The Nintendo Wii was everyone’s console. Your grandma’s and even your little brother’s. It was a household staple and was even used in nursing homes. Now that’s accessibility! However, the Wii probably has more shovelware on the system than any other console in existence. I mean just look at all of it! All that plastic. Usually when you put the words cheap and Wii together you immediately think Chicken Shoot or Carnival Games, but that’s not always the case. There are genuinely fantastic Wii games, some of the best on the system even, for under $20 complete inbox. So, if you just bought a Wii, have a Wii U collecting dust, or just want to see if there’s anything you have missed, boy do I have a list for you!
Like before these are all games in my personal collection, and there are more out there, but these are some of the best you can get on the system. Again, you won’t see any survival horror titles as these are niche and skyrocketed along with those on every other console, there’s a lot of JRPGs that are high in price and many indie developed games that didn’t get many points.
GoldenEye 007 – Eurocom Developments/Activision – 2010
So, there’s a thing in the James Bond universe in which you are not allowed to take old James Bonds into the future. It’s dumb and the creators are stubborn assholes, but we got GoldenEye remade! Kind of! It’s more of a reboot of the original idea with Daniel Craig as the Bond here. It’s a fantastic shooter on the Wii and looks really good. Just don’t come in expecting good ‘ol Pierce on your screen.
Boom Blox – EA – 2008
Steven Spielberg said screw Medal of Honor! Jenga is where it’s at! This game took the world by storm with it’s Jenga style shoot-blocks-out-of-the-tower gameplay. We all did this as kids and it works so well on the Wii here. The game looks great too and the physics are awesome. There are a ton of puzzles to play through and a good amount of modes. It’s more addicting than you think.
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two – Junction Point Studios/Disney Interactive – 2012
This game came out late in the console’s life and the first game didn’t pan out too well for good old Warren Specter, the creator of Deus Ex. The game had an awful camera and just felt clunky despite the Disney aesthetics. Mickey 2 is a much better game here and while not the Wii’s swansong, it looked better on other platforms at this point. It’s still feeling the best to play thanks to the Wii remote. Still has flaws, but it’s a lot of fun.
Excite Truck – Monster Games/Nintendo – 2006
This was a launch title for the system and while it’s not very deep it’s fast-paced and fun. It looks halfway decent too and runs at a good speed. I don’t quite know why they took the Excite name and made a game out of trucks. Those aren’t something you think about when you see the Excite name. It’s cheap and good fun.
Ghost Squad – AM R&D Dept #2/Sega – 2007
This was an early game for the series and was released shortly after Link’s Crossbow Training so it used the Wii Zapper. It’s a fairly generic yet entertaining light gun game and feels just like Sega’s arcade classics. I would have liked something more fantasy-like than a dry military-style game, but it’s fun and back then you didn’t have a huge selection of games to play on Wii.
Kirby’s Epic Yarn – Good-Feel Co.,/Nintendo – 2010
This was a late release for the system, and while very easy, it oozes charm, and the yarn style visuals were so popular Nintendo released more games in this style. It’s one of my favorite Kirby games and the boss fights, levels, and overall design are just so clever and addictive, this is a game you won’t want to put down.
MX vs. ATV: Untamed – Incinerator Studios/THQ – 2008
Racing games that aren’t Mario Kart were not very big on the system due to the underperforming hardware, but MX Untamed is a great motocross game that is fast-paced and has decent physics. You won’t get fancy terrain deformation or anything like that, but it plays well and just feels better than most racers on the system.
MadWorld – Platinum Games/Sega – 2009
This was a flop, but one of the few mature games on the system. It featured a black and white art style and tons and tons of gore and dismemberment. In fact, that’s the gimmick here. The game is very repetitive, but the different death animations and weapons to use are a lot of fun. It’s a short game and is made by Bayonetta creators Platinum Games so you know it’s still quality gaming.
Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 – Team Fusion/EA – 2007
I don’t own the first game because there’s really no reason to. It was a light-gun on-rails-style game and this one is free moving. This was released during the steep descent of repetitive WWII shooters. It uses the Wii remote well here and is entertaining for a few play-throughs. If you can’t stand Medal of Honor or WWII shooters in general this won’t win you over.
Mercury Meltdown Revolution – Ignition – 2007
This was a fun game on PSP and it moved to the Wii and the combination with the Wii remote and the motion sensor just made sense. It’s fun, innovative, and has great physics and colorful visuals. The game isn’t just a Super Monkey Ball clone, but a puzzle game as well. You need to match colors and open gates and move things around to pass the level. It’s addictive and has more depth than you’d think.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption – Retro Studios/Nintendo – 2007
This was one of the most anticipated games of the mid-2000s. It pushed the system to its limits and really utilized the Wii remote. It’s surprisingly cheap too and is a great jumping-in point if you don’t want to shell out the dollars for the more expensive GameCube versions. There were ports to the Wii but that trilogy is quite pricey and one of the most expensive games on the system. The game is brilliant and just a masterclass of the genre.
Mini Ninjas – IO Interactive/Eidos Interactive – 2009
Mini Ninjas is a fun and cute platforming adventure game. It uses the Wii remote well here and looks pretty good as well. It was sadly overlooked by other games that came out around that time, but don’t let the kid-like visuals stop you. The game can get pretty tough and it has a lot of well-designed gameplay mechanics.
Monster Hunter Tri – Capcom – 2009
This is your typical Monster Hunter affair. The series grew kind of stale of me around this point, but this game works well on the system and introduced underwater combat for the first time. It looks great for a Wii game and any diehard Monster Hunter fan will enjoy this. If you own a Wii and never tried the series this is probably the best one to do so with.
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon – Midway – 2007
Say what you will about the 128-bit era of Mortal Kombat games, but Armageddon had hell of a roster with every single character ever created in the game. They were stripped down to two fight styles instead of three, and the unique fatalities were cut out for generic “Kreate-A-Fatality”. A new create a character mode was added and was surprisingly deep and a much improved Konquest mode was added that felt similar to Shaolin Monks. Motor Kombat was passable, however. If you hated this era of 3D Mortal Kombat games then keep moving, and I also have to add that the motion controls are awful. Use a Classic or GameCube controller here.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii – Nintendo – 2009
This is where the New Super Mario Bros. gameplay stuff started to peak. It was introduced on the DS and this was the first 2D Mario platformer on a home console in nearly 20 years. It was a huge deal. People bought Wiis just for this game. If you like any current 2D Mario game today you will love this as well. It has clever level design, addictive gameplay, and the difficulty ramps up just right. This is a must-own for any Wii owner.
NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams – Sonic Team/Sega – 2007
This was a long-awaited sequel to one of the best Saturn games released. People talked about this game for ages and it was a smash hit when it was released by the core Saturn fans. It looked amazing, played well, and was incredibly colorful, and had that classic Sega vibe to it. It’s a must-own for any Wii owner as it was the last game we’d ever see in the series.
Prince of Persia: Rival Swords – Ubisoft – 2007
This is essentially just Two Thrones. It was also released alongside the PSP and was great on that system as well. Rival Swords look great, plays well, and if you haven’t played a Prince of Persia game this isn’t a bad one to pick up outside of being at the end of the trilogy story-wise. It has great combat, fun time puzzles, and fantastic exploration.
Resident Evil 4 – Capcom – 2007
2007 was a smash-hit year for the Wii. Resident Evil 4 was a fantastic port and considered the best port to date outside of the HD versions. The motion controls just fit this game so perfectly, but sadly there’s no new content here. This is essentially the PS2 version with the added Separate Ways story. It’s still great despite looking a bit rough around the edges.
Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles – Capcom – 2007
This is an on-rails retelling of Resident Evil 0 through 3 and does a great job recapping those games. The game gets really hard very quickly and gun upgrades are a must if you are to survive at all. This is one of the best on-rails shooters for the system, and despite looking pretty ancient, even for the Wii, it’s a lot of fun.
SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1 – Alpha Denshi/SNK Playmore – 2008
This is a great compilation disc with many well-ported arcade classics. Metal Slug, Samurai Shodown, Neo Turf Masters, Fatal Fury, The King of Fighters ’94?! This is a great list of games and will keep you busy for hours. You just can’t go wrong here if you are an SNK/Neo Geo fan.
Samba de Amigo – Escalation Studios/Sega – 2008
This is a great rhythm game and is a remake of the Dreamcast game. You play with the Wii remotes and use them like maracas. The previous game had to include expensive peripherals, but not here! The music feels like classic Sega and is quite catchy. It’s great fun and uses the Wii remotes very well.
Sonic Colors – Sonic Team/Sega – 2010
This was released late in the system’s life, but Sonic Colors is considered one of the few good 3D Sonic games. This game was unique to the system and so was the DS version, both are great. It’s the Wisp abilities that make this game stand out the most and it somehow worked. Sonic Team actually made a good game! While it’s been re-released for Switch, that version is better, but if you don’t have one or want a cheaper version, this is the way to go.
Super Paper Mario – Intelligent Systems/Nintendo – 2007
This is by far my favorite Paper Mario game and I loved it to death when it came out. I sat through and played this in one sitting it was so good. The game shifted you from a 3D perspective to 2D on the fly and the unique puzzles, platforming, level design, and animations just won me over. It’s one of the best games on Wii and feels very unique for the system.
The Conduit – High Voltage Software/Sega – 2009
This was released pretty late in the system’s life, but it was a big deal because it was a new FPS on the system that wasn’t an on-rails shooter. It had a sci-fi vibe to it and felt like something close to Project Snowblind. The game has a unique feature that allows you to see objects and enemies through walls to solve puzzles as well. It has a dumb story, but the action is solid and well worth the cheap price of entry.
Tomb Raider Anniversary – Buzz Monkey Software/Eidos – 2007
This is a unique version of Anniversary as it features puzzles only seen in this version and excellent motion controls. It looks pretty good too. Better than the PS2 version, but not as good as the Xbox 360 one. This is probably the superior version over all of them due to the unique content and controls. It’s a must-have for the system and is also a remake of the first game, so now you don’t have to play that.
Trauma Center: New Blood – Atlus – 2007
If you didn’t like Second Opinion or any of the DS entries you won’t like this one. It looks the same, plays the same, and just features a different story and characters. There is a co-op mode and that’s about it. The game is still solid and the Trauma Center series would only live on Nintendo platforms due to the unique controls needed.
Trauma Center: Second Opinion – Atlus – 2006
This was an early title for the system and a port of the DS game. It’s still hard as balls and I still can’t beat this game, and I’ve tried three times on both versions. If you didn’t like the DS version you won’t like this one either. The controls not being a touch screen make you a little less imprecise which can lead to making the game seem harder. It features a crazy terrorist plot story and some anime tropes. If that’s your thing then pick this one up.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess – Nintendo – 2006
This was a launch title for the Wii and was a smash hit. Everyone talked about this game for a good five years after it was released. People cried at its reveal, and while it looked super ugly, it was a lot of fun and used the Wii controls very well. If you haven’t played a Zelda title before this is a great one to pick up, and until they finally port it to Switch, this is your best option unless you own a Wii U.