The Wii U is host to a tremendous library of games powered by HD graphics and powerful hardware. The console offers a unique experience that puts it right among the gaming giants of the time — the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 — despite its severely underpowered hardware. It is part of the eighth generation of home consoles, released in 2012 as a successor to the Nintendo Wii.
There are plenty of titles for the Wii U that would be worthy of their own separate discussions. However, this article lists five of the best action-adventure games released for the console that still hold up to this day.
Note: This article is subjective and solely reflects the writer’s opinions.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD and other great action-adventure games released on the Wii U
1) Bayonetta 2
Bayonetta 2, the 2014 action-adventure game and sequel to 2009’s Bayonetta, was a Wii U exclusive at the time of its release. The title features the series’ titular protagonist, Bayonetta, as she takes on hordes of enemies in over-the-top action.
Bayonetta 2 remains one of the best sequels on the console and is a solid action-adventure title in its own right. It is easily playable on the Nintendo Switch with performance and resolution upgrades. The sequel, Bayonetta 3, was released in October 2022.
2) Darksiders II
This hack-and-slash video game was developed by Vigil Games as a sequel to the 2010 Darksiders. Darksiders II sees the return of Death as he fights his way through enemies in classic hack-and-slash style to prove his brother’s innocence.
Considered one of the most expensive games to have ever been created (with a budget of 50 million USD), the Wii U port of this title is a complete package with all prior DLCs included in one bundle. It is a treat to play, courtesy of its epic combat and vivid storytelling.
Darksiders 2 is also available on modern platforms, including the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
3) The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was initially released in 2006 for the Gamecube and Wii. An HD remaster for the Wii U followed in 2016.
The game follows series protagonist Link as he journeys through the land of Hyrule to find a way to stop it from being engulfed by the Twilight Realm. It is set a hundred years after the events of Ocarina of Time.
With amazing combat and visual design, Twilight Princess HD is one of the many flagship titles of the Wii U, and for good reason. It is widely regarded as the second-best Zelda title on the console.
4) Super Mario 3D World
Super Mario 3D World is a sequel to 2011’s Super Mario 3D Land for the Nintendo 3DS. The game follows Mario with his companions on a new adventure as they rescue the Sprixies from Bowser.
Super Mario 3D World is developed similarly to previous franchise titles, and players must progress through a sequence of levels to face off against Bowser in a spectacular finale. The title was praised for its innovative gameplay and visuals. It is considered by many to be one of the best 3D Mario games to have ever been made.
Super Mario 3D World even features four-player co-op, making it an excellent choice to play with friends or family. The game can also be bought on the Nintendo Switch in the form of Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury.
5) The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Breath of the Wild is the newest entry in the series of action-adventure Zelda games from Nintendo. The game is a return to the franchise’s roots for Nintendo, featuring incredible freedom of experimentation in a vast open world teeming with life and its gorgeous cel-shaded visuals.
Breath of the Wild is widely considered to be not only the best Zelda game ever made but also one of the greatest titles to have been released to date. It is directly responsible for many Breath of the Wild “clones” that popped up in recent years.
Breath of the Wild is the final title for the Wii U. While the build does suffer in comparison to the Nintendo Switch version, it is still an amazing experience and a must-play for all owners of the system.