The Wii U is the not Nintendo’s best console to date and has been failing to find an audience to come and play its games. This is mostly due to lack of third party support on the Wii U which has given less people a reason to buy Nintendo’s latest home platform,though I personally don’t understand why. 2014 has brought the Wii U a great range of new exclusives that I feel are more than enough reason to warrant the console. It has even got to the point where I have evolved my top 5 list into what has now become my top 10 list. This is because I couldn’t make the tough decision of a single five games and so I look at the great games on the system and bring you my top 10 exclusives to hit the Wii U.
10. The Wonderful 101
A game where you play as one hundred different people at once, wow, and this game was confusing there was a lot to remember in terms of move patterns and battle situations were chaotic and yes often confusing, but still the Wonderful 101 is a memorable exclusive. All though the game was called the Wonderful 101 you only ever actually play as about seven of these characters with each having an ability that helped in combat and also worked well for puzzle solving. During my time with this game I was intrigued by the messed up story that I wanted to see through to the end and the characters varying powers were really cool.
One of the main things I loved about this game though was the gamepad usage. Its true Nintendo has not really made much use of the gamepad in their games but as part as the Wonderful 101 you got a decent use for it. The gamepad starred in this game with its ability to help form your little army into your powerhouse weapon by drawing them into little symbols which continued to be interesting all the way through. The best part this idea is quite original for the system and Platinum Games did a great job creating a game that looks Nintendo flare mixed with their own brand of humor and stylings. It establishes a great game that all Wii U owners should play.
9. Nintendo Land
When the Wii was released in 2006 it had one game that truly sold it, that game was Wii Sports, it showed us how to use and have fun with the console in a way that could not have been achieved in any other way. Nintendo Land should have been considered the same way, the game does a great job and showing us the reason for the Wii U and its gamepad by providing us with a handful of fun, interactive games to play. Each game showed a reason behind the Wii U and delivered games that could be enjoyed for hours, it is unfortunate that so many people looked down at this gem of gaming kind but sadly it what happened though. But if only people had given it a shot gathered round some friends and opened their minds they would have seen what I see when I played this game, fun. It is easy to get lost for hours in some family fun bouts of Mario Chase and enjoy some science fiction warfare in Metroid Blast. Nintendo Land is no Wii Sports but without a doubt it is one of the most fun and most memorable games that ever has graced my Wii U.
8. Mario Kart 8
Who doesn’t love to play some Mario Kart, well personally I am very on and off with this franchise and have found it to get tedious very quickly, however Mario Kart 8 definitely delivered on a memorable and fun experience that I can honestly get behind. Mario Kart is a franchise that I can play I just often have preferred not to in the past because many of the courses get boring, though apart from maybe one or two of these courses Mario Kart 8 has a good variety that lured me in and kept me playing for hours. Mainly it is the courses that this game franchise is about and this entry delivered some of not only the most visually appealing, but also it brought some of the franchises best courses to play on, as well as remaking and reviving personal favorites like Toad’s Turnpike which has never looked better. Mario Kart 8 is not the best game on the Wii U and even the best game brought to us in 2014, but if one game can bring families together it is Mario Kart 8 which with its new courses and good range of characters proves to be a fun game, and a must own on the Wii U.
7. Zombi U
For many years the survival horror genre of games has been going downhill, and classic franchises such as Resident Evil which were once praised for their work in the genre have now lost their touch. So enter Ubisoft’s exclusive on the Wii U, Zombi U re-established what the survival horror genre was all about, which is the fear of going around a corner not knowing what awaits you, remaining low on supplies and utilizing whatever you can scavenge and worrying about what sits in the impending darkness. This exclusive did all that and more by utilizing the very essence of the gamepad, the gamepad allowed for panic as you quickly rummaged through it to find what you needed while the game kept going on the TV, it also allowed the player to detect the locations of Zombies which is even scarier when you hear them moaning and constantly hear many beeps on the gamepad. The game is fun and well worth playing, it was just a shame so many people didn’t give it a shot.
6. Lego City Undercover
TT Games’ Wii U exclusive Lego experience draws a lot from the developer’s previous Lego endeavors, but this time comes out with a fresh story and world to play in. A lot of the experience of Lego City undercover is pretty familiar to anyone who has played a Lego game before, from the combat, to the levels, to many other factors this is very familiar, but for its similarities, Lego City Undercover masterfully pulled itself out and stands unique in the name of Lego. For the original story or even just the stupidity in the comedy is why this game holds a special place as one of my best Wii U exclusives, plus the added bonus is that Lego City Undercover is a game that can be enjoyed by anyone. Mostly I enjoyed it for going around and playing a much more fun version of Grand Theft Auto, and following the well-crafted police drama of a story while just smashing up random peoples cars and all around having fun in Lego City.
5. Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze
My faith in the Donkey Kong Country series has been steadily declining for years, and Donkey Kong 64 was the last game in the series I truly enjoyed, which is half the reason why it is my favorite game of all time (but that is a story for another opinion piece). However I do feel that Retro Studios was finally ready to give the classic character a true return to greatness, and having the power and capabilities of the Wii U it was no wonder. Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze takes a different approach to other games in its genre, and delivers a much more challenging experience, on top of that it shows plenty of diversity between each level you visit and plenty of detail which is hard not to love. Those, alongside the new additions such as multiple sidekick characters, easily help me to see this game as fun and a must play game on the console even if you are only looking for a challenge.
4. Super Smash Brothers for Wii U
If Super Smash Brothers for 3DS was the appetizer then Smash Brothers on the Wii U is definitely the main course. It is hard to deny that this is easily one of the best entries in the franchise adding so many new ideas that it overflows with content. Sure there was a bad apple in this bunch (Smash Tour) but everything else was pure brilliance. Eight Player Smash is the definite highlight of this entry featuring chaotic battle sequences and a case of recurring “what on earth is going on”, you literally get lost in the crowd but it is fun for battles. Adding this type of battle with Amiibo characters it is even greater and adds an even greater level of chaos.
The single player side of things was also great featuring a far refined classic mode which is even more enjoyable. Smash Brothers for the Wii U is great fun and a must play on the console, with a wide variety of characters and some fun modes it is really good to play.
3. Hyrule Warriors
Nintendo and Koei Tecmo’s collaboration seemed like a weird one and one to be skeptical of for its mixture of two very different franchises The Legend of Zelda and the Warriors franchise, however it proved to be a fun and creative use of two franchises.
Before playing this I never imagined Hyrule would be the perfect location for what would become a full scale war, however, Hyrule Warriors proves otherwise. The positioning of battlefields around major popular locations makes things both different and also really fun, who wouldn’t want to wage a full scale battle at Lake Hylia from Ocarina of Time, or battle it out on a slightly altered version of Skyward Sword’s sealed grounds. Next include major enemies from Zelda games past and famous enemies in hordes and you have some really fun and really challenging battles.
Mix all this with a wide variety of playable characters from across the series history plus a couple of original characters and there you have it. You get a fun game full of possibilities and excellent characters to play as, each offering a different play style or strategy that could be used be used on the battlefield. Hyrule Warriors is a really fun, and at times stressful game but it is easily one of the consoles best and most fun games for players looking for just a bit of action, and by a bit I do mean a lot.
2. Super Mario 3D World
It would be almost impossible to make a best of list for the Wii U and not include this wonderful gem of a game. After the more or less same style of Mario game we received in New Super Mario Bros. U, Super Mario 3D world shows Nintendo still knows how to make a good Mario game. Sure, I will be the first to admit this wasn’t the experience I was expecting from the Wii U’s first three dimensional Mario game, but it didn’t matter, at every turn Super Mario 3D World evokes interest with the addition or return of ideas. At the center of this game stands incredible and varying level designs set to challenge you and tell you to have fun, then at another point stands the characters you play as which each provide enough difference in their styles that each player gets to enjoy a somewhat difference experience to the other players and enjoy different luxuries in play styles.
1. Pikmin 3
Nintendo’s journey into the world of tiny microorganisms and the adventure to save their planet may not be the best game on the Wii U, but by all respects it has to be my favorite out of all the ones I have played. The game often feels like it wants to make you feel guilty about any mistakes you make and they can happen both easily and completely by accident. The key thing that I feel really makes this game one of my favorites on the Wii U is the fact the game never outstays its welcome. From the moment you start you are greeted with a fun adventure filled with strategy, but as fast as it arrives it is all over. In some games I would consider this a bad thing but for the course of the story the little actions and adventure are great and keep you interested. One final note it is kind of hard to resist the Pikmin as they are adorable.
With 2015 now upon us I look forward to seeing how this list changes when I revisit it later this year, with so many potentially great Wii U exclusives just around the corner we might see a complete overhaul of this list. If 2014 was any indication I think Nintendo and the Wii U are going to have a great year and here is hoping many of these upcoming games are as good as I hope and do show the potential of the Wii U.