Ask nearly anyone on the Internet, and they’ll tell you that the Wii U was easily the worst current-gen system. It’s no secret that sales were low and never picked up, and that the 3DS has outshined the console every step of the way. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t still so many great games to pick up for the ill-fated system. Let’s take a look back at a few of the glorious gemstones that make Wii U owners glad they invested in the system.
Twilight Princess was without a doubt one of the darker entries in the series. The leads were more mature, Hyrule was larger and rife with secrets, and the game introduced Link’s most celebrated partner to date: Midna. With the HD remake, LoZ:TP glowed with a new life that illuminated even the darkest corners of the Twilight Realm.
Releasing alongside the first game, Bayonetta is all action, all the time. The bosses are epic in scale, the game boasts a refreshingly tough difficulty curve, and the lady witch’s comeback to the limelight was so complete that she was voted in at the top of the Smash ballots.
A massive menagerie of Mario members take to an equally dazzling selection of race tracks that twist, turn, dip, and launch them through the air. What truly sets this entry apart is that the courses themselves come to life with their own personalities, with some even changing the layout between laps.
Don’t be so quick to dismiss this one as a weaboo game. TMS#FE wasn’t the mashup fans hoped for, but the strategic battle system and over-the-top session attacks make this odd ball game a blast to play.
It didn’t take long for user-made courses to number in the millions, and Geno only knows how many have been added on since then. Scrape away the auto-complete levels and you’ll find some truly ingenious mechanical design guaranteed to expand your creative horizons.
XCX is mind-blowingly massive. Not just in the scale of the world, but in the layers upon layers of mechanics and options deep beneath the stunningly gorgeous surface. The possibilities seem endless, and once you hop into your Skell, you discover that there are indeed numbers beyond infinity.
No one could have predicted the worldwide cult phenomenon that exploded onto the scene the very instant Splatoon hit the market. That a gang of teenage squids blasting each other with paint guns would lead up to a raving holographic concert in its country of origin defies logic, but no one can deny that this seafood-inspired mulitplayer meal left players stuffed to bursting.
With a playable cast of over 50 characters, tons of stages, countless music tracks, and a selection of game modes wide enough to block the Panama Canal, an already massive game just kept on growing and growing for years as Nintendo’s best characters returned to the ring to duke it our for supremacy. While the game also released for 3DS, the Wii U’s superior graphics and power make this the better of the two versions.
Unlike Kirby, Yoshi didn’t lose his trademark gluttony-based abilities after his conversion to your grandma’s sewing supplies. Instead he supplemented them with delightful new ones that interacted beautifully with the game’s world. YWW juiced up the green dino’s track record, and have no doubt another romp will come in the future.
Expanding on the linear sandbox-like stages of 3D Land, 3D world brings back the four-player cooperation mode and introduces a cat suit. The overworld map is not restricted to following a dotted line like other games, in fact doing so is discouraged. 3D World perfectly captures the magic players have come to expect from games involving jumping plumbers.
There we have it, ten games lined up to stamp down the opinions of naysayers. As the Wii U makes its final preparations to retire for good, be sure to pick up any of these games you haven’t grabbed yet. Wii U won’t be missed by many, but those that did appreciate it know that you don’t have to be the best in order to still be good.
Matt Eschbach is a PC, Mac and Android indie game developer and fiction writer. His works have won multiple monetary awards from various contests. Graduating college in 2012 with a major in Game Design, Matt spends his time making stuff up and then building it. His favorite hobby… is sleeping.