10 Nintendo Wii Hidden Gems You Should Seek Out

Wii've got some treats for you.

Pandora's Tower
Pandora's Tower

There’s a lot of love out in the world for Nintendo’s various consoles, such as the SNES, N64 and Gamecube, but those consoles combined paled in comparison to the runaway success that was the Nintendo Wii. The first instance of a console manufacturer broadly accepting how motion controls could enhance the gaming experience, the Nintendo Wii quickly became the adopted favorite of all casual gamers and your nan, for some reason.

It’s already been established how the Wii played home to some all-time classics like The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Super Mario Galaxy and M&Ms: Kart Racing, but with thousands of games across the Wii’s lifespan, you know that more than a few hidden gems slipped under the radar. With that in mind, let’s check out the biggest hidden gems the Nintendo Wii has to offer.

 

1. Muramasa: The Demon Blade

Muramasa
Muramasa

Vanillaware might be more of a bankable name now, thanks to the release of games like 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim and 2024’s Unicorn Overlord, but back in the early days of the company, you’d need to do a little bit of digging in order to actually find their games. GrimGrimoire and Odin Sphere class as two of the more obscure titles on the PS2, though Odin Sphere did get a PS4 re-release, but VanillaWare would continue their tradition of overlooked bangers with the Wii’s Muramasa: The Demon Blade in 2009.

Like Odin Sphere and one of VanillaWare’s follow-up games Dragon’s Crown, Muramasa: The Demon Blade is a 2D beat ‘em up with RPG elements, as players explore a fantastical version of Japan during the Edo period. Naturally, you’ve got your fair share of bandits and beasts to carve your way through, with the game telling the stories of two individuals: Monohime, the princess of the Narukami clan, and Kisuke, an amnesiac ninja. Naturally, their stories merge over the course of the game, making for one of the most emotional and worthwhile games to play on the Nintendo Wii.

 

2. Dragon Ball: Revenge Of King Piccolo

Dragon Ball
Dragon Ball

It’s great to see a licensed anime game skip the traditional route of just being a fighting game or arena brawler. Granted, Dragon Ball: Revenge Of King Piccolo is a beat ‘em up instead, which makes it more of a lateral move than anything else, but still, it’s nice to see something a little bit different. The fact that Dragon Ball: Revenge Of King Piccolo isn’t just a rote retelling of the Saiyan, Frieza, Android and Buu arcs, like pretty much every other Dragon Ball game in existence, is the icing on the cake, though you probably knew that already by the fact there’s no Z in the game’s name.

Dragon Ball: Revenge Of King Piccolo casts players as the young Goku from the original series, as he tussles with the early versions of the Red Ribbon Army, before the Demon King Piccolo shows up for a scrap. When it comes to gameplay, DB: ROKP blends beat ‘em up mechanics with platforming to create an accessible and enjoyable brawler for players of all ages. For those who simply must own every bit of Dragon Ball merch and memorabilia out there, this game is an often overlooked part of the collection, but Revenge Of King Piccolo is also a fun game in its own right.

 

3. Pandora’s Tower

Pandora's Tower
Pandora’s Tower

The Wii’s motion controls led to the creation of many action games where waving the nunchucks around like an idiot was the path to success, with No More Heroes and Mad World being the two most obvious examples, but there’s plenty of action RPGs that have slipped under the radar on the Nintendo Wii. One such game that’s really considered to be a hidden gem is Pandora’s Tower, which could be described as some kind of unholy fusion between Castlevania and Dead Rising 2. Let us explain.

Pandora’s Tower follows Aeron as he’s taken his lover Elena to the Thirteen Towers, a fortress filled with monsters that need to be killed in order to stop Elena’s curse from turning her into a monster. In-game, a timer is constantly ticking down until the curse is completed, which results in a game over, but you can reverse the process by feeding Elena some yummy monster flesh. Just replace monster flesh with Zombrex and you’ve got Dead Rising 2. You can also raise your bond with Elena, however, with the curse and bond levels both playing into the ending you can receive. Nowadays, it’s merely just another game that received a Wii U port but hasn’t come to the Switch. Come on, Nintendo. Pull your finger out.

 

4. Red Steel 2

Red Steel 2
Red Steel 2

It’s rare for a direct sequel to be a hidden gem compared to the original game, but somehow Ubisoft managed to walk that tightrope with the release of Red Steel 2. The first game was a Wii launch title and performed well commercially, considering it was the only real “hardcore” title in the Wii’s launch line-up. Unfortunately, reviews and reception of Red Steel was less than stellar when the game launched, so even though there was a sequel, it was released in 2010 with very little hype or fanfare, which is a shame because Red Steel 2 was a much better game.

The original game was criticized for its poor use of motion controls, but Red Steel 2 improved the gameplay massively as it blended ranged gunplay with melee sword combat. Red Steel 2 also isn’t a direct sequel to the first game, as it’s set in an alternative neo-future version of the United States that combines the Old West cowboy aesthetic with samurai/yakuza weaponry. If that doesn’t sound like the sickest thing imaginable, then I’m afraid you’ve simply lost the will to live.

 

5. Tatsunoko Vs Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars

Tatsunoko Vs Capcom
Tatsunoko Vs Capcom

There weren’t many fighting games that made their way to the Nintendo Wii, so you could make the case that any available on the platform is a hidden gem in its own right. Sure, there wasn’t much love for Castlevania: Judgment or Tournament of Legends at the time, and rightly so, but then you’ve also got whippers like Tatsunoko Vs Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, which is arguably the best fighting game that’s exclusive to the Nintendo Wii not named Punch-Out!. Of course it’s great though, considering Capcom crossovers tend to always be fantastic.

Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite didn’t happen. Shush.

A collaboration with the Japanese animation company Tatsunoko Production, Tatsunoko Vs Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars sees iconic Capcom characters like Ryu, Morrigan and Zero clashing with classic anime heroes from the 70s and 80s. While a Tatsunoko crossover might not be as lucrative or enticing as the idea of Capcom scrapping with the likes of Naruto, Goku or any of the lads from One Punch Man, the core gameplay on offer here is up there with some of Capcom’s best. If you’ve got a Wii lying around, or you’re a dab hand with the old emulators, give this one a whirl.

 

6. Sin & Punishment: Star Successor

When you create a console that lets you point at the screen and use motion controls, you’re naturally going to get a bunch of lightgun games as a result. Sin & Punishment: Star Successor is probably the most ridiculous of the bunch, as it’s a sequel to the N64 cult hit and is considered among the best hidden gems on the Nintendo Wii. Like other games on this list, it’s not exactly a complicated game, consisting of shooting everything that moves until it doesn’t move anymore, but with Treasure at the helm, you know the action is going to be special.

As for the story, you can play as either Isa or Kachi, with the pair of them on the run from a group of murderous aliens known as the Nebulox. Also, Kachi might just be a traveler from another dimension, which is probably the least ridiculous aspect of this game’s already bonkers concept. Like Pandora’s Tower earlier on in this list, both Sin & Punishment games were released on the Wii U’s Virtual Console, but we’re still waiting to see them appear on the Switch.

 

7. Disaster: Day Of Crisis

Disaster Day Of Crisis
Disaster Day of Crisis

Monolith Soft might have become the golden child of Nintendo more recently thanks to the success of the Xenoblade series, but before they blew the pants off of RPG fans with those games, they released Disaster: Day Of Crisis on the Wii. Following a similar idea to other natural catastrophe-themed video games, Disaster: Day Of Crisis follows Raymond, a former Marine-turned-rescue agent-turned-CIA operative following a group of mercenaries holding the US to ransom with nuclear weapons. Wait a minute, that’s the complete opposite actually.

In truth, Disaster: Day Of Crisis feels like a Michael Bay movie turned into a video game, with its military focused plot being strung together with a series of natural disaster set pieces. In between adventuring moments where you explore the various areas of the game and try to help people survive disasters, there’s also the action scenes which play out like your standard light gun shooter. It’s not the most complicated game ever made, sure, but it’s a non-stop thrill ride from start to finish, and we’re suckers for some linear action games these days.

 

8. The Last Story

The Last Story
The Last Story

We didn’t mention it with Pandora’s Tower, but both it and The Last Story were the subject of a fan campaign called Operation Rainfall, which aimed to encourage Japanese developers to bring some of their region-exclusive games over to the West. It’s a noble goal, and one that led to the release of Pandora’s Tower and The Last Story, but there was a third game in that campaign that may have overshadowed the other two just a little bit: Xenoblade Chronicles. Given the success that Xenoblade has had in the West since, it’s hard to call Operation Rainfall anything other than a success, but The Last Story definitely fell by the wayside after launch.

An action RPG directed and co-written by Hironobu Sakaguchi, the original mind behind Final Fantasy, The Last Story is set on an island fortress as the world’s being drained of its life. As Zael, you’ll receive the Mark of the Outsider, which we promise has nothing to do with Dishonored, while the humans are dealing with a war with the beast-like race known as the Gurak. A rare Wii action game that didn’t use motion controls, The Last Story still offers a rare blend of combat, stealth and tactics to create something truly unique.

 

9. Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins Of The Moon

Fragile Dreams
Fragile Dreams

There’s a lot of post-apocalyptic games out there, but perhaps none are quite like Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins Of The Moon, which earns the award for the “most twee” video game name on the entire Wii platform. There’s probably another name out there that’s even more twee, but that’s beside the point. If you loved Ghostwire Tokyo, specifically exploring the ruins of Tokyo after all the people disappeared and now there’s a bunch of ghosts hanging around, the premise of Fragile Dreams for the Wii is a great aesthetic parallel.

Controlling the 15-year old Seto, you’re forced to explore the ruins of Tokyo after your grandfather’s death, with the hopes of finding the reason why humanity was decimated. Along the way, you’ll encounter a group of characters all struggling to survive. Meanwhile, you have to defend yourself against ghosts, though interestingly, you can use any items you find in the environment to batter some spooky specters. Weirdly enough, it’s another Wii game on this list with similarities to Dead Rising, and both of them are much better than Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop, that awful Wii port.

 

10. Ghost Squad

Ghost Squad
Ghost Squad

While we are including another lightgun game on this, Ghost Squad at least gets the distinction of being an actual arcade game first, standing alongside the likes of Time Crisis and The House Of The Dead. As a hotshot member of the Ghost Squad, you’re shooting goons and terrorists across three different levels set in a lavish villa, a jungle base, and Air Force One itself. With just a handful of levels, Ghost Squad sounds like it could be an underwhelming overall package, but the game’s progression comes into its own as you repeatedly play through the game’s levels.

Like House of the Dead, Ghost Squad allows players to take multiple paths and make certain choices depending on the actions they make during the level, but those options in Ghost Squad only become available after multiple runs. Even if you’re going through the same couple of levels, you’re still experiencing new content and challenges as you progress and unlock new weapons and outfits. Throw in the inclusion of four player co-op as part of the Wii port, and Ghost Squad remains both one of the best light gun games ever made and a real hidden gem of the Nintendo Wii.

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