Top 10 Favorite Wii Games
In the grand scheme of things, the Wii is a pretty strange game console. One look at the controller next to a lineup of other controllers is enough to tell you that. The motion controls were utilized in very entertaining ways in some games, and shoehorned in as gimmicky “waggle tech” mechanics in others. I have a lot of fond memories of playing Wii games of both kinds, but in retrospect it seems like I enjoyed games with more traditional controls more. Here’s a list of my top 10 favorite Wii games!
A disclaimer before we start, some games just barely missed this list. One that comes to mind is WarioWare: Smooth Moves. I had forgotten about that game for years, but something reminded me about it a while back, and that was sort of the driving force to creating this list. Unfortunately for WarioWare, I kept remembering more and more Wii games I enjoyed and it eventually fell to the bottom spot on the list, and then got pushed off entirely.
Also, I haven’t played The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, so you won’t find that here!
10. LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
The title is a little ironic now that there’s a full 3 movies beyond what once was the “Complete Saga,” but that doesn’t change the fact that this is an awesome LEGO game. At least, I really enjoyed it. Playing through episodes 1 through 6 of Star Wars presented in an adorable LEGO form was awesome, and I enjoyed it so much I eventually gathered all collectibles.
9. Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World
When I initially played this game, I thought it was a fun but disappointing sequel to Tales of Symphonia. When I replayed it on PS3 as part of the Tales of Symphonia Chronicles compilation, I enjoyed it a lot more! In both versions, the battle system is improved from the original Tales of Symphonia on GameCube, and adds nice options like a free run ability in battle. The biggest letdown was the fact that the characters from the first game take a backseat in this one. Instead, the story follows two new characters: Emil and Marta. They can be annoying at times, but I did grow to like them, and the journey they get caught up in is pretty interesting with some fun twists.
8. Mario Kart Wii
Mario Kart Wii came with the “Wii Wheel,” which housed the Wii remote and was supposed to provide a more immersive motion control driving experience, I guess? I played the game with that control scheme a bit, but I’m really glad it also supported GameCube controllers, since that’s the control scheme I used most of the time. I’ve always been only casually into the Mario Kart series. Racing games aren’t really my thing, with the exception of Mario Kart, so I’ve never really analyzed and compared drifting mechanics between the games. Anyway, I really enjoyed this game. The addition of bikes added more variety to vehicles, and allowed you to do wheelies to gain speed boosts.
7. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Though I’d say it’s my least favorite in the trilogy since it’s much more narrative focused, and less driven by player exploration than the previous games, Metroid Prime 3 was still a great game. I don’t remember specifically how comfortable the controls were, since I haven’t played this in a long time, but I don’t remember any major issues. The story is quite an adventure, and it was a properly epic closing to the original Prime trilogy.
6. Rock Band 2
Rock Band 2 probably seems like a weird pick for a favorite Wii game, but I have a ton of fond memories playing it and the original on Wii. The reason it’s here over the first game is that it’s a much more full-featured port than the original Rock Band on Wii. It allows you create and customize characters, and has support for DLC, both of which the first game lacked on Wii. I had a ton of fun playing songs with the guitar and drum peripherals with my friends and family, and sometimes I miss the era when games like this were popular.
I also enjoyed the Wii version of The Beatles Rock Band spin-off game, though that was more for the music and Beatles history since it had fewer features than a main entry in the series.
5. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Brawl marked a turning point for Smash Bros.. For the first time, third-party characters were being included in the roster. The addition of Sonic and Snake transformed the series from a celebration of Nintendo franchises to a celebration of video games as a whole. Though Brawl might not be good for competitive play, I’ve only ever played Smash Bros. casually, and it was excellent in that regard! Chock full of new characters, stages, items, and the jaw-dropping Final Smash attacks, Super Smash Bros. Brawl was a dream come true. Plus, it had a full story mode with Subspace Emissary, and it was awesome seeing the characters meet up on that journey!
4. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
This game is the reason I wanted to get a Wii in the first place. I’m not entirely sure why, because it came out on GameCube as well. Maybe I didn’t know it was coming to GameCube at the time? Although the Wii version did come out about a month earlier than the GameCube version, so maybe I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Either way, it was the first Wii game I owned, besides Wii Sports which came with the console. Admittedly, the Wiimote and nunchuck aren’t the best control scheme. Aiming with the Wiimote is kind of gimmicky, but it worked well enough, and at the time I probably thought it was the coolest thing ever. The non-standard controller didn’t bog me down though. Twilight Princess on the Wii blew me away!
It had this dark, mature storyline, set in a realistic and gritty Hyrule. Combat was expanded with awesome features like finishing moves, counterattacks, and mounted combat. There were new twists on familiar equipment, like the Gale Boomerang and the Clawshot. Twilight Princess isn’t my favorite Zelda game, because when I most recently tried to replay it I got fatigued from the sheer number of dungeons in this game. But it’s still a wonderful entry in the series, provides a wonderfully unique depiction of Hyrule, and it still has moments that I really love. Also, I has some of the best music in the series, and the Hyrule Field theme still gets stuck in my head randomly.
3. Super Mario Galaxy
Super Mario Galaxy I think remains the only 3D Mario game I’ve collected all the stars in. I had played a bit of Super Mario 64 before, but never beaten it, and Super Mario Sunshine, but never got all the Shine Sprites. But Galaxy just caught my attention and didn’t let go until every star was in my possession. At that point, I remember unlocking Luigi as a playable character, which was awesome! I don’t think I collected all the stars as Luigi as well, so I guess I didn’t technically 100% complete the game as some stars are only available once the rest of the stars have been collected by both Mario and Luigi. Even so, I played a lot of Super Mario Galaxy, and loved its environments, gameplay, and music!
2. Super Paper Mario
Super Paper Mario took large steps away from its predecessors by replacing the turn-based combat with mostly platforming-based combat, and in that regard it feels much more like Super Mario Bros. than it does Paper Mario. The main hook here is that you can switch between 2D and 3D modes to discover new parts of the environment and solve puzzles. It’s like the Paper Mode mechanic of Thousand-Year Door on steroids, and it makes for some interesting puzzles and gameplay. Super Paper Mario has a great story and characters, and the writing fully maintains the zany aesthetic of Thousand-Year Door. It’s a very good game if you’re looking for a unique action RPG.
1. Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
The trailers for this game got me so hyped for it. I was a big fan of Path of Radiance on GameCube, so a sequel to that game was super exciting. After watching the trailers numerous times waiting for the game to come out, eventually it was in my hands.
I’ll admit, initially I was thrown off by the start of the story. You don’t play as Ike until several chapters into the game, instead controlling the new character Micaiah and her friend, the returning character Sothe. I grew to appreciate the new characters too though, and the combat was every bit as good as Path of Radiance. I don’t remember exactly all the changes that were made between the two games. I think the Laguz work differently, and probably a few other mechanics were added and updated too. It was a fantastic game, with an epic story. I have more fond memories of Path of Radiance, but Radiant Dawn is a fantastic game as well, and definitely a worthy follow up in my mind.