Top 5 Wii Games (So Far)

Nintendo has always been a leader in videogame innovation.  When the Wii came out five years ago, it was hailed as revolutionary, though not everyone was convinced it would succeed.  Presently, however, it’s the highest-selling console of this generation, and even Microsoft and Sony have recently introduced motion controls for their systems.  Of course, the Wii still receives a fair amount of criticism from those who prefer to stick with the Xbox or the PS3.  Chief among those complaints are gimmicky controls, a focus on “casual gaming,” and a lack of strong, HD visuals.  True, the Wii probably has a higher percentage of terrible games than the rest of the market (though every system has its share), but the Wii also has a quite a few strong titles in its library.  Here I’ve compiled my personal list of the Top Five games on the Wii.  These games not only rival the best of what other systems have to offer but prove that Nintendo still has plenty to offer.

Note: This list doesn’t account for any recent releases, as I haven’t had the chance to play them yet.



5.  Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess



True, this game was originally meant for the GameCube before it switched systems mid-development, but you’d never be able to tell while playing it.  Twilight Princess boasts a combination of old-school videogame controls with some tight motion controls.  Neither one impedes on the other, and, not only are the motion controls very intuitive, but they are never intrusive to the actual gameplay.  Twilight Princess is easily the largest and most cinematic of all the Zelda games.  The plot is a little more convoluted than, say, Ocarina of Time, but it is also a much darker and much more enjoyable story to watch unfold.  Because of the game’s fantastic visual design and tight controls, I actually enjoy playing the game more than the still-excellent Ocarina of Time.  Sure, Ocarina of Time was revolutionary and Twilight Princess may not advance the formula all that much, but (with the exception of the slow beginning), Twilight Princess still plays better overall.



4.  Metroid Prime Trilogy



The original Metroid Prime was one of the best games for the GameCube and still consistently ranks as one of my all-time favorites on any system.  Naturally, then, when Retro Studios released the Metroid Prime Trilogy for Wii last year, you can be sure that it was stuffed full of all kinds of awesome.  Containing all three phenomenal Metroid Prime games on one disc, Trilogy boasts enhanced graphics, faster loading times, and, above all, vastly improved controls over the originals.  Retro Studios did a fantastic job translating the 2D sidescrolling Metroid games to a first person, 3D world in the Prime Trilogy.  The classic Metroid atmosphere of loneliness and isolation mixed with feeling like a powerhouse as you discovered new power-ups was perfectly represented in these games.  The plot advancement of the first game was exceptionally unique for its time, and all three games had a great level of depth to them.  Oh, and finding 100% of the items was a task only the most dedicated player could achieve.  Hardcore?  Absolutely.



3.  Super Mario Galaxy



Super Mario has been around for 25 years now, and, as you can imagine, the games industry has changed a lot in that amount of time.  Games have become much more sophisticated, both graphically and in terms of execution.  Mario managed to keep with the times in his pretty smooth transition to 3D in Super Mario 64, but Super Mario Sunshine was a bit of a mixed bag.  The platforming was tight, but it suffered from creativity issues and a poor camera system.  Given how challenging it is to make a successful platformer on today’s consoles, can Mario still compete?  Super Mario Galaxy answers the question with a resounding “YES.”  By taking the proven formula of Mario 64 and then tweaking it, Mario Galaxy is a great technical accomplishment.  The game boasts one of the best cameras I’ve seen in a 3D platformer, and Mario’s controls have never been tighter.  Technical achievements aside, however, Galaxy really shined in its creativity.  Boasting a brand new gravity mechanic, every level in Galaxy is a testament to the power of creativity.  Playing through every level is an absolute joy that constantly leaves the player wondering, “How did the creators think of that?”  Visually, it’s still one of the best the Wii has to offer, but, ultimately, Mario Galaxy is all about flawless gameplay.



2.  Super Smash Bros. Brawl



The original reason why I bought a Wii, Super Smash Bros. Brawl fulfills every Nintendo fanboy’s dream – the ability to beat the snot out of Pikachu (Ok, so maybe not that one specifically).  Super Smash Bros. is a great franchise that was refined with its Gamecube release, “Melee,” but “Brawl” made the fighter really shine.  Surprisingly deep in its complexity, Smash Bros Brawl offers the ultimate multiplayer experience.  Few things are more chaotic or more fun than a four-way battle amongst evenly-matched rivals (There’s a reason Brawl was the most-played game on my Wii during my college years).  With tons of gameplay options, more arenas than any previous game, and a significantly expanded player  roster, nothing about Brawl disappoints.  From its greatly improved single player campaign, to the level creator, to the insane amount of trophies, Brawl is absolutely packed with content that can keep the player occupied for hours on end.  And, for the first time, Brawl even introduced non-Nintendo characters into the mix.  Just think about having a literal fight between Mario and Sonic.  If you grew up in the 90’s, you know how epic that is.



1.  Super Mario Galaxy 2



If Super Mario Galaxy proved that Mario was still relevant, Super Mario Galaxy 2 proved that he was still king.  Any slow points found in the first Galaxy (such as the hub world or the random storybook segments) were removed in its sequel, and the platforming was refined to perfection.  There are more levels in Galaxy 2, but less missions per level – meaning that no level ever gets old, as the game is constantly moving on to the next new (and entirely original) challenge.  Galaxy 2 may be based on the same concept and engine as the original, but don’t let that fool you – this is a new game.  Every level has a new concept that either wasn’t explored in the first game at all or simply wasn’t utilized to its fullest potential.  The camera in the original Galaxy was already really good, but Galaxy 2 made even more improvements. (It never impedes the player. Ever.)  Plus, there’s Yoshi.  In Super Mario Sunshine, Yoshi felt tacked on, but in Galaxy 2, Yoshi is integral to the gameplay.  Super Mario Galaxy 2 is bigger and better, possessing double the amount of stars as the first Galaxy.  It is, at all times, fun and clever.  If the first Mario Galaxy felt too easy for you, rest assured, Galaxy 2 gets insanely challenging near the very end.  Super Mario Galaxy 2 is not only the best game on the Wii, it’s also the best 3D platformer on any system, period.


~ by digitallysmitten on December 3, 2010.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: