Dust off that gamepad touchscreen; it’s time to check out the best Wii U games of all time!
The Wii U might have been short lived, but it had some absolutely classic games. More importantly, it acted as a precursor to the Nintendo Switch and proved an important stepping stone in Nintendo gaming history…
… it’s just a shame that the Wii U wasn’t advertised better and given a better name.
Nintendo tend to do this from time to time; look how poorly the Gameboy Micro was marketed. Sadly, the Wii U just came out at the wrong place at the wrong time, and that’s a cold hard fact.
Still, the idea of the console and having the ability to play while someone else watched the TV was genius. And, the games that came out during the consoles lifetime are still super fun to play today.
It’s not as if the graphics are hard to look at – this is still 100% a playable console!
So, which are the best Wii U games that you should be seeking out? Which are the stand out titles, and which ones helped to shape Nintendo history?
Scroll down to find out!
First up on the list is Paper Mario: Color Splash, one of the best and most immersive Paper Mario games in the canon.
For those of you that have never played Paper Mario before, these games take everything that you know about Mario and throw it out the window.
The Mushroom Kingdom has been given the arts and crafts treatment, with all Mario’s surroundings and interactive objects taking on a 2D turn.
Following on from the success of the Super Mario RPG series, Color Splash utilises turn-based battles and epic weapons to knock back memorable enemies from the Mushroom Kingdom.
And, when you’re as flat as a piece of paper, then the possibilities are truly endless.
Sneak through cracks in walls and the floor, sidle around areas that only Flat Stanley could reach, and unfold (literally) epic hammers to take down gnarly bosses!
Arts and crafts never looked so good!
Lego City: Undercover takes the 19th spot on this list of the best Wii U games of all time!
This is one of the best Lego games that exists in its own world and one doesn’t follow a specific movie franchise. We all love the Lego Star Wars and Lego Marvel games, but original adventures are where it’s at.
So what’s the score here?
Well, players take Chase McCain around on an adventure to try and stop the elusive gangster Rex Fury. The Lego World looks phenomenal. and with lots of undercover cop chases and secrets to discover, there’s so much for players to sink their teeth into!
I know you’re probably thinking ‘it’s just Lego!’. Well, over 1-million people bought a copy of this game, which makes it one of the Wii-U’s best selling games of all time.
And you know what, it’s a bloomin’ funny game as well! Lego games have a sense of humour that you just don’t find in any other title, making them a go-to title if you’re ever feeling blue!
In short, if you can imagine GTA with little lego people in a totally P.C world with no death, then you’ve got Lego City: Undercover.
That doesn’t mean that it’s a game for children though.
The missions, the undercover disguises, and the comedy make this title one of the best Wii U games ever to grace this short-lived console!
Splatoon isn’t just one of the best Wii U games, it’s also one of the best multiplayer titles Nintendo have ever made!
This third-person shooter is one of the most random ideas ever, but boy does it make for epic gameplay. Players control Inklings, little fighters that can turn into squids…
… told you it was random!
Using paint guns, players splat each other, the surroundings, and pretty much any available surface while trying to rack up points.
And the best bit is that while in squid form, players can move around through their own colour paint to get to areas faster, or away from enemies when in a tight corner!
In true Nintendo fashion, Splatoon brings death match action from start to finish without any sort of peril or terror of any kind. That doesn’t make it any less fun though. I could play this game all-day-every-day with my mates without ever getting bored…
… and I often do!
Hyrule Warriors takes the 17th spot in this list of the best Wii U games of all time, and it’s one of my go-to games for blowing off steam whenever I’m feeling enraged.
Imagine a Zelda game where hordes of enemies fly at you again and again… and again.
We’re talking relentless waves of enemies, with Link and other epic characters from the series hacking and slashing to their hearts content.
That’s Hyrule Warriors alright!
I think the still above sums this game up perfectly. Work through key areas from the world of Hyrule and other legendary places from the LOZ canon.
Teaming up with Impa, Sheik, and lots of other famous faces, players must clear certain areas of enemies, recapture territories, complete objectives, and take down massive bosses in order to progress through the game.
The premise is so simple it hurts, but it’s one of those rare games that is super exciting even though it doesn’t take much brain power.
In other words, the perfect game!
Bayonetta 2, unsurprisingly, is the sequel to the first Bayonetta game. If you’ve never come across the most powerful Umbran Witch in all of gaming history, then you really should be questioning your commitment to Nintendo…
The main game storyline occurs pretty much straight away after the events of the first title. If you’re into 3rd-person shooters where the main character fights multiple enemies at the same time with moves as fast as lightening, then this is the title for you.
We’re talking melee battles that will leave you with your jaw open and your eyes bulging out of your head!
Like Neo in the Matrix with his bullet time, Bayonetta has something called Witch Time. It’s exactly the same premise and does exactly the same thing, slowing down time so she can kick her opponents into next week.
As you can imagine, there’s a serious gothicy-castlevania style vibe going on here. There’s lots of witchcraft and dark magic, but don’t be worrying about any weird vibes being attached to the disc like an Alister Crowley book or anything!
Weapons are super customisable too, giving players the scope to pull off some epic moves using Bayonetta’s hands and feet as well as torture attacks…
… ok, maybe I’ll take that weird vibe comment back after all.
Everyone’s favourite rock hard rich man returns to the Wii U in Batman: Arkham City – Armored Edition.
How is this edition different from the standard Arkham Asylum?
Well, it’s beefed up with all of the six available DLC packages available on the other consoles. Basically, it’s fully tanked and ready to roll with the maximum amount of content available, all without the faff.
Plus, the Wii U version has the added bonus of coming with the the aptly titles B.A.T mode, which happens to stand for Battle Armoured Tech.
Put simply, it supercharges Batman and Catwoman’s suits and gives them kinetic power ups.
Oh yeah, this just got real!
You know, I haven’t talked about the role that the Wii U gamepad plays in any of the games above yet.
I guess now’s as good a time as any to bring up the peripheral that spawned the Nintendo Switch, as the gamepad screen can be used to display all sorts of things from current routes and objectives to sonar radar functions.
Oh, and the gamepad screen follows the trajectory of the batarang as it hurtles towards enemies.
How cool is that!
Nintendo Land takes the 14th spot in this list of the best Wii U games of all time!
Ok, so it’s not as action packed as Batman or as immersive as Twilight Princess HD, but this game is seriously addictive.
In the same way that Wii Sports was an instant hit with pretty much everyone, Nintendo Land proved to be one of the most popular titles for the console.
In true Nintendo style (how many times am I gonna write that today?), Nintendo Land brings some epic mini games to the table, all of which show off the finer details of the snazzy Wii U gamepad.
See, I mentioned it once above and now it’s cropping up all the time!
Nintendo Land is a little bit like a Mii version of Mario Party. The premise is simple; play 12 different games set inside a snazzy themepark.
6 are solo games, bringing exciting challenges such as Captain Falcon’s Twister Race and Yoshi’s Fruit Cart to the table.
Players can team up for The Legend of Zelda Battle Quest, or go against each other in Luigi’s Ghost Mansions, amongst other epic little adventures!
The best bit is that your little Mii actually dresses up as characters from your favourite games in each instance. Seeing your character with Samus’ arm canon or in a little Pikmin outfit will really make your day too!
If you’re looking for a game that utilises all the Wii U’s features while keeping the original Wii peripherals alive, then grab Nintendo World and get it in your console ASAP.
What are you waiting for?
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker puts Toad in the limelight for the very first time. He’s no longer hiding under Peach’s skirt folds or stumbling around in Mario’s shadow.
This time he’s the star of the show, and he’s in search of treasure!
Mario fans will undoubtedly know that Captain Toad made his debut back in one of the best Wii games of all time, Super Mario Galaxy. He’s a fearless little adventurer that has cropped up in multiple titles since, and his debut title certainly deserves your attention.
Remember the story tree from Yoshi’s Story? Well, each stage in this game takes the form of a page in a story book too.
It’s a very puzzle-orientated game with strong explorative elements. Characters must pick up collectibles, clear stages of enemies, and reach the golden star at the end of each level in one piece!
Getting from A to B isn’t a walk in the park, however.
The little mushroom head can’t jump, but like his plumber pal in Super Mario Advance, he can use Turnips to defeat critters.
There’s also a whole host of other nifty weapons and items hidden away in his backpack; he’s packing some serious heat!
Once again, the Wii U gamepad has a whole set of snazzy functions that help to make the game even more exciting. Tilt the controller to get a better view of your surroundings and scout out treasure, and use it to rotate parts of levels to find hidden secrets!
Like every other Mario game in the history of the universe, mushrooms provide powerups from time to time.
Hang on… if Toad eats a mushroom, does that make him a cannibal?
If there’s one game on this list that doesn’t need an introduction, it’s Mario Kart 8. This game blew me away and was one of the main reasons I bought the console in the first place!
Let’s talk about Mario Kart as a whole for a second.
This iconic series is so easy to get to grips with that even my Granny used to have a bash at it. Still, flying cars might have proved to be a little bit too intense for her if she were around today; she found driving confusing enough as it is on four wheels!
The 1080p graphics on this game still look absolutely fantastic. Everything has a sparkly gleam that makes it look superbly new and almost space age.
Plus, the course are so much more detailed thanks to flashing lights, branding, and other cool features to gawp at while trying to hold onto first place!
For those of you who remember being bored playing Mario Kart Wii over and over again, then having sixteen new tracks to race around must have been like experiencing Christmas Day all over again.
Having the option to customise karts and bikes and unlocking new parts brought a new dynamic to the series too. It allowed users to really get into the nitty gritty of their machines and make some changes to give them that winning edge.
And of course, the battle modes are just as fun as ever. If anything, they’re got more brutal, with courses trying to attack you as well as the players!
Chose from favourites such as Mario, Yoshi, DK, and Bowser. New faces such as Iggy Koopa and Baby Rosalina join the party too, as do lots of new and exciting powerups for you to try!
Shovel Knight takes the 11th spot in this list of the best Wii U games of all time!
Now, I know the title of this game doesn’t sound like the most inspiring adventure of all time, but it just goes to show that you should never judge a book by its cover!
Back in the day when knights roamed the land and heroes reigned supreme, a dude with a shovel and a guy with a shield were the greatest warriors of them all. They were the best team ever, but all that changed when Shield Knight tragically fell in battle…
…spare a moment to remember the fallen, readers.
Now, the time has come for Shovel Knight to protect the land once again. It’s a simple side scroller with so many exciting features that you’ll soon forget isn’t made by one of the big publishing companies!
Honestly, Mr Driller and Sandshrew don’t have anything on Shovel Knight. Imagine an up-to-date version of Castle of Illusion with Mickey dressed up as a knight with a shovel, and you’ll kind of get an idea as to what this game is like.
And, as you’ve probably guessed, digging everywhere is the key to success. There’s gold hidden in every nook and cranny, and you’ll need it to buy upgrades and to turn Shovel Knight into a Shovelling god!
I know the premise might sound a little weird, but give it a go. You’ll love it!
Super Smash Bros for Wii U doesn’t need an introduction either. We all know how ace this game is, and while it might not be as advanced as Super Smash Bros on the Switch, this game had all of the fast-paced, brawler action that we’ve come to expect from the series.
And man, was I rubbish at it!
I know it doesn’t look good for a games writer to say that they were rubbish at a game, but it’s true. I used to be the boss on Super Smash Bros on the N64… maybe I’d just lost my touch, or perhaps my mates just practiced more than me while I was off playing Zelda.
Yeah… let’s go with that one.
You know the drill by now. Pick from classic Nintendo fighters and some new faces such as Pac-Man, Mega Man, the Animal Crossing villager, and many more.
Play 2-8 players in the many different modes, creating a super brawl that the WWE would be proud of.
Mii fighters can also join the action, but when Captain Falcon and Bowser are available, is there really any point?
Play in Melee All-Star modes, or try the Wii U exclusive Smash Tour mode if you’re looking for something a little different.
It might be available on the 3DS and the Wii U, but the Wii U version will always be my favourite… even if I do die first and have to watch my mates having fun… (sigh).
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze takes the 9th spot in this list of the best Wii U games ever made!
So, we all love Donkey Kong Country, one of the best SNES games of all time. Well, DK and Diddy are back in brand new side-scrolling action along with the rest of the gang, and man does it make for one hard to put down title.
Kong Island might have hit a cold spell, but the graphics and gameplay are so hot you’ll have to cool your hands off in a bucket of ice before holding a loved one.
(I’m very proud of that last sentence…).
It’s the fifth game in the epic DK Country series, and this time DK has to deal with an invasion of Snowmads on his relaxing little island.
Dixie and Cranky Kong are playable characters this time too, each bringing their own spin to the game and their own unique abilities. Collect the iconic golden KONG letters and solve puzzles as you progress through each of the stunning levels.
Can you tell I love this game?
Some of you might have played DKC:TF on the Switch, but it will always be one of the original best Wii U games in my book!
Yoshi’s Wooly World is as close to Yoshi’s Story as you’re ever going to get, and boy is it a beautiful game.
Beautiful isn’t a word that’s thrown around too much in the gaming world, but that’s the best word to describe Yoshi’s Wii U adventure.
Everything has been so carefully thought out, from the patterned woollen Yoshi’s to the secret pathways and hidden areas players must uncover.
It might look a little kiddy, but it’s a pure work of art!
Players discover the wonderful wooly world of Craft Island. Everything is going swimmingly until the evil Kamek turns our woolen Yoshi’s back into balls of wool. Two Yoshi’s survive, and it’s your job to rescue your unravelled friends and bring peace to the land.
Players can either go it alone or team up with a friend through the game’s 48 levels. Tackle bosses, solve problems, and explore stunning 2.5 worlds with some of the best scenery in a Yoshi game to date.
Players can also equip power badges to give them helpful abilities such as not dying when falling down a hole or skipping levels. Yoshi’s Wooly World is a game for all ages and player abilities, making it a must-have family friendly title!
Rayman Legends is up next, a game that has appeared on pretty much every console since the PS3 dropped into our lives. It looks fantastic on the Wii U, and it’s a Rayman game, so we all known it’s an absolute cracker.
Legends follows directly on from Origins and brings all of the same epic side-scrolling action to our TV screens. Rayman and Globox, along with the Teensies, have been asleep for one-hundred years…
… that seems a tad excessive, even for a vide game character!
Unsurprisingly, some bad stuff has happened while everyone has been napping, and now it’s time to clean the world up again.
Here’s a tip, Rayman – maybe just sleep at night like most people next time, alright?
Four players can team up and tackle each of the games exciting levels, and man is there a lot to soak up. Each stage has a depth to it that leaves players leaning in to soak up their environment like a sponge, and the gameplay is so fast paced that hours can fly by without you even realising.
Use all of Rayman’s usual abilities such as gliding and running up walls, and use items in your surroundings to bash back enemies along the way.
The 6th spot in our list of the best Wii U games goes to the one and only Pikmin 3, one of the only games that I love and hate in equal measure.
Why am I putting a game that I have some ‘hate’ for at Number 6?
Well, it’s an unbelievable title, there’s no denying that. The story is so engaging that I end up dreaming about it when I go to sleep, and I become so invested in these little Pikmin’s lives that when one of them dies it feels like a real loss.
Maybe I should get out more…
For those of you that played the first Pikmin game, you’ll be glad to know that the annoying time limit has been removed. Players don’t have to worry about wasting time exploring now and can truly enjoy the planet PN4-404.
Newbies might be wondering what on earth a Pikmin is. Well, earth has a lot to do with it, as Pikmin are plant creatures that are pulled out of the ground. Their colour dictates what abilities they have, with red being resistant to fire and blue being waterproof.
Two new Pikmin, rock and winged, join the party too, giving players lots of choice when tackling the game’s many intricate problems.
Pikmin is all about scavenging and using your resources wisely. If you’ve ever been stranded on a island, then this game will probably be easy as pie.
Still, I guess most of us have had a pretty easy life where squeezing fruit to survive isn’t an every day occurrence, so it should prove to be a tough but rewarding challenge for most!
It’s time for The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker to take to the stage!
I, and many others, were initially sceptical about Link becoming a cel-shaded toon back in the GameCube days. Still, after 30 seconds of gameplay, we were hooked, and the Wii U supercharged all the cartoon action to 11.
The most important thing about the Wind Waker is that it’s a true Zelda game at its core, and it was a humongous success. The original version sold out everywhere, and now second-hand copies of the Wii U version sell for the same as the original retail price!
Because the game is basically a big cartoon, upgrading and making the colours brighter and higher definition must have been a doddle for Nintendo. It turned a great game into a legendary one, and all of the enemy-dying effects and moves looked super slick in glorious HD.
For those of you that haven’t ever played a Zelda title, go take a long look in the mirror. The green guy is Link, Zelda is the Princess, and there’s also a talking boat that ferries you around.
Ganondorf returns once more to cause havoc along with a whole host of evil enemies. There’s treasure galore to find on the ocean floor, and all of the many islands will leave you longing for that cruise that you keep meaning to book.
Seriously, if this game isn’t in your collection, then you MUST right that wrong immediately before continuing…
… this isn’t a suggestion, it’s the law!
Super Mario Maker takes the 4th spot in our list of the best Wii U games ever made. It’s one of the most creative titles Nintendo have ever created (apart from Super Mario Maker 2, of course) and allows gamers to try their hand at creating their very own Mario game!
I mean… do you need to know any more?
If you loved Little Big Planet but wished it had more Mario and less Sackboy, then this is the game for you. It was an instant success on the Wii U and allowed users to play each others courses.
Yeah, we’re talking a global network of Mario courses to play through. Endless levels!
The game first came out in September 2015. It only took eight months for gamers to amass seven-million different courses for us all to play through.
And that was 2015-2016. Imagine how many there are now!!
There are so many styles to choose from, with stages, characters, and scenery backdrops from Mario’s illustrious gaming career available for players to use.
And the sky really is the limit in this game. Set your own enemies and bosses, make Goomba towers, have an enormous Shy Guy to take down, and make levels as easy or difficult as you please!
Super Mario 3D World takes the bronze medal in this list of the best Wii U games ever made.
I know we’ve all got copies of the new Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, but it pays to go back to basics and see where the original started it’s life on the Wii U.
As the Wii U isn’t an old console, the game still holds up really well. It brings new and exciting features to the Mushroom Kingdom such as Cat Mario powerups and the ability to scratch enemies into oblivion.
Sometimes Mario games can feel a little stale when they use the same items, but not 3D world. There’s so much going on in this side-scrolling adventure that you won’t have time to compare it to any other Mazza game, especially when teaming up with friends.
That’s right; up four people can play either in the same room or online. Teamwork never looked so good.
But which characters take the stage in this game? Well, players can choose from Mario, Toad, Luigi, and Peach.
Yes, Peach. She isn’t the damsel in distress for once and actually joins the gang for all of the coin-collecting, warp pipe shooting action! Finally, Nintendo have given her a chance to shine!
The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD was always going to score highly in this list, and it more than deserves the accolade of the 2nd best Wii U game of al time.
Let’s be honest; Twilight Princess was the last classic Zelda game in the canon. Skyward Sword was great, but as the prequel to the whole series, it didn’t have the same feel.
It lacked the quintessential ‘Hyruleness’ that makes a Zelda game… well, a Zelda game!
In many ways, Twilight Princess is like an updated version of Ocarina. So much so, in fact, that many of the same style bosses appear in both… which can only be a good thing in my opinion!
Like the HD Wind Waker game, Twilight Princess HD received the ultimate HD treatment. From Midna to Hyrule Castle, everything looks spectacular up on the Wii U. Heck, this was the reason why most people even bought a Wii U.
And, I know I compared it to Ocarina, but it actually outsold my favourite N64 game by a mammoth 900K copies. It was the most successful Zelda game ever made until BOTW dropped in 2017.
No surprises for guessing what’s at the Number 1 spot then, eh?
Midna is an incredible guide, and the Wolf feature adds a whole new way of playing unseen in any other Zelda game. It’s a truly unique story and one of my all time favourite titles.
That’s high praise, and it’s more than deserved!
It’s official – The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild is the best Wii U game of all time.
Not only that, but Breath of the Wild is also the best of the best Zelda games ever too. I know it, you know it, and so does everyone.
An open world Zelda adventure; sure, we’d all dreamt of it, but was it ever going to happen?
I’ve spent years wishing I could climb mountains and go beyond the map, and when it finally happened, I lost my freakin’ mind.
Rain, seasons, quick changes in geography and a map that takes 45 mins to run from one side to the other. Yeah, this is the greatest game of al time, period.
BOTW took the Zelda rule book and burnt it right in front of our eyes. Twilight Princess might have been the last classic Zelda game, but BOTW reinvented the wheel.
Hunting for food instead of collecting hearts, finding weapons that break after use, new enemies to fight… I could go on and on.
I’m still playing BOTW four years later and finding things that I never uncovered. That’s how massive this game is. Warping horses, riding bears, and secret quests galore… you just can’t beat it!
I know we all think of BOTW as being one of the best Nintendo Switch games, but this epic Zelda tale remains the greatest Wii U game ever made, and it more than deserves the top spot in our Nintendolicious compendium!
Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 31 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.