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Twenty-Six Good Third Party Wii Games

Updated on May 17, 2016
The Nintendo Wii
The Nintendo Wii | Source

Let’s talk about the Nintendo Wii for a bit. If I were to ask you to come up with a list of good first party Wii games most people wouldn’t have much of a problem: Wii Sports, Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Super Paper Mario, WarioWare: Smooth Moves, Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Animal Crossing: City Folk, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mario Kart Wii, Mario Strikers Charged, Punch-Out!!, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Kirby’s Return to Dreamland, Donkey Kong Country Returns, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, Xenoblade Chronicles, etc. However, if I were to instead ask you to come up with a list of good third party Wii games, you’ll probably end up coming up with a blank.

Unfortunately, third party games on the Wii have earned a reputation of being horrendous shovel-ware with slapped-on motion controls, i.e. NinjaBreadMan. The rather tragic thing about this is that there are a number of genuinely good or even great third party Wii titles that got buried under the avalanche of shovel-ware that came out for the system.

That’s why I’m here, to tell everyone about twenty-six good or even great or excellent third party Wii games that you can be proud to have sitting on your shelf next to the first and second party games. Now these games aren’t in any particular order or rank. They aren’t all necessarily “great” or “excellent”, just “good” or at the minimum “decent”. Also, none of these are WiiWare games; only games that were released physically on optical disk are on this list. So, let us go see what gems we can find amongst the mountains of turds in the Wii third party line up…

Rayman Origins Box Art
Rayman Origins Box Art | Source

1. Rayman Origins

Developer: Ubisoft

Publisher: Ubisoft

Year: 2011

Also available on multiple platforms

I’m starting off with Rayman Origins simply to get the sole multi-platform game on this list out of the way. I guess this game is a bit of an honorable mention since it’s also available on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita, PC, etc. Hmm. Anyway, after years of being sidelined by the Rabbids in a series of spinoffs, Rayman Origins brought the “limb-less one” back as the main star of his own game in a spectacular 2-d platformer. Unfortunately, the game flopped having only sold about some 50,000 copies in its first month of release. Well, what do you expect when you release the game in November 2011 going up against Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Super Mario 3D Land, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. What the heck was Ubisoft thinking releasing the game against a line up like that?

Regardless Rayman Origins, despite flopping in the sale, ultimately did bring in a tidy profit for Ubisoft resulting in a sequel, Rayman Legends. And in a spectacular demonstration of not learning their lesson, Ubisoft delayed the game to make it multi-platform resulting in the game being buried by the juggernaut that was Grand Theft Auto V. And given that the WiiU version of that game sold the best anyway suggests that had the game come out on schedule as a WiiU exclusive, it probably would’ve done better. Man, I pity poor Rayman.

Rayman Origins at Amazon

Okami Wii Box Art
Okami Wii Box Art | Source

2. Okami

Developer: Clover Studio, Ready at Dawn

Publisher: Capcom

Year: 2008

Also available on PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3

Now that I’ve got the multi-platform game out of the way, let’s move on to the ports, shall we? In 2006, Capcom released Okami on the PlayStation 2, the last game developed by Clover Studio before they were closed. It is a beautiful action adventure game based on Japanese mythology and lore with a gorgeous cel-shaded aesthetic inspired by sumi-e. Within the game, the player takes control of the Japanese sun goddess Amaterasu in the form of a white wolf. The main mechanic of the game was the use of the Celestial Brush with a gesture-system to perform miracles. While the game didn’t exactly sell too well it was still absolutely beloved by critics and fans.

One thing of note though is that many people (except the heads of Clover Studio) thought that the game’s Celestial Brush gimmick would be perfect for the Wii. Capcom was initially reluctant about porting the game over to the Wii but ultimately they commissioned Ready at Dawn for the development of the port. Both the PS2 and Wii versions of the game are highly praised but I will play devil’s advocate here and note that there are many who believe that the PS2 version is slightly better. Regardless, it’s still a game worth considering for your Wii line up.

Okami at Amazon

Bully: Scholarship Edition Cover Art
Bully: Scholarship Edition Cover Art | Source

3. Bully: Scholarship Edition

Developer: Rockstar Toronto

Publisher: Rockstar Games

Year: 2008

Also available on PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, and PC

Here we have another port or, to be more exact, a remake. Being the creators of the Grand Theft Auto series, Rockstar Games is certainly no stranger to controversy. When Bully was first announced people from all over accused the game of glorifying or trivializing bullying, even though nothing about the game’s content had even been revealed yet. While it does seem like the original concept of the game did have the player taking control of the school bully, in the finished product this is not the case. The player character is Jimmy Hopkins, a troubled kid certainly but one that is ultimately good at heart and means well. Players take charge of Jimmy in an open world game centered in the town of Bullworth as he works to gain social ranking within Bullworth Academy, coming in conflict with the various cliques. The titular “Bully” of the game is the main antagonist, the sociopathic Gary Smith who seeks to control Bullworth Academy—the game is largely about the conflict between the two.

With the game’s success on the PlayStation 2, Rockstar decided to make an enhanced remake of the game titled the Scholarship Edition for the Wii, 360, and the PC. Generally, the Wii version of these three is recognized as the best one.

Klonoa box art
Klonoa box art | Source

4. Klonoa

Developer: Paon

Publisher: Namco Bandai Games

Year: 2009

Remake of Klonoa: Door to Phantomile for PlayStation

And here we have another remake for the Wii. In 2007, Namco Bandai decided to remake the original Klonoa: Door to Phantomile in honor of the tenth anniversary of the game’s release. The game is a platformer starring Klonoa, an anthropomorphic rabbit-cat-dog-thing… well anthropomorphic creature whom is described as being a “Dream Traveler” who is fated to travel to various places where dreams are in danger, though he himself isn’t aware of this.

Klonoa's character redesign (left) and Klonoa's proposed North American redesign (right)
Klonoa's character redesign (left) and Klonoa's proposed North American redesign (right) | Source

One particular thing to note is that when Namco decided to bring Klonoa Wii to North America they also proposed a radical redesign for the character, giving him a more distinctly felid appearance. The response was exceedingly negative. So negative that Namco ultimately abandoned the proposed redesign and just went with Klonoa’s classic look. So I guess sometimes whining on the internet can bring about good things.

Klonoa at Amazon

Goldeneye 007 Remake Box Art
Goldeneye 007 Remake Box Art | Source

5. GoldenEye 007

Developer: Eurocom

Publisher: Activision

Year: 2010

Remake of GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64

GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64 was an absolute classic. It was the game that revolutionized first-person shooters on consoles and despite being a licensed game, is in fact much more beloved than the film it is based on. So naturally everyone’s attention perked up when a remake of the game was announced. More than just a remake, this game is essentially an entire reimagining of GoldenEye. Where the original featured Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, this version uses the likeness of Daniel Craig for the character and is nominally set some time after Quantum of Solace.

Overall, I’d say that the only fault of this version of the game is that it isn’t as widely recognized as the original. Of course, that’s obvious and can’t be helped: the original N64 version is iconic. The point that I’m making here is that this version for the Wii is also a game worth considering as it is very much a game worthy of the 007 moniker. Or, you can get the Reloaded version that came out for PS3 and 360 later on. Your choice.

6. A Boy and His Blob

Developer: WayForward Technologies

Publisher: Majesco Entertainment

Year: 2009

Re-imagining of A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia for the NES

Next we have another remake, or rather a re-imagining of the 8-bit game A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Prior to this, there hadn’t been a game in the series ever since 1991’s The Rescue of Princess Blobette for the Game Boy so an announcement for a re-imagining of the original game after a nearly twenty year hiatus was unexpected to say the least.

A Boy and His Blob is a 2D puzzle-platformer where the characters go through various obstacles to get to the next level. The game is noted for not using any of the Wii’s motion control functions at all. Reviewers have also noted the “hug” button which serves no purpose except to hug the Blob.

A Boy and His Blob Cover Art
A Boy and His Blob Cover Art | Source

A Boy and His Blob at Amazon

Little King's Story Box Art
Little King's Story Box Art | Source

7. Little King’s Story

Developer: Cing

Publisher: Xseed Games

Year: 2009

Remake/Sequel available on PlayStation Vita

OK, enough with the multi-plats, ports, and remakes—let’s actually talk about some actual Wii exclusives. As I stated in my introduction, a number of good third party Wii games were lost in the flood of shovel-ware that unfortunately came out on the system. Little King’s Story is a prime example of this—a good game that didn’t receive the attention it deserved due to being released alongside a bunch of crap. Within the game you take charge of young King Corobo as he sets about expanding his kingdom of Alpoko. The game is essentially a lot like Pikmin, with Corobo commanding his citizens to follow him about and do various tasks. Since the Wii never got its own version of Pikmin, receiving only ports of Pikmin 1 and 2, this game is perfect for those wanting this type of game. The only thing I really have to say negative about this game is the disappointing ending.

The developer Cing was usually a second-party developer for Nintendo, but since Nintendo didn’t actually publish this game and doesn’t hold the copyright Little King’s Story is a third party game. While the game didn’t receive all that much attention, it still sold enough for Cing to consider making a sequel, at least until Cing went bankrupt. The rights to the IP were held by Marvelous Entertainment however and ultimately they contracted Konami to make a remake/sequel called New Little King’s Story… which once again was mostly ignored due to the unfortunate fact that it was released on the PlayStation Vita.

Little King's Story at Amazon

Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility Box Art
Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility Box Art | Source

8. Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility

Developer: Marvelous Interactive

Publisher: Natsume

Year: 2007

Wii Exclusive

I have stated before that games in the Harvest Moon series aren’t for everybody but they are still worth checking out, especially if they are your thing. There were two Harvest Moon games on the Wii: Tree of Tranquility and Animal Parade. First, let’s looks at Tree of Tranquility. Like all Harvest Moon games, this game is a farm simulator at its core but also features so much more. You can befriend the villagers, marry one of them, raise a family, befriend animals, etc. Your ultimate goal is to restore the withered sacred tree and thus restore the island’s balance with nature. And thus, the player will save the island…

Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility at Amazon

Harvest Moon: Animal Parade Box Art
Harvest Moon: Animal Parade Box Art | Source

9. Harvest Moon: Animal Parade

Developer: Marvelous Interactive

Publisher: Natsume

Year: 2008

Wii Exclusive

That leads us directly into the following game in the series: Animal Parade. Animal Parade features all of the same characters as Tree of Tranquility and generally features all of the same assets. The main difference between the two is that Animal Parade has a bit more of a focus placed on the animals, as one could imagine from the title. Animal Parade also features a more elaborate story: taking place on the island of Castanet, the divine tree at the Goddess Pond is dying, creatures are leaving the island, and the five bells have lost their powers. Only the Harvest King can restore all things but he is nowhere to be found. The player must restore all bells and then use them to summon the Harvest King back to the island and help revive the Goddess Tree. All of this while also running the farm.

If you have to choose between the two, I say go with Animal Parade since it has everything Tree of Tranquility has and more. That said if you’re a fan of the Harvest Moon series there is nothing wrong with having both game in your collection.

Harvest Moon: Animal Parade at Amazon

Rune Factory Frontier Cover Art
Rune Factory Frontier Cover Art | Source

10. Rune Factory Frontier

Developer: Neverland Co.

Publisher: Xseed Games, Marvelous Entertainment USA

Year: 2009

Wii Exclusive

And of course, if you’re a fan of the Harvest Moon games then you should also check out the Rune Factory series. It is a spin-off of the Harvest Moon series, essentially being Harvest Moon in a fantasy setting. So you’ve got the usual Harvest Moon stuff of farm simulator where you can befriend villagers and get married, raise a family, but you’ve also got a strong dungeon crawler aspect to the game which is what sets this series apart from Harvest Moon; Harvest Moon with a sword, if you will.

Rune Factory Frontier features the characters Raguna and Mist from the very first Rune Factory game. In fact, most of the marriage candidates from the first game are featured in Frontier. Anyway, Frontier begins with Raguna searching for missing girl Mist who has come to a new town because someone is calling to her in her dreams. Raguna moves into the house next to hers. He eventually finds out that the whale island in the sky is in danger of falling on top of them. And the adventure unfolds from there.

Rune Factory Frontier at Amazon

Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon Cover Art
Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon Cover Art | Source

11. Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon

Developer: h.a.n.d.

Publisher: Square Enix

Year: 2008

Also on Nintendo DS

Let’s face it—the seventh generation of gaming consoles was not a good time for Square Enix. It is rather disappointing considering their spectacular line up of sixth generation games (Final Fantasy X, XI, XII, Dragon Quest VIII, Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2, etc.) but the jump to HD and the advent of mobile gaming completely threw Square Enix off track. The result was that Final Fantasy XIII had gorgeous visuals and graphics but its gameplay, story, and characters were regarded as “meh” by most people. That in itself might’ve been fine if it weren’t for the utter disaster that was the launch of Final Fantasy XIV. Honestly, the best games from Square Enix during this time were all portable games (The World Ends With You, Dragon Quest IX, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Dissidia Final Fantasy, Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, etc.) or western developed ones like Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Tomb Raider (2013).

Being a spin-off, Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon doesn’t have the pedigree of a mainline Final Fantasy game, but like I was saying, the mainline Final Fantasy games weren’t doing too hot during this time so one might as welkl enjoy a good spin off. Chocobo's Dungeon is a part of the Mystery Dungeon metaseries. The Mystery Dungeon series are a series of rogue-like video games either developed by Chunsoft orby another developer with their permission. Chocobo's Dungeon falls into the latter obviously. In this game you take control of a character named Cid (a Final Fantasy staple) and Chocobo to explore a series of randomly generated dungeons and turn-based battles. I say it’s worth checking out.

Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon at Amazon

Shiren the Wanderer Box Art
Shiren the Wanderer Box Art | Source

12. Shiren the Wanderer

Developer: Chunsoft

Publisher: Atlus

Year: 2010

Also available on PlayStation Portable in Japan

Speaking of Chunsoft’s rogue-like Mystery Dungeon series, Shiren the Wanderer was released first in Japan in 2008 and then in the US in 2010. It is the third Mystery Dungeon starring Chunsoft’s very own Shiren, and the second one released in North America. All of the staples of the series are here from its rogue-like nature and random dungeons. However, this game is considerably easier than past games in the series.

I should make a note of something: although I am listing this game on my list of good Wii games, this game is absolutely despised in Japan. Why? Because this game is considerably easier than past games in the series. Rogue-likes are notorious for their high level of difficulty and the previous Shiren games were certainly no exception. So yeah, this is essentially a highly watered down version of the Shiren games. But the thing is, I personally don’t think that’s a fault per say. Especially because I believe that this game can be used as a sort of gateway to other Mystery Dungeon or other rogue-like games. Just my opinion.

Shiren the Wanderer at Amazon

SSX Blur Box Art
SSX Blur Box Art | Source

13. SSX Blur

Developer: EA Montreal

Publisher: EA Sports Big

Year: 2007

Wii Exclusive

Well, I’m certainly not too crazy about giving EA too much attention, especially their sports titles. But the SSX series is one of their sports franchises that hasn’t been milked to death so I suppose I can still give it some attention. Of course, a lot of the courses in this game were just rehashed from the previous game SSX on Tour and the soundtrack only features one artist, Junkie XL, demonstrating that EA pretty much just half-assed this release. But then, when hasn’t EA half-assed their sports titles? Hmm…

Anyway, SSX Blur is worth at least checking out if you’re a fan of the series. It makes full use of the motion controls which can be quite innovative but also quite difficult. I’d say you should try renting or borrowing this game to try it out before you decide on whether to add it to your collection or not. After all, this game came out before EA started all of their online passes DRM BS.

SSX Blur at Amazon

Trauma Center: Second Opinion Box Art
Trauma Center: Second Opinion Box Art | Source

14. Trauma Center: Second Opinion

Developer: Atlus

Publisher: Atlus

Year: 2006

Remake of Trauma Center: Under the Knife for the Nintendo DS

Trauma Center: Second Opinion was a launch title for the Wii and is an enhanced remake of the DS game Trauma Center: Under the Knife. Within the Trauma Center series, the player takes control of a surgeon and reenacts surgery in simulated scenarios. The story is told in various cut scenes and dialogue scenes in the style of a visual novel. Being an enhanced remake of Under the Knife, Second Opinion has new chapters, new features, and a new playable character added. Other than that, it’s mostly the same as Under the Knife.

In Under the Knife, players took control of a young surgeon named Derek Stiles who eventually discovers that he has a mysterious gift called the Healing Touch. Together with his assistant, the nurse Angela "Angie" Thompson, Derek eventually goes on a global adventure involving an artificial disease called GUILT, engineered by a medical bio-terrorist organization, curing these strains of GUILT with miraculous surgeries involving the Healing Touch. I am not making this up. For the Wii remake, Under the Knife, in addition to all that another doctor with the Healing Touch named Nozomi Weaver who has her own set of unlockable missions.

Trauma Center: Second Opinion at Amazon

Trauma Center: New Blood Box Art
Trauma Center: New Blood Box Art | Source

15. Trauma Center: New Blood

Developer: Atlus

Publisher: Atlus

Year: 2007

Wii exclusive

Atlus followed up Trauma Center: Second Opinion with a Wii exclusive sequel, Trauma Center: New Blood. Set ten years after the first game, New Blood features a new story with a new pair of doctors with the Healing Touch, doctors Markus Vaughn and Valerie Blaylock and are eventually joined by a nurse named Elena Salazar. This time, the doctors are combating an outbreak of a mysterious parasite called Stigma and are eventually caught up into an adventure involving a criminal organization the Kidman family who want to use Stigma for profit. I’ve got to hand it to Atlus, they are certainly creative. Derek Stiles and Angie Thompson make cameo appearances as well.

In terms of gameplay, New Blood isn’t all that different from Second Opinion. Voice acting was added to the cutscenes but the difficulty of the game is rather unbalanced. Basically it’s a good game to add to your library but you will be frustrated playing it.

Trauma Center: New Blood at Amazon

Trauma Team Box Art
Trauma Team Box Art | Source

16. Trauma Team

Developer: Atlus

Publisher: Atlus

Year: 2010

Wii exclusive

Atlus ended their Trauma Center series with 2010’s Trauma Team. Where this entry differs from the previous games in the series is that rather than just surgery as the focus, Trauma Team focuses on six different medical fields, with a playable character in each profession. Despite these different medical professions though, the core of the game remains unchanged from earlier entries in the series.

The game’s setting is several months after Second Opinion, the main playable character is an amnesiac general surgeon who is on death row for mass murder, CR-S01. He is given a chance to reduce his sentence by working as a surgeon at the Resurgam First Care Medical Facility. The other playable characters are Tomoe Tachibana for endoscopic surgery, Hank Freebird for orthopedic surgery, Maria Torres a paramedic, Diagnostician Gabriel Cunningham, and Medical Examiner Naomi Kimishima (a.k.a. Nozomi Weaver from Second Opinion) who is struggling against the supposedly incurable Rosalia virus. With this entry, Atlus’s Trauma Center trilogy for the Wii is complete.

Trauma Team at Amazon

MadWorld Box Art
MadWorld Box Art | Source

17. MadWorld

Developer: Platinum Games

Publisher: Sega

Year: 2009

Wii exclusive

Anybody who accuses the Wii of being a “kiddy” system has never played MadWorld. In my earlier entry for Okami, I mentioned that that game was the last one developed by Clover Studio. Well, after Clover Studio closed its doors, several members of the defunct developer would go on to form a successor developer studio: Platinum Games. MadWorld was Platinum Games’ first game and it was developed specifically to produce a game for the Wii that was fun and violent. And boy is it violent! The entire game is in black and white, except for one other color: red… for blood… fountains of blood.

In the game’s premise, a terrorist group has unleashed a deadly virus into the fictional Varrigan City, cuts the city’s ties to the outside world, and then informs the populace that anybody who kills another person will obtain the vaccine. This leads to Varrigan City becoming the site of a televised bloodsport game show called “DeathWatch”. The player takes control of Jack Cayman, a man in Varrigan City for a mission and a chainsaw for a hand (Evil Dead much?). Who want fountains and fountains of blood from your Wii, MadWorld is the game for you.

MadWorld at Amazon

Epic Mickey Box Art
Epic Mickey Box Art | Source

18. Epic Mickey

Developer: Junction Point Studios

Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios

Year: 2010

Wii exclusive

Who doesn’t love Mickey Mouse? Well OK, I suppose there are a lot of people, but no one is going to deny Mickey’s iconic status. Video gaming legend Warren Spector certainly understood Mickey’s status as an icon and utilized it in his game Epic Mickey. The game’s premise is that master sorcerer Yen Sid has created a world specifically for forgotten cartoon characters called the Cartoon Wasteland. The first resident: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (in his first appearance ever since Disney regained him in 2006). However, due to some uniwitting mischief, a pre-fame Mickey Mouse accidentally unleashes the Shadow Blot (a version of his comic nemesis the Phantom Blot) upon the Cartoon Wasteland. Decades later, after Mickey’s rise to stardom, he is kidnapped by the Shadow Blot and taken to the Cartoon Wasteland.

Using paint and thinner, Mickey sets out on a journey throughout the Cartoon Wasteland to correct the mistake he made by unleashing the Shadow Blot on this world. On his journey, he meets Oswald who is bitter and jealous of the fact that Mickey was the one who became Disney’s big star—his obsession goes to the point where Oswald has constructed robotic versions of Daisy, Goofy, and Donald to be his “friends”. Though it has its flaws, Epic Mickey is a charming little game that deserves its spot in the Wii library. Which further illustrates the point of how much of an utter disaster the sequel Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two was. Seriously, why the heck would Spector think that the flaws of the first game added to its experience and not correct them for the sequel? What was he thinking?

Dragon Quest Swords Box Art
Dragon Quest Swords Box Art | Source

19. Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors

Developer: Genius Sonority, 8ing

Publisher: Square Enix

Year: 2008

Wii exclusive

I personally would’ve preferred to put Dragon Quest X on this list, but as a Wii game it’s been exclusive to Japan and if it ever gets localized for the West I guarantee it would be exclusive for the Wii U. So instead, we’ve got the spinoff Dragon Quest Swords for this list. While Dragon Quest is the quintessential JRPG series this spinoff is an on-rail first person shooter, except that instead of a gun the Wii-mote is used as a sword and shield.

Other than the on-rails aspect of the game all of the conventional tropes of Dragon Quest are there: story and design is done by Yuji Hori and artwork is by Akira Toriyama. For music however things are a bit different; rather than the usual DQ composer Koichi Sugiyama, music for this spinoff is composed by Manami Matsumae. It certainly isn’t what one might think when you imagine a JRPG but if you’re a fan of the DQ series, then I think this game is worth checking out.

Red Steel 2 Box Art
Red Steel 2 Box Art | Source

20. Red Steel 2

Developer: Ubisoft Paris

Publisher: Ubisoft

Year: 2010

Wii exclusive

When the Wii was first announced, one of the first things people probably thought when they saw the Wiimote was, “What the heck is that thing?” Another thing a lot of people probably thought was, “Can we do sword simulations with that thing?” As if in answer to that, when the Wii launched in 2006, one of launch titles was Ubisoft’s first-person shooter/hack ‘n slash Red Steel. And the game was a complete disaster and an utter mess. So much so that when the game’s vastly superior sequel Red Steel 2 came out in 2010, most people unfortunately ignored it.

Where Red Steel’s controls were flawed, Red Steel 2’s were engaging and intuitive, helped no doubt by the implementation of the Wii-MotionPlus. Even the story is complete new—where Red Steel took place in the modern age and had a tale dealing with yakuza, Red Steel 2 has more of a pseudo-western feel with the player taking control of “the last Kusaragi” to create more of a blend of eastern and western influences. It really is a shame this game flopped; if anything, this version of the game is what the first Red Steel should’ve been.

Red Steel 2 at Amazon

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Box Art
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Box Art | Source

21. Silent Hill: Shattered Memories

Developer: Climax Studio

Publisher: Konami Digital Entertainment

Year: 2009

Also available on PlayStation Network

It is a general consensus among most people that after Silent Hill 4: The Room, the Silent Hill series took a nose dive in quality with development of the games shifting from Japan to the west. A lot of this has to do with the different perceptions of horror when you compare Japan to the west: where in the west horror often features some kind of monster slaughtering others amidst some kind of gorefest, Japanese horror is usually a lot more subtle and psychological in nature, made even more bizarre to western audiences due to the foreign nature of the Shinto philosophy strewn through it. Perhaps that is why for the seventh entry in the series, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, developer Climax Studio decided on a different approach and tried to take the game back to its more psychological-horror roots.

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is a reimagining and reboot of the first game with the same basic premise: Harry Mason is searching for his daughter Cheryl within the mysterious town of Silent Hill. The plot however is completely new as is the gameplay. A lot of people initially dismissed this game due to it being vastly different from previous Silent Hill games. In my opinion however, although it is the seventh game in the series, I believe that this is a game that should be treated more like a spin-off. That, or as a standalone game within the franchise.

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories at Amazon

Sonic Colors Box Art
Sonic Colors Box Art | Source

22. Sonic Colors

Developer: Sonic Team

Publisher: Sega

Year: 2010

Also available on Nintendo DS

Has there ever been a video game franchise that has fallen as dramatically from its heights of quality as Sonic the Hedgehog? Sonic made a big splash in the 90s but when gaming jumped to 3D, the quality of Sonic’s games suffered. After a number games ranging from mediocre to horrible throughout the early 2000s, things finally started look up a bit with the release of Sonic Unleashed. The following two games, Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations completely broke the mold and are considered excellent games.

It is kind of strange how Sonic Generations is the game that tends to receive more praise when it only sold half the amount of Sonic Colors. Of course, Sonic Colors sold only about half the amount of Sonic Unleashed, but beggars can’t be choosers. Regardless, it kind of shows just how much Sonic is associated with Nintendo despite being a third party character and at one point Mario’s biggest rival in gaming. What’s really appealing about this game is that it doesn’t feature a lot of the excess baggage the Sonic series has acquired over the years: it’s just Sonic and Tails going up against Dr. Eggman.

Sonic Colors at Amazon

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom Box Art
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom Box Art | Source

23. Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars

Developer: Eighting

Publisher: Capcom

Year: 2010

Wii exclusive

Capcom’s crossover Vs. fighting games are a class of their own and often feature a lot of the unexpected. That said, Capcom’s decision to make a Vs. game against the anime characters of Tatsunoko Productions can certainly raise some eyebrows. Even amongst anime enthusiasts the Tatsunoko’s anime’s are bit obscure, the studio’s heyday was the seventies and eighties after all. To be exact, it was Tatsunoko who asked Capcom to develop a game featuring their characters. When it really boils down to it, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is all about nostalgia, especially on the Tatsunoko side of things as all of the characters featured are classic characters from their seventies and eighties animes.

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is the first Capcom Vs. title made in 3D. Also keep it mind that due to Capcom’s license with Tatsunoko having expired, this game is never going to be reissued. On the bright side, that means Capcom won’t be able to milk this game like they are notorious for with their other franchises. On the down side, this game never being reissued means that its going to become rarer and rarer as time goes on, meaning that if you want it, you should get it now while it’s still readily available.

No More Heroes Box Art
No More Heroes Box Art | Source

24. No More Heroes

Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture

Publisher: Ubisoft

Year: 2008

Wii exclusive

When people think of good third party Wii games, this game is usually the first one they think about. Goichi Suda, a.k.a. Suda51 is a mad genius. Seriously, that’s really the only way you can describe him, I mean, just take a look at the collection of games he’s developed ie. Killer 7, Shadows of the Damned, Lollipop Chainsaw, etc. No More Heroes definitely fits the bill. Within the game, players take control of Travis Touchdown, an otaku who wins a lightsaber—*ahem* a “beam katana” at an internet auction. He is approached by femme fatale Sylvia Christel who hires him to climb the ranks of the United Assassins Association by assassinating the ranked assassins. Travis does so with the prospect of getting laid.

In terms of gameplay, No More Heroes utilizes the Wii-mote and Nunchuk effectively with the Wii-mote used for control of the beam katana and the Nunchuck used to control Travis. It is one of the few games that actually utilizes the full capabilities of the Wii’s motion controls, especially notable when you consider the fact that a lot of the best games on the Wii didn’t really utilize the motion controls all that much.

No More Heroes at Amazon

No More Heroes 2 Box Art
No More Heroes 2 Box Art | Source

25. No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture

Publisher: Ubisoft

Year: 2010

Wii exclusive

Following the success of the first No More Heroes game, Suda51 followed up with the sequel No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle not too long later. Travis Touchdown returns to Santa Destroy and is confronted by assassins who want revenge for the killings he performed in the first game. Travis himself is also motivated by revenge this time after his best friend Bishop is killed and this is reflected in his more serious fighting style within the game.

Overall, the game is more of the same from the first No More Heroes, only with the overworld from the first game removed and Travis no longer has to pay a few to enter a ranked match, making progress in the game a lot faster. There is an overall theme of how vengeance (and violence in general) is senseless, pointless, and ultimately unsatisfying. No More Heroes 2 builds on the success of its excellent predecessor and the overall payoff is magnificent. Now, if only it wasn’t for the horrendous final boss.

No More Heroes 2 at Amazon

Zack & Wiki Box Art
Zack & Wiki Box Art | Source

26. Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure

Developer: Capcom

Publisher: Capcom

Year: 2007

Wii exclusive

One of the first games Capcom developed for the Wii was Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure. It is an adeventure/puzzle game featuring the aspiring pirate Zach and his pet monkey Wiki. Being an early game in the Wii’s history, developers hadn’t necessarily figured out how to properly utilize the Wii’s motion controls yet. Perhaps that is why Zack & Wiki is essentially a point-and-click game with the mouse cursor replaced by the Wii cursor. The game’s director Eichiro Sasaki had wanted to create a point-and-click adventure game ever since he had begun working at Capcom and the Wii was the perfect opportunity for that.

It is such a shame that the game simply did not sell well considering how much praise it had received. It was probably an unfortunate fact that point-and-click adventure games had fallen completely out of favor by that time. Nowadays, point-and-click have seen a sort of resurgence as can be seen by Telltale game’s phenomenally successful The Walking Dead series. If perhaps Zack & Wiki had been released a few years later, it might’ve fared better.

A Note on Second Party Games

While the main purpose of this article is to introduce readers and Wii owners to some decent to good third party games for the Wii, the overall purpose of this article is to help Wii owners expand their game library with good games. That is why in addition to these twenty-six third party games, I would also like to mention a few second-party games that might have missed your radar. I’m sure a good many of you have heard of Operation Rainfall, a fan campaign set up to persuade Nintendo of America to localize some Japan exclusive games, especially three JRPGs—first party game Xenoblade Chronicles and second party games The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower. The campaign ultimately proved to be successful and these three JRPGs came to the US during the Wii’s last years meaning that the console (which was sparse in its software lineup during its last years) could end its run on a high note. The Last Story is the brainchild of Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguhi and even features music by Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu. Pandora’s Tower was developed by Ganbarion who are mostly known for their licensed Jump Stars series. Both of these games, along with Xenoblade Chronicles are excellent additions to your Wii library.

There are other second party games to consider as well. Cing, the developers of Little King’s Story had earlier developed Another Code: R – A Journey into Lost Memories, a point-and-click adventure game for the Wii that was the sequel to DS game Trace Memory. Treasure had developed the railshooter Sin & Punishment: Star Successor, the sequel to Nintendo 64 game Sin & Punishment. Kuju Entertainment made Battallion Wars 2, a sequel to GameCube game Battalllion Wars. Monster Games has Excite Truck, the third game in the Excitebike series. Hmm, a lot of these second-party games are sequels. There is also Zero: Tsukihami no Kamen, known as Fatal Frame IV in the US, but that game was a Japan exclusive and only came to the US with a fan patch.

So, that’s the lot of third party games (and a few second party games) that you can add to your game collection for the Wii. If there are any other third party Wii games worth mentioning, please let me know. In the mean time, enjoy your Nintendo collection.

Wii Third Party Games Overview

Game
Developer
Publisher
Year
Rayman Origins
Ubisoft
Ubisoft
2011
Okami
Clover Studio, Ready at Dawn
Capcom
2008
Bully: Scholarship Edition
Rockstar Toronto
Rockstar Games
2008
Klonoa
Paon
Namco Bandai Games
2009
Goldeneye 007
Eurocom
Activision
2010
A Boy and His Blob
WayForward Technologies
Majesco Entertainment
2009
Little King's Story
Cing
Xseed Games
2009
Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility
Marvelous Interactive
Natsume
2007
Harvest Moon: Animal Parade
Marvelous Interactive
Natsume
2008
Rune Factory Frontier
Neverland Co.
Xseed Games, Marvelous Entertainment USA
2009
Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon
h.a.n.d.
Square Enix
2008
Shiren the Wanderer
Chunsoft
Atlus
2010
SSX Blur
EA Montreal
EA Sports Big
2007
Trauma Center: Second Opinion
Atlus
Atlus
2006
Trauma Center: New Blood
Atlus
Atlus
2007
Trauma Team
Atlus
Atlus
2010
MadWorld
Platinum Games
Sega
2009
Epic Mickey
Junction Point Studios
Disney Interactive Studios
2010
Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors
Genius Sonority, 8ing
Square Enix
2008
Red Steel 2
Ubisoft Paris
Ubisoft
2010
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
Climax Studio
Konami Digital Entertainment
2009
Sonic Colors
Sonic Team
Sega
2010
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars
Eighting
Capcom
2010
No More Heroes
Grasshopper Manufacture
Ubisoft
2008
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
Grasshopper Manufacture
Ubisoft
2010
Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Capcom
Capcom
2007

Wii Third Party Games

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