The holiday season is arguably the best time to be a gamer, with so many titles releasing week to week. We already covered Microsoft and Sony’s Xbox One and PS4 lineups, respectively, and now it’s Nintendo’s turn with its innovative console, the Wii U. 

Despite a recent report that Activision won’t bring Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to the system, you needn’t worry, as Nintendo has a slate of quality games that’ll keep you busy well into 2015. 

Nintendo’s Smashing First Party Games

Although we don’t have an official release date, Super Smash Bros. is by far the biggest game for Wii U. Rumored to hit stores and the eShop this fall, the newest addition to the celebrated fighting franchise comes jam packed with a huge roster, featuring series veterans Mario, Link, Yoshi and Princess Peach, squaring off against newcomers like Pac-Man, Animal Crossing Villager, Wii Fit Trainer and Mega Man. The game looks incredible and plays exceptionally well, making it an ideal Wii U system seller. 

In addition, Smash supports GameCube controllers. Not only will Nintendo deliver a Smash-emblazoned controller, but there’s also a bundle that includes the game, controller and four-person multi-tap.  If you plan to enjoy Super Smash Bros. at home with friends via local play, this is a must buy.

 

Before Smash arrives, however, there’s Hyrule Warriors on September 26. Broken into the simplest of explanations, it’s Dynasty Warriors featuring characters from The Legend of Zelda series, though Nintendo continues to prove that it’s so much more. 

Yes, you’ll destroy waves of monsters as Link, Princess Zelda and even Ganondorf (each with his or her own unique weapons and abilities), but there’s also an Adventure Mode with different challenges to beat, complimented with a map inspired by the original NES Zelda. You’ll also enjoy classic Zelda items, like Rupees, Cuccos and Gold Skulltulas, along with signature locations pulled from the franchise. Most notably, Lake Hylia from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Skyloft from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and Twilight Field from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. We still don’t know how deep the game is, but judging by the recent trailers and demos, this hack-and-slash effort is exactly what the Wii U needs.

Then we have Bayonetta 2. Similar to Smash Bros., Platinum Games’ latest does not have a release date, but should arrive in the fall. Once again, gamers will control the stylish witch as she battles all sorts of demons. This time, she uses a powerful bow known as the Kafka to impale her foes with poisonous arrows, and a rifle-like scythe called the Chernobog to blast opponents to pieces. In addition, there’s a two-person online co-op mode that lets you wager Halos (Bayonetta 2’s currency) to see which one of you is the best death dealer. Perhaps the coolest feature, though, is the inclusion of the original Bayonetta, making this a tough package to resist. 

Now onto Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker.  Nintendo took one of the most enjoyable levels from Super Mario 3D World and turned it into a game. Your mission is to guide the unarmed and presumably fearless Captain Toad through multiple puzzles to collect stars, finding the best routes through each stage. There are first person mine cart segments, tons of hidden collectables and familiar Nintendo critters, like Goombas, Piranha Plants and Boos. Definitely on our must play list. 

The Wii U Third Party Situation 

Granted, the console lacks the breadth of games coming out for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but Wii U owners still have a solid lineup to choose from.  Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Superheroes is here to save the day September 23, and Activision’s Skylanders: Trap Team launches October 5. Sega continues its run of exclusive Sonic the Hedgehog games with the promising Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric on November 18, and you will get into a groove with Just Dance 2015 on October 21. Finally, chomp some ghosts in Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 on October 14. 

Keep in mind the list does not include digital games, especially those coming to the Wii U’s Virtual Console. 

What do you think of the Wii U holiday lineup? Let us know which game(s) you plan to buy.