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What are the Best Wii U Games?

If you're wondering which Wii U games are the best, you've come to the right place. Here are our favorite picks.

Review by USgamer Team, .

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The Wii U might be at the end of its lifespan, but it's nevertheless supported by a lineup of high-quality games. To help sort out the best from the rest, the USG team has looked at the entire roster of Wii U titles and chosen the ones they think are the most worth the money. We've linked directly to games we've already reviewed, and provided mini-reviews of those we haven't.

We've sorted the games by rating, and after that are the personal picks from each member of the USG team, who also explain exactly why those games are their favorites.

Directly below are games we've rated 5 and 4.5 stars

  • If you want to see which games are rated 4 stars, click here.
  • If you want to see which games the USgamer team personally recommend, click here.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

The Very Best - Rated 5 Stars

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse: Don't let Rainbow Curse's relatively small length put you off; it's a sublime experience that completely washes its hands of the padding most games employ to justify a retail release. If you're used to finishing games out of a sense of weary obligation, expect to be pleasantly surprised when this latest Kirby spin-off leaves you fully satisfied by the end of its final level.

Super Mario Maker

Super Mario Maker: What better way to commemorate three decades of Super Mario Bros. than to put the tools for creating Mario games in the hands of fans? The series has long since become a part of the medium's vocabulary, and Super Mario Maker turns the act of creating new Mario adventures into a process as intuitive as the play mechanics it reproduces. Whether you're a serious student of game design, looking to kill a few minutes with your friends' creations, or an avid enthusiast of sadism through game design, you'll find something to love in Super Mario Maker.

Highly Recommended - Rated 4.5 Stars

Bayonetta 2

Bayonetta 2: Bayonetta 2 is the high-flying return of everyone's favorite Umbra Witch. Platinum Games pushes to the Wii U to its limit with fast action, magnificent vistas, and huge bosses. The addition of the original Bayonetta just pushes the entire package over the top. If you're a Devil May Cry fan, this is a must-buy.

Donkey Kong Country

Donkey Kong Country: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze isn't the most ambitious game, but it throws its characters into unique and clever challenges with each new level. Nintendo would be pushing it if they went for another Donkey Kong game in this style, but for now, Tropical Freeze can sit alongside Super Mario 3D World as one of the finest platformers of this generation.

Super Mario 3D World: A spot-on exploration of what Nintendo really does best: Create varied and surprising twists on concepts and ingredients you thought you knew inside-out. The fact that 3D World remains lively and interesting despite calling back to so many well-loved classics serves as a succinct reminder as to why Mario remains successful after so many years and so many games: At its heart, the series is ultimately just about having simple, unpretentious fun.

Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart 8: Nintendo needed another great game to make the Wii U look as enticing as possible and Mario Kart 8 fits the bill. The anti-gravity gameplay slots in alongside classic kart racing, hang-gliding, and underwater action. All the tracks look amazing and Nintendo has a lot of fun making each track twist, turn, and soar into the sky. Robust online multiplayer, downloadable player ghosts, and Mario Kart TV add a bit of extra muscle. Mario Kart 8 is not the best in the series, but it does stand near the top.

Pushmo World

Pushmo World: The 'Mo series has been one of Nintendo's best new properties in recent years, so it's great to see it take a leap to the Wii U. And even if you don't consider yourself a master of puzzles, the game does an excellent job of slowly breaking you into its increasing complexity. If you're willing to toss some money in Nintendo's direction, Pushmo World offers enough cerebral challenges to keep you busy throughout the summer — or whenever you need some time away from Mario Kart 8.

Lego Marvel Superheroes: For families or individuals who love Marvel comics, movies, or cartoons, Lego Marvel Superheroes is the perfect pick-up. Its just packed with fun things to do, and has a great sense of humor. (Link is to PS4 review, but the Wii U version is the same).

Wii Fit U: While the majority of Wii Fit U isn't as "hardcore" as some fitness buffs may like, it does provide an enormously friendly, approachable entry point into the world of exercise for those who may have struggled with motivation in the past. Featuring a swathe of enjoyable games and a wealth of helpful advice, it's a great starting point on a journey towards a leaner, meaner you.

Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker: In many ways, Wind Waker represents a high point for the Zelda series. Its tremendous world, lovely art, amazing combat, and welcome new features have yet to be surpassed by its sequels. For my money, Wind Waker is Zelda at its best. But this time, it's even better than before.

Pikmin 3: This is one of the best pieces of software on Wii U. It's a light strategy game about controlling chirpy carrot-men, which doesn't exactly sound thrilling, but it's one of those games in which everything comes together just right.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker: Treasure Tracker may be relatively budget-priced, but it doesn't feel like a cheap, throwaway creation. Every inch of its nearly 100 stages and bonus levels has been buffed to a spit-shine finish, and the Nintendo content factory has produced dozens of one-of-a-kind stage concepts to explore here. Alternately a test of observation, reflex, planning, and deduction, Captain Toad's first standalone title (of assuredly many) demonstrates that spinoffs don't have to feel phoned in... and that there's room in gaming to give top-class love and attention to family-friendly creations, too.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Director's Cut): A terrific cinematic first-person sci-fi adventure set in a dystopian future. One of the best adult games for Wii U.

Up next are the games we've rated 4 stars. Click here to go to that page.

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Comments 38

  • Avatar for floydferrera #1 floydferrera 3 years ago
    Nintendo has to thank you for your ongoing Wii U coverage as it genuinely makes me want to buy a Wii U for those excellent games. It is likely going to be my next console once I'm done with Uncharted 3, XCOM and The Last of Us.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #2 brionfoulke91 3 years ago
    Some of these games are not only the best Wii U games, they are the best games of this year, period. Specifically Pikman and Wonderful 101.
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  • Avatar for Jaz_Rignall #3 Jaz_Rignall 3 years ago
    @brionfoulke91 Glad you like Wonderful 101. Some critics didn't seem to get on with it, but I really loved the crap out of that thing. Utterly insane, hot mess of a game. Brilliant!
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  • Avatar for sean697 #4 sean697 3 years ago
    Can I down vote for Jeremy's butchering of the classic Sega ad line? Well he's right though in any case. Speaking of Sega, I really can't get behind Sonic being on this list. I own it and I am on fact a big Sonic fan, but this game is just not that good. Do I hate it, possibly, the balance is way off off with the speed and slow sections, the control is not that great, the power ups are not really useful. It is not he best Sonic game in years. And I'd advise most to stay away. Even hardcore Sonic fans like me. And I noticed Game and Wario is on the reccomened list. That is really pushing it. Maybe if you can get it for 20 dollars and for the sheer weirdness and quirkiness of it. But it's too little content and not that great of a game.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #5 brionfoulke91 3 years ago
    @Jaz_Rignall Yeah, Platinum games are often brilliant. A lot of critics didn't get Bayonetta either when it first came out, but now it's frequentally cited as the best action game ever made. I think Wonderful 101 will gradually acquire a larger fanbase and the respect it deserves.
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  • Avatar for Krirun #6 Krirun 3 years ago
    Having just finished Wonderful 101, I have to say it was a really strange game. Wonderful, but strange. And exhausting, especially the boss fights. I guess the Normal difficulty was just too hard for me.

    LEGO City Undercover is the best LEGO game I have played so far, so it's nice to see it mentioned here. LEGO Marvel looks good, but its demo was quite uninteresting.
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  • Avatar for chiptoon #7 chiptoon 3 years ago
    Glad to see Sonic Lost World in the list. Its probably my favorite since Sonic 2. Finally collected all the Red Rings and got Super Sonic just yesterday.

    I get that some people don't like it, but it's been very frustrating to see reviews and comments in which people haven't actually bothered to find out what all the buttons on the controller do, and then complain about poor controls.
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  • Avatar for nadiaoxford #8 nadiaoxford 2 years ago
    I fear the Wii U will fizzle out in a couple of years, and people will pick up the system on discount and say, "Aw gee, the Wii U had some great games. Too bad I didn't buy it when it was alive." Womp-waa.
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  • Avatar for Thad #9 Thad 2 years ago
    Gah -- even in Scribblenauts, Darkseid's new costume is a busy mess.
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  • Avatar for unoclay #10 unoclay 2 years ago
    I'm glad you guys go on record for ZombiU and didn't ignore it like so many critics. It's an excellent, scary game.
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  • Avatar for bunnyking #11 bunnyking 2 years ago
    I bought a Wii U since it came out, out of the next gen console it was the only one to grab me off the bat with a game selection, even when it released. At this point the selection of games on the Wii U is phenomenal, and while I wait for Destiny on my PS4, I will have stuff to play thanks to Nintendo.

    My PS4 on the other hand sits around gathering dust, I enjoy playing it when I get a chance (Destiny Alpha) but there are absolutely no games to show it off its next gen-ness. When I think limited games I think about my PS4. I still love it, but just like the XBOXone, there are no games to enjoy on it so no real reason to turn it on. I play on my PS3 more than on my PS4 and I am very happy with the PSN+ free games while I wait to play something good.

    When I think about XBOXone, I just stop and do a 180 cause really. I don't care for that system after so many RROD on the last generation and how flimsy the controllers were, compounded by the horrible value that is XBOXlive and what they did at E3 2013, also E3 2014 wasn't that much better and they dropped the kinect, something they had been harping about for months. They don't instill a lot of confidence on a jaded gamer like myself.

    Whatever system you buy (XBOXone or PS4), you might want to wait or get a Wii U alongside it, because the Next Gen game drought is still strong.Edited June 2014 by bunnyking
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #12 Kuni-Nino 2 years ago
    Pikmin 3 and Wonderful 101 are videogames for the ages. I hope history doesn't forget these games. In W101's case, I hope history redeems it.
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  • Avatar for pashaveliki #13 pashaveliki 2 years ago
    @floydferrera You won't regret it.
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  • Avatar for Zomby-Woof #14 Zomby-Woof 2 years ago
    Anyone on the fence about Tropical Freeze should also know about its superb soundtrack. I'll admit that the original DKC doesn't really hold up too well, but I've always loved the music enough to overlook its shortcomings. It's really subjective, but if you found David Wise's soundtrack as enriching as I did, then know that his tracks in Tropical Freeze are better than anything he's done yet... And that music is attached to a game that improves on everything the SNES games did.
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  • Avatar for Feanor #15 Feanor 2 years ago
    "Wonderful 101 isn't the most challenging game out there, and it's also not the longest."

    This is weird because everything I have read about W101 makes it sound like one of the longer and more difficult/complicated action games around.
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  • Avatar for cscaskie #16 cscaskie 2 years ago
    Took a gamble on Sonic Lost World due to it appearing on this list, and I'm super happy I did. In the grand Sonic tradition, it's the opposite of Mario - it's ambitious and doesn't play it safe, and it's a tad clunky as a result. I'm REALLY enjoying the game. Lost World has some cool ideas, some real WOW moments. The game is imperfect, but it tries hard - and that's OK with me. It's also visually stunning. With Colors, and Generations, and now Lost World, it's clear that Sonic's getting some of his old mojo back, and I couldn't be happier. The game just feels closer to the original Sonic philosophy than so many previous 3D entries have.
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #17 Funny_Colour_Blue 2 years ago
    @Zomby-Woof thanks for posting this, I recently bought DKC Returns and I'm not really enjoying it. But I'd argue the music in DKC and the rest of the series holds up just as well today so I'll definitely pick up Trophical Freeze.



    EDIT: goddammit, what the hell?Edited 2 times. Last edited June 2014 by Funny_Colour_Blue
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #18 Funny_Colour_Blue 2 years ago
    Deleted June 2014 by Funny_Colour_Blue
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #19 Funny_Colour_Blue 2 years ago
    Deleted June 2014 by Funny_Colour_Blue
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #20 Funny_Colour_Blue 2 years ago
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #21 Funny_Colour_Blue 2 years ago
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  • Avatar for Zomby-Woof #22 Zomby-Woof 2 years ago
    @Funny_Colour_Blue

    I also didn't like DKC Returns as much as I should have, mostly because of the waggle controls and that stupid blowing mechanic. Trust me, Tropical Freeze rectifies all that. There are even fewer levels; Instead the focus is on making what's there that much better.



    By the way, if you end up buying Tropical Freeze and you reach the level titled "Twilight Terror," stick around the opening area and have a listen. :)Edited June 2014 by Zomby-Woof
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  • Avatar for Spooky-Toast #23 Spooky-Toast 2 years ago
    @Jaz_Rignall Will have to check it out on your recommendation!
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  • Avatar for link6616 #24 link6616 2 years ago
    So difficult to decide, pick up Monster hunter tri on the wiiu for less than a tenner, or wait till I get my new 3DS for 4G...
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  • Avatar for LK4O4 #25 LK4O4 A year ago
    It's great to see this list getting updated again (with the addition of Kirby and Splatoon)! But just to let you know, Captain Toad got a 4.5 and still isn't listed here!

    Edit: This has been fixed now!Edited 2 times. Last edited August 2015 by LK4O4
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  • Avatar for Murbs #26 Murbs A year ago
    Deleted August 2015 by Murbs
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  • Avatar for Sturat #27 Sturat A year ago
    My current favorites for Wii U would be: (from best down)
    Pikmin 3
    Super Mario Maker
    Super Mario 3D World
    NES Remix Pack
    Mario Kart 8
    New Super Mario Bros U (buy the version with New Super Luigi U included on the disc)
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  • Avatar for marten42 #28 marten42 A year ago
    Do you guys even Smash?
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  • @marten42 Well, Kat did rate it 4.5 stars at launch and wrote a retrospective two days after this article came out, so it's fair to say that she does, in fact, smash.

    http://www.usgamer.net/articles/super-smash-bros-wii-u-review-now-witness-its-true-form

    http://www.usgamer.net/articles/does-it-hold-up-super-smash-bros-wii-u3dsEdited January 2016 by guillermojiménez88
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  • Avatar for Darkarm66 #30 Darkarm66 8 months ago
    Even though it didn't get reviewed here, Xenoblade Chronicles X has to be highly recommended. An absolutely gorgeous open world-RPG with that forgoes a lot of plot and story telling in favor of letting the player explore everything with zero hand holding and the visuals will get you lost in this world and yet, leaving some a bit out of reach for a minute until you get your Skell. There's a lot of quests in here to be sure and some of it tries to teach players what they already figured out about he mechanics, but like Xenoblade, much of the fetch quests tedium is greatly reduced by all that early exploring you already did (or already were supposed to do). Add a good soundtrack, some nifty online features and you have one of the best open world games in ages.
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  • Avatar for link6616 #31 link6616 29 days ago
    There are a number of unreviewed games in this list, but still no placement of Xenoblade Chronicles X, any chance for that to get into this list? Or did it not pass the quality test in the end?
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  • Avatar for TheWildCard #32 TheWildCard 29 days ago
    Can't say I have much affection for the system as a whole but I love Tropical Freeze so much. And I'm not even a big platforming guy, but that game is aces.
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  • Avatar for chaoticBeat #33 chaoticBeat 29 days ago
    I straight up LOVED what I played of Super Mario 3D World. I hope I get the chance to play it again.
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  • Avatar for NateDizzy #34 NateDizzy 29 days ago
    My WiiU is essentially a Wonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2 machine.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #35 brionfoulke91 29 days ago
    @link6616 Xenoblade Chronicles X is a fantastic game, and certainly belongs on this list. Quite possibly the best open world game of the last generation,
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  • Avatar for link6616 #36 link6616 29 days ago
    @brionfoulke91 that's my understanding. Which is why I'm puzzled its no where on the list.

    Still need to pick myself up a copy.
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  • Avatar for JetSetRennie #37 JetSetRennie 29 days ago
    Some good picks in this article, glad to see Pushmo World and Pikmin 3 get some love. However, I would also add Tokyo Mirage Sessions and New Super Mario Bros U to the list because IMO there two of the most enjoyable games on the system. Particularly, NSMBU seems to be a game that doesn't get a lot of attention, despite it being a really good 2D Mario.
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  • Avatar for mappyland #38 mappyland 28 days ago
    Really surprised to only see Xenoblade Chronicles X show up in the comments. I've been slow-playing it for months by keeping the Wii U gamepad on my nightstand and playing half an hour before bed, and it's one of the nicest game experiences I've had this decade.
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  • Avatar for Darkarm66 #39 Darkarm66 28 days ago
    Xenoblade Chronicles X *still* hasn't shown up as a recommended game. I just started replaying it again to get the taste of FFXV out of my mouth as was shocked how much better it was in every aspect (with the exception of narrative. Maybe. The side quests had way more resolutions).
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  • Avatar for ajhopwood #40 ajhopwood 28 days ago
    I'd also add Axiom Verge to the list as well. I was THRILLED to hear that this was launching on Wii U last fall. USGamer gave the PS4 version 5 / 5 stars.
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  • Avatar for link6616 #41 link6616 26 days ago
    @JetSetRennie Tokyo Mirage sessions is oddly absent from this list given unlike Xenoblade, it's actually reviewed. http://www.usgamer.net/articles/tokyo-mirage-sessions-fe-review

    It feels a little weird to get an updated best of wii u games, which is ultimately supposed to be just a collection of the site's reviews for easy access I assume (and with extra games added as USG was newish when first writing these lists I assume), missing major well scoring releases the site has reviewed seems a little odd. (missing something the site never reviewed in the end is not that strange of course)
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  • Avatar for Jonnyboy407 #42 Jonnyboy407 24 days ago
    Tokyo Mirage Sessions, Xenoblade X, Yoshis Woolly World, Rayman Legends, Fatal Frame.

    Just saying :D
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  • Avatar for muteKi #43 muteKi 23 days ago
    I like even a lot of the Sonic games most people tend to consider bad (don't ask how many hours I've put into Sonic Heroes) but I cannot abide seeing Lost World on this list. The PC port means it's not an exclusive title that you'd have to get a WiiU for in order to play, and it's just not good. Sure, there's a lot of creative potential in many of the ideas, but after about 2-3 worlds it becomes clear that almost no idea is given the time to develop that it needs to. The controls range from "frustrating and unresponsive" to "downright incomprehensible", sometimes in the same stage, the game very quickly loads all of its challenge into pushing instant-death traps, the length and difficulty of stages is wildly inconsistent throughout the game even going into the final levels, and it just feels like if they'd had pared down a lot of the ideas right from the start that the game would have been a lot better for it, as they could have done more to tune the bits of the game worth keeping. There is far too much "what the hell is this OH FUCK I'M DEAD" surprise going on in the game; it feels like a 3D Battletoads more than a Sonic game in that respect.
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