10 Wii U Games to Play Before the Nintendo NX Ruins Everything

And they're not not even all Mario!


Rumors are swirling around Nintendo’s upcoming console, the NX, and they don’t look good for fans of backwards compatibility. As much as some folks might crave the option to bring their Wii U titles forward, most sources indicate that the NX likely wont be backwards compatible. So, there’s no time like the present to play the best of ‘em.

Given the lackluster sales of the Wii U, it seems unlikely that the company will be staying in the last-gen business for too much longer. As the production for the NX kicks into high gear, it’s possible that the Wii U might become something of an endangered species in the coming years.

And while there are plenty of reasons to get hyped about the Nintendo NX, there’s still some valuable titles attached to the Wii U. As Nintendo’s console cycle nears its end in advance of the March 2017 NX launch, there are plenty of reasons to visit the Wii U’s library.

10. Mario Kart 8

There will inevitably be a new installment of Mario Kart on the NX, and it will undoubtedly kick all kinds of ass much like every installment of tI to date. In general, Mario Kart continues to hew closely to its core mechanics while adding fun, new surprises that make crossing the finish line a new adventure each time.

If you haven’t gotten to the Wii U’s take on the old Nintendo standby, it’s honestly reason enough to shell out the money for the console itself.

9. Super Mario Maker

Much like the craze surrounding Sony’s Little Big Planet, the Wii U’s Super Mario Maker allows fans to craft their very own Super Mario Bros. levels and then share them with an active fan community. In short, it’s genius.

Super Mario Maker’s broad range of tools and huge amount of creative freedom have kept its community actively involved in creating and sharing new, nightmarish levels for players to enjoy.

8. Bayonetta 2

For the action fans out there, Bayonetta 2 is second to none, no matter what console you’re playing on. The simplistic controls open themselves up to wickedly awesome combinations that are accentuated by the game’s radical environment shifts and over-the-top graphics.

Also, you can play in a Star Fox costume. So, yeah.

7. Tokyo Mirage Sessions FE

A weird sort of hybrid/off-shoot of the Persona and Fire Emblem series, Tokyo Mirage Sessions is just as simultaneously cracked and charming as you’d expect.

The premise — fight off aliens in a series of turn-based dungeon crawls — may not seem like the most exciting prospect, but the Atlus game is a frenetic joy filled with fast-paced gameplay, solid puzzles, and lovable characters that will stay with you.

6. Pikmin 3

Strategic adventures like Pikmin 3 come along once in a generation. The multi-tasking title puts players in the role of cute, little spacemen who are responsible for getting food back to their home planet. To accomplish this admirable task, they harness cute, little plant people to swarm their way to success.

The gameplay is varied, the combat is tense, and did I mention it’s really freaking cute?

5. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Donkey Kong Country isn’t just a platformer, it’s a full-on adventure. Gamers may have helped the iconic ape reclaim his lost territory in the past, but Tropical Freeze elevates the age-old recipe into something really special. Each level is a new challenge that will keep you re-playing (and happily failing) for several hours from start to finish.

4. Splatoon

There is no other PvP experience quite as gonzo as Splatoon, an arena shooter that pits four-on-four squads against each other in a madcap dash to cover the walls and floors with various colors of paint.

Eloquently combining some silly weaponry, new twists on arena traversal, and an easily accessible cartoon aesthetic, Splatoon is a game that the whole family can sit down and enjoy.

3. Super Mario 3D World

It might be slow to start, but Super Mario 3D World soon opens up into one of the most creative outings in the plumber’s history. Nintendo’s most famous character is well-served in this outing, which — like the Wii U’s *Mario Kart — is well worth picking up a Wii U to own.

2. Xenoblade Chronicles X

The Xenoblade series is renowned for its high impact combat, expansive open world, and engrossing sci-fi story. For good reason, too.

It even allows players to kick all kinds of butt as a giant humanoid robot … do you need any more motivation to pick up the Wii U exclusive than that?

1. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

The Wii U’s iteration of the Smash Bros. franchise is the same formula as always with a few clever tweaks. The blistering combat is heightened to a pulse-pounding degree in the latest installment, and, honestly, punting Kirby across the map never really stops being fun.

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