7 Ways The Wii U Is Better Than The Xbox One And PS4

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While the battle between the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One rages on, a third competitor watches from the sidelines: the Wii U.

This console, which launched a full year before the PS4 and Xbox One, is often overlooked when it comes to the current generation of gaming consoles, but it really deserves more. The Wii U, despite a rocky start, is a formidable contender now.

If you haven’t yet, check out our full review of the Wii U. If you’re still not convinced of the Wii U’s awesomeness after that, then take into account these seven compelling reasons for choosing it as your main gaming console.

The Best Exclusive Games

One problem with the launch of the Wii U was a lack of games. In fact, we even offered up some great ways to use your Wii U while waiting for new games to come — but that era is over. We are now beginning to see the rush of first-party titles that make Nintendo consoles so appealing. Here are a few of the best:

Super Smash Bros.

This is a gaming franchise with an amazing history and a dedicated following. The fourth iteration, set to be released this holiday season, has a lot of hype surrounding it. New characters have been introduced, including Mii Fighter, Palutena, Lucina, Robin, Mega Man, Pac-man, Greninja, Little Mac, Animal Crossing Villager, Rosalina & Luma, and Wii Fit Trainer. Some questioned the introduction of characters like Wii Fit Trainer, but in the end, gamers will have a large range of options to choose from.

Not only that, but Nintendo is making some pretty major changes to the game, adding in customizable special attacks and equippable weapons. This is the game to own when it comes out this holiday season.

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New Super Mario Bros. U

The classic Super Mario Bros. reinvented for the Wii U. It was released way back in 2012, and this game, along with Luigi’s version, brings back the side-scrolling fun while allowing you to play with up to four other friends (five players total). You can’t find anything like it on the Xbox One or PS4.

Super Mario 3D World

Another Mario platformer, this time bringing in tons of different elements to make it the most fascinating and fun Mario game to date. After its release last November, it received critical acclaim and is an absolute must-play for Mario fans.

Mario Party 10

Mario Party invented the party game genre, and it remains the best option for simple pick-up-and-play fun between friends. Microsoft gave this style a shot with Fusion Frenzy, but you can’t top the original. Keep an eye out for Mario Party 10 in early 2015.

Mario Kart 8

Just recently joining the Wii U this past May is everyone’s favorite racing game: Mario Kart. While other racing games strive to be realistic and intense, Mario Kart 8 manages to straddle the line between epic racer and family party game.

Yoshi’s Woolly World

Yoshi’s back! And this time, his game takes place in a cloth and yarn setting, similar to the texture idea from Kirby’s Epic Yarn. This game should be landing in the beginning of 2015, hopefully alongside Mario Party 10.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

That’s right, Toad is getting his own game. It’s a single-player adventure through a variety of fascinating puzzles that looks somewhat akin to Super Mario Galaxy. You can expect Toad to arrive on the Wii U by this holiday season.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Donkey Kong and the gang are back for another tricky side-scrolling platformer. Fans of the original Donkey Kong Country series really won’t want to miss this sixth installment, which came out in February of this year.

The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

Any fan of Zelda needs to have this game. The HD remake of Wind Waker is a must-play, bringing modern controls and gorgeous graphics to one of your favorite games — and it’s out now!

Hyrule Warriors

Want even more Zelda? This hack-and-slash take on the series comes out on September 26th of this year, so you don’t have long to wait. Dynasty Warriors fans will love this game.

Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric

Sega’s mascot is back, and this time exclusively for the Wii U. Aside from an oddly muscular makeover for Knuckles, this game looks like the reinvention of Sonic that we’ve all been waiting for, and it’s coming out this holiday season. In the meantime, feel free to play through Sonic Lost World, last year’s exclusive Sonic platformer for the Wii U that you can often find discounted now.

Pikmin 3ZombiU, And Wonderful 101

Still not convinced? These three games, while not exactly Mario or Zelda, make great use of the GamePad and really show off what the Wii U is capable of. Give them a shot and you won’t be sorry.

Both the Xbox One and PS4 have their own amazing exclusive titles (see: exclusives for the Xbox One and exclusives for the PS4), but Mario, Zelda, and Sonic just hold a place in many peoples’ hearts that can’t be replaced with Master Chief or Knack.

Your Favorite Retro Games

Without an old console lying around or a complicated emulator set up, a Wii U is your only way to play some of your favorite retro games. The built-in Virtual Console can emulate some old NES, SNES, and GBA games. There are currently 201 titles available for purchase, and Nintendo has said that N64 games should be coming soon.

That Low Price

wii-u-black

Of the many reasons to buy the Wii U, it’s price just might be its best selling point. At only $300 for the Deluxe 32GB model with New Super Marios Bros. U and New Super Luigi U, this thing is a steal compared to the base models of the PS4 and Xbox One, which sell for $400. (And don’t forget, the PlayStation Camera and Microsoft Kinect cost even more!)

Not to mention that many Wii games start at $50 while leading PS4 and Xbox One games are dropping at $60 a piece. Even the controllers are cheaper — Ps4 and Xbox One controllers go for $60 each, while a new Wii Remote Plus costs only $40, and for more hardcore gamers, the more Xbox-like Wii U Pro controller is only $50. Plus, if you already have Wiimotes lying around, they’re still compatible with the Wii U!

Backwards Compatibility

original-nintendo-wii

While the Xbox One and PS4 certainly have their perks (see: reasons to buy the Xbox One and reasons to buy the PS4), both of them dropped backwards compatibility along the way. Not so for the Wii U. This means that you’re free to play any of your old Wii games on your Wii U, or buy cheap used Wii games.

There are a ton of great Wii games out there available for Wii U owners, and this is a sadly underrated feature.

The GamePad Really Is Unique

black-wii-u-gamepad

The differences between the PS4 and the Xbox One are minimal. Sure, they’ve got different interfaces and slightly different controllers, but for the most part you’re playing similar games on similar consoles.

Not so for the Wii U. Nintendo is constantly innovating, whether that means being the first to introduce an analog stick with the Nintendo 64, motion-sensing with the Wii, a 3D screen with the Nintendo 3DS, or bringing the GamePad to the Wii U.

Games made for the Wii U often take advantage of the GamePad in a way that Xbox One and PS4 games can’t emulate. It can be used for a second-screen experience, allowing one player to see something different from the rest of the players, or it can be used to display additional in-game information like a map or inventory. It may seem gimmicky, but try it for a bit and you’re sure to love it.

Best Option For Families And Parties

For people who like to play games with their kids or non-gamer friends, the Wii U is the obvious choice. It’s easy for anyone to join in thanks to its pick-up-and-play controls — making it a great party console or a console for families with little ones. And keep this in mind: Even if your parents have never been able to master the dual analog stick movement of Halo, they’ll surely be able to tilt the Wii Remote well enough to play Mario Kart 8.

wii-u-pro-controller

Plus, with games like Nintendo Land and Wii U Party that are intended for everybody, the system really appeals to this audience. For the hardcore gamers, there’s still the Wii U Pro controller and first person shooters like Call Of Duty, but for everyone else there are party games and Wii Remotes.

You Don’t Even Need A TV

Off-TV Play for the Wii U means you can play any game on your Wii U right on the GamePad. You don’t need a TV or anything — just plug in your console and get going. This is awesome for gaming while others are using the TV, or just for having a more portable console if you want to game in a room that doesn’t have a TV.

Even the games from the previously mentioned Virtual Console work like this, allowing you to take games old or new with you wherever you want.

What Do You Think Of The Wii U?

Nintendo’s newest console has many underrated features, but not everyone can agree on which of the big three game consoles is the best.

Which would you choose and why? Let us know in the comments!

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Comments (35)
  • Charles Sapp

    The Wii u is crap, and sales shows that fact.
    If you want a handheld buy a handheld.
    Nintendo needs to get away from the gimmic controllers and put some serious effort into making a system that will hold up spec wise to their rivals.
    Some new titles wouldn’t hurt either.Not that they should ditch their old stuff. But when their whole line up is focused on the Mario franchise….. Its time to quit milking it and get back in the game.
    The last viable system in my eyes was the 64.

  • angus

    for me wii u is suffering from a 2 major issues.
    1. Control pad vs remote ws controller: wii u has game pad contained In every console as the main controller. the issue of game functionality and consumer cost-effectiveness is always present to game devs. q good example of this is the legend of Zelda skyward sword. it was realeased on wii officially and there was some questions raised why Nintendo waited so long, and if they would release it on wii u. however a port of the game couldn’t be realised because the game was designed for a wii remote. which the wii u didn’t come stock with. so players just have to be happy with backwards compatibility……… such a shame since the difference in definition is so high. a console with 3 very good input devices isn’t very cost effective for consumers either. an example of this is interactive games and multi player. you might need 2-4 wii remotes to play multiplayer or games that play better with controllers such as super smash bros or port games. at $60-70 per unit it all adds up.

    2. Idiocy: consumers see Nintendo as a very kiddy and gimmicky closed off gaming society. with a large amount of system exclusive games and not a lot of options. but this is just residual stigma from the gamecube’s failure and then the later wii. (interactive remotes are a no-go for mainstream cross system games) the wii u has a lot of potential especially for a futuristic fps. the wii u game pad could be used similarly like the tablet is for battlefield 4 commander mode. or to control robots or pets while your character is on your main screen. Rockstar, dice and Nintendo are the only game devs making console games worth playing in the last 5 years. the problem is the lack of creativity by game devs, consumer stupidity and a healthy amount of self destructive and stubborn marketing by Nintendo.

    id like to say I want to see more fps on wii u, possibly a Nintendo exclusive fps by dice. a continuation of battlefield 2142 maybe? I also think Nintendo needs to buy rare back and preserve the legend of Nintendo 64.

  • Henry langford

    from what I’ve heard, i would like to sell my Xbox one and buy a Wii u and a stack of games with the money made from Microsoft’s brick of a console. if you however really like the Xbox one, then you enjoy your console and i’ll enjoy mine (if my dad will finally think it’s fine for a teenager to like Nintendo).

    • angus

      the wii u has good multi player games. like Mario party Mario kart, super smash bros etc.. also the hd port of Zelda the wind waker is pretty damn good.
      if your going for extreme quality ps4 is a stand out. im a Nintendo fan for life but even I can say that PlayStation outdid themselves with ps4. and battlefield 4.. probably one of the best games iv ever played. what the console lacks in games it makes up in quality.

      Xbox. as a former xbox fan I can say only this: boycott Xbox until Microsoft stops the insane restrictions, and privacy invasions. since halo Microsoft has been pushing for online play. they want to cut out local multiplayer all together. why? because 4 people couldn’t enjoy 1 system. but ideally Microsoft wants to sell 1 system to 1 person then charge them fees to player multiplayer online, on top of the price of a game that has no offline value. e.g.. halo. not convinced? before halo ai bots were a large theme in multiplayer fps so 1-4 players could shoot up the bots etc. but halo has never offered ai bots in any instalment of the game. because step one of their conspiracy was to stop offline solo/2 player multiplayer.
      Microsoft’s second hand/ and games lending policy was a prime example of Microsoft’s extremist money grubbing agenda. good thing it exploded in their face.. but you have to wonder what their legal/ consumer team is doing when they where ready to release consoles with policy’s like that.

  • The Watcher

    ^^^I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything,it’s my response to this drunken rant that the WiiU is better,well the console sales say what’s better.Here’s my argument since you want one.

    So backwards compatibilty of a horrible console(the original Wii) is a good thing?

    As for the games you listed,it proves what I have said for awhile,all their big titles are platform titles.What outside of Mario,Zelda and Donkey Kong games are big games that are big sellers?..Sorry,I rather big third party developer titles like Destiny,GTA V,etc.along with platform titles.Even big developers refuse to make games for the console,so what does that tell you?

    The Gamepad is huge,not everyone is a fan of it so that selling much of a selling point,btw,you can’t use 2 gamepads……how dumb is that?

    • Justin Dennis

      eh, drunken rant? I can assure you that I was sober.

      Console sales don’t determine what’s better, only what’s more popular. There is no “objective” better. What’s better is entirely subjective. Some people love PS4, some XB1, some Wii U, and some people don’t like any or like all three. That’s how humans work.

      I mean, I really enjoyed my original Wii, and I enjoy playing Wii games on my Wii U. I’m also a big fan of Nintendo’s first party titles. That’s fine if you wanna play Destiny or GTA V on a PS4 or XB1 — I never in the article said that you should not — all I said was that I enjoy the Wii U for these reasons.

      I’ve really enjoyed my time with the GamePad, tbh. The system ain’t perfect, but I enjoy it.

      I said it before but I’ll say it again: to each their own. You can enjoy your console and I can enjoy mine without us being mean to each other. :)

  • The Watcher

    LMFAO,The WiiU is better than the PS4 and XB-1,HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA,Wow,you should do stand up Comedy!

    • Justin Dennis

      well, your well-articulated argument has convinced me.

      in all seriousness, some people enjoy the Wii U more than the PS4 or XB1. to each their own.

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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.