Now that Christmas is behind us, that means it’s time to play with all the games and consoles you got given this year. If you’re one of those Nintendo fans that finally got a Wii U this year, chances are you’re looking for some great games to put in it. There are plenty to choose from, but you can’t go wrong with any of these eight titles.
Think we missed one? Tell us what it is in the comments!
Bayonetta 2 is the Wii U exclusive sequel to Platinum Games’ 2009 hit action title. The titular character, a witch named Bayonetta, sets out to rescue a friend kidnapped by a demon from Inferno (the game’s version of Hell). It preserves the frenetic action of the original, which combines melee attacks with shooting, while adding a number of new weapon options. It’s a little over a year old, but it remains one of the highest-reviewed titles on the platform.
Mario Kart 8
If you’ve ever played a Mario Kart game, you know what to expect with Mario Kart 8. It’s just the latest iteration on a formula that has worked for years, and like most things Nintendo gives this treatment to, it’s been refined into a deep, enjoyable version of its predecessors. There are plenty of familiar things here, from characters to tracks, but there are new things as well, from anti-gravity sections to support for Amiibos. If you can’t find someone at your house to play with, the online multiplayer is easy to hop into as well. It’s a must play for almost anyone who owns a Wii U.
LEGO City Undercover
The LEGO series of games has largely been amazing in recent years, and LEGO City Undercover is no exception. You take on the role of undercover cop Chase McCain in the Grand Theft Auto-lite open world game, enforcing the law rather than breaking it. Still, you’ll have to participate in some crime to infiltrate the gangs you’re targeting. The series-signature brick collecting is here, and it adds Super Bricks, which unlock builds like call-in vehicles, helipads, and more. While the use of the Wii U gamepad could have been better, LEGO City Undercover is still a solid entry in the series, and a definite shake-up of the long-running LEGO formula. Plus, the humor is still as solid as ever.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
When you’re talking about Nintendo evolving classic series, you can’t neglect to mention Super Smash Bros. The Wii U version of the long-running series adds a ton of new features, including eight-player battles, the ability to use your Mii as a fighter, and support for Amiibos, among other things. The biggest accomplishment the newest Smash pulls off is that it can even appeal to those who don’t like “fighting games.” Plenty of unique characters and the ability to make you want to play “just one more match” for hours on end make Super Smash Bros. for Wii U one of the top games on the platform.
Super Mario 3D World
The sequel to the 2011 3DS game Super Mario 3D Land, Super Mario 3D World proves that the series was way better in high-definition. It looks phenomenal, and it plays even better. It even lets you bring your friends into the experience, but honestly, it’s better when you’re by yourself. You’ll choose from four main characters (with a fifth unlocked later in the game) and tackle challenges that will be familiar to any fan of the series. Platforming, collecting, and scouring levels for that last star will be the order of the day, and you’ll have a blast doing it. It’s no surprise that this game boasts the highest Metacritic score of any game on the platform.
Nintendo’s third-person shooter was a huge surprise when it was announced, and it was even a bigger surprise when it was really, really good. As a half-kid, half-squid hybrid, you’ll jump into this arena shooter that’s more about territory control than taking out the other team. Instead of bullets, you’ll shoot paint, and the team that finishes the round with the most territory covered in their paint color wins. There’s an element of strategy too, as you can quickly swim through your team’s paint, but will be stopped cold by the opponent’s color. Best of all, Nintendo is supporting Splatoon with plenty of post-launch content, and it’s all free.
Super Mario Maker
Without question, one of the most anticipated games for Wii U owners this year was Super Mario Maker. Instead of a new game where you once again play through the platforming exploits of the titular plumber, you’re instead tasked with creating those levels yourself. It was originally developed as an internal development tool for the company, but was soon transformed into a playable game. Players create their own levels, and then can upload them to the online repository, where anyone with the game can play them. It’s this huge library of levels that have made the game so popular. If you’ve ever thought you could make a great Mario level, Super Mario Maker gives you the chance to prove it.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
Remember when people made fun of Wind Waker for its cel-shaded graphics? Well, those graphics look flat out amazing in the new HD re-release. The story, which was fairly dark for a Zelda title, holds up well, and the gameplay is still fun. This was already considered the best of the 3D titles in the Zelda series, and the new version adds a Hero Mode to unlock for harder difficulty. Most impressive, this 2003 title can stand as one of the best titles on the Wii U 12 years later, with very little done to change the fantastic original.