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 (Switch)
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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Pikmin 3 Deluxe (Switch)
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 + Bowser's Fury (Switch)
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 (Switch)
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.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Switch)
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.
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition (Switch)
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 (Switch)
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 (Switch)
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 (Switch)
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.
Pikmin 3 is the best of the bunch. Just utterly fantastic game. From start to finish, a perfect Pikmin experience. Super Mario 3D World is not far behind. All in all, I’m honestly glad all of these games have gotten ported.
I wish Namco had ported Wii U Tekken Tag Tournament 2 to Switch instead of bloody Pokken.
The Switch is massively lacking in proper 3D fighting games even after all these years.
Street Fighter IV would be cool, the last good one.
Five is for the Trash Bin.
@somnambulance I’m glad many of these were posted too. Pulmonary and MK8D…on the go? Awesome!
Though tbh, I could’ve done without NSMBWUD or 3D World…. Or rather get pets off some older games…N64, GameCube, or even Wii games would appeal more to me since I didn’t play through most of them a few years ago.
Still, I understand why they did it.
@Azuris Even that isn't a proper 3D fighter but more a 2D fighter with 3D models. I mean ones where you can fully move in 3D, eg Tekken, Soul Calibur Dead Or Alive etc.
I would still welcome it on Switch though! Why is 5 trash? Last one I played was 4. 😃
Does Breath of the Wild qualify?
Xenoblade X never ever
I argue yes.
Great list! I love these games on Wii U. I still miss my mine. Hard not to pick up a used one. Oddly enough, 3rd parties have come pretty close to filling out the full line up from the original Wii U sizzle real for 3rd party support, on the Switch:
Wii U —> Switch
Darksiders II —>Darksiders, II, III, Genesis
Dirt —> GRID
Aliens Colonial Marines —>Alien Isolation
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Online —> ?
Metro Last Light —>Metro 2033 Redux
Tekken —> ?
Ninja Gaiden 3 —> Ninja Gaiden Collection
@DropDash not to mention that many of them didn’t even come to Wii U, a trainwreck with almost no exclusives left to even care for the console
@Flashlink99 yeah I was disappointed a lot lol 😅
But look at us now!
10 games that people probably should of brought Wii Us for but didn't, hence Nintendo porting the entire catalogue rather than getting sequels.
I'm still bitter we didn't get Switch version discounts for owning the Wii U versions. PS5 owners get free upgrades for their PS4 games...
@DropDash clearly the best time to be a Nintendo fan! Let’s hope we don’t go back to the Dark Ages after the Switch
New Super Mario Bros. U shows "Glimpses of the outrageous invention that was to come in Super Mario Odyssey"... Yeah... That might be a bit much of a stretch, even for this site...
As someone who still owns the Wii U, I'm glad to see some of its games be given a "second chance" on Switch, with a bit more features/changes (better or worse), especially since my Wii U Game Pad's analog sticks don't work good no more.
I still hope more Wii U games are coming to Switch, though. I would love to replay Yoshi's Woolly World (didn't like Crafted World at all) and NES Remix 1 and 2 (Ultimate NES Remix didn't have all of the games, plus the Speed Mario Bros mode...isn't as good as NES Remix 2's Super Luigi Bros mode).
@StephenYap3 Right?! How the heck have they not ported the Remix series to Switch? That was a super fun one. They should at least include it by default in the NSO.
Isn't New Super Mario Bros U deluxe broken because you can't hold jump and do the spin like the Wii U ver?
And Bayonetta Switch is extra laggy?
@The_New_Butler Umm, all those games outsold the Wii U originals, hard to sat they're "bad".
@The_New_Butler I'd take the wii u droughts any day, over the switch's library of ports, & games that look like up-rezzed 3ds games. Also the Wii U & switch are in fact very dissimilar as pieces of hardware.
@StephenYap3 as someone who still owns a Wii u, it is entirely possible for you to replay those aforementioned games. You clearly have too much money. Maybe start investing in games & systems from Nintendo's past.
No, New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe is awful, they literally removed features like that fifth player that placed down blocks, and if you're playing with four people, someone will always have an advantage because Toadette and Nabbit are overpowered characters, and there's no longer an option for using both blue AND yellow Toad. New Super Mario Bros U was already a bland game, but New Soup Deluxe just somehow made the game worse. And it costs way too much. The $60 MSRP price is more expensive than the $20 New Super Mario Bros U + Luigi U bundle on Wii U, which has more overall features.
Glad to see more people can enjoy all of those games! Since you're not counting BotW as it was a same day cross platform launch, MK8 Deluxe is well positioned as number 1. What an amazing game it is.
@The_New_Butler your statement not mine. Outside of Metroid, & F Zero which was already dormant prior, all their first party franchises were represented with strong titles; the likes of tropical freeze, pikmin 3, Super Mario 3d World, Nintendoland, etc. There was also new franchises such as Splatoon, Mario Maker, Captain Toad, & even Nes Remix. 3rd parties & indies despite dwindling support also managed to make interesting exclusives for the system such as Bayonetta 2, Rayman legends (was intended as an exclusive, & remains the best way by far to play that game), ZombiU, Runbow, ASA, Wonderful 101, Pokken tournament. Also take into account that the 3ds had it own library, & its own interesting features (either of whose features is far superior to the switch's), & Seeing as the switch is the inheritor of both, It is completely reasonable to state that the quantity of original on the switch is dwarfed by those systems, additionally, the quality of 3ds & Wii U titles is arguably better as well. The switch's original titles include an incredibly safe & iterative sequel to Splatoon, one & a 1/3 Mario games, Mario Maker 2, Luigi's Mansion 3 (haven't played either, but they seem legit), a Zelda remake, a fire emblem game with 3ds textures, 2 soon to be 3 pokemon games with 3ds textures, Arms (& the children cheered), Astral Chain (heard it was good, but according to a niche fan base), a bad mario party, a lone passable kirby title, an animal crossing game with mixed reception, a NMH game with mixed reception (not unusual, granted), a paper mario game with mixed reception (less so than its ilk though), a flawed strategy RPG in Mario+Rabbids, & 1, 2 switch. Yes I missed one or two, such as Smash Bros: the greatest hits. Aditionally the slow rollout of original games from 3rd parties such as Capcom, Suda51, Ubisoft, anyone from the west, square enix (octopath, & bravely default), Bandai Namco, Platinum, Atlus, & level 5, leaves much to be desired, as does the absence of Donkey Kong, Mario Kart, Star Fox, Pikmin, 2d Mario, compelling 1st party casual titles such as Wii Sports, Tomodachi life, or Wii Party, a follow up to Captain Toad. I'd definitely take the Wii U over the switch, which is I sold my switch to someone for pennies; guess I didn't want them to pay too much on it.
Can't go wrong with most of the Wii U ports on Switch, I think its still strange the 3D World levels weren't patched into Captain Toad later on though.
It'd be fun to see how well Wii U games fared by comparison when they got ported down to the 3DS.
@The_New_Butler as for your statement about hardware similarities, it's clearly a reductionist statement, made by someone looking back in hindsight, without all too much experience with the software to which they are referring to.
Next up: Top 10 Wii to Switch Ports
We still need StarFox Zero
Ahh yes you are absolutly right, was just thinkin about the Graphics.
I would be pleased with a simple Remaster of Dead or Alive 2 (maybe in a package with 3?) and Sould Calibour 2.
I would try another one, but seeing all these micro dlc for Costumes on Steam is letting me stay away from it :>
Played Street Fighter V on a free Weekend, gameplay was ok, made the Special Attacks reaaaaally easy to use, maybe too easy.
Chun Li for example launches her Special Moves exactly as Ryu/Ken now, no Holdings.
But what really kills the Game is the Content, or rather the lack of Content.
When i played it, it had a Joke of a "Story Mode" (2-4 Fights), a Joke of an Arcade Mode and was filled with DLCs to pay for as Stages and Costumes.
It had Ingame Ads in form of "Skins" ....
A half baked Game that wants Money from you in every Corner.
Naa, i am happy with my classic Street Fighter 2 Versions and Street Fighter IV ultra something arcade Version on PC...
@The_New_Butler I'd still take the wii u by itself, but its perfectly fair to include the 3ds as the switch is occupying both their seats. Feel free to buy oft' lazy ports for full price, for games u already own. As for someone who doesn't own those games, it's much more financially viable to just purchase a wii u, & get those games much cheaper, & much better versions too, seeing as they use the wii u features, which u claim never took off. Pound for Pound the gamepad is also a much better basic control pad than those shoddy joycons, & its features were used at the discretion of its developers, some of whom used it extensively & smartly, a fact you don't appear privy to. I just think at the end of day, I just use my money more wisely than u do, in this particular field that is, As I have been able to accrue 60 titles for my wii, 50+ for the Gamecube, 30 for the ds, 20 or so for the 3ds, plus the 100 or so GBA, GB, NES, & SNES. Not only are these games better than the switch games, they are also much cheaper, much more original, & much more graphically impressive, taking into account the hardware they were developed for. I'd take any one of these original pieces of hardware over the switch & its "massive library" of overpriced & unoriginal titles.
@The_New_Butler Most of those games came out when the Switch was 1 and 2 years old. Install base was not that big, and they achieved that on that period of time. Calling them "worst of their franchises" is calling them bad, but in a fancy way. People like them, because they're good games, otherwise, they wouldn't buy them, right? The Wii U was poorly marketed, the main reason why it failed to be a high selling console.
Dude.....I find some of your takes to be a bit off. First FE3H is not using anything like 3DS assets......it even looks way better than the GC/WII FE games which were the last console ones. You seem to want to throw out the fact that the series was completely modernized and the gameboard look/feel as well as the other 'new' RPG elements where never seen before in any version.
Then you act like AC was met to mixed reception....please the game sold 30M+ copies. A crap game that no one likes does not sell like that. Again I played AC on the GC back in the day and anyone saying that AC NH isn't a more depthful and complex game has amnesia. There was no crafting in the first game, there were no terraforming tools that allowed you to custom design your island.
Then some of the best 'exclusives' you just sluff off because you haven't played them. Luigi's 3 is awesome, bests the earlier entries by far. Xeno2 one of the best JRPGs out there and had a stand alone DLC that changed the combat mechanics meaningfully, and Astral Chain....its great...take the combat style of Bayo expand it, and then just wrap a much cooler concept around it for a game.
Every system since the x86 generation (ps4/xb1) has had a crap load of ports, re-releases and re-masters. That is the environment we now live in. New AAA efforts costs more than ever to develop, and several high cost flops (Fallout76, Cyberpunk, MassAndromoda) have made a lot publishers squeamish on investing in new stuff so many are taking the safe road and polishing up old stuff that was super successful to give it a run with newer audiences. So its not really fair to say if Nintendo would stop doing this other stuff and concentrate on new only, because that is just not the environment were in. Also the Switch sits in a unique spot being the first and only portable that has the juice to play a lot of games that used to be console only. I mean who didn't want something like Ni No Kuni or Skyrim on the go? So thankfully its wild sales success has allowed so many great games from many previous generations to be ported or remastered.
I will end saying....I too wish Nintendo would bring back or focus on some long forgotten franchises and give them the modernization treatment that they gave Zelda, MarioO, FE, and AC...I really wish they would give some love to their great racing games.....FZero (of course), but WaveRace and ExciteBike64 were also great. I too would love to see another 3D Donkey Kong and bringing back some of the other Mario Sports titles like strikers and sluggers.
Overall the Switch is a dream with plenty of good new content and lots of old stuff that deserved to be seen on a portable. I have owned just about every system ever made (console and portable) and for my money and the utilization I have gotten out of it, the Switch is tops.
@The_New_Butler rubish is the game you use as your pciture hahaha. The Wii U is great, I still play it, and yes, it's calling them bad, but using other words.
I echo what a couple previous said. Why NES remix 2 was never ported is beyond me. One of the most fun games i have for my wiiU. Also Yoshi's Woolley world was a million times better than that cardboard crap the switch got (and i dont mean Labo)
I love how you said the WiiU was a bit rubish......it was/is. OMG I was just laughing out loud when I saw that. The hardware and OS really were week. I mean everything in the OS was sluggish and painfully slow. So conceptually it just didn't fly (dual screen), the overall hardware was wimpy and no stronger than a ps3 which predated it by years. So yeah it kind of was rubbish.
The best thing about the WiiU at the time was some of the quality exclusives (mostly all ported to Switch now) and then there were actually a few 3rd party games that did really nice things with dual screens.....The excellent DuesEX port comes to mind and also the Splinter Cell BL port...they both did some cool and meaningful things with the GP but for me it was more about just using it for offscreen play which the Switch gives us that as well as making it untethered.
The absolute best thing you can do with a WiiU is mod it because then it becomes a legacy machine monster. Playing Cube games on the gamepad looks fabulous and Nintendo were idiots for never releasing Cube VC as the damned hardware plays it natively so it would have cost them little to nothing to put GC on WiiU but they whiffed and left it to the hackers. Still a modded WiiU gives you Wiiu/Wii/GC/N64/SNES/NES/GBC/GBA/DS so basically Nintendo's entire library pre 3DS/Switch can be played on a modded WiiU which is at least something. Still the Switch is light years better and a modded Switch is even better yet.
It's criminal that Nintendo still have not ported Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess HD to Switch. Those 2 games would sell like hotcakes even at 60 bucks a piece.
I just played MK8 for the first time in about 2 years yesterday. I was blown away again, especially after playing the far weaker Wii game just before.
It really is one of the best games ever. I really gotta get the 3 stars on 150cc.
@Kidfunkadelic83 It would be one of those 19.99 games.
The only things i miss from Wii U are proper UI/UX(Not minimalist crap) that reflects the Nintendo personality, lack of tv/streaming service functionality like Netflix and Crunchyroll(At least Youtube, Hulu, Funimation and Pokemon tv exist) and some eshop features like ratings and games simular to(Wii U eshop and switch ones UI is like compairing a fancy shopping mall theme park with bland minimalist shop with lack of character).
My top 5:
1. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
2. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
3. Bayonetta 2
4. Bayonetta 1
5. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
I prefer having my games being more "unified" on Switch. Besides that, I've yet to see a version of Yoshi's Woolly World to provide me both 2-player co-op and portability.
I’m amazed how many people loved the bloatware that was the Wii U OS. It was incredibly slow to navigate, even though it looked fun.
I don’t want the console screech to a halt just so I can get my screen loaded with Miis, give me the games.
Personally, and I’ll get a lot of hate for saying this, I like the minimalist feel of the Switch’s OS. It is power efficient and for the most part, I can start a game in a jiffy.
If only it could have had folders and maybe the possibility to use themes, it would have been perfect
@QuickSilver88 new super mario brothers wii sold 30+ million copies, the wii sold 100 million, & what followed it did near a 10th that, Sales does not equate to resonance or quality. additionally while it may contain more customization, it's been alleged by some, it was in exchange for the series' character, so I've heard. Also stating that a 7th gen power level game looks better than a 6th gen level games, so what? It looks bad for the hardware its on. The flat textures & poor draw distance in the abbey is shocking; while a game like FE echoes was better looking, taking into account the kind of hardware it was on. Either way, I could make qualitative arguments all day, or I could make a quantitative one, that being that Nintendo's teams, & those with long-running associations to Nintendo, have dramatically decreased their software output, at an alarming rate given that their teams are consolidated onto one platform, & that platform's triple AAA output mirrors the Wii U's release schedule (probably a touch or so better than the Wii U's). The possible reasons for this decrease are not compelling to me in the slightest, as Nintendo is charging the same price for their games as the other companies whose games are two generations ahead. Also the switch is terrible at playing console level games. Saying it can play skyrim, is like me saying the 3ds can play DKCR. So what? they are old games. Handhelds have always played older console games.
@mjharper Not quite.
@The_New_Butler everyone talks about it, it must be subpar. And her I am, talking in fancy words as you do hahaha. Those games are good, hence why they sell well. End of story.
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