You knew this was coming. I love the Wii, I love Top 10s. I can't get enough of either of them - so when a Wii-centered Top 10 has so many games I can put in it, it's only natural that it's gonna be made eventually. With the Wii U almost near us it's the perfect time to snag some of these completely ignored gems and play them on there in HD. They're also painfully cheap at this point.
Just to clarify, these games aren't ordered from worst to best. The placement in the list has to do not only with the quality of the game (of course there's not one bad game on this list), but also how ignored they were, and how much they shouldn't have been ignored.
When Mario Galaxy 1 came out it was unbelievably praised, however a lot of people missed the more open, exploration-based levels of Super Mario 64. While they still appreciated the shift to linear gameplay that's a better incarnation of Mario's 2D outings, people wanted to play a 3D platformer where they could explore big levels. There was a game on the Wii like that, yet no one played it. Mushroom Men is not a perfect game by any means, but it is completely serviceable and fun, not to mention it dropped to $20 - $10 only a few months after its release, and still everyone ignored it. Why? I don't know.
Excite Bots: Trick Racing
I guess it's not completely implausible for a game to be ignored when you announce it with little to no promotion (even on the Internet) and release it like two weeks later. The game bombed so hard Nintendo didn't even care to release it in Europe. And it's a shame because it's one of the best racers on the system. You might look at it and think "well it's Excite Truck with animals and no MP3 support, the menus and the levels look exactly the same, fuck that", but you'd be wrong because Bots has a ton of stuff to offer. If you like racing games you should check it out.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers
Fear not X-Pert, this game shall not go overlooked today. Crystal Bearers was announced in E3 2006 but wasn't released until almost 2010. The game's constant delays, gameplay shifts, completely inconvenient release date (seriously, December 26? Who was the genius behind that decision?) and mixed reviews led to nobody playing it, even "hardcore" gamers and FF enthusiasts. There's some questionable stuff in the game, I'm not denying this, but it should've been given more attention. It's a great Wii effort.
Battalion Wars II
This game is pretty much the same as the first one (which also nobody played), but it improved on pretty much everything and it added three features that were key additions to the franchise - pointer control, online, and the ability to control vehicles. That made an already great game even better. Great production values and great gameplay, this is like Call of Duty meets Pikmin, wrapped up in the polish you'd expect from a Nintendo published title. It's a great game and when it came out the system was in need of awesome games, so I don't know what happened. Maybe it's not the most overlooked Wii game out there, but considering how awesome it is it definitely deserves a spot here.
Zack and Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Ah yes. Zack and Wiki. I don't know if it was lack of promotion, the fact that it looks like shovelware at first glance or the fact that its genre was very much dead when it came out, but nobody played this one despite glowing reviews. And it's a shame because it's an extremely well crafted unique experience. It's one of those games where you can feel the effort that was put into it. It's not for everyone, but if you dig games like it, you're almost guaranteed to enjoy it.
A Boy and His Blob
For a lot of people, this was a "yeah whatever" kind of game. You know, those games that you're sort of interested in but need to see some gameplay before purchasing, so you go do that, and the game looks totally "eh". Like not bad, but nothing catches your eye. The boy moves like a tank, the art style is nice but hand-drawn graphics are all over the place now, the levels and enemies repeat, and more. So you skip on the game. But when you actually sit down and play it, you realize that videos don't do it justice. You gotta sit back and completely immerse yourself into this game to appreciate it. Then you go, "more people should play this. I'm gonna include it in a Top 10"
I know there's plenty of NW users who hate this game and are more than willing to swap it for other games with your fellow NW companions. But this is my list, and amazing games deserve a spot on it. Dear lord, I love this game. I probably beat it like 5 times (that probably translates to 5 afternoons, but still!) and I will beat it more times, I can't get enough of it. That is the sign of a good beat-em-up right there. This is one of the best games on the system period to me.
Sin and Punishment: Star Successor
Okay, seriously, can anyone explain to me what happened here? Why did people not play this game? It completely baffles me. This is the kind of game that people were dying for the Wii to have, and I'm still sure to this day Nintendo made it solely for the purpose of shutting a few people up, yet when it came out (with spectacular reviews to back it up), no one played it! No one! Besides the "well it's not for me" logic is hard to apply with this one, it's an amazing on-rails shooter. Who doesn't like to shoot things? You have no excuse to bitch at the Wii's software lineup if you didn't play this.
Little King's Story
The quality-to-underratedness ratio of this game is off the goddamn charts. It's not the best game on this list, but you will not believe how overlooked it got. Sure, the omission of IR is almost inexcusable and it pisses me off to no end, but the game is still incredible. In-credible. As in with zero capacity for credibility. If you like RTS games you gotta play it, it really is as simple as that.
I was hoping Shattered Memories would be somewhere on here. Love that it's numero uno. Such a gem, and I'll always voice my support for it! Still need to check out Zack and Wiki! This was a good reminder!
Have you played the first Tales of Symphonia? If you played the first one and enjoyed it, I have a hard time believing you (or anyone) didn't like the 2nd one. Most of the crap I saw flung around came from people who were just playing Symphonia 2 without playing the first one.
I wonder what kind of score I'd give Mass Effect 3. Hmmmm worst game ever? Maybe. Never played Arkham Asylum; maybe Arkham City will end up in my Sad Games pile.
I assume you mean retail games? I'm not sure how we are defining underrated, as in... review scores should have been higher, or just general consumer interest/etc.? For the latter, here are a few that come to mind, though your list is pretty darn good:
Blast Works: Build, Trade, Destroy: More for the vast game creation tools than the actual gameplay, though the gameplay is pretty nice too. Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn: Does a big Nintendo franchise even count? For the mainstream, at least. Okami: This should have been a multi-million seller. Rhythm Heaven Fever: Again, a semi-big Nintendo franchise, but I'm sure 99% of Wii owners don't even know it exists. Super Paper Mario: Yeah, I said it. Trauma Center: New Blood: Which I still think was a better game than Trauma Team.
@Zero Yeah I meant the latter, general consumer interest. Like imagine you're in a casual conversation and the best Wii games topic comes up, these games should be mentioned but no one mentions them because no one played them.
And the list is specifically retail, but it's irrelevant because even if I did include WiiWare I don't think any underrated WiiWare game is better than the ones already on this list (World of Goo, BIT.TRIP and the Mega Mans aren't underrated enough)
@GameDadGrant You know I thought about TvC, especially considering it belongs to the family of the unbelievably popular Marvel vs Capcom games. But in the end it came to a matter of quality and personal taste - I think the 10 games on the list are better (but I personally am not the biggest fan of fighting games so...)
I also considered Deadly Creatures for the number 10 spot, I was this close to choosing that one.
I should also mention that a port instantly means a game doesn't make the list to me, because if they're porting it it's not that underrated - so no Overkill, No More Heroes, Goldeneye or Muramasa.
I'm one of the few here I guess who gave shattered memories a 7 or so.. I wasn't thrilled with this game. Story: Awesome. Control: Terrible.
I can't stand a game like that..
But I would love to play little kings story...
Crystal Chronicles gets my praise too... It also had some loose controls but not enough to destroy the experience - an enjoyable game and the music on the file select screen is still one of the best around. Yay Zack and Wiki..
Nice list, I especially like the top 3! ExciteBots is another favorite of mine.
Adding to those, I think the following games are also underrated:
-Trauma Center: New Blood -- Very fun co-op and great gameplay all-around. -Trauma Team -- Probably my favorite in the series, surprisingly compelling story and cast. -Rune Factory Frontier -- Took over 100 hours to beat; a well-paced Harvest Moon game and probably the best in the HM series besides 64 and the SNES one. -Wario Land: Shake It -- Hardly anyone played this, and it's very good. -Mario Strikers Charged -- Lots of fun. Next Level Games has got panache.
You know what? Skip it, the Wii as a whole is an underrated system.
Seriously. The marble-lever game is the best motion control game on Wii. Intuitive yet deep, and you could practically feel the ball with the rumble and Wiimote speaker on. I wish it was a full adventure and not just a minigame. A few of the minigames were crap, but most were at least worth going for 100%.
Hated what little of Mushroom Men I played. Excitebots is great. Crystal Bearers might have been a good game, but you had to really invest in the sidequests to find it. The main story path was crap. Boyblob was solid. Didn't like MadWorld. Wouldn't say Star Successor is underrated, either. Game got great reviews, just not the mainstream coverage it deserved.
I need to buy Shattered Memories, it does look awesome.
That said I think this thread needs some Rune Factory Frontier on it. Honest to goodness one of the best console games I played this generation, on any platform. Just a super fun, lengthy and engaging game. I loved it and you rarely if ever see it mentioned on any Wii "Best Of" lists.