The culmination of everything that has gone into Wii design, the action-adventure game The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is the ultimate Wii game, the game that fulfills my faith in the potential of the Wii console and the viability of gesture gaming as a true alternative to traditional game controllers. After this, playing an action-adventure game with nothing but buttons and triggers will just feel wrong.
There is nothing about Xenoblade Chronicles that screams out a need for the Wii. It does so little with the Wii remote that you're better off playing the game with the Wii Classic Controller, and it's a role-playing game on a system virtually devoid of them. It could have been made for any platform, and it's on the Wii only because Nintendo owns a controlling interest in its developer. But in spite of all that, it is one of the greatest games ever made for the Wii, and one of the greatest JRPGs ever made, period. It is a grand epic that should not be missed, and a reason to pity anyone who doesn't own a Wii.
The other great Wii JRPG is the closest thing to a Final Fantasy game ever made for the Wii, with a lush score, a charming (though generic) story, and visuals that rise above the level of almost all other Wii games. And the fast-paced real-time combat system makes it one of the most exciting RPGs I've ever played.
It is rare for any publisher except Nintendo to put out a big-budget Wii exclusive, but that's what happened with Disney Epic Mickey an action-adventure game designed by the brilliant Warren Spector. Portraying Mickey Mouse's adventures in a decaying alternate cartoon universe, the game is notable for an engaging story and a unique game mechanism that allows players to use paint and thinner to repair and destroy the world. While the game has a few flaws, notably in camera positioning, this is still an involving, immersive experience.
5. De Blob
A game that correlates oppression and revolution with grays and colors, De Blob creates a vivid world where the dark forces of black and white are pitted against revolutionaries who are colorful in the most literal sense of the word; they devote themselves to repainting their cities after the bad guys drain them of color. A funny and stylish platformer with an intuitive control scheme that uses motion control smoothly and intelligently, De Blob is an almost perfect Wii game, and my favorite Wii exclusive.
This impressive old-school 2D platformer is so imaginative and varied and well designed that I can more-or-less forgive it for being brutally difficult. While some games like to come up with something different, DKCR aims to gives Donkey Kong fans everything they expect, perfectly done.
7. Sonic Colors
This is the game that finally made Sonic the Hedgehog a successful 3D star. With years of great 2D arcade platformers featuring the speedy critter followed by years of 3D Sonic games that varied from dreary to near-misses, Sonic Colors, finally, perfectly recaptures the magic of the original 2D games in a 3D world.
I often complain about the flood of mini-game collections that have virtually drowned the Wii, but a mini-game collection done right can be tremendous fun. Resort is, very simply, the ultimate mini-game collection. Created to introduce the MotionPlus, the game finds a lot of different ways to take advantage of the increased motion sensitivity, giving players an experience that is even more impossible on any other console than the typical Wii game.
Action games are generally about fighting things you wouldn’t want to meet in person: alien monsters, Nazi soldiers, zombies, ninjas, and, in the case of Deadly Creatures, spiders and scorpions. One of the most original and exciting action video games ever made for the Wii, Creatures takes place in the dust of the desert, with fierce battles between creatures that could easily crawl into your boot and poison you when you put it on. Although in Creatures, these little critters prove they can do much worse than that.
The Wii has revived the rail shooter, simply because the Wii remote so perfectly emulates the light gun technology used on other consoles. While other rail shooters are content to basically serve up the same old formula, the ambitious Extraction aims to create something new, adding a jittery camera and an intriguing story to the standard shooting gallery mechanics. The result is quite possibly the best rail shooter ever made.