Wii U RPG Games can be hard to find! Unfortunately the Wii U seems to be the console that time forgot, never mind the RPG games! Nintendo seemed to put little effort into courting third party developers and as such, the genre suffered.
We can’t even put a full list together without considering other platforms. Luckily the console is backwards compatible and capable of playing plenty of RPG titles on the virtual console. So today we’re going to put a list of Wii U RPG games together that will hopefully help you find some great games to play!
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
Thankfully there are a few that were actually made for the console they reside on. One such example of this is Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, in which the #FE stands for Fire Emblem, in case you’re wondering. Not that they actually made any attempt to explain this, outside of a few sub-avatar names and abilities. In fact, were you not familiar with the Fire Emblem series this would probably go entirely over your head, which is strange given the titles obvious initial intentions to marry an Atlus game – you know, the Persona guys – and Fire Emblem. In this regard it will forever remain an opportunity missed.
Upon playing the title then, and discovering that the attempted merging of worlds had a story line bordering on insane draped over the top well, alarm bells ringing.
By sheer luck, or development skill – most likely the latter all things considered – the title is saved by a few key things. The battle system is so achingly stylish and satisfyingly moreish that it begs to be played again and again. The bulk of the game is made up of collecting novel and interesting things, namely outfits, weapons, accessories and achievements. And the dungeon design, filled as it is with inoffensive but interesting puzzles certainly keeps the action flowing, though we’ll admit that any other battle system would have had us reaching for that power button in spite of these.
It’s certainly a big title in terms of content, but it doesn’t feel entirely complete, like a strange third album from your favourite band – you still love it and play it all the time, but you sometimes struggle to justify exactly why…
Cards on the table here, Xenoblade Chronicles is one of our favourite JRPG games of all time… On the Wii. And the 3DS… Then on the Wii U.
It still counts alright. Work with us here people.
To the game then, and despite it’s relative success we’re entirely comfortable in saying that this is still an underappreciated gem. Somehow it fails to make favourite lists the world over, and we’re baffled as to why. Maybe it’s due to the slightly average looks, an issue entirely down to the platforms it has inhabited, and one that we’ll soon see remedied in the upcoming Switch port. Yes that’s four platforms, we’re entering Final Fantasy territory there.
The game itself is a true epic in so many ways. From the insane sense of scale that comes from living on the back of actual giants, to the truly personable details that exist between characters, NPCs included, that drive it’s merry cast on a romp through strikingly different environments, by turns every day to the otherworldly.
Much like the first on our list, this would all fall down were it not for the truly excellent gameplay systems that tie it all together. The battle system is a mix of real time and turn based, often relying on combination strings and positional requirements to get the best from it. Underpinning this is an MMO-esque loot system, a gem crafting mechanic, hundreds of quests, a character relationship system, elite-like monsters in the wild… The list goes on and on. Do yourself a favour and buy it. Let’s be honest, you probably have one of the consoles it’s available on by now…
A title you weren’t expecting perhaps, but one no less worthy of it’s accolades. It’s also another title who’s original release we find ourselves familiar with. And who can blame us, the Gameboy Advance had such an immense amount of quality titles it could probably populate many a list on it’s own.
Anyhow, Golden Sun is a fantastic little JRPG title, worthy of any genre fan’s time. It revolves around a world awakening to the power of Alchemy, despite it’s having been sealed away previously. This might sound familiar, and sure it’s a trope that was popular at the time, but it makes for a novel enough backdrop for the true superstar: It’s gameplay, and specifically the Djinn systems.
Djinn are creatures found throughout the game which function, at least on the surface, like Materia or Gems from similar titles. Once found they bestow powers and abilities upon the games’ cast. In battle, combinations of these will produce vastly different effects, from summons to statistical buffs and flashy, epic spells. Where this title truly differs however, is that these Djinn provide significant benefits outside of battle, helping the player to solve some truly inspired physics based puzzles. Such a system is novel in comparison to others and truly sets Golden Sun apart from what was at the time, quite a gathering crowd.
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon
Some of the content on this site might just give you the opinion that we like Fire Emblem games. It’s true, of course, and Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon is by far our favourite. This may shock some people, given the sheer amount of quality on display in titles like Three Houses, Blazing Blade and Echoes. It’s beauty comes from it’s relative simplicity.
There are no support conversations, no relationship building outside of snippets of conversation. There are no obscure classes, just the basic proto-typical starting blocks and their progression. There aren’t even any elaborate sprites performing choreographed jaunts along the screen for your entertainment. All that’s there is Fire Emblem, updated with a thin coat of paint and a new enemy movement marker. Deal with it.
Somehow, for us at least, experiencing a title like this in such a raw form is just so satisfying. All that’s there is a selection of useful units – some more than others, looking at you Draug – along with a selection of hostile units, on tightly designed, grid based maps. All that’s left is your own tactical nous and a string of lessons learnt via the game over screen. It is the roots of Fire Emblem, and we love it.
Xenoblade Chronicles X
From a title we love to a title we struggled to. And we truly do mean struggle. Like many others, we perceived this to be a sequel to the original. Or perhaps, if not something directly linked it, the game would be similar in theme and feel.
How wrong we were. In Xenoblade Chronicles you’re led through a variety of locations by a trail of breadcrumbs, deceptively linear but on a massive scale. By contrast, Xenoblade Chronicles X still provides the gamer with those huge locations and variation, but completely buries the breadcrumbs beneath a swathe of information and obfuscated mechanics, removing any faded notion of a leash at all, expecting the player to bridge the gaps. Battle mechanics seem to happen with little or no signposting, the screen full of vitally important information yet little to no indication that it is such.
And yet, should you brave the barrage of information and micron thin story beats, you’ll eventually find a gleaming gem of a nucleus beating beneath. Once you get your head around it’s misgivings, it reveals a staggeringly massive and varied game world, a battle system every bit as fun as it’s predecessor and a story that peaks when it focuses on it’s varied cast members.
X is not at all like it’s brother. There is no Shulk, no singular plight that drags it forward, but if you let it’s odd cast and mysterious world worm it’s way into your heart, it’ll never let go.