The Wii U wasn’t exactly a raging success. The Nintendo Switch certainly is. So you can’t blame Nintendo for wanting to bring a bunch of games that a lot of people missed on the former over to the latter.
From Mario Kart to Captain Toad, the Switch is now home to a sizeable Wii U Catalogue In Exile, with an increasing number of Nintendo-published titles having made the jump.
To give you an idea of just how many Wii U ports have been shuffled over since the Switch’s release in 2016, here’s a list of every game Nintendo published for the Wii U.
Those that have been ported to the Switch – or at least been announced – are in bold.
- Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival Party
- Bayonetta 2
- Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
- Devil’s Third
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
- Dr. Luigi
- Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
- Game & Wario
- Hyrule Warriors
- Just Dance Wii U
- Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
- Lego City Undercover
- Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
- Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games
- Mario Kart 8
- Mario Party 10
- Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash
- Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars
- Mini Mario & Friends: Amiibo Challenge
- NES Remix
- NES Remix 2
- NES Remix Pack
- New Super Luigi U
- New Super Mario Bros. U
- Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
- Nintendo Land
- Paper Mario: Color Splash
- Pikmin 3
- Pokémon Rumble U
- Pokkén Tournament
- Pushmo World
- Sing Party
- Star Fox Guard
- Star Fox Zero
- Super Mario 3D World
- Super Mario Maker
- Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
- Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE
- Wii Fit U
- Wii Party U
- Wii Sports Club
- The Wonderful 101
- Xenoblade Chronicles X**
- Yoshi’s Woolly World
* - Not technically a port, but close enough
** - It’s a port of a Wii game, not a Wii U game, but I’ll count it
I’ve been exhaustive for the sake of it here, but look closer at that list and most of the games that haven’t been ported are because of specific timing (the Olympics games), have sequels on the Switch that make going back to the original redundant (Smash, Splatoon, Super Mario Maker), were made specifically for the Wii U (Wii Fit U) or were already ports themselves (Twilight Princess, Wind Waker).
When you look at the big first-party releases for the Wii U that stood alone, so many of them have been ported, from Mario Kart to New Super Mario Bros and even Captain Toad. Pretty much the only games that really stand out here as not having been ported are Super Mario 3D World and Pikmin 3.
And maybe the Zelda ports if you’re getting fussy.
That’s a lot of re-releasing, more than even Sony and friends have pulled on the PS4 with ports like The Last Of Us and Shadow of the Colossus. And while it’s easy to label a practice like this as a shameless money grab, I think when it comes to Nintendo and the Wii U there’s probably also a humbling practicality at play where the company figures, you know what, the Wii U bombed so hard a lot of people never got a chance to play these great games. Now that the Switch is doing great, maybe we can push them out once more and give them a second chance.
We’ll update this list going forwards, because there’s no way Nintendo don’t have more ports planned.
Oh, and before we go, check out Kohler’s 2017 predictions on which Wii U games did and didn’t deserve a port, in which he absolutely nails Mirage Sessions, but like most folks never saw Captain Toad coming.