Sure, the Wii U was a commercial bomb for Nintendo, but let's not act like it didn't have any good games.
In fact, the Wii U had some of the best games of its generation – it's just that not enough people bought the console to find out. Still, not to worry, because Nintendo is fixing this issue by putting pretty much every decent Wii U game on Switch. Hurrah!
As you can see from the list below, many of the Wii U's best titles are now available on Nintendo's hybrid console. Are your favourite picks included? Let's find out!
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is an impressive package if you skipped the original, offering the best of modern-era 2D Mario, madcap multiplayer and glimpses of the outrageous invention that was to come in Super Mario Odyssey. The bottom line is that Switch now has a very fine 2D Mario to its name; we just can’t help feeling disappointed that Nintendo didn’t push the boat out with a more thorough ‘Deluxe’ refurbishment. Having said that, this is still an excellent package that deserves a new lease of life on Switch, especially as there will be many owners of that console who didn't get to experience the Wii U original and its expansion.
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Visually, Pikmin 3 Deluxe doesn't push the boat out much further than the original Wii U version did. Where its changes lie are in its revamped control system and the addition of a new Side Stories mode. Neither are necessarily transformative enough to warrant double dipping if you're perfectly happy with your Wii U copy, but if you're one of the vast majority who don't have a Wii U copy, this Switch update is unquestionably the best way to play it.
Super Mario 3D World remains one of the better linear Mario games, and anyone playing it for the first time is in for an absolute treat. Add to that the curious bonus adventure that is Bowser's Fury and you've got a package that provides great value for money. It isn't without its flaws, but most of these (online multiplayer, repetitive missions in Bowser's Fury) relate to the new additions; the main game itself remains as pure and perfect as it was seven years ago. Had it just been Super Mario 3D World on its own, we'd be thoroughly recommending it anyway; Bowser's Fury is just the cherry on top.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore is one of the most colourful, approachable and downright endearing RPGs you’ll find on the Switch. Its new story chapter, music tracks and character assists improve on the original to an extent, but not enough to greatly affect its overall quality. Thankfully, what was there was already fantastic, meaning those who missed out on it the first time around really have no reason not to get stuck in now.
There's no doubt about it, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is one of the most refined and enjoyable platformers money can buy. The levels are all beautiful - not only because of their delightful new 1080p resolution, but also their structure; the characters move with fluidity and brilliant responsiveness, and the inclusion of Funky Kong brings balance for those who have less experience with brutally tough platformers. It’s so well-made that it’s almost too well-made; there's an absence of a certain 'rough-and-ready' charm found in the original DKC trilogy. This is, however, a complaint so minor it's practically insignificant. Donkey Kong’s first appearance on Switch is streamlined, rewarding, and immensely good fun; any fan of 2D platformers simply has to get this game.
All told, Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition is a great time-sink game, featuring mindless but fun action gameplay that offers up the potential for dozens - if not hundreds - of hours of content. Though it certainly feels like a game that’s too bloated in places, it manages to balance the Zelda and Dynasty Warriors elements well. Group all of that with stellar presentation and impressive portable gameplay, and you’ve got a game that does a great job of doing something new (and weird) with a classic Nintendo property. We’d give this one a recommendation, especially to fans of the Zelda series who have always wanted there to be some sort of 'anniversary' game. Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition may not have a ton of depth, but it’s way more fun than it has any right to be, and you’d be missing out by not picking up this complete edition.
Pokkén Tournament DX is a solid choice for Switch because it perfectly suits the console's local multiplayer ethos; the game's control scheme fits perfectly on a single Joy-Con, which means you can take the fight with you anywhere you wish. Whether or not the five additional Battle Pokémon and the light dusting of additional modes and features will be enough to convince existing Pokkén fans to upgrade after the Wii U version remains to be seen, but taken on its own merits this is comfortably one of the the best fighting games on the Switch right now, and offers surprising depth, stunning presentation, brilliant offline and online multiplayer modes and bags of replayability.
After almost a decade Bayonetta is starting to show her age, but that doesn’t stop this hyperactive melee/shooter action mashup from being one of the most rewarding and memorable cult hits of the previous generation. Retooled for Nintendo Switch, one of Platinum Games’ most accomplished titles feels revitalised in both handheld and tabletop modes, serving up a meaty first course in the full witchy buffet to come.
Bayonetta 2 shines brightest on Nintendo Switch. It runs without a hitch at 60fps, looks incredible in both TV and tabletop modes and offers an addictive free-flowing combat formula that sprinkles in platforming, light exploration and a ridiculous story to create something that you simply need to experience. If you’ve never played it for before, you’re in for a treat. If you’ve already played it, it’s even more bewitching as a handheld gem.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe delivers a huge amount of racing goodness right out of the box, and it's a polished version of a Wii U entry that was a proper Battle Mode away from being top of class. Now that issue has been addressed, what we have is arguably the best Mario Kart release we've seen. Some will argue about where this entry stands in the pantheon of the franchise, but for our money it's competing for top spot. It's the definitive Mario Kart 8 experience, content-rich and a delightful feast of comedic, cartoonish karting action. It's a game that continually raises a smile and, occasionally, induces that trademark Mario Kart rage as shells strike and positions are lost. It's addictive and unifying, unfiltered fun that draws in anyone daring enough to take up the wheel. If you're a Switch owner, it's an easy choice.
So there you have it, the 10 Wii U ports we love most on Switch. Perhaps you have other opinions? Let us know with a comment.
This article is one of our Switch Essentials guides which cover a wide variety of genres, including the Best Switch FPS Games, the Best Switch RPGs, the Best Switch Games For Kids, the Best Switch Couch Co-Op Games and the Best Switch Fitness and Exercise Games. We can also help out hunting down the Best Switch Horror Games, the Best Switch Racing Games, the Best Switch Action-RPGs, the Best Nintendo Switch Roguelikes, Roguelites and Run-Based Games, the Best Free Switch Games, the Best Remakes And Remasters, the Best Switch Music And Rhythm Games, Best Feel-Good Switch Games, Best Switch Open-World Games, Best Switch Soulslike Games, Best LGBTQ+ Switch Games, and even Games to Play After You've Finished Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Whatever your favourite genre, we've got you covered: Strategy Games, Metroidvanias, Puzzle Games, Party Games, Online Multiplayer Games, Local Wireless Multiplayer Games, Shmups, Twin-Stick Shooters, Visual Novels, Kart Racers, Fighting Games, Football Games, Funny Games, Golf Games, 'Walking Sims' And Narrative Games, Switch Games For Lovers And Lonely Hearts, Detective Games, Hidden Gems, 2D Platformers, 3D Platformers, Puzzle Platformers, Tabletop Mode Games, Run and Gun Games, LEGO Games, Sports Games, Survival Games, Beat 'Em Ups, Camera Games, Chill Games, Family Games, Retro-Inspired Games, Short Games, Card Games and Deck-Builders, and Life Sims And Farming Games.
Still hungry for more? Elsewhere we look at Wholesome Games, TATE Mode Games, Flight Sim and Space Combat, Point and Click Adventure Games, and the Best Switch Exclusives, as well as Every Arcade Archives Game, Every ACA Neo Geo Game, Every SEGA AGES Game On Switch, plus the Best Switch Ports, Best Wii U-To-Switch Ports, Best Switch Collections And Compilations, Best Cheap Switch Games, Best Switch Demos, Games That Are Better On Switch OLED, Switch Games Under $10, $20, $50, and Switch games with the Best Soundtracks and the Best Graphics. Phew!
If you're looking for the best Switch games regardless of genre, our reader-voted selection of the Best Nintendo Switch Games should help you out, and you can also find the Best Nintendo Switch Games of 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. And finally, if you're interested in other Nintendo consoles and retro games, check out the Best Game Boy Games, Best GBC Games, Best GBA Games, Best Nintendo DS Games, Best Nintendo 3DS Games, Best NES Games, Best SNES Games, Best N64 Games, Best GameCube Games, and Best Wii Games, and Best Wii U Games, as well as Every Available Nintendo Switch Online Retro Game, and ranked lists of Every Nintendo Switch Online NES, SNES, N64 and Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Game.