In the year of 2006, Nintendo made a bold statement with the release of the Nintendo Wii.
At a time when consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s Playstation 3 were competing to see who can make the most powerful home console… Nintendo walked their own path.
Where the Wii was lacking in computing power, it more than made up for in novelty.
Nintendo embraced the sentimental connection that its users had to the brand and first party franchises.
And they took a big leap creating a console whose entire identity was attached to the relatively new motion control features, which could have easily been written off as gimmicky.
The venture proved to be a wild success with the Wii selling over three million units by the end of 2006, outselling combined sales of the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 in many regions.
And with nearly 1600 games produced for the console, there is no shortage of software to support the Wii during its eleven year lifespan.
So which titles kept players movin’ and groovin’ with the Wii? Let’s check out the 10 best selling Nintendo Wii games of all time!
Just Dance is one of those titles that was a no-brainer for the Wii.
With the Wii’s new motion control peripherals, up to four players (eight if you count the “Hold My Hand” dance mode) can shake and wiggle to over 120 songs while holding the Wii Remote in their hands.
But please, for the safety of your flatscreen televisions… use the wrist strap. *Googles “Wii remote broken tv”*
It is no surprise this became the best-selling third-party Wii game of all-time, with nearly ten million units sold. That’s ten million bootys shakin.
It is actually quite a surprise that this game came in so low on the list of best selling Wii games of all time considering Super Mario Galaxy is a fan-favorite that saw our favorite plumber blasting off into a whole new level of awesomeness.
It is widely considered one of the best in the 3d Mario series, and one of the best video games of all time.
According to Yoshiaki Koizumi, director and designer of Super Mario Galaxy, many concepts for the game were in development long before the development of the Wii itself.
With the introduction of the “Star Pointer”, the game took advantage of new motion control elements that only the Wii console could provide.
Super Mario Galaxy was very well received… selling nearly 13 million copies, being honored the “Game of the Year 2007” by IGN, and is included in the Super Mario 3D All-Stars collection on Nintendo Switch, released in September of 2020.
So it is no surprise it is also included in this 10 best Nintendo Wii games of all time.
Super Smash Bros. might have you literally wanting to punch your friends.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl was the follow up to the king of party games, Super Smash Bros. Melee, which was one of the best selling Gamecube games of all time.
And “Brawl” gave players new ways to smash and bash their opponents off-screen using any of four different controllers, including the Wii Remote, Wii Remote with Nunchuk, GameCube controller, and Classic Controller, simultaneously.
Being the first in the Smash Bros. series to bring in third-party characters, and the first in the series to take the fight online with the Nintendo Wii’s wi-fi features… there was never a better time to jump into the series.
With over 13 million copies sold worldwide, it is no surprise that this game smashed its way into the best selling Nintendo Wii games of all time list.
Video games as exercise? Who would had guessed?
Well, the idea was not entirely new; Nintendo had released their “Family Trainer” floor pad in 1986, which had players stomping their way through a handful of sports titles.
But the introduction of the Wii Remote and Wii Balance Board peripherals gave users a whole new level of options for stretching, strength training, aerobics and balance focused mini-games.
These 2008 and 2009 releases aimed to help families exercise together. And while the titles were generally well received, they were also criticized for lack of intensity.
But to that point, the titles were deemed especially useful in the physical treatment of children and the elderly.
The Finnish Defense Forces reported that they had purchased nearly 400 Wii consoles, including Wii Sports and Wii Fit, to inspire their soldiers to exercise more. And apparently, the soldiers loved it!
With nearly 44 million copies between the titles (Wii Fit Plus (2009): 21.1 million copies, Wii Fit (2008): 22.7 million copies), it seemed like Nintendo was on a roll with trying something brave and new.
If exercise isn’t your thing, and you use video game consoles to play games… you’re in luck… this next game is for you!
This 2007 Nintendo Wii launch title (I guess after this game, they decided players were having too much fun?) was a compilation of nine mini-games making full use of all of the twisting, turning, shaking and waving you could possibly throw at the new Wii Remote controller.
Developed as a prototype to show off the new features of the Wii console, Wii Play was received with mix reviews, but overall proved to be quite a popular seller at over 28 million units.
Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto felt that the first New Super Mario Bros. lacked the challenge he had originally hoped for, and saw New Super Mario Bros. Wii as a chance to create a game for a wide variety of players at all levels of gameplay skill.
It was the first game in the Mario series to feature cooperative multi-player gameplay, which proved to be an important selling point for the game.
At over 30 million copies sold, New Super Mario Bros. Wii served as an important milestone in the Wii’s lifespan, providing a sales bump when sales numbers were ailing.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii ensured that the 2d platforming branch of the Mario family of games had a guaranteed future.
A motion-control focused mini-game compilation? Say it ain’t so! Nintendo was onto something special with the Wii and the Wii Remote… and we should be starting to see a trend here.
As a sequel to their best selling Wii game of all time, Wii Sports Resort improved on controls, gameplay and graphics from the previous title, giving players thirteen sports to play alone, with friends or online.
Packaged with the new Wii MotionPlus accessory, the games could be played with much greater accuracy and closer mimic the motions of the actual games they replicate.
At 33 million units sold, it is easy to see why it comes in so high on this list of best selling Nintendo Wii games of all time.
Being the sixth Mario Kart game in the series, players had come to understand what to expect in terms of gameplay.
But with new features introduced on the Wii console, players had new ways to tear their way through 32 race tracks in single-player and multi-player modes.
Players could use the brand new Wii Wheel accessory to literally steer their way around turns. Or for a more traditional feel, could use the Wii Remote, Classic Controller or Gamecube controller.
Mario Kart Wii was also the first in the series to go online using the Wii’s new wi-fi connection.
It also made its way on our 15 Best Multiplayer Wii Games Of All Time.
With over 37 million copies sold, it is one of the best-selling video games of all time, and is the second best-selling Mario Kart game after Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Players seemed to love it, and this set the foundation for what we would come to expect from future Mario Kart releases.
At nearly 83 million copies, over twice as many as the previous on our list, Wii Sports is an undeniable force for the Wii.
Being a launch game for the Wii and included in most region’s console bundles… it would be easy to write off the sales numbers for the title.
However, in Japan, where the game was not a bundled game… Wii Sports is reported to have sold nearly two million copies in 2007. Making it the highest selling game in Japan for that year. And remained one of the best selling games for the region in 2008 as well.
In comparison to its companion launch title, Wii Play, this game received much more acclaim, being considered one of the best video games ever made (presumably for its originality and being the first of a genre).
The five games included in Wii Sports are widely considered an apt companion to the Wii console, serving as a perfect tech demo, while still being actually enjoyable to play.
And certainly served as a decent holdover until you could purchase The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, which somehow didn’t make its way on this list, but came pretty high on our 10 Best Zelda Games Of All Time. 😉
Joking aside, the Nintendo Wii proved to be a wildly successful gamble for Nintendo.
And with Wii Sports being the fourth highest selling video game of all time, on any console, it is no surprise to see it cap off our list of best selling Nintendo Wii games of all time.
Anthony has been a video game lover ever since he can remember. He became a fulltime nomad in 2018, living throughout most of Asia. He focused his passion in retro gaming and began creating a game for the Game Boy Color while living in Nara, Japan during the 2020 pandemic. He is now in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he spends most of his time gaming, going on long walks and meeting as many stray dogs as possible.