Not just a gimmick
The Wii's codename was the "Revolution," which Nintendo probably should have stuck with, but despite the name change you can't deny that a revolution is what the Wii was. With its cheap price, accessible controls, and a veritable cornucopia of games, it helped bring gaming to the mainstream.
Like many revolutions, we can only appreciate the Wii fully in hindsight. In the Wii's heyday, we could've overlooked any number of its wonderful games. But today, we can look back at the system's complete library and highlight 25 of its absolute best. Join us and enjoy our countdown of the 25 best Wii games of all time.
(By the way, as a rule we didn't allow multiple entries in a franchise on the list. It keeps things more interesting.)
25. The House of the Dead: Overkill
There have been lightgun-style games for almost as long as there have been home game consoles, but The House of the Dead: Overkill is easily one of the best in class, let alone on the Wii. Good old-fashioned zombie slaying mixed with grindhouse cinema presentation make this a fun (and funny) title that meshes naturally with the Wii Remote's design.
24. Mario Kart Wii
Were it not for its Wii U sequel, Mario Kart Wii would undisputably hold the crown for best Mario Kart game. The addition of more riders per race, motorbikes, a tweaked drifting system, and the ability to perform tricks were all hailed as major improvements, and the courses are as wonderful as they've ever been.
Reboots and remakes are a tricky business. You want the experience to feel fresh, but you need to pay respect to what came before. Thankfully, Punch-Out!! for the Wii does exactly that, bringing back the dodge, dodge, punch rhythm that made the original such a classic, and wrapping it up in a beautifully stylized package.
22. Rhythm Heaven Fever
With its simple design and gyroscope sensor, the Wii Remote makes for a great music game controller. And while Just Dance parties were fun, it was Rhythm Heaven Fever that stuck with you, ensaring players with its adorable visuals, cutesy storylines, and catchy tunes. Plus, it had a certain wacky charm that simply can't be described on the back of a box.
21. Excitebots: Trick Racing
Excitebots: Trick Racing proves that it's not all about how fast you cross the finish line, but how cool you looked when you did it. Rather than focus on tight curves and single-file racing speedways, Excitebots features large, sprawling courses with multiple pathways. And while you may end up in first place just from being fast, you'll want to challenge yourself to be the best trickster too.
20. Red Steel 2
The first Red Steel promised us the fantasy of wielding a console controller like a sword, transforming us into badass samurai (that also wielded guns). But it wasn't until Red Steel 2 that we finally got a sense of how utterly cool that could feel. With more stylized visuals and support for the Wii MotionPlus, Red Steel 2 is one of the tightest action games the Wii ever had.
19. Muramasa: The Demon Blade
Without question, Muramasa: The Demon Blade is very high on our list of most beautiful Wii games. Its lavish, superbly animated world shames the system's tepid 3D offerings to the point where "pretty for a Wii game" should be forever stricken from gaming phraseology. With fantastic combat, a diverse armory of unique weapons, and over a dozen hours of gameplay, Muramasa would stand out on any system. On the Wii it shines as one more ray of inspiration to anyone who passed on the system for good.
18. Dead Space: Extraction
Dead Space: Extraction is much more than a haunted shooting gallery, as the presentation, voice acting, and exceptional visuals make you feel like a part of the action. You're not just moving along with a target reticle blasting grotesque monsters; you are that person - ducking and weaving, cussing in disbelief, shuddering with the guerrilla-style shaky cam that immerses you in the world like no other game in the genre. Like any good rollercoaster, Extraction gets your heart racing and adrenaline pounding even though you have no control. An interesting and emotional take on the lightgun scene.
17. A Boy and His Blob
With highly inventive gameplay and outstanding storybook visuals, the updated adventure of A Boy and His Blob (originally on the NES) is absolutely worth checking out again or for the first time. Whether it's the boy calling his pal in alternately playful and impatient tones or the blob obediently hopping along awaiting its next jellybean snack, this tale is as much about friendship as it about adventure. Nothing drives this point home more than the hug button, which serves no other purpose than to make the boy snuggle his blob like a favorite teddy bear. Simply put: You'd have to have a frigid, icy heart to not love this game on some level.