When a company launches a new video game console, they often rely on sequels to games from previous generations to fill out the new system’s lineup. Unfortunately for the Nintendo Switch, the Wii U’s library is a bit lacking and doesn’t have all that many franchises to cull new sequels from. The Wii U faltering also had the additional side effect of leaving a lot of original Wii games and series without a new system to come to, as Wii U’s low install base didn’t allow for as many riskier games and largely stuck to bigger, more bankable franchises.
It’s too early to tell how things are going to pan out for the Switch long-term, but early sales numbers have been strong and there is plenty of reason to be optimistic. If the Switch ends up being a blockbuster game platform, it might provide a place to revive some of the more niche Wii games and franchises that didn’t have the chance to make the jump to the Wii U.
Here are the 15 Forgotten Nintendo Wii Games That Deserve Switch Sequels.
15. Wario Land: Shake It!
Wario has always been the perfect counterpart to squeaky-clean Mario; he’s greedy, he’s cocky, and he’s gassy. Even as he has transitioned into a “good guy,” you still get the sense that a big enough pile of gold will make him turn right back to his thieving ways. But the real appeal of Wario has been his solo games, always taking more interesting creative left turns than Nintendo would be willing to take on Mario, or even Donkey Kong.
While Shake It for Wii is probably the least creatively-daring of the Wario Land games–being more of a standard platformer than the largely puzzle-based handheld installments–it was still a great platformer that was just different enough from Nintendo’s other first-party Wii platformers to stand out. And those gorgeous visuals…honestly, Shake It is a far better-looking game than the rather generic-looking New Super Mario Bros. series.
Whether it be a direct sequel to Shake It or a return to some of the quirkier early Wario Land games, it’s been far too long since we’ve seen a Wario game that isn’t just a minigame collection, and the Switch would be a great place for him to make his smelly comeback. Waluigi can stay home, though.
14. Trauma Team
Launch day Wii buyers who were looking for something a little more off-the-radar probably picked up Trauma Center: Second Opinion, a hybrid visual novel/surgery simulation/hospital melodrama that was an enhanced remake of an earlier DS game. The series got a couple of new installments on both systems over the next few years, culminating in Trauma Team, something of a reboot of the Trauma series.
Trauma Team was praised as a great way to refresh the Trauma games and seemed to be the start of a whole new chapter for the franchise, but then the series flatlined. No new Trauma games have been released in the seven years since Trauma Team. Not only does there deserve to be a new one, but the possibilities that the Switch’s “HD rumble” offers could mean for realistic tactile feedback of surgical procedures, which is definitely exciting. Some of those gaping wounds might be a little tougher to stomach in high definition than they were on Wii and DS–but that’s half the fun of a hospital room-based video game, right?
13. Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces
Flight combat games are often overly complex, having been created primarily for hardcore fans of the genre. But every few years, we get a flight game that brings a little more flash and arcade-style action to the genre to make it accessible and fun for anyone. Based on an also-forgotten anime movie, Sky Crawlers for Wii was one such game: deep enough for flight game fans, but with a low enough barrier of entry for everyone to enjoy.
You don’t need to know a single thing about the anime to enjoy this game–you just have to be interested in climbing aboard a fighter jet and flying around looking cool while you mow down enemy aircraft. The (optional) motion-controlled flying took some getting used to, but those that did appreciated its subtlety. Ditto for a potential Switch version, where players could have the option to move their arms around with the tablet in hand and play it that way, actually turning their body around to target planes behind them. Though, ideally, this wouldn’t be the only option.
There’s a pretty good chance we aren’t getting another Star Fox game anytime soon, and the future of Nintendo’s once-great Rogue Squadron series has been up in the air since the Disney buyout of Star Wars. A Sky Crawlers sequel would be a great way to scratch that itch for Switch owners in the meantime.
12. Deadly Creatures
Wii owners very quickly learned to be wary of generic-looking third-party games, as most of them tended to be shovelware garbage. This skepticism led a lot of people to pass over Deadly Creatures, with its fairly uninspired cover art looking like another disposable bargain bin title. The disc inside that bland package, however, contained one of Wii’s most creative and ambitious titles.
Deadly Creatures has players taking on the roles of a tarantula and a scorpion. Not talking anthropomorphic versions, nor super-powered alien versions, mind you, just a regular, realistic tarantula and scorpion. The creatures have to traverse massive outdoor environments while fighting other critters and avoiding humans (voiced by Dennis Hopper and Billy Bob Thornton, by the way) in one of the most technologically impressive Wii games ever made. Not only are the environments stunningly detailed, but the animation is absolutely top notch–so much so that anyone with even the slightest bit of arachnophobia will probably want to pass on even watching videos of this game.
While this article is primarily a wish list for new games, just getting an HD remake of Deadly Creatures would still be fantastic, both because it could bring the ambitious game to a system more capable of handling it, and so it can get another much-deserved chance at being a hit.
11. The Last Story
Between strong debuts like Xenoblade Chronicles and Arc Rise Fantasia, and new installments to franchises like Fire Emblem and Tales, the Wii became quite the RPG powerhouse over the years. While the system has several one-off RPGs that deserve a sequel, the one that most needs to make a return is The Last Story. Once again bringing back the dream team of writer/director Hironobu Sakaguchi and composer Nobuo Uematsu–who worked on Final Fantasy during its ’90s heyday–The Last Story is often considered Sakaguchi’s best post-FF work.
So far, Blue Dragon has been the only game that Mistwalker (Sakaguchi’s current development studio) has revisited, and even then, they haven’t done a full-fledged sequel. The distinction of first AAA Mistwalker sequel deserves to belong to The Last Story, which would look and sound amazing on the Switch…not to mention be a great addition to that platform’s already-growing lineup of RPGs.
Sure, it might seem a little odd to have a game called “The Last Story 2,” but let’s not forget that we’re talking about the guy who oversaw a series called “Final” Fantasy go beyond its tenth installment.
10. Excite Truck
Nintendo used to have a whole field of racing games besides just Mario Kart; there was F-Zero, R.C. Pro-Am, Wave Race, Cruis’n, 1080 Snowboarding, Excitebike, and many more. Sadly, most of those franchises never moved beyond the GameCube–if they got that far–meaning it has now been at least a decade since they got a sequel. While it would be great to have all of them return to Switch, for purposes of this list, we had to go with a racing game that actually did come to the Wii (besides the disappointing WiiWare game Excitebike: World Rally, which is best left forgotten).
Serving as both a spiritual successor to Excitebike and the introduction to a bigger overall Excite franchise, Excite Truck captured the basic essence of the jump-based Excitebike games, except that it swapped out two-wheeled vehicles for four. It was a little rough around the edges–it was a launch game, after all–but it’s still a really fun game that deserves a second chance with more development time and a bigger budget.
The follow-up Excitebots is also worth a revisit, but its robotic animal premise made it a bit more niche and less about straight racing. Honestly, though, either of them would be welcome on the Switch. We want more than just Mario Kart, Nintendo!
9. Sin & Punishment: Star Successor
Despite not being released in the U.S., the Treasure shooter Sin & Punishment for N64 still developed a strong following in the West, especially after Nintendo put it on the North American Virtual Console for the Wii. There was enough faith in how well-known the game was outside of Japan that its Wii sequel, Star Successor, was localized to North America in both digital and retail forms.
The co-op, on-rails shooter is one of the more “hardcore” games released for the Wii–a system widely accused of catering to mainstream, family audiences–forcing players to take down screen-filling bosses while squeezing through tiny openings in massive swaths of gunfire. Star Successor was also one of the better arguments for the benefits of motion controls in non-casual games, with the shooting action controlling like a dream with the Wii remote.
The Sin & Punishment games are Treasure’s best 3D games, and Star Successor is the company’s best sequel. It seems like everything is aligned to make it be their first real trilogy, and with the franchise staying Nintendo-exclusive thus far, the Switch is the obvious home for a third S & P game.
Gamers got way more chances than they deserved to make the Klonoa games a hit. The first game (Door to Phantomile) sold poorly. We got its PlayStation 2 sequel anyway, and that game sold poorly. Against all odds, Namco gave us one more chance when it remade Phantomile for the Wii, and yet again, sales were disappointing. By most accounts, Klonoa is done for, which is a huge tragedy. The series is responsible for some of gaming’s finest platforming, worthy of mention alongside the greats of the genre.
If Namco were to give us yet another chance to make Klonoa the video game superstar he should’ve been for the past 20 years already, a Switch remake of Klonoa 2 in the style of the Wii remake of the first game would make for a good start. A whole new game would be better, but we’ll take whatever Klonoa we can get. The console/handheld hybrid nature of the Switch could also mean that the franchise’s two separate paths–the standard platforming action of the console games and the more puzzle-oriented style of the handheld games–could finally unite in the ultimate Klonoa game.
It all seems very unlikely, but you never know. It once seemed impossible that Mario and Sonic would ever star in the same game. Never say never.
7. Lost in Shadow
Some games deserve a sequel because the original was so great that we want even more of it. Other games deserve a sequel because the first game showed a lot of promise, but didn’t quite do all it set out to do. These titles demand a sequel in order to make good on the ambitions of the first game. Lost in Shadow definitely falls more into the latter camp.
The concept is brilliant: rather than control a tangible character, you control the character’s shadow, manipulating objects and light sources in order to advance through the stages. The hero is sometimes able to materialize and interact with the 3D world, but by and large, it’s a game about playing in the 2D background of a 3D world. The style draws obvious influence from the art game masterpiece Ico, but doesn’t quite reach that benchmark.
There is nothing overtly wrong with the game, it just feels like it needed more time and a bigger budget to achieve what it set out to do. The latest game from the minds behind Ico (The Last Guardian) is being considered something of a disappointment. Maybe the Switch could be the destination for players who felt burnt by that game if it was home to an impressive Lost in Shadow sequel.
While cynical gamers were busy writing off the Wii as a console for kids and grandmas, Platinum Games brought the gruesome MadWorld to the platform. Taking place in an eye-catching black-and-white world with bright red blood being one of the only real colors, MadWorld features some of the most brutal violence in video game history. It’s all underscored by heavy sexual undertones and some of the filthiest play-by-play announcers of all time.
Not unlike the trick sometimes employed by filmmakers like Martin Scorcese and Quentin Tarantino, being in stylized black and white allowed the developers to get away with a lot more violence and dismemberment than what would’ve been permitted in a full-color game. And the comic book aesthetic also played to the under-powered Wii’s strengths–using stylized visuals in place of highly detailed ones–making for a game that looked as striking as any HD game on more advanced hardware.
Nintendo was willing to step up and help finance Platinum Games’ Bayonetta 2 so that the game could come exclusively to the Wii U, and that ended up being one of that system’s best games. They should do the same for a MadWorld sequel for the Switch. We probably won’t see Link and Princess Peach skins in a game this gory, though.
5. Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
After the first three incredible Silent Hill games, the series struggled to remain relevant, releasing a serious of disappointing sequels and spin-offs. And we all know the sad fate of what was to become Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro’s take on the franchise.
The only bright spot among the finished Silent Hill games after the third one was the experimental Shattered Memories. The game loosely retells the story of the first SH, reinventing it as more of a point-and-click adventure game. The genre shift was a perfect fit for the series, as basically taking fighting out of the equation entirely really upped the horror factor and brought the franchise (and the horror game genre as a whole) back to what we originally loved about it. Walking around the creepy town of Silent Hill armed with a flashlight rather than a lead pipe–and actually having to flee from creatures rather than beat them to death–is a far more interesting and engrossing experience.
Despite how P.T. (the codename of the eventually-cancelled Kojima Silent Hill game) ended up, its initial existence proved that Konami had still fairly recently been interested in revisiting the horror game franchise. A follow-up in the style of Shattered Memories might be something they’d be willing to greenlight–especially if they were able to get Nintendo to pony up the cash for an exclusive deal.
4. Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars
Beginning with X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Capcom has long loved pitting its stable of characters against those from various other universes. In addition to eventually going up against a team culled from all of Marvel Comics, the characters of Capcom have also gone toe-to-toe with rival SNK characters and fighters from the Tekken series. In this Wii-exclusive, they matched up with various anime characters under the Tatsunoko Productions umbrella.
In what is by far the quirkiest of all of Capcom’s Vs. games, T vs. C sees Capcom characters from Street Fighter, Darkstalkers, Rival Schools, Mega Man, Viewtiful Joe, Onimusha, Lost Planet, Dead Rising, and the obscure Japan-only Quiz Nanairo Dreams go up against Tatsunoko characters from, well, a lot of anime properties with titles too long to write out here. That none of them are especially mainstream in North America makes the localization of this game all the more surprising–and all the more welcome.
Fighting games being platform-exclusive seems to be the way things are going these days, and admittedly, Nintendo might have a tough time convincing a company like Capcom to let them have one of their heavy-hitters all to themselves for the Switch. But that paves the way for something more niche like a Tatsunoko vs. Capcom 2 to find a home on Nintendo’s newest console. It would make a nice companion game to Ultra Street Fighter II, if nothing else.
3. Boom Blox
Steven Spielberg co-creating a WWII shooter? Makes perfect sense. Steven Spielberg co-creating a cute, family-friendly party game about throwing blocks around? Not so much. What’s even more surprising is that by most accounts, the famed filmmaker was far more involved on a day-to-day scale with Boom Blox than he was with Medal of Honor. But what matters is that all of that quality control resulted in two of the most fun party games ever made. Both Boom Blox and its sequel Bash Party are ridiculously enjoyable titles that play like a 3D Angry Birds, and both came out well before the pig-smashing mobile game hit the market.
In one of the best uses of the Wii’s motion control, players use the Wii remote to fling various different projectiles at a variety of different targets, making the mountains of blocks topple and/or explode to rack up points. In other modes, you might remove blocks from an unsteady structure Jenga-style, fire cannons at other players’ forts, or play a variation on the arcade game Skee-Ball.
Every mode is a blast, especially if you’ve brought three other players along for the ride. It really is a mystery why neither of the Boom Blox games sold all that well, but there’s never been a better time than now–or a better system than the Switch–to see if the third time can be the charm for this underrated series.
2. Red Steel 2
The first Red Steel had good intentions, proving that the Wii and its motion control were capable of more than just party games. Ultimately, however, the FPS fell flat. Despite that, Ubisoft still felt they had something to prove with the series, and released a sequel in 2010.
Nobody had high hopes for Red Steel 2, and had it been even halfway decent, it would’ve been a pleasant surprise. But the game turned out to be a remarkable title, not only by making good on the promise of the first game, but by being one of the most original shooters of that entire generation. RS2 used the improved fidelity of the Wii Motion Plus to make for an engrossing gameplay experience that mixed gunplay with swordplay–and nailed them both. The move to cel-shaded visuals gave it a more distinctive look, and the new Old West motif was much more interesting than the generic urban setting of the first game.
Unfortunately, between the bad taste the first game left in people’s mouths and the fact that the Wii’s popularity was on the decline in 2010, Red Steel 2 went largely ignored. What should’ve been a fresh start for a promising franchise ended up being its end. Like the Wii, the best FPSs for the Switch will be the ones made exclusively for it–not ports of Call of Duty. To that end, Red Steel 3 would be a perfect fit.
1. Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barabaros’ Treasure
One thing that the Wii remote was great at was being a pointer. It seemed like a no-brainer that adventure games would find a home on the system. In fact, ports of games like Sam & Max were more playable on the Wii than on other consoles for exactly that reason. Yet a surprisingly small number of games from that genre found their way to the Wii, and almost none were made exclusively for it. The biggest (and best) exception to that was the wonderful Zack & Wiki.
Combining old-school adventure game charm with gameplay that made great use of the Wii remote, the title allowed for not only pointing and clicking, but various other ingenious gesture-based actions. Thanks to this, Zack & Wiki was one of the best original adventure games released during the mid-to-late-00s renaissance of the genre. It stands as one of the few Japanese-developed games of its type, and it proves that the East is just as capable at the genre as Western developers are.
Of all of the tragic cases of fantastic third-party games that nobody bought because nobody bought non-Nintendo third-party Wii games, Zack & Wiki might be the most tragic. This should’ve been the start of a franchise that we’re three or four games deep on already. With the adventure genre still in full swing, Zack & Wiki definitely has an audience–it just needs a platform. And that platform should be the Switch.
What other underrated Wii titles do you think are deserving of sequels on the Switch? Let us know in the comments!