Remember, this ranking is based on each game's User Rating in our games database, and is therefore subject to real-time change even as you read this! If you rated the Wii U games you've played, feel free to do so now and potentially alter the ranking below. Enjoy!
Despite our affection for the console, there's no denying that Wii U had its share of issues from the very beginning. Chiefly, Nintendo failed to properly communicate the hardware's unique potential to the game-playing public — a mistake the company was careful to avoid repeating with Switch. The name was a point of confusion, too, with some people assuming that it was some sort of add-on peripheral for the original Wii (quite understandably given the strategic focus of pre-release materials on the GamePad while the new console was tucked away out of view).
Throw in some oversized, chunky styling and a lack of Wii Sports-esque launch title to instantly convey the product's appeal and it comes as little surprise that Wii U was a commercial failure, and one all the more painful following the unprecedented success of its immediate predecessor. However, all fair criticism aside, there's one area where we won't hear a word against Wii U: the games.
Say what you like about the hardware or Nintendo's misguided marketing, but Wii U had a large library of software across a breadth of genres and styles. There's a very good reason Nintendo and third parties have been plundering the catalogue and re-releasing Wii U games on Switch — many of them are utterly fantastic.
Below you'll find a list of the 50 best Wii U games, including both full retail releases and downloadable eShop titles. Similar to many of our other Best Games lists, the ranking is governed entirely by each title's User Rating in the Nintendo Life Game database and will constantly evolve to reflect those ratings, so you can still participate even as you read this. To do so, simply click on the User Rating star next to each title below and give it a score out of 10. The score will immediately be counted towards the total and potentially alter the ranking.
We've assembled these Top 50 rankings for a growing number of Nintendo consoles, so be sure to check out the Best Nintendo DS games, the Best 3DS games, the Best Game Boy games, the Best Nintendo 64 Games, the Best Nintendo Wii Games, the Best SNES Games, and even the 50 best Switch games — each and every one a fluid list that can change over time. Try rating the games in those, too!
If there's a game bubbling under the top 50 that you'd like to rate, feel free to find it using the search tool below and give it a score out of 10. Ready, then? Let's dive in and see why publishers the world over have been plundering this console's treasure trove for 'Deluxe' and 'Ultimate' editions on Switch. Here are your picks for the all-time 50 best Wii U games ever...
Note. In order for games to become eligible, they need a minimum of 50 User Ratings in total.
50. Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag (Wii U)
Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag delivered an, exceptionally crafted, immensely beautiful and consuming open world that felt fantastic on Wii U. The clumsiness of the free-running mechanics showed up every so often, and low frame counts crept in here and there, but not enough to break the illusion Ubisoft painstakingly constructed in this open-world seafarer. Black Flag effortlessly sucks you into even the most insignificant of activities as you sail the high seas, and Wii U owners found plenty of gold for the plundering on their travels.
49. Runbow (Wii U eShop)
Runbow is a game that is very ‘Nintendo’ in every single aspect, from concept to art and sound direction, to the point that Nintendo itself held a launch party for Runbow at the Nintendo World Store in NYC. It's an excellent party game with a solid single player campaign and more unlockables than the colours of the rainbow; you won't regret playing this gem on the Wii U (or Switch).
48. Pokkén Tournament (Wii U)
Pokkén Tournament attempted to break into the fighting game genre with a bang, although it remains relatively niche. It stripped back unnecessary complexity from the controls which made it easy to pick-up-and-play, but with a skill ceiling that left hardcore fans with plenty of room to explore. The visuals could have been sharper — something that's also true for the only-slightly improved DX port on Switch — but these are grotesquely outweighed by the sheer polish and replayability of the core gameplay. As a lovechild of such disparate properties as Tekken and Pokémon, Pokkén Tournament was a spectacularly scrappy surprise.
47. Mass Effect 3 (Wii U)
Yes, back when EA gave the impression of genuinely caring about Nintendo platforms (well, kinda), Mass Effect 3 was ported to Wii U. Starting with the third game in a series may not make sense much sense (with ME2 arguably being the pinnacle of the series), but it was a quality port from a Bioware series that excelled — at the time — in delivering complex storytelling with engaging gameplay. The ending might have rubbed some people the wrong way, but experiencing the beautiful Mass Effect universe on a Nintendo console was a treat that we've missed in the years since.
46. ZombiU (Wii U)
ZombiU isn't perfect, but it set out to do a very specific thing and succeeded with style. As a Wii U launch game, Ubisoft showed that — despite the hardware's appearance — dark, mature games could work on Nintendo’s newest console. It was atmospheric, horrifying, and provided plenty of sweaty palms and jump scares. Anyone looking for a challenging and highly immersive experience with some real heft behind it found just that, and Ubisoft showcased the potential of the underutilised GamePad in a way that few third-party studios (and arguably Nintendo itself) would throughout the system's life cycle.
45. Resident Evil Revelations (Wii U)
Another game that has since come to Switch, Resident Evil Revelations began life on 3DS before coming to Wii U in HD form. This title delivers the trademark franchise experience with moody environments, scares, action set-pieces and silly, campy storytelling in one enjoyable package. Raid mode was a fantastic extra, adding hours and hours of value as you can brainlessly gunned down creatures with a stranger, levelling up as you go.
Visually and mechanically, the game was designed for 3DS, but this version (and the ports on subsequent consoles) held up well. More importantly, this spin-off from the 'mainline' series demonstrated that bombast and eye-watering budgets aren't the secrets to capturing the essence of survival horror and helped steer the RE ship back on course after the perilous waters of Resident Evil 6.
44. Need for Speed: Most Wanted U (Wii U)
Need for Speed: Most Wanted U a stunning port that went above and beyond in terms of tailoring a multiplatform title specifically for Nintendo's hardware and its feature set. Criterion's game is fast, fun, and absolutely beautiful, with an open-world design that creates a real feeling of freedom to go with the sense of speed, but it's the graphical upgrades and GamePad-specific features that made this the definitive console version at the time. It's one of the finest open-world racers we've ever played — the perfect example of a Nintendo port done right. Most wanted, indeed.
43. Affordable Space Adventures (Wii U eShop)
A really cracking title which shall never escape from Wii U (at least not until another console with two separate screens comes along), Affordable Space Adventures not only utilises the GamePad, but makes it integral to the experience as you navigate the dangerous caverns in your economy class spacefaring vehicle. Tackling it solo or with others is equally rewarding, and developer Nifflas' devotion to small details and quality is what truly sets it apart and makes it one of our favourite games on Wii eShop. There's nothing else quite like this out there, and it's still a trip worth taking — even without its clever Miiverse integration intact.
42. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (Wii U)
Another great addition to the roster of the console with 'no games', Tekken Tag Tournament 2 launched alongside Wii U and threw exclusive Nintendo costumes and power-ups into its quality fighting mix, plus DLC content from other platforms, too. This entry in Namco's franchise had already cemented itself as a quality participant contender in the genre, but add in the Wii U exclusive modes, bells, and whistles and you're left with perhaps the best console version of a fine fighter.
41. NES Remix (Wii U eShop)
It would be simple to write off NES Remix as something only die-hard retro gamers would enjoy, but developer Indies Zero was really on to something here. The 200+ challenges are short enough to be interesting and fun to replay, but not long enough to outstay their welcome. The developer has even managed to make challenges based on games like Urban Champion and Baseball fun, which is an achievement in itself. If you're the type who likes to relentlessly collect stuff, the stars and stamps will also keep you entertained.
Pairs well with its sequel, too. Who wouldn't want to play Super Mario Bros. backwards?
The Wii U had 50 games?
Well... I still only have 8 Wii U games. 😅
1. Mario Kart 8
2. Super Mario 3D World
4. LEGO CITY UNDERCOVER
5. Wii Party U
6. Mario & Sonic at Sochi 2014
7. Paper Mario Color Splash
8. Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival
I have a plan to Break Games Limit by adding never before played games to increase my quota until 12 games or possibly more than 12 Wii U games.
Interesting list. Never got around to getting the wii u tho, but I agree with rayman and botw being in the top ten, no matter what system those are great games!
Rayman Legends was my first and favourite Wii U game
I totally forgot botw was on wii u
Didn't even realize Wii U had 50 games to rank aside from virtual console. I only have like 8. The lack of software was Wii U's biggest failing.
Looked over the list and realized I own 40 of the titles on the list, and only don't own the others because I never had any real interest in them. It's a shame that it didn't get the attention it deserved from people or Nintendo.
So Wii U had more original games than Switch and they call it a flop!
It is a CRIME to have Nintendo Land at the bottom of the list. It deserves AT LEAST top 10!!! Shame on you Nintendo Life readers. Shame. On. You.
No Star Fox Guard or Pokkén Tournament. Boo!
For me, the Wii U was basically just a Mario Kart, Splatoon and Mario Maker machine. Very underwhelming library when it comes to single player experiences but at least the 3DS made up for some of the slack. Now I have 500+ games on my Switch.
This is probably the only top 10 I actually own boxed and have played extensively. Objectively one of Nintendo's worst consoles, and probably the one I love the most.
@Little_Squee I don't think anyone was saying it didn't have original games, it's just that not enough people bought them.
But what was there was amazing, Nintendo wouldn't be porting them to Switch otherwise.
Hmm, is Raymond Legends really that good to be top 10? Or perhaps it says something about the lack of games on Wii U... Funnily enough I just downloaded the Switch demo!
Super Mario 3D world deserved better </3. It is my favorite Wii U game (not counting BotW as I played it on the switch)
Wow, you made all the Rabbits Land fans cry. Congratulations.
@Clyde_Radcliffe It is better on Wii U than Switch, like many other games such Captain Toad, due to the 2nd screen on Gamepad
Weird list. But fair play finding 50.
It had 50 games to rank? 😃 Seriously I played the thing more than my Xbox one or PS4. Loved the thing.
I know there are a lot of great titles there, but Mario 3D World deserves much better! My favourite WiiU title just after BotW.
Whoever says WiiU has no good games, they definitely didn't have it. Of course Switch is way better, but it wouldn't be the same without the games ported from the WiiU, would it?
@Clyde_Radcliffe It's a fantastic game, much better than NSMBU, for example. And the WiiU had the best version of it, thanks to the second screen.
I have a lot of Wii U games. The Wii U was a commercial failure, but for me, it is the best console of all time. It brought my family together in a way no other console has ever done before. I have a lot of memories playing games like Mario Kart 8, Nintendo Land, Wii Party U, Wii Fit U, and more. People can diss the Wii U all they want, but it will always be my favorite console.
Tropical Freeze is too low. It's one of the best games of all time, let alone a top 5 Wii U game. I guess no Funky Mode was the deal breaker.
I would take the combination of 3DS and Wii U, over Nintendo switch with the current horrible little output of games and lack of 2nd screen.
Nintendo gave switch owners no games since 2019, apart from an average paper Mario game.
After Super Mario 3D World, there are not many games left for reasonable porting to Switch. Maybe Xenoblade Chronicles X and Yoshi
@tzahn I agree, it is my number 1 Wii U game, but I still prefer DK Country returns on 3DS, I wish it gets an HD release someday
So... Nintendo, you know what to do: bring Wind Waker to Switch!!!
Look at that strong list of games that didn't get hindered by a pandemic. Those were the days!
Wiiu had Tekken, Mass Effect, Dues Ex and Call of Duty....
The fact lego city undercover is here means this list is great most underrated game ever IMO this community knows it's stuff rebougjt it on switch just to have it portable fun little game with a great sense of humor. I haven't had this much fun with a lego game since lego indiana jones and lego star wars the complete saga.
Arh, apart from my SNES, this was my favourite console. I agree with the top 10, however Twilight Princess should be in at number 3.5.
Man, Nintendo Land was robbed. Every other game in the top 10 has is available on another Nintendo console and aside from Wind Waker the port/sequel is better lol.
Who said the Wii U has more original games than the Switch? That's a factually incorrect statement.
Also, they call the Wii U a flop because it sold incredibly poorly. It's objectively a sales flop.
Dang, I was gonna make the same joke lol
I loved my Wii U, though. Great console. Pretty telling that the top 2 games were both available on other systems at the time they launched, though.
How can Xenoblade Chronicles X not be in the top 3?!
@Max_the_German AND Zelda Wind Waker!!!!!!!!
I just replaced the battery in my Gamepad because the kids still regularly play the system. I really need to go back and finish my second play through of Xenoblade Chronicles X. I was attempting to only use the assault rifle skills which makes the game a lot more difficult than cheesing it with longsword skills.
Very happy to see Deus Ex here, one of my all time favourite games
@karatekid1612 Agree! I guess we will get a Zelda compilation (WW, TP) and SS HD due to Zelda anniversary.
After Wii U ports, we will get Wii ports for Switch, e.g. DKCR, SMG2, NSMBWii, all those Kirby games, ... To much easy money for Nintendo not to realise it!
The majority of these made their way to Switch. Outside of the Zelda games (which could at some point also come to Switch), there is no reason to own Wii-U. I would like to see a Batman Arkham Collection on Switch.
My top 10 has to be:
1. Twilight Princess HD
2. Wind Waker HD
3. Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze
4. Mario Kart 8
5. Super Smash Bros for Wii U
6. Breath of the Wild
7. Super Mario 3D World
8. Hyrule Warriors
9. Batman Arkham Origins
From the ones I have played, everything is out of order. Really suprised how high some games are
Nobody called the Wii U a flop, it was one with only 13 million or so consoles sold, that does not mean it was not one of my favorite Nintendo consoles, and like you said it had some good games.
I know Xenoblade X is the main Wii U port remaining that people really want, with fewer votes for Fatal Frame V (and I guess people would want Star Fox Zero if it had normal controls), but Tekken Tag 2 would be really great too. Definitive version of the game with the extra costumes and Tekken Ball mode, plus just having it on the go would be amazing.
Wii U had a lot of good exclusives for a system that sold basically nothing!
I'm hanging onto mine, since it doubles as my Wii.
I'll just say how dissappointed i was with Wind Waker HD. To recreate that game and still have Links elbow clip through his shield as he runs, is my idea of complete incompetence. Nearly as annoying as the divot in Samus's chest plate in Metroid Prime 2, but that isn't visible for 90% of the game like Links magical elbow. Which is what i will always call Wind Waker. The Legend of Link's Magical Elbow.
this list is whack
I'm surprised to not see ZombiU on here, or mentioned in comments. I can't comment on if the campaign was stand-out or not, since I haven't played any horror games before or since (besides Luigi's Mansion), but I definitely enjoyed it. It's stand-out was definitely the multiplayer though; I didn't get as much time with is as I'd like due to the multiplayer prerequisite of human contact, but the time I did have was amazing
@stinky_t Zombi is not that great. I played it on Xbox One and found rather boring and average looking graphics wise.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse and Paper Mario: Color Splash were robbed. I'd probably have also put Mario Party 10 here, too.
These are some pretty great games though.
My top 10 would be:
1.-Zelda Breath of the Wild
2.-Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze
3.-Mario Kart 8
4.-Super Smash Bros.
5.-New Super Mario Bros. U
6.-Super Mario Maker
9.-Super Mario 3D World
10.-Resident Evil Revelations
Missing a few gems like:
Kirby & the Rainbow Curse
I went back and looked at my time spent on WiiU games - it was almost entirely on multiplayer games, and TONS of times on those games (We still pull out Game & Wario b/c of the great multiplayer stuff!)
With that separate screen on the controller, the WiiU provided game play experienced not available anywhere else - it was an underappreciated FAMILY fun console.
Also - Need 4 Speed: Most Wanted U was excellent!
I had all of these games, except 2 of them, and many more. I had about ~120 physical games, and a good 150+ digital games. The Wii U was great, and had tons of games. I loved the Wii U. Totally an underrated system. It was a blast, and I got as many games as I could for it. I used to show off my collection to people and they would freak out going "I didn't know the Wii U had half that many games", and I'd say "why, its a great system". Tons of stuff on it. I used to travel a lot, and I had the car adapter for the system. So, I'd plug it in, and play games on road trips, and show the Wii U Gamepad and me playing games on it, to other cars as we drove by. I always got shocked looks like "you can do that with that?'. I used to have the portable tv adapter to the Gamecube as well, and I used to travel and have road trips with the Gamecube in the car too. It was great. l, of course, do it with the Switch as well. The Switch is the best. But the Wii U was great. I loved being able to watch tv at the same time as playing on the Gamepad. Now I get to do it with the Switch too. But yeah, the Wii U was a fantastic system that had tons of games for it. I heard lots of people complain that it "had no games", but it totally did. People just didn't pay attention. Or didn't want to. But I had a lot of games for it, and I didn't get to buy every game I wanted on it. I could of had even more on it.
Wow, how did Lego City Undercover get so high, terrible game, remember those load times!
@Dman10 the Wii U version did have a lot of Gamepad integration, so that likely is a difference. I also don't believe that version has the multiplayer? If it does I'm not sure how it'd work
I've played both versions of BOTW (Wii U first) and didn't notice any performance or visual differences. BOTW was developed as a Wii U game, so it runs great on it. (I'm not saying there aren't any differences, just that they aren't substantial)
In retrospect it's easy to praise the Wii U's library, but the main problem of its time was the big drought of releases that happened specially in 2015 and 2016. Without third party support, with only a few indie hits and with the 3DS (an actual successful platform) to develop for, Nintendo just wasn't able to keep up. Thankfully there is a happy ending. Without the Wii U's failure, the Switch wouldn't be where it is today.
As we all know, BoTW is a WiiU game, and had features removed to be a Switch one.
@mezoomozaa We got ACNH and Age of Calamity too. Also, the pandemic probably messed up all of Nintendo's plans for the past year
@Tulio517 As someone who primarily plays Nintendo titles on Nintendo systems, it's interesting to note that I haven't felt a lot different about the Switch than the Wii U. The first party library of the Switch has been propped up a lot with Wii U ports, and if you took those Wii U ports out, you get some first party drought spells (most noticeably to me, there was very little in the just over a year span between Super Mario Odyssey and Super Smash Bros Ultimate).
As someone who owned a Wii U, the Switch has felt very similar. Lots of dry spells waiting for a new first party title of significance. It just feels like the Nintendo experience as of late. It happened with the DS, the 3DS, the Wii U, and the Switch.
@Heavyarms55 Wh-what? The software library was probably the best thing about the Wii U, hence why so many games get ported to Switch. It failed on pretty much every other front.
My Wii U is hooked up, but I still want all my favorite games ported to Switch. I have much more time to play Switch over Wii U. I hope Wind Waker and Twilight Princess are brought over to Switch soon.
@HorridCrow What games it had were good games. It just had a very small library. Wii U often went months at a time with no major releases to speak of.
@Smores500 I'd be really curious to see what 2020 would have been like without the pandemic. I do feel like it was setting up to be a really strong year for Nintendo and the Switch. Thankfully, we still got Animal Crossing New Horizons.
Whoa, can’t believe NintendoLand is so far down the list! Seriously one of my favorite couch co-op games from Nintendo - my friends and I spent dozens of hours on this one. It made great use of the Wii U’s dual screens, too.
@HorridCrow Really? I wouldn't sell the Wii U so short. The Wii U was where they moved away from Friend Codes to Usernames. It felt like a dream (and sadly was, as the Switch for completely unknown reasons, regressed back to Friend Codes). The Wii U also has a great Virtual Console to its name, one that expanded to GBA and DS games.
The "gimmick" of it that they sold it with (asymmetrical gameplay), I'll admit perhaps wasn't too well implemented into games. Look, I don't know the reason for that, but instead of that, what you got with the two screen setup was a console version of what worked so well with the DS and 3DS, where (for instance) you could have a map on one screen and the gameplay on another.
One thing that the Wii U was pretty good about that it set out to be was that system where you could play your games on the gamepad while someone else was using the TV. You could also take the gamepad a distance away from the TV, so you could play other places. The Switch maintains this, but the Wii U did it first.
The Wii U was also a lot better about having media platforms, like Netflix, which added to the whole idea of having your screen separate from the TV. A lot of people have tablets and the like nowadays, but what if you just had the game console and a TV? Having Netflix on the game console that you could watch separately while someone else is watching the TV was a neat feature for that circumstance.
So many good times spent with my Wii U. Awesome library of games. Though I am a bit tired of them being ported to Switch, I still havent played Xenoblade Chronicles X yet, so I do hope that one does!
Where the heck is star fox zero...?
I have 86 Wii U retail releases and another 44 digital games I’ve bought plus another 15 or so still on my retail list to get. It gets very little love but it wasn’t lacking in good games. My daughter plays Minecraft on it often and we’ve enjoyed playing a bunch of games. I don’t typically rate games just know their were a bunch of very good ones and even enjoyed some of the 1st party games not on the list; Paper Mario, Mario Tennis, Kirby, and StarFox.
What neat little list of games the Wii U had... I'm quite fond of that ol' failure of a console.
I would put Affordable Space Adventures a bit higher since, to me, it had the absolute best gamepad integration of any game on the console... to the point that I cannot imagine that game being played in any other way on any other platform.
I really wish I would have played the Wind Waker and Twilight Princess HD remasters when we had the WiiU hooked up. Honestly I barely touched the WiiU (The Switch is where I do 90% of my gaming now though). Hopefully we’ll get them on the Switch soon enough so I can revisit a couple of my favorite Zeldas.
Wish I got the chance to play Kirby and the Rainbow Curse... I loved my Wii U. At least my sister is keeping it safe. Still a few exclusives I wouldn't mind delving into. I also downloaded a lot of GBA games on it
Technically, "Nintendo Land" was meant to be the "Wii Sports" style launch title that introduced people to the GamePad's functions, and it did a decent job at that. It just wasn't as popular, polished, or ultimately as fun as "Wii Sports," acting more like the Wii U's version of "Wii Play" but without the controller pack-in.
I own every game on that list and more.
I have over 80+ physical games on that awesome console.
It has more original games than Switch and to those who say " it had 50 game to rank? you missed out on a lot of great games that were better on the Wii U thanks to gameplay improvements like Splinter Cell Blacklist, Deus Ex, Mass Effect 3, NFS Most Wanted, Rayman Legends, Tekken Tag and both Batman games.
So many great uses of the second screen that improved the experience.
Even Mario Maker and Splatoon play better on the Wii U thanks to the second screen so much so that I haven't touched MM2 or Splatoon 2 since I bought them as they feel like a step backwards imo..
No ZombiU? People!
I have my Wii U still setup and play it along with my Switch a lot, actually.
Project Zero was easily my favourite. Really hope we see a new game sooner rather than later.
So many great games on the WiiU! Plus the controller had built-in headphone jack AND voice chat functionality. Xenoblade Chronicles X, Monster Hunter 3U, Bayonetta 2, Wonderful 101, Donkey Kong Country TF... well, just look at that list.
Any body know what game BRIE LARSON thinks is the best? I really need to know
Nintendo Land and Bayonetta 2 are my favs
@BulbasaurusRex Wii sports was an arcade sports game for everybody. Nintendoland was aimed at kids. Wii sports showed why the wii mote was great. Nintendoland showed why the GamePad was useless.
Nintendo really miscalculated here.
I can't believe we don't have NES Remix on Switch. I'd buy it again!
Blimey - we collectively didn't vote for Star Fox Zero! That's disappointing - and I was really hoping for a Switch Port with fixed controls.
How many of these have been ported to switch so far?
I feel like even though the WiiU failed, Nintendo has made up from the software being ported from it
Criminally underrated console, and I'm sorry that people don't understand this but Nintendo Land is the killer app Wii Sports was AND THEN SOME. Maybe it didn't sell as many copies, but the asymmetrical gameplay with the game pad was on another level that even the mighty switch hasn't reached.
Gunman Clive Collection
The Wii U is my favourite home console of all time, thanks to its dual-screen stuff. ZombiU was a killer exclusive not on this list. Sonic Lost World was decent, and the Wii U port of Terraria was the best version, too. I also had fun with Watch Dogs, Assassin's Creed 3, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Plus, of course, most of the great stuff on this list.
When color splash is so bad it doesn't make the top 50
lol, is this a list of Switch games...
the wii u is an awesome system. I still have mine plugged in and Im playing Chrono Trigger on it!
now do a list of the games available on virtual console!
I basically have all of the top 10 if you count the switch versions or sequels. Some are in fact the wii u versions though. I pretty much have it ready to go at any point for the vc and still regularly buy vc titles. But, my next purchase is Yoshis Woolly World. Might even grab it tomorrow 😜
As someone who skipped Wii and Wii U, it tells me enough about Skyward Sword that there were 3 mainline Zelda games on this list, and none of them were Skyward Sword.
A great list no doubt! I count about 7 games that still aren’t available elsewhere.
@Sooezz Skyward Sword was a Wii game. This is a Wii U game list.
@JimmySpades 51 actually, they forgot Cloudberry Kingdom.
Some great games here, or at least the ones I've played, that have been ported to the Nintendo Switch.
Besides all the first party games, which are all gems, my favourite two games were Xenoblade Chronicles X (about 480 hours put into it) and Unepic!!!! Gutted Unepic is not in this list.
I agree with the top ten but would move 3D World up to 11.
@DK-Fan No, it showed that the Wii U GamePad was also great. It wasn't useless at all! It's just that not many games aside from "Nintendo Land" made very good use of it (and like I said "Wii Sports" was overall a more entertaining package), but the concept itself was great.
Aside from bad marketing, where Nintendo screwed up was not utilizing its new selling point properly. We could've had the gyroscopic motion controlled action games we now have on the Switch but also with a proper IR sensor for pointer and camera controls that don't necessitate re-centering or stupid right stick maneuvering (or just more FPS games that just used the Wiimote and Nunchuck, something that the original "Splatoon" should've done but stupidly didn't). We could've had 1-to-1 swordfighting with the Wii MotionPlus while the GamePad acted as a shield or some other secondary control system. We could've had various forms of asynchronous multiplayer games. But no, hardly anyone did anything more with it than simple second screen functionality like on the DS or 3DS, and in one notable case where it was used properly ("Star Fox Zero") it sucked for the good majority of players and offered no alternative control scheme. When even the Wii U version of "Jeopardy" didn't bother to use its asynchronous functions for the obvious use of privately wagering and responding to Final Jeopardy, then something is definitely wrong.
So no, the GamePad itself never sucked, nor did "Nintendo Land" make poor use of it, but it never latched on afterwards.
Super Mario 3D World is my #1 game on any platform. Amazing game. Great to see DKC ranked so high, always surprised when it’s left out of Switch “best of” lists.
I loved the Wii U, wish Breath of the Wild was released earlier to give the console a shot.
No Devil's Third. For shame
No Kirby Rainbow Curse, for shame.
@liljmoore When Devil's Third's multiplayer went down I had to make do with Metal Gear Online.
Something of a downgrade, but scratched the itch ~
Super Mario 3D World for my number 1. It was the reason I bought my Wii U. I'd say Bayonetta 2 and Wind Waker HD are next in line. I also played tons of MK8. You know what I also have to mention The Wonderful 101.
So what's next, NES, GameBoy Color, or GameBoy Advance?
Mass Effect 3 on the Wii U was my most memorable non-nintendo experience on the system
That was on the first page of the article (#50) or did you just rush to the end?
@RushDawg As far as I know the best nintendo games on Switch were mostly released on Wii U.
I regret having sold my Wii U but that’s the of the hard choices I had to make over the last year. Netted a lot for the entire collection but I sure miss playing 3D World.
I had nearly every important release aside from a couple hard to find games and never got around to buying a switch because of all the Wii U ports.
Not sure if I want to invest in Switch just for the few games I’d play and since it’s getting to be rather old now. Maybe I might buy someone’s collection down the road.
@Sooezz Skyward sword was never on the Wii U. And it was a great game, apart from the hand holding and being told what to do and where to go all the time. It's like the opposite of BotW: Great story and the best dungeons of any Zelda game, but very little freedom to explore.
That list of exclusive games really makes me want another generation of Nintendo "failure" console.
And Wii U version of Zelda BotW clearly would have been a superior version of the game if only Nintendo themselves did not removed the dual-screen setup. Visual/performance differences is not that noticeable, really.
I’ll never understand why wind waker gets so much more love than twilight princess. If when you went underwater at the end, the game opened with another 4 dungeons, I would have said best Zelda game ever. But the sailing was so tedious for me.
I guess nostalgia plays a big part, because I also love Zelda II - my first experience of the franchise
Pretty solid list. I do confess to have plonked a fair amount of hours in Black Ops II and Mass Effect 3. Thought Sonic Lost Worlds would have made the list as it’s one of the last Wii U exclusives (minus the pc port)
Y’all smoking something if a port/remake is #2 😂 and I know that BOTW was meant for the WiiU only initially and got forever delayed. But I doubt the majority of WiiU and Switch owners played it on the WiiU... in my mind it’s a Switch launch game and they only released it on the WiiU cuz they said they would lol. But man, most of these games in this list I never played. I liked the list overall and I know I can change by votes but the current #1 and #2 are iffy lol.
I'd say it's missing a few titles as Ninja Gaiden Razor's Edge, Mass Effect 3, Call of Duty BO, ZombiU, Watch Dogs, Splinter Cell, Injustice, Nano Assault Neo, Earthbound Zero, Starfox Zero...
But, this list shows that WiiU deserves more love. To me Pikmin, Mario Kart and Xenoblade sold the console itself, and not to mention the Zelda remakes and Breath of the Wild. And, Miiverse, how I miss it...
I'll play my WiiU for the years to come. Honestly (and it's a unpopular opinion) I prefer WiiU rather than Switch.
There should rather be a list of top 10 games (or game equivalents like Smash and Mario Maker) you can't find on the Switch.
10. Fatal Frame 5
9. Assassins Creed IV
8. Zombi U
7. Need for Speed Most Wanted U
6. NES Remix 1 and 2
5. Yoshi's Wolly World
3. TLoZ Twilight Princess HD
2. TLoZ Wind waker HD
1. Xenoblade Chronicles X
You’ve kind of hit the nail on the head there though. Nintendo themselves struggled to find many real uses for it. It was an answer to a question nobody was really asking. It then kind of got stuck between two stools where Off TV play wasn’t a big selling point because not every game used it but the other features were going unused too. Kind of a metaphor for the machine as a whole, Nintendo never really knew what it was supposed to be.
@Highonda_H_S Amen. Splatoon is a far more quintessential WiiU game and CANNOT be anything less than a TOP 3 WiiU game.
When I see these lists, I always like to give a nod to the much overlooked Tank! Tank! Tank! for its multiplayer fun and use of the much neglected Wii U camera.
@NintendoByNature wooly world is great and has a great soundtrack. Now you mention it I’m gonna replay it with my son.
@1UP_MARIO my sons on a huge yoshi kick and wants to play crafted world every day. So maybe this change of pace will be a good one for us both 😅
@NintendoByNature he’s in for a treat. Both of you
Love my Wii u. My Wii u collection
The Wii U launch kind of reminds me of the PS3 launch. It came right off the heels of the massive success of its predecessor but just couldn't reach previous heights due to poor marketing, lack of software that really took advantage of the system, and an overall lack of focus on what the system is supposed to be. The difference here is that Nintendo just ditched it early instead of committing to fixing it like Sony did with the PS3.
@RainbowGazelle Oops, I just always had it in my head that Skyward Sword was on Wii U. So that's just extra funny to me then, that Wii U didn't really have a Zelda game to call its own (BotW is a Switch game and you can't tell me otherwise)
@Strumpan Oops, guess I just had it in my head this whole time that Skyward Sword was a Wii U game, since it was between Twilight Princess and BotW. The way you describe it, it sounds fun enough, but I am not a fan of the visual style I've seen in clips.
I have 40 out of these 50 games my top 10 are.
1 Super Mario 3D World
2 Pikmin 3
3.Mario Kart 8
4. Bayonetta 2
5. Smash Bros Wii U
6. Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze
7. Shovel Knight
8. Zelda Twilight Princess HD
9. Zelda Windwaker HD
10.Game and Wario
@BenAV 500 switch games? How do you have time for that?
@DonkeyKongBigBoy I doubt I'll ever get through them all but I've actually been doing a pretty good job of getting through a large chunk of them. Had a big gaming year last year with lockdown and have already finished like seven games so far this year.
That's a good list, but, I wish Armillo would have made it. That was a great game that I don't think very many people ever heard of.
I have the bulk of these and way too many other games to count. Pretty sure over 100. The Wii U was also an amazing Lego machine that I've sunk hundreds of hours into counting Lego Dimensions. And, probably the best Skylanders platform. And, it's virtual console support was great. I have lots of GBA games on it. And, don't forget Zen Pinball and all the various pinball tables.
The Wii U is still in regular rotation and I'll be playing my backlog of games for many years. It's my BOTW machine and I only have about 50 hours in. Really a great console.
@dronesplitter I personally completely plan on getting a Wii U specifically for GameCube games!
The fact that there are so many people suggesting so many different titles that 'should have been' on this list, I think really says something about the library of Wii U games. I mean, go back and look at how many bad games there were for the first Playstation. Like, really garbage games. You don't have to, I'll tell you: a huge number. Probably more than everything released for the Wii U. Out of a big enough pool, of course you'll find gems. But this under-appreciated console's pool, though much smaller, was a jewelry store.
If you don't own a wii u, buy one and load it full of digital games and VC while it lasts. Years from now you'll have an HD version of the most unique Nintendo console with a classic library that you will never have to subscribe for. The only thing I regret is not buying up the wii vc games while they were there. Oh well. It's a well designed system that in my opinion is the last of the traditional Nintendo consoles. Years from now there's going to be articles on this site about how cool and expensive Wii U's are. Buy it, load it, and keep it for years. It's arguably Nintendo's most interesting work.
I loved my Wii U, still remember getting it at midnight launch and playing Nintendo Land with my family. Plus Mass Effect multiplayer was an awesome online experience with voice chat implemented perfectly (arguably the best on a Nintendo console)
Given the mechanics and the excellent camera-based GamePad integration, this is likely to remain one of the few true Wii U exclusives.
Well, this didn't age well. Another one bites the dust
❗️I never had a Wii U but would LOVE to see 'TLOZ: TWW HD' on the Switch as well as 'Zombie U'.
@RushDawg but can you play animal crossing amiibo festival of mario tennis ultra smash on switch? Nope, you cant. Bad system, bad comment, bad take. You know it's true.
I’m so happy Tropical Freeze ended up on the top 5! Donkey Kong is my favorite fictional character! 😁
I love pikmin 3, Mario 3D world. Windwaker HD. Come on the Wii U is so good.
A top 50 Wii U games?!?!? 😂 Did 50 games even release? 😁
No ZombieU and Nintendoland!???
wii u had 50 games?
waiting for xenoblade x to come to switch
loved that game
That. Is one impressive lineup.
Where the hell is Rainbow Curse?
Xenoblade X was definitely my favourite game on the wiiu and would love to see a remaster on the switch successor (hopefully it wouldn't need the data packs)
Though i also loved woolly world and tropical freeze (fortunately the latter is on switch)
For me atm the wiiu is mainly there to play Xenoblade X and the virtual console games, i remember most of my time on the system was using off-TV play.
I'm surprised Mario 3D World didn't rank higher.
In any case, my top games was Pikmin 3. I thought the gamepad touch controls were amazing how I could throw my Pikmin without ever looking down from the TV. It was a great feeling and possibly the only game that I felt justified the existence of the gamepad.
Just came to check if Affordable Space Adventures is among these. its among the most original games on that console that really makes use of the concept in the best possible way.
To this day, the WiiU is mainly a machine to play Nintendoland. Its amazing how underrated this game is. There is barely anything out there, offering such a great asynchronous multiplayer experience. Like one player runs with a sword on one screen and the other one is shooting bows on the other. Everything with motion controls and superaccessible. My kids really love that. And we haven't even made it far yet although we play this for years but its really more like an arcade where we would just play the forst levels over and over. It has really become one of the greatest games inour household, at least for the family. It also offers so damn many cool experiences, like that DK-cart-thing. Its so much fun to just let one play and see how far they'll gonna get.
@ManaOwls Yeah, insane... I changed my Wii U pre order when I saw they bundled it, with a pro controller in the box as well. It has always been one of my favourite Wii U games, and favourite survival horror games in general. It was later proven to be a game that worked only as well as it did because of the unique hardware, when they tried porting it. It really SHOULD be on the list.
The Wii U was both behind on its time and ahead of its time, people just weren't ready for its potential, and only saw what it had going against it. Nintendo kept pumping out great game after great game, at launch prices of 45€ instead of 60, all while they did the same for the 3ds that eventually DID catch up saleswise. They even gave free games to early adopters, free games if you registered a certain amount of games from a certain selection,... And so many absolute great ones... A great time to be a Nintendo fan, but most gamers were NOT, and therefore kept the myth alive that it had no games, making actally making games for it a waste of money for publishers, so the myth became "truth". It was actually nice in a way to NOT have so many games screaming for your attention. You could easily play most of the great releases, and keep up with the smaller ones, and not end up having paid a fortne, having played a few hours in every game, and having buyers remorse about most, only supressed by hype for the next disappointment in line.
Now i just skip many big releases, re-releases,.. and wishlist the interesting games, getting some of them when the reviews are favourable and the prices go down and the bugs are patched out and quality improvements patched in. Not bad either.
I remember lots of gamers being so excited about the prospect of Minecraft on Wii U, and then we find out it doesn't have gamepad inventory management or anything. I guess Microsoft were afraid it would be the definitive console edition of the game.
We will quibble about placings, but there are many, many great games in that top 50. I think I played the vast majority of them as well. I can't remember if Sonic and SEGA ASRT is in there but that is a definitive Sonic racing game and is top 10 level for me. I also loved Wii Fit U dearly
Completed BOTW on Wii U (all main quests, side quests and shrines, as well as Champions Ballad). Didn't finish Koroks or Trial of the Sword. Halfway through a second playthrough on Switch. Aside from faster loading times, I haven't noticed any major differences on the Switch version. Maybe side by side shows up performance issues more clearly.
Have to make some effort to get to 50. Not a good system and not a good time to be a Nintendo fan with the constant software droughts. Entire weeks were literally nothing released, let alone anything worthwhile, and Nintendo trying to string two years of releases out to fill four.
Man, Pikmin 3 should be #2. What a stellar release
"While the Deluxe version on Switch would include all the DLC, add the missing Battle Mode"
Did you know that you can use homebrew to bring the proper Battle maps to Wii U, and they work flawlessly?
WiiU had a great library but was what baffling is that N didn’t support the dual screen concept better. Some of the best use of the GP was 3rd party titles. Missing from this list are Mass E3 which used the GP for real time map which no other system had, also Splinter Cell BL which was a great game with best version on WiiU. The fact it never got a real SRPG is baffling as GP was made for it and yet no FE, no AdvWars, no Starcraft or Xcom. Thankfully Switch has become a SRPG powerhouse. The biggest miss by N was never bringing CG to VC as the damned system runs GC natively. Honestly modding the WiiU makes it about 3x better. It becomes the ultimate Nintendo BC machine allowing you to play WiiU/Wii/GC/N64/SNES/NES/DS/GBA/GB and a host of other old 8 and 16bit systems all on the Gamepad. Cube game looks and play awesome on the GP and so does every other old SD system. You can patch Wii titles that use ProControls to play on GP and so I can play Wii games like DKC without the dumb wiimote waggle or others like Goldeneye, FE, RE4 which play and look great on the GP. If you have one laying around do yourself a favor, dust it off and mod it, put Nintendon’t on it and have the best GC player you can find. ZombiU, SCell BL, and COD BO2, and ME3 should all be on this top50 list as they were solid efforts that used the second screen creatively which was more than N did most the time. Also the 3 sports ports (Madden, FiFa, NBa2k) were all solid and deserve mention as well.
Super Mario Maker is by far my favorite Wii U game. Being able to make my own Mario levels was a dream come true. I also love all the amiibo costumes in the first game. They made for some fun themed levels from a variety of Nintendo franchises. Link, Ganondorf, Samus, Wario, Pikachu, Mewtwo, Captain Falco, Fox, and Falco were some of my favorite costumes.
Super Mario Maker hit me harder than any other Wii U game. I was absolutely blown away with the interface and intuitive nature of the game. Breath of the Wild was also very good. I think Super Mario Maker deserves a higher spot, but it's not everyone's cup of tea, and that's fine.
Steamworld Dig is awesome.
NES Remix games are awesome.
Pushmo/Pullblox World needs more love.
Nitpick! Project Zero Maiden of Black Water is noted as "Given the mechanics and the excellent camera-based GamePad integration, this is likely to remain one of the few true Wii U exclusives"
It was released on many other formats last year, including the Switch! Don't mind the list otherwise.
Wii U: Still the only console that allows you to legally play every home console Zelda game all in the one place, and many of the handheld Zelda games too!
Controversial opinion: Mario Kart 8 on Wii U has the exact same problems as the modern Mario sports games everyone complains about, except the free updates it should've had didn't happen until you bought the Switch version. This comparison is both me saying 8 on Wii U should not be in the top 3 and also that modern Mario sports games are overhated.
And Rayman Legends and Shovel Knight should absolutely be in the top 10. No one put in more effort for a Wii U release than Shovel Knight, a 2014 game you still got new, free content for in 2019 of all years, and no Wii U game (barring Nintendo Land) did more to justify the Wii U controller than Rayman Legends.
1. Smash Bros
2. MK 8
3. Super Mario Maker
5. Windwaker HD
6. Twilight Princess HD
7. Rayman Legends
8. Sonic and SEGA ASRT
9. LEGO City Undercover
10. Xenoblade Chronicles X
11. Tekken Tag Tournament 2
12. Nintendo Land
13. Bayonetta 2
14. Batman AC AE
18. Bayonetta 1
19. Wii Party U
20. Yoshi's WW
21. LEGO Marvel SH
22. Mass Effect 3 SE
23. Pikmin 3
24. NFS MWU
25. Assassin's Creed BF IV
26. Captain Toad TT
27. Hyrule Warriors
28. Tokyo Mirage Sessions
29. Project Zero Maiden
30. NES Remix 1 & 2
(I think I have played nearly every game in your top 50!)
Great list. Even if the Wii U is already 10 years old, that's a still active console at me, because more Nintendo Switch games are Wii U ports, and because the Switch games are very expensive, we can play with them on Wii U with less content, but way cheaper. I save this list for myself.
@Toothball They republished this list. It probably was an exclusive when this was originally written.
Wii U was a brilliant gem
I've got so much love for the wii u. Its helped me introduce gaming, gently, to my 4 year old son who loves the games on there. It's an underrated console that never got the recognition it deserved.
This list just reminds me, Xenoblade X is the only reason I still keep my Wii U.
Nice list. I’m only missing 5 of them (Child of Light, Shantae and the pirate’s curse, Affordable Space Adventures, Project Zero and Guacamelee (which I have on Switch).
Compared to Switch, this proves that Wii U had a solid library in a few years, while "competing" with internal 3DS development. Some games that use the GamePad in a fantastic way are Project Zero/Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Super Mario Maker and Pikmin 3. Star Fox Zero tried but failed by combining traditional and motion controls at the same time. The GamePad was difficult to market and it was actually presented as the Wii's successor by Iwata held in hand.
The best Wii U game is Twilight Princess HD and the best Wii U new game is Xenoblade Chronicles X. Other rankings are fine but I'm surprised to see Super Mario 3D World much higher than New Super Mario Bros. U, because the latter is the only great entry in the "New Super Mario Bros." series. The atrocious New Super Mario Bros. 2 might be the culprit.
Let it sink in. Breath of the Wild, a Wii U-original game, win Game of the Year in 2017.
Very happy for how high Tropical Freeze is and how much love the game gets now, I remember how the reviews were good but inferior to Returns at the time and overall most gaming pages considered it as nothing special, just another good 2D platformer, while it totally was something special, like Game of the Year contender good imo. I also have no idea why Rayman Legends got way better reviews than it just a few months before, since if it was also a 2D platformer similar to the previous entry
The SteamWorld games and the Shin’en racer also got physical releases.
The best game for wiiu is the wind waker. Botw didn't even use the gamepad.
No Devil's Third? This list sucks.
@JJsNeighborhood i dont know about favorite console but its up there for sure. like yourself our family had a riot with it, so much fun with wiiu party, nintendoland, mario party , mario etc.
Superb console which deserved better.
While the list is good, the order of them is way out of whack.
I also recommend Pandora's Tower.
@E_maniac It's a good thing a lot of the Wii U's exclusives are on the Switch. Here's to hoping Nintendo Land somehow makes its way to the Switch.
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