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Top 15 Best Co-Op Wii U Games

Best Co-Op Wii U Games
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Top 15 Best Co-Op Wii U Games

The Wii U was weird, but it’s co-op games rocked.

Nintendo has been well known for multiplayer and cooperative games since the N64 era, and that tradition of playing games together was well represented with the Wii U. The Wii U offered a unique way to play games asymmetrically which hadn’t been done on a home console before. Some of their best cooperative games took advantage of this creative innovation and are here on our list. Here are the 15 best cooperative Wii U games of all time.

1. New Super Mario Bros. U

The first cooperative game on our list and Mario’s high-definition debut, New Super Mario Bros. U was one of the Wii U’s biggest games. NSMBU didn’t exactly reinvent the wheel, but it remains one of the best 2D entries in the series’ 35+ year history. The game builds upon the basics people have come to expect, left to right side-scrolling with plenty of obstacles and collectibles along the way.

NSMBU stands above the rest, however, with its brilliant baroque level design. The game was designed to not only be a tight platformer, but also to be a big playground for up to 5 players. Up to four players can be on the screen at once, with an optional fifth using the gamepad’s touch screen to poke enemies and create new platforms. There’s also, appropriately, a lot of vertical space to explore and the camera uses the zoom feature well, allowing for some separation on the same screen.

All that space is perfect for co-op, as well as the new flying squirrel power-up. In addition to clearing regular levels with friends, NSMBU also offers Boost Rush and Coin Rush modes, which are a little more competitive. Either way, there’s tons of fun to be had with fellow players.

2. Affordable Space Adventures

Affordable Space Adventures is one of the best justifications of the Wii U’s gamepad, and a fun game to boot. In the adventure puzzle game, the player controls a small flying craft in a hostile environment while trying to find a way off the planet. The ship’s controls are broken up into movement, done with the sticks, and the systems, controlled with the gamepad’s touch screen.

The ship’s systems include an increasing number of functions throughout the game, including fuel, boosters, a flashlight, antigravity, etc. It’s a unique way to play that’s even more enjoyable with a friend or two. In co-op, one player controls the ship’s movements, and a second player becomes the systems engineer and takes care of the aforementioned functions. It both takes some pressure of the pilot and gives players an extra perspective for the environmental puzzles. A third player can even be added to watch over the scanner of the ship.

With excellent pacing, engaging controls, a charming interface, and good co-operative mechanics, Affordable Space Adventures is a must for anyone who owns a Wii U and enjoys a good co-op game.

3. Hyrule Warriors

Hyrule Warriors for the Wii U was one of Nintendo’s big partnerships that they were keen to emphasize during the console’s lifetime. A cooperative effort in itself, Hyrule Warriors was developed by Team Omega and Team Ninja, and played essentially just like a Dynasty Warriors title.

The hack and slash nature of that gameplay lent itself well to the starring cast of Legend of Zelda characters. The LoZ series brought its own twist to the genre, with items and weapons from its own games usable here. The co-op in Hyrule Warriors is asymmetrical, with one player using the gamepad and one using the tv while both players are on the same battlefield. It’s a great use of the Wii U’s features and has nearly endless gameplay to enjoy with a friend.

4. Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition

Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is a Mexico-inspired 2D metroidvania as well as a brawler. Players control technically dead luchador Juan Aguacate as he navigates between the worlds of the living and the dead. Juan is trying to both save his childhood friend and keep the dead and living worlds from being united under a tyrannical rule of an undead charro named Carlos Calaca.

The game blends the exploration of a metroidvania well with the competent combat of a good brawler. Juan’s moves will often serve him well in movement as well as fighting. A second player can join in at any time for some cooperative skeleton wrestling. Player 2 takes control of Tostada, a woman who also dons a luchador mask and has the same powers as Juan.

Super Turbo Championship Edition is an enhanced version of the original Guacamelee, and brings additions such as levels, costumes, and bosses which were not in the previous release. This version also gives players the Intenso ability, which when activated will power up Juan and Tostada with extra fighting power.

5. Rayman Legends

Another multiplayer platformer, Rayman Legends offers up beautiful visuals and aural flare to catch cooperative players’ attention. The game was released in September 2013 for the Wii U to great reception.

Rayman Legends is a platformer with a multitude of content; it has over 120 levels, several playable characters with loads of unlockable costumes, collectibles everywhere, and ongoing daily challenges. All of this content can be enjoyed with buddies in co-op gameplay. Up to four players can join each other to complete levels and accidentally (or not) punch each other along the way. Among the many levels, there are musical levels, which are each based entirely around a particular song.

The musical levels, Murphy’s motion-based platforming, and football minigame Kung Foot offer a great experience for anyone looking for a very enjoyable co-op time.

6. Chariot

Chariot is a physics-based platformer where the story follows a princess attempting to fulfill her father’s final wish to be buried somewhere befitting a king. This is accomplished by the princess…dragging his coffin around the kingdom with his corpse presumably knocking around inside.

Although the premise a bit morbid, the game presents the whole affair in a pretty charming manner. The gameplay consists of pulling and pushing dad’s coffin through the levels using ropes that can attach or detach with a button press. It’s a fairly simple setup but it will take some creative thinking to solve levels as the game progresses. All of this can be done with a partner, who plays as the princess’s fiancé.

Being based around physics, some of the platforming can be challenging, so playing cooperatively with someone can be a big difference maker. A friend always makes carrying a corpse around a little easier.

7. Nintendo Land

Nintendo Land launched alongside the Wii U to generally favorable reception. A collection of 12 minigames, each based around a different Nintendo property, Nintendo Land has a balance of cooperative, competitive, and solo challenges. Here, of course, we’re highlighting the co-op games.

Out of all 12 games, only 3 of them were cooperative, but they were fun enough to make Nintendo Land one of the Wii U’s best co-op games. The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest had one player using the Gamepad to shoot arrows at enemies while up to three other players used Wiimotes as swords, all of them dressed in tunics. The players all battle enemies together, and they share health, so they must protect each other. It’s a great setup that keeps everyone focused on really being a team.

In the second cooperative game in the collection, Pikmin Adventure, one player uses the gamepad to control Olimar, who can whistle and throw Pikmin. The other players (up to four) control larger Pikmin and can smash blocks, pick up bombs, and attack enemies. The objectives and controls are simple and straightforward, which make it an easy game for anyone to pick up and play. Pikmin Adventure has plenty of bosses to beat, which gives the game a bit of challenge.

The final co-op game in Nintendo Land, Metroid Blast, can be played solo or competitively as well. The cooperative mode is called Assault Mission, and sees players battling waves of enemies both new and old to the Metroid series. It’s the most complex of the co-op games; one player will take control of Samus’ gunship and uses dual sticks and gyro controls similar to the Splatoon series. Up to four others don different suits of armor from the series and fight on the ground. They play a 3rd person shooter with the Wiinmote and nunchuck combo and use pointer controls for aiming.

Although there are only 3 cooperative games in Nintendo Land, they’re fun and extensive enough to justify getting the game for anyone who has a Wii U and some friends or family.

8. Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara

Chronicles of Mystara is a collection of both of Capcom’s arcade beat-em-ups Dungeons & Dragons: Towers of Doom, and Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow Over Mystara. Not simply button mashers, both games in this collection offer a deeper combo system than the typical arcade game. Luckily, some tutorials are included in-game.

Chronicles of Mystara includes local and online cooperative play for up to four players. Players can pick from several different classes, ripped straight from D&D, with their appropriate skills and attributes. The classes give the game some needed variation and replay value. With unlimited continues, it’s a bit easier to get to the end of the games, and Mystara offers up some alternate rewards other than the end screen; vault coins can be earned which unlock promotional materials, art, and other goodies.

Chronicles of Mystara delivers on expectations of a good co-op brawler and offers a little bit extra on top of that.

9. Bayonetta 2

Bayonetta 2 is a hack n’ slash game developed by action game legends Platinum Games. In Bayonetta 2, players control a witch named Cereza who is trying to save her friend, Jeanne’s, soul. Like its predecessor, Bayonetta 2’s gameplay is all about performing melee combos with some juggling gunplay thrown in to mix things up. The series’ signature Witch Time is back, activated by dodging enemies’ attacks at the last second.

This top-notch gameplay is carried on in the game’s cooperative mode, Tag Climax, which is playable only online. The online co-op is a streamlined mode which focuses on combat and eschews the exposition of the story mode. However, the co-op content, including levels, weapons, and costumes, must be unlocked by playing through single-player chapters. The more story that’s played through, the more co-op content can be enjoyed.

Once a player connects to the online mode and finds a partner, they fight groups of enemies or even a boss together. Whomever scores the most points picks the next level and this is repeated several times. It’s possible to earn more money by betting before a stage, which will in turn increase the difficulty. For some players, co-op is the preferred way to play, as it simplifies the experience and allows them to revel in Bayonetta 2’s excellent gameplay while earning money for even more costumes and weapons. Although it’s online only, Bayonetta 2’s cooperative mode is worth playing for any action fan.

10. Trine 2 Director’s Cut

Trine 2 is a 2D puzzle platformer with three main characters: Amadeus the Wizard, Zoya the Thief, and Pontius the Knight. Each character has unique abilities that must be utilized to get through the levels. Amadeus can use magic to move some objects around and create platforms or boxes out of thin air. Zoya has a bow & arrow and can use a grappling hook to swing to areas the others can’t reach. Pontius is the strongest character and has a shield that can deflect projectiles.

The Director’s Cut brings not only the Goblin Menace expansion, but enhanced controls too. The Wii U gamepad is utilized well in Trine 2, with Zoya’s arrows and Amadeus’ magic controlled by the touch screen. The touch controls are completely optional, but make for a nice addtition.

In co-op play, there can be two or three players, with each player controlling one of the characters. There’s a good mix of combat and platforming puzzles that sometimes need more than one brain to figure out. Overall, Trine 2 Director’s Cut is a solid game that makes more sense to play cooperatively.

11. Super Mario 3D World

Super Mario 3D World did for 3 dimensional Mario games what New Super Mario Bros. U did for 2D; it’s a solid platformer that builds on the good traits of previous Mario titles, with lots of space to explore with up to four players in large levels. It’s in most ways a sequel to Super Mario 3D Land, but players can choose from either Mario, Peach, Luigi, or Toad, who’s playability and traits harken back to Super Mario Bros. 2. 3D World also introduces some new items into the series, including the Super Bell.

Designed to go along with the big spacious levels, the Super Bell gives players a cat suit to wear, and lets them run faster on all fours, swipe with claws, climb walls, and air dash long distances. The Super Bell and double cherries (also an homage to SMB2) give SM3DW a certain chaos that while a tad frustrating at times, is undeniably fun. While most Mario games have levels that are focused on getting past obstacles with a small margin of error, Super Mario 3D World’s levels are more like playgrounds with toys scattered about.

Whether trying to remain in sync with your platforming partners, throwing around a stray baseball, or throwing around your platforming partners, Super Mario 3D World is a joy to play cooperatively.

12. Splatoon

Splatoon is Nintendo’s foray into the world of online shooters, but has a typically Nintendo-esque twist: the goal of the game is to cover as much territory as possible in colored ink instead of just killing your opponents. Also, player characters are squid kids that can swim in said ink to get around faster. It’s a refreshing take on the genre that gives folks who don’t usually play these shooters a new perspective.

The cooperative mode in Splatoon is also a competitive one, teams of four get together to cover arenas in their given color of ink. A variety of ink guns gives plenty of options, and players who aren’t necessarily good at shooters can still participate by inking everything in sight. Teams can watch each other’s backs by blasting enemy squids or throwing ink bombs.

Splatoon has only gotten more popular since the sequel came out, and the Wii U’s unique shooter stands as one of the most fun co-op games on the system.

13. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for the Wii U is a much expanded version of Monster Hunter Tri. The game has the staples that series’ fans expect, like tons of quests, giant monsters, endless gear to craft, and cats. It also has the distinction of introducing some new things to MH, like new weapons, a new companion, the target camera, and 3DS cross-play.

That cross-play helped foster a strong online environment, which is why MH3U is on this list. The many quests that can be undertaken with up to three other hunters offer outstanding gameplay value and give the game a longevity not often matched. Co-op hunts are part of what makes Monster Hunter one of Capcom’s most popular series. Filling a role within a team to hunt huge monsters was taken to modern form with this entry.

14. Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes

The Lego games have gotten better over time, and Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is a landmark title in that betterment as the first open-world game in the Lego line. Although it’s technically a Batman game, there are over 70 total playable characters (some DLC) from all across the DC Universe. Nightwing, Wonder Woman, Black Canary, Aquaman, The Flash, Superman, and many others are choices.

The open world and all these characters turn Lego Batman 2 into a great cooperative game, even while free roaming. There are plenty of traversal options, too; some characters fly or swing and, there are a variety of vehicles. Since the world is big, and confining players to the same general vicinity would be impractical, the Wii U version uses the gamepad and tv for asymmetrical co-op. Each player gets their own screen to explore the blocky Lego version of Gotham.

15. Minecraft

The phenomenon that is Minecraft is split into a survival mode and a creative mode, with both modes actually offering plenty of space for building with the cubes that make up the game world. In 2015, the game came to the Wii U along with a slew of Mario-themed skins and content. That was the only new thing that the Wii U version brought to Minecraft, but the base game is plenty to work with.

With 4-player split screen and 8 player online cooperative play, Minecraft is still a great option for getting folks to game together.

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