Best games for the Wii, Wii U, and Nintendo 3DS for 2012

best games for the wii u and nintendo 3ds 2012 ofIt has been a big year for Nintendo, one of the biggest in the company’s history. Following the incredible success of the Wii, Nintendo was at a crossroads. The Wii sold more units than either the Xbox 360 or the PS3 by a wide margin, but the last few years saw a massive drop off. Sales were absolutely stagnant and the release of the 3DS last year was a rocky one, to say the least.

But there was a silver lining, of sorts. The Wii U was announced last year, but the system didn’t generate quite the buzz that Nintendo had hoped. There was confusion over what it was, and where it stood in the grand scheme of things. The Wii U’s GamePad looked like it would be either a revolution or a flop. Only time would tell.

But 2012 came around, and things began to look up. The 3DS began to report consistently improving sales, and the Nintendo faithful began to see more and more good things to like about the Wii U. And now that the the new console has been released and sales have been good enough to sell out all the existing stock, Nintendo can breathe a bit easier. The new system and its handheld cousin still have a lot to prove, but there has been plenty to like coming from the Nintendo camp this year. We look back at the year in Nintendo and offer our favorites of the year.

Wii U

Mass Effect 3: Special Edition

best games for the wii u and nintendo 3ds 2012 mass effect 3This is already one of our favorite ports on the Wii U thanks to the enhanced graphics and GamePad integration, but there’s more. The “Special Edition” moniker is there for more than just, it signifies the inclusion of all the DLC that BioWare has released thus far – and there is a lot of it. The Wii U offers several ports of major releases, but this was easily one of our favorites, and one of the best games available on the Wii U.

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Nintendo Land

best games for the wii u and nintendo 3ds 2012 landEvery new system needs a launch title that exemplifies what the hardware can do, especially a system like the Wii U that is different from any other gaming system on the market. Nintendo Land makes full use of the system’s hardware, especially the GamePad, in a series of mini-games that are designed for a party atmosphere, or a several solo offerings that make for a great tutorial. It’s this system’s Wii Sports, and will be played for a long, long time to come.

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Scribblenauts Unlimited

best games for the wii u and nintendo 3ds 2012 scribblenauts unlimitedThe more you play this game, the more it shows its greatness. It is what you make of it. You create your own game within the guidelines that are given to you, and the amount of flexibility within the world you inhabit is incredible. It can be a learning tool or an exercise in creativity, it really just depends what you want to make of it. It really is an incredible game.

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best games for the wii u and nintendo 3ds 2012 zombiuUbisoft really knew what it was getting into when it came to the development of the Wii U. Where other developers look at the GamePad as a different type of controller, the team behind ZombiU saw it as an entirely new way to play. It also helps that it is the best survival horror game of the year, and one of the best Wii U titles all around.

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The Last Story  

best games for the wii u and nintendo 3ds 2012 last storyThe sun has set on the Wii. The new games coming for it are few and far between, and the quality of those still on the docket are questionable at best. Earlier this year though, Nintendo treated us with one last gem, The Last Story. It may actually be the last really good game that ever comes for the Wii, which makes it a milestone title as well as a great one.

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Kid Icarus: Uprising

best games for the wii u and nintendo 3ds 2012 kid icarus uprisingThe long overdue return of the Kid Icarus franchise is finally a reality, and Pit returns to the world of gaming via one of the best 3DS games on the market. It makes use of the system’s 3D and touch pad in a unique way, and finally brings us back to a world that was first introduced in 1986. The control scheme isn’t for everyone, but it does offer a fresh and new take on the 3DS.

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Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance 

best games for the wii u and nintendo 3ds 2012 kingdom hearts 3d dream drop distanceDisney and Square Enix’s mash-up RPG returns for the handheld set with one of the best games on the 3DS yet. With a huge story containing well-known faces and locations, this game should appeal to a massive cross section of gamers. In fact, the quality of this title makes it likely that it will remain as one of the best 3DS games long beyond 2012.

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Resident Evil Revelations

best games for the wii u and nintendo 3ds 2012 resident evil revelationsCapcom decided to go old school with the Resident Evil franchise with Revelations. The action-first theme of the last few console titles under the RE banner is absent, and the original survival horror style – including limited health and ammo and a confined world – makes a triumphant reappearance in the 3DS version. That makes Revelations not only one of the best 3DS titles, but the best Resident Evil game of the year on any system. 

Click here for our review.