This article was originally published to Gameluster on April 25th, I have not updated the information from this article to show new developments and new games for the list it remains exactly as originally written. I do plan though to write an updated list towards the end of 2014 with a selection of new games.
It is no secret that the Wii U hasn’t been doing too great in sales unlike Nintendo’s handheld endeavour, but that doesn’t mean the Wii U is a bad console. In fact I would go so far as to say the Wii U is an excellent console, and the standout of the current generation consoles. Nintendo created an excellent control system, but that isn’t all that makes the Wii U so great, it is also the games themselves. I have played many of the games being a day one adopter, and while there are a lot of great multiplatform titles I could include in the following list, for today I want to talk about my top 5 exclusives on the console.
5. Zombi U
For many years the survival horror genre of games has been going downhill, and classic franchises such as Resident Evil which were once praised for their work in the genre have now lost their touch. So enter Ubisoft’s exclusive on the Wii U, Zombi U re-established what the survival horror genre was all about, which is the fear of going around a corner not knowing what awaits you, remaining low on supplies and utilizing whatever you can scavenge and worrying about what sits in the impending darkness. This exclusive did all that and more by utilizing the very essence of the gamepad, the gamepad allowed for panic as you quickly rummaged through it to find what you needed while the game kept going on the TV, it also allowed the player to detect the locations of Zombies which is even scarier when you hear them moaning and constantly hear many beeps on the gamepad. The game is fun and well worth playing, it was just a shame so many people didn’t give it a shot.
4. Lego City Undercover
TT Games’ Wii U exclusive Lego experience draws alot from the developer’s previous Lego endeavours, but this time comes out with a fresh story and world to play in. A lot of the experience of Lego City undecover is pretty familiar to anyone who has played a Lego game before, from the combat, to the levels, to many other factors this is very familiar, but for its similarities, Lego City Undercover masterfully pulled itself out and stands unique in the name of Lego. For the original story or even just the stupidity in the comedy is why this game holds a special place as one of my best Wii U exclusives, plus the added bonus is that Lego City Undercover is a game that can be enjoyed by anyone. Mostly I enjoyed it for going around and playing a much more fun version of Grand Theft Auto, and following the well-crafted police drama of a story while just smashing up random peoples cars and all around having fun in Lego City.
3. Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze
My faith in the Donkey Kong Country series has been steadily declining for years, and Donkey Kong 64 was the last game in the series I truly enjoyed, which is half the reason why it is my favourite game of all time (but that is a story for another opinion piece). However I do feel that Retro Studios was finally ready to give the classic character a true return to greatness, and having the power and capabilities of the Wii U it was no wonder. Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze takes a different approach to other games in its genre, and delivers a much more challenging experience, on top of that it shows plenty of diversity between each level you visit and plenty of detail which is hard not to love. Those, alongside the new additions such as multiple sidekick characters, easily help me to see this game as fun and a must play game on the console even if you are only looking for a challenge.
2. Super Mario 3D World
It would be almost impossible to make a best of list for the Wii U and not include this wonderful gem of a game. After the more or less same style of Mario game we recieved in New Super Mario Bros. U, Super Mario 3D world shows Nintendo still knows how to make a good Mario game. Sure, I will be the first to admit this wasn’t the experience I was expecting from the Wii U’s first three dimensional Mario game, but it didn’t matter, at every turn Super Mario 3D World evokes interest with the addition or return of ideas. At the centre of this game stands incredible and varying level designs set to challenge you and tell you to have fun, then at another point stands the characters you play as which each provide enough difference in their styles that each player gets to enjoy a somewhat difference experience to the other players and enjoy different luxuries in playstyles.
1. Pikmin 3
Nintendo’s journey into the world of tiny microorganisms and the adventure to save their planet may not be the best game on the Wii U, but by all respects it has to be my favourite out of all the ones I have played. The game often feels like it wants to make you feel guilty about any mistakes you make and they can happen both easily and completely by accident. The key thing that I feel really makes this game one of my favourites on the Wii U is the fact the game never outstays its welcome. From the moment you start you are greeted with a fun adventure filled with strategy, but as fast as it arrives it is all all over. In some games I would consider this a bad thing but for the course of the story the little actions and adventure are great and keep you interested. One final note it is kind of hard to resist the Pikmin as they are adorable.
Picking these five games was not an easy process and I think it is only going to get harder by the end of the year with so many potentially great games just around the corner, so I might have to look into doing this again when that time comes. Even though they didn’t make it into the list I would like to give an honourable mention to Nintendo Land and The Wonderful 101 as they are both great games. I hope you liked my list and picks and thank you for reading.