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Wii U games that still haven’t been ported to Switch

Posted on April 14, 2024 by in Features, Switch, Wii U

Wii U games not ported to Switch

Given the seemingly never-ending stream of leaks for Nintendo’s next console, it would appear that Switch is nearing the end of its life cycle – maybe. In its early years, however, many of its major releases were ports of games originally released on Wii U. Some of these were straightforward with a tiny bit of extra content like Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, while others placed a higher focus on new content – like Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury. There are still a number of major Wii U games that haven’t been ported to Switch, however. Today, we’re looking at these Wii U games, why they haven’t been ported to the Switch just yet, and how likely a potential port could be.

Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival

Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival (Wii U games)

We still remember the initial announcement trailer for Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival. It started out with a glimpse of an Animal Crossing: New Leaf town in glorious high-definition… and then we saw board game spaces. This wasn’t the HD Animal Crossing fans were hoping for at the time. In fact, we’re not sure if anyone really hoped for this! Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival aimed to capitalize on 2014 and 2015’s amiibo craze with a new line of figurines. Unfortunately, it failed to realize that previous amiibo sold so well because they were Super Smash Bros. amiibo, not because they were amiibo, if that makes sense. So many Animal Crossing amiibo were manufactured and left unsold that manufacturers eventually cut down on retail space for amiibo. In other words, Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival was one of the most disappointing Wii U games ever released. We’re definitely never seeing this on Switch!

Paper Mario: Color Splash

Paper Mario Color Splash

This was one of the last first-party Wii U games ever released – in fact, it was the very last one before the announcement of the Switch. Though Paper Mario: Color Splash wasn’t as harshly received as Paper Mario: Sticker Star, it still had its fair share of problems. It still required expendable items to be able to attack, adding a rather unnecessary layer of complication on top of the traditional Paper Mario battle system. Furthermore, many of the game’s bosses require very specific Thing stickers that you simply cannot win the battle without. That’s not even mentioning the incredible lack of character and NPC diversity the series is known for. Thankfully, Color Splash does have its upsides, however few: the game’s writing is top-notch, and although the story is nothing special, dialogue from the generic Toad NPCs is often interesting enough to keep you playing the game. Given Nintendo’s imminent release of the Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door remake, it seems there’s a chance for the series to get back on track. A Color Splash port is extremely unlikely at this point – The Thousand-Year Door and The Origami King are both considered better games, so Color Splash wouldn’t sell well at all in comparison. Fun fact: Color Splash is one of the only recent Mario games to never sell a million units.

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash

Mario Tennis Ultra Smash (Wii U games)

This was another one of the final first-party Wii U games. It definitely shows, too: in terms of content, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash offers the absolute bare minimum. Other than standard and Mega Mushroom tennis, the game gives little reason to come back to it other than to waste time. In terms of things that set Ultra Smash apart from other games in the series… it has the Sprixie Princess as a playable character? It has amiibo support? These little quirks aren’t enough to make Ultra Smash worth porting. Not to mention the vastly superior Mario Tennis Aces is already available on Switch. It’s safe to say that Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash will remain a relic of the Wii U’s final days and not much else.

Star Fox Zero

Star Fox Zero (Wii U games)

You could technically count the Star Fox content in Starlink: Battle for Atlas as the most recent game in the series, but Star Fox Zero is the last time Nintendo itself developed a new Star Fox title. Unfortunately, this one was kind of a flop. The camera system, controls, gameplay, and reliance on switching between the TV and Wii U GamePad didn’t quite sit right with fans of the series. In terms of story, Star Fox Zero is yet another reboot of the franchise that essentially tells the story of Star Fox 64 once again. If there were to be Star Fox on Switch in any capacity, we’d rather see a new game that advances the canon beyond a retelling of Star Fox 64. Besides, the controls would likely need a rework to function on Switch at all.

Yoshi’s Woolly World

Yoshi's Woolly World

Of all the Wii U games on this list, Yoshi’s Woolly World is the one we’re most disappointed to see here. It did receive a rather good 3DS port, but at a much smaller resolution. Yoshi’s Crafted World probably stands in the way of a Yoshi’s Woolly World port, but we’d love to see one that combines all the content from the Wii U and 3DS versions and adds a few more amiibo costumes for the recently-released ones. Yoshi’s Woolly World is certainly one of the best Wii U games out there, and it absolutely deserves a second chance at success on Nintendo Switch. It’s probably unlikely, but it’d be a good candidate to fill the gaps of what’s been a fairly quiet year for Nintendo so far.

Nintendo Land

Nintendo Land (Wii U games)

The original Wii took off at least in part thanks to Wii Sports, its pack-in title. Nintendo Land is an incredibly high-quality title, but it unfortunately didn’t bring the Wii U anywhere close to the same degree of success. That’s not the game’s fault, though! Nintendo Land is home to plenty of mini-games, both single-player and multiplayer. Mario Chase, Luigi’s Ghost Mansion, Metroid Blast, and The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest are all great fun, and there are even more games available to players looking for additional content. The odds that we get a port of Nintendo Land on Switch, however, are almost none. Several of the multiplayer minigames require a player to use the Wii U GamePad in addition to other players looking at the TV screen. This isn’t possible on Switch unless you have two separate consoles, and we haven’t seen a ton of games that take advantage of two Switches in this manner. For the time being, it seems Nintendo Land is locked to the Wii U.

Pushmo World

Pushmo World (Wii U games)

Pushmo was an incredibly active series on 3DS with over three different games released for the system during its lifespan. A single entry was released on the Wii U, too – Pushmo World. While we’re not exactly hoping for a straight port of this game to Switch, it is a bit sad that we’ve seen nothing of Pushmo on one of Nintendo’s most successful platforms. In this era of Nintendo, we don’t get many budget eShop titles, and a new Pushmo game would fill this niche. We’d take Crashmo, too!

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and Twilight Princess HD

Twilight Princess HD

This one’s kind of confusing. How are these two games not on Switch yet?! For many, The Legend of Zelda hit its peak with Breath of the Wild – this certainly attracted tons of new players to the series, and it would’ve been great timing to re-release two of Link’s most beloved adventures. The games’ control schemes might need a tiny bit of reworking, but they’d otherwise be a perfect fit for the Switch. Especially in 2024, given how light Nintendo’s release schedule is so far. Admittedly, more ports and remakes wouldn’t make their lineup this year much more impressive, but they’re still quality remasters worth enjoying in the modern day.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (Wii U games)

This is a game that would need some serious reworking if it were ever to come to Switch. The Wii U GamePad was an absolute necessity for Kirby and the Rainbow Curse – and the only way to recreate it on Switch would be to force handheld play with a stylus. That kind of defeats the point of the Switch, and we’d imagine there’d need to be too many changes to get Kirby and the Rainbow Curse working with Joy-Con or a Pro Controller. Besides, this wasn’t a hugely well-received entry in the series – though its graphics and soundtrack are absolutely stellar, even by Kirby standards.

Xenoblade Chronicles X

Xenoblade Chronicles X Banner

Xenoblade Chronicles X is currently the only major Xenoblade game that isn’t on the Switch. It also just lost a whole bunch of its online features, so the time for an enhanced port is definitely right! Both to provide quality-of-life updates and to complete the series all on one console. We’d also be happy with a port on whatever Nintendo’s next console winds up being. Maybe waiting for that console could result in some faster load times (and maybe a smaller file size for the game, too).

Overall, there are still a number of Wii U games that haven’t released on Switch yet. A good chunk of these are still high-quality titles, and we’d love to see a few more of them make their way over.

Which Wii U-locked game would you like to see most? Feel free to let us know in the comments down below. 2024 is a quiet time for Nintendo fans so far, and it’s not so farfetched that we’ll see a Wii U port or two to fill up the gaps.

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