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15 reasons to buy a Wii

The Nintendo Wii is on the wane this holiday season, but there are still plenty of good games out there for Wii newcomers--especially if you're looking for family-friendly stuff.


Wait a second, you ask; why am I discussing buying a Wii in 2011? Your skepticism is justified: this holiday season, Nintendo feels like a shadow of its former self.

Still, seeing an ad for a $99 Wii this Black Friday has made me wonder: would I still recommend buying a Wii this year?

It's complicated. Check out my list of the best Wii games ever made, and see if you agree.

The recent release of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has turned attention once again on the Nintendo Wii, a console that's largely felt left for dead since this past June's E3 announcement of the Wii U. Skyward Sword is an excellent game, but it stands alone in a sparse field of new Wii releases, compared to a relatively rich harvest of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games. The Wii doesn't support HD; it can't play DVDs; its only streaming-video service is Netflix (Hulu Plus is coming soon); its online support is, compared to Xbox Live and PSN, pathetic. Still, the Wii has more high-quality games than you think. Among the three consoles I own, I find myself holding onto a surprising number of Wii games--for their originality, their frequent exclusivity to the Wii, and, of course, because I like to play them.

My Rule of Game Consoles has always been this: if you can buy 10 great games for it, then it's worth the investment. I've compiled 15 exclusives for the Wii you can't get anywhere else, skipping equally good cross-platform titles like the occasional sports game (Tiger Woods), thriller (Resident Evil 4), or action game (Rayman Origins) to focus on titles, often dating back to the Wii's launch, that you may have forgotten about. Yes, there are a ton of Nintendo first-party games on the list, and an awful lot of Mario games. Hey, this is the Nintendo Wii we're talking about--of course you're buying this system to play Mario games.

Many of the games on this list can be had for a song in discount bins, or for as low as $20 new. For any Wii holiday shopper, it's a good starting point for hunting down some good values on the best Wii games of the past.

So, in short, I think the Wii is worth buying--for the right price, and if you like games like the ones on this list. The current $150 Wii bundles on sale in most stores include one game, which amounts to paying roughly $100 or thereabouts for the base console--not a bad deal. The Wii doesn't do shooters or graphically rich games well, though there are exceptions (Goldeneye). And don't feel too much buyer's regret. Yes, the Wii U might be coming out next year, but its price and availability are still unknown--and, according to Nintendo, the system will be backward-compatible with Wii games anyway. At the right price, and with the right expectations, the Wii still has a lot to offer.

Did I miss any? Sound off below.