Press Start: The Remaining Wii U Exclusives

It's no secret I have an irrational love for the Wii U. Nintendo's least successful home console just happens to be my favorite, and a big part of that is the great selection of first-party Nintendo titles on the platform.

However, now almost all of those essential titles have made their way to Nintendo Switch. I'm glad a whole new audience gets to experience these titles from the Wii U era, but I'll still always have a soft spot for playing those titles for the first time on my Wii U.

With Pikmin 3 and Super Mario 3D World finally joining the club in the next six months, the number of quality Wii U titles left behind is very low. I want to walk through some of the Wii U games still stranded on the platform, and talk about their chances at second life.

The Likely Ones

  • The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD

  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X

Next year is Zelda's 35th anniversary, and I have to think Nintendo will have a big celebration like we're seeing with Mario this year. I wouldn't be surprised if next Spring we see Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess HD released on Switch, hopefully in a double pack.

Xenoblade Chronicles X feels a little bit less likely, but it releasing on Switch would mean the whole Xenoblade Chronicles series would be available in one place.

Games with Switch Sequels

  • Splatoon

  • Super Mario Maker

  • Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

  • Mario Tennis Ultra Smash

  • Mario Party 10

  • Paper Mario: Color Splash

I still believe Super Mario Maker is superior to its Switch sequel, and there are some features in the Wii U original we may never see again, like amiibo costumes! It was awesome to play as Sonic, Mega Man, and other classic video game characters in Super Mario Maker on Wii U, and I sorely miss it on the Switch version. Someone literally remade Mega Man 1 in Mario Maker. Super Mario Maker technically got a 3DS port, but it was inferior to the Wii U version as well.

Smash Ultimate is better than Smash on Wii U, but there are some exclusive stages and modes likely stranded on the platform. Splatoon 2 is also better than the original, but the single player campaign in Splatoon on Wii U was a ton of fun.

Mario Tennis, Mario Party, and Paper Mario all received far superior sequels on Switch, so I doubt these will be missed much.

Games that Rely Too Much on the GamePad

  • Nintendo Land

  • Star Fox Guard

  • Game & Wario

  • Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

These games would be hard to replicate on Switch, given their reliance on the two-screen setup on Wii U.

Nintendo Land was a fantastic pack-in game with the Wii U deluxe set, so it's a shame it will probably never see the light of day again. It's unlikely, but it'd be great if Nintendo revisited this franchise with a Switch version that takes advantage of the Joy-Con hardware. Let's face it -- 1-2 Switch just didn't cut it.

Star Fox Guard and Game & Wario are fine to leave behind, but Kirby and the Rainbow Curse was an enjoyable sequel to Canvas Curse, so it's a little bit sad that more people likely won't get the opportunity to play it.

Games We Don't Need to See

  • SiNG Party

  • Star Fox Zero

  • Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival

These three games range from bearable (Star Fox) to awful (the other two).

Games Ported Elsewhere

  • Yoshi's Woolly World

I wish Yoshi's Woolly World would get second life on the Switch. Instead, an enhanced port came out on 3DS, but the visuals on the handheld version don't live up to the original. Woolly World on WIi U is a gorgeous game, and the level design easily beats out the Switch sequel, Yoshi's Crafted World.

There are some other Wii U exclusives I didn't mention here, but these are the main Nintendo-published Wii U games still unaccounted for on Switch. I'm curious to see what ends up making it over to Switch throughout the rest of the console's life cycle.

Long live the Wii U!

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