Your grandparents might know the Wii as a home bowling simulator, but the console is much more than that (although Wii Sports does rock). The system has a fantastic library of games, thanks to both Nintendo’s classic franchises as well as solid third-party support (which, sadly, was largely missing from the Wii U).
The Nintendo titles of this generation were next-level good. Obviously, cream of the crop is Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel; these platformers flipped the 3D Mario genre on its head, creating two games full of inventive puzzles, amazing music, and undeniable replay value. The Wii’s two Zelda entries, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, are also must-plays. While motion controls aren’t for everyone, these games’ excellent stories, well-designed dungeons, and classic Zelda exploration make them worth every Nintendo fan’s time.
Metroid Prime Trilogy is the definitive way to experience all three Prime games, while Donkey Kong Country Returns brought new life to the DK franchise. Of course, you have your staple Nintendo party games, Mario Kart Wii and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which still hold up. The ability to control your kart with the Wiimote—especially with the Wii Wheel—was an iconic moment for the series. Brawl has its fans and detractors, but I think it’s safe to say most of us have great memories of playing it nonetheless.
Everyone’s favorite third-party entry seems to be Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition, but there’s an incredible list: Xenoblade Chronicles, Okami, Bully: Scholarship Edition, GoldenEye 007 (a personal favorite), MadWorld, and so much more. Of course, because the Wii existed in every household, there’s an extensive library of shovelware no one should ever bother playing, but a Google search or two is all you need to find the best third-party titles the Wii has to offer.
And yes, many of these titles are also available on the Switch via rereleases and remasters, but you’re almost always going to be paying more for them than you would an original disc. (Its ubiquity means Wii and its games haven’t jumped in value on the collectors’ market quite like the Wii U.)