The Nintendo Wii shook the world upon release, with its unique way of playing games, allowing interaction akin to real sports. Compared to other Nintendo consoles, the best Wii games of all time and the most sold ones are not what you would expect.
Given the novelty of Wii’s various controllers, titles with familiar characters but completely new gameplay popped up, quickly overtaking previous bestsellers. The following twenty games are the best titles you can start your Wii journey with.
Developer: Nintendo EAD
Are sports games the most popular ones on a console? Yes, Wii Sports and various sports games, in fact, were among the most popular titles for the console. You could play games like tennis, baseball, bowling, golf, and boxing.
Its sequel, Wii Sports Resort, was released in 2009, and it was also a great hit, offering multiple new sports and disciplines. The two games were bundled in 2011. Wii Sports is the best-selling Wii game and has been since 2007.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Developer: Sora Ltd./Game Arts
Super Smash Bros. is a fighting game set in the Nintendo universe, adding characters from popular series like Mario, Metroid, Pokemon, and Zelda. It is a platformer fighting game, where the goal is to run the opponents off the map.
Speaking of maps, the stages are always related to the plot of the game, and in total, there are 43 available stages. This is one of the best Wii games, and a very interesting fighting game, challenging the standard fighting genre gameplay.
Super Mario Galaxy
Super Mario Galaxy brings us the same old story of Mario saving Peach from Bowser but with a twist. It is set in space. The stages are mostly planets and planetoids, with varying gravity. The gravity change is one of the central gameplay elements.
It is a 3D Mario game, the third one in the series, most of them being 2D. The goal of the game is similar to most Mario games, though now we have to collect stars. Beating the game once allows an additional but more difficult run with Luigi.
Mario Party 8
Developer: Hudson Soft
Mario Party games were not uncommon at the time when Mario Party 8 launched. What was different was that this game was launched for the Wii. Mario Party games are basically board games with mini-games.
The eighth version of the game was not graphically impressive according to the critics at the time, however, its motion controls made it one of the best Wii games. Since multiple people could play on the same console, the Party series of games made a lot of sense.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Developer: Nintendo EAD
Zelda games always did well on Nintendo devices, being popular even though they might have all the boxes ticked. The Wii version of the game has more features compared to the others, notably better controls and sound coming out of the remote.
The gameplay is still that of an action-adventure title in 3D, with context-sensitive controls. The story revolves around Link having to save the world from the Twilight. The kingdom is in shambles and some familiar antagonists are up to no good.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Developer: Nintendo EAD
The second Mario Galaxy game is an even better title than the first one, according to many people. It improves upon everything from the first game, from the gameplay, visuals, and music, to the overall feeling of immersion.
The premise of the game is similar to the last one, collecting stars and beating various levels, and at the end of each, a boss. The varying gravity returns, bringing new challenges. This is considered one of the best Wii games and the sales reflect that.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
Developer: Sega Sports R&D
Mario & Sonic was a team-up waiting to happen since Sega stopped hardware production after the Dreamcast. There were various talks in the early 2000s of a crossover game, but it happened later when Sega got the license for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
This is the second title in the series, for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. Both games were commercially successful, so it is up to you which season you prefer. This is one of the best Wii games, making full use of the Nunchuk controller.
Mario Kart Wii
Developer: Nintendo EAD
Mario Kart games have been successful from the first one so it comes as no surprise that the Wii version also did well. What made the game even more successful, sales-wise, was the inclusion of the Wii Wheel with every copy of the game.
The wheel is a wireless steering wheel which makes racing games more immersive than the standard remote. Mario Kart Wii is the second best-selling Wii game, only behind Wii Sports. Consequently, it is one of the best Wii games, and a solid racing game as well.
Developer: Junction Point Studios
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios/Nintendo
Mickey Mouse is one of Disney’s most familiar characters, so him having a Wii-exclusive title makes sense. The game is a 3D platformer with various challenges from the very start. It has a morality system that changes based on your actions in the game.
The game revolves around the magical world of Yen Sid, who has a workshop. Mickey enters this workshop and causes mischief. This leads to the creation of a monster, as well as the Wasteland. Mickey needs to solve the problem he created.
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Developer: Retro Studios
Donkey Kong Country Returns brings back some of the favorite things from the original Country game, such as Donkey and Diddy, swinging, getting bananas, collecting letters, and defeating enemies. It is also a 2D platformer.
A new enemy appears, the Tikis. They use music to hypnotize various animals and once more, steal the Kong banana hoard. It is up to Donkey and Diddy to get their hoard back, being resistant to the music. This is one of the best Wii games.
Kirby’s Epic Yarn
Developer: Good-Feel/HAL Laboratory
Kirby games are always cheerful and lovely to play. Epic Yarn brings us a similar Kirby 2D platformer experience with drastic changes to Kirby. Kirby’s been changed into a character made out of yarn!
The entire world, actually, is made out of yarn. This makes the visuals very appealing and the world completely different. The art style is refreshing but also familiar. Kirby’s powers have changed because he is now basically a piece of yarn.
Developer: Sonic Team/Dimps
Sonic games being released on Nintendo consoles is a nice surprise for Sega and Nintendo fans. Sonic Unleashed is a 3D action-adventure game with Sonic as the lead character. He gets in trouble battling Dr. Eggman and must stop him.
There are some consequences from the first battle because come night, Sonic transforms into a Werehog. His arms get longer and he is much stronger, but also slower. The levels change from fast action to slower with different types of challenges, suited to Werehog Sonic.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Developer: Retro Studios/Nintendo
The Prime series of Metroid games is a trilogy, Corruption being the third and final game. It is a first-person 3D action-adventure title, with the legendary Samus Aran as the main character. It is a direct sequel to Prime 2: Echoes.
Being a Metroid game, you have to navigate an open world, solve puzzles, and shoot enemies. The story revolves around Space Pirates, Samus’ evil doppelganger, as well as a danger to an entire world and beyond. This is one of the best Wii games, which is common for a Metroid title.
Pokemon Battle Revolution
Developer: Genius Sonority
Pokemon games typically did much better on handheld Nintendo consoles, though this is far from the standard Pokemon title. It is a turn-based strategy game that puts you in the position of a Pokemon trainer fighting in a tournament.
Most of the game is oriented around fights, typically Colosseum fights. The Crystal, Gateway, and Neon Colosseum are available, each being a different style of battle. The first is a tournament, the second used by rental pass owners, and the third a wheel-of-fortune battle.
Developer: Next Level Games
Wii games that did well were the ones that made the best use of its unique controls. Punch-Out!! made great use of the remote, the swings mimicking punching. Every character except Mike Tyson from the 1987 Punch-Out!! title returns.
You control Little Mac, a boxer who wants to get to the top. The art style is very colorful. The game is reflex-based, so it will be akin to real boxing, without the consequences. Be careful not to hit something as it is a very immersive title, one of the best Wii games.
Developer: Ubisoft Paris
Red Steel is a first-person action-adventure title that puts you in the shoes of Scott Monroe, a bodyguard. Upon reaching a hotel with his fiancee, Miyu Sato, to meet her father, Isao Sato, things get very ugly and he ends up with a katana and gun.
The basic gameplay consists of gunplay and fighting with the katana. The game can have deathless fights if you disarm the enemy prior to killing them. It has diverse gameplay and despite the criticism, it is one of the top Wii games.
Resident Evil 4
Developer: Capcom Production Studio 4
Resident Evil is a famous franchise where every game seems as good as, if not better than the previous one. It leaves the survival aspect aside, focusing more on combat and action. With that, we get a new protagonist, Leon S. Kennedy.
The game starts with Leon being sent to Spain to rescue the daughter of the US President. When searching a village, he gets attacked by simple farmers who turn incredibly hostile. The story takes off in what is one of the best Wii games and in general a great RE title.
Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier/Paris/Casablanca
Rayman games are always fun and bring entertainment to the platformer genre. With puzzles, hidden bonuses, and attention to detail, every game is a gem. Origins was released on many platforms, though it plays well on all of them.
It is a 2D platformer, like the original. The story is centered around Rayman having to rescue the Glade from nightmares. It is a cartoonish experience that doesn’t take itself too seriously but has great gameplay and artwork.
Kirby’s Return to Dream Land
Developer: HAL Laboratory
Another Kirby game, though this one is more traditional in its approach than Epic Yarn. Going back to its 2.5D gameplay design, Kirby has to deal with new issues while facing various challenges. The old powers are back, with a twist.
Kirby now has a super inhale, where the range is extended and larger objects and enemies can be inhaled. He can also copy some of the inhaled enemies’ abilities. Only a single ability can be copied at a time. Return to Dream Land is one of the best Wii games and a great platformer.
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Guitar Hero titles were by no means new at this point, but this one had something special about it, hence why it was purchased many times. Using a simple controller with colored buttons, you could feel like a rockstar from the first song you played.
Whether playing a single song or going for a career, you use the colored buttons to match the ones on the screen. Be careful, music is fluid. Once the moment is over, it is best to look towards the next part of the song.
The Nintendo Wii popularized more involved gaming with motion-tracking controllers. From swinging, walking, and moving around, to panic flailing, the Wii gave developers and manufacturers an idea of what innovation could do when done right.
These twenty are some of the best Wii games out there, though the library has many more gems that someone might prefer. Whether by using a Wii emulator, or by installing Android on your Nintendo Switch, or by purchasing an actual Wii and the games, these titles can be played.
Unless Nintendo brings back the titles for the Switch, most of these cannot be played using official resources. Modding your Switch or running an emulator is the next best thing if you want to try the top Wii games in a modern setting.