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, as well as 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.
Mario Kart 8
No list of the best Nintendo console games would be complete without a Mario Kart entry and, lucky us, here's Mario Kart 8. It's the same Mario Kart you know and love (except, of course, when the blue shell strikes), 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. And not only is the main game a treat, it's also been expanded out with some excellent DLC tracks that even bring in Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing elements. It's familiar, sure, but utterly essential for Wii U owners.
Super Mario 3D World
Hands down the best next-gen platform game on the block, Super Mario 3D World hits the sweet spot between the multiplayer joy of New Super Mario Bros. Wii and the 3D wizardry of Super Mario Galaxy.
From the familiar head-stomping to new additions such as 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 proof that there's still plenty of excitement and exhiliration to find in the series.
Considering Nintendo's long-standing reputation for conservative content, a Bayonetta sequel appearing on Wii U seemed incredibly unlikely. And Nintendo publishing it as an exclusive, especially after the original game only hit Xbox 360 and PS3? Totally bizarre. And yet here we are.
Perhaps most surprising of all is that Bayonetta 2 is a downright spectacular action game (even more so than the original), delivering insane boss fights and hugely satisfying hack-and-slash combat that can stand with the genre's giants. The highly sexualized nature can be off-putting, but it's a wild ride for sure.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
It's the game that nearly every Wii U owner was waiting for, and amazingly, it lived up to the hype. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U isn't a dramatic reimagining of the multiplayer brawler experience – it's just bigger and more beautiful, but that's plenty to make it worthwhile.
The familiar cast of Nintendo characters is expanded with even more guests, including Mega Man and Pac-Man, and it's packed with amazing stages full of retro gaming fan service along with plenty of modes to enjoy. The combat is still ultra-simple and can turn repetitive after a while, yet Super Smash Bros. remains such a joyful, endearing experience.