So, you have a Nintendo enthusiast on your holiday list and are looking for last-minute gift ideas sure to warm their gamer heart? To help you out, I’ve compiled my absolute favourite games out this season for both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. No matter if you’re shopping for an experienced gamer, a young gamer, or a brand new gamer—I’ve got you covered!
Wii U – Great new games to play
Nintendo is well known for creating top-notch video games the whole family can enjoy and this holiday season is no exception. There are great games from Nintendo spanning many genres, including platformers, role-playing, sports, and shooters. Here’s a look at my top picks:
Why it’s a great holiday gift: Have you ever played a Super Mario game and thought about how cool it would be to create your very own levels? Super Mario Maker gives you that chance using the Wii U GamePad’s touch screen as your canvass. Using the stylus, you can design dream Super Mario courses using the 60 included course elements, ranging from floor tiles and warp pipes, to power-ups like Mushrooms and Fire Flowers, to your favourite enemies like Goombas and Koopa Troopas. Once you’re finished with your creations, you can share them with friends, or upload them for other players from around the world to play. Not only that, but you can also download and enjoy thousands of courses made by the Super Mario Maker community! See our review here.
Why it’s a great holiday gift: If a traditional platforming game is more your thing, Yoshi’s Woolly World is sure to be a hit with your family. It’s a two-player cooperative game with irresistibly charming handcrafted graphics that resembles real yarn, fabrics, and buttons. There are 48 levels to play through, each containing dozens of secrets that are a blast to find and collect (especially when playing with a partner!) A standard version is available, but for the ultimate Yoshi’s Woolly World experience, I highly recommend the bundle edition, which includes a green knitted Yarn Yoshi amiibo figure. This amiibo unlocks bonus content in the game, including the ability to play as two Yoshis at the exact same time. Plus, for amiibo collectors, it might just be the cutest one yet!
Why it’s a great holiday gift: This is the next massive entry in the popular sci-fi role-playing series by Monolith Soft. With over 100 hours of exciting adventuring and weaponized mech combat, role-playing game fans are sure to have a blast with this game. On top of the regular edition, if you really want to spoil your Nintendo fan, there’s a limited run Special Edition that packs-in a 100-page Xenoblade Chronicles X art book, 5″ x 7″ limited edition matted art card, and 10-track game soundtrack on a custom USB drive.
Wii U – Games you may have missed
Perhaps you’re picking up a Wii U console this holiday, and in that case, there is a vast selection of amazing back catalogue games by Nintendo you should consider. My top choices are:
Splatoon (see our review here): One of the best third-person shooter games on the market today. Nintendo has turned the genre on its head with unique 4vs4 match-ups where the goal is to cover the battlefield with as much paint as you can. It’s incredibly fun, especially when you go online for multiplayer.
Mario Party 10 (see our review here) – Nintendo’s fun take on the classic roll-the-dice board game formula. This is the ultimate party game featuring frenetic 4-player action across nearly 70 mini-games.
Super Mario 3D World (see our review here) – Another 4-player game, Super Mario 3D World is the finest platforming game to ever grace Wii U. Choose from Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, or Toad, and play through dozens of incredible courses all presented in beautiful HD.
Mario Kart 8 (see our review here) – Nintendo’s long-running kart racing game is back and better than ever on Wii U. Compete is gravity-defying courses that includes hang-gliding, underwater racing, air tricks, motorbikes, and more. For the competitive type, there’s also 12-player online racing where you can challenge players from around the world.
If the gamer on your list prefers playing on Nintendo 3DS, here are excellent games you may want to consider:
Why it’s a great holiday gift: Tri Force Heroes is another unique multiplayer offering from Nintendo this holiday. Set in a new Legend of Zelda realm called Hytopia, team up with your friends locally, or play with others online, and take on dozens of challenging dungeons to help save the kingdom from an evil curse. The game includes a fun crafting system where you trade materials found in the dungeons in exchange for outfits that will give your Link special abilities. If your Nintendo gamer enjoys The Legend of Zelda and multiplayer games, this game will entertain them for hours on end. See our review here.
Why it’s a great holiday gift: Yo-Kai Watch has be a huge craze in Japan, selling millions of copies, and now the role-playing game phenomenon has finally arrived in North America. As you explore the world, you use your special Yo-kai watch to reveal hidden Yo-kai: mysterious, and sometimes mischievious beings that cannot be seen by the human eye. Each Yo-kai you befriend has unique skills and strengths you’ll need when challenging evil Yo-kai out to disrupt the lives of everyday people. This is the perfect game for role-playing game enthusaists looking for an exciting new world to jump into!
Why it’s a great holiday gift: Another great role-playing game you should consider is Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, the definitive version of Pokémon‘s dungeon-crawling spin-off franchise. In the game, your player is suddenly transformed into a Pokémon and enters a world inhabited only by Pokémon. While exploring ever-changing mystery dungeons, you can interact and befriend all 720 know Pokémon, recruiting them to help you save the world from a crisis of immense proportions. The story is very charming, and with tons of Pokémon, items and loot to collect, along with constantly changing dungeons, this game packs enough content to keep any Pokémon fan occupied for months to come.
I hope this Nintendo Guide has given you some new ideas to find that ideal gift for the Nintendo fan on your list. If you have any more game suggestions, be sure to let everyone know in the comments section below. Happy holidays!
By Paul Hunter, Editor Gaming
I work out of Toronto, Ontario as the Editor of Gaming here on the Plug-in Blog and as Editor-in-Chief of NextGen Player. I am thankful for having a loving and patient wife who doesn’t mind my 40 hour a week obsession with gaming. You can follow me on Twitter @NextGenPlayer and on my exclusive Vine gaming channel. Come join the conversation!