Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Download these rare Wii U games before they disappear

Nintendo’s Wii U is notorious for how hard it flopped and for providing the Switch with some of its best ports, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have worthwhile games that are still exclusive to it. While many Wii U games have escaped to other platforms and Game Boy Advance games are now coming to Nintendo Switch, some experiences are uniquely suited to the Wii U GamePad or aren’t able to make the jump elsewhere due to other outside factors.

As such, when the Wii U and 3DS eShops shut down on March 27, there are some unique Wii U games that will become significantly more expensive and tougher, if not outright impossible, to play. If you’re one of the 13.5 million people who actually have a Wii U and are wondering what to pick up before the eShop closes, we recommend these stranded games.

Affordable Space Adventures

Affordable Space Advntures is displayed on a Wii U gamepad and TV.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

While the Wii U GamePad’s dual-screen functionality was an interesting concept, few games utilized it in remarkable ways. Affordable Space Adventures is an indie title with gameplay intrinsically tied to the GamePad. Though this makes it one of the coolest games on the system, it also means this experience wouldn’t feel the same anywhere else. In Affordable Space Adventures, players get stranded on an alien planet and explore it in a small spacecraft.

To complete levels and ensure that the spacecraft stays safe and stable, players micromanage various systems on the GamePad’s touchscreen. If Affordable Space Adventures were to be ported to another platform, it’d either have to lose those micromanaging systems or clunkily incorporate those ship management controls onto just one screen. Even if that were to happen, the Wii U version of Affordable Space Adventures would likely still be the best way to play it.

Affordable Space Adventures is a digital-only title, meaning interested players need to buy it (and its DLC) soon.

Devil’s Third

Devil's Third protagonist Ivan holds a sword in front of a shattered background image.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Devil’s Third is not a good game; it’s outright terrible. Still, it’s such a beautiful disaster that we recommend every Wii U owner plays it. It follows a buff assassin named Ivan as he tracks down members of a secret organization that he used to be a part of, but it’s not like the plot is good or anything. This is a bombastic and poorly constructed adventure with a dumb story and janky combat that never flows together smoothly. But Devil’s Third thinks it’s so cool with its tattooed, drum-playing Vin Diesel-looking protagonist that one can’t help but find it adorable.

Firmly in so bad it’s good territory, it’s astounding that Nintendo chose to publish Devil’s Third. It will forever be one of the weirdest games in Nintendo’s catalog and one that the company probably won’t ever acknowledge again. Its multiplayer mode shut down a year after launch, and now its single-player will be lost forever unless someone tracks down a ridiculously expensive physical copy.

Devil’s Third is one of the rarest Wii U games as it had a fairly limited physical release in North America. Copies already go for $350 or more, but the eShop had remained an easy way to introduce people to the game until now. Devil’s Third will only get even more expensive once it isn’t available digitally, so those who want to experience this train wreck need to get it on the eShop before the storefront closes down.

Star Fox Guard

Slippy and Grippy look shocked while monitoring cameras.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Star Fox Zero was a mediocre reboot of Nintendo’s sci-fi franchise that incorporated the GamePad to mixed results. While it’s also unlikely Star Fox Zero will ever be ported, we’re more saddened by the loss of Star Fox Guard. This side game released alongside Star Fox Zero utilized the GamePad in much more exciting ways but is also at risk of being lost forever.

Star Fox Guard is a tower defense game where players switch between various cameras to fight back against invading robots. It stars Slippy Toad, everyone’s favorite annoying Star Fox character, and feels like a unique mix of classic tower defense games, Five Nights At Freddy’s and Star Fox.

Like Affordable Space Adventures, this experience will likely be eternally stuck on Wii U because of how uniquely suited it is to the platform. The game received a limited physical release alongside the first print of Star Fox Zero, and there’s a good chance it could get very rare and valuable once the eShop shuts down. That’s why this is a game Star Fox or GamePad fans should pick up before March 27 if they haven’t already.

Xenoblade Chronicles X

The player and their party look over Mira with a Skell.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Currently, Xenoblade Chronicles X is the only game in the Xenoblade series that is not on Nintendo Switch. Sporting more realistic-looking visuals than the rest of the series, Xenoblade Chronicles X follows a group of colonists from a destroyed Earth as they try to explore and establish a new society on the planet Mira. It plays like the other Xenoblade games but focuses much more on exploration and even lets players control giant mechs called Skells.

Xenoblade Chronicles X is the black sheep of the series but is still an enjoyable RPG nonetheless, and uses the Wii U’s GamePad for the game’s extremely detailed map. With how popular Xenoblade has been on Nintendo Switch, it’s surprising that this title hasn’t made its way over to that system yet. While the game may eventually make the jump to Nintendo’s current console, interested players’ only option until then is to buy Xenoblade Chronicles X on Wii U before March 27.

Nintendo Land

Nintendo land key art shows Mii dressed in costumes based on several Nintendo franchises.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

While Nintendo Land was a pack-in title for the Wii U in its early days, those who picked up the system later or got a preowned one might not have access to it. The Wii U is full of exclusive minigame collections, including other first-party ones like Wii Party U and Game & Wario, but Nintendo Land sticks out as the best one. This game is a celebration of several Nintendo franchises, including Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, F-Zero, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Pikmin, Luigi’s Mansion, Animal Crossing, The Mysterious Murasame Castle, Balloon Fight, Yoshi, and Game & Watch.

These all have minigames on them, and while many of the minigames are hit-or-miss, the exhilarating tag of Mario Chase and the reverse Pac-Man ghost-hunting escapades of Luigi’s Ghost Mansion use the GamePad in novel ways and are a lot of fun with friends. As Nintendo Land is built from the ground up for the Wii U GamePad, it’s unlikely that this game is ported elsewhere. As such, you’ll want to pick the game up by March 27 if you don’t already have a copy.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse screenshot 5
Image used with permission by copyright holder

A sequel to Kirby: Canvas Curse for the Nintendo DS, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse forgoes the typical platforming found in the series. Instead, players use the Wii U’s stylus to draw lines on the GamePad that Kirby will roll along. It’s the kind of game that only works well with a touchscreen, and the Wii U’s stylus ensures that your fingers aren’t blocking large parts of the screens. The game is also one of the best-looking on Wii U thanks to its colorful claymation style

While this game does have the inherent flaw of forcing players to look at the lower-resolution GamePad screen’s version of this beautiful game, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse still provides the novel, approachable fun the Kirby series is known for. The games destined to be stuck on Wii U are the ones that used the GamePad in interesting ways, and unfortunately, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse firmly falls into that category. As such, you’ll want to buy this and some of these other games before the Nintendo Wii U’s eShop shuts down on March 27.

Editors' Recommendations

Tomas Franzese
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
Best PS5 deals: Console bundles, top games, and accessories
A person plays Crash Bandicoot using a PS5 DualSense controller.

The PlayStation 5 has been out for quite a while now, and while it struggled a little bit with it's library at the beginning, it's gone a long way, especially since the recent PS5 Slim release. Now, there are a ton of excellent games that you can check out, from some of the best games like Marvel's Spider-Man 2 to Elden Ring, as well as a ton of accessories, such as wheels and SSD. That's why we've gone out and scoured online retailers to bring the best PlayStation deals, including some of the best PS5 game deals and gaming headset deals you can take advantage of.
Best PS5 deals

The PlayStation 5 has recently seen a great revision with it now slightly slimmer than before and also offering more storage space with 1TB of internal space resulting in 842GB of it being usable. You still get the impressive DualSense controller along with all the benefits that the PS5 offers. With the arrival of the new revision, there are some great bundles around, including a free digital copy of Marvel's Spider-Man 2.

Read more
The best guns in XDefiant

XDefiant has a wide range of guns to pick from and customize, but they're not all created equally. That being said, here are our picks for the most well-rounded and lethal choices available right now.
Best assault rifle: ACR 6.8
The ACR 6.8 is a classic weapon seen in various other games, and it's almost always a standout. The same goes for this beloved firearm in XDefiant, offering top-tier damage for medium- to long-range shootouts. It also has minimal vertical recoil, making it easy to use during engagements that require perfect accuracy. And though it's not perfect for close range, it can hold its own against SMGs, so don't be terribly afraid of tight spaces.
Best SMG: MP7
If your primary goal is to run and gun, the MP7 is an absolute beast when you get right up on your opponents. Not only does it dish out some of the fastest damage in the entire game but it handles exceedingly well with very limited recoil at close-to-medium range. That being said, the damage falls off drastically at longer ranges, so we recommend staying in tighter spaces when possible to force your foes to face you up close and personal.
Best LMG: M60
LMGs are the kings of suppressive fire, making them awesome choices for sitting back and spraying at range in modes like Escort. The best you can choose for this is the M60, offering massive magazine size, shockingly mild recoil, and high damage. It's not going to win every close-range gunfight, but if you can find a place to set up, you'll be the bane of the other team's existence.

Best shotgun: M870
If you've played a few matches of XDefiant, you've no doubt been blasted in the face by someone using an M870. This insanely powerful shotgun can decimate foes at point-blank range, so moving around the map rapidly with it can turn you into a killing machine. As to be expected, however, you'll struggle once you get to medium- and long-range shootouts, so stick to interiors with plenty of cover and opportunities for surprise attacks.
Best marksman rifle: SVD
Marksman rifles are a good choice for players looking to excel in long-distance firefights without the considerably slower movement and aiming of a sniper. For this, go with the SVD's high-damage capability. Though it kicks a bit much, this downside is offset quite a lot by offering a consistent two-shot kill. This makes it extremely dangerous when popping enemies from afar while also working well enough in a pinch when you get caught in tighter spaces.
Best sniper: TAC-50
Sniping is the ultimate form of long-range engagement in XDefiant, and you'll want to go with the TAC-50 when you want to make sure your shots consistently lay someone flat. Though it's a bit slow, a body shot with the TAC-50 is a one-shot kill, so it rewards players with stable aim who find good hiding spots. Obviously, you'll be at a major disadvantage in hectic close-range gunfights, though, so pair this with a proximity mine to cover your flank.
Best sidearm: 686 Magnum
Sometimes you run out of ammo in a shootout and need to swap to your sidearm to secure a kill. That's where the 686 Magnum comes in. This hard-hitting secondary gun has a relatively slow rate of fire, but its incredible damage and ability to hit long-range targets make it a killer choice for finishing off opponents.

Read more
Best gaming chair deals: Save on Corsair, Razer, and more
Razer - Iskur Gaming Chair.

Playing video games for hours can be pretty brutal to your back and body, especially if you're an older gamer; as such, buying yourself a purpose-made chair can certainly help keep you healthier. While gaming chairs won't compete with chairs that are made specifically to take your health into account, they do offer better padding and a more hugging feeling than you'd find with your average low-end office chair. To that end, we've gone out and found some of our favorite gaming chair deals out there to make your life a little bit easier.

That said, if you're still in the shopping phase and haven't fully built your gaming setup yet, be sure to check out these gaming PC deals, gaming monitor deals, and gaming console deals to deck yourself out with the best stuff.
Homall Massage Gaming Chair -- $80, was $170

Read more