The 7 Best Wii Party Games

Want To Throw a Wii Party? Here's a Few Games You Should Have on Hand.

Once upon a time, friends would get together and play board games. While this sort of revelry hasn’t gone the way of the Dodo quite yet, increasingly people are getting together instead to play console party games. The Wii’s newbie-friendly gesture gaming has proven especially amenable to party games. Pretty much any game can be fun with the right combination of friends, but the best party games offer more than just an excuse for trash talk. Here are the seven best games to build an evening with friends around.

Beatles Rock Band
The Beatles in their trippy years. Electronic Arts

Combine one of the most popular bands of all time with one of the most popular party game franchises of all time and you get one hell of a game. For me, no other game is so much fun to play with friends, offering great songs, unusually solid visuals and a chance to sing three-part harmony very badly. If your friends don’t like The Beatles, get better friends. More »

Just Dance 2
A new duet mode allows you to interact with a partner. Ubisoft

The single biggest selling Wii game not published by Nintendo, JD2 is more activity than game, since winning or losing is rather arbitrary. The game is essentially an excuse to act silly and dance badly, and it turns out that this is exactly what people want in life. Of all the Just Dance games, JD2 is easily the best in terms of songs and choreography, and the only one I really want to have at a party. Caveat: in my experience, actual dancers are not a good audience for this one. Also not good if you’re a fan of accurate scores. More »

Mario Party 9
Instead of each player inhabiting a different space, players all travel together to a common destination. Nintendo

MP9 is all about the fast turnover, the moment where those ahead and those behind switch places, often not because of a lack of skill but because of the vagaries of fortune. This focus on luck keeps the game light and funny, and allows even the weakest player a chance of winning. Yet many of the mini-games involve skill, creating at least an illusion that playing well will be enough. The result is an almost perfect example of the virtual board game. More »

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Dance Dance Revolution: Hottest Party (series)

Before Just Dance and Guitar Hero there was DDR, which offered a visceral party experience in which players could prove their worth by stomping on a dance mat. While Just Dance is the game series for people who don’t play games, DDR is for those who like their silliness mixed with genuine challenge. There are three games in the Hottest Party series so far; they’re all pretty much the same, but they’re all fun.

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This game is entertaining in great part simply for its central gimmick; you put the remote on a flat surface and then tap that surface with your fingers. It makes for an amusingly different gameplay experience, although ultimately it’s still just a fairly straightforward mini-game collection. More »

This above-average mini-game collection is cannily tied together with a party game frame, and it can be played as a full party game, by a group of people who enjoy cooperative and competitive mini-games, or alone. This is the best bet for those looking for a sports-themed game to play with friends. More »

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Fortune Street

Fortune Street
Fortune Street lets you drive Mario into bankruptcy. Nintendo

While many virtual board-game-style party games rely on mini-games, Fortune Street is very much an old-school board game that takes advantage of the more elaborate rules that can be implemented via software. Ultimately, this is a dressed-up version of the board game Monopoly That was my favorite game as a kid, so I’m going to assume this version will be the favorite of some child of the modern age.