The Top Missing Wii Games

Games Nintendo won't give to U.S. gamers

Wii Console and Wii Remote (black)

Nintendo, inc. 

In the United States, the Wii has often been a repository for mediocre party and fitness games. This is less true in Japan, where Nintendo has published many big budget, critically acclaimed Wii titles. Unfortunately, they have often decided Americans didn't deserve these games, inspiring an import advocacy group to demand the release of several of them. Nintendo's refusal to release many games likely to appeal to core gamers on a platform that — in the U.S. — has been lacking in core games has infuriated many.

Of the eight games on this list, three — after a huge clamor and an online campaign by advocacy group Operation Rainfall — were released in the U.S. While Nintendo denies OR's influence on their decision, five significant games they did not lobby for are forever out of North America's reach — four from Nintendo, and one third-party game that Nintendo should have offered to publish here. Here's a look at the lot of them.

01
of 08

Fatal Frame IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse

Fatal Frame IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse

Nintendo

What We Like

  • Creepy survival horror atmosphere.

  • Good graphics.

What We Don't Like

  • Controls are frustratingly slow and awkward.

  • Running is annoyingly slow.

What it is — An entry in the eerie survival horror series co-developed by series originator Tecmo and Suda 51, the guy behind the No More Heroes series. The game uses the Wii remote and Nunchuk to aim the spirit-destroying camera and a flashlight.

Interesting fact — Since the game was never released for English speakers, some clever gamers created an English patch for the game.

When it was released — 2008

Where you can play itJapan Only

What the critics sayFamitsu's four reviewers gave it 9, 9, 8, 8. Eurogamer gave it 7/10, lauding the atmosphere but complaining bitterly about the sluggish control scheme.

What's it like — Game Trailer

A game Nintendo thinks America deserved more than this one — Wii Play

02
of 08

Dragon Quest X

Dragon Quest X
Square Enix

What We Like

  • Great artwork and visuals.

  • Easy to switch classes (called jobs).

What We Don't Like

  • Requires a monthly fee.

  • Zones are small.

What it is — An MMORPG entry in a hugely popular game series.

When it was released in Japan: — 2012

Where you can play it Japan. While it was supposed to come to the rest of the world, on the Wii and then on the Wii U, Japan is the only place it has ever been released.

What the critics say Famitsu's four reviewers each gave it a 9/10.

What's it like — Game Trailer

A game Square Enix thinks America deserved more than this one — Pony Friends 2

03
of 08

Fatal Frame Deep Crimson Butterfly

Fatal Frame Deep Crimson Butterfly
Nintendo

What We Like

  • Scary and unnerving visuals and gameplay.

  • Improved controls over previous title in the series.

  • Good story.

What We Don't Like

  • Combat becomes unbalanced in the player's favor as the game progress, making it easy.

  • Voice acting can be dull at times.

What it is — A Wii remake of Fatal Frame II.

When it was released — 2012

Where you can play it Japan, Europe, Australia

Interesting fact — The game inspired an Operation Rainfall copycat group called Operation Zero.

What the critics sayFamitsu's four reviewers gave it 8, 9, 8, 9. Metacritic gives it 77%. Reviewers have reported that its controls are an improvement over the previous Wii Fatal Frame game.

What's it like — Game Trailer

A game Nintendo thinks America deserved more than this one — Wii Music

04
of 08

Another Code R: A Journey Into Lost Memories

Another Code : R game cover
Nintendo

What We Like

  • Nice graphics and details to characters and locations.

  • Interface is intuitive.

What We Don't Like

  • Slow pacing.

  • Dialogue-heavy, and the dialogue is uninspired.

What it is A sequel to the DS game Trace Memory. It is billed as being like reading a mystery novel and sounds like it is essentially a puzzle-driven adventure game.

When it was released 2009

Where you can play itJapan, Europe

What the critics say The four Famitsu critics gave a combined score of 28/40, which averages to 7. The metacritic aggregate score is 66/100. Many critics were particularly impressed with the game's use of the Wii remote in its puzzles.

A game Nintendo thinks America deserved more than this one — FlingSmash

05
of 08

Disaster: Day of Crisis

Day of Crisis game cover
Nintendo

What We Like

  • Exciting and unpredictable gameplay.

  • Has big ideas and ambition.

What We Don't Like

  • Dialogue is poor.

  • Feels like a mish-mash of games.

  • Pacing can be slow.

What it isAn action adventure game in which you must survive natural disasters while battling terrorists and saving civilians.

When it was released — 2008

Where you can play itJapan, Europe, and Australia

What the critics sayFamitsu's four reviewers scored it 9, 9, 8, 8. Western publications have ranged from 8/10 from IGN to 5/10 from Gamespot.

What's it likeGame Trailer

A game Nintendo thinks America deserved more than this one — Samurai Warriors 3

06
of 08

Pandora's Tower

Pandora's Tower
Nintendo

What We Like

  • Story is interesting and engaging.

  • Atmospheric and engrossing — and gross — at times.

What We Don't Like

  • Combat with the sword is limited and repetitive.

  • Camera angles can obscure enemies, leaves you vulnerable.

SUCCESS — Was released in North America in Spring 2013.

What it isAn action role-playing game from Ganbarion. This doesn't have the stellar credentials of the other games — Ganbarion is most notable for making games based on the One Piece anime series. But the trailer looks really cool.

When it was released — 2011

Where you can play itJapan only. It apparently was demoed in France, raising the possibility that it will come to Europe.

What the critics sayFamitsu's four reviewers gave it 7, 7, 9, 8

What's it likeGame Trailer

A game Nintendo thinks America deserved more than this one — Pokemon Battle Revolution

07
of 08

Xenoblade Chronicles

Xenoblade Chronicles
Nintendo

What We Like

  • Great music soundtrack.

  • Game world is enormous and visually exciting.

What We Don't Like

  • Combat and progress through the game can feel too scripted.

  • Characters and dialogue are hackneyed.

  • Inventory management is a pain.

SUCCESS — Released in the U.S. on April 6, 2012.

What it is A role-playing game from Monolith Soft, the developers of the Xenosaga series. 

Interesting fact As part of their campaign to get this game released in the U.S., Operation Rainfall encouraged gamers to pre-order this on Amazon.com under its original title, Monado: Beginning of the World, briefly making it Amazon's number 1 pre-order.

When it was released in Japan2010

Where you can play itJapan and Europe

What the critics say Each of Japanese magazine Famitsu's four reviewers each gave it a 9/10, similar to the 92 score on review aggregate site Metacritic.

What's it like:Game Trailer

08
of 08

The Last Story

The Last Story game cover
Nintendo

What We Like

  • Villain characters enliven the game.

  • Storyline is engaging.

  • Great visuals.

What We Don't Like

  • Protagonist characters tend to be flat.

  • Combat can be frustrating and imprecise.

SUCCESS — Released in the U.S. on August 14, 2012.

What it isAn action role-playing game from Hironobu Sakaguchi, the man who created the Final Fantasy series. This is the first game he is credited on as director since Final Fantasy VI.

When it was released in Japan — 2011

Where you can play itJapan, Europe

What the critics sayFamitsu's four reviewers split; two gave it a perfect 10, the other two gave it a 9.

What's it like Game Trailer