10 Best Nintendo Wii Games of All Time, Ranked
Wii wants to rate games
The Nintendo Wii was gaming’s biggest magic trick.
Back in 2006, the Wii felt like the next frontier for gaming. Swinging your arm to throw a bowling ball was so immersive that people smashed their TVs without thinking about it. But as the console aged, the luster of motion controls faded. What started with “can you imagine playing Smash Bros with the Wii remote?” quickly turned into “please don’t give me the Wii remote to play Smash Bros.”
Still, the games that understood the benefits and limitations of the system were unforgettable. The Wii has some experiences you still can’t anywhere else, despite the rise of virtual reality. Even the system’s background music fills the Wii to the brim with personality. As usual, it’s virtually impossible to distill a system’s years-long legacy into 10 games. Super Paper Mario, No more heroes, Knock out!!, Bit Trip Complete, Crazy worldand Excitebots deserves honorable mentions among many others. That being said, let’s dive into ten games that cement the Wii’s place in history.
10: Klonoa (2008)
If you’ve been following me on Destructoid, you know I love Klonoa. Although I can’t in good conscience rate the Wii remake off Klonoa: Door to Phantomile higher than this I cannot in good conscience omit either.
Even if some of it is misunderstood, you can tell that a lot of love went into this remake. The visuals are stunning, the controls are tight, and the level design is true to the PlayStation original. Wii Klonoa also offers a few features you won’t find in Phatasie Reverie Series, like crazy extra challenges and a full English voiceover (which admittedly pales in comparison to the Phantomilian voice acting). It’s a game that deserved to sell more than the ten copies it did, especially considering I was responsible for nine of them.
9: WarioWare: Smooth Moves (2006)
WarioWare Smooth Moves do what the Wii was always meant to do: make you look stupid in front of your friends.
Sure, this isn’t a deep game, but it’s an experience you just don’t get on other consoles. The humor here is iconic to the point that even the tutorial is funny. The presentation is clean WarioWare, with pictures there is a fine line between clean and rough. And the minigames… I mean, it has the dance game. If you never tricked your friends into playing this for fun, I’m sorry.
8: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006)
twilight princess may not be the best Zelda game, but it was a damn launch title.
You can tell this is a GameCube title at its core, but just enough motion controls were added to sell the Wii features without detracting from the experience. I wouldn’t necessarily go back to this version of twilight princess, because let’s face it, pressing a button to swing a sword is better than wagging the remote. Still, this was a valiant effort to capture Nintendo’s core fanbase before the Wii found a foothold with the casual audience.
7: Muramasa: The Demon Blade (2009)
Speaking of core gamers, we were a sad bunch if we didn’t have a PS3 or Xbox 360 at the midpoint of the seventh console generation. Sure, Nintendo’s offerings were amazing, but we were so desperate for quality 3rd party titles that games like Mortal creatures and Opoona generated hype on message boards. Every drop of quality we got was special, making games like Muramasa: The Demon Blade stands out much more.
The Wii couldn’t compete with the 3D visuals of the competition, but the 2D art here sang on the Wii. While this lacks the exploration of a proper Metroidvania, it more than makes up for it with flashy and fun hack-and-slash gameplay. This is by no means a perfect game, but its place in the Wii library makes it as iconic as Vanillaware’s other titles.
6: Mega Man 9 (2008)
I can’t really convey how exciting Mega Man 9 was when it was announced. As the game that arguably inspired several retro revivals from this era, Mega Man 9 came swinging out the gate. Between the faithful presentation, the creative achievements and arguably the best weapon set in the series, this wasn’t just any Mega man. This was top classic Mega man.
Even though this is a multi-platform release, it just feels right to play this on the Wii. Flipping the Wii Remote on its side like an NES controller really made it feel like this was a new NES game and not just an homage. Even the native lack of HDMI support added to the authenticity. Mega Man 9 is good no matter where you play it, but this version is as authentic as it gets without porting it to the NES.
5: Metroid Prime Trilogy (2009)
This is almost unfair to include, but at the same time, Holy Moly what a value this package was.
Not only did you get Metroid Prime 3 while it was still sold individually, you had the two iconic predecessors included with revamped controls to boot. Describes all three Metroid Prime games would fill an article on their own, so just know The Metroid Prime Trilogy is still the best way to play this series to this day. That is until Nintendo finally releases these games on the Switch, which according to reports should happen about three years ago.
4: Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008)
Super Smash Bros Brawl is arguably the most infamous entry in the series. At the same time, it’s like saying that the Lighthouse of Alexandria is the world’s least favorite wonder.
Fight is a fantastic game on its own merits. If nothing else, creates Subspace Emissary Fight worth a visit to this day. While I admit this single player campaign is a bit of a mess, it’s the best kind of mess. I love the elaborate stories between the movies that play out like a huge hodgepodge of fan fiction mixed together. I love the surreal mix of iconic Nintendo enemies and the lifeless grunts with their weird red eyes. The boss fights are also genuinely exciting, which certainly paved the way for the single player challenges in Super Smash Bros Ultimate.
Plus, if I’m being honest, playing multiplayer Fight is still a good time. If you lacked access to another version of the Smash Bros for some reason this one still does the trick.
3: Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition (2007)
There is no need to describe Resident Evil 4. It is considered one of the best games of all time and I love every minute of this horror adventure. But for all the re-releases and remasters this game has received, Wii edition is still one of the best.
Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition comes packed with the content added to the PS2 version. More importantly, the Wii controls change everything with this game. While the slow pace of the series’ trademark tank controls remains, Wii edition makes Leon aim like a champ. In fact, the motion controls feel much more natural here than fast-paced modern games that support gyro aiming. Getting headshots and shooting projectiles out of the air is so much fun that I don’t even care if it’s effective, I just enjoy doing it.
Does this make the game significantly easier? Yes, very yes. But if I wanted to prove my hardcore gaming credentials, I’d hit Ninja Gaiden for NES without use continues. This is an insanely fun way to play an all-time classic game, and Resident Evil 4 Remake Better be prepared if it wants to compete with this version.
2: Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 (2007 and 2010)
Super Mario Galaxy and the sequel are two of the best Mario game of the ages. In fact, even compared to the Switch version of the Galaxy, these games play so naturally with the Wii Remote and Nunchuck. I’d say more here, but I was already waxing poetic about these titles in my prime Mario playlist.
1: Wii Sports & Wii Sports Resort (2006 and 2009)
There are moments in life when everything feels perfect. Perhaps it is a birthday celebration where you are surrounded by your closest friends. Or maybe it’s the first time you hold your crush’s hand. When I remember all my friends and family members excitedly gathered around the TV to play Wii Sports after the Wii launched, that’s the feeling I get.
If the Wii was gaming’s greatest magic trick, Wii Sports was the beautiful assistant. By offering basic yet familiar sports to play with the Wii remote, we were sold the fantasy of immersive gaming. That might sound deceiving, except here’s the thing: magic shows are fun. You can reduce this game to the simplest possible moves, but it’s much more fun to embrace the illusion. There are far deeper games than that Wii Sports on this system, and Wii Sports Resort is technically the better game. Still, the simplicity and accessibility of the original Wii Sports cannot be matched.
As you are probably aware, the casual gaming market exploded shortly after the release of the Wii. The rise of smartphones gave non-gamers a platform to suit their needs with titles to match. But at this one moment in history, everyone from the hardest core players to the most casual observers were side by side, all enthusiastic about Wii Sports. Maybe it’s silly to rank a game so highly for its universal appeal, especially after I’ve ranked franchises by listening to my heart. Yet in a world as chaotic and divisive as ours, a small moment of unity like playing Wii Sports fills me with peace. Although it is more difficult to gather the family around Wii Sports now than it was in 2006, I will hold on to that memory for as long as I can.