Today I have been thinking about the Wii. The rather excellent Player One Podcast had a Wii retrospective (wii-trospective) last week and listed their top games on the system. The general consensus seemed to be that they struggled to find just 5 great games and that even with 100 million units sold it was not a great gaming machine. I would disagree.
What made the Wii special was that it’s strengths and weaknesses were often the same thing. Accessibility was confused with simplicity and shelves were stocked with cheaply made casual games cashing in on motion control. The Wii had virtually invented the concept of a casual game and a casual gamer but in courting a brand new audience it invited sneers from gamers who considered themselves above a console that seemed to just about waggling a controller. When hardcore titles like Sin & Punishment 2, Punch Out or The Last Story came out, the console had either been boxed up in the attic or was in Wii bowling Groundhog Day hell.
So when it came to trying to pick a personal top 5 I was happy to discover that it wasn’t as difficult as I thought. Many games failed to make this list including Super Paper Mario, Metroid: Other M, Metroid 3, Wii Sports, Muramasa, Dead Space: Extraction, The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Zak & Wiki and Mario Kart Wii. These are all games that I consider to be Wii must-buys and they still didn’t make the hall of fame. For me, the 5 that are not only the best Wii titles but great games on any platform are:
Super Mario Galaxy
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Hydroventure (Fluidity in the US)
No More Heroes