Do you need some help choosing a Wii U for friends and family this holiday season? Here is your guide to selecting the games that really stand out on the Wii U. Most of these games can’t be found elsewhere at all and a few have definitive versions on the Wii U. These are the top 10 games you should check out on the Wii U for the holiday season.
1. Super Mario 3D World
By far, the best reason to own a Wii U is to play Super Mario 3D World. Nintendo’s EAD team is one of the most experienced and polished development studios in the entire industry. I’d go so far as to say they are the epitome of gaming developers. Their last two games released were Super Mario Galaxy 2 for Wii and Super Mario 3D Land for 3DS. So, which genre did they aim for in this first 3D Mario game for Wii U? The semi-fixed level direction of Super Mario 3D Land? Or the free-roam camera of Super Mario Galaxy 2? Honestly, it’s a cross between the two. It has the platforming layout of Super Mario 3D Land but the levels are much more expansive and the graphics are absolutely stunning, like the art style of the Galaxy series.
2. Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD
Wind Waker was already a cult hit on the Gamecube and now it has only gotten better. There were a few hiccups in the GCN version that held some people back from fully enjoying the experience. Those, such as slow sailing and fetch quests, have now been improved upon so as not to slow down the flow and pace of the game. Plus, the graphics have received an entirely new lighting engine and HD resolution, which makes the cartoony art style come to life.
3. Pikmin 3
Pikmin 3 is the ideal version of what Shigeru Miyamoto had in mind when he created the Pikmin series. The much more powerful hardware allows you to see tremendous detail in your environments and to zoom out so you can micromanage multiple teams within one map. If you enjoy strategy games and Nintendo charm, Pikmin 3 is not a game you want to miss out on.
4. The Wonderful 101
Fans are divided about The Wonderful 101. So, will you enjoy it? Basically, it comes down to one question: are you a mainstream gamer or a hardcore gamer? If you are hardcore then you’ll have a blast with TW101. It may turn out to be your favorite Wii U game. The Wonderful 101 doesn’t like to hold your hand. It expects you to learn the ropes through experimentation and practice. It will challenge you. It will throw all sorts of mayhem at your screen. And if you can handle the extreme action then you are in for one heck of a ride.
How about another misunderstood game? If you’re looking for another Call of Duty shooter that happens to star zombies, you’ve come to the wrong place. ZombiU is not a shooter. It’s a survival horror game with incredible innovation. You’ll be terrified as you ration your supplies, hold off zombies with a cricket bat, and run for your life. And, if you want a game that is a real showcase for your gamer friends of the kind of innovation the Wii U GamePad can bring to mature games, this will be the ace up your sleeve.
6. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
Ready to sink thousands of hours into a game together with your friends? Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate will give you the most bang for your buck as you go hour after hour, trying to chop off that monster tail so you can finally upgrade to the next level of armor. If you don’t see daylight for a few months, don’t blame it on me. I warned you.
7. Lego City Undercover
Lego City Undercover is a brilliantly fun and silly romp that will tickle your funny bone and have you laughing all the while. Not to mention, the game is pure, unadulterated fun through and through. Enjoy a GTA-like game that never takes itself too seriously but never lets up on the gas when it comes to gameplay.
8. New Super Mario Bros U / New Super Luigi U
This 2D Mario Bros experience is one of my favorite 2D Mario games in a long time. I’ve played through all of Nintendo’s recent New Super Mario Bros games and this one rises above the rest. It is purely due to the incredible variety held within its levels/powerups and the challenge of getting all three star coins in each level.
9. Wii Party U
Remember Wii Sports? That was the game you showed your friends and family when you wanted to impress them with what motion controls could do for gaming. It was instantly understood intuitively by each person holding the Wiimote and soon had them laughing and playing along. Although Nintendo had hoped this would happen once again with NintendoLand, the game that finally succeeds is Wii Party U. There are tons of mini-games that will get your friends and family quickly up to speed about how much fun the Wii U could be.
10. Need for Speed Most Wanted U
Criterion used to make the Burnout series. Then they started working on Need for Speed. And here they have a game that feels almost like a combination of the two. With Need for Speed Most Wanted U, Criterion took the Xbox 360/PS3 version of the game and improved upon it tremendously both in visuals, extra modes, and controls. This is a great racing game for any Wii U owner to have, whether you like to play alone or with friends.