Wii U

10 Best Launch Titles, According To Metacritic

Nintendo is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the release of the Wii U in November 2022. Best remembered for its tablet controller, the GamePad, the console always had to climb uphill as the successor of the sensational Nintendo Wii.

In the GamePad and console’s launch titles, one can find the connective tissue between the Wii and Switch. Third-party games were finally released on Nintendo systems with near-exact parity, and the ability to play console games off of the TV would later serve as a selling point of the Switch. But via the lens of Metacritic, even 10 years later, fans of the Wii U can still celebrate the best titles of the console.


10 Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition – 80

Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition is a 2D action platformer from developer WayForward Technologies, Inc. The game follows cyborg police officer Patricia Wagon as she rounds up escaped convicts.

Related: 10 Best Wii U Games That Are Still Fun To Play

This Wii U port of a 3DS eShop title updates the game’s graphics and includes all of the original release’s DLC. Brand new to the fame is the release’s Hyper Mode levels, a revision to the game that increases the difficulty of levels.

9 Call Of Duty: Black Ops II – 81

call of duty black ops II poster

In Call of Duty: Black Ops II, developer Treyarch returns the franchise to a Cold War setting and continues the story of the previous original Black Ops. The result is one of the best titles in the Call of Duty franchise.

After a generation of watered-down Call of Duty ports on the Wii, Nintendo finally received console parity with the Wii U release of Black Ops II. Exclusive to the Wii U version is the ability to play local multiplayer on two screens with one player on the TV and the other on the GamePad.

8 Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition – 83

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 revives the franchise’s tag team iteration. Retaining Tekken’s beloved characters and fighting system, this sub-franchise features deeper combos through its tag mechanics.

This addition to the Wii U catalog embraces the zaniness of Nintendo’s legacy. The Tekken roster can don costumes based on Nintendo favorites like Mario, Link, Samus, and Captain Falcon. Additionally, the game has two exclusive modes: the Tekken/volleyball hybrid Tekken Ball and Mario Kart-esque Mushroom Battle.

7 New Super Mario Bros. U – 84

In New Super Mario Bros.follows the similar tropes of the Mario series, Bowser kidnaps Peach and it’s up to Mario and pals to save the princess. In this installment, Mario and the gang can use the Super Acron to obtain the Flying Squirrel form.

Related: 10 Most Likable Characters In The Mario Video Game Franchise

The fourth title in Nintendo’s rebooted 2D platformer franchise saw the famed plumber level up to HD graphics. The GamePad introduced a new “Boost Mode” where a player on the GamePad can aid or troll the other players by placing additional blocks in the level.

6 Trine 2: Director’s Cut – 84

Frozenbyte’s puzzle platforming sidescroller Trine 2 follows Amadeus the Wizard, Pontius the Knight, and Zoya the Thief as they venture through a fantastical land filled with goblins, magic, and elemental puzzles.

Trine 2 is the highest-rated eShop exclusive Wii U launch title. In the director’s cut, developer Frozenbyte includes the Goblin’s Menace expansion, the exclusive Dwarven Towers level, and support for a variety of controllers (GamePad, Wii Remotes, Nunchuks, Wii U Pro Controllers, and Wii Classic Controllers).

5 Batman: Arkham City – Armored Edition – 85

Batman: Arkham City returns to the critically acclaimed Arkham universe by expanding into a larger open world. Over the course of one night, Batman must deal with his rogue gallery of villains including Bane, Mr. Freeze, and the Joker.

Rocksteady’s sophomore swing at Batman includes more updates than many of the other Wii U ports. In addition to GamePad support for the map and gadgets, this package adds all of the DLC packs and costumes as well as a new combat power-up system called BAT Mode.

4 Darksiders II – 85

Death standing in front of dead spirits in Darkiders 2

In the follow-up to their hack and slash action-adventure, Vigil Games iterated with the sequel Darksiders II. As Death, players are on a quest to clear his brother’s name.

Related: 10 Best Wii U Ports You Need To Play On Switch

The Wii U iteration of Darksiders II has minor console-specific features, motion controls can be used to dodge and the GamePad can be used for a map and to equip items. This release stood out from the originals for including the Argul’s Tomb DLC and Death Rides, Angel of Death, Shadow of Death, and Deadly Despair Packs.

3 NBA 2K13 – 85

The Dream Team in NBA 2K13

Take control of your favorite NBA stars in NBA 2K13. This iteration was executive produced by Jay-Z who designed the game and curated the soundtrack.

Released a month after the Sony and Microsoft releases, the Wii U port of NBA 2K13 has minor unique features. During matches, the Wii U GamePad can activate the Gatorade Biometric Scan, allowing players to scan their team and designate which players are less tired.

2 Assassin’s Creed III – 85

In the epic finale of the Desmond Miles arc, Assassin’s Creed 3 takes players to the American Revolution. The game memorably introduced the franchise to naval combat.

This installment in Ubisoft’s popular open-world series is one of the Wii U’s more timely launch ports, coming only weeks after the PS3 and Xbox 360 releases. This port offers direct access to the map on the Wii U GamePad. Additionally, the GamePad features shortcut buttons for actions like whistling for your horse.

1 Mass Effect 3: Special Edition – 85

Kaidan, male Shepard and Liara in Mass Effect 3.

In the final installment in Bioware’s iconic sci-fi trilogy, Mass Effect 3, Commander Shepard must recruit neighboring allies in the fight against The Reapers.

The original Mass Effect trilogy has the odd distinction of debuting on Nintendo consoles with the epic finale. To make up for the first two acts, the game offers an interactive comic to serve as a recap and allows the player to make story-defining choices. Additionally, the Wii U GamePad offered instantaneously access to the map and team stats.

Next: The 10 Best-Selling Nintendo Wii U Games

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