The Nintendo Wii still has plenty of mileage left in it. While the console itself has been discontinued, and developers aren’t making games for it anymore, there are still plenty of gamers out there who swear by the Wii and still play its library on a regular basis. Nintendo franchise stalwarts made reliable appearances on the Wii, and new games also asserted themselves to great effect, so without further ado, let’s take a look at the 20 best multiplayer Wii games to enjoy with your friends!
1. Mario Kart Wii
It’s debatable whether or not Mario Kart Wii is the best Mario Kart game, but it’s certainly one of the best-selling. Pipped to the post by the Switch behemoth Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Mario Kart Wii nonetheless sold over 37 million copies, and when you play it, you’ll see why. This is a breezy, fun multiplayer racer with plenty of courses to enjoy and characters to play as, and it’s just as screamingly unfair as it should be.
2. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
On the other end of the spectrum to Mario Kart Wii is Super Smash Bros. Brawl. This “platform fighter”, as the genre would come to be known, added Nintendo mainstays like Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance’s Ike and Kirby’s Meta Knight into the mix, with those characters joining returning old hands like Mario and Link for a supremely playable fighting game with lots of stages and power-ups to help you fight.
3. Wii Sports
Wii Sports was many people’s introduction to the Wii Remote, and it served as an excellent tutorial for what would become the Wii’s core selling point (and also one of its most controversial elements): motion controls. Swinging the Wii Remote around as you would a tennis racket felt immersive and enjoyable, while imitating the smooth action of a bowling ball was a curiously satisfying experience.
4. New Super Mario Bros. Wii
While it’s true that the Super Mario Galaxy games were technically multiplayer, you won’t see them on this list because the second player doesn’t have much to do. That’s certainly not true of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, though, which casts up to four players as Mario, Luigi, and two Toads vying for dominance. The gameplay can be just as co-operative as competitive thanks to collision physics and limited power-ups.
5. House of the Dead: Overkill
The House of the Dead games have always provided reliably splattery entertainment, and Overkill is no different. It leans a little crazier thanks to its self-conscious “grindhouse” aesthetic and its funny dialogue, but it’s still an excellent rail shooter you can enjoy with a friend, full of hilariously audacious bosses to kill and creepy environments to explore. Buddy up with another gamer you trust to see you through this one.
6. Wii Sports Resort
Are we cheating by including two Wii Sports games on our list? Wii Sports Resort added extra functionality to the formula by introducing Wii Motion Plus into the mix, which brought depth to sports like fencing and cycling. Of course, that meant you needed to pick up extra Motion Plus accessories for all of your other players, but this was still a great multiplayer experience that gained much from its more reliable movement mechanics.
7. Boom Blox
For Boom Blox, legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg teamed up with titanic game publisher EA to create a physics puzzler that was an unlikely smash hit. The game’s single-player mode presented a series of puzzles to take on, but you could also tackle co-op or competitive play, adding extra fun as you tried to work together (or against each other) to achieve victory. This is a great little puzzler, and it’s even better in multiplayer.
8. Rayman Origins
Ubisoft only ever made two “reboot” Rayman 2D platformers, and that’s a real shame, because Rayman Origins remains one of the most beautiful and addictive games the company has ever created. Rather than the rudimentary 3D of the PS2’s Rayman games, Origins utilises a painterly visual style, taking players through a series of expertly-crafted worlds that contain multiple secrets to find. The music is excellent, too.
9. Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars
You don’t need to know who Tatsunoko is to enjoy and appreciate this excellent one-on-one fighter. Familiar Capcom characters like Street Fighter’s Ryu and Dead Rising’s Frank West do battle with Super Sentai mainstays like Tekkaman and Yatterman, so if you do happen to be a fan of Japanese superhero properties, then you’ll find even more to like in this fighter. If not, though, it’s still great fun.
10. Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
Since going through Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz’s stages alongside another player would likely result in far too much chaos for anyone to keep track of, the multiplayer here is restricted to a series of minigames. Thankfully, though, those minigames are tremendous fun, calling to mind classic Pokemon Stadium minigames and likely keeping you and your friends entertained for lengthy periods of time.
11. Rock Band
All three of the original Rock Band games made their way to the Wii, so if you can find some peripherals knocking about somewhere (and they usually pop up on second-hand sites, although they may be a little expensive), then you can have hours of fun playing through the games’ excellent setlists. For our money, the original Rock Band has the best song list of the three, although you can’t go wrong with any of them.
12. Guitar Hero (any of them)
Similarly, the Guitar Hero games offer just as much entertainment as Rock Band, although you’ll need to get World Tour or above if you want to take advantage of additional instrument parts. Guitar Hero always felt like the more “purist” experience when compared to Rock Band’s stronger party focus, so if you and your friends want to compete for dominance rather than work together, pick up a Guitar Hero Wii game.
13. Donkey Kong Country Returns
When Nintendo announced Donkey Kong Country Returns, there was a lot of excitement, because Rare’s platformer was often seen as the more difficult and “hardcore” alternative to Mario. This certainly proved to be the case with Returns, which possesses a level of difficulty that could charitably be described as “challenging”. Grab a friend and this excellent platformer becomes just a little more manageable, though.
14. Mario Party 9
There are two Mario Party games on the Wii, and for our money, Mario Party 9 is the better of the two. It streamlines the action somewhat, taking boards that could often last for hours and condensing them by having everyone travel on the same vehicle. Some disliked this disavowal of the franchise’s asymmetric gameplay, but the minigames were still strong and that Mario Party magic was wholly intact.
15. Mario Party 8
The “other” Mario Party game on the Wii was not quite as well-received as its later counterpart, likely because it took the series to its logical conclusion before a rethink of the core gameplay was required. Games in Mario Party 8 could last forever, and its minigames were somewhat uninspired, too, although since it’s Mario Party, this game is still tremendous fun when you’ve got a few friends over.
16. WarioWare: Smooth Moves
There’s something about minigame collections on the Wii that makes them hilariously fun no matter what, and WarioWare: Smooth Moves proves that to be the case once again. It was a launch title for the Wii in Japan, and elsewhere, it joined the Wii’s lineup just a month or so after the console was released. Each of its minigames uses the Wii Remote in a different and clever way, introducing players to this new technology.
17. Kirby’s Return to Dreamland
An upcoming Switch remaster is ensuring that Kirby’s Return to Dreamland doesn’t get forgotten, which is good, because this Wii platformer was great. It supported four-player drop-in-drop-out co-op, allowing people to join in and leave the adventure whenever they wanted to. Return to Dreamland offered classic Kirby action, and although it was a touch on the easy side, it was still great fun thanks to Nintendo’s signature excellent presentation.
18. Mario Strikers Charged
Mario sports games can sometimes be a little bare-bones, but they usually have extremely solid gameplay cores. That’s certainly the case with Mario Strikers Charged, which brought Mario soccer games to the Wii. Of course, this wasn’t a straight-laced football sim; rather, it was an arcade-style delight with plenty of over-the-top action and moves to enjoy.
19. Lego The Lord of the Rings
The Lego franchise is pretty dependable when it comes to multiplayer action, and Lego The Lord of the Rings is arguably the best of its franchise. Collecting all three epic Lord of the Rings films into one lengthy Lego adventure, this game features plenty of levels to explore, a huge number of collectibles to find, and a massive cast that you can unlock systematically as you progress through the campaign.
20. Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame
We’ll admit to a certain nostalgia for this one, which is a fairly standard and straightforward sidescrolling beat-’em-up. Still, it had great two-player support, a variety of enemies and bosses to take down, and responsive brawler gameplay, as well as the signature aesthetic from the excellent Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated series. Check it out if you want some mindless fun.