As 2014 swings into gear we share our Top 10 Wii U games of 2013, plucking the cream of the crop from last year’s selection.
Scores set aside, these are the games that we enjoyed the most, as well as those that began to truly unearth the Wii U GamePad’s hidden potential. So, here we go!
10. Sonic Lost World
Sonic Lost World may not have been the most consistent of outings for the blue blur, but that didn’t prevent it from delivering plenty of standout moments to enjoy. Even the threat of the Deadly Six couldn’t pull everything together, and despite a sumptuous orchestral score coupled with some blistering moments the game was sadly hampered by controls that couldn’t reign in a more enticing experience.
It may have lost its Wii U exclusivity along the way, but that didn’t stop Straight Right producing the definitive version of their Director’s Cut for Nintendo’s home console. Neat Wii U GamePad integration saw it leading the pack, allowing players to become far more immersed in Eidos Montreal’s enhanced cyberpunk world, with Adam Jensen’s plight now available to a new audience.
EA may have chosen to turn their back on Wii U, but we can be thankful for this parting shot that they allowed Criterion Games to fire in our direction. Remaining to be the best racer on Wii U, it was the game’s Co-Driver mode that really shifted everything up a gear, allowing a second player provide support through igniting the car’s boost, adjusting cop difficulty, and tweaking car modifications among other features.
In passing time until the Wii U’s very own Zelda entry arrives, Nintendo showed the world how to truly remaster their games in high definition. The Wind Waker HD saw series fans sailing across familiar seas, but now with a newfound splendour. Wii U GamePad integration eased the experience, whilst Miiverse connectivity saw players hunting Tingle Bottles washed up on shores. Sublime at every turn.
6. Rayman Legends
Initially delayed to early 2013, Rayman Legends soon became a sour tale of exclusivity loss when Ubisoft later pushed it back further to deliver it across multiple platforms. Ironically, after Ubisoft claimed the decision was due to the fact that it “was not going to sell enough” on Wii U, sales on Nintendo’s console surpassed those of other platforms. And rightly so, with the Wii U GamePad once again coming into its own. Artistically wondrous, four player co-operative adventures were a joy to be had with musical stages stealing the limelight. Everything was heightened further by the Wii U GamePad player controlling support character Murfy to aid those clambering through levels on the TV.
5. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
A swig of rum wasn’t necessary to quickly find much to enjoy in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. After the overriding disappointments with Assassin’s Creed III, Ubisoft’s latest delivered on all accounts. From your crew singing sea shanties as you sailed across the Caribbean to the furious sea battles that saw you firing cannon barrages at enemy galleons, your land based adventures never quite lived up to the thrills of the open waters, although that wasn’t enough to detract from a return to form for the series.
Commanding a legion of superheroes has never been as fun, PlatinumGames’ crazed ideas spurring you through the joyously raucous entirety of The Wonderful 101. A deceptively deep combat system sees players drawing an assortment of shapes on the Wii U GamePad, morphing their army into fists, swords, guns, whips and more as they take on the vile GEATHJERK. Cheesy 80’s cartoon comparisons abound, it all lead to one of the most outrageously ludicrous finales that I’ve ever experienced. And that’s a good thing.
3. Pikmin 3
Shigeru Miyamoto fulfilled his own ambition in delivering a high definition instalment to the GameCube-born Pikmin series, and it was a beaut. We were left scurrying the little critters to gather fruit, as explorers Alph, Brittany and Charlie were left fending for survival on the planet PNF-404. The Wii U GamePad once again served to enhance, the real-time strategy title really coming into its own through the assisted guidance that it provided.
Perhaps our most surprising choice near the top of the table, LEGO City Undercover stole our hearts when it arrived. Between super cop Chase McCain, the bumbling Chief Dunby and love interest Ellie Phillips, Undercover’s hilarious script saw the dim witted Frank Honey steal the show. The game’s open world presented plenty of ambition, matched with an abundant array of disguises for McCain to use in his pursuit of Rex Fury. More dinosaur rampages needed next time, though.
The Cannon Box, Double Cherry, and Goomba Mask were part of the new power-ups available in Super Mario 3D World, yet it was the Cat Suit that undeniably stole the show right from the outset. With a jazz-fuelled soundtrack riotously energising the entire experience, this is platforming perfection with Nintendo once again at the very top of their game. Which proved a pleasant surprise, considering the title’s less than inspiring E3 2013 reveal.