The Gratuitous Rainbow Spectrum

What's Left on Wii U?

What's Left on Wii U?

Kris Randazzo
16 minute read

Another Nintendo Direct recently came and went, and it brought with it another Wii U port in the form of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore, making Nintendo’s poorly-named console seemingly more irrelevant by the day. After all, what is the point of a system if you don’t actually need it to play its games? I’m not saying the Wii U is bad by any stretch, but it wasn’t great, and with its strongest asset (its library) being ported and enhanced all over the Switch, it’s getting harder to look back at the Wii U with any aspirations of it being something fun to go back to. The Switch currently has Bayonetta 2, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Hyrule Warriors, LEGO City Undercover, Mario Kart 8, New Super Mario Bros. U, Pokken Tournament, and now Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, most of which are superior on the platform, and a commonly asked question seems to be, “what’s left on the Wii U that hasn’t been ported?”

Well, a lot, actually.

I went looking and I found about 30 or so games that were Wii U exclusives that haven’t been ported to other consoles yet. A couple of them have found their way to PC or have been down-ported to 3DS, but as for being console games you sit and play in HD on your television, they’re only on Wii U. So I thought it might be fun to run down the list and figure out if any of them have any chance of showing up on the Switch at some point. Does the Wii U still have some life? Let’s find out.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

This is probably my most wanted port as it’s my favorite version of my favorite game, and it wouldn’t lose much without the Gamepad. Yes, it was a pretty handy tool, but this remake could be played with a Pro Controller just fine, so the switch to Switch would be easy. It’s also a Zelda game whose legacy only seems to get better over time. It’s basically money in the bank.

Chances: Inevitable

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The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD

Pretty much the same as Wind Waker. It’s not quite as well loved, but it’s still got a ton of fans.

Chances: Inevitable

Super Mario 3D World

With this game providing a construction style in the massively successful Super Mario Maker 2, and it having almost no functionality that required the Gamepad, this is another one that’s about as sure a thing as you can get. I imagine the only thing holding it back is timing.

Chances: Inevitable

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Xenoblade Chronicles X

Monolith Basically said this game would be nearly impossible to do because of the way it was built on the Wii U, but that sounds like a load of misdirection to me. They just announced that they’re remaking the first Xenoblade Chronicles game for Switch in what looks to be the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 engine, and if it’s successful, I can’t imagine X would be too much farther behind.

Chances: Good

Nintendo Land

This game got the crap kicked out of it for not being Wii Sports, and that’s pretty unfair. Nintendo Land is still one of the best local multiplayer games around. The problem is, it’s not just its bad reputation that is likely preventing it from hitting the Switch. Nintendo Land was a fantastic showpiece for how the Wii U’s Gamepad could be used in unique ways, particularly in the field of asymmetric local multiplayer. Still, I’m sure if they wanted to they could find some clever workarounds. Mario Chase would be great online!

Chances: Somewhat likely

Pikmin 3

Ignoring the fact that Pikmin 4 was supposedly almost complete several years ago, Pikmin 3 is a really good game that looks gorgeous and probably didn’t get the attention it deserved because it was on Wii U. Pikmin may not be one of Nintendo’s powerhouse franchises, but it’s got a following, and this entry just so happens to have some of the most delicious looking video game fruit of all time.

Chances: Inevitable

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Wonderful 101

Platinum has been having a great time on the Switch. Bayonetta 2 still probably didn’t reach the audience it deserves, but it did a heck of a lot better than it did on Wii U, and it looks like they have a bonafide hit on their hands with Astral Chain. Wonderful 101 is a crazy and unique game, and it deserves a second shot. I suspect Platinum thinks so too.

Chances: Pretty good

Devil’s Third

HA! Yeah, no. This game wasn’t very good to begin with, and while it would be amusing to see Itagaki take another swing at making it something worth playing, especially since the Switch has an actual online community unlike the Wii U, I simply can’t imagine anyone giving this thing the time of day.

Chances: Basically zero

Star Fox Zero

Oh, I want this one to happen so badly! It would take a lot of work on Platinum’s part, but if they took another run at prettying up the graphics, redid the controls to work like normal functional controls instead of the completely batty Gamepad controls, this has the potential to be a really cool game. When it worked, it really worked. That said, it freaking tanked, so on one hand, Nintendo taking the risk on salvaging it is unlikely. On the other hand, it would be a good opportunity to recoup some of those costs.

Chances: Unlikely

Star Fox Guard

Cool concept that only really works with the Gamepad. It also stars Slippy, so...

Chances: Extremely unlikely (unless Star Fox Zero gets ported)

Tank! Tank! Tank!

This game was a fun little diversion, and it could do really well as an eShop release, especially if they add online play. Namco isn’t above trotting their weird arcade titles out from time to time. It may not have done much on Wii U, but I see potential there, and I bet someone at Namco might too.

Chances: Not too bad

Lost Reavers

Boy, if there was ever a Wii U game that looked doomed to fail the second it was announced, it’s Lost Reavers. This was an online co-op action/exploration game… ON THE WII U. On any other platform this would have likely performed average at best, thanks to its frankly uninspired design, but average performance is pretty much all this game needed to be a worthwhile venture. Nobody’s ever even heard of it so most people would just think its’ a new game anyway.

Chances: Unlikely, but who knows?

Game & Wario

Not quite a WarioWare game, but not quite anything else either, Game & Wario was an odd duck from the get go. It’s basically a collection of Wii U tech demos made into quirky WarioWare style minigames. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible. It was also pretty heavily hinged around the Gamepad.

Chances: Very unlikely

Yoshi’s Wooly World

I consider this game the first Yoshi title since Yoshi’s Island for SNES to be worth my time. It doesn’t quite reach the high water mark set by the original classic, but it’s a ton of fun, super clever, and looks gorgeous. It was ported to 3DS, but that system’s screen really didn’t do this game’s spectacular visuals any justice. Crafted World performed pretty well, and I’m sure it would feel right at home on Switch. With Xenoblade Chronicles getting ported to Switch even after its 3DS treatment, I wouldn’t count this one out.

Chances: Decent

Wii Sports Club

This is a tough one. Wii Sports was a freaking phenomenon, and this HD upgrade with online play was a great idea. Except it was on Wii U and it was too little too late. Releasing a game with the word Wii in the title on Switch does seem a little weird, but it seems to me that the Joycons would work just fine for what this game has to offer. I’d love to have a portable version of Wii Bowling. That said, I get the impression that Nintendo is happy to leave this particular world behind.

Chances: Slim

Wii Party U

With this game’s presentation, there was pretty much no chance it was ever going to be a sales success. That’s a shame though because it’s actually pretty fun. It’s not very special though, and it places a lot of focus on the Gamepad.

Chances: Pretty much zero

Wii Fit U

The whole fitness video game thing has changed a lot since the advent of smart watches. As neat as Wii Fit U was, I think the sun has set on its usefulness, especially with the announcement of Ring Fit Adventures.

Chances: Pretty much zero

Sing Party


Chances: Nah. 

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Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water

Now this is the kind of overlooked gem that would be perfect on Swtich. People seem to really like their horror games on the go, and while this wasn’t the highest point in the franchise, it’s a known property and a really smart choice for the port treatment.

Chances: Alright

Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival

Around when this game came out, Nintendo was in the middle of seriously misunderstanding what it was people liked about Animal Crossing on 3DS. They dropped a whole line of Animal Crossing amiibo which precisely nobody bought, and they released this weird Mario Party ripoff to use them in. It was critically panned, a commercial flop, and deservedly so.

Chances: Pretty much zero (thankfully)

Rabbids Land

Did you know there was an exclusive Rabbids game on Wii U? There sure was, and it was a Mario Party clone. I know Mario + Rabbids did wonders for that brand, but I can’t imagine Ubisoft wants to trot this thing out again.

Chances: Pretty much zero


A cute character-based action puzzle platformer from an indie studio. Yeah, that sounds about right for Switch. It was originally planned as a timed exclusive for Wii U, but as far as I can’t tell it never found its way to other platforms, so with the Switch being such a lightning rod for clever indie games, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least to see it turn up there. The studio is still somewhat active, so...

Chances: Decent

Dr. Luigi

The Switch currently doesn’t have its own flavor of Dr. Mario, and since every Nintendo platform since NES (with the exception of Virtual Boy, and technically Game Boy Color) had some sort of Dr. Mario to call its own, there’s pretty much no chance it’s going to stay that way. So with an all new Dr. Mario all but inevitable, Dr. Luigi might be one and done.

Chances: Pretty low

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

This game is positively begging to be ported to Switch. One of the biggest issues with the Wii U version was that it was pretty much played exclusively on the Gamepad, where it was impossible to see the game’s gorgeous visual details. The fact that it’s almost entirely touch controlled could pose a hurdle in the porting process, but if they can make Mario Maker and Little Inferno work on Switch, this shouldn’t be impossible.

Chances: Better than bad, but not great

Paper Mario: Color Splash

Man, people HATED this game. Paper Mario fans know what they want, and it clearly wasn’t this. It’s a shame too because it looked pretty nice. Paper Mario in HD is a good look, but with how lambasted this game got, I’d be surprised to see it come along on Switch. But you can’t predict Nintendo, right?

Chances: Decent

Pokemon Rumble U

I’m shocked this one isn’t there already. A fresh version just hit iOS and Android a few months ago. Honestly though, Switch will probably get its own version instead of a port.

Chances: Pretty much zero, but a new game is likely

Temple of Yog

Here we have another little indie game that nobody’s ever heard of. I never heard of it until I started researching for this article. It looks like a great fit for Switch, but like a few other games on this list, it actually manages to make clever use of the Wii U Gamepad by way of displaying the two different worlds you play in at the same time. While that specific magic probably can’t be replicated, I’m sure a workaround is possible. Chudchud Industries’ other Wii U exclusive game uWordsmith can be lumped in with this one too.

Chances: Somewhat likely

Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric

I can not imagine a world where Sega wants to remind anyone that this unfortunate gangly-limbed mess happened.

Chances: Pretty much zero

Sonic: Lost World

This, on the other hand, was a pretty decent game. It did get ported to Windows, but it’s still console exclusive to Wii U, and that should really change. Sega keeps trotting out the villains from this game, there’s freaking Zelda DLC for it. A little remastering time in the oven could make it into even more of a winner.

Chances: Pretty good

Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge

We haven’t seen much of the Minis lately. Probably because folks got sick of them. It seemed like there was another new Minis game every couple of weeks for a while there. They weren’t bad either, just… frequent. I think it’s safe to say unless there’s some sort of collection put together for these games, this particular one is going to remain exclusive to Wii U.

Chances: Slim

Rodea: The Sky Soldier 

This game is a weird one. The Wii U version is technically the only console version, but it came packaged with the original unreleased Wii version, which is supposedly superior in every way except the visuals. There’s a 3DS version too, but it got critically panned just like the Wii U one, and its constantly delayed release I’m sure didn’t help matters. Still, this game was a passion project, and I’m sure its final version isn’t at all what Yuji Naka intended. The Switch seems like a great place to create a definitive version.

Chances: Half-decent at best

Pushmo World

Like BoxBoy before it, Pushmo was this great puzzle platformer like series on the 3DS. Then they made a Wii U sequel and, I guess it did alright? Probably not because it was the Wii U. Anyway, the Pushmo games are great, and I’d take any flavor they want to put on Switch. This one’s probably the best bet since it’s already in HD though.

Chances: Moderate

NES Remix 1&2

One of the Wii U’s few bonafide success stories, NES Remix and its sequel were fantastic. There was a port on 3DS that incorporated most of the content from the two games in one package, but not all of it, so these original games are still only really available on Wii U. I have no doubt they would be an absolute smash hit if ported to Switch, especially if they managed to fix the game's biggest problem: the fact that it was based off the Wii U’s abysmal NES emulation. If they were going to port this to Switch, they would have to use the Switch’s amazing NES emulation instead, which might be more work than Nintendo thinks its’ worth. But maybe it’s easier than I think? Either way, I can’t imagine this one staying away forever. It’s too good.

Chances: Inevitable (hopefully)


This game has all but been replaced by Splatoon 2. Well, almost. Thing is, Splatoon has its own story and mythology, and the first game has a killer single player campaign that is currently only playable in the original game. Splatoon was a mega hit though, so I don’t think Nintendo would feel the need to get this one up and running on Switch. It’ll probably get some sort of anniversary re-release in 10 years or so, but Switch is probably a no go.

Chances: Unlikely

Super Mario Maker

Like Splatoon, the original Super Mario Maker has all but been replaced by its ultimately superior sequel. However, the original game does still have some content its sequel does not, particularly all those awesome Mii costumes. But what makes Super Mario Maker truly special is the use of the Wii U Gamepad for level creation, and that simply cannot be replicated on the Switch. So this game is probably staying right where it is forever.

Chances: Pretty much zero

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash

This game was pretty mediocre at best, and Mario Tennis Aces, while not the greatest game in the history of the world, is pretty darn good and outclasses this one in every way. Porting this game to Switch would be pointless.

Chances: Pretty much zero

Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

These were just more Mario & Sonic Olympics games. The new Mario & Sonic on Switch actually looks really impressive. There’s no way Sega would bother revisiting these, well, ever.

Chances: Pretty much zero

Mario Party 10

Mario Party 10 was bleh, while Super Mario Party was not bleh. There’s always a chance Nintendo could throw together some sort of weirdo collection, but I think this one’s stuck on Wii U forever.

Chances: Pretty much zero

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Smash 4 was a masterpiece, but it’s been completely overshadowed by the impossibly ambitious Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. True, there are still reasons to go back to this game. It’s got a couple of stages that aren’t in Ultimate, and trophies are endlessly cool, but aside from that, Ultimate is just the superior package. That said, Smash didn’t use the Gamepad at all, so if they did want to re-release older Smash games, this one could absolutely work. I don’t see it happening during this generation though.

Chances: Pretty slim

There’s basically no chance the Wii U will ever be looked back on with the same fondness as, say, the Sega Dreamcast, but it’s not the complete failure it’s been made out to be. Some of its games, even if they’ve been ported to Switch or sequeled out of relevance, have inherent value because of the crazy Gamepad controller Nintendo paired with the doomed console. Because of this, it will always have some form of life in it, and I guess that’s something. 

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