Top 10 Wii games of 2008

Yo Adrian, we did it!

After deliberation and a few fist fights, we’ve narrowed down a year of Wii software into a list of the ten best.

Each staff member submitted ten picks, each of which was assigned points. From those picks, we totaled the points and chiseled out an overall top ten. We’ll be doing the same for the DS list.

Last year’s list is still available, in case you missed it. Otherwise, Infendo presents our democratically elected list of the ten best Wii games of 2008.

And like Apollo said, there ain’t gonna be no rematch!

10. Wario Land: Shake It!

They say old habits die hard, which is perhaps the best explanation for Wario Land: Shake It! on Wii. It revives the 2D platformer with traditionally smooth gameplay, inventive level design and beautiful hand-drawn animations. Several console generations have passed since this genre peaked, but Wario’s classic feel proves the “flat-former” still has juice in the tank.

After all, who needs polygons?

9. Shaun White Snowboarding: Road Trip

I’m still not convinced the Balance Board isn’t a one-trick gimmick, but Shaun White Snowboarding is actually better on Wii because of the surprisingly fun foot-controls. Road Trip looks as good as it plays, too, sporting flashy visual effects and terrific stylization.

There’s no online, tragically, but its four-player multiplayer is as party-ready as the system’s most raucous offerings.

8. No More Heroes

Travis Touchdown kills people. He’s an assassin who dreams of becoming the world’s top-ranked executioner, but Travis isn’t interested in the glory. He’s only doing it for the promised prize of intimacy with a shapely con-artist.

Bizarre? We’ve barely scratched the surface of No More Heroes, a deliciously unique action game with some of the most satisfying motion controls on Wii.

7. LostWinds

WiiWare could have justifiably been renamed “Wii-Where Are The Games?” until LostWinds hit the service in May. A gorgeous platformer more engaging than some retail games, LostWinds challenges players to harness the power of wind with the Wii Remote and help Toku save his island village from an invading evil.

Sure, the story isn’t original, but the game plays great and has infinite charm.

6. Boom Blox, de Blob

For sixth place, we have a split decision!

Things got weird at the Infendo offices after Boom Blox released. We’d arrive in the morning and find David playing it through bloodshot eyes and stacks of empty Red Bull cans. He’d flinch once in a while, too, and occasionally mutter nonsense.

As his addiction may suggest, Boom Blox rules. It’s one of the cleverest ideas to hit the Wii this year.

It’s fitting that THQ’s de Blob would release alongside Wario Land, as the prior provides a modern contrast to the latter’s old-school approach.

But between the two, de Blob stole the show. It’s rife with fun platforming, of course, but it also gives creative control to the player, allowing you to decide what colors you will use to force out the evil Inkt Corporation and bring your grey environment back to life.

In de Blob, the world is a canvas.

5. Okami

An ancient demon has cursed the land, and the goddess Amaterasu has taken the form of a legendary white wolf to defeat him. Okami shares much in common with the Legend of Zelda games, including puzzle-solving and combat, and its artistic presentation is staggering.

Brought to Wii with added pointer controls, it’s more epic and engaging than ever. And it’s the best game you’ve never played.

4. Super Smash Bros. Brawl

You could play Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the rest of your life, and you still might not find everything it has to offer. Smash Bros. shines because it merges a simple concept and fun gameplay, and Brawl shines because it layers upon that an inconceivable amount of modes, collectibles, statistics and challenges, tasks you’ll return to due to the game’s addictive simplicity.

Brawl is a work of absolute genius.

3. Guitar Hero: World Tour

A heated political discussion once prompted an out-debated peer to shout “socialist” in my direction, yet even I would admit competition has brought out the best in Guitar Hero. World Tour answered the Rock Band threat by delivering a better product and encouraging pseudo-guitarists to start a pseudo-band.

The result is, hands down, one the most enjoyable multiplayer Wii games of the year.

2. World of Goo

Two guys made World of Goo, so we experimented at Infendo to see what we could create with such numbers.

Blake and Jack made a volcano that erupts when you pour vinegar into it. Jake and Will made a spaghetti strainer out of an oil funnel. Sean and I marveled over each others’ red hair, and David played Boom Blox.

Two dudes. We’re impressed.

1. Mario Kart Wii

Honestly, Mario Kart Wii is unique among “game of the year” nods given by Infendo in the past, because upon its arrival, it didn’t blow us away the same way last year’s winner Super Mario Galaxy did.

But if you boil down the criteria and consider the best game of the year the one from which you’ve gained the most joy and to which you’ve returned for more fun than any other, Mario Kart Wii is this year’s clear victor.

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

24 Responses to Top 10 Wii games of 2008

  1. Carlos says:

    1)Super Smash Bros. Brawl
    2)Mario Kart Wii
    3)World of Goo
    4)LostWinds
    5)Guitar Hero: World Tour
    6)No More Heroes
    7)Okami
    8)Boom Blox, de Blob
    9)Shaun White Snowboarding: Road Trip
    10)Wario Land: Shake It!

  2. ejamer says:

    I wouldn’t have picked LostWinds – it’s good, but not great. Instead, you could add either Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 or Pro Evolution Soccer 08. Both games have amazing controls that make the Wii version much better than other platforms, and both were overlooked by far too many people (unfortunately).

    Other games that deserve consideration, but probably won’t hit the Top 10 list:
    *Animal Crossing – Doesn’t do much new stuff, but is still very fun.
    *Blast Works: Build, Trade, Destroy – Very niche, but if shmups and content creation are your thing than this game is awesome.
    *Endless Ocean – Relaxing gameplay where exploration is the key. Beautiful game that many critics just didn’t understand on release.
    *Wii Fit – Another “non-game” from Nintendo, but a fun and interesting way to exercise if you have enough motivation to get off the couch.

  3. deepthought says:

    the list really depends on your criteria, but i think i’d bump no more heroes up a few slots, and then mve boom blox and de blob behind it. prob eliminate wario ware and add in wiifit, just due to its popularity.

  4. benthedorklord says:

    MARIO KART AS NUMBER 1?

    I hate that game. Probably the worst purchase I ever made for my Wii. I rarely play it, right now it’s mostly just for my Mom and Dad, who like the Wii Wheel.

  5. Dfox says:

    No. Nononononono! Mario Kart as #1?! C’mon guys, what are you thinking? And why is Guitar Hero higher than Smash Bros.?

  6. Wii Wii says:

    Pretty good list here !

    Its nice to see a 2d platformer making waves this year and getting recognition. Old school is still great fun people!
    And Mario Kart Wii deserves to be number one this year.
    I would have put Super Smash near the bottom of the top 10 ,personally as it WAS good, but not as good as the hype and anticipation led us to believe.

    World of Goo ? I never got hooked into the demo like most people did. But yeah its very impressive that 2 people created such a relatively big hit.

    I hope for bigger and better things next year !

  7. Roddy says:

    Isn’t it weird, Ben, how your opinion isn’t necessarily the most correct in the whole wide world? I’m always impressed at how other people can think different things than you…

  8. El Hajjish says:

    Mario Kart is a strange beast – at first I was disappointed that it was coming out so soon, as it previews made it seem rushed, and I felt that it should be pushed back to Holiday 2008 for more refinement. Upon purchasing the game, many of these fears were confirmed, but somehow the whole package has just been so fun that it doesn’t matter.

    As for the wheel? Stupid? Yes, but it makes my wife and non-gamers much more interested in giving the game a try, so I think it was the right decision, since once they get their hands on the thing, they go nuts. As for my list:

    1. Mario Kart Wii
    2. Mega Man 9
    3. World of Goo
    4. Boom Blox
    5. Okami
    6. No More Heroes
    7. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
    8. de Blob
    9. Wii Fit
    10. Endless Ocean

  9. Jonkind says:

    Great list of games, though I haven’t played WarioLand or Shaun White or de Blob. But they are certainly on the list of must-play.

    As for the order, well I might make some rearrangements but you’ve definitely hit the top 10.

  10. gojiguy says:

    Guitar Hero World Tour and Mario Kart Wii beating Brawl?

    Personally, I don’t agree.

    GH:WT is a watered down PS2 port of GH:WT on 360 with Mii support and less DLC.

    Mario Kart Wii is a port of a gamecube game with no double dash support. ’nuff said.

    Brawl was everything it should’ve been. The only downside being online.

  11. tylor says:

    that’s a really well done list; nice blurbs. #11 = Blastworks ;D.

  12. Jamie says:

    Like gojiguy said, Brawl was and still is an amazing game, Kart is at best a gamecube game with Wii Wheel support, I personally preferred being able to co-op with my brother/dad on double dash.

    Most suprised though.. You guys have offices? I always just assumed this was a few people scattered around US (with a few others around the world) that update independently, didn’t realise you guys actually had offices!

  13. seriusguy says:

    Wow, what an interes-yyyawn..

    Wii may have the console sales, but this lineup is melancholic.

  14. My heart hurts to see any game for the wii beat brawl. Do I have a rare heart condition no?

  15. -_Q says:

    Wait.

    With a description like THIS:
    “You could play Brawl for the rest of your life, and you wouldn’t find everything it has to offer.”

    How on earth could you put it as game of the YEAR?

    “Game of a lifetime” but not “game of the year?” How silly.

  16. Derek says:

    I’ll address Brawl by clarifying the method we used for this list.

    This year, our Infendo top ten list was cumulative. Each staff member selected his own top ten, and each game on those lists was awarded points. Points were assigned in the following manner:

    1st place: 10 points
    2nd place: 9 points
    3rd place: 8 points
    ….
    10th place: 1 point

    This applied to each staffer’s list. We then totalled the scores across all lists, and from those, the overall staff top ten emerged. This method more accurately represented the views of the staff as a whole.

    Brawl may have topped some staffers’ lists, but it may have placed lower on others. Because not everyone could agree, cumulative compromise is really the best alternative. I hope that helps some of you cope. 😉

  17. frstOne says:

    I have played Mario Kart Wii more than any other game this year, so I guess that’s my number 1, too. For the rest of the list, I’d remove LostWinds, and add wii fit.

  18. Noremakk says:

    Glad to see Smash Bros. where it belongs and not at the top of the list. I’m also really glad to see World of Goo where it belongs: at the top. That game is pure genius.

    I’d never heard of Shaun White Snowboarding until now: is it really that good? And is it any good without the Balance Board? Can I buy it with the balance board packed-in?

  19. wall says:

    brawl should be number one and why isn’t zelda up there and lost winds sucks like no more heros

  20. XCWarrior says:

    Why isn’t Brawl #1? Second, why is World Tour higher than Brawl? Third, why is Mario Kart above Brawl?

    Do you see where I’m going with this?

    I think the top 10 games are on the list, just not in the correct order by any means. Blast Works maybe should have been on (that was 2008, right) but otherwise the top 10 is good. I like Wii Fit, but shouldn’t be on there.

    Seriously though, putting Brawl anywhere but #1 just to get us to comment still make you unintelligent. And this is supposed to be intelligent Nintendo discussion guys.

  21. Psychedelic Sex Machine says:

    10. Bully
    9. Shaun White
    8. de Blob
    7. No More Heroes
    6. Wario Land
    5. Boom Blox
    4. World of Goo
    3. Okami
    2. Mario Kart Wii
    1. Super Smash Bros. Brawl

    Honorable mentions to Lostwinds, PES 2008, Endless Ocean, Mushroom Men, Order up!, Wii Fit/Music, and Guitar Hero.

  22. Doast Deef says:

    Kinda disappointed to see No More Heroes so far down the list; were it not for the boring, GTA-style hubworld, I’d call it the best game of ’08 (or at least the most fun). Seriously, that game was like a giddy mashup of all the stuff you thought kicked ass when you were fifteen: retro gaming, Star Wars, Mexican wrestling, punk rock, assassins, and girls. Too fun.

  23. Lite says:

    Mario Kart Wii’s online mode was good. I give it props as such.
    But Brawl should be 1. It should be ONE!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. Sammy says:

    1. Super Smash Bros Brawl
    2. Mario Kart Wii
    3. Sega Superstars Tennis
    4. Super Mario Galaxy
    5. Sonic Riders
    6. Donkey Kong Jet Race
    7. Wii Fit
    8. Family Trainer
    9. Sonic Unleashed
    10. Wii Play

Leave a Reply