Back before we had any idea what the Nintendo Switch even was, back when it was still an NX codename Nintendo announced to assure us it wasn’t abandoning dedicated hardware for mobile, there were some rumors about the device’s features. One idea floating around was that Nintendo wanted to make it easy to port Wii U games to whatever this new device would be, even though actual backward compatibility was unlikely.
From a financial standpoint, that made sense. At that point in early 2015 it was clear that even with some promising games on the horizon, the Wii U probably wasn’t going to start suddenly burning up the sales charts. Creating those HD games costs time and money, so a double-dip on a new console could recoup some of the cost while simultaneously padding out the new console’s early software lineup. A win-win.
But screw financials. There are Wii U games Nintendo should absolutely port to the Switch because they are fantastic games that nobody got a chance to play since they didn’t buy a Wii U. We already know this is happening. The debut trailer for the Switch showed off updated versions of Wii U classics Splatoon and Mario Kart 8. Meanwhile, the biggest Switch game we know about, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, of course started off as a Wii U game.
Beyond those, rumors are flying all over the place about what other Wii U games could appear on Nintendo’s console/handheld hybrid as enhanced or discounted ports. So here are some Wii U we’d love to see saved on the Nintendo Switch.
Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze
After successfully reinventing the Metroid franchise with Metroid Prime, Retro Studios revived Donkey Kong Country as one of the best modern 2D platformers. The original DKC wowed gamers with its visuals and organic level design, and Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze continues that tradition with stunning HD visuals and stages that breath with a life of their own. Give people a chance to play with this famous dumb ape on Switch!
People weren’t pleased to learn that Bayonetta 2, the sequel to the acclaimed character-action game and the spiritual successor to Devil May Cry, would be a Nintendo-funded Wii U exclusive. But the final game is a shining, flawless diamond of uncut thrills and bullet hair witch nonsense. It makes the rest of its genre seem lazy by comparison. It’s an essential game to play, and putting it on more platforms would make playing it way easier.
Super Smash Bros.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS were two fantastic games that featured arguably the greatest fighting game roster ever assembled. This game lets you pit Mario against Ryu against the Duck Hunt Dog for crying out loud. But spreading its content across two distinct-but-not games felt too much like a cash grab. Just release one ultimate, final edition on the Switch and move forward from there.
Super Mario Maker
Super Mario Maker turns the act of creating games into a process as intuitive and joyful as the act of playing games themselves. It’s a wonderful artistic tool that has already led to a thriving community of creators sharing levels online. It’s vital that this community continues to grow. It could foster the next game design prodigy. Letting the game live on a new platform is the logical next step.
Xenoblade Chronicles X
The first Xenoblade Chronicles was an epic Wii JRPG we had to fight tooth and nail to get localized. Fortunately, it’s follow-up, Xenoblade Chronicles X, showed up in North America without a struggle and improved on its already impressive predecessor. I spent a hundred hours exploring the sprawling, gorgeous open world both on-foot and in my custom giant robot. Being able to play this at home and on the go would be a dream come true.
This Pokemon/Tekken mashup made the leap from arcades to consoles near the end of the Wii U’s lifespan. The weirdly realistic Pokemon and combination of 2D and 3D fighting helped the game avoid feeling redundant compared to that other fighting game featuring Pikachu. Since then the arcade version has received new characters. We’d love to see a Switch version featuring these additions, hopefully in time for EVO.
Captain Toad Treasure Tracker
Super Mario 3D World was great and everything, but what a wonderful surprise the Captain Toad levels were. So we were stoked to see the courageous turnip-throwing captain and his little puzzle-box worlds get a Wii U spin-off, even if he can’t jump. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker game fuses console production value with bite-sized mobile design, making it perfect for a machine like the Switch.
The Wonderful 101
The Wonderful 101 is the perfect love child between Devil May Cry, Power Rangers, and Pikmin. In this early original Wii U game from the mad geniuses at Platinum, players control a mass of 100 superheroes who can link their bodies into various shapes and weapons. Even compared to other Wii U games The Wonderful 101 didn’t get enough love the first time around. Time to fix that on the Switch.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
My anti-anime stance is well-known. And this mashup between Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem is slathered in anime. But other people seem to like it, and its focus on music and performance is legitimately intriguing. So port Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE to the Switch. Why not? Let’s keep seeing that absurd name.
Affordable Space Adventures
This is the only game not published by Nintendo and the only download-only game on this list. Making a Wii U exclusive may seem like a fatal mistake for an indie studio, but the charming Affordable Space Adventures by KnapNok Games only makes sense on the platform. Players use the GamePad to control their spaceship with a ludicrous amount of precision in order to steadily navigate alien environments. However, despite the heavy GamePad use, some clever reworking could probably make this game work on the Switch, where it could hopefully get a second chance.