Earlier this week via their news feed, Nintendo was kind enough to remind everyone that the end of Wii Shop is drawing near. In the first phase, they will no longer allow us to add points to our account. To be honest when this announcement was first made a while back, I didn’t think the Wii Shop was still up and running. Consider it a pleasant surprise.
The final phase will take place January 30, 2019, and they will close Wii Shop completely. All leftover points will be forfeited, and the final nail in the coffin of the Wii will be hammered in. This got me to reminiscing about some of the good times I had with the system. Now, I didn’t play all of the Wii Shop games, but there were several I enjoyed. However, there was one I missed out on, and sadly, I’ll not have a chance to rectify it.
So, without further adieu, the following were my 5 Best Wiiware Titles along with the one I missed out on. I want to preface this by saying this list will only focus on the best Wiiware games. I am not including the Virtual Console. The Virtual Console games will be explored as we build up the “best of” lists on the respective systems they appeared.
5. ReBirth Series
I know what you are thinking. I said the five best Wiiware games. One would think I could be considered a cheater, and one would be right. I guess that is the great thing about running your own blog. You get to play by your own rules.
The ReBirth series from Konami had a ton of promise, and it really got a lot of us old school gamers excited. It’s no secret that Konami has had its share of problems, recently. The idea of some of those great NES era games being rebooted for the modern console looked to turn the fortunes of the once great company, and to this day, I can’t understand why it didn’t continue.
Contra ReBirth, Castlevania ReBirth, and Gradius ReBirth were the only three titles to get this. For Contra and Gradius, the excitement was there, but for me it paled in comparison of Castlevania. To say Castlevania had strayed from what I loved would be an understatement. 2D for Castlevania was finally back.
All three of these games were solid, and they played real close to the counterparts they were based off of. Unfortunately, the ReBirth series was over as quickly as it got started. All three were release between March and December of 2009. We wouldn’t see another game in the series.
In January of this year, there was a rumor that we may be seeing the ReBirth titles come to Switch, and while that would be amazing, I’m not holding my breath. Regardless, if you have some extra Wii Shop Points (3000 for all and 1000 a piece), this wouldn’t be a bad bet.
4. World of Goo
A lot of people may think this is low on my list. World of Goo is certainly high on the list of Best Wiiware games for pretty much everyone, but for me, four is as high as it gets. That’s nothing to be ashamed of either.
2D Boy, the makers of World of Goo, were one of the first publishers to commit to the Wii platform. I remember when it was announced everyone was excited that this was launching the same day as it launched on Microsoft Windows supported computers. The Wii Remote seemed to be made for this game.
The game did not disappoint. This is one of the few times that a new IP lived up to the hype that surrounded it for me. It seemed a little high for an unknown game, but the inclusion of a try-before-you-buy feature went a long ways to showing this one was worth it.
Since the initial launch, World of Goo has pretty much come out for every system known to man. I wouldn’t suggest purchasing this on the Wii Shop, but it would be in your best interest to pick it up for something. Yes, it is even on the Nintendo Switch.
3. Blaster Master: Overdrive
When I think of best Nintendo Entertainment System games, Blaster Master doesn’t come to mind, but if I am looking at best Wiiware games Blaster Master: Overdrive is on it. I have played both, and while the game play is similar with both iterations, Overdrive comes off a lot tighter in controls. Overdrive managed to fix the things that frustrated me the most about the original.
I really love the different prospectives. You initially are in a vehicle shooting all sorts of baddies, but on the fly, you can hop out and take them on as an individual. It is a plus in the series, and it is well worth visiting this on the Wii if you haven’t got it.
There is a Blaster Master for the Switch and 3DS, Blaster Master Zero, but in my opinion Overdrive is the better game. I have both, and I have played both.
2. Jett Rocket
I know this is a surprise for a lot of people, but please, hear me out. Jett Rocket is a wonderful 3-D platformer. It is really hard to recommend a 3-D platformer on the Wii because the Super Mario Galaxy series is so amazing. However, Jett Rocket is well worth you time.
Jett Rocket does a lot of things right. The controls are tight. The game is challenging, but it is not impossible. Shin’en Media put the game out. You will know them from the Nano Assault and Fast Racing series games they currently have available on Nintendo’s family of systems.
Considering Jett Rocket is one of the best Wiiware games, I personally thought the sequel would fall on my charts as one of the best eShop games for the 3DS. It is not. We will leave it at that.
Jett Rocket can be purchased for just 1000 Wii Shop Points. I believe that is as good of value as you can find. It will certainly scratch your itch for 3-D platforming.
1. Excitebike: World Rally
Nintendo makes great first party games. It doesn’t matter if it is a huge AAA title like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or small games like Excitebike: World Rally.
The Nintendo Entertainment System got me started on video games. We owned the Atari 2600, but I found the love of video games with the NES. Excitebike was a great game, and to this day, I will find myself playing a few rounds of it when I want some retro gaming.
When Nintendo announced World Rally, there was no doubt I would be there day one. The game just doesn’t disappoint even to this day. Not only is it the best Wiiware game, but I think it is the best game in the Excite series. World Rally even had online play. I might add this is probably the only game that I was one of the best in the world at. Grant it, there were probably not a ton of people playing it online, but they couldn’t beat me.
It is my hope that Nintendo will give Excitebike: World Rally the same treatment that Konami seems to be giving the ReBirth series, but if they do not, you owe it to yourself to get this one before the chance is gone.
The One I Missed: Burgertime: Word Tour
On several occasions, I have mentioned being a child of the 80’s. When I was a kid there was a show called Starcade. No, it isn’t the WCW wrestling pay-per-view. It was a group of contestants that answered video game questions to play arcade games. It has somewhat of a cult following today, but I loved it as a kid.
Burgertime was a game that was on there quite a bit. I always wanted that game, and the Atari 2600 version wasn’t it much to my disappointment. They did do a version for the NES, but that really wasn’t great either.
Enter Wiiare and Burgertime: World Tour. I managed to miss this game, and before I could get around to purchasing it, it disappeared from the Wii Shop. MonkeyPaw lost the rights, but the game has never shown up again.
Burgertime (a good version) still alludes me after all of these years. Someday, it will be mine.
It is sad seeing the close of the Wii Shop. So much of where Nintendo sits today can be attributed to the Wii. The Wii put Nintendo back on top after some really lean years. Hopefully, the Switch can build off of that legacy.
In the meantime, do yourself a favor, and grab some of the titles on this list before you cannot. I would also love to hear what you feel are the best Wiiware games.
[Image by Nintendo of America]