2016 has arrived, and with it comes optimism and potential for an exciting gaming year ahead. Though plenty of eyes are turning to the next generation of Nintendo hardware, of course, there's still plenty of interest for current Wii U gamers. The number of confirmed games may be low, but the quality could be rather high.
As in previous years, if in doubt we'll be taking our cues from the latest investor's update, though we will show optimism in the face of some TBC windows. We'll also throw in the some promising Wii U eShop titles that are confirmed, as Nintendo's lineup is somewhat thin.
As always you'll be able to vote for your choice in a poll at the end, so without further ado let's list 10 of the biggest games coming to Wii U in 2016.
This was in the equivalent 2015 list 12 months ago, so as a result we're hedging our bets and choosing optimism. This is the 30th Anniversary year for the franchise, of course, so the hope is that the Wii U release will be the tentpole arrival of the year. Eiji Aonuma has spoken of his ambition for this title to evolve and take the franchise forward, and we can't wait to see how it's progressed.
Having had a full reveal at E3 2015, the reaction to this one was ultimately rather mixed, with positives perhaps having the edge. Co-developed with Platinum Games, this looks to be focusing on classic gameplay reminiscent of the SNES / N64 eras combined with some new ideas utilising the GamePad. The Wii U controller is very much at the core of how this title plays, with an interesting control scheme to boot. Delayed from a planned Holiday 2015 release, we're keen to see how Nintendo and Platinum has used the extra development time.
When revealed for the Japanese arcades many naturally wondered why this fighting game wasn't coming to Wii U, so it was a welcome moment when that desire was satisfied with an announcement last year. It'll be intriguing to see whether this one takes off in the competitive scene, and to see how successfully it can sell in stores.
It's had an underwhelming launch, in terms of sales, in Japan, yet fans of Atlus and its more colourful approach will nevertheless be looking forward to it. Though problems in development were reported, what's emerged in this crossover is a bright RPG experience with a heavy SMT focus, though Fire Emblem characters are more limited in their roles than may have been expected when this was announced quite some time ago. Not exactly guaranteed a Western release this year, but we're hopeful.
The GameCube / Wii entry in the series had regularly been in the rumour mill for New 3DS and Wii U, with the home console eventually being the logical choice for Nintendo. With its accompanying Wolf Link amiibo this will provide a great start to the anniversary year, with a HD sheen being added to the moody entry in the franchise.
Though this has been somewhat under the radar, especially with LEGO Dimensions hogging attention in 2015, this is nevertheless very promising on paper. Excitingly, it's going to cover six films in total - Avengers (which was called Avengers Assemble in the UK to avoid confusion with the cult TV show of the same name), Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Thor: The Dark World and Iron Man 3. That's a lot of potential content, and with LEGO games rarely failing to entertain this could be an early treat this year.
These licensed tie-ins in which Mario, Sonic and chums do battle have proven to be a success over a number of years. Nintendo seems more keen to promote the 3DS version ahead of the upcoming release in Japan - we're still awaiting the Western release dates - but it is nevertheless coming to the HD system. Golf and Rugby are among new sports to arrive this time around.
Shown off by Shigeru Miyamoto as GamePad concept pieces at E3 2014, these have fallen off the radar yet have continued to feature in the company's investor listings. In 2014 some thought they looked Star Fox-esque, so will they be included mini-games with Zero? Perhaps, alternatively, they'll arrive as a bundle or download-only releases. We don't know, but we're curious to see how these titles have developed and evolved.
Image & Forms's follow-up/spin-off to SteamWorld Dig is an excellent game, as we've argued in our 3DS review, and has been well received since its December release. Yet we've also seen many say "I'll get it on Wii U", due to a preference for HD visuals. With that in mind it could be a fantastic home console arrival on the eShop this year.
This didn't make it for the Holiday season as WayForward had hoped, though it seems like a very safe bet to now arrive this year. We're still excited about a new HD adventure with the mascot, with recent footage and our own recent impressions renewing our anticipation for this release.
Naturally there are a lot of promising eShop releases on the way, too, so the store will be worth watching closely.
Let us know what you think of this list with a vote for your favourite in the poll below, while you can share views and post your own lists in the comments section.