- Positive Metacritic Reviews
- Neutral Metacritic Reviews
- Negative Metacritic Reviews
- No Review Listed
- Wii U Exclusive
Don't forget to check the Upcoming games page
System Specs & Details
Don't mind how small it looks- it's actually 50% more powerful than the PS3.
- 2GB of DDR3-1600 RAM, 1GB for it's OS and 1GB for games.
- Tri-Core 1.25 GHz IBM PPC750 based 45 nm CPU.
- AMD Radeon HD 5550 at 550 MHz 40 nm GPU.
- Wii U operating system runs on a separate duo core ARM Cortex A8 processor at 1 GHz.
- 8 GB (Basic model, soon discontinued) or 32 GB (deluxe model) internal flash memory. Supports external USB hard drives up to 2TB and SD(HC) cards.
- Custom Blu-Ray-esc disks (25gb)
- 2.5/5.0 GHz WiFi B/G/N native, supports USB LAN adapters (including wii/(3)ds ones).
- Gamepad uses a custom made 5.2 GHz Wifi N signal, despise this less then the full 5.2 GHz output is used and can be used on a PC viva homebrew.
- HDMI, Component/D-Terminal, S-video (Japanese & North American models only), SCART (PAL models only) and Composite output.
- HDMI output displays a limited RGB pallet in Wii U mode when it uses a full YCrCb pallet in Wii mode.
- Gamepad is always in full RGB mode.
- Component/D-Terminal output always displays a full color pallet, despise this you can't mix the Component/D-Terminal video out put when using the HDMI output for sound to fix the limited RGB pallet issue that the system has when using HDMI when using surround sound out of the HDMI port at the same time.
- USB 2.0, four ports: two front and two back.
- Region Locked
- Internet not required except for Nintendo Network and game updates (system updates available in all nintendo games).
- Free Nintendo Network account needed for online play. No fees!
- Backwards compatible with all Wii games and controllers. Can download NES, SNES, N64, GBA, Wii and DS games from Nintendo E-shop.
- Game installation optional (mostly in ports)
What's with that gamepad thing?
Wii U's bundled in controller known as the Wii U Gamepad has been widely panned as "gimmicky" with many users wondering WTF Nintendo was thinking with such a weird design. Well, the gamepad actually is an interesting piece of equipment.
The Gamepad comes with a near field reader, a headset port, a volume control, a camera, speakers, a touch screen, a TV remote, motion sensors, and a microphone. It's also a full controller usable with a wide array of current and vintage games ported to the Wii U as well as with your computer via homebrew.
All you really need to play with a Wii U is the console and the gamepad because the Wii U's gamepad has a screen and speakers built in. It's actually possible to play many games using just the screen on the gamepad. This style of play is known as "Off TV Play" as the game can be played even if the TV is off. The headset port and volume knob are accessories to help aid Off TV Play by allowing players to play silently or to have the game pad function as speakers as well as a monitor.
Most people are aware that the gamepad screen is actually a touch screen, but it's still worth mentioning. Touching an icon is all it takes to launch a program with games like Mario Maker and Smash Brothers using the touch screen as an intuitive map maker. Typing and drawing are done the same way with the Miiverse welcome screen often filled with art and comments by other Wii U players. Drawing on the game pad while watching Youtube is a popular pastime among Wii U owners due to this ease of use.
The Gamepad also has motion sensors inside even though most games do not use these favoring using buttons and/or the gamepad screen, however, the motion controls are very popular for racing games like Mario Kart 8.
The near field reader is used mostly to use Amiibos and Amiibo cards with various games. Think of Amiibos as multi-game DLC that comes with physical collectables you can show off. The microphone and camera can be used with the built-in Wii U Chat system to videochat (no Skype required) and are used by various other games to allow voice commands, photographs and face recognition. The TV remote feature is perfect for people who are forever losing their remotes and works well.
All of these features are mixed and matched in various games for all sorts of effects from having a handy inventory screen built into your controller to being able to control the camera as you shoot by moving your body. Some may decry it as "gimmicks", but it's hard to deny that the Wii U certainly is a unique system with a multitude of unique options available to it.
||Action-Adventure||You play as a strong sexy independent witch who uses guns on her hands and feet as well as creatures bound from her hair to fight angels and demons. As it's a Platinum game, everything is absolutely CUHRAYZEE - imagine Devil May Cry with tons of over-the-top action. Garnered much a fanboy's rage when it was announced as a Nintendo exclusive, but they were the only company willing to actually fund it - as such, there are many little treats and cameos from Nintendo classics. Some versions come with the first Bayonetta packaged in, so check your discs. If you're still not amazed yet, try the demo.||Gamepad, Pro Controller|
|Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
||Action Puzzle||Really charming spin-off of the Captain Toad segments in Super Mario 3D World. Toadette is playable as well. It also has Shy Guys and even though it is only a few hours long it is cozy as hell.||Gamepad|
|Darksiders II||Action-Adventure/Hack-N-Slash||This game is amazing, and the Wii U version is great. Off-TV play is good, and if you're playing on TV your inventory shows up on the gamepad. Gameplay is Zelda and God of War in a blender. Comes with DLC on disc, although some DLC released after this version isn't available to purchase.||Gamepad, Pro Controller|
|Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut
||FPS/WRPG||Prequel to the first Deus Ex. Everything you could ask for is in it. FPS/RPG action, multiple ways to complete and objective, hacking, stealthing, conspiracy theories, take downs, incredible detail, etc. Slightly more linear then the original, but definitely worthy of the Deus Ex title.
The Director's Cut contains the extra story DLC, improved textures, reworked bosses, and other features.
|Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
||2D Platformer||DK and Diddy return for more Retro Studio-developed antics. Now you can also play as Dixie and based Cranky (though DK must be in the player's team, i.e. no duos of just Dixie/Diddy/Cranky). There's a few new items and moves as a result, and some collectables can only be obtained by certain characters. Swimming levels also make a comeback, but work differently than before. Of particular note are the upgraded visuals, with some very nice textures and effects. Some might call this a rehash, but it's a solid game worth a shot before you form any final opinions.
Available for download and physically.
|Gamepad, Pro Controller, Wiimote, Wiimote + Nunchuk|
||2D Platformer||An HD remake of DuckTales on the NES done in 2.5D with hand-drawn character sprites, developed by WayForward (Shantae, Mighty Switch Force!). The characters have full voice acting and even includes members of the show's original cast. Looks fantastic with identical gameplay to the original, and features expanded levels with a full story. Available for download and physically.||Gamepad, Pro Controller|
|Hyrule Warriors||Hack 'n' Slash||A collaboration between Tecmo Koei and Nintendo where you get to play as Link and fuck up hordes of enemies as well as large bosses with a fabulous scarf, Dynasty Warriors-style. Also yes, it's a spin-off. Just be prepared for tons of waifus - you know, the whole Dynasty Warriors experience. Available for download and physically.||Gamepad, Pro Controller, Wiimote + Nunchuk|
|Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
||Platformer||A sequel to Canvas Curse on the DS, you must draw your way through multiple worlds to stop the so called Rainbow Curse. You can draw platforms to ride on and attack enemies. Has a cute claymation artstyle as well. Short, but it's a fun ride.||Gamepad (Single-Player)
Pro Controller, Classic Controller, Wiimote (Multi-player Only)
|The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
||Action/Adventure||It's Wind Waker but even prettier and with a better inventory system and you can take selfies and send them in messages in bottles to other people. The pacing is improved greatly by the swift sail and the shortening of the Triforce quest. If this is your first Wind Waking then it is a Zelda game that has a fantastically charming game with an aesthetic that will win you over quickly as the emotion it allows Link is great and adds much more lighthearted humor to the game than any other Zelda. Off TV play is as convenient as ever but it means giving up the touchscreen inventory.
The game supports GamePad play, allowing for play without a television, as well as control with the Wii U Pro Controller, for those who prefer a traditional control scheme. During use of the Pro Controller, the GamePad can still be used as a map.
|Gamepad, Pro Controller|
|The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
||Action/Adventure||Just like the one above, this is Twilight Princess, but prettier and a few extras. It isn't as noticeable of a difference as Wind Waker HD, but it still looks pretty good. There's also a new Hero mode included. In fact there's an even harder mode and a new exclusive (albeit optional) dungeon, but they're sadly locked behind Amiibos. Well, it's still a good upgrade anyway.||Gamepad, Pro Controller|
|Lego City Undercover||Action/Collect-a-thon||A semi-open world family-friendly GTA. Since it's a Lego game, expect lots of funny moments, most of the humor drawing from pop culture and '70s cop flicks. Lots of stuff to find and collect. Suffers from ridiculous load times and floaty driving controls.||Gamepad|
|Mario Kart 8
||Racing||The latest in the long-running Marry-oh Kart series. Amazing graphics and silky smooth 60fps, unless you're playing multiplayer with 3 or 4 then it's 30fps. A lot of great tracks and a (mostly) okay roster of characters. New additions include anti-gravity sections, ATVs, Boomerangs, Piranha Plants, Super Horns, all the Koopalings, and more. Has a detailed replay system called Mario Kart TV that lets you view any moment in a race and even edit your reel. Multiplayer is classic fun, and online is decent but limited. You can actually race online with another local player at the same time, which is pretty fucking rad.||Gamepad, Pro Controller, Classic Controller, Wiimote, Wiimote + Nunchuk|
|Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate
||Monster Hunting||Monster Hunter Tri remake, but with so much more fucking content and improved visuals. Can play with 3DS locally, and other Wii U players online. New update just added Off-TV Play and cross-region play. Beware, though: if games like Dark Souls and Mega Man frustrated you, you might want to try the demo first to make sure you really want it.||Gamepad, Pro Controller, Classic Controller|
|Need for Speed: Most Wanted U
||Racing||A port of the PC version of the game. Minor graphical and gameplay updates, but the main draw of this version is that it comes pre-packed with the Ultimate Speed Pack DLC. Co-Driver mode is also introduced, allowing the player to make minor adjustments to the environment and their car on the fly using the Gamepad.||Gamepad, Pro Controller, Classic Controller, Wiimote, Wiimote + Nunchuk|
|NES Remix Pack
||Compilation/Mini Game Collection||A compilation of NES Remix 1 & 2. Unlike the 3DS version which is just a collection of "Best of" games, this one includes all of them.||Gamepad, Pro Controller, Wiimote, Classic Controller/Classic Controller Pro|
|New Super Mario Bros. U
||2D Platformer||More side-scrolling Mario, now in wonderful HD with flying squirrel suits. Supports up to five players, as the person using the gamepad can create platforms to help the other four players. Some new modes, Challenge Mode and Boost Rush are available, the first providing new challenges in exchange for 1-Ups, while the later is a scrolling level challenge that speeds up as coins are obtained. Also includes a new little antagonist called Nabbit who likes to steal items from Toad, but can be caught to obtain the stolen power-ups. Many Deluxe Sets come packed-in with NSMBU+LuigiU DLC all on one disc.||Gamepad, Pro Controller, Wiimote|
|New Super Luigi U
||2D Platformer||Released as an expansion to the original game, this version is available as both DLC and physically in celebration of the Year of Luigi. The game features 82 new courses that are built around Luigi's floaty playstyle, and replaces Mario with the Nabbit as the fourth playable character. Levels tend to be shorter, but more difficult with a reduced time limit. Give it a try if you enjoy the series, though Challenge Mode and Boost Rush are absent.||Gamepad, Pro Controller, Wiimote|
|Nintendo Land||Minigames||Nintendo's first theme park, right in your living room. The park is divided into sections that represent different Nintendo franchises. Lots of fun with friends and alone, although some minigames are multiplayer-only.||Gamepad, Wiimote, Wiimote + Nunchuk|
|Paper Mario: Color Splash||RPG
(No Nintendo, It's not an Action/Adventure game no matter how many times you say it)
|Possibly the most controversial Wii U game released since Bayonetta 2, many have argued whether it's a shit game through and through or if it's a decent/good game at all. Truth is, the game is an upgraded Sticker Star, fixing a lot of the complaints about that game (Incentive to fight battles, getting Thing items right away, inventory space, etc.) and prettier graphics. The only difference is you use cards instead of stickers this time around. Still, most of the NPCs are fucking Toads, your attacks are still consumable items, and the game has basically no new characters besides 1. If you're looking to waste a few hours, get it (Although probably not while it's $60). But if you're looking for that PM64/TTYD experience, I suggest you look elsewhere.||Gamepad|
||RTS/Adventure||Third in the series of Miyamoto's amazingly fun and charming strategy games. This one has you in a different setting and you control 3 captains from the planet Koppai whose food has run out and you are sent out to retrieve more. It has a variable limit which can last as long as you keep finding food (unlike the fixed limit in Pikmin 1), but has no caves. It also looks fantastic, the fruit looks real enough to eat! It now has DLC as well. If you're still on the rocks, you can try the demo on the eShop that contains the entire Garden of Hope level. Be careful, though - there still isn't a left-handed mode.||Gamepad, Pro controller, Wiimote + Nunchuk, Classic Controller Pro.|
The Pokémon fighting game you wished for back in the 90's is finally here! Has elements of both 2D fighters and arena fighting (you switch between the gameplay styles during battle, plays better than it sounds). While different to traditional fighters (in 3d mode, it's actually pretty close to traditional fighters in the 2d phase) it's still very fun and has a surprising amount of depth. Great online too, with fast matchmaking and a good netcode, and one of the best soundtracks of the year. Developed by some of the Tekken team at Namco, which explains the name.
Be aware the single player however has a trival story and is more or less just a grind with brain dead AI, and full 60fps local play requires a LAN connection with two consoles and two copies of the game.
|Gamepad, Pro controller, classic controller pro, Pokkén Tournament controller|
|Resident Evil: Revelations
||Third Person Survival Horror||Resident Evil returns to its survival horror roots in a HD port of the 3DS version. Includes improved graphics and good Gamepad features. Better than its PS3/360 counterparts, but still lacking a little in the graphics which is to be expected.||Gamepad, Pro Controller|
||2D Platformer||Originally announced as a Wii U exclusive, but then delayed to be released multiplatform due to Microsoft's shitty Third-Party policies (Which caused massive amounts of rage in the process) Rayman Legends features OVER 100 FUCKING LEVELS! This game is packed full of content, and it's hard as shit too. The game plays similar to Origins, but has a new feature: Murphy and his Murphy segments. During these short segments, you actually control Murphy to help solve puzzles, manage hazards and obstacles in levels, etc.
In most versions, Murphy is assigned to a button while you move the character. In Wii U (and Vita), you ONLY control Murphy, while characters are automatically controlled. Opinions are split on this. With multiple levels, characters, and costumes, Rayman will keep you coming back for more.
|Gamepad, Wiimote, Wiimote + Nunchuck, Pro Controller|
|Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
||Racing||Sequel to Sega's fantastic racer, this time with added Planes and Hovercraft, so kinda like Diddy Kong Racing if you could switch vehicles midrace. Wii U version has Banana Heist and Ninja Tag minigames exclusively. (To switch to Gamepad mode just swipe down on the touchscreen, completely undocumented in the manuals or anything.)||Gamepad, Pro Controller, Classic Controller, Wiimote, Wiimote + Nunchuk|
|Sonic Lost World
||Platformer||A mix of Sonic and Mario Galaxy, this game has been called "Sonic Xtreme Reborn", but doesn't look like shit. Most of the game takes place on little planets like Galaxy, but on speed. Controls are wonky and take time to get used to, and also has the Wisps from Colors (But nobody cares). Has you fighting enemies and bosses, with tricky but satisfying platforming. Parkour is also in for some wacky ass running up walls and steps while maintaining up your speed. Hated on by reviewers because it was "Too hard" and "not fast enough".
Also has the Sinister Six Edition, With NiGHTS thrown in, and also free Nintendo DLC to put Sonic in Yoshi's island and Zelda.
|Splatoon||Third Person Shooter||
Nintendo's first real foray into the third person shooter genre. Players create their own squid-like Inkling and fight using an arsenal of cartoony, ink-based weapons. Splatoon focuses on capturing territory, not killing players, with several "capture the flag" type modes available.
While the game features a short single player campaign the real focus is on online play. Currently the online multiplayer game is up to 14 maps and five game modes thanks to frequent downloadable updates. Splatoon can be played without an internet connection but the on-disc content is very limited and the solo campaign lasts only 5 hours. It's unsuitable for people who do not have a stable internet connection or don't enjoy online multiplayer.
The Gamepad is the ONLY controller option for the first player, be it Single Player or Multi Player. Second player has to use alternative controllers.
|Gamepad (player one),
Pro Controller or Classic Contoller (player two)
|Super Mario 3D World
||Platformer||The newest installment in the main Mario series takes a break from space exploration for a game very similar to 3D Land but on a larger scale. Playable are Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad, each with their abilities from Super Mario Bros. 2 as an excellent throwback. Rosalina is also unlockable with a Galaxy inspired playstyle.
Since Peach is playable this time around, the game takes place in the new Sprixie Kingdom, with Bowser having kidnapped its fairy princesses. This world also contains a lot of nostalgic enemies from Super Mario World, such as the unique Goombas and Chargin' Chuck. Features most of the power-ups from 3D Land, as well as the new Cat Suit which allows the player to climb walls or lunge at enemies. As of typing this entry, it is currently the highest rated Wii U game on Metacritic, and deservingly so.
|Gamepad, Pro Controller, Classic Controller, Wiimote, Wiimote + Nunchuk|
|Super Mario Maker
||Platformer/Level Editor||Basically Nintendo going "Fuck it, you do it" and let's you create your own levels and play others from across the world online. You have multiple choices of games (Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros.) to choose and create from, including different enemies, power-ups, and even ones that weren't in the original game. Not to mention the hundreds of costumes of characters from different Nintendo games. If you're a Mario fanatic or not, get it.
There's a 3DS version coming out, but it's reportedly butchered to hell and back, so I would still go with this one.
|Gamepad, Pro Controller, Classic Controller, Wiimote, Wiimote + Nunchuk|
|Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
||Fighter/Party Game||Do we really need to explain this? Take all your favorite Nintendo characters, put them in a single room together, and let them beat the crap out of each other. Includes new characters like Mega Man, Pac-Man, Wii Fit Trainer, Little Mac, and even your own Miis. Now has eight-player Smash, a Mario Party-esque mode called Smash Tour, an online mode that blows Brawl's out of the water, a mode specifically for competitive players, an extensive single-player mode for those who don't like online play, and even some demos for Virtual Console games. The game offers also DLCs of several kind. One of them is SF's Ryu.||Gamepad, Pro Controller, Classic Controller, Wiimote, Wiimote + Nunchuk, Gamecube controller, Nintendo 3DS|
|Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition
||3D Fighter||The usual exciting roster of Tekken with just a touch of Nintendo. Gameplay is still a blast as usual, adding in features lost since the original Tekken Tag Tournament. Has all previously-released PS3/360 DLC on disc plus hilarious costumes based on Nintendo characters and two Wii U-exclusive modes, including Tekken Ball.||Gamepad, Pro Controller, Classic Controller, Wiimote + Nunchuk|
|The Wonderful 101
||Action-Adventure/Hack n' Slash||Latest action game from Hideki Kamiya. You control a group of superheroes on a mission to stop alien invaders. Your characters can form any weapon or tool they need using themselves as material. Gameplay has been described as Okami+Bayonetta. As expected of Platinum Games, boss battles are absolutely CUHRAAAAAZY. Try the demo if you're not impressed yet.||Gamepad, Pro Controller, Classic Controller|
|Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
||RPG||An RPG which is basically Shin Megami Tensei with Fire Emblem shoehorned in, it plays pretty well and has that Atlus feel to it. AKA it's weeaboo as fuck.
It should be noted every version besides the Japanese one has had the Treehouse's grubby fingers all over it and has censored it to hell and it back. If you care enough, import the Japanese one (Along with a Japanese Wii u while you're at it) or look for one of the many ways online to uncensor everything.
|Gamepad, Pro Controller, Classic Controller, Wiimote, Wiimote + Nunchuk|
|Xenoblade Chronicles X||RPG||The sequel to the critically acclaimed Wii RPG, it's just as huge and impressive as the previous game. In fact, it's probably the most impressive game on the Wii U. With one of the hugest overworlds in any recent RPG, you can get into many battles with Xenoblade's battle system, sometimes even in a giant robot. It may not be as good as Xenoblade Chronicles, it's still good in it's own right. Oh, and is by the Kill la Kill guy and grows on you really quickly.||Gamepad, Pro Controller|
|Yoshi's Woolly World
||Platformer/FUCKING CUTENESS OVERLOAD||A spiritual successor to Kirby's Epic Yarn, you play as Yoshi trying to collect all of the Wonder Wool to rescue all of the unraveled Yoshis. You can eat enemies, platform, and do all sorts of fun stuff. Also it's cute as fuck. Amiibo has tons of costumes locked behind them, so that suck.
There's a 3DS port coming out soon with extra levels, so that kinda makes this one obsolete. But you still get the nicer graphics.
|Gamepad, Pro Controller, Classic Controller, Wiimote|
||First Person Survival Horror||A sort of reboot of Ubisoft's very first game, Zombi for the Amstrad CPC (1986). Fight zombies. Trying to revive the Survival Horror genre with classic gameplay. Perhaps not an instant classic, but better than Ubisoft's similar Wii launch title, Red Steel. Expect a lot of loading screens, have fun. Reserve your judgement until you try the demo.||Gamepad, Pro Controller for Multiplayer|
Nintendo eShop releases
Currently, there are six systems that have VC games on the Wii U as of typing: the NES, the SNES, the Nintendo 64, the Game Boy Advance, the Nintendo DS, and select Wii games. While some may be turned off by NES games still costing $5 a pop and ask why not just emulate, at the very least the GBA games are well-ported. In addition, the Wii games are very fairly-priced ($10 for the Metroid Prime Trilogy for its first week!), and allow Gamepad play if the Wii Classic Controller could be used to play them. You can find specific game recommendations on their respective pages.
Games will only be listed below if they are Wii U-exclusive in the West. For non-exclusive titles, please see the page for the appropriate console.
|Earthbound Beginnings||JRPG||For those of you morally opposed to piracy or obsessed with throwing money at Nintendo for this franchise, Nintendo has finally released this in the US. Hopefully you are in the latter camp because Nintendo is selling this for $7, which is more than the typical $5 for a NES game.
This is the prototype English translation of Mother 1 developed by Nintendo that went without an official release for decades, though eventually made its way onto the Internet under the name "Earthbound Zero." It's different from its two sequels, but it's still quite amazing. Earthbound Beginnings makes some changes from the original beyond just changing the text, but is improved overall.
If you are not allergic to emulation, it's probably a better idea to play one of the ROM hacks of this that improve the experience. There is also a translation patch for the arguably superior GBA version.
|Consoles||Ouya - Sony PlayStation 4 - Nintendo Switch - Nintendo Wii U - Microsoft Xbox One - Valve Steam Machine|
|Handhelds||Nintendo 3DS - Sony PlayStation Vita|