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Best Wii Games Ever for Kids- and Parents Too!

Updated on July 30, 2012

We are a gaming family. My parents don’t quite understand it and they scoff at our Mario marathons. But the truth is that gaming has gotten a bad reputation from the extreme people who died playing World of Warcraft (true story!). If you aren't sure you like the idea of your kids playing hours of video games, I’ve posted an article about video game addictions- and how to manage a child who loves to play.

The choices for gaming consoles, computer games, devices, etc. are overwhelming to say the least. If you are a parent, I suggest that you go with the Wii- as it is the gaming system with the best selection of appropriate material. Everything has been turned into a game these days, and it's easy to be enticed by advertising. Your daughter loves Dora so you buy the Dora Wii game. The problem is that many of these games are poorly made and therefore extremely frustrating. My three children are 8, 6, and 5, and I have outlined the top games that are not only fun and well made- but perfect for parents too!

Super Mario Brothers

My husband jokes that the little Italian plumber is my side lover. I am a diehard Mario fan. I played all the originals as a kid and the one designed for the Wii is fabulous. You can have up to four players bouncing around on turtles, goombas, and Bowser. Working as a team- it is easier to complete the game. If you’re in the mood for goofing off, you can turn it into who stays alive the longest.

The graphics are incredible and true to Mario form- there are plenty of secret paths, caves, and hidden rewards. Buy the guide- you’ll need it to unlock the special world!

Other Super Mario titles available on the Wii that are superb...

  • Mario Galaxy 1 & 2: This 3D game is a couple generations after Super Mario 64 and it’s hard! My son beat the whole thing, but it took him months and of course- the guidebook. My husband loved this game as well. It’s a 3D world so it’s not as simple to navigate as the old school 2D Marios.
  • MarioKart: It can handle up to four players and is a perfect game for all ages. You can purchase the wheel to snap the remote into so the kids feel like they are really driving (the wheel isn’t necessary). Lots of characters, cars, racetracks, and fun.

**Note: There is a Super Mario game available for Nintendo DS and it is NOT the same as the game for the Wii. Similarly, the new 3D-DS has a Mario game that is a separate entity as well.

Donkey Kong Country Returns

The graphics in this game are incredible. Again it is a new release of the old Donkey Kong with new levels, worlds, and characters. It scored a ten in the Nintendo gamer magazine one Christmas and we bought it for Evan. He was not disappointed. The game took months to beat (with a guidebook) but it held his (and our) attention for a while.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn

If you are a looking for a game that doesn’t kill you when you fall off a ledge, Kirby is your dude! This whimsical game is a new release from an old game (notice a theme?). He does lose his gems when a bad guy hits him, but there is no dying! This makes it perfect for smaller kids. The premise is wickedly clever. A patchwork of sewn lands is torn apart by an evil yarn man and you put it back together. The animation and ideas are beautifully done and easy to learn. I was hooked on this game.

The movements are easily to learn too, so there is minimal frustration for younger kids.

Whimsical world of Kirby
Whimsical world of Kirby

Just Dance Kids

My kids have been playing this since they were old enough to walk. Stick a remote in their hand and watch them try to mimic the moves on the screen. You compete yes, but there is an option to play as a team against the game. All in all, a fun and easy game that gives kids a workout.

The Legend of Zelda

Fairly new, I don’t know much about it except that Evan was obsessed with this one much in the same way as Mario. It’s 3D so more like Mario Galaxy in the gameplay and of course, a guidebook helped us master the game. This one is not designed for multiple players.

Super Smash Brothers

Put all your favorite gaming characters together, put them in a world, and watch them fight. I wasn’t too sold on the premise until I bought it. All the kids love it and brawl for hours not needing any refereeing from me. You can give certain characters more or less handicap so that younger players can have an advantage. The violence is minimal but enough for the testosterone in the house to feel like they're in a good fight.

Sonic Colors

And again, a remake of an old favorite. Evan hasn’t mastered this one yet which leads me to believe that it’s harder than it looks. One of the best parts about Sonic was the ability to run at lightning speed collecting coins so quickly it made you dizzy. The colors and lands are a bit harder to navigate than Mario, so if your child (or you) are a beginner, stick to the Mario franchise first.

A few others...

These games get great reviews and are worth mentioning, but they haven't quite hooked the DeNeen family- so I put them underneath the ones previously mentioned.

  • Legos games (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter)
  • Sonic and Mario at the Olympic Games
  • Mario Sports (this one is new and on our list!)
  • Disney’s Universe

Do you miss the classics? The Wii console when hooked up to Wi-fi has a shop channel where you can purchase all the original games; Mario Brothers 1, 2, 3, and New Super Mario World, plus others (you will need a classic controller if you want to play the old Nintendo 64 games).

Take a trip down memory lane and play the classics. You'll find all sorts of throwbacks to the old games in the new ones. Those are some clever Mario game makers!


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    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 5 years ago from Clinton CT

      @rahul- I know! I had the same excitement and nostalgia...sigh.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Nothing will ever beat the childish excitement I had when I played Mario...

      Aaah.. you made me nostalgic...

      Great hub and fun games

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 5 years ago from Clinton CT

      @mts- okay will do, thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      mts1098 5 years ago

      I agree Mario on the Wii is great...Try Shaun White snowboard games...cheers...great job

    • Rev. Akins profile image

      Rev. Akins 5 years ago from Tucson, AZ

      We are solidly addicted to the lego games. And we also like to play mario kart with friends online to bring added fun. :-)

      Great hub, voted up!

    • Olde Cashmere profile image

      Olde Cashmere 5 years ago from Michigan, United States

      The Wii has so many titles perfectly tailored for kids. My nephew and I have enjoyed countless hours of playing through Super Mario Galaxy 2. I've even gotten him to appreciate and have fun playing the older games which I grew up with. Wonderful article Julie, I still have to get the newer Kirby and Donkey Kong games, and we'll have a blast with those. Voted up, awesome, useful, and interesting :)

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 5 years ago from Clinton CT

      @crazzykylex- I'm sorry I don't about limbo. Enlighten us!! :)

    • Crazzykylex profile image

      Crazzykylex 5 years ago from Incredible India!

      No Limbo :(

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Yep, I am loyal to my hubber friends, and for your work, it is not hard, because I always know I am in for a treat! :)

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 5 years ago from Clinton CT

      @tonyx35- the lego games are cool but hard!

      @josh- I knew you would stick to your word and stop by. Evan is sooo into Zelda! :)

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I told you I was gonna stop by! :) I love Zelda, so happy you mentioned, it is a great game! As well as all the others that came before it! Another excellent informative hub Julie! :) I love your work! Voted up and shared!

    • Tonyx35 profile image

      J Antonio Marcelino 5 years ago from Illinois, USA

      Nice selection. Thumbs up for mentioning the Lego games.

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 5 years ago from Clinton CT

      @whyd that happen- yeah I have footage of Andrew rockin' out! :)

    • profile image

      WhydThatHappen 5 years ago

      Just dance is so much fun to play! Voted up :)