It’s been many years now since Nintendo changed the game with Wii, the little motion-controlled console which broke away from the competition and started a revolution. Its brilliantly compact design (the size of three DVD boxes, remember?) and approachable and accessible controller helped it open up gaming to a whole new audience, young and old alike.
Despite its reputation as a casual, ‘kiddy’ console, Nintendo Wii hosted a huge library of fantastic and varied titles, the best of which took advantage of its unique controller and provided opportunities for experiences that simply weren’t being offered on other consoles at the time. Thanks to the efforts of Nintendo Life readers, we’ve now assembled our list of the top 50 Wii games ever.
Any Wii game with at least 50 User Ratings is eligible. Remember, though, that this list is not set in stone. The ranking will continue to evolve automatically according to user scores submitted to the Nintendo Life game database, so don’t worry if you missed out on ‘voting’ — you can still do so by simply scrolling down and rating them now, and the order will be influenced!
You can find more details on the game by reading our vintage reviews, which are accessed by clicking the ‘Review’ button for each game (funny, that). And if you just can’t get enough of ranked lists, we’ve previously assembled lists of the top 50 N64 games, 3DS games, Game Boy games, Nintendo DS games and GameCube games. More than enough to be getting on with!
If there’s a game bubbling under the top 50 that you’d like to rate, feel free to find it using the search tool below and give it a score out of 10. Enough chatter — it’s time to dive into our list of the top 50 Wii games ever. We begin, as is customary, at number 50…
Note. In order for games to become eligible, they need a minimum of 50 User Ratings in total.
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Ganbarion
Pandora’s Tower delivers an involving resource and time-management RPG experience with an imaginative action and combat system. Its overall aesthetic, as well as its focus on a relationship between two characters, are bold design choices that work well as long as you’re willing to invest in the game world. It’s a pity that the experience, most notably the action segments that take up a large part of the 12-15 hour adventure, are partially undermined by technical failings: as a result it’s questionable whether many will engage in multiple playthroughs in pursuit of happier endings. This title has much to recommend it, as long as you’re willing to look beyond some of its faults.
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo EAD
The first 2D Mario game to come to a home console in many years, New Super Mario Bros. Wii brought chaotic local multiplayer to the series and gave old-school fans yearning for a side-on Mushroom Kingdom adventure something to chew on. The stylings of the ‘New’ series might not have been everyone’s cup of tea, but anyone put off by the ‘wah’s and cuteness missed out on a real platforming treat.
Bringing two-player cooperative play to the series’ chaotic mix of surgery, touch/pointer-based gameplay and drama that makes ER look like a trip to the school nurse, Trauma Center: New Blood made you feel like a regular Dr. Clooney with a Wiimote in your hand instead of a scalpel. It also featured proper character dialogue and diabolical schemes behind the scenes. Let’s just hope it’s not this dramatic in a real Emergency Room.
And yes, we know the character’s name in ER wasn’t Dr. Clooney. We know and we don’t care.
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo EAD
New Play Control! Donkey Kong Jungle Beat was the third title in Nintendo’s line of ‘Wiimakes’ and boy, was it good. Everything there was to love about the original can be found here, including a fistful of extra content. The game excels in practically every department, and while it may only take a couple of hours to complete, it’s filled with replay value. The lack of DK Bongo support rankled a little — we love those spectacularly silly peripherals! — but this remains a clever, must-play platformer wherever you can access it.
Publisher: Aksys Games / Developer: Choice Provisions
BIT.TRIP COMPLETE combines all the beat-based WiiWare releases into a single compilation with extras thrown in for good measure, and delivers one of the most entertaining experiences on Wii. Commander Video’s retro style never goes out of fashion, and this package still feels fresh all these years later.
Another awkward transition to the TV screen for a game which began life on a handheld, we wouldn’t recommend playing the WiiWare version of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials & Tribulations these days — besides the fact that you can no longer access the Wii Shop, there are too many excellent alternative ways to play. This port really should have included pointer controls, but even given its sloppy presentation on Wii, the base game is still pretty ace.
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Next Level Games
Mario and his Mushroom Kingdom pals lay out their jumpers for goalposts and have a crack at the beautiful game. Mario Strikers Charged delivers exactly the brand of arcade pyrotechnical take on football you’d expect, and Next Level Games went up another rung on the ladder in Nintendo’s estimations.
Mario Super Sluggers never saw the light of day in PAL regions (probably a wise decision given our general apathy for baseball around these parts — it’s basically American cricket, right?), but this Now Production and Namco Bandai-developed slugger was a sequel to Mario Superstar Baseball on GameCube and put the plumber and his pals on the ball field in a thoroughly serviceable take on the sport.
The Endless Ocean series continued its calming exploration the depths in this sequel which added a little more direction and structure to the first game’s super-chilled marine diving. Don’t get us wrong — you’re not suddenly dealing with umpteen surprise shark attacks or infiltrating Emilio Largo’s underwater complex in an orange wetsuit, but the sense of discovery in Endless Ocean 2: Adventures of the Deep (or Blue World as it was subtitled in North America) is just a little more guided this time. It’s a lovely, calming experience — and we could all do with one of those these days.
We’ve got a very soft spot for Excite Truck, and this sequel — which was never made available in PAL regions — upped the ante with a slightly more playful take on 4×4 racing, with animal-themed ‘bots adding a bit more personality to proceedings. We Europeans are still sore that we never got Excitebots: Trick Racing, and along with Nintendo’s other racing franchises, we hold out hope we’ll see it (again) in some form in the future.