40. New Super Luigi U (Wii U eShop)

New Super Luigi U (Wii U eShop)
New Super Luigi U (Wii U eShop)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: 20th Jun 2013 (USA) / 20th Jun 2013 (UK/EU)

New Super Luigi U is a terrific title for capable platform gamers, with intense and exciting bursts of momentum to put those thumbs to the test. What that does do, however, is make multiplayer even more awkward than it was before in New Super Mario Bros. U, and arguably puts this beyond the reach of less experienced gamers, even using the indestructible Nabbit. The sense of the old you get from revisiting familiar stages here is thankfully tempered by a fresh feel and clever level design, however, and even if Luigi's adventure doesn't last long for those without completionist instincts, it's fun while it does last.

39. Shantae: Half-Genie Hero (Wii U)

Shantae: Half-Genie Hero (Wii U)
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero (Wii U)
Publisher: XSEED Games / Developer: WayForward
Release Date: 20th Dec 2016 (USA) / 20th Dec 2016 (UK/EU)

With tight controls, a new visual style and the series' trademark writing, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is a top class entry in WayForward's Shantae line of 2D platformers which began way back on Game Boy Color. It offered newcomers a great point to jump in, and remains a shining example of WayForward's talent with 2D action games. The Switch game added lovely portability, but Wii U is still a great place to play.

38. Affordable Space Adventures (Wii U eShop)

Affordable Space Adventures (Wii U eShop)
Affordable Space Adventures (Wii U eShop)
Publisher: KnapNok Games / Developer: Nifflas
Release Date: 9th Apr 2015 (USA) / 9th Apr 2015 (UK/EU)

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.

37. Batman: Arkham Origins (Wii U)

Batman: Arkham Origins (Wii U)
Batman: Arkham Origins (Wii U)
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive / Developer: Warner Bros. Games Montreal
Release Date: 25th Oct 2013 (USA) / 8th Nov 2013 (UK/EU)

Batman: Arkham Origins isn’t innately bad, but it recycles so much from its predecessors and does absolutely nothing to evolve them or improve them. The gameplay is uninspired, the graphics are a bit shaky, and the plot tries to do too much and ends up being too sloppy to make any real sense. The previous two Arkham games played like excellent stealth adventure titles in which you happened to take on the role of Batman; this one feels much more like a Batman game with stealth elements tacked on. It's far from awful, but it's a shame that the Wii U received this lacklustre and unremarkable entry in the Arkham series over, say, the original Arkham Asylum.

36. DuckTales: Remastered (Wii U eShop)

DuckTales: Remastered (Wii U eShop)
DuckTales: Remastered (Wii U eShop)
Publisher: Capcom / Developer: WayForward
Release Date: 13th Aug 2013 (USA) / 15th Aug 2013 (UK/EU)

Don’t let the cartoony graphics and Disney branding fool you: DuckTales: Remastered is a challenging duck-blur of a platformer that’s absolutely brimming with charm. The campaign of this affectionate remake of the NES classic may be short, but WayForward updated it in a way that makes the experience feel fresh and guarantees you'll want to revisit it. This is essential gaming for fans of the original DuckTales or the animated series, and even if you're not in those camps, it's still worth a look for fans of Disney, platformers, and Disney platformers.

35. NES Remix 2 (Wii U eShop)

NES Remix 2 (Wii U eShop)
NES Remix 2 (Wii U eShop)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: indies zero
Release Date: 25th Apr 2014 (USA) / 25th Apr 2014 (UK/EU)

NES Remix 2 mostly played it safe, with a new set of games and challenges and a few small, yet welcome, additions to the formula of the original such as a replay feature. While the game selection the second time was undoubtedly stronger, there were fewer games and challenges overall, and they felt somewhat easier, too. Luckily, however, Super Luigi Bros. — which lets you play the entirety of Super Mario Bros. in reverse — and Championship Mode (if you own the first game) help fill these gaps, providing yet another enjoyable package of rapid-fire retro goodness.

34. New Super Mario Bros. U (Wii U)

New Super Mario Bros. U (Wii U)
New Super Mario Bros. U (Wii U)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo EAD
Release Date: 18th Nov 2012 (USA) / 30th Nov 2012 (UK/EU)

If you loaded up New Super Mario Bros. U with the expectation of playing another genre-defying escapade like Super Mario 64 or Super Mario Galaxy, then you may have come away disappointed. Mario’s first game for the Wii U played it safe when it came to theme and concept; like previous titles in the ‘New’ series, this was essentially a colourful rehash of the same old blueprint. The mechanics remained the same, but gilded by decades of subtle refinements and enhancements, ultimately leading to one of the most accomplished 2D platformers ever created.

New Super Mario Bros. U may not have offered a cataclysmic genre shift, but it was a fine Wii U launch game and remains a 2D gem in the Mario canon (now more easily accessed on Switch in 'Deluxe' form).

33. Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut (Wii U)

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut (Wii U)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut (Wii U)
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: 22nd Oct 2013 (USA) / 25th Oct 2013 (UK/EU)

Two years old at the time of release on Wii U but certainly worthy of resurrection, Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut felt completely at home with the GamePad in 2013. No, not everything was fantastic, with some issues from the original remaining — combat felt like a 'lesser' play style, predictably dumb AI didn't do the game any favours, and some wonky voice acting could confuse the mood — but a few blemishes couldn't overshadow the sheer number of things that Human Revolution got so right.

Organic second-screen support, lovely additional features and some welcome, if subtle, tweaks to an already fantastic title put Human Revolution at the top of the Wii U food chain; one of several excellent third-party efforts on the console.

32. Axiom Verge (Wii U eShop)

Axiom Verge (Wii U eShop)
Axiom Verge (Wii U eShop)
Publisher: Thomas Happ Games / Developer: Thomas Happ Games
Release Date: 1st Sep 2016 (USA) / 1st Sep 2016 (UK/EU)

Axiom Verge is an excellent Metroidvania that combines creative gameplay, beautiful visuals, and a compelling story to create a fantastic game which pays tribute to classics while doing something wholly new with the established formula. It's made all the more impressive, too, by the fact that the entire thing is the product of one-man-team Tom Happ's dedication. If you have even the remotest interest in 2D action games, do yourself a favour and pick this game up pronto. It's available on Switch, too. You know, if your Wii U is packed away or something.

31. The Wonderful 101 (Wii U)

The Wonderful 101 (Wii U)
The Wonderful 101 (Wii U)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: PlatinumGames
Release Date: 15th Sep 2013 (USA) / 23rd Aug 2013 (UK/EU)

The Wonderful 101 can be overwhelming, and the initial impression can be that it's simply bombarding the senses with too much information, confusing both the eyes and the thumbs. The key is to play at the right difficulty level and accept its insanity, work with its peculiar logic and remain open-minded to its mechanics. In return it delivers an exceptional experience in which no scenario is too outrageous, no enemy too exaggerated or no set-piece too excessive. It's not perfect, with some control quirks, fiddly moments and a multiplayer mode that feels tacked on, but so much about this title is thrilling.

Of course, the Remastered version is probably the one to go for these days, but at the time this was a must-have title for Wii U.