The 28 Best Wii Games
- December 10, 2009 19:00 PM PST
- No More Heroes
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When the motion-control concept for the Wii was announced, thousands of fanboy brains immediately gravitated towards one franchise: Star Wars. While LucasArts was working overtime to produce The Force Unleashed and The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels, they were beaten to the punch by Ubisoft and Grasshopper Manufacture, the publisher-developer team behind the stylish action title No More Heroes. With a dorky protagonist, a lightsaber-esque weapon, buckets of blood, and lots of inspiration from icons of pop-culture like Kill Bill, Star Wars, and 8-bit gaming, No More Heroes is made for the hardcore gamer nerd in all of us.
- Mega Man 9
Mega Man 9 represents what the series used to be like before fancy additions like Dash Boots and wall-jumping. More difficult than Devil May Cry 3, less forgiving than BattleToads, and almost as maddening as Ghosts 'n Goblins, this return to old-school form for Capcom could go down in history as one of the most difficult games ever made. Leaving the X series and its embarrassing anime-related spinoffs, Mega Man 9 once again pits the Blue Bomber against Dr. Wily and a new crew of Master Robots, showing that simple 80's style gameplay can still be more punishing than life itself in the right hands. Capcom's love letter to the 8-bit era packs impressive challenge, toe-tapping chiptunes, and retro soul in a great Wii game.
- Super Paper Mario
Hitting the Nintendo Wii in 2007, the nostalgia-fest of Super Paper Mario truly changed everything we thought we knew about perspective. The game's main gimmick of spontaneously shifting from two to three dimensions on the fly was pure genius, and developer Intelligent Systems did it with jaw-dropping finesse. Moreover, Super Paper Mario also brought back classic levels and memorable characters that were clearly styled after their 8-bit origins, mixing things up with entirely new gameplay, puzzles, and challenges. Sure, this game was meant to hold Nintendo fans over until Super Mario Galaxy finally got out of the gate, but it proved to be a leading act all by itself.
- Muramasa: The Demon Blade
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Oddly enough, Muramasa is one of those games that seems like it requires you to be swinging the Wii Remote like a spastic maracas musician. Thankfully, the team of Vanillaware and Ignition Entertainment realized that they'd be indirectly responsible for millions of broken TV sets, and kept Muramasa simple. Set against some of the most breath-taking artwork we've ever seen in any Wii game, The Demon Blade tells the feudal-era tale of Kisuke and Momohime, an amnesiac shinobi and a possessed princess, set against the backdrop of some wickedly awesome figures in Japanese mythology. Simple controls, light-speed katana-clashing combat, and award-worthy visuals easily make this Wii game a must-have for your collection. With such fine hand-drawn art rounding out this beautiful title, you might never play anything this pretty in 2D again (outside of Odin Sphere, of course).
Okami was the definition of buried treasure when it was released for the PlayStation 2. From various "Editors' Choice" awards to near-universal praise across the globe (even netting perfect scores from GamePro, Eurogamer, and the now-defunct Newtype USA), nearly every publication heaped praise on Okami for its wonderful design and innovative calligraphy-based gameplay system. With its second release on the Wii, gamers once again had the opportunity to witness Okami's refreshing watercolor art style and Legend of Zelda-inspired combat as they helped sun goddess Amaterasu save classical-era Japan from darkness. Sadly, this port is still undervalued, yet one of the highest rated games to ever be released on the Nintendo Wii.
Gore, blood, and dismembered bodies probably aren't the first things that come to mind when you think about the best Wii games around. But then again, MadWorld is pretty much five miles out in left field when compared to the rest of this lineup. Touted as a rare M-rated title for the Nintendo Wii, MadWorld put you in a "Kill or Be Killed" world that delivered deliciously dark ways to murder, maim, and mash the living Hell out of anyone who gets in your way. By far, some of our favorite moments include the "Bloodbath Challenges," like Rocket Reamer and Man Golf. Oh, and stepping up the difficulty just makes the game even better, so don't wuss out.
- Mario Strikers Charged
Hey, it doesn't matter if you live for the sport or if you don't know that a good shin guard can prevent soccer cleats from breaking your bones, Mario Strikers Charged is some of the most fun to be had on the Wii. There's a reason we still love this game here at GamePro HQ, well over two years since it's arrived in our office. The fast-paced arcade play is extremely balanced, with every character offering distinct advantages and disadvantages. All of the items are set at the exact right power, too -- good enough to provide a potential advantage, but still something that can be overcome with enough skill. Mario Strikers Charged is the best arcade-style soccer game we've ever played, and one of the best Wii games you'll be able to share with your buddies.
- The Beatles: Rock Band
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If you own a Nintendo Wii, there's bound to be a party around the corner. And sometimes, there's no better music to have for your shindig than that of the Beatles. By now, most Wii owners should have a plastic mountain of Rock Band and Guitar Hero peripherals, and putting them to use with the musical stylings of the world's greatest four-man band just makes sense. What makes The Beatles: Rock Band an especially good fit for the Wii is the wide appeal of the music. Parents and the younger members of the family alike can groove to "A Hard Day's Night", "Taxman" and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", and you'll never come across a single Jimmy Eat World song.
- World of Goo
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Nintendo's WiiWare service may not spawn as many hits as the in-house company, but games like World of Goo are exactly the kind of thing we want to see as downloadable content. Taking the simple concept of building blocks and using the adorable little "Goo Balls" as playable characters, World of Goo gives gamers the puzzling challenge of constructing oddly-shaped objects in order to reach the exits of various levels. What makes World of Goo such a challenge is the need to fight various elements, like gravity, gaping pits, and various death traps. It's no wonder this title won so many awards, including honors at the Independent Games Festival of the Game Developers Conference in 2007. If you don't own this awesome Wii game, at least give it a try.
While it took Little Mac a pretty long time (about 15 years!) to get back in the gym, a few rounds with the new Punch-Out!! proves that the champ isn't showing many signs of ring rust. Reuniting the Nintendo Club with their favorite boxers from around the globe, Punch-Out!! pits you in the ring against old opponents like King Hippo, Piston Honda, and even that French wimp Don Flamenco. Surprisingly, the new Punch-Out!! also throws a few new things out for long-time fans, like a hotly-desired head-to-head mode and the ego-stompingly difficult Title Defense mode. Think Von Kaiser was a pushover the first time around? Don't lose your drive after he takes away your Championship Belt.