Time and time again, people often get completely surprised that the Wii actually had a legitimate library of good games, with a fair amount of them NOT being first party titles. So in an attempt to bring some of these to light, here’s a list of Wii exclusives that are good and worth playing. There are some obvious ones here, but also a few one wouldn’t believe were produced for the system.
No More Heroes 2
A superb sequel to an already fantastic hack’n’slash. This is a great example of a game taking the best parts from its predecessor and making them even better, all the while fixing many of the issues people had with the first one but regardless of that, You should give the HD remaster a try. If Kill Bill was a game with a male protagonist, then this would be that game.
Super Paper Mario
Another critically acclaimed first party game that didn’t get much attention. It’s one of the few Mario games that doesn’t follow the classical “Your princess is in another castle.” trope and is all the more better for it. One of the best and most innovative 2D hybrid platformer games out there.
Super Mario Galaxy series
Considered to be some of the best games of all time, the original and its sequel are equally fantastic, which is why they both share a spot on this list. It really doesn’t matter which one you pick up, because you’ll be guaranteed to have a blast either way.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
The first true Zelda game for the Wii, It’s a very colorful and vibrant entry into the series. Artistically most reminiscent of “Wind Waker” but is more “Ocarina of Time” gameplay-wise. Again, there’s not a lot to say about it other than that if you have enjoyed prior Zelda titles, then this probably won’t be an exception.
Even though coming out near the end of the Wii’s life cycle, this little JRPG blew people away with its open-world, real-time battles, intriguing plot and anime art-style. It should also be noted that the Americans had to petition for a release, which they then received a year after the Europeans. Overall a great send-off to the little white console and a demonstration what the console could be capable off, when pushed to its limits. A port for the New 3DS was also released some time later.
The Last Story
Another superb JRPG that was directed by the creator of the Final Fantasy series. Its got great visuals, especially for a Wii title. Featuring an interesting cast of characters with great voice-acting and a very refined active combat system, reminiscent of MMORPG’s. It was extremely surprising to see such a competent title be released for the Wii, especially near the end of its life cycle.
Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure
A witty puzzle-adventure game that a lot of people, including critics, have done shout-outs on multiple occasions but regardless, it never became as popular as it should have. The lack of interest might be bound to the art-style, which might have made the game look a bit to child-centered but considering the Wii was especially popular among families with young children, it makes this argument quite implausible.
Red Steel 2
Unlike the first one, the sequel actually delivers a good game, in the form of a great gameplay, full of samurai sword-fighting, stylish shooting and… sand, lots of sand. Visually, it’s a bit reminiscent of Borderlands, but believe me, this is entirely its own game. It is also noted for having been the first title to make use of the Motion Plus controller add-on.
This was a direct response for those who said the Wii only catered to children. Well, to be honest, a bloody game like this will also probably mostly cater to prepubescent boys but that’s beside the point. The game is almost exclusively presented in black and white, with the exception of blood, which is obviously kept red.
Here’s something from Disney that wasn’t a complete cash-grab. One of the few games that actually made some use of the Wii’s motion controls. You get to play as the original early 20th century Mickey, which is pretty cool. It is also known that the original concept featured a much grimmer and darker world for Mickey to traverse. Sadly, the sequel it spawned didn’t do quite as well and also wasn’t a Wii exclusive.
Actually a remake of the game “Klonoa: Door to Phantomile” for the original PlayStation, now simply titled “Klonoa.” While visually appealing to the younger audience, it is actually quite a difficult game. An excellent platformer in its own regard, this long-eared cat-like creature was one of those 90’s mascots that never got a lot of attention, even though being featured in a very solid game.
Disaster: Day of Crisis
This completely unknown third-person action-adventure survival title has you experience multiple natural catastrophes, all the while battling war-hardened baddies and it’s all wrapped up in this quirky Japanese style, with an abundance of overly dramatic sequences. While graphical fidelity-wise it’s not half-bad looking, reminiscent of the early PS2 era where the character models look half-decent, the aesthetics are your run-of-the-mill barren greys.
The latest in the Trauma Center series for the Wii. The re-release is available through the Wii U eShop, with minimal additions, compared to the original. Thus I’m still considering it a Wii exclusive. This one is the first to include visual novel adventure gameplay, aside from the main surgery simulation that the series is known for. Its got an anime thing going on and feels like you’re in an episode of “House MD” or some similar medical drama.
Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon
This is a game that I really contemplated over before admitting it on the list. It’s not a critical success for having a somewhat lackluster gameplay. However its story and style make it one of the most unconventional titles to be released on the Wii. It is a creepy yet intriguing title and I’m actually really surprised it was released to the western audience as it’s clearly aimed at its native market.
Mario Strikers Charged
Now this is a game that was mostly popular in Europe, obviously but it can hardly be treated as a regular football game. For starters, there’s no local multiplayer option which is absurd if you think about it. The only way to play against a real living person is through the online portion. And overall it doesn’t really feel like a football game, which might make it more appealing to the non-sports game fans out there, to be honest.
Tenchu: Shadow Assassins
A stealth-action game, spanning from a long line of games, with the most prominent being on the original PlayStation. The series started to decline in quality over the years, with this one being the last to be released but also somewhat redeeming the franchise. Sadly, it seemed to go largely unnoticed back when it came out, even though it didn’t do too bad with the reviewers. Although a PSP version was released alongside the Wii version, the latter is where you’ll get the definitive experience.
This is sort of an honorable mention as it’s never been released outside Japan. What it is, is a very original sports game based on quite a popular anime by the same name. What sets it apart from conventional American Football games from the west is that you not only play the actual football matches but also spend time training your team aswell.
Battalion Wars 2
This is a fascinatingly unique title, whose roots hail from the GameCube but I haven’t really seen the style of gameplay being widely used. It’s a unique game, set in a fictional world where the major military powers of our planet have been caricaturize and thrown into a RTS/TPS hybrid. A surprisingly difficult game for such a colorful and fun looking title, you can control whole squadrons or each single unit individually, from the basic grunt to the most powerful fighter jet.
A fairly obscure sleeper hit that was rated quite highly back in its day, though not played widely. The premise is your typical anime-inspired ARPG with nice visuals, solid gameplay and multiple endings. The story is presented as a classical fairy tale and it actually feels quite natural, though not original in any way, shape or form. It also sports some fantastic puzzles and fun but challenging boss battles.
Project Zero 2
First things first: this is actually a remake of the PS2 game from 2003, titled Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly. Over the original, this horror game features many graphical improvements, as well as gameplay tweaks that make the whole experience much more accessible and scarier. You play as a Japanese schoolgirl who fights ghost by taking pictures of them. If that doesn’t get your blood pumping, I don’t know what will.
HONORABLE MENTIONS (GAMECUBE): The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, Viewtiful Joe, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes