenoblade below Wii Sports is just troubling. I guess Wii Sports is getting the nostalgic treatment though where it gets an edge over a higher quality game.

I can't go to 20, so here's my top 10:
1. Xenoblade Chronicles
2. Super Mario Galaxy
3. Metroid Other M
4. Donkey Kong Country Returns
5. Mario Kart Wii
6. Metroid Prime 3 Corruption (Retro didn't create the "trilogy that started it all" that's Metroids 1-3 including Super Metroid which bests the entire Prime Trilogy)
7. Super Smash Brothers Brawl
8. Kirby's Epic Yarn
9. Wii Sports
10. New Super Mario Brothers Wii

I have not played either Skyward Sword or Twilight Princess to completion, and so they're not rated. Same can be said about The Last Story.



kobe1724 said:

@Mason true that

My personal top 5 would probably be
5. New Super Mario Bros. Wii
4. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
3. Super Mario Galaxy
Tie for 1st: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and Super Mario Galaxy 2



JebbyDeringer said:

Pretty good list, can't really argue much. I have almost all those games just missing No More Heroes & Smash Brothers. Wii Sports had a huge impact though it's really not a "quality" title. I'd put Wii Sports in a "most influential" or "biggest impact" list. Galaxy 2 really probably is the best game on the system overall even if I may like some aspects of other games more. Not a big Smash Brothers fan (too floaty) so I'd probably put de Blob there instead.



iphys said:

I would have included Bit.Trip Complete and Punch-Out, and probably Tetris Party (Deluxe).



Haxonberik said:

I cant believe how much I disagree with this list. Super Smash is at least top 5, there is no way Twilight Princess is better than Skyward Sword (except for the music) and no Okami at all makes it just too unbearable. Maybe invert MKs place with SSBB, Wii Sports with Okami and swap TP with SS and we'll be close to agreeing.



LavaTwilight said:

Although I'm surprised by a lot of this list, it's the gathered opinion of the NintendoLife staff!. So go on then, give us, the readers and subscribers an opportunity and we'll see how much it varies Obviously, we'll have the same restrictions applied (as set out above)
That said, a comment or two I have, I'm also very surprised Twilight Princess beat Skyward Sword, as well as wondering why Smash Bros Brawl wasn't higher? Otherwise we have a good list up there!



JohnDoe123 said:

7 third party games. Not bad. It's probably around what other Nintendo console's lists would look like.
Unfortunatly, what I notice is that almost every single third party game on the list is rare and difficult to find. I think this may be why people say the Wii has no good third party games, because they can't see them anywhere. Nintendo needs to support third parties more and publishers need to market and make their games available and easy to find.



WarioPower said:

Nice list, but I'm honestly suprised by Twilight Princess being placed higher than Skyward Sword!



SirSmugleaf said:

I can agree with the general gist of this list...
I just hope this comment section doesn't turn into an IGN one!



BenAV said:

Considering the list is as a result of votes from numerous people, it's not bad.
My opinion is very different, but everything on the list is respectable.

Wii Sports better than Xenoblade Chronicles? What?



antipop621 said:

I have every game here except House of the Dead. I guess I can agree with most of this list.



Baer said:

Mario Galaxy 1st place?
You must have confused it with Metroid Other M...





Daggo said:

I'd like to see Trauma Team on that list!
On anybody's list to be honest



Mason said:

@Daggo A limitation for Trauma Team is that it unfortunately was never released in Europe. Good game though, I agree!



Rerun said:

I have all 20 in my collection. I haven't complete all of them though.



dudey300 said:

This list was fun to do, great to see such a wide selection of games we all love. To be fair, the best 20 games are up there! Except The Last Story... Why isn't that there?? Haha!



DarkCoolEdge said:

Good list but xenoblade and monster hunter should be higher in the list and I miss the last story.



she_gamer said:

... Okami ... sniff.
1. Okami
2. Super Paper Mario
3. Super Mario Galaxy 2
4. Donkey Kong Country Returns
5. Kirby's Epic Yarn



Kid_A said:

Good list, though I personally would have included Last Story, Punch-Out!! and Metroid Other M.



Cia said:

I would put either Xenoblade or the first Mario Galaxy at the top.



Emaan said:

Great list! I own most these, still need to get Donkey Kong Country Returns. I personally like Skyward Sword better than Twilight Princess, and the original Super Mario Galaxy better than the 2nd. I love how Kirby's Return to Dreamland basically doesn't exist to any Top Wii Games list on the internet.



BXXL said:

Little King's Story and Okami, not even in a top 20? C'mon, guys, what's wrong with you? I read you for so many years, and usually love your reviews, so this almost feels like a shame...

Anyway, these games are of course excellent, or quite nice at worst, but as i've played most of these (and many many others), i'd just say Metroid Prime Trilogy is my N°1: best controls on the console (if not ever), and sensational value with two and a half masterpieces for the price of one...



Jeremyx7 said:

No Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn?? That is one of the best games on the wii and better then allot of the games on this list. Not a bad list btw, I'm just surprised Radiant Dawn wasn't even mentioned.....



Kirk said:

Pretty decent list actually.

However, Skyward Sword is a better Zelda game than Twilight Princess imo. Also, I think Dead Space Extraction is probably a slightly better on rails shooter than House of the Dead Overkill when all is said and done so if I were gonna have a gun game on there it would be DSE.

Glad to see that both Kirby's Epic Yarn and GoldenEye 007 are on there though. They deserve to be.



Jeremyx7 said:

I really enjoyed the following 10 games...

1.)Skyward Sword
2.)Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
3.)Metroid Prime Trilogy
4.)Xenoblade Chronicles
6.)Super Mario Galaxy 2
7.)Twilight Princess
8.) Mario Kart Wii
9.) Donkey Kong Country Returns
10.)Super Smash Bros. Brawl that order more or less.



Folkloner said:

Curious as to why No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle isn't in this list. Sure it doesn't have the impact of the original since it came 2nd but all-round I think its a better game and that's essentially what is being judged here.

Also, to repeat what others have said. 'Little King's Story' should have been in this list. It belongs to a very select number of games that i've played through more than once.

Also, what about Last Story...



JamieO said:

In regard to The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess featuring above Skyward Sword, I hold my hands up as one of the Nlife staff members who voted for Twilight Princess and I actually did not include Skyward Sword in my list.

My reasoning was logical enough, I have an abundance of nostalgia for Twilight Princess, because it was one of the very first games I played on Wii during the launch window, I played it for a good portion of Christmas Day 2006 and over the Christmas holidays and I do not underestimate the power of each individual gamer's nostalgia for a particular title.

Secondly, I have amassed in the region of fifty Wii games, not a huge number compared to my collection of games for retro systems, you may even think that a writer for Nintendo Life should own more than fifty games for a current Nintendo system.

My point is that I have not even had the chance to buy or play Skyward Sword yet, my personal list could only be based on the titles I own, games which I have played extensively. @ThomasBW84 did a superb job of organising the strong individual opinions and preferences of the Nlife team, into a fair and representative list of twenty titles.

In the meantime, my Wii collection continues to grow, I have not been able to purchase every high-scoring Wii game released, but I will own and catch up on Skyward Sword one day. Until then, I can't comment on a game I haven't played.

Therefore, my vote is partially responsible for Twilight Princess beating Skyward Sword, after all I was 1/17th of the staff members taking part in this list. Ultimately, I stand by Twilight Princess as being a great game in it's own right, it is a quality Wii adventure as shown by the 8/10 Nlife review describing it as "a deep action/rpg experience with beautiful graphics and rewarding game play."

I am really happy with Nlife's finished list of twenty games, if you were to buy each and every one of the twenty titles mentioned, you would own a class collection of Wii games.



doctor_doak said:

Red Steel 2 was decent, if somewhat flawed..had a nice art style i guess. Probably could've been there in place of a couple of those Wii Sports titles..



advance_melee said:

There is some good things with this list and and some odd things..

1) Skyward Sword was DEF better than Twilight Princess
2) Mario Strikers Charged was not on the list? I play that game till this very day
3) Brawl should of been in the top 5
4)I'm glad they put Galaxy 2 over the original as the 2nd one was much more fun
5) Im glad Donkey Kong Country Returns beat out New Super Marios Bros Wii
6) Other than that Id say its a pretty good list to me



SPEtheridge said:

Quite a good list pretty much agree with it, but i would have put Last Story in there, oh and maybe Okami



sinalefa said:

Wut? This list sux!! My list is better, and here it goes, etc., etc.

In all seriousness, I own most of these, except that I have NMH2 instead of 1, and I haven't gotten MKWii, Overkill and Goldeneye. I do prefer SS over TP (although I love both, I favour the originality and the sword controls of SS) and I put SMG2 over the first one.

And Punch Out!! was a great game and I hold a soft spot for Excitebots.



HawkeyeWii said:

I hate critiquing other peoples countdown lists, but seriously no Punch Out!!, RE Chronicles, or Sonic Colours?? Come on Man! Maybe een more importantly is the fact that not only is Kirby's Epic yarn ahead of SSBB, but that 9 other games are ahead of SSBB. SSBB should easily be in the top 3!



shonenjump86 said:

Not a bad list, pretty decent. There are some games I don't think should be on that list like Wii Sports, DKC Returns, and New Super Mario Wii. I would replace those games with MadWorld, Muramasa, and Bully Scholarship Edition. Bully along with Tatsunoko vs Capcom are my favorite Wii games.



shonenjump86 said:

I also don't agree with Wii Sports Resort. I would replace that with Punch Out or a Trauma Center game. Other than that, good list



JamieO said:

I think that one thing I can take from reading the comments on this feature, is that we all feel passionately about our personal favourite games and the Wii has built a quality library of much-loved titles.

There was no way that all of the classic Wii games could be included in a list of twenty games, below are the games that I compiled as my choice of personal Wii favourites for this list, which did not make the top twenty:

Just because these games did not make the final list, it does not stop them from being excellent Wii games and it doesn't detract from the quality of the titles in the final list.



kesley4884 said:

Monster Hunter Tri
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Mario Galaxy 2
Mario Galaxy
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Smash Bros. Brawl
Tatsunoko vs Capcom
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Zack and Wiki
Little King's Story
Shiren the Wanderer
The Last Story
Mario Kart Wii
Metroid Prime: Corruption
Sin and Punishment: Star Successor
Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon



MitchVogel said:

I love Twilight Princess, but I think that shouldn't count as a wii game. MP trilogy only just gets a pass because there are three games there and one of them is originally a wii game, though that'd be the second game I'd take off the list if I had to choose. Also, this should've featured Sonic Colors because that was the first sonic game in years to actually get it right and bring the series some respect and that justifies it at least making number 20. That's just my opinion though. Great job on the list, otherwise!



triforcepower73 said:

Skyward sword was miles better than twilight princess even though I love that game. But seriously, skyward sword had WAY better controls, way better graphics, and about same level story. I still love twilight princess though!



StarBoy91 said:

Good list, though I'm surprised that Kirby's Return to Dream Land wasn't on it (I know I said the said thing about the previous article about the Wii, but I'm just flabbergasted that not one shout out was made for it in both articles). Kirby's Epic Yarn is awesome, too, don't get me wrong, but the aforementioned game just tops it by a mile, imo. The Super Mario Galaxy games are two of the best 3D Mario games of all time. Wii Sports is always a fun time.



KneehighPark said:


Jamie has made some excellent points. I think there are a couple of things that people need to remember:

1) The placement of a game on this list is not based on review scores. Each NL staff member voted for their top games. This moves into my other point...

2) We can't expect EVERY staff member who votes on this list to have played every Wii game. Because of this, some people are going to leave out great games, simply because they haven't played it. Similarly, there are going to be a handful of games that don't make it on here, because no matter how highly one person rates a game, it's going to take votes from everyone to make sure it comes out on top. I placed Little King's Story and Rayman Origins very high on my list, but one person's opinion doesn't trump 16 other opinions.

And while some might argue that we should have included 25, or 30 games, we have to draw the line somewhere. Else we would just keep adding game after game.



Candy811 said:

Very good list you guys have here, especially being as though Mario Galaxy 2 is number 1. That game is awesome! A couple of my favorite wii games are on here as well!



NintendoLand said:

Notice they're almost all exclusives?

To those fanboys who say "teh wii has no gamez lol":

Did you know that according to Metacritic Wii has the most high rated exclusives?? Irony huh?



madgear said:

I enjoy most of the games on that list but not sure it needed both Super Mario Galaxy 1 and Super Mario Galaxy 2 despite both being great.

Personally I'm surprised you haven't put Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, The Last Story and Pandora's Tower on there. I'd have also put A Boy And His Blob, Muramasa and Rayman Origins above Epic Yarn but it's down to opinion I guess.



LavaTwilight said:


hey look, a weird mirror



Kirk said:


It's easy but it's also easily one of the most polished, well executed, stunningly beautiful, creative, playable and fun games on the system.

I smiled more times playing KEY than pretty much every other Wii game combined, it also must made me feel genuinely happy and joyful inside from start to finish, and surely when all is said and done playing games is about having fun, no? Anyone who didn't smile playing this game probably has some serious issues imo.

You can't in all fairness say it doesn't deserve to be on a top 20 list just because you didn't die a million times. That doesn't make it bad, just easy. Being easy would only be a true negative imo if the game was really short and therefor was over too quickly due to how easy it was. KEY however definitely has enough levels and content that you're easily gonna get your monies worth even if you go through it relatively unchallenged.

I think this whole issue with it being easy really has been greatly blown out of proportion. Possibly because most of the people that frequent gaming websites and forums are a bit more old school and hardcore and therefor as a force of habit assume games are supposed to be very challenging to be "real" games or something. That's just a little bit outdated and narrow minded thinking imo.

Kirby's Epic Yarn absolutely deserves to be on any Wii top games list. It has earned that right.



Araknie said:

The games are all there (almost), and it's a treat that on a console there are at least 20 games to be there. I will do mine now because i can and it's free.

1. Xenoblade Chronicles
2. Donkey Kong Country Returns
3. No More Heroes 2 Desperate Struggle
4. Super Mario Galaxy 2
5. Pandora's Tower (i'm european)
6. Sonic Colours
7. Super Smash Brothers Brawl
8. Red Steel 2
9. Sin and Punishment: Successor of the Sky
10. Kirby's Epic Yarn
11. Metroid Prime 3 Corruption
12. Disaster: Day of Crisis
13. Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World
14. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
15. Samurai Warriors 3

And t-t-that's all folks.



Cranky said:

I do find it a little worrying that Rayman Origins did not make the list. I understand that not everyone has played it, but it got a perfect score from this website. As game journalists do you go out of your way to play games that get perfect scores? Just wondering.



citizenerased said:

Well, NL has already responded to this, but Skyward Sword is better than Twilight Princess in every single way, so it's odd to see this list. It's also sorely lacking Okami, but happy to see Metroid Prime Trilogy on there at least.

Also agreed with Sfzorzando, Rayman Origins is better than NSMBWii.



JamieO said:

@Cranky Like any gamer, I’m sure that Nintendo Life’s staff members have their radar tuned into top-scoring games, 10/10 games certainly grab my attention. One thing to consider regarding Rayman Origins is that a number of staff members for Nintendo Life also write for Push Square and own a variety of different current generation systems. I personally chose to focus on voting for Wii exclusives, for example @NintendoLand noticed this trend in comment 126. I know that many staff members of Nintendo Life are huge fans of Rayman Origins, I have spoken to them about it, but they may have actually completed it on PS3 or PS Vita. It does look particularly sumptuous on more powerful systems, which have greater graphical grunt than the Wii.

@Sfzorzando I can respond to your question 'How much does Nintendo pay you guys to suck up to them?', but from my own personal experience, if it helps:

@ThomasBW84 gathered the team together and set us off to select our own individual and personal Top 20 choices of favoured Wii games. The main stipulation was that Virtual Console games were not to be included in this list. We responded diversely and some staff members placed third-party games in high places. As I am a fan of retro gaming, I personally included third-party retro arcade compilations like SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1, Metal Slug Anthology and Data East Arcade Classics. He then added up the results and worked out the points, which highlighted how our choices were repeated, accumulating the total points for fair placement of each game’s position in the Top 20.

Tom explains this clearly in the feature, but I can assure you that there is no conspiracy here. Were you really surprised that exclusive Nintendo developed Wii games featured so consistently in our independent votes? It’s not really a secret that Nintendo’s first-party output is such a strong part of the Wii’s overall library. Sorry if the truth is a more mundane explanation of how this Top 20 was organised and compiled.



TheDreamingHawk said:

@Kirk I only enjoyed the side quests, but everything else was TOO EASY. I couldn't commit suicide anywhere, and no matter how much beads I lost, I would always seem to get a gold medal. It's at least better than Pokepark wii, which is the WORST pokemon game I've ever played due to it's horribly easy difficulty.



FiveDigitLP said:

Decent list, though I personally haven't played most of the bottom-ranking games.

I agree with a lot of the commenters that Zack & Wiki should have been on this list, but it's one of those games that probably not enough people played in order to be able to include it. Likewise, one of my all time favorite games is Fragile Dreams, but I've met very few people who've actually played that one.

I also think both Wario Land and WarioWare should have been included. The latter of which has generated many laughs among myself and friends.

Finally, a nice WiiWare game that everyone needs to play is Lost Winds. I thought it was a really good use of the Wii controls, personally.



toasted_crumpet said:

Zack & Wiki was a superb little title - definitely utilised the Wii's capabilities in a truly unique way, a refreshing approach considering the post-launch experimental shovelware period. There are also a number of underrated Wii titles that have yet to receive any real sense of recognition:

Opoona - while not a classic by any means, Opoona offered a wonderful in-game aesthetic coupled with an avant-garde electronica soundtrack and battle mechanics that are somewhat reminiscent of Dragon Quest VIII.

The Last Story - fantastic production values and an interesting take on the action-RPG genre, with fluid mechanics that allow plenty of character versatility during battle. Superb English localisation and a moving story to boot too.

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories - a truly amazing game that meekly bowed out of the public eye soon after its launch. In fact I have yet to find one person who acknowledges this game's existence. Very sad indeed.

Rune Factory, Fragile Dreams, Red Steel 2, Warioware: Smooth Moves, Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles and A Shadow's Tale. The latter is incredibly akin to ICO and offers a gorgeously realised artistic vision that is now commonly found on XBLA/PSN games.

But yeah, in conclusion, there are so many forgotten Wii gems that I would totally put in the top 20. Madworld would probably make its way on there too!



Play_It_Loud said:

Good list, but I deduct points for No More Heroes 2 not making the cut, and Most importantly where in the Heck is Punch Out!!



H_Hunter said:

And Super Paper Mario
Little King's Story
A boy and his blob
Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
Trauma Center: Second Opinion
Dance Dance Revolution
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories



Rekiotsu said:

Mario Galaxy games shouldn't be in that list, how in world they are in the second and first places. I hate Mario games, but that's just me. I am probably only one in the world who dislike Mario and I don't understand why.



ouroborous said:

What? Muramasa Demon Sword didn't even make it on the list? I gotta find a different list of Wii games that were actually worth playing..



Klunk23 said:

I feel that FIre Emblem: Radiant Dawn deserves a spot on the list. Because it's awesome. But i agree with the list besides that, except i''d put smash bros in front of Mario Kart.



Henmii said:

I think the original Super Mario galaxy is the best, even if it didn't do crazy stuff with the controller. The concept was just very cool and original!

Second would be Zack and Wiki: Great puzzles and great use of the wiimote!

Other unmissable titles are DKC returns, Kirby's epic yarn, Sin and punishment 2, Metroid prime 3, Okami, Mariokart wii, Mario galaxy 2, Super smash bros brawl, Rayman origins, Bit trip runner, Lostwinds 1, Lostwinds 2 and Icarian!



GustavoPunk said:

Metroid Other M
Red Steel 2
De Blob 2
Last Story
Rayman Origins
Kirby Return to Dreamland
Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
Zack & Wiki
Rune Factory Frontier (plus Tides of Destiny also..)
Wario Shake It
Mario Strikers
Sonic Colors

Well,we can make a top50 list,and still,there'll be more games



defrb said:

i agree with the list 90% Only the wii got so many titles, i would expect a top 50 minimum.



defrb said:

Also, never get it why wii sports was so underrated, good to see it in this list, sinds its the most revolutionary game in this decade.

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