Even though we STILL don’t have official details as to when we can expect Nintendo’s Wii U game system to arrive on our shores (or, for that matter, at what price), we do know that it’s coming this year. We’re already preparing for what appears to be a pretty killer launch list, even if some of the games have been released before on another console.
The potential launch line-up is looking very good for the system, so we’ve decided to go ahead and prep an early guide, notifying you what the best games you’re likely to get around that time are. While tastes differ, we think we’ve picked the best of the bunch here. So here we go with our launch picks!
Pikmin 3 (Nintendo)
Perhaps the time was just right to bring back the world of Pikmin, considering how well the first two games did on the GameCube (and later, the Wii). This new edition promises plenty of cool interaction between the Wii U GamePad and the new Pikmin types, as well as gorgeous high-resolution visuals that make their little world more exquisite than ever before. Throw in some possible community features and dozens of challenging levels and you’ve got yourself a Pikmin party.
New Super Mario Bros. U (Nintendo)
Is it the same as Super Mario Galaxy? Um, no. But New Super Mario Bros. U definitely looks like an interesting addition to the series, following the same zany multiplayer logic as the Wii version of New Super Mario Bros. Multiple players will be able to take part in the platforming fun, using either familiar Mario world characters or their own Miis, bonking question blocks and taking down enemies in traditional hop-and-bop fashion. And, look at it this way, it’ll be the first time in quite a while that Nintendo will have a Mario game ready to go at launch. We miss those days.
Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition (WB Games)
Yes, we trounced this one last year, beating the various villains threatening the good people of Gotham with one swift swing of our Bat fists. But we’re eager to try it again on the Wii U because of the new gameplay quirks, mainly using the GamePad for various features, like controlling a remote Batarang and using detective mode. The new bonus rooms promise to be a lot of fun as well, and, let’s be honest, this thing will be a beaut in 1080p.
Mass Effect 3 (EA)
We’ve already previewed this one, and we’re excited again, mainly because BioWare hasn’t skimped on the quality of this port, based on what we’ve seen. What’s more, they’re actually making top-tier use of the Nintendo GamePad screen, not only as a map to show you where everything is, but also as a secondary portable screen to play it off the TV. The new missile launcher is an awesome weapon, and, yeah, calling upon teammates and weapons without needing to pause the game is a huge plus, too. We’re ready to head back into this galaxy…
Tank! Tank! Tank! (Namco Bandai)
Okay, so it may just seem like an arcade port of a Japanese favorite, but, honestly, Tank! Tank! Tank! could be just what gamers need to fulfill a quick, enjoyable arcade fix. Featuring colorful visuals, great action scenarios (like being able to take on huge Godzilla-like monsters), and superb multiplayer potential (complete with on-screen Avatars, so you know who you’re shooting), these Tanks are definitely carrying lots of weight around. Don’t be surprised if this becomes a sleeper hit of the launch.
Lego City: Undercover (WB Games)
Usually, Warner Bros. Games goes off the deep end with its Lego-based games, most of them based on popular franchises like Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean. But with Lego City: Undercover, we’re getting a wholly original adventure, one where you try to clean up the streets performing various missions across a sprawling metropolis. The game offers hours worth of tasks to complete, along with customization goodies and an engine that looks like the best Lego-based one yet. We’ll probably get a better look at this before it arrives, so check back for a preview!
Zombi U (Ubisoft)
There are so many zombie games on the market right now, we actually lost count. However, Zombi U looks to be a real standout. For one thing, it’s one of the very few mature-rated games coming out for the system at launch. Secondly, it features genuine tension, as you’ll have to reload your weapon and make sure you don’t get bitten, or it’s automatically game over. And finally, it comes with a mode where you can actually turn yourself into a zombie. Who doesn’t want that?!
Rayman Legends (Ubisoft)
The team that brought us last year’s amazing Rayman Origins is back to work with another glorious side-scrolling opus, featuring everyone’s favorite limbless hero as he travels back in time to battle evil enemies. What the game lacks in multiplayer zaniness, it more than makes up for with co-op interaction, as well as stage design that really stands apart from the first game. These Legends are sure to be worth admiring.
Assassin’s Creed III (Ubisoft)
Finally, what’s a Wii U launch without someone to get a little killing done? The latest Assassin’s Creed is already looking stupendous on other consoles, but with the Wii U, you’ll get numerous options through the GamePad, including weapon selection and other great features, as well as 1080p graphic resolution on the TV – and GamePad – screen. And plus, hey, you get to pull off some of the most stylish kills in history. Who doesn’t want to be a part of that?!
What games are you looking forward to for the Wii U launch window? Sound off!
Get our official strategy guide for New Super Mario Bros. U!