The 10 Best Wii Games of all time, Ranked

Wii would like to rank games

The Nintendo Wii was gaming’s greatest magic trick.

Back in 2006, the Wii felt like the next frontier of gaming. Swinging your arm to throw a bowling ball was so immersive that people broke their TVs without even thinking about it. Yet as the console aged, the luster of motion controls faded. What started with “can you imagine playing Smash Bros with the Wii remote?” quickly turned into “please do not give me the Wii remote to play Smash Bros.”

Still, the games that understood the benefits and limitations of the system were unforgettable. The Wii has some experiences you still can’t anywhere else, despite the rise of virtual reality. Even the system’s background music fills the Wii to the brim with personality. As usual, distilling a system’s years-long legacy into 10 games is virtually impossible. Super Paper Mario, No More Heroes, Punch-Out!!, Bit Trip Complete, Madworld, and Excitebots deserve honorable mentions among many others. With that said, let’s dive into ten games that cement the Wii’s place in history.

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10: Klonoa (2008)

If you’ve been following me on Destructoid, you know I love Klonoa. While I can’t in good conscience rank the Wii remake of Klonoa: Door to Phantomile higher than this, I can’t in good conscience omit it either.

Even if some of it is misguided, you can tell a lot of love went into this remake. The visuals are fantastic, the controls are tight, and the level design is faithful to the PlayStation original. Wii Klonoa also offers a few features you can’t find in Phatasie Reverie Series, such as maddening extra challenges and a full English voiceover (which, admittedly, pales in comparison to the Phantomilian voice acting). It’s a game that deserved to sell more than the ten copies that it did, especially considering I was responsible for nine of those.

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9: WarioWare: Smooth Moves (2006)

WarioWare Smooth Moves does what the Wii was always meant to do: make you look silly in front of your friends.

Sure, this is not a deep game, but it’s experience you just won’t get on other consoles. The humor here is iconic to the point that even the tutorials are hilarious. The presentation is pure WarioWare, with visuals walk the fine line between clean and crass. And the minigames… I mean, it has the dancing game. If you never coaxed your friends into playing this for your amusement, I am sorry.

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8: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006)

Twilight Princess might not be the best Zelda game, but it was a heck of a launch title.

You can tell this is a GameCube title at its core, but just enough motion controls were added to sell the Wii’s features without detracting from the experience. I wouldn’t necessarily return to this version of Twilight Princess, because let’s face it, pressing a button to swing a sword is better than waggling the remote. Still, this was a valiant effort to capture Nintendo’s core fanbase before the Wii found its footing with the casual crowd.

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7: Muramasa: The Demon Blade (2009)

Speaking of core gamers, we were a sorry bunch if we didn’t have a PS3 or Xbox 360 by the seventh console generation’s midpoint. Sure, Nintendo’s offerings were fantastic, but we were so desperate for quality 3rd party titles that games like Deadly Creatures and Opoona generated hype on message boards. Every trickle of quality we got was special, which makes games like Muramasa: The Demon Blade stand out much more.

The Wii couldn’t compete with the 3D visuals of the competition, but the 2D art here sang on the Wii. While this lacks the exploration of a proper a Metroidvania, it more than makes up for that with flashy and fun hack-and-slash gameplay. By no means is this a perfect game, but its place in the Wii library makes it just as iconic as Vanillaware’s other titles.

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6: Mega Man 9 (2008)

I can’t properly convey how exciting Mega Man 9 was when it was announced. As the game that arguably inspired several retro revivals of this era, Mega Man 9 came out the gate swinging. Between the faithful presentation, the creative achievements, and arguably the best weapon set in the series, this wasn’t just any Mega Man. This was peak classic Mega Man.

Even if this is a multiplatform release, it just feels right playing this on the Wii. Flipping the Wii Remote on its side like an NES controller really drove home the feeling that this was a new NES game and not just an homage. Even the native lack of HDMI support added to the authenticity. Mega Man 9 is good no matter where you play it, but this version is as authentic as it gets without porting it wholesale to the NES.

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5: Metroid Prime Trilogy (2009)

This is almost unfair to include, yet at the same time, holy moly what a value this package was.

Not only did you get Metroid Prime 3 while it was still being sold individually, you had its two iconic predecessors included with revamped controls to boot. Describing all three Metroid Prime games would fill an article on its own, so just know that Metroid Prime Trilogy remains the best way to play this series to this day. That is until Nintendo finally rereleases these games on Switch, which reports indicate should happen approximately three years ago.

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4: Super Smash Bros Brawl (2008)

Super Smash Bros Brawl is far and away the most infamous entry in the series. At the same time, that’s like saying the Lighthouse of Alexandria is your least favorite wonder of the world.

Brawl is a fantastic game on its own merits. If nothing else, Subspace Emissary makes Brawl worth revisiting to this day. While I admit this single player campaign is a bit of a mess, it is the best kind of mess. I love the elaborate story cutscenes that play out like a vast amalgamation of fanfiction mashed together. I love the surreal mashup of iconic Nintendo enemies and the lifeless grunts with their weird red eyes. The boss battles are genuinely exciting too, which absolutely paved the way for the single player challenges in Super Smash Bros Ultimate.

Plus, if I’m being honest, playing multiplayer in Brawl is still a good time. If you lacked access to any other version of Smash Bros for some reason, this one still does the trick.

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3: Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition (2007)

There’s no need to describe Resident Evil 4. It’s considered one of the best games of all time, and I love every minute of this campy horror adventure. Yet for all the rereleases and remasters this game has received, Wii Edition remains one of the best.

Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition comes packed with the content added to the PS2 version. More importantly, the Wii controls change everything about this game. While the slow pace of the series’ trademark tank controls remain, Wii Edition makes Leon aim like a champion. In fact, the motion controls feel much more natural here than fast-paced modern games that support gyro aiming. It’s so fun to get headshots and shoot projectiles out of the air that I don’t even care if it’s efficient, I just enjoy doing it.

Does this make the game substantially easier? Yes, very much yes. Yet if I wanted to prove my hardcore gaming credentials, I’d beat Ninja Gaiden for the NES without using continues. This is a crazy fun way to play an all-time classic game, and Resident Evil 4 Remake better come prepared if it wants to compete with this version.

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2: Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 (2007 & 2010)

Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel are two of the best Mario games of all time. In fact, even compared to Switch version of Galaxy, these games play so naturally with the Wii Remote and Nunchuck. I’d say more here, but I already waxed poetic about these titles in my best Mario games list.

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1: Wii Sports & Wii Sports Resort (2006 & 2009)

There are moments in life where everything feels perfect. Maybe it’s a birthday party where you’re surrounded by your closest friends. Or maybe it’s the first time you hold your crush’s hand. When I remember all my friends and family members excitedly gathered around the TV to play Wii Sports after the Wii launched, that’s the feeling I get.

If the Wii was gaming’s greatest magic trick, Wii Sports was the beautiful assistant. By offering basic, yet familiar sports to play with your Wii Remote, we were sold the fantasy of immersive gaming. That might sound deceitful, except here’s the thing: magic shows are fun. You can reduce this game to the simplest motions possible, but embracing the illusion is way more fun. There are far deeper games than Wii Sports on this system, and Wii Sports Resort is technically the better game. Yet the simplicity and approachability of the original Wii Sports cannot be matched.

As you’re surely aware, the casual gaming market blew up shortly after the Wii’s release. The rise of smart phones gave non-gamers a platform to fit their needs with titles to match. Yet for this one moment in history, everyone from the hardest of core gamers to the most casual observers were side by side, all enthusiastic for Wii Sports. Maybe it’s silly to rank a game so highly for its universal appeal, especially after I’ve ranked franchises by listening to my heart. Yet in a world as chaotic and divisive as ours, a small moment of unity like playing Wii Sports fills me with peace. Even if it’s harder to gather the family around for Wii Sports now than it was in 2006, I want to hold on to that memory for as long as I can.

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Timothy Monbleau
Freelancer - Timothy started writing community blogs for Destructoid in 2012. He liked it so much he decided to write articles for the site professionally. His love for JRPGs and the Ys series will endure forever.