The Nintendo Wii remains one of the most successful gaming consoles of all time. Part of that was due to the motion controls that had never been featured in a game system before. The other part was due to the games that came out. While focused on family play, there were numerous games for the Wii that captivated audiences and motivated them to keep coming back for more.
Due to the Wii's fairly long life cycle, there were a lot of games released for the system. For the most part, Nintendo brought a lot of stellar first-party titles to the console that gave it the longevity and appeal that all gaming systems dream of.
However, because of all of the games that came out for the system, it can be difficult to remember them all. Just about every big Nintendo franchise appeared on the system alongside some stellar third-party hits. We've collected some screenshots of the various games that made it to the console to see how much you could recognize.
Can you name these Wii games by a screenshot?
Raise your sword
The Legend of Zelda series is every bit as iconic and beloved as Mario. Because of this, Nintendo was adamant about making sure it had prime representation on their motion control console. This game came out right when Nintendo was celebrating a big anniversary for the franchise. They incorporated tight motion controls and a powerful backstory to let audiences know how Hyrule came to be and why we have Link, Zelda, and Ganon reappearing in every game to date. However, many people aren't fans of this game nowadays.
Build your town
As if you couldn't guess by the look of the characters, this is a game in the Animal Crossing series. As you might expect, it holds a lot of the same mechanics as it predecessors did, but the Wii version allowed for some graphical improvements as well as being able to design your own flags and t-shirts. It was a game that allowed for people to come back for hundreds of hours on end, and was part of a formula that would continue for years afterward.
For those of you that don't recognize the character, that is Samus Aran from the Metroid series. She is one of the fiercest bounty hunters ever created, and the fans love her. Before she went into a strange hiatus, she had several games released on the Wii. The one pictured featured a unique gameplay style that was different from the series at that point. It also gave Samus a backstory that proved not to sit well with both critics and audiences.
It's a me!
While Mario gets a lot of flack for being Nintendo's golden boy, there's no denying that he has starred in some phenomenal games. On the Wii, there were actually a handful of Mario games that received exceptional praise. This game saw Mario hopping around various planets with his dinosaur sidekick, Yoshi. It featured refined platforming, a perfected formula, and even some stellar visuals considering the hardware that Nintendo was working with at the time. Overall it was a 10/10 according to most.
Let your dreams come true
The Kirby series was primarily made for a handheld, but many people lost interest in it after developers made games like Kirby Squeak Squad and Canvas Curse. However, HAL Laboratory decided to head the series again and felt that it was high time for the pink puff to make a triumphant return. That resulted in the game you see before you. It's there that Kirby can team up with three other characters to rid DreamLand of the adorable creatures that live there. Along the way, they'll even travel to other dimensions.
Roll the dice
What happens if you mesh Monopoly, Mario, and Dragon Quest? You get this game that appeared late in the Wii's life cycle. As a matter of fact, this is part of a series that had been popular in Japan. The Wii game marked the first time that it had appeared outside of the region. While it may look like a standard party game, your goal is to manage your property well and control the most of the street at the end of the game.
He's the first member of the DK Crew!
After Donkey Kong Country released on the SNES all those years ago, the series had gone on a long hiatus due to the departure of Rare. However, after many long years, developer Retro Studios (Metroid Prime) decided to breathe new life into Donkey Kong himself. They chose to go with a much more traditional take on the character and brought him back to his roots. Yet, there were no Kremlings or King K. Rool in sight. DK instead had to battle powerful mask creatures.
This game takes place in the Mushroom Kingdom and forces Mario and his pals to play yet another version of sports. Along the way, they will have access to numerous different power-ups which change how each match progresses. There is also an eclectic roster of characters to choose from, and resulted in a fairly enjoyable game from start to finish. Unfortunately, this particular series would fail to make a reappearance after this game hit the Wii several years ago. Where has it gone?
3D Pikachu game?
The Pokemon series is known for its spin-offs, and when it comes to home consoles, that's the only thing you're going to see when it comes to that franchise. This game on the Wii saw Pikachu as he explored a mysterious new world. It's there that various attractions existed where Pikachu competed to restore balance and befriend every Pokemon around. The game was heavily praised for its graphics and sound design, but the gameplay wasn't varied or difficult enough to hold a lasting interest.
Which one is that again?
The Mario Party series has progressively gone downhill as it's lived on. It saw a few different entries on the Wii, and this one has proved to be the more favorable one. It still featured different boards for players to go on, but it did away with a lot of the foundations that made the series so beloved among fans. However, it did include some unique unlockable characters that were worth the struggle, but that didn't stop the mini games from being hit or miss.
If you don't recognize this series, then you probably live under a rock. This fighting game combines all of Nintendo's favorite characters and puts them in one arena to the death. Instead of using health bars, the game functions on a percentage system. The more you get hit, the higher percentage you will receive. The higher percentage you have, the farther you fly when hit. If you get smacked off the screen, then you die. That's really all there is to it.
1, 2, Punch!
This fighting game was an interesting take on the genre from Nintendo. As opposed to having two characters duke it out on a 2D sidescrolling perspective, this game pits two people against each other from a first-person-ish point of view. It's there where you control a little boxer as you dodge blows, look for openings, and deal high amounts of damage. The game also made use of the motion controls found on the Wii, which were impossible when the series debuted on the NES.
Zoo simulators are surprisingly some of the best casual games on the market (they have since died out though). Because the Wii doesn't model itself to a PC experience, the developers of this title had to rework the gameplay and art style. The result of this was an extremely accessible zoo game that not only looked pleasing to the eye, but was very marketable to a younger audience. While it won't dethrone the behemoth of the Zoo Tycoon series, it was still a solid experience.
Is that who I think it is?
After the success of Mario Party, many other developers tried to recreate it with their own franchises. We've seen several characters have their own party games, even Shrek got his own rip-off. One of these games for the Wii was known for bringing Pac-Man and the various ghosts to the party format. From there, it's a lot of what you'd expect. You compete against other players across very different minigames and boards. However, it failed to get the attention of the Mario Party series.
Hamster balls and monkeys
SEGA isn't well-known for creating properties other than Sonic, but there was a time when they were pushing multiple properties. One franchise saw various monkeys traveling in colorful hamster balls across various levels and minigames. When the series jumped to the Wii, it instead incorporated a party game format, having numerous quick minigames that modeled themselves to playing with a lot of people at a time. Unfortunately, a lot of the minigames didn't work well because of how poor the motion controls were for it.
They're still making Hello Kitty games?
Hello Kitty games, while they're generally low-quality, are extremely marketable simply because there are many people who love the property. This game on the Wii combined the characters and settings of the Hello Kitty world and the gameplay style of Animal Crossing. While it might be a bit of a rip-off, this combination worked fairly well overall. Unfortunately, the game didn't last very long in consumers' eyes, due to the property involved and the fact that Animal Crossing is a better experience.
While many people love to hate on the Nintendo Wii for the motion controls, they actually worked well when done right. Nintendo created several first-party games that highlighted the excellence on this new type of controller. Later on, they added a way to increase the precision of the motion controls, and with it came this new game. It took a lot of the standard minigame format and placed it on a separate island. It's there that new games were created and more fun times were had.
Create a character
Creating your own character is fine and dandy, but what if you could literally draw your own character? That's what this game on the Wii proposed. It allowed players to literally create their own characters and go on a massive RPG adventure. While most player characters look pretty crappy, this game ended up being a solid adventure from start to finish. It also served as a sequel to a game that was released on the DS. However, the series dropped off the map after this game.
Head to head
As you might be shocked to figure out, here is another party game on the Wii. This time, players instead control the Miis that they create on the console rather than predetermined characters. However, the gameplay style still remains the same. Compete against each other across multiple minigames and see who can do the best. It's not as brutal as most party games are, but it still results in some interesting moments. That being said, most people forget that this game exists.
This game didn't receive a lot of attention from people in the West, yet it's still a beloved game. This strategy title saw players building armies of multiple types of characters. As they advanced and got better throughout the campaign, people formed relationships and grew together. This game was also well-known for having a permadeath system where if characters died they would be gone forever. It forced players to think more strategically about their next moves and reserve a lot of their stronger fighters.
Coming out of the pages
This Sonic game saw our favorite blue hedgehog speeding through levels like he never had before. Instead of having a button where you accelerate, Sonic instead ran automatically. Players were instead in control of when he jumped, turned, and used his homing attack. Needless to say, the game came out during the Wii's early days when everyone was trying to justify the existence of motion controls, and while they worked fine, this entry in the Sonic franchise is far from SEGA's best.
Bunnies just want to have fun
Another popular minigame title, this game saw players take control of the long-beloved character Rayman. However, he embarks on a much different adventure than normal. Instead of platforming through various levels, he instead is captured by strange creatures known as the rabbids and placed in a gladiatorial arena. Instead of fighting his way to freedom, he instead has to play various minigames that range from ridiculously fun to outrageously grotesque. Nonetheless, it would begin a separate series for Ubisoft that many people dislike to this day.
The Wii lent itself very well to multiplayer experiences, and this game was very well defined for it. It was structured on the idea that two people would play against each other. They had a choice of various minigames where players attempt to outdo the other. The games themselves ranged from your standard table tennis to the random yet exciting fishing and cow racing. The game has a lot of appeal, but if you don't have anyone else to play with, you will lose interest.
I'm really feeling it!
Open world RPG games are all the rage these days, and believe it or not, there was a fantastic one that came out on the Wii back in the day. It was created by developer MonolithSoft and they crafted an excellent hit. The game saw you take control of a man who had a sword that allowed him to change his stats on the fly. Due to the cult following the game received, Nintendo placed one of the characters in Smash Bros and allowed the developers to continue the series.
Monkeys, tambourines, and music
This game is all about keeping track of the beat and never losing your step. The game is a combination of WarioWare and rhythm-based titles as it takes you across several different minigames where you manage different beats. This game was another entry in a series that was extremely popular in Japan. However, due to the love it received in the West, it has since been brought over and has a loyal following to this day. This was the second game in the series that came to the U.S.