Read The Smiths

Top 10 Essential Wii Games

By: Matthew S.


Are you the type of parent who never knows which game to buy when your children ask for a new Wii game?

Rule number one: never listen to the store employee -- he'll just try to sell you a game no one else wants. Instead, pick a game from the list below. Your kids will love you for it.

10. Mario Kart

Ages: 6+

Why we love it:

There's something incredibly exciting about holding a wireless steering wheel and driving your character through the most colorful of worlds. Try to become #1 and get that much-desired gold trophy, or unlock new karts and characters. We love Mario Kart because the game remains fun, even after several months. And it's a game that the whole family can enjoy, too.

What we especially like about Mario Kart, is the multiplayer option. You can take on other players worldwide and climb in rank. You can race the common tracks known from the singleplayer game, but you can also go on a coin hunt or try to damage other karts. While initially this can be frustrating, eventually you'll find you'll get much better at it. Overall, this game qualifies as good old family fun.

9. Rayman Raving Rabbids

Ages: 6+

Why we love it:

Rayman Raving Rabbids is a collection of insane mini games, with insane music and insane characters, and we love it for that. You play as Rayman, who is locked up in a prison cell by rabbits and has to play minigames in order to get out. Minigames include slapping rabbits, throwing cows and dancing.

The game has some bugs and is far from perfect, but the general flow of the game is amazing and the minigames are often hilarious. Smaller children can enjoy most of the games as well, because the controls are simple. Since the game is now as cheap as $20, overall it's just a great buy.

8. Okami

Ages: 12+

Why we love it:

Okami is a great game that will keep you playing for hours. The gameplay style is a mix of action, platform, and puzzle gaming genres. The storyline is easy to follow and the beautiful graphics resemble a water-color style artstyle, which we love. By completing quests, side quests, and small additional activities (such as making trees bloom into life, or feeding wild animals), you earn Praise, which can then be spent to increase various statistics, such as the amount of health and number of ink wells for Celestial brush techniques.

Okami is definitely one of the best games of 2008, and if you don't own a copy yet, you should buy one (but be careful, you'll probably get hooked on the game in no time.)

7. Zack & Wiki : Quest for Barbaros' Treasure

Ages: 12+

Why we love it:

Zack & Wiki are adorable pirates (although Zack has a slightly sadistic personality). In order to help them retrieve a legendary treasure hidden away on Treasure Island, you need to solve puzzles by moving items around with your wiimote. If this sounds easy, think again, cause some of the puzzles can be quite hard to solve. In fact, we had to use a walkthrough ourselves for some of the harder levels, but this didn't take away any of the fun.

This game is great because it will actually make you smarter. The game logic makes sense (well, most of the time.) As a family you can work together to solve the puzzles. Since the game has been out for a while now, it's not that expensive either.

6. Elebits

Ages: 6+

Why we love it:

Elebits (called Eledees in Europe) is one of those games that are not for everyone, but it's definitely for us. In the world of Elebits, electric devices are powered by small creatures, called Elebits. The goal of the game is to capture them. Obviously they don't want to be caught, so they hide behind all kinds of household items (and later on behind cars and other items), which you'll have to throw around the room a bit. The more often you do that, the stronger you get. A great way to relieve stress!

The game also is now as cheap as $20, which is a total bargain. If you don't own a copy of Elebits yet, definitely go get one.

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