Nintendo Wii at 10: the iconic games

  • TECH
  • Tuesday, 15 Nov 2016

Popular choice: Accessible mini-game collection Wii Sports set the tone for many Wii owners.

Take a look back at some of the Nintendo Wii's best and most influential games, 10 years after the console made its international retail debut on Nov 19, 2006.

1. Wii Sports (2006)

This play for mainstream acceptance launched the Wii as a triumph of novelty, simplicity and inclusivity: a compendium of motion-based diversions modeled after bowling, golf, tennis, boxing and baseball. Mini-game collection "Wii Play" was another launch title; "Wii Sports Resort" accompanied the more accurate Wii MotionPlus controller in 2009.

2. Mario Kart Wii (2008)

Updating the franchise formula for online play and a newcomer audience that wanted to play with an inexpensive steering wheel accessory rather than buttons and joysticks, "Mario Kart Wii" might not have been the series' most sophisticated entry, but it was the Wii's bestselling title after "Wii Sports."

3. Super Mario Galaxy (2007)

Successfully iterating on Super Mario 64 ten years prior, Mario traverses a selection of spherical and cylindrical worlds on a quest to save them from longtime nemesis Bowser; tremendous graphical and audio polish helped make this one of the most well-reviewed games of all time. A direct sequel followed in 2010; New Super Mario Bros. Wii in 2009 was the Mario franchise's 2D update.

4. Wii Fit (2007)

With its Balance Board step and selection of light- to medium-intensity routines, "Wii Fit" helped pioneer connected home fitness at the same time that Nike and Apple were teaming up for the Nike+ iPod app. EA Sports Active, Zumba Fitness and others soon followed; today, interest has migrated toward smartphone wristborne fitness trackers.

5. Just Dance (2009)

One of the Wii's few bestsellers not to have come from Nintendo itself, Ubisoft's Just Dance and its sequel used the Wii's motion-tracking wands to approximate player movement, as up to four participants dance to popular pop songs. Still an annual franchise, Just Dance has also spread to smartphones via a subscription-powered app.

6. Xenoblade Chronicles (2010)

Defying the Wii's reputation as an underpowered console for casual gamers, the expansive, engrossing Xenoblade Chronicles adventure was originally denied a North American release, making it a favorite on torrenting sites, and the subject of a grassroots campaign that eventually saw a retailer-exclusive domestic release in 2012. Reissued for the handheld 3DS in 2015, with a Wii U sequel the same year.

7. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006)

Unusual in that it launched for the older GameCube console as well as the then-new Wii, Zelda adventure Twilight Princess may have provided a template for upcoming franchise entry Breath of the Wild which will launch on Wii U and the new Switch. It helped that Twilight Princess was received as perhaps the best Zelda game ever made. —  AFP Relaxnews

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