The best Nintendo Wii games of all time
We’ve waggled our way through the very best to come up with the definitive list of the finest games for the Nintendo Wii.
We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!
The best Nintendo Wii games in Australia
- Best Nintendo Wii game overall: Super Mario Galaxy 2
- Best Nintendo Wii game – Action Adventure: Super Mario Galaxy 2
- Best Nintendo Wii game – Racing: Super Mario Kart Wii
- Best Nintendo Wii game – RPG: Xenoblade Chronicles
- Best Nintendo Wii game – Fighting: Super Smash Bros Brawl
- Best Nintendo Wii game – Sports: Punch-Out!
- Best Nintendo Wii game – Puzzle: Boom Blox
Back when it launched, absolutely nobody saw how huge a hit the Nintendo Wii was going to be. Mocked widely for its name and the use of motion controls, there wasn't much hope for Nintendo's low-power, low-cost machine… until people started playing the games. With a stroke – or a waggle, really – Nintendo brought gaming to the wider masses, selling millions of consoles and games over the Wii's six-year lifespan before it was replaced with the markedly less successful Nintendo Wii U.
The Wii had an incredibly wide library, but to be blunt, it was also home to a lot of really awful shovelware games, so sifting out the gems can be a little trickier than with many retro platforms. Here's our pick of the absolute must-own games for the Nintendo Wii.
How did we pick this list?
This list was created using our own extensive knowledge of the platform, compared and contrasted against user and professional reviews, as well as sites such as Metacritic that gather up review scores in a comparative way.
Any "best" list – just as with any games or other media review – will have a natural level of subjectivity to it as a matter of course, and we're not going to shy away from that. However, given decades of experience in games writing, we're also quite confident in the quality of our picks of the best Nintendo Wii games.
Best Nintendo Wii game overall: Super Mario Galaxy 2
Why we chose it
Mario is like Nintendo's not-at-all-secret weapon. You know for a given Nintendo console that there will be Mario games, and most of them will be pretty good at worst. Super Mario Galaxy 2 goes beyond that, delivering some of the best 3D Mario action ever written into code. If you've never played it, the Wii remains the one place you can play it – its predecessor is on the Switch Mario 35th collection but Mario Galaxy 2 isn't – and even if you played it back in the day, it's a title that's well worth a revisit.
Best Nintendo Wii game – Action Adventure: Super Mario Galaxy 2
Why we chose it
The Nintendo Wii was of course going to be home to a plentiful supply of Mario games to sate your action itch, although we came very close to awarding the excellent port of Capcom's Resident Evil IV the gong for this category. Still, the polish in Super Mario Galaxy 2 can't be ignored. It's the equal highest-rated Wii game on Metacritic along with its predecessor, but unlike that game, it's not available as part of the Mario 35th collection, making it slightly rarer and more desirable. There's just so much to uncover in this game, with the planetary exploration gimmick from the original Super Mario Galaxy amped up in all sorts of wacky and creative ways.
Best Nintendo Wii game – Racing: Mario Kart Wii
Why we chose it
Really, could it be any other title? Well, yes, it could – the criminally overlooked Excite Truck deserves a place in your collection – but we can't overlook the sheer fun of Nintendo's oft-refined kart racing series. Throw away the tacky plastic wheel remote and get yourself some decent controls, and you'll find Mario Kart Wii still stands up well today. It's even possible to hack your way into online play if you're keen enough.
Best Nintendo Wii game – RPG: Xenoblade Chronicles
Why we chose it
Despite its lower power relative to its rivals, there's quite a wide choice of RPGs for the Wii to pick from. Many will gravitate naturally to Zelda – either Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword but never Crossbow Training – but for our money, it's worth spending the extra on a copy of the lesser known but far more complex Xenoblade Chronicles. It's a game that goes well beyond the usual "sole hero saving the world" with a huge endgame that's dripping with extra content and storyline hooks to keep you enthralled all the way along.
Best Nintendo Wii game – Fighting: Super Smash Bros Brawl
Why we chose it
The Wii is not blessed with a lot of great fighting games, sadly. Tatsunoku Vs Capcom is kind of cool if you're into anime, but the less said about the terrible WWE games of the era, the better. Thankfully you can wash all of that away with the sublime Super Smash Bros Brawl, still often cited as one of the best entries in the series, with an expanded roster that goes beyond the traditional Nintendo fare to add a certain well-known box-dwelling mercenary. Add in an incredibly lengthy campaign mode, and even if you're just playing Brawl on your own, there's always plenty to do – or in this case, smash.
Best Nintendo Wii game – Sports : Punch-Out!
- Bright cartoon visuals never get old
- Beating up Glass Joe likewise is never not fun
- Waggle controls really don't work that well
- Punch-Out's cultural stereotypes are awkward as hell
Price (RRP): $60-$100+Buy at eBay
Why we chose it
Think Nintendo Wii sports games and you almost inevitably think Wii Sports, the pack-in game that everyone has. It's an incredible launch title, and it's rather sad to think that there's really not a lot that beats Nintendo's deliberately simple sports title for the Wii (although a hell of a lot the shovelware titles developed for the system certainly gave it a good old go.) Nintendo's own update to its classic arcade title, Punch-Out! is the rare exception to this rule, delivering an entertaining take on hitting another cartoon gentleman as hard as possible while rhythmically counter-dodging their blows.
Best Nintendo Wii game – Puzzle : Boom Blox
Why we chose it
While the Wii sold on its wide family gaming appeal, puzzle games weren't a strong focus for most developers. There's some solid titles, such as Mercury Meltdown, Drawn to Life and, at a stretch the Rock Band games if you want to count their action as puzzle-based. Then there's Boom Blox, a game which really does take the Wii's motion controls into consideration when building its puzzle elements. It's best described as Jenga with explosives, although your aim in any given level might be more than just removing blocks to avoid catastrophe.
What makes Boom Blox really stand out is its use of the motion controller to force you to grab blocks in each level and adjust them according to each level's puzzle parameters. There's even a passable multiplayer setup in here, although some puzzles don't work that well with many players on hand.
Buying Nintendo Wii games
What to consider when buying Nintendo Wii games:
- Do you just want the game, or a collectible game? It's not uncommon to see disc-only games offered for sale, and if all you're interested in is playing, this is often enough. However, if you're building out a Wii collection, you should work hard to get games that are complete in their boxes, although this will nearly always cost you more.
- Disc condition really matters: The Wii's optical discs, like any other, degrade over time, especially if they weren't well treated by their original owners. Disc cleaning can help here to revive games, although some scratches are for life.
- Do you need other peripherals? The Rock Band/Guitar Hero games are the obvious big pointers here, but less obvious may be the later games that relied on the Wii's MotionPlus expanded gyroscope device. Later Wii remotes included it, but it's also available as a small bolt-on device for older remotes.
- Region lockout: Wii games were region locked and would only play on consoles that matched their region. Well, that was the plan, but the reality is that the Wii's security has been extensively breached by now, and while it can be a slight kerfuffle getting it sorted, it's really not too hard to crack the Wii's region restrictions if you want to play out-of-region titles.
Best products chosen
- Our picks are based on price, game ratings, availability and user and professional reviews.
- The writer has 30+ years' game collecting and curating experience.
- The products on this list are chosen by our editorial team and are not selected based on commercial relationships.
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