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The Wii library is starting to get to the sweet spot of high supply in resale shops and eBay before the console gets fully “retro”. This guide was starting to get out of date, so here’s the complete revision. Since Wii games are becoming more affordable, but not dirt cheap yet, I figured the $12 price point word be a good place to cover this. But you will find a lot of the Defining and Best Wii Games in this affordable lineup. Prices are a balance of average eBay sale price, lowest Amazon.com prices for US games, including shipping and what we are seeing in local game shops.
Prices Updated in December 2018
Best Retail Wii Games Under $12
The Mario franchise always is a cornerstone to any Nintendo console, but Super Mario Galaxy may have been the best proper 3D Mario title since Super Mario 64. Galaxy was an excellent example of Nintendo and Miyamoto showing their imagination while giving a big hug to your inner child. It’s also not too often that you can find one of the high-profile Super Mario titles as one of the more affordable titles (although, I don’t expect this one to stay this way forever), I think it is currently a combination of high supply and the sweet spot of the Wii’s early spot in its retired lifespan.
It’s not too terribly hard to score a clean, complete copy for under $10 if you shop around. It’s also worth mentioning that you could probably score Super Mario Galaxy 2 for about $15 as well.By the way, despite most Wii games becoming more affordable this past year, this exclusive classic is gradually increasing in value. It might be one of those Mario titles that becomes an essential collector piece unless we see a re-release on the Switch.
Samus is getting newer revivals now, but the Metroid Prime series have been extremely gratifying experiences (even if it isn’t the 2D that a lot of us crave) and have often been very budget-friendly considering its a popular Nintendo franchise.
The original Metroid Prime set a fine standard of bringing a classic franchise to full 3D, but Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is easily superior. It’s far less frustrating, and more action packed, while managing to redefine console shooting controls in the process.
Needless to say, if you want a blockbuster action title that actually has a good use of the motion controlls and is also a Wii exclusive, you can’t go wrong with Metroid Prime 3.
If you’re a fan of old-school shooters, you are probably familiar with Treasure. This development house was started by former Konami employees were responsible for classics such as Gunstar Heroes, Radiant Silvergun, and Ikaruga. Star Successor is a follow-up to an N64 classic that was a Japanese exclusive.
While Star Successor didn’t get mainstream recognition, it got rave reviews from critics and retro fans. It’s a steal for $10 right now and there are some sealed copies floating around for $18 still if you shop around. With the history of Treasure’s classics (especially those that stay exclusive to a console), don’t expect this one to stay so cheap.
Super Paper Mario: $10
Taking a different spin from its Paper Mario siblings, Super Paper Mario melds in more of the traditional 2D platforming found in the original Super Mario Bros franchise, while still maintaining some role-playing elements. You start off with Mario himself as the primary character, but you are later able to played as Princess Peach, Bowser, and Luigi — each of which possess different abilities. Many of the gameplay gimmicks involve Mario’s ability to “flip” between 3D and 3D perspective and maneuver around normally impassable obstacles.
On eBay, you can sometimes score this for $10 or less, but I’ve also seen multiple copies at my local game store for only $8 complete, so you can score a good deal if you look around.
Donkey Kong Country Returns: $10
In case you’re seeing a trend here, the Wii has some stellar 2D revivals in its library. Donkey Kong Country Returns is another wonderful addition to the legacy that was started on the SNES. Retro Studios (the team that did a find job bringing Metroid Prime to life) merged the nostolgic features with new and fresh gameplay elements.
The game is not only filled with nostolgia, but also interesting gameplay elements, fluid animation, imaginative boss battles, and a hefty challenge. If you are a fan of the SNES DKC classics or a platforming geek, you should look into picking this gem up.
Kirby’s Epic Yarn: $12
The game works its graphics style into the gameplay through creating interaction between the game and its graphical style, such as allowing Kirby to pull on buttons, stray threads and zips and spin balls of yarn to reveal hidden areas or alter the shape of the terrain. Now is a great time to jump on the affordable price on this Nintendo mainstay before it shifts to cult classic status.
Rhythm Heaven Fever: $9
Most people that have heard of the Rhythm Heaven series will recall the GBA and DS games, but this third installment came to Nintendo’s home console late all the way in 2012 as the Wii was winding down and the Wii U was getting ready to launch. Much like the Wario Ware series (mentioned below), have a bunch of minigames wrapped up in an additive package. However, as you can probably guess from the title, this game is much more rhythm-based. It also has a more colorful and beautiful presentation that can be expected from a late Nintendo-published release.
Despite coming at the end of the Wii’s lifecycle and not being a mainstream Nintendo franchise, it is surprising that Rhythm Heaven Fever is found so cheaply.
Rayman is a classic platforming franchise that has had success in both 2D and 3D, but as the title suggests, this installment jumps back to the two-dimensional roots.
Rayman Origins is also available on other platforms from the generation, but it is bound to bring you back to all the experiences that made you fall in love with video games. If the Wii is one of your favorite consoles from the generation, Rayman Origins would make a wonderful addition.
Wario Ware Smooth Moves: $12
Of course the Wario Ware phenomenon started on the Game Boy Advance (and is still a great value), but the Wii and its motion controls made these quirky and quick mini games a tremendous multiplayer experience.
Smooth Moves takes the quick-and-zany concepts from the series originals and offers fun, easy-to-learn activities that make gamers quickly put the Wii-Mote in a variety of different positions. So for those that thought Wii Sports was great for friends, but want something a little more laugh-enducing, give this gem a chance.
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: $10
The Zelda releases are always a highlight on Nintendo platforms. One of the interesting thing about Twilight Princess in particular was that is was released pretty much in tandem with the Gamecube version. It ended up being one of the most loved and best-selling Zelda games until Breath of the Wild kicked into gear.
With Nintendo knowing that they can both add to their investment in this powerful franchise, but also offer fans a better quality port, Twilight Princess was also brought into full HD on the Wii U. Depending on if you have or plan to get a Wii U and value the HD remaster (or even would rather have a standard controller on the Gamecube version), the Wii version is just a fraction of the cost of both its Gamecube and Wii counterparts.
Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure: $10
Everyone that I talk to seems to have high praise for Zack & Wiki. It’s a cool and original puzzle-filled adventure (similar to the classic Lucas Arts adventure games) that will work your brain while you’re having fun. It’s also a great fit for those that have kids in the family. It’s one of those games that tries to keep kids in mind, but still great fun for grown-ups.
The game’s relatively low-profile release has kept the prices down, but eventually it may turn into one of those cult classics that rise in value. (I’m surprised it hasn’t risen more already)
Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition: $8
As one of the most highly regarded installments of Capcom’s legendary survival horror series, Resident Evil was a blockbuster title in 2005. The Wii version was released two years after its initial Gamecube and PS2 release and is not only one of the cheapest ports on the aftermarket, but you also get the benefits of the Wii-mote controller shooting and movement (which a lot of people swear by).
The Wii version was already quite cheap, but the new HD re-releases on the PS4 and XB One have further cemented its budget status. Regardless of which version you chose, you should be more than happy with this action-packed thrill-fest.
Boom Blox: $8 / Boom Box Bash Party: $11
This imaginative puzzle game not only makes excellent use of the Wii’s motion controlls, but is also wonderful for parties. Due to the loyal fans of this game and all the buzz around it, Boom Blox was rather pricey on the aftermarket for the longest time.
Since the sequel, Bash Party hit the retail scene and the Wii market has cooled off, both titles are quite affordable compared to their fun levels.
Wario Land: Shake It!: $12
While Mario always gets the spotlight, I always have thought most of the Wario Land games don’t get quite enough attention. I find their added quirks and personality so appealing and I was very happy to see Nintendo stuck with a 2D perspective with their Wii Wario Land installment.
Shake It!’s less-than-thrilling reviews upon release were mostly due to the short length and lack of “new ideas” in gameplay that you might expect for a game at full retail price. But if you want a fun, old-school gameplay experience with some 2D artwork that you know Nintendo can pull off, this makes for a great budget purchase.
De Blob: $7
This quirky and colorful action platformer is full of fun personality and flew under the radar of most Wii owners. But if you’re looking for a colorful, quirky and interesting game that makes use of the motion controls, give De Blob a try. It’s also another one of those games that is built with kids in mind, but still fun for “big kids”. Also, for what it’s worth, I’ve also seen this one selling at local stores for $3 or less (and the sequel for only $1 more). It’s a solid game that is dirt cheap.
Despite being a bit of an underground hit, the De Blob games were ported to other newer platforms — both games on the Switch this year and De Blob 2 on the XB360, Ps3, and PS4 as well. So you could pay a premium to get the game running natively on more modern hardware, or play on a Wii (or HD Wii U) with the motion controls it was originally designed for and save some significant cash.
Monster Hunter 3 Tri: $9
This third installment of Capcom’s action RPG series brings in some fierce beasts to battle against in a highly polished gameplay experience that will require dedication and skill. This one won’t be for everyone, but if you’re into hunting monsters in a fantasy setting, this one should draw you in and is a good introduction to the series. (It’s also Classic Controller-friendly)
It is worth noting, however, that there is an enhanced Wii U version , Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and it’s just a few dollars more. So if you have a Wii U or plan to in the near future, you might want to just hold out for that one.
Originally released at the end of the PS2’s lengthy career, Capcom’s Okami is considered to be not only one of the best games of the era, but also one of the best examples of artistic expression in a video game. The gameplay function of “drawing” or “painting” strokes seemed like an interesting way to take advantage of the Wii’s motion controls.
It’s up for debate if the Wii controls are ideal, but it is still a fantastic game, but should be weighed against newer HD remasters on the newer platforms. However, this dilemma has brought the price of this game down another $2 since last year. You could even find a sealed copy for about $13.
House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return: $11
The Wii is actually a wonderful platform for light-gun style games — especially when paired with an inexpensive gun accessory like the Nyko Perfect Shot (I own two of them). Instead of needing an old-school CRT for a traditional light gun, the Wii uses its sensor bar to work with any TV.
Once you have a nice gun setup, the perfect budget-priced companion is House of the Dead 2 & 3. They are great shooters and can be found just about anywhere for next to nothing.
Shop for House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return on eBay
Shop for House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return on Amazon.com
This extra-bloody beateump sandbox title (along with House of the Dead Overkill) marked Sega’s recent attempt to get back into taking risks with games that appeal to the hardcore gaming crowd. It has a simplied but engaging art style and many have compared the gameplay style to that of producer Atsushi Inaba’s previous game, God Hand.
Critical reviews of MadWorld praised the game, so if you don’t mind some heavy violence in your Wii library, you might want to look into MadWorld.
Geometry Wars: Galaxies: $7
This is another old-school game that showed up on XBLA first, but has had a full retail release on the Wii. Of course, the developers added some extra goodness to the addictive shooter so it is worth the few extra dollars (plus you can also re-sell it, if needed). And luckily, Galaxies gives you the option of using a Classic Controller instead of the Wii-mote in case you don’t enjoy wrist cramps.
It is worth noting that there is a new Geometry Wars installment on the PS4 and XBO and it still nearly as cheap. So just keep that in mind if you prefer newer hardware and only want one installment.
Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection: $10
It is hard not to love a good pinball game. Unfortunately, with the decline of arcades and more pinball machines falling into disrepair, it is getting harder to find a conveninent pinball machine in your neighborhood. Fortunately, there are some wonderful pinball simulators for consoles now, and one of the best compilations is affordable and on the Wii
As great as this installment is, we should mention that this was ported elsewhere and we’ve also seen some new installments on the 360, PS3 and PS4 if that matters to you.
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga: $6
Of course, Lego Star Wars is available on a handful of other platforms, but for just a handful of dollars, it’s hard to beat the combination of movie nostalgia, family friendly action and loads of laughs along the way.
Other Cheap Wii Favorites
Cheap Gamecube Must-Haves For Your Wii
If you’re a Wii owner, you really shouldn’t overlook the quality titles that are in the Gamecube’s library. There are so many solid games that still outshine many Wii titles. However, many of them have been out for a while, so you can scoop them up for next to nothing. I’ve limited this section quite a bit, but if you want a more detailed guide, check out the Cheapest Gamecube Games Worth Your Time.