With Nintendo's latest console just around the corner, the Kyoto-based game company has ceased production of the ill-fated Wii U.
The Wii U was derided by critics as a failure and PR disaster, and console sales were dreadful compared to competitors PS4 and Xbox One, but I argue the Wii U was the little engine that could. Behind the flawed execution lay a genius idea, and there are a myriad of games to prove it.
Nintendo's choice of utilising two screens was a controversial failure. A number of great games didn't bother using it at all, including Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze. However, the two-screen system came into its own with RPGs and action games. Having a map or inventory so easily accessible is a revelation in games such as Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, or Xenoblade Chronicles X.
Playing off-screen was also an excellent concept (one they've clearly held on to). Being able to quietly play home console games while others watched TV was an idea so simple but so essentially innovative. It was classic Nintendo.
Wii U's "Virtual Console" also held a treasure trove of revered Nintendo titles, though the prices were a bit steep.
What really made the Wii U great though were the games. Super Mario 3D World, Super Smash Bros 4, Mario Kart 8, and those are just the games with Mario in them. Bayonetta 2 was an absolute blast, available only on Wii U, while Xenoblade Chronicles X presented an open world bigger than the Witcher 3. We had the re-mastering of two Zelda classics, Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. The innovative FPS Splatoon, the masterful platforming of Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze. And, of course, the incomparable Super Mario Maker, which turned platforming games on their head.
Wii U isn't the only console I own, but it's probably the one I play the most. No other platform accommodates the kind of multiplayer experience Wii U provides, and I've never met anyone to turn down a game of Mario Kart or a round of Smash.
While I'm excited for the Nintendo Switch, I'll be holding on to my beloved Wii U. After all, it has the best games of the current console generation.
TOP FIVE WII U GAMES:
Super Mario Maker
Mario Kart 8
Super Mario 3D world