The Nintendo Wii is a barren wasteland of casual games and shovelware, sorry fanboys, it's true. Yet there remains a select few titles that stand as a waypoint or an oasis for the "hardcore gamers"***out there. If you're like me, your Wii console stands for months on end collecting dust, until you get the urge to play a GameCube title at least. It's not fun to hate on the Wii, it's just easy, but today we're going to try to spread the love around. I've compiled my top 10 games worth owning a Wii for. You might find some glaring omissions in my list but let me say here that those titles were left out on purpose... I have my reasons. But enough talk, have at you!

***(Defined as someone who plays actual video games sans the need for gimmicks and simplification, as opposed to "casual gamers" who claim to play video games but in truth play WoW and Wii titles such as Ultimate Skeeball Championships 2010****)


****(Not a real title, but it damn well should be)

10-Metroid Prime Trilogy



While I, and I'm not alone on this, prefer the sidescrolling Metroid titles, especially Super and Zero Mission, I can't deny that Nintendo took a gamble and succeeded on the Metroid Prime series. Changing the game genre from it's established roots into a first person shooter garnered a lot of hate at first, but in the end was accepted as a fun to play "Spin-off" of sorts. All three games were released in one incredibly hard to find case last year, with the first two titles (originally on the GameCube) retooled to make use of the Wii's motion control. The first party support here rings through and those looking for a solid space fps need look no further.

9-No More Heroes



Suda51 returns with a double whammy of titles on the Wii. While the first game is being ported to the HD consoles, it's taken long enough that I credit the Wii with exclusivity. NMH is a good example of not overusing the motion controller, and keeping things tactile for the retro gaming crowd. While the plot and characters are all incredibly silly, the game struck home with the hardcore crowd thanks to it's high level of violence and maturity (?) not seen in many other Wii titles. Either bizarre title is worth checking out!

8-WiiWare Rebirth Titles



I could easily just say the shopping channel as a whole has a lot to offer but I'm going to narrow it down a bit. Contra and Castlevania Rebirth are two Wiiware titles definitely worth downloading. They play almost exactly like their SNES counterparts but are totally new adventures. Those looking for a fresh taste of nostalgia need search no longer.

7-Animal Crossing: City Folk



While this is technically a sim and can be considered for all intents and purposes as casual, I freaking love animal crossing, I have a ton of friends who love animal crossing, all of which I consider to be avid video game players. So what it is about this game that appeals to the hardcore crowd? I live next door to a lion and have a collection of funny hats in my basement, 'nuff said.

6-Mario Titles (Galaxy/Paper/Kart/New/Party/etc.)



The name of the game here is first party support. Mario titles always meet a certain level of quality, so even though Mario lost his identity years ago games bearing his visage can be considered "worth playing" at the very least. I've yet to see a Wii Mario title usurp an older entry in their respective series however (World > New SMB, Paper 64 > Super Paper, EVERY OTHER MARIO KART > Mario Kart Wii). They've come close though. I loved Mario Galaxy, but seeing a portly plumber flying through space is really weird, would it kill them to try a new property? Wait, did I just suggest Nintendo ditch Mario? Ha Ha, Oh WOW!

5-Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn



Tactical Role Playing Game, sounds exciting doesn't it? You bet your ass! Continuing on where Ike's story left off in the GameCube title, Radiant Dawn is all the RPG you could ask for. A solid cast of characters, surprisingly deep strategy elements, and some incredible CGI cutscenes are just some of the things to expect in this 30+ hour adventure. If you're a long time fan, or a newcomer to the series this is a most own for the Wii RPG fan... why didn't more people buy this game... *sigh*

4-Super Smash Bros. Brawl



While unfortunately the weakest title in the series in my honest opinion, Brawl stands as a playable museum tour of the Nintendo Universe. It also proves the point that more doesn't necessarily equal better. Sakurai's mascot beat-em up is still considered "the" title most gamers bought a Wii for. Those looking for an excellent 4 player party-fighter won't be let down as punching the crap out of Sonic-san the Hedgekawaii never gets old.

3-House of the Dead Overkill



The voice acting is terrible, the cutscenes are disgusting, the game is 3 hours long... and I wouldn't have it any other way. Overkill is the closest thing to an arcade shooter experience I've had on the Wii (and it doesn't even use Wii Motion Plus!). The game successfully parodies the House of the Dead series in every way possible and is fun as hell to play. Get a buddy and strap yourselves in for one spectacular ride of a rail shooter, Mother F***er.

2-GameCube Library



While this might seem like I'm making fun, the Nintendo Wii does have full backwards compatibility. It's the only console this generation that can play ALL past generation games no matter when you purchased your Wii (Sony, are you listening?) or whether or not you're plugged into the internet (Seriously, Xbox, that's retarded). As long as you have a controller and memory card a library of hundreds of great games opens it's doors to you. It's 2010, this should be the standard. Being able to play Wind Waker and PSO without having to plug any additional consoles into my tv? Priceless...

1-Monster Hunter Tri



Monster Hunter is easily in my top 5 game franchises of all time, so when I heard the third official console entry was going to be on the Wii and not the PS3 (or even 360) I sighed loud enough to level a mountain. Monster Hunter is an action RPG (first appearing on the PS2) in which you hunt dragons/dinosaurs/crabs/monsters in general, to farm their parts and build your character. While there are some light story elements the gameplay holds up enough that the promise of hunting bigger and bigger monsters is all the incentive you need to keep going. The game translated perfectly to the PSP, despite no second analog (used to attack in the first title on the PS2), and stayed there for 3 incredible titles. I was worried we'd get a motion controlled mini-gamefest, but what we got was a title true to the Monster Hunter name. This game kicks so much ass it's cheap at twice the price. Pick. It. Up.

Honourable Mention - Endless Ocean

I can listen to my own mp3s and deep sea dive looking for giant squids and whales, this appeals to me. There's no console game quite like it. With two entries in the series, Endless Ocean is worth checking out to fans of... wildlife, or just a relaxing experience. To my surprise the second game offers a ton of new content in the way of quests and goals to accomplish. Video Games aren't all shooting and adventuring, sometimes simply exploring a virtual world can capture the imagination.

But glittering prizes and endless compromises, Shatter the illusion of integrity,

Lee
lee@titsoftheiceberg.com
Written April 18, 2010