The Wii U (read our full review) was the first of the next-gen consoles to go on sale, and an attempt by Nintendo to recapture the attention of a hardcore gaming community that had been left somewhat cold by the Wii's casual gaming focus. With its second screen control setup, it's an innovative machine – and its stable of Nintendo exclusives makes it a tempting prospect.
Here are the six must-buy titles for the Nintendo Wii U.
Super Mario 3D World
Hands down the best next-gen console game on the block, Super Mario 3D World hits the sweet spot between the multiplayer joy of Super Mario Bros Wii and the 3D wizardry of Super Mario Galaxy. From the familiar head-stomping to new additions like Mario’s kitty onesie and Captain Toad’s puzzle asides, it’s a masterclass in game design. To paraphrase Samuel Johnson, when a man is tired of Mario, he is tired of life – and this is the proof.
Best for... classic Nintendo platforming
A horticultural real-time strategy game might sound wrong but this is one garden party no Wii U owner should miss. You command three micro-astronauts as they harvest hordes of flower-headed pikmin to help battle giant bugs and find ways to collect the oversized and seductively named fruit they need for their daily juice fix. The pitch-perfect puzzles and charming characters make Pikmin 3 even more enticing than gulping down your astronauts’ supply of velvety dreamdrop juice.
Best for... classic Nintendo cuteness
Deus Ex: Human Revolution: Director’s Cut
Yes you saw this on the PS3 and X360 back in 2011 but the Wii U has the definitive version of this slick, clever and stylish cyberpunk creep ‘em up. The disappointing boss fights have undergone extensive and successful surgery, and the trademark brains-over-brawn action still thrills. And since we now live in an age of passport-carrying cyborgs, it is essential prep for when we inevitably all become bionic people living in a corrupt urban dystopia.
Best for... grown-up stealth gameplay
More after the break...
Mario’s not got a monopoly on Wii U platforming thanks to Rayman. Forget the so-so Rayman games of old, Legends’ wacky action is a barrel full of fun, wrapped in gorgeous visuals and backed with a fab two-player mode where one player uses the GamePad to move platforms and tickle enemies. Just try the demo’s joyous Castle Rocks level, where you sprint around to the sound of a totally bonkers version of Black Betty, and you’ll be hooked.
Best for... classic not-just-Nintendo platforming
The Wii U isn’t all about primary coloured fun as this grisly chiller proves. Set in an undead-infested London, it’s a true survival horror experience - all creepy atmosphere, limited supplies of ammo, and the ever-present threat of losing all your gear by getting munched by shambling zombies. The good news is you can recover your equipment by returning to where you carked it. The bad news? Your old character, now a brains-hungry zombie, is still there, waiting.
Best for... fostering genuine fear
Mario Kart 8
No best Nintendo console games list would be complete without a Mario Kart entry, so here's Mario Kart 8, hot off the review press.
It's the same Mario Kart you've grown to love (and, once the blue shell strikes, hate), but with gloriously shiny graphics and new tracks to sink your tires into.
With multiplayer more hectic than ever, you'll be swearing and cheering in equal measure in no time.
Best for… losing friends and making enemies