As the Wii U reaches the somewhat premature end of its lifecycle, there has been much debate over whether or not Nintendo's lowest-selling console ever has been a success or a failure. In terms of its sheer sales numbers, it's most certainly been a disappointment. However, while it's served a select audience, it's nevertheless delighted gamers around the world with a range of excellent releases that can't be found on any other systems.
With that in mind, I'm wondering which of those would be ideal to make the transition to Nintendo's incoming Switch, either as remasters or remakes designed specifically for the new hybrid-handheld console.
Nintendo's newest IP has been one of the Wii U's biggest success stories. Worldwide sales are in excess of 4.5 million copies, meaning that it was bought by almost one in three Wii U owners. So no wonder the game was shown as part of the Nintendo Switch reveal, in which a new stage was in evidence. My best guess is that the version for the inbound console will very likely leverage the maps from the Wii U iteration, but will obviously feature at least one new map. Whether that'll make it an all-new game, or a remaster of the Wii U version with additions remains to be seen, but either way it sounds like it'll be a winner.
Super Mario Maker
It's only a matter of days until we find out whether or not the Switch actually does have a touch screen, but assuming it does, as many a rumor has spake, Super Mario Maker would seem to be a shoo-in for the system. The critically lauded platform-game-meets-level-design-tool has been a huge hit on Wii U, selling a shade over 3.7 million copies, so it would certainly be a very desirable addition to the Switch library.
Super Smash Bros
Seemingly a no-brainer for the multiplayer-oriented Switch console, the multi-award-winning Super Smash Bros. has long been rumored for Nintendo's upcoming system. While purists would love to see a remake of the eSports classic, Super Smash Bros. Melee, the odds are more in favor of a new iteration of the 5 million-selling Wii U title that would include all the supplemental DLC, and perhaps the addition of a few select new characters to give the game its own unique Switch appeal.
Mario Kart 8
Another game that was shown as part of the Switch reveal is Mario Kart. The tantalizing snippet showcased what looked like the rather excellent Mario Kart 8 running one of the Wii U DLC tracks. Is this evidence that we'll see a quick port of the best-selling 2014 Wii U game as part of the Switch launch lineup, perhaps with all the DLC included? I guess we'll find out soon enough.
PlatinumGames' Bayonetta 2 was released to almost universal critical acclaim back in 2014 – and Mike was one of those who waxed lyrical about is many charms . The spectacular, over-the-top action game ended up garnering a metascore of 91, making it one of the highest-rated titles on Wii U. It still stands tall as a classic release, and I believe it's prime material for a remaster for Switch – especially if the package also included the original Bayonetta.
Super Mario 3D World
It would have been more surprising if Nintendo hadn't shown their mascot character running around on Switch during its reveal, but there he was in all his glory. It's currently unknown whether this will be an all-new game, or an uprated version of Super Mario 3D World, but I'm speculating that an all-new console deserves an all-new Mario game – despite the fact that Super Mario 3D World is the highest-rated Wii U game on Metacritic. Perhaps we'll eventually see a special edition of it for Switch? In the meantime, I'm certainly hoping that Super Mario Switch is designed specifically to showcase the new features of Nintendo's newest console – whatever they may be.
Back in July of 2015, Shigeru Miyamoto was quoted as saying that Pikmin 4 was in development and "very close to completion." Yet despite Nintendo's subsequent confirmation of the game's existence, there has been no further information about its target platform. With the Wii U now slowly disappearing in the rear view mirror, it would make sense that the new game is destined for Switch – perhaps as a launch window title?
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Jeremy Parish loved this Super Mario spin-off when he reviewed it back in 2014. The bright and colorful action-puzzler uses the Wii U's touchpad and gyroscopic controls, but since we believe that Switch has both, it could be ported across to the new system pretty much lock, stock, and barrel. Despite the game being a relatively low-key Nintendo release, it actually sold in excess of a million copies – so it definitely has high potential appeal.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
The fifth outing for the Donkey Kong Country franchise had a largely warm critical reception when it was launched in early 2014. Bob Mackey was very positive about the game in his USgamer review, calling it, "one of the finest platformers of this generation." The game's controls are conventional, meaning it could be ported to Switch relatively painlessly – but would Nintendo want to do that? Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze would certainly help bolster the Switch's library if they did, but maybe Nintendo have new plans for the series?
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
One of the very few Wii U games to garner a five-star rating from us, Bob Mackey enthusiastically stated that he felt the HAL Laboratory-developed release offered a "sublime experience." The main challenge in porting the game to Switch is the fact that it uses the Wii U's stylus. However, if the Switch does indeed have a touch-sensitive screen, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse could be engineered to be controlled using the player's fingers. Would that be a sub-optimal experience? I don't necessarily think so, but perhaps the designers at Nintendo would disagree?
Another game that was very highly rated when we reviewed it on USgamer back in 2014, Pushmo World aka Pullblox World is a budget-friendly arcade puzzler that's highly enjoyable to play. It's actually the third game in the relatively new series – previous iterations were released on 3DS, and its gameplay is perfect for mobile platforms. With the Switch's undock-and-go functionality, Pushmo World would certainly be ideal for gaming on the move, and since it's a digital-only release, it would be a relatively easy game to publish.