Every Week I will be posting a new “top 10” list for every major video game platform in my lifetime, starting with the 5th generation of consoles and moving forward from there. I would love to hear your input on some of your favourite games, from each console or handheld. This is not necessarily an objective list of the 10 best games on the console, but rather my subjective opinion on the best 10 games of each console.
#10 Boom Blox
Boom Blox is a ton of fun. If you don’t know what it is, it’s Jenga, Lego, and Duck Hunt combined with a good physics engine. It even does so with precise measurements – it measures the velocity of the object you throw and ensures that when the blocks collapse they collapse realistically. Boom Blox is great fun and requires thought, precision, and problem-solving skills. Moreover, it works beautifully with Wii Motion Plus and manages to not look like trash on the dated Wii hardware.
#9 Metroid Prime Trilogy
This one is cheating a bit since its the three Metroid Prime games, but they are all so well done. The best way to play Metroid Prime is on the Wii through this trilogy set. All 3 games become progressively more complex and beautiful in their own right in level design, mechanics, and of course art style and visual fidelity. It is a shame that Other M was not received very well because the high that Metroid was on after Metroid Prime 3: Corruption was the epitome of trilogies in video games.
Okami was released on many platforms, but I had the most fun playing it on the Wii. Okami is an artsy game that implements watercolour painting style visuals and gameplay so differently and so well that many regard it as one of the better games of the previous generation AND the generation before it. Okami should be experienced if not fully played through by gamers and playing it on the Wii is a great way to do so.
#7 Wii Sports
Wii Sports “sold” over 100 million copies (mainly because it was bundled with the console for most of its lifespan), but rightfully so. Wii Sports represents the Wii and its capabilities in its purest form – fun and innovative hardware that works the way it is supposed to. Bowling, Baseball, Golf, Boxing, and Tennis are all easy to play and can absorb hours of your time swinging the Wii remote like a maniac trying to beat your score or play against your friends.
#6 Super Smash Bros Brawl
The WORST Super Smash Bros, in my opinion, is still an incredible game in its own right. If not for the legacy that the original game, the perfect Smash Bros Melee, and the incredible Smash Bros U, Brawl would be considered one of the best games that Nintendo has ever made. Still, on its own Brawl combines a fun and diverse roster of fighters with refined mechanics and level design in the way that we expect them to in a Smash Bros game. There are some balancing issues (Meta-Knight OP, Marth, etc…) that plagued the game but overall Brawl is still one of the best games you can play on the Wii.
#5 Super Mario Strikers Charged
Charged in front of Brawl? REALLY? I stand behind my decision and I will fight tooth-and-nail for it. Super Mario Strikers Charged is just an improvement over the classic Gamecube title with new companions, opponents, mechanics, maps, and a new season/tournament layout mode. What Charged does so well is the refinement of its mechanics in that the game is very easy to get into and play, but nearly impossible to master (one of the quirks of a great game). My friends and I spent hours upon hours playing against the hardest A.I. possible and some games we would crush them and other games were very close… and, of course, some games we lost horribly. We could never find a way to consistently be “the best” at the game but we were able to play very well.
#4 The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
The Wii was lucky enough to have two great Zelda games on it – Skyward Sword is usually considered the superior of the two with its improved Wii Motion Plus mechanics, cleaner art style, and more traditional Zelda gameplay that we are all used to since Ocarina. Skyward sword does a great job of immersing the player in a unique Zelda setting and atmosphere and combines well-crafted mechanics with the classic Zelda formula we all know and love. Skyward Sword is a must-play on the Wii.
#3 Super Mario Galaxy
Super Mario Galaxy is considered one of the best 3D Mario games ever made, and rightfully so. Galaxy provides an interesting take on the classic 3D Mario formula where each level is its own small planet and each planet is part of a larger solar system that, you guessed it, is part of the overall galaxy. The level design and mechanics for galaxy (seems like a constant remark for most Nintendo games, right?) are uplifted by the new world design. It never has felt better playing as Mario. What is more interesting is how Nintendo was able to make Super Mario Galaxy look so good on the extremely limiting Wii hardware. If you are looking for pure, platforming perfection then it is hard to get any better than Super Mario Galaxy.
#2 The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
So most people would probably rank Skyward Sword above Twilight Princess, but as you can tell I don’t follow the same pattern as most people. Games do not have to strive to be perfect, and sometimes thinking outside the box and trying to do something different and unusual can be more rewarding than striving for the ideal. This has actually been seen in Zelda before, as Majora’s Mask is often ranked against its N64 brethren Ocarina of Time. Ocarina is functionally and objectively a better Zelda game all around, but Majora’s Mask to me has a much more important impact on the entire gaming industry. Twilight Princess takes another dark spin on the Zelda franchise akin to what Majora’s Mask did. The game is by no means perfect, but it innovates in so many ways including the introduction of motion gameplay where you actually control the sword and shield by moving the Wiimote and using the Nunchuck. The dungeons were fairly easy, but there was a fairly significant difficulty spike towards the end of the game. And the shadow zones where Link and Midna traversed the shadow realm with link becoming his spirit animal..? (I still don’t fully understand it) in the form of a wolf and Midna using her abilities to help Link reach his goals. Midna was cheeky and a great companion as well as a fresh take on the Zelda franchise. Twilight Princess is a must-play. No questions asked.
#1 Super Mario Galaxy 2
Super Mario Galaxy 2 takes everything the first game did so well and turns it up to 11. There isn’t much more to be said about this absolute masterpiece of a game. Level design is intuitive, challenging, and innovative. The new Mario suits that he can wear to give him new abilities add an entirely new layer of gameplay to the series. The visuals improved over the first one and remain to push the Wii hardware to its complete limit. This game rivals the likes of Super Mario 64 and even Super Mario World. It is absolutely one of the best games ever made… and on the Wii no less! I still personally prefer Super Mario Sunshine to all of these games, but objectively not much can beat Galaxy 2.
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