The 6 Best Wii Rhythm Games

The Best Games for the Musically Inclined

The rhythm is gonna get you, possibly because we got the beat but more likely because you’re in the mood for a rhythm game in which you must use your musical and rhythmic skills, assuming you have any. Rhythm games take you inside music in a way usually only experienced by singers and dancers, and offer a sort of frenetic, energetic fun that is perfect when you just don’t want to kill any more aliens. Here are my picks for the six best Wii rhythm games out there.

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Rhythm Heaven Fever

Rhythm Heaven
There aren't many other games that ask you to play badminton against a cat while flying an airplane. Nintendo

For the most part, “rhythm game” is just a term for any game that focuses on music-oriented gameplay, but RHF is truly a rhythm game. Whether you are golfing or building machinery or playing badminton, you must do everything according to the game’s increasingly complex beats. And while many games rely primarily on visual cues, Rhythm Heaven relies primarily on audio cues; the visuals usually move too fast to help. Of all the rhythm games out there, this game may well be the one that demands the most actual rhythm.

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Rock Band 3
If I'd had all the instruments I would have seen this screen. (Solo keyboard is the one instrument EA didn't supply a screenshot for.). MTV Games

RB3 stands with one foot in the world of gaming and the other in the world of musicianship. This wildly ambitious game redefined the band game genre, offering a way of playing that feels tantalizingly close to playing real instruments in a real band. If you can play the game on the highest difficulty setting then you’re ready to turn off the console and form a band of your own. If you don’t want to learn to play an instrument, you can still play in a simpler game mode similar to that of the previous series entries, but that would be like driving a race car in 2nd gear. More »

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DJ Hero 2

DJ Hero 2
DJ Hero 2 lets two DJs battle it out. Activision

I never really got the whole DJ thing. I understood that DJs used two turntables to somehow mix tracks from two records, and I knew about scratching, more or less, but it wasn’t until I played DJ Hero and DJ Hero 2 that I appreciated the art of it all. Of course, playing DJH puts me no closer to knowing how to DJ than playing Call of Duty puts me to knowing how to drive a tank, but at least I have a glimmer of an understanding of what it’s all about.

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

Until Rock Band 3 raised the band game genre to a new level of sophistication, Beatles Rock Band was easily the best band game ever made, both because of the great songs and because of the smart and stylish presentation. While it’s a toy compared with RB3, if you want a party game to play with friends who might be intimidated by RB3’s pro mode then this is still the best band game around. More »

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Dance Dance Revolution: Hottest Party (1, 2, or 3)

Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 3

Sometimes someone makes a movie in which a couple of kids go to an arcade and play Dance Dance Revolution as though they are really dancing, with spins and jumps and stylized arm movements. The reality is somewhat different, with players stomping on the dance mat as though they’re trying to kill cockroaches. But what the gameplay lacks in elegance it makes up for in challenge and fun. Just don’t expect to look like a real dancer.

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

No, you don’t really need a lot of rhythm to play JD2, which gives players a lot of leeway and will sometimes give you a passing score for moves you haven’t even completed. On the other hand, it actually encourages something more akin to actual dancing than anything you’ll do in Dance Dance Revolution. And the low skill bar makes it a rhythm game that even the most inept dancers have a chance of actually winning. More »