The Best Wii U Games to Play

Tackle Nintendo's growing list of Wii U games with this handy list of some of the best games the system has to offer.


Nintendo’s latest gaming console, the Wii U has quite a lofty library available of wonderful titles to choose from. Although it doesn’t feature many of the third party titles that other consoles have, nor boast the same graphical power that the other platforms do, the Wii U is still a hearty contender in the gaming world thanks to Nintendo’s assortment of stunning and brilliant first party titles. Fan favorites like Super Mario, Mario Kart, and even Legend of Zelda are just a few of the popular series which have made their own debuts on the console, and today we’re going to be covering ten of the must-play games to ever release for the Nintendo Wii U. So sit back, grab your nearest Yoshi plush and get ready for a fun ride of platformers, adventure tales, and brawling madness.

Super Mario 3D World

Jump headfirst into the best looking Mario game yet. Building off of the same playstyle as Super Mario 3D Land, Super Mario 3D World thrusts players into a hybrid of the classic side-scrolling adventure game, and it’s more recent go-anywhere 3D brethren of the series. Unlike the previous title, 3D Land, Super Mario 3D World allows you to play as either Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, or Toad. Or, if you’re feeling rather friendly, you can play with up to four people via local co-op. It’s one of the most enjoyable Mario experiences to hit the Nintendo systems, and it continues to breathe new life into the classic adventure game that captivated us growing up.

Super Smash Bros

Step into the greatest arena ever conceived. Take your place as Mario, Peach, Luigi, Bowser, and many more as you fight your way to the top of the leaderboards. Super Smash Bros. is the continuation of the fan-favorite Nintendo-themed brawler. Set in shifting, and stunningly designed arenas, it’s a game that resonates everything that fans love about Nintendo games, all rammed into one game. But who will be the best? Will it be Peach or Bowser? Mario or King Dedede? Only you and your friends can decide in this massive Nintendo brawler that features up to eight players in one arena.

Mario Kart 8

Jump behind the wheel as your favorite Nintendo characters in Mario Kart 8. Continuing the rampant fun of the series, Mario Kart 8 builds off the age-old formula with new karts, tracks, and the most polished edition of the Mario Kart saga to hit Nintendo systems yet. Step behind the wheel of hoverkarts, bikes, any an assortment of other character specific vehicles as you battle for the gold in one of the finest party games that Nintendo has ever released.

Bayonetta 2

Step into the shoes of the towering witch, Bayonetta as she battles supernatural forces to save the world. Building off of the success of the first game, Bayonetta 2 throws players back into the high heels of the butt-kicking witch in a new adventure featuring two player co-op, and online play. Kicking butt and taking names while wearing high heels and a tight leather outfit? That’s pretty badass if you ask us.

Wind Waker HD

Take one of the prettiest games in the Legend of Zelda series, re-master it with high-definition graphics and improve the key features of the game and you’ll end up with Wind Waker HD. Though many fans were worried about it because of the more cartoony cel-shaded graphics, Wind Waker swept across the world upon its release garnering massive acclaim for its colorful and unique story. Not only is it the most colorful of the Zelda series so far, the new take on the legend of the Hero of Time earns it a place on this list as one of the best Wii U games to play right now.

Pikmin 3

Take control of up to 100 colorful creatures as you explore, solve puzzles, and fight massive bug-like enemies. With excellent co-op support, competitive modes, and puzzling obstacles this Wii U sequel is a must have for Nintendo lovers looking for a good time. Sporting a zoomed in, overhead view, Pikmin 3 is another showcase of just how brilliant Nintendo’s developers are. Although it’s still very similar to the original Pikmin games on Wii and Gamecude, Pikmin 3 is a welcome refinement to the Pikmin formula of strategy, wits, and humor.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Join Captain Toad as he takes off on his on adventure to save Toadette, and collect all the stars he can find. Working as a maze-like platformer you’ll have to guide Captain Toad through each level, avoiding enemies and obstacles. The catch? He can’t jump. With almost 100 stages to complete Captain Toad is one of the cutest spinoff adventures to come out of the Mario world yet. We’re already praying that Nintendo makes another one.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Rejoin Donkey Kong and his friends in another side-scrolling adventure of excellent proportions. Swing, swim, leap, and barrel-blast your way through tons of gorgeous levels in a race to save DK Island from a permanent ice age. Barrel-blast head-first into the most beautiful tropical island


Nintendo takes on competitive shooting games in this colorful and quirky shooter based around two teams of Inklings (boys and girls who can transform into squids). Instead of mindlessly shooting other enemies or capturing flag after flag Splatoon tasks each team with a goal of ‘inking’ (or painting) the most area in a match. Starting off on opposite sides of the arena, teams must fight their way to victory by painting the most ground with their different ink colors. At the end of a round the team with the most painted area wins the trophy. So what makes this game so good? It’s balanced, fun, fast-paced, and most of all it’s one of the most stylish shooters you’ll ever find.

New Super Mario Bros U

Building off the typical Mario formula, Princess Peach has once more been kidnapped by the evil Bowser. Join Mario and Luigi as they take on the 2D side-scrolling world once more with a brilliant soundtrack, tons of coins to collect, and one of the best pick up and play experiences we’ve ever touched. Built from the ground up to be pick-up-and-play, New Super Mario Bros 2 is a fantastic nostalgic trip back to yesteryear when 2D side-scrolling was a huge hit. Though it lacks the unique level design of 3D World and 3D Land, there’s just something about Mario that never gets old.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 3, 2015 3:00 PM

    Shack Staff posted a new article, The Best Wii U Games to Play

    • reply
      August 3, 2015 3:03 PM

      It's New Super Mario Bros. U; New Super Mario Bros. 2 is on the 3DS. Confusing, yes, but still.

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      August 3, 2015 3:06 PM

      I wish Nintendo would occasionally reduce the price of their games. Super Mario 3D World is still $60 on Amazon and through the Nintendo Store, and it's a 2 year old game.

      I might just go buy a used copy if I get bored enough to want to play it.

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        August 3, 2015 3:11 PM

        Those games hold value. Kinda sucks, but even the used copies are expensive for first-party Nintendo games.

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          August 3, 2015 3:14 PM

          They only hold value because Nintendo only releases a few first party games per console generation, there's no reason they should lower the price. So if you want to play Mario, and you don't want to wait for the next gen console, you'll shell out the $60.

          I'm not going to spend that much money on another mario game, the 2d one sucked balls. I'll pick up a copy if I can find it for $20 or $30, though.

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            August 3, 2015 3:17 PM

            I don't disagree with your point, but SM3DW was outstanding and still well worth the money.

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            August 3, 2015 3:19 PM

            NSMB U absolutely did not suck balls. It was great.

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            August 3, 2015 3:57 PM

            3D World was pretty great. It's one my favs.

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            August 3, 2015 4:38 PM

            So, you'll suck balls for $20?

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        August 4, 2015 8:39 AM

        Yeah, I bought a used copy of Smash Brawl a couple years ago and I think I still had to pay $45 for it!

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      August 3, 2015 3:50 PM

      There were none of the indie darlings on that list. You need to include Shovel Knight and Affordable Space Adventures, minimally, to that list. Also, Rayman Legends, because it is the best on Wii U.

      • reply
        August 3, 2015 4:29 PM

        This list will update and change as our tastes and thoughts change. All these are great games you mentioned, however, these are the staff favorites. :)

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      August 3, 2015 4:12 PM

      Wonderful 101!!!

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        August 4, 2015 8:53 AM

        Im pretty close to finishing the game and I don't get it. Its pretty, but it feels very button mashy to me.

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          August 4, 2015 9:00 AM

          There's a moment of discovery that happened with me once I started to figure out the combo system that transformed it from button mash fest to finesse fighter (in other words like most other Platinum games).

          I highly recommend watching some of the combo tutorials on YouTube such as this:

          Made a big difference for me at least. Also, I think Wonderful 101 had the most satisfying ending of any game I've played this generation.

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      August 3, 2015 5:21 PM

      Hmm...there's only two games on that list that I'd get whenever I own a Wii U - Bayonetta 2 and Wind Waker HD.

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      August 4, 2015 6:54 AM

      My list would look very similar, Nintendo has as usual made some top notch stuff. I'm sure Mario Maker would enter that list as well soon if you would update this in the future.

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        August 4, 2015 8:33 AM

        Oh we already know Mario Maker will knock something off this list. The only thing left to decide now is what.

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