Though the Wii U had an auspicious start, with a small library of titles available for play, this year saw more major releases hit the platform, which is why we're doing a list of the Best Wii U Games of 2013. Its catalog of titles is still growing, and with the Year of Luigi, Nintendo had the opportunity to drop some great new titles on its console. While there's still plenty of room for growth, the Wii U is slowly coming into its own. With that in mind, here's our list of the Best Wii U Games of 2013.
Lego City Undercover
Exclusive to the Wii U, Lego City Undercover gave the system an open-world Lego adventure steeped in the traditions of titles like Grand Theft Auto and Saints Row. Well, without all the cursing, ultra-violence and sex. For the first time in the brand's history, Lego City Undercover featured an original cast of characters and an all-new story. Even though it didn't feature known properties like Batman or Harry Potter, Lego City Undercover was still enjoyable, and a clear standout on the Best Wii U Games of 2013.
The great thing about Platinum Games is how versatile the developer is. The Wonderful 101 is a fun little super hero romp, which requires you to take command of a fleet of heroes to battle an invasion of epic proportions. Though it did have a few shortcomings, 101 was perfectly suited for the Wii U's Game Pad. Platinum has more exclusives in line for the Wii U, and after the Wonderful 101 we can't wait to see what else they have in store.
Resident Evil Revelations
An HD port of the Nintendo 3DS title, Resident Evil Revelations took the franchise back to its survival horror roots. The Game Pad allowed the Wii U version to play almost identically to the 3DS iteration, making it the clear front-runner compared to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions. Plus, since it took place before Resident Evil 5, everyone got to play as their two favorite characters, Chris and Jill. The action in the confined quarters on the cruise ship harkened back to the earliest entries in the series, and reminded us all why we fell in love with Resident Evil in the first place.
New Super Luigi U
Released as a massive add-on for New Super Mario Bros. U this summer, New Super Luigi U reworked every single level in the core game to be more difficult and built around Luigi's abilities. It's way more than just downloadable content, it's a whole new way to play, and it's also incredibly addictive. As challenging as it is fun, New Super Luigi U was a great way to keep the year of Luigi rolling in style.
It's been a long time since there's been a proper Pikmin title, but with Pikmin 3, Nintendo brought the series back in style. There are all-new Pikmin to put to work, terrific challenges between you and your friends online, and the same trademark charm earlier entries held. Plus, Nintendo has continued to support Pikmin with DLC adding new maps and tasks to the existing formula. As one of Nintendo's best strategy titles, it's no wonder Pikmin 3 is on our list.
Skylanders: Swap Force
Skylanders has been around for a bit, but Swap Force took the series in an interesting new direction, and one Wii U owners should be thrilled to embrace. Not only does Swap Force keep the same great Skylanders gameplay and formula going, but it adds a new twist by allowing players to mix and match characters to create new super-beasts capable of dealing out more damage. It's the perfect family-friendly game Nintendo needed from a third-party partner, and its inclusiveness for players of all ages makes Skylanders: Swap Force a must for any Wii U owner.
Ubisoft's Rayman Legends is one of the best platformers we've ever played. The challenge is just right. The level design is out of this world. The soundtrack is jammin', and there's so much replayability you could almost never run out of things to do. Coupled with some great co-op, Rayman Legends stands out as not just one of the Best Wii U Games of 2013, but also one of the Best Games of 2013 period.
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD
Even though the Wii U's first official Legend of Zelda game is an HD remake, it happens to be one of the most gorgeous re-imaginings ever conceived. Wind Waker HD gave an entire generation of fans who missed out on the GameCube classic a new way to enjoy one of the most celebrated Zelda entries of all time. The enhanced graphics turned an already beautiful game into a visual masterpiece, and the GamePad offered a great new way to play with tweaked controls built around the second screen experience. If you haven't already picked this up, what are you doing reading this list? Get to it, and go play.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut
Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut is an amazing edition of one of the best games from 2012. That a few of the Wii U's best titles are reworked versions of previously released games isn't a bad thing. Getting the absolute editions of already outstanding titles can be a benefit, especially in the case of Deus Ex. The GamePad's second screen capabilities make menu navigation a snap, and actually makes sense in the tech-heavy universe of Deus Ex. The boss battles have been retooled, and every bit of DLC has been included to ensure you're getting the most bang for your buck. More third-party developers could learn a thing or two from Eidos on how to make a truly memorable game on the Wii U.
Super Mario 3D World
Was there ever really any doubt which Wii U title would be the Best Wii U Game of 2013? Super Mario 3D World is perfect example of everything that's great about Nintendo's latest console. Exemplary co-op play, outstanding presentation, fan-favorite characters and wonderful platforming combine to create a brilliant game. The Mario series has thrived on Nintendo platforms in the past, and Super Mario 3D World continues that proud tradition with another stellar entry.