It’s been 10 years since the Wii U came out. On November 18, 2012, Nintendo launched the ill-fated console and began an era which is widely regarded to be one of the weakest of Nintendo’s long console history. However, say what you want about the Wii U, it had good games. Nintendo and other companies launched a lot of solid software on the platform and some of it has made it to the Nintendo Switch. However, there are some solid games on Wii U that never made it out of the platform. With that in mind, we look back at some of the most interesting (and occasionally salvageable) titles of the Wii U era to talk about what we would still like to see come to the Switch. Check it out!
1. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD
There’s little doubt about it, this list could really only begin with Wind Waker. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker may very well be the most requested Wii U Switch port out of the entire library and for good reason. It’s one of the most charming games of the entire Zelda franchise with its cartoonish style and open seas journey. Wind Waker HD on Wii U already took a lot of the pain points out of the game, such as having to rely so heavily on the wind to get anywhere, so as long as the controls were properly ported to the Switch, this would likely make a lot of folks very happy.
Ubisoft’s exclusive ZombiU was a surprising Wii U treat. It’s actually one of the most interesting and fun zombie survival games around. Built somewhat as a roguelike, you play a survivor trying to make it through a zombie-infested UK in search of safety. If your survivor dies, their supplies also drop where they died and they join the infected, and then you take on a new survivor that could both run into your former character and grab the supplies they dropped. It was a really cool game and we’d love to re-explore it on the Switch.
3. Xenoblade Chronicles X
Let’s just be honest. All of the Xenoblade games should be on the Nintendo Switch, and they mostly are, except for Xenoblade Chronicles X. Actually very different from the original Xenoblade Chronicles, this one let players create their own protagonist for an open-world adventure in the world of Mira. It even calls back to the original Gears in Xenogears by allowing players to battle on foot or in Skells, which are pilotable mecha in this game. Xenoblade Chronicles X is an outlier from the Xenoblade franchise, mostly unrelated to any of the stories in the main series, but it’s still considered a masterpiece and should be on Switch alongside the rest of them.
4. Kirby's Epic Yarn
Kirby’s Epic Yarn was both an adorable aside for the Kirby franchise and the start of something which has continued into the Switch era. The arts-and-crafts Nintendo games may have started mostly with Paper Mario, but the platformers that came of it like Kirby’s Epic Yarn were equally fun and cool. We loved playing around with stringy little Kirby and Prince Fluff in levels made entirely out of craftwork parts. We’d love it if the game where Nintendo art-and-craft platformers started made its way to Switch.
5. Nintendo Land
Nintendo Land may be one of the absolute best Mario Party-like games that’s not actually a Mario Party. Taking advantage of the popularity of Mii avatars at the time, Nintendo Land put players in a Nintendo amusement park and let them play their way around a variety of minigames related to all sorts of Nintendo IPs, instead of just Mario Bros. Metroid, Zelda, Pikmin, and more made appearances alongside Mario minigames, making this a fun library of Nintendo amusements we’d love to re-explore.
6. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
If Wind Waker were going to be on the Nintendo Switch, then we might as well have the more serious side of Wii U Zelda games as well. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess may be a bit more dour compared to Wind Waker, but it’s still a solid representative in the series, introducing players to the Dark World princess Midna, who served as an interesting companion to Link’s journey through this game. We’d be happy to have the option to play either Twilight Princess or Wind Waker on the Switch… especially if a game like Skyward Sword is going to get a re-release. Come on.
7. Dr. Luigi
Dr. Luigi isn’t the best version of the Dr. Mario formula, but it’s not the worst either. Many may have forgotten, but the Year of Luigi happened during the Wii U era and Dr. Luigi was a part of it. This game had an odd gimmick in the form of “L” pills (for Luigi) to make weird setups in the usual two block-pill grid. It also had online play which was a bit lackluster at the time, but this could be fixed in a Switch version. Dr. Luigi is a better game than the mobile Dr. Mario and we wouldn’t mind being able to play a polished version of it on the Nintendo Switch.
8. Yoshi's Woolly World
Another product of the papercraft platformer series of Nintendo games, Yoshi’s Woolly World took our favorite egg-throwing dinosaur from Super Mario Bros. and gave him the Epic Yarn treatment in a new adventure. Yoshi’s Woolly World was fun, charming, and paved the way for the eventual release of Yoshi’s Crafted World on the Nintendo Switch. We wouldn’t mind being able to go back to this one and play it as well.
9. NES Remix Pack
The NES Remix games were freaking awesome and we wish Nintendo kept making more of them. The premise was so neat. Nintendo took a bunch of its classic platformers like Metroid, Super Mario, Zelda, Excitebike, and So much more, and remixed them into gauntlets of challenges that players had to overcome. Winning a challenge meant unlocking a new gauntlet full of further remixed segments of classic NES games. NES Remix Pack brought what was available together in one collection and we’d love to have it back on the Switch, or maybe even have a new NES Remix game.
10. Paper Mario: Color Splash
Most of the Paper Mario games have some gimmick or another which affects the world around Mario and if you couldn’t guess, Color Splash is all about painting up a color-drained world. It’s arguable whether this mix of platformer and RPG is as good as the more beloved Paper Mario entries, such as Thousand-Year Door, but it’s still an amusing one with interesting gimmicks and we could always use more Paper Mario.
11. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
Much like Epic Yarn, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse was another arts-and-crafts platformer with interesting gimmicks. The unique twist to this one was that Kirby was stuck in a ball form and you couldn’t move him directly. Instead you had to draw paths to allow Kirby to roll through and gain momentum as he traveled through levels. It was a really neat approach to Kirby platforming that hadn’t really been done before and hasn’t since, at least by Nintendo.
12. Super Mario Maker
Now, we do know that Super Mario Maker 2 is on the Nintendo Switch, but there are elements of the original that make us want to have it back. The original Super Mario Maker featured some neat things that didn’t make it to the sequel. For one, you could stream the level creation on your TV while playing around with the level design on the tablet. If there was a way to have a feature like this on the Switch, we’d love to have it, but either way, there are things the original does that Super Mario Maker 2 just doesn’t and it would be cool to see those features come to the Switch somehow.
13. Pushmo World
We very much miss Pushmo and are actually surprised Nintendo hasn’t put anything new out for this series in a while. That said, if Nintendo was just going to remaster something, we’d love to see it be Pushmo World. This was an excellent iteration of the Pushmo series with 250 levels of puzzle-y fun. Plus, we like being the chunky little sumo cat that pushes and pulls blocks around. In a world where we haven’t seen Adventures of Lolo in quite a while, Pushmo would at least scratch that puzzle adventure itch in a way few games can.
14. Star Fox Zero
There are some divided opinions on whether or not Star Fox Zero was good and most of them come down to the game’s controls. Put that aside and this was still probably one of the best Star Fox games and the last time we got anything of value in the Star Fox series. The fact of the matter is that you could easily fix the control situation on the Nintendo Switch, which would likely make Star Fox Zero a far more playable game. We’re still waiting for Nintendo to do more with the Star Fox series, but if they just wanted to bring Star Fox Zero over and fix it up like they did with Skyward Sword, we’d be happy to have it.
15. Nintendo Virtual Console
It could only end on this: the most requested thing for Nintendo Switch since it was first launched. Yes, it's not technically a game, but rather an app that grants access to a wealth of games. That doesn't stop it from being the thing players have been begging Nintendo to bring to the Switch for years. Many folks lament the lack of Virtual Console on Switch, which has been on Nintendo platforms through the Wii, Wii U, and 3DS, allowing us to access and play many of the best games in Nintendo’s long and illustrious history. We have never understood why Virtual Console isn’t on Switch. Nintendo Switch Online and the NES, SNES, and N64 Online libraries are okay, but they pale in comparison to what was already available in the Virtual Console on previous platforms and we’ll never stop asking for it.
There you have it. That’s our full list of Wii U games we’d still love to see ported to the Nintendo Switch. We wish the Wii U a happy 10th anniversary. It wasn't a bad console and it deserved better, but we have also enjoyed seeing some of its best software salvaged on the Switch. Now if only Nintendo would bring these final gems over… Are there any we missed? What was your favorite game confined to the Wii U? Let us know in the Chatty section below!
TJ Denzer posted a new article, 15 Wii U games that haven't found their way to Nintendo Switch
Not exactly fair to put the Nintendo Virtual Console as a "Wii U game that hasn't made its way to the Switch", considering it is a platform over a game, but yeah, I do miss the virtual console. I'd swap it out for Affordable Space Adventures personally, as that is the best Wii U game for showing off the tablet/TV connectivity, but that obviously means it will never come to the Switch unfortunately. Regarding the rest, putting the HD versions of the Gamecube era Zelda's on the Switch is a no brainer, and I'd love the NES Remix games and Pushmo World to head on over too. The rest can stay where they are personally, although I know Xenoblade fans will say XBX really should make it over too.