Top 10 online Wii games; yes, it plays online!

Despite what you may have heard, that little white box in your living room does have wireless online capabilities built in, which means it supports online gaming…at least in some capacity. More developers are finally delivering online experiences to the platform, and with the Wi-Fi library growing — albeit slower than a seedling — we’ve taken a light-hearted look at the ten best online games the Wii has to offer.

And yes, there are more than 10 online games for Wii.

10. Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Due to epic failure, Brawl probably shouldn’t have made the cut. But one time, I sent out a messenger pigeon in search of a Brawl match, a Wii owner’s most efficient means of connecting with friends online.

After only two weeks, a few friends got the message, logged on and pummeled me without a moment of lag.

Even the pigeon was surprised.

09. Endless Ocean

After being disconnected from Brawl a few dozen times, you’ve likely worked up a sweat. Rinse that frustration away with the cool waters of Endless Ocean!

Surprisingly, swimming with friends can be fun.

Sure, there isn’t anything spectacular about the game’s online features, but it actually works. Let’s be honest, that alone qualifies it for this list.

08. Mario Strikers Charged

Strikers’ online mode is simple but effective. You won’t find elaborate tournaments, but you can jump into matches against friends and random players almost seamlessly.

Strikers erases public statistics weekly, which is unfortunate, but it allows four-player matches — two players per console — with minimal lag and only a few dozen friend code digits.

07. Battalion Wars II

I hold Battalion Wars in the highest regard, but I’m not very good at it. Actually, I’m deplorably bad, and this impacts my personal feelings toward the game’s robust online component. As absorbing and reliable as the game’s several online modes are, they are much less enjoyable when I’m being blown up by my 11-year-old brother.

06. Guitar Hero III

Blake really likes this one, and as he gushed in March, “only the ditching of friend codes and VOIP would make it a better experience. Guitar Hero doesn’t make you reconnect to Wi-Fi like Brawl does, rather it maintains a constant connect. But the gravy is receiving friend invite alerts much like Xbox Live anytime you have the game fired on.”

05. Madden NFL ’09

No developer has taken the Wii online as aggressively as EA, and this year, Madden brings gridiron glory to Nintendo fans with an online component vastly improved from last year. Log on, and you’re greeted with bustling lobbies, a message system and stat-tracking. Friend codes, “sammiches” and the great city of Pittsburgh not included.

04. Pro Evolution Soccer 2008

PES 2008 boasts an online mode that almost stands toe-to-toe with anything you’d find on the 360. Matches against friends and strangers are flawless, and you can even play an AI-controlled version of your friend’s career mode team via WiiConnect24. This one goes deeper than Jerry Springer’s final thought. And yes, this is the Wii version.

03. Medal of Honor: Heroes 2

Online Wii gaming wasn’t very serious until this game kicked in the door — which was unlocked, by the way — with a broken cigarette dangling from its mouth and bullets spilling from its pockets. It shouted something about lots of modes and brutal 32-player online sniping sessions. I tried to run away, but it shot me in the back. Game over.

02. Tiger Woods PGA Tour ’09

EA set an online Wii standard this year with Tiger Woods, a four-player golfing experience with countless modes, lobbies, messages from friends and much more. You take your shots without waiting, playing through while your friends are also shooting, and the game tracks all progress. Best of all, there is nary a single cumbersome friend code.

01. Mario Kart Wii

I’d felt it a few times before, but never quite as convincingly as with Mario Kart Wii. After mopping up the floor with some friends, lapping some teenaged Asian kid, testing my mettle against online ghost data and competing in a few tournaments, it hit me. This online component isn’t “good for being free.” This is online so good, it’d be worth paying for.

Agree? Disagree? Share your own list in the comments.

21 Responses to Top 10 online Wii games; yes, it plays online!

  1. Blake says:

    Great picks, Derek. Enough to compel me to buy Tiger 09 even.

  2. DJW says:

    yay all great wii titles and nice artilce
    this is a list of the titles all wii owners should have

  3. DonWii says:

    I own Brawl, Kart, BWii, and MoH:H2.
    Don’t play any online, though. No interest.

  4. Craig says:

    I’m still pretty disappointed I can’t play Brawl online with others. After searching for a match for several minutes it generally ends with a communication error message. I haven’t had issues playing with my friends, but it’s impossible to get in a game with strangers.

    I don’t see this as a huge issue though because there isn’t any human interaction online. You can’t talk to other players and the online rules, 2 minute brawl, is pretty restrictive. You get a better experience playing offline with bots, less lag and opponents that actually play fair. There aren’t players using Pikachu’s lightning on a constant loop.

    I really hope Nintendo puts more work into the next Smash Brothers. Ths game would be great with online communication, online tournaments and some kind of rating system. Maybe give people the ability to vote out people who are playing cheap..

  5. ejamer says:

    Not arguing with your picks — it’s a great list, after — but I almost prefer the simple online experience you get with games like Dr Mario. Can’t wait for Tetris and Bomberman to come out too… hopefully at least one of those games will include voice chat!

  6. droop4 says:

    Id say take brawl off the list if it wasnt for the fact that plays great with friends
    you can always add friends of friends and thats a great way to build up your friend roster without inputing FCs.

    I have brawl, strikers, MKWii, Medal of Honor, and Guitar Hero.

    Cant wait for PES09!

  7. GOOD PICKS!! I’d also have to say MK:Wii is the best.

  8. Why why why couldn’t they make the online work for Brawl? It’s a great game, but it would’ve been better without the online at all than the terrible online it does have.

  9. Luigi Kid says:

    I own Brawl,Guitar Hero and Mario Kart.I also just now decided to get Endless Ocean and Battalion Wars II.
    Mario Kart is definitely the best online game.I can beat up a few amateurs and get beaten up by some pros without a pause.The only problem is that if you shut off the wii while your playing online,you lose 300 points!200 points if you shut off the internet (that one was an accident).Sucks.

  10. streex says:

    Brawl shouldn’t have made this list. Personally I’ve had a much better time online with NBA Live ’08 and Pokemon Battle Revolution. But Mario Kart Wii definitely deserves the #1 spot.

  11. Run line 10 says:

    Ok this needs to be said.

    This is for the writer of this article Derek and Craig. Brawls online works perfectly now because the ISP stop trottling Wii P2P games in my area. Before waiting on that ban on P2P online traffic to be ok you can just set up your router to hide it.

    http://p2p.weblogsinc.com/2005/04/24/how-to-configure-your-router-to-allow-fast-bittorrent-downloads/

    http://www.ccirrus.per.sg/rfc13109/2006/10/setting-up-qos-on-dd-wrt-v23-sp2/

    Other wise P2P gaming rocks on the Wii. Thanks to torrents and bareshare etc we have speed throttling.

  12. Ptolemy says:

    Brawl’s online is awesome. With Friends, With Anyone, it doesn’t matter to me. I don’t get disconnected and I seldom have slow matches anymore. Granted, I only own two games from this list, Brawl and MKWii, but still, I would put MKWii after Brawl. I just have to go with what I spend most of my time on and have the most fun with. Granted, MKWii has more flexibility as far as connecting with people is concerned, but that doesn’t trump pure game play and the sense of being able to directly effect the outcome of a match.

  13. tylor says:

    + Blastworks for the Online Depot

  14. KillerHeroes says:

    Brawl online with ONE friend is great, but online 4 player matches is almost impossible to play. The lag is terrible even with good connections.

  15. Derek says:

    Great call on BlastWorks, tylor.

  16. Ptolemy says:

    How is BW Wii on here? Its 1 on 1 and there’s no voice chat, which pretty much kills the co-op mode.

  17. Derek says:

    Ptolemy: Good point, but lack of voice chat cannot warrant keeping a game off this list for obvious reasons. After all, that argument could be applied to just about every game on the list…I mean, these are Wii games.

    Battalion Wars with Skype is a great experience. That’s all I’ll say, haha. 🙂

  18. Used Cisco says:

    Cool, I didn’t realize PES had a solid online mode. Look out 09, here I come!

  19. Droopy says:

    Where the hell is monster hunter tri?

  20. Marthisboss says:

    I don’t understand how brawl fails for u guys so much it works great for me it hardly ever lags and I hardly ever get disconnect and iv been play it since it came out till now. I think online is the best part of it. Maybe u guys just don’t have good Internet. Brawl is # 1 on my list. The only thing I dont like is how online sometimes people triple team u…but thats not the game fault. Anyways I don’t u guys play brawl enough online to see the wonders of it and how it deserves to be #1 and anyways don’t u think tht it’s 2 min for a resin? I mean If it was any longer people might get bored, or want to switch caracters or something or if it was life’s people can just run away forever.

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