Wii gamers are a fickle bunch. As a majority, they appear to fall into three categories; first party IP whores (those that only play Nintendo-published games), established IP whores (those that only play games with a recognizable name – meaning sequels or ports) and those that are non-gamers brought to gaming by the Wii (they play Wii Sports with family on holidays, use the Wii Fit balance board at least every other day and actually use the Everyone Votes channel – but very little else).

Unfortunately, some of the best games on the Wii do not fall into any of these three categories but rather into another genre I like to call “original IPs”.

Original IPs don’t seem to stand a chance in the Wii market – proven time and time again by the fact that brilliant well-designed games that do not fall into the originally mentioned categories do not sell well and do not seem to receive the press coverage or attention they deserve.

This article was written to champion these ten great titles and maybe give them a second lease on life.

1. ExciteTruck
Why You Didn’t Play It 
This was a launch title, so a lot of newer Wii owners have never even heard of it. Without a known IP and without online play (as well as it’s age), a lot of people will never even try this game.

Why You Should Play It
Frankly because it’s one of the best racers on the Wii. It’s fast as hell, smooth and the play offers up some great racing additions such as terrain morphing and “you don’t have to be first to win”. It is also one of the rare games that allow you to use your own soundtrack of MP3 files streamed off your SD card while you play. While head to head play uses split screen and no CPU trucks, it can still be a great “local friend” experience thanks to the unique nature of scoring.

2. Elebits
Why You Didn’t Play It
This was an early title, so a lot of newer Wii owners have never even heard of it. The game box reeks of “cute and cuddly” which turns off a lot of players.

Why You Should Play It
The game is brilliant. The concept, the implementatio and the sheer “fun factor” are so well done, I honestly cannot figure out why everyone isn’t enjoying this game. Along with all that, the game allows you to build and trade levels online – something that most modern Wii games (heck ANY console) still don’t do. If you thought Boom Blox was brilliant, you need to give this title a look.

3. Madworld
Why You Didn’t Play It
Unknown name and the fact that it was black and white (aside from the blood) turned a lot of people away from it.

Why You Should Play It
This has to be the most fun I’ve had beating the living crap out of hordes of bad guys EVER. The sheer brutality of this “Running Man – Comic Book Style” game would make 360 owners blush. Grab a tire, throw it over an enemy; then pull a street sign out of the ground and skewer the enemy’s head with it; pick the guy up and swing him around, throwing him into a wall of spikes with blood gushing everywhere – well, that’s a game I want to play. You should too.

4. House of the Dead Overkill
Why You Didn’t Play It
Some people believe that light gun shooters have nothing left to offer the player (despite the fact that we haven’t had a good lightgun shooter in a LONG time).

Why You Should Play It
People complain about the “kiddie” nature of the Wii, and yet when a distinctively, intentionally adult title comes out (based on grindhouse movies of the 70s nonetheless) it gets all but ignored. What is wrong with you people? A cheesy 70’s storyline with great voice acting, a good story and bucketloads of brutal killing should be enough to entertain just about any “hardcore adult” game player. No matter where I take this game, or who plays it – everyone loves it and plays for hours. Super high production values and the obvious attention to detail put forth in this game BEGS for your gaming dollar – and you should cough up. You’ll have a killer time!

5. Dead Space Extraction
Why You Didn’t Play It
You probably thought it was a direct, Wii’ized (read as graphically downgraded version) of the EA horror game. Oh, and light gun games suck, right?

Why You Should Play It
Instead of a lazy-ass port, EA went the full nine yards to create a visceral, exclusive, well-written fun as hell Wii-centric version of the game. Customized to play to the strengths (and controlsd) of the Wii with adult themes and fantastic graphics – somehow no one paid attention to this game. It sold miserably and will drive this level of developer attention away from the Wii – which is a crying shame. However, you owe it to yourself to throw EA some bank on this game – it could be one of the best Wii games this year; and no one is playing it.

6. Speed Racer
Why You Didn’t Play It
Movie tie in games typically suck and a tie in to a relatively sucky movie doesn’t usually lend itself to a good video game.

Why You Should Play It
Possibly my favorite racing game overall on the Wii. Very good graphics and fast action make this arcade racing game a winner. It’s still the most tactile racer I’ve ever played (at home, anyway) and very much some of the best uses of the Wii’s motion controls (shunting cars is insane amounts of fun). Whether you liked the movie or not, give this game a try – it’s pretty cheap and you have nothing to lose except a few hours of boredom.

7. Zack & Wiki Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure
Why You Didn’t Play It
I still haven’t figured out why people didn’t play this. Unknown IP is the only reason I can come up with – and this sends a huge message to publishers; don’t give me anything original – just rehashes, sequels and ports.

Why You Should Play It
I can honestly say there is NOTHING wrong with this game. It’s a visual treat, excellent production values, fun puzzles, great characters and story. Even if you’re not a huge point and click adventure fan the game is so well done, you might just forget about it! Great controls tailored to the Wii round off a near perfect game. It’s a shame the Capcom – based on the poor sales of this game – will probably never deliver a Wii game of this caliber again.

8. Resident Evil 4 (Wii Edition)
Why You Didn’t Play It
Typically “Oh, that was a Gamecube game that just got lazy-ported to the Wii … I ain’t buying that”. Or, of course “I already played that”.

Why You Should Play It
Ever heard the expressions that “the controls make the game”? Well, here you go. The Cube version of Resident Evil 4 was simply insane; scary, graphically appealing, gory, great story and violence. There was nothing wrong with it – possibly another perfect game. The Wii version takes the perfect game, and gives it better controls, all the special content those PS2 bastards got when they ported the game there and a slight boost technologically in spots. The retail price was even sweeter – $20 less than any other game out at the time. Ever said to yourself “I wish I could play that game/watch that movie/experience xxxx again for the FIRST time”? That’s exactly what this is – your ticket to playing Resident Evil 4 again – but like a new game. If you never played the Cube version – this game is a brand new treat, and you shouldn’t pass it by.

9. The Godfather Blackhand Edition
Why You Didn’t Play It
You probably thought it was just a crappy port of the Xbox version, so why bother.

Why You Should Play It
Another case of “the controls make the game” … This time, you’re in the realm of gangsters. Beating someone up with the X button is one thing – lifting them up by their lapels using the Wii controls and beating them by actually punching is much more immersive. Sure, it isn’t as graphically intense as the 360 version, but EA worked VERY hard to give you as close as you can get but playing to the strengths of the Wii and it’s controls. If you’re looking for a more hardcore style experience, you want to look here.

10. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Reflex Edition
Why You Didn’t Play It
Either you own it for the 360 or PS3 … or you just don’t believe you can get even CLOSE to the experience on the Wii.

Why You Should Play It
This is a port that I completely understand why someone would rather play it on the 360 than the Wii. However, if the Wii is all you got, then you damn well better get this game. Other than being lower resolution and using different (superior, IMHO) controls, this IS Call of Duty 4. There is a reason that “Reflex Edition” is so small on the box. Everything that makes the “big boy” versions so addictive is in tact here – online play, perks, XP leveling up – the works. Don’t drink the “Wii can’t do next gen games” Kool-Aid. This is the real deal.

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

8 Thoughts to “Top Ten Wii Games You Never Played”

  1. dog

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  4. Mike M.

    I came across your list and got a copy of Speed Racer. WOW! It really was overlooked! The tutorial is long, but needed. The action is intense! The controls are tight and the whole package is well polished. Definitely one of the best racing games out there. Thank you for the heads up!

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