Essentially, this post is similar to a post titled “Top 5 Wii U Games I’d Buy Now (If I Had A Wii U)”. That post was created early last year. It’s amazing how much has changed in a year and a half. I purchased the Mass Effect trilogy for $9 on a flash sale a few months ago for the PC. And my mind has been completely back and forth about Need for Speed: Most Wanted, which in March of 2014 was at the top of the list of games I want. I am not happy at how long it has taken for the Wii U to become a worthwhile system to purchase. We’re still awaiting Star Fox Zero and the next Zelda game. Meanwhile, Nintendo still hasn’t seemed to gain the confidence of EA back and appears to be losing some support from Ubisoft, as well. But I can elaborate on that another day. For now, I want to highlight the games that I would like to get with my new (refurbished) Wii U console (It came with Nintendo Land, so that won’t be considered for this list).
-Wind Waker HD
Ah yes, this one didn’t quite make the list. I would like to try this game, as I would consider this my 2nd favorite Zelda game, Ocarina being at the top. There’s a Twilight Princess HD remake in the works for next year, but the original Wii version already sported widescreen support, amongst other things. Being able to play Wind Waker in native widescreen will alone be a fun thing to do. Of course, the overall polish helps. But having played this game before, this doesn’t quite make my top 5.
-Need for Speed Most Wanted U
Here’s another game that was very close to making the list. I don’t know anyone who owns this game and I also don’t know anyone who owns this game and has played the original Most Wanted game, released for Xbox 360, Xbox, PS2 and GCN. I would have to rent or buy this game to know if I would like it, but from videos, it seemed that the police chases are more “fun” intense than “dramatic” intense. The original game went for more dramatic police chases in its tone with fast-paced music that kept players on the edge of their seats. The new version of the game seems to take the approach of you being a guy who has “got this”, and it hampers the chases to more cool than dangerous. I may still get this, but there’s another racing game on the horizon that looks to be even better…
5. Fast Racing Neo
This is the only game on the list that has not been released yet, but is slated to arrive before Christmas. It seems to be an off-brand version of F-Zero GX. Since I loved F-Zero GX, I have no qualms about this. And since it’s an eshop game, I am expecting it to be around $20. That’s a win-win considering that certain other games on this list are $60 (or more).
4. Super Smash Bros.
This should come as no surprise, despite that I thought the N64 original was more or less an average game (haters gonna hate, but the GCN and Wii versions were much better). I don’t expect this game to be all too amazing, and I have already played a few hours of it. It seems to take time to get used to the way they have balanced characters and movement. Since the Wii version is what I got used to, it may take a while for me to get used to this. But, I am very impressed with how Nintendo handled the release of this game. Not only was there 8-player support, there was Gamecube controller support. For a company that has done so little when porting N64 games to the Virtual Console, as one example, it’s refreshing to see Nintendo care enough about fans to release an adapter specifically to use a controller that was used for a console that debuted 14 years ago.
3. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Here comes a game that kind of came out of nowhere, but appears to have the charm of Super Mario 3D World minus any creepy cat costumes. And at a $40 price tag, it’s a much easier buy for me.
2. Pikmin 3
One of the reasons I come back to Nintendo despite anything else is because they have franchises like this. Being long overdue, the sequel to one of my favorite GCN games, Pikmin 2, was released on the Wii U after nearly 10 years without a new release in the franchise. We can debate Nintendo’s choice of waiting so long to revive franchises, but we ought to embrace what they have given us. This is a game I don’t want to pass up.
1. Watch Dogs
Releasing to mixed reviews, Watch Dogs came out in May of 2014 to all other consoles except the Wii U. Finally being released before the year ended, the Wii U version of Watch Dogs was said to be developed specifically to have the Gamepad utilized to a fuller potential. I was glad that developers and publishers cared enough about the Wii U to consider doing this. And while Ubisoft isn’t impressed with the sales of the Wii U version (being late, I am not sure what they were expecting), I am amazed that a third-party game as ambitious as Watch Dogs even made it to the Wii U. While the framerate seems to be worse than the two newer consoles on the market (after all, the Wii U was released a year before PS4 and Xbox One), the Wii U version still looks comparable to the PS3 and even some people playing on PC. I think Nintendo had a good idea with the Gamepad to begin with, and while many developers are using the Gamepad simply for off-screen play rather than something more unique, here we have a game that uses the Gamepad for something more than that. That alone makes this worth a try. I know many people see this as a lost opportunity to do something more than what apparently amounts to just a map, but people forget that that is still more than what PS4 and Xbox One players got. I’ve also heard of framerate issues, but we tolerated that back in the N64 days. As someone who doesn’t have a great PC, I don’t mind giving this a try on the Wii U. My interest in the subject matter of this game helps elevate it to the top of this list.