Every few months of each year we do lists of what we consider to be ten of the biggest games on each system that are on the way. We're kicking off with the Wii U for this quarter and, although we gave retail and eShop games separate lists earlier in the year, the limited remaining slate for 2015 has prompted us to combine them together for one final hurrah. Remember, this list is for games that haven't yet been released at the time of writing.
Some delays haven't helped since our Summer list, in addition to a number of titles landing in stores already. We're also excluding Yoshi's Woolly World this time even though it lands in North America later this month; it's been in Europe for quite some time and we love it, but we just want to direct attention towards games that will be new for players everywhere. By this token Devil's Third also misses out as it's already out in Japan and Europe; we don't think it's any better than average, in any case. A number of Nindie games, too, are in the list as we hope they will make it out in 2015, while the exciting Freedom Planet misses out as it's just arrived in North America.
Despite Star Fox Zero being the latest title to get pushed back for some extra polish, there are still some terrific games of various kinds coming to the Wii U; certainly enough to keep us interested. Below are ten games that we think are worth strong consideration as we head towards the Holidays and the end of 2015.
Predecessor Xenoblade Chronicles had a torturous route to the West, but Nintendo has been quicker in preparing this one, no doubt feverishly working on localisation right up to the Holiday release. Monolith Soft is once again at the helm, and this adventure brings enormous alien world to explore and Skells (mechs known as Dolls in Japan) that'll make this writer squee once they're available to fly. This should keep plenty of Wii U owners busy into 2016.
This made a late appearance in the Treehouse broadcasts in LA, and is a welcome dose of suspense and horror on the Wii U. Picking up on the general approach of series predecessors, this one will also provide some neat usage of the GamePad as the camera, providing some promising motion controls to immerse us in the experience. You can check out our first impressions of the final build for more detail.
Sometimes it's enough for a game franchise to simply keep up its standard formula, and this probably qualifies in that category. This new entry has HD visuals, Jump Shots and Mega Mushrooms, and aside from that it's likely to serve up the familiar action that we rather enjoyed (most recently) in Mario Tennis Open; we think that's no bad thing in our first impressions.
Put the pitchforks away, we know this isn't a universally popular inclusion; in fact we're not particularly convinced by its charms as yet. A board game approach to the franchise utilising a new figure range, with mini-games triggered by amiibo cards, it's certainly a new direction as a spin-off. Regardless of whether it's the Animal Crossing game we wanted it's the one we have, and a combination of brand power and amiibo make it a potential success for the Wii U in the Holiday season.
There aren't a huge number of third-party games coming to Wii U in the remainder of this year, yet this revival of the last-gen phenomenon is on the way. It'll be interesting to see whether lightning strikes a second time for peripheral-based music games, with this new entry adopting a new play style, a new guitar and a quirky 'live' audience approach.
After a long time waiting this Yuji Naka title - or at least it was in its original guise - is finally on the way. It's been delayed a few times and was a commercial flop in Japan, yet we had fun with it when we got to play it earlier in the year.
Shin'en Multimedia was determined to keep FAST Racing NEO under wraps until it was ready to be shown, before unleashing a début trailer prior to E3 and making a successful appearance on the Nintendo Treehouse live stream. Running at 720p and at a solid 60fps, this is hugely promising and has been wowing crowds at expos; we've been impressed in our play time and will bring you another interview with Shin'en Multimedia soon.
Due relatively soon, this is a puzzle platformer in which you hop between layers to navigate charming areas and solve puzzles. It looks rather handsome, has killer music and oozes charm, and we enjoyed a recent opportunity to try it out at EGX. It's certainly one to watch.
This one has been available on PC for over a year, but development on Wii U (the first console version) has progressed to the point that it was included on the Nindie booth at EGX. It's a visually charming and hugely clever co-op game, with one player moving in a 2.5D space and the 'shadow' operating in a 2D plane, though even those perspectives vary in innovative ways. The clever use of lighting and teamwork make this worthy of your wishlist, and we'll have an interview with the developers with you soon.
WayForward recently stated that a Holiday release is the target, albeit with the caveat that it could slip. The potential for a release this year gets it back on the list, and we're still excited about a new HD adventure with the mascot, with recent footage and our own recent impressions renewing our anticipation for this release.
- Mutant Mudds Super Challenge
- RIVE - Now likely to arrive in 2016; we'll have updated impressions for you soon
- The Unlikely Legend of Rusty Pup
- SteamWorld Heist - Wii U release to follow 3DS entry (due in Fall), so we're cautious until that version is dated.
- Soul Axiom
- Hyper Light Drifter
- The Next Penelope - port still on the way, release date unclear
- YIIK: A Postmodern RPG
- Aperion Cyberstorm - may arrive late this year or in 2016
Those are some of our picks, with a lot of Nindie titles narrowly missing out and certainly deserving their honourable mentions. Download games often have the most fluid release dates, too, so some of those could easily count as '10 biggest' list material if they land and others are delayed.
In any case, let us know which of these games you're most excited about; we'll even let you pick a top three in the poll below if you want to show some love for retail and download games alike. You can also share your own lists in the comments of games you're most keen to play this year.