A remarkable breath of fresh air for a franchise that was getting a little stale, this put the Resident Evil series on an action-based path away from the fixed-camera, pre-rendered and 'staged' survival horror of the previous games. What you lost in nail-biting tension was more than made up for by the brilliantly chunky gunplay and impeccable progression through a story that continually ups the ante and adjusts difficulty automatically to keep you on the edge of your seat without pushing you off entirely.
While the additional pointer controls arguably make the Wii version a little easy, you've still got the option to play with a GameCube controller if you wish (or that chainsaw variant if you're proper hardcore). Subsequent remasters might have upped the resolution, but there's a genuine argument that the Wii Edition of Resident Evil 4 remains the best way to play this genre-defining classic, even all these years later.
Retro Studios revival of Rare's treasured Donkey Kong Country on SNES came after the developer had successfully reinvented Nintendo's Metroid as an exploratory first-person shooter, so perhaps we shouldn't have been surprised that the team was able to recapture the spirit of Rare's DKC platformers three console generations later with Donkey Kong Country Returns. However, it still came as something of a surprise just how good the game turned out, reimagining the SNES template for the 21st Century.
The 3DS port is equally impressive, but you really can't go wrong with whatever version you can get your hands on. When it comes to resurrections, it seems Retro is your go-to studio and DKC returned in fabulous form on Wii.
Picking up the baton from the celebrated GameCube entry, Brawl pushed the series in an all-encompassing direction as far as content was concerned, and set the precedent for the 'more is more' approach to stages, fighters, music, and more that kept Masahiro Sakurai occupied eight-days-a-week for many years after.
Next Level Games managed to recapture all the character and energy of the original Punch-Out!! on Wii while adding a beautiful cell-chaded graphical style. With all the fighters from the NES game returning, the motion controls were cute, if a little hit-and-miss, but the option to play using the old-school control style made this a truly excellent update of a classic boxer where it's all about watching your opponent.
This was arguably the game which proved that third parties had mastered the grammar of the 3D language Nintendo invented with Ocarina of Time. Okami is a gorgeous Japanese adventure with an oddball cast of characters, fabulous music, and an unforgettable art style. The HD version on Switch is probably the best way to play these days, but the Wii port of Clover's PS2 original was a delight back in 2008.
A crossover fighter bringing together Capcom's finest with the varied faces of Tekkaman, Karas, Jun the Swan, Gold Lightan, and other luminary characters from Japanese Animation studio Tatsunoko's IP portfolio, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars was an appropriately gorgeous, madcap and joyous console-exclusive fighter on a system which missed out on some of the biggest franchises in the 2D fighting space.
A gorgeous side-on action-RPG, Muramasa: The Demon Blade was ahead of the wave of side-scrolling platformers that would arrive from indie studios over the next few years, and Vanillaware's eye-catching adventure through Japanese folklore is still a treat over a decade on.
An excellent little explorative RTS game that holds its own against the Pikmin series. You're put in charge of a village and it's your job to ensure your citizens' happiness while expanding your kingdom upwards and outwards. Little King's Story is one of those games that is loved by all who play it, yet remains one of Wii's many 'hidden' gems. If it sounds at all enticing, we recommend tracking down a copy while they're easy to source — you won't regret it.
No More Heroes certainly isn’t perfect; the tasks you’re given in-between missions are dull (calling to mind the same boredom experienced when you had to get a job in Sega’s Shenmue), the Grant Theft Auto-style driving sections border on the pointless (we can only assume they’re intended to be a thinly-veiled dig at the successful franchise) and the general gameplay doesn’t actually change during any of the assassination missions. But regardless of these points, it still entertains in a way that few other games can manage. It’s a chaotic riot packed with gleeful videogame references, over-the-top dialogue, and some seriously awesome-looking combat action. A far more accessible proposition than Killer7 ever was, No More Heroes is so wonderfully amusing that it’s easy to forgive its minor shortcomings; Suda 51’s epic fully deserved to garner the kind of attention and praise that unfortunately eluded its predecessor.
PlatinumGames' MadWorld presented an inky black-and-white aesthetic that served to highlight the ultra-violence of the action whenever red blood sprayed across the screen, which was a lot. Tapping into the visual style of Frank Miller's dark graphic novel Sin City, Madworld is another example that the Wii's reputation as a family-friendly console, though warranted, is only partially correct. In fact, it had an incredibly varied catalogue and this Sega-published hack-and-slack brawler was a fine example.