The 6 Best Games That Use The Wii Remote

The Wii remote created a whole new way of interacting with a video game. Not every Wii game uses the wiimote to its full advantage; some don't use its advanced capabilities at all. As cool as waving the remote to wield a sword is, anyone would have thought of it. Some game designers did more, pushing the limits of their imagination: these are the games that did the most with the Wiimote.

Reasonable people can argue about whether I’m right in considering Skyward Sword to be the best game ever made for the Wii, but it inarguably exhibits the most impressive use of the Wii remote. Using the oft-neglected MotionPlus technology, TLZ:SS uses the remote in every way imaginable, showing us what Wii games should have been like all this time. Some Zelda purists didn't care for the new control system, but for me it is how all Zelda games should be played.

This sequel to Kororinpa: Marble Mania has the same terrific control mechanics as the original but packs a lot more gameplay into the package. The goal is to maneuver a ball through an elaborate maze. The maze turns with the movement of the Wii remote, causing gravity to send the ball along narrow bridges and across fast-moving conveyor belts. It is not only one of the best uses of the Wii remote but also one of the few games that would be hard to imagine on any other platform.

Heroes 2 isn't a great game. It is fun, but much of the gameplay is unpolished, and at a certain point I got irretrievably stuck and gave up on it altogether. But it is the game that created an almost perfect first person shooter control setup for the Wii. The FPS was a huge challenge for the Wii, since the right analog stick of traditional controllers has been replaced with the Wii remote pointer. Heroes 2 managed beautifully, with easy-to-use, wonderfully responsive, customizable controls. A year after Heroes 2 came out, Call of Duty: World at War arrived with a similar control scheme and much better gameplay. But Heroes 2 will always be the game that did it first.

Smooth Moves would make a great tutorial for game designers eager to learn every way you can use the Wii remote. The player is required at various times to hold the remote like an umbrella or a tray of food, or even to place it on a table. The game is a series of five-second mini-games in which you have to shake, wave or jab the remote to make something happen on screen. The sequence in which you have to dance while holding the remote is one of the single best moments in any game in the Wii’s brief history.

No More Heroes is a mixed bag of stylish graphics, tedious wandering, cartoonish gore, weird dialogue and some of the quirkiest uses yet for the Wii remote. While the most amusing use is recharging your electric weapon, which involves shaking the remote while protagonist Travis gestures obscenely, the cleverest idea is using the remote as a phone. When someone calls Travis through his cell phone the remote rings and you have to hold it up to your ear to hear the caller. It doesn’t affect the gameplay in any way, but it is about the goofiest thing anyone has thought to do with the remote. The sequel was a better game, but didn't really add anything new to the remote use.

Sky Crawlers ingeniously uses the remote and nunchuk to emulate a joystick, something that works so well it's a shame no other game ever tried it.

There aren't a lot of games that let you play without touching the controller, but that's exactly what you get with the party game Let's Tap. Put the remote on a flat surface and tap near it; the game reads the vibrations and decides what should happen next. In a set of mini-games, tapping can make an avatar jump, wiggle a disk out from a tower of disks or fire a missile. It's fun, its original, and it doesn't make my repetitive stress injury flare up. Just don't play against a teletype operator; you can't beat a tapping expert.

When it came out for the PlayStation 2 in 2006, the action-adventure game Okami seemed like a game that should have been made for the Wii. Okami, after all, centers around drawing in the air with a magical brush, a seemingly ideal use for the Wii remote. The reality of the Wii version isn’t quite as good as imagined – the Wii remote brush is slightly more awkward to use than the PS2 analog stick brush – but painting with the Wii remote is so inherently cool that it is worth putting up with a little awkwardness to do it; it's nice to play a game about drawing in the air that makes you feel like you're really drawing in the air.