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Feature: The Biggest Wii U Games of 2013

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Well, those that we know about

2012 was a busy year for Nintendo — which our upcoming yearly review will hopefully demonstrate — but now it's all about moving forward with its current systems, with Wii U hogging plenty of headlines by virtue of the fact that it's less than two months old. We won't truly know how well worldwide launch and Holiday sales have gone until Nintendo gives us definitive figures — probably in its financial reports — but what is clear is that Wii U needs a big year ahead of the expected arrival of shiny new competitors from Microsoft and Sony.

With the launch batch of games now on store shelves, unless you subscribe to Nintendo's rather large "launch window" premise, we can look at what's on the way. Much is still unknown about what's coming in 2013, we suspect, as the confirmed line-up only really covers the first half of the year. We expect Nintendo Direct broadcasts and E3 to sort that out, but in the meantime below are ten confirmed games that we think are worth a bit of hype and attention.

Pikmin 3 — Due Q2

Pikmin 3 has been on a number of wishlists for too many years, with rumour and speculation in the past even tying it to a Wii release. The predominant control scheme of Wii Remote and Nunchuk certainly suggests that this was once on the cards, but a number of fans are likely to be relishing the chance to dive into a new experience with the extra bells and whistles on offer with Wii U. The footage shown so far looks utterly charming and beautiful, though the recent push of the release to outside of the launch window may have caused some gnashing of teeth and biting of knuckles.

The Wonderful 101 — Before 31st March

This one is a bit like Pikmin, but with some Platinum Games madness and superheroes fighting giant mechs. It didn't get a showcase moment like Pikmin 3 at E3 2012, but this title deserves to be on every Wii U owner's radar, with its chaotic brand of action and intuitive use of the touch screen for move selection boding well. If preview builds are anything to go by this will offer some truly epic and gorgeous action strategy gaming.

Rayman Legends — 28th February (NA and some PAL countries) / 1st March (UK)

Originally listed as a launch day release, this one was pushed back for extra development time and, we suspect, to avoid a crowded launch day line-up. The original was critically acclaimed on Wii, and this Wii U-exclusive sequel continues much of the same gameplay along with some potentially interesting GamePad features. Demo and preview builds look and sound stunning, as well.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate — March

Of all the titles on this list, this is the only one that's previously been released on another platform (some of these games are multi-platform future releases), yet this iteration will include additional monsters and content not in the Wii original. It also comes with a HD sheen, which is sure to please fans, while the potential for multiplayer and cross-play between the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game is an important first for the respective systems, particularly as it's becoming increasingly common between Sony's PS3 and PS Vita. We came away from our recent hands on time with the game rather impressed, so it's on our radar.

Game and Wario — Before 31st March

Rather like The Wonderful 101, this is a title that's had less focus and attention than some others, but is still pegged for a release in the next few months. Taking its cue from the manic and cult-favourite WarioWare series, this will serve up a number of mini-games that should take advantage of the control options provided by the GamePad, as well as provide plenty of frantic and wacky moments. If it's done right it could be a party classic for those with quick reflexes and a sense of humour.

Wii Fit U — Before 31st March

This could be an important release for Nintendo in its efforts to convert the enormous Wii user-base over to Wii U. The original fitness title was a major success, not only in terms of sales and juicy profits, but also in helping to make the Wii a must-have for millions of people that wouldn't necessarily consider themselves to be "gamers". It appealed to a number of self-professed gamers, too, and it'll be a test of Wii U's reach and potential for big sales to see whether this new version can repeat the success of the first two releases.

Bayonetta 2 — TBA 2013

If Nintendo was hoping to cause a shock when it unveiled this title as an exclusive in a Nintendo Direct broadcast last year, it seemed to succeed. While Bayonetta wasn't necessarily a commercial smash — which may explain one of the reasons why SEGA dropped out from publishing the sequel and put the project in jeopardy — its intense action and sense of style did earn some critical praise and a passionate following. Nintendo stepped in to publish and get exclusivity, prompting quite a backlash throughout the online gaming community, with some using words such as betrayal and others even saying they'd buy a Wii U just for the sequel. We'll see whether excitable online comments convert to sales when Platinum Games gets this one finished, which is certainly expected this year.

LEGO City: Undercover — Before 31st March

When the Nintendo Life team watched the reveal of this during E3 2012, the words LEGO GTA were definitely uttered. This one promises open-world gameplay, but with LEGO characters, gameplay and quirky humour as has been popular in the TT Games series. Nintendo has taken on publication for what could be a particularly fun experience — if the recent trailer was anything to go by — so we feel it's worth watching.

BIT.TRIP Presents: Runner 2 Future Legend of Rhythm Alien — Q1 2013

This long-awaited new title from Gaijin Games is a spin-off/sequel to the popular WiiWare title BIT.TRIP RUNNER. Adopting a new art style along with its rather lengthy title, this was initially confirmed for Xbox 360, PS3 and Steam on PC, leaving out Wii. Such has been the development time that it's now being prepared for the Wii U eShop, a relief to BIT.TRIP fans that want to see the series, albeit in its new form, continue on Nintendo platforms. Expect lots of running, a tough difficulty level and awesome music; we're looking forward to trying this one out.

Toki Tori 2 — Q1 2013

Our Q1 listing is an educated guess, as this title was originally expected to arrive on the eShop on 20th December 2012, getting pushed back as developer Two Tribes wants to tidy it up and make the game as good as it can possibly be. Adopting a wider environment and animal buddies that function as interactive items, we were impressed when we had a look at this last year. With a level creation tool also set to be included, this has the potential to be a top-notch download.


Some confirmed releases didn't make the list, so let us know which Wii U games have you most excited for the year ahead in the comments; you can also vote for your most anticipated game from this article in the poll below. Keep an eye out for our equivalent 3DS list, too.

What's your most anticipated Wii U game of 2013? (479 votes)

Pikmin 3

29%

The Wonderful 101

6%

Rayman Legends

13%

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

13%

Game & Wario

  5%

Wii Fit U

  3%

Bayonetta 2

8%

LEGO City: Undercover

11%

BIT.TRIP Presents: Runner 2 Future Legend of Rhythm Alien

  3%

Toki Tori 2

  2%

My choice isn't on the list

7%

Please login to vote in this poll.

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User Comments (116)

Zyph

#3

Zyph said:

The commonly 'hyped' games. MH3U and Bayonetta...and maybe The Wonderful 101. :D

OracleOfTruth

#6

OracleOfTruth said:

Rayman and Pikmin are at the top of my list. These other games look good as well though. I can't understand why some people think that 2013 looks bland for Wii U, especially considering that there are unannounced titles as well.

SuperCharlie78

#7

SuperCharlie78 said:

I'd say Pikmin 3, but I'm actually looking forward to almost all of these games.
Well, maybe I'm still not interested in videogaming fitness...

NintyMan

#8

NintyMan said:

Game & Wario is my most anticipated Wii U game followed by Pikmin 3 and Rayman Legends, although I think Lego City looks like a lot of fun too. This first half of 2013 might not look like much, but there's still the other half of 2013 that's in the shadows right now and won't be revealed until E3 time.

Xiao_Pai

#10

Xiao_Pai said:

Ugh, I wanted to select multiple games...T.T
Went with Pikmin 3, you people better give Ultimate some votes. >_>

DRLAdmin

#11

DRL said:

There are a few of these games that I am very interested in but right now the only ones I really care about are Rayman Legends and Runner 2.

I'm a platformaholic.

ArcanaXVI

#13

ArcanaXVI said:

Far too many good games coming up. My wallet is crying in horrified anticipation . . .

DRLAdmin

#15

DRL said:

@6ch6ris6 In due time. I imagine Nintendo is being strategic and saving their big announcements to coincide with the unveiling of the competitions next gen hardware. Oh, and E3 of course.

SilentHunter382

#16

SilentHunter382 said:

I am surprised my most wanted game (Alien: Colonial Marines) is not on the list though it is a multiplat game.

RCMADIAX

#17

RCMADIAX said:

Im most looking foreword to seeing what Nintendo plans to do with GameCube games. Either Virtual Console or HD remakes would sit well with me since the GameCube is still my favorite console to date.

Buzzthebatgirl

#18

Buzzthebatgirl said:

After playing demos of both Pikmin3 and Wonderful 101 at the Wii U tours, my mind (and money) is set on 101

UnseatingKDawg

#21

UnseatingKDawg said:

I'd like Game & Wario, but I'm waiting to see what SEGA's newest boxed Sonic title is going to be.

@WhiteTrashGuy: Skyrim would be a fine addition to the Wii U. Could probably use the touch screen for inventory or other things...

BlatantlyHeroic

#26

BlatantlyHeroic said:

@UnseatingKDawg That would be an awesome way to access the inventory now that I think about it...
@6ch6ris6 It's not disappointing in the least! Well that is, unless you only play Nintendo games, if that's the case you should probably play other games because you're missing out on some great ones.

Reala

#28

Reala said:

Game & Wario is the one that interests me the most, the rest look good if not exactly outstanding so far at least to me anyway.

demonroach

#29

demonroach said:

These are fine titles, but I'm still wanting a major release in 2013. Zelda in 2014 is too late, so what will be the big name of 2013, a Monilith release?

Ryno

#30

Ryno said:

Saying this as a Nintendo fan, I don't see many "system sellers" in that list for those on the fence about the Wii U. For me Bayonetta 2 is the one I am looking forward to the most.

MrWalkieTalkie

#32

MrWalkieTalkie said:

Despite my love for Pikmin, something in me told me to vote for the Wonderful 101. I just seriously loved that demo at comic-con.

DerpSandwich

#33

DerpSandwich said:

I know I've said this plenty of times before (and almost always been disappointed), but I sure hope this E3 is big. I'm not sure if I even know of one big game that releases in the second half of this year on either platform. They've got to be holding their cards close to the chest, because the only other option is that there is literally nothing coming (and that of course is impossible). Like, every last thing that we know about on 3DS and Wii U comes by this spring. What's the future like?

XFsWorld

#34

XFsWorld said:

Lego City Undercover, Wii Fit U, and the Wonderful 101[I gettin the 3DS version of Monster Hunter Ultimate]

Phle

#35

Phle said:

I voted LEGO City: Undercover, but I wanted to vote for both Bayonetta 2 and Pikmin 3 too. I just had to choose one.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#37

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

I'll get all of those at launch except for MH3 and Bayonetta 2 I think. Add to my purchase list injustice and games like The Cave and the various pinball games. Looks good for 2013 léading up to E3 2013

ohhaime

#39

ohhaime said:

Monster Hunter all the way, I'm getting the 3DS version but I'm also going to buy a Wii U (if i don't have one yet) and MHTri U once it's out here in NA.

DarkCoolEdge

#40

DarkCoolEdge said:

I've picked Bayonetta but I'm not very interested in it. I'm waiting for other games to be announced.

The wonderful 101 looks neat.

SMW

#41

SMW said:

All of the above plus more! Panorama View, Google Maps, and the unannounced but likely DK, Zelda and Metroid.

I really can't wait for Wii Fit U, though. I hate exercising as much as any lazy gamer, but Wii Fit Plus is so fun. I don't play it for the exercise, I play for fun.

SteveW

#42

SteveW said:

Skylanders 3 is going to be announced on Feb 9th, I'm sure that will be at the top of my list.

Dogpigfish

#43

Dogpigfish said:

I think Bayonetta succeeded because of timing, it was all that came out in a three month vacancy. I don't think it will impact many again for that reason; too much other content being released. I hope I'm wrong.

rjejr

#45

rjejr said:

The title should read - "The Biggest Wii U games OF THE FIRST HALF OF 2013 and Bayonetta 2." Unless Pikmin 3 gets pushed to Q3 or Q4.

This line was great though: "unless you subscribe to Nintendo's rather large "launch window" premise". I think the launch window only closes after Pikmin 3 releases ;-)

I'm still looking forward to "101" though not as much now that I've played "When Vikings Attack" to death on my PS3.

I'm still waiting for a game unveiling that will blow me away like Star Wars: Rogue Squadron or Dinosaur Planet did. Maybe they'll finally make a game out of that Japanese garden demo. Hopefully we'll see something at E3 for the holidays that will make me buy a Wii U. A new 3D world Mario would do.

misswliu81

#47

misswliu81 said:

bayonetta 2 for me- but the rest are great too. aliens should've been on that list too.

hydeks

#49

hydeks said:

blah, Bayonetta 2 is like the only decent game for Wii U owners to look forward too. Really sad launch window, couple of great games though :P

HammerBr0

#52

HammerBr0 said:

I only could choose one, but Pikmin 3 is the one that is gonna kill the Beginning of 2013! The other choices I would have choosen were Rayman Legends and Game & Wario :)

Emaan

#53

Emaan said:

My most anticipated by far is Pikmin 3, with Game & Wario following not too long after with my excitement. Rayman Legends and The Wonderful 101 are on my radar as well, they look really interesting. As of right now though, I'm much more looking forward to the confirmed 2013 3DS releases than Wii U.

SparkOfSpirit

#54

SparkOfSpirit said:

Wonderful 101 not getting any hype from some people in the comments is disappointing. Must it be said again that the man behind it made Devil May Cry, Viewtiful Joe, Okami, and Bayonetta? It's also a new IP which is what I THOUGHT people wanted?

As for me, Rayman Legends, Wonderful 101, Lego City Undercover, and Toki Tori 2 are on my list. Those look excellent.

Rod64

#55

Rod64 said:

Pikmin and Wii Fit are the ONLY reasons I'm getting a Wii U in 2013.

Kifa

#56

Kifa said:

Pikmin 3 is an instant purchase for me, followed by Monster Hunter Ultimate and then by Wonderful 101 and Rayman Legends. Maybe there aren't many WiiU games announced, but those that are should be pretty damn good. And it's quality, not quanity, that matters for me.

Oh, yeah... And then there's Aliens: Colonial Marines, which should happen sometime in Q2-Q3. :]

2Sang

#61

2Sang said:

Pikmin 3 is the only insta-buy for me. MAYBE, just maybe Smash Bros. will get a christmas release, and that's a console buying game for me. Probably wishful thinking, though.

JebbyDeringer

#64

JebbyDeringer said:

A very poor showing if Nintendo wants to attract "other" gamers. Monster Hunter 3 has potential but it probably still suffers from the tiny tiny areas with loading in between. Great game on the Wii but very hardware limited in that regard. Pikmin 3 is really the only stand out game.

Pogocoop

#65

Pogocoop said:

I'll probably end up getting All of these except Wii Fit U and maybe not Game & Wario. Really exciting offerings so far!

Gamer83

#66

Gamer83 said:

Lego City Undercover may be the game to get me to cave in and buy a Wii U sooner than I'm planning to. I've always enjoyed the Lego series and this one looks to take the series to the next level. I believe it's also coming to 3DS but there's no way that version will be as good as the Wii U one. If there is one criticism I have of the series it's that the portable efforts have left a lot to be desired and given the strength of the hardware of both 3DS and Vita, that is not acceptable anymore.

Stratostar

#67

Stratostar said:

RUNNER2!!!!!!!!!
RUNNER2!!!!!!!!!
RUNNER2!!!!!!!!!
RUNNER2!!!!!!!!!
RUNNER2!!!!!!!!!
RUNNER2!!!!!!!!!

....Oh, and Game & Wario! Yeah! But mostly RUNNER2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WiiLovePeace

#69

WiiLovePeace said:

I'm greatly anticipating many games on that list, but I voted for Lego City: Undercover due to the humour, the open-world & being able to play as a cop who goes under various guises to hunt down the bad guys. It just sounds like a ton of fun to me :D (though many of the other games sound awesome too)

CaPPa

#73

CaPPa said:

The games at the top of my 'most wanted' list are:

Monster Hunter 3
Lego City Undercover
Aliens: Colonial Marines
Bayonetta 2
The Wonderful 101
Rayman Legends

Chunky_Droid

#75

Chunky_Droid said:

Pikmin 3 for me, I got the first one on New Play Control for Christmas, first time I ever played it. Stressful, but loved every minute of it, very glad that Shiggy is making the 3rd just as stressful an experience :)

luminalace

#79

luminalace said:

I am really looking forward to Aliens Colonial Marines and to a lesser extent, Need For Speed Most Wanted. I will probably buy Rayman Legends, Pikmin 3 & Bayonetta 2 too.

ExtremeAzure

#80

ExtremeAzure said:

My picks are:

~ NEED FOR SPEED MOST WANTED
~ LEGO CITY
~ RUNNER
~ PIKMIN 3 (maybe)

RAYMAN LEGENDS is amazing, but not my cup of tea.

erv

#81

erv said:

Pikmin 3 and monster hunter ultimate, definitely. Wonderful 101 seems to be great too, and rayman legends will probably end up in my collection. I don't know if I'll manage each purchase on day 1 though!

Some of these will have to wait until the price drops I guess, given the amount of time we have to play so much :) But pikmin and monster hunter? Day 1.

yobucky

#84

yobucky said:

I don't have a wii U yet but what will determine when it goes from "I'd like to own one" to "I MUST HAVE ONE" is determined almost exclusively by when pikmin 3 is being released, but it's possible an announcement of a Mario galaxy sequel could have the same effect.

Moshugan

#86

Moshugan said:

@yobokkie Tell me about it. When friends ask whether ZombiU is good, I say definitely, but when they ask if it's a reason to buy the machine, my answer is absolutely not. (Although everyone's enjoyed NintendoLand way more that they should've...)

On a side note, why does everyone talk about a Galaxy sequal? I think there won't be another Galaxy title. SMG2 was the Galaxy sequal. The next 3D Mario will most likely have a new concept tailored for the Wii U.

WiiLovePeace

#87

WiiLovePeace said:

I agree with @Moshugan. & its totally obvious that the next 3D Mario game will be called "Super Mario Universe" (as its the only name that you can go to after Super Mario Galaxy AND Universe starts with a U, hence ties into Wii U) not "Super Mario Galaxy 3". It'll have a large hub world & a huge array of planets, galaxies & secret paths through worm holes & stuff. It'll basically be everything that SMG was & more! That's my wish list anyway :p (& it'll be in my hands xmas this year :D)

Crouteru

#89

Crouteru said:

Zelda U, Mario Galaxy 3, Mario Kart U, Smash Bros. U, Metroid U, Star Fox U, F-Zero UX, Wave Race U, Pilotwings U, Banjo-Kazooie 3, Perfect Dark 2, Donkey Kong Country U, Rogue Squadron 4,

LavaTwilight

#91

LavaTwilight said:

PIKMIN 3 For Da Win!!!

I am however also looking forward to Wii Fit U, Lego City Undercover (depending on reviews) and after playing the Castle Rock level, now interested in Rayman too! If you haven't seen the gameplay of that level yet, YouTube it... it's awesome!

Slapshot

#92

Slapshot said:

There are some good games here, but this line-up falls very short of the massive hits that Wii U is missing out on this year: BioShock Infinite, Tomb Raider, Crysis 3, Grand Theft Auto V, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

It's also facing fierce competition against major first party titles too: Beyond: Two Souls, God of War: Ascension, Gears of War: Judgment, Tearaway, Sly Cooper and The Last of Us.

Early sales data isn't pleasing for Wii U and comparing the line-ups makes it look like the year ahead of it could be a difficult one for Nintendo. As it stands right now, it'll be 2014 or later before I make the jump into Wii U and that all depends on what comes from Microsoft/Sony this year - I might skip this console altogether.

Peach64

#94

Peach64 said:

The only game confirmed for 2013 that I'm interested in is Pikmin 3. I think I'll also be waiting til 2014 before picking up a Wii U. I just don't know if they'd release a Zelda or 3D Mario within a year of announcing them, so I'm kind of doubting we'll see either in 2013. From recent comments it doesn't sound like we should expect Smash Brothers either. Hopefully this year is full of amazing announcements, even if the games don't come before the end of it.

MrSatan

#95

MrSatan said:

Does anybody know any games that's been announced for after these? Can't wait to play 101 loved viewtiful joe

rjejr

#97

rjejr said:

Mario Golf.

My son just asked for a Wii Mario Golf game. There was an N64 Mario Golf game and a Gamecube Mario golf game but the Wii system with the motion controls that was made for sports doesn't have a Mario golf game? Not even a "New Play Control" Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour?

Nintendo needs to rectify this and get out a Mario Golf Wii U game ASAP.

Varia01

#98

Varia01 said:

I can't wait to get Lego City Undercover! The open world and non-linear gameplay adds to the excellent gamepad use! I can't wait!

kyoya

#100

kyoya said:

list looks decent but what about zelda, mario kart u,star fox,yoshi island u, f-zero u, metroid,mother, earthbound u, metal gear, splinter cell, kingdom hearts, do i really need to continue

atariman

#101

atariman said:

@kyoya

I too, agree with your statment, "what about zelda, mario kart u " and so on fourth. but they say "these games will be a hit" it won't be as big of a hit as the games you suggested, (if they did make the selected games) :P

RetrogamerFan

#102

RetrogamerFan said:

From the list, the one thing i'm really excited for is Pikmin 3
Also looking forward to Aliens: Colonial Marines; and then I'm hoping Pinball Arcade arrives in the e-shop sometime soon.

manic221

#103

manic221 said:

Rayman Legends and Lego City :) I just adore that music level on the Rayman demo i hope there is more of those... Lego City just looks insanely good ^^ was one of the driving factors for me when i bought my Wii U so i'm hoping it'll be out late feb or early march both would be great and will tide me over too GTA V which sadly i'll be picking up on my xbox for a variety of reasons not least of all online play :) but also because Rockstar hasn't talked about the Wii U at all apart from "maybe"

Drawdler

#105

Drawdler said:

I voted for Rayman Legends, because I plan to complete Origins sometime this year as well so I can finish them together, both look fantastic! :)
Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and Lego City: Undercover are all on my radar though and I expect really amazing stuff in the last half of the year, which we don't even know much about at this point! :D Well, I can guarantee at least a new Skylanders game will come out then- hah!

Vehemont

#107

Vehemont said:

I guess Pikmin 3 is about the only stand out in my opinion though I have my eyes on Game & Wario......

dananlau

#108

dananlau said:

Rayman Legends for me as far as Wii U exclusives are concerned, but would absolutely love a Wii U version of GTA V or Bioshock Infinite - as unlikely as that may be!

Weezywe3ds

#113

Weezywe3ds said:

I Looked at Pikmin 3 Its look great, and fun and something new never played the 1st 2 but I think I might pik this min up l0l pick this one up looks interesting and Great graphically

MarioKenny1992

#114

MarioKenny1992 said:

Pikmin 3, Wonderful 101, and Rayman Legends certainly look interesting for me, but I am dying to see what the next 3D Mario and Mario Kart titles are gonna be like! Oh, and if you're reading this, Nintendo, PLEASE MAKE F-ZERO FOR WII U!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nesgod8bit

#116

Nesgod8bit said:

Fist of the northstar kens rage 2 and monster hunter 3. I hope that they are hard at work on a zelda and a 2d metriod. Let us hope for Mario Kart 8 or Mario Kart wii u, what ever they want to call it.

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