Wii U Racing Games
There are two schools of thought when it comes to racing video games: there are those who prefer racing sims and those who opt for the casual fun of an arcade racer. The Nintendo Wii focuses more on the second group, holding a good number of fun and accessible racers. If you’re looking for shorter races and bursts of party fun, then the Wii has the racers for you. That is why we put together this list of the 5 best Wii U Racing Games.
The Wii remote also means that every racing game lets the player feel more immersive, thanks to the gyro steering. While some players are not fans of the motion controls, some of these games also allow the use of more traditional control schemes. On this list, we’ve narrowed down the best Wii racing games available. There’s no particular order, as each of these games cater to a different type of gamer.
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1. Excite Truck – Our Favorite Wii U Racing Game
Long-time fans of Nintendo will surely recognize this title’s name, especially if they played the NES classic Excitebike. Excite Truck is one of the Wii’s first racing titles, and as such, it focuses on demonstrating the Wii remotes’ capabilities to control a racing game. The game was critically acclaimed, if a little underselling, making it a hidden gem of the Wii’s library. Of the others on our top 5 list of Wii U racing games, this is most likely the least known or recognized title.
Excite Truck differentiates itself from other racers due to its aerial gameplay. The players control their trucks while in the air using the Wii remote’s gyro steering. A stunt system is included in Excite Truck, allowing you to perform 360s or 720s in mid-air. Additionally, the turbo function from the classic Excitebike also returns in this game: you can turbo all you like, but do it too much and your truck’s engine will blow up.
Race tracks in Excite Truck are dynamic, changing whenever you pick up a power-up. This allows you to change the terrain in all kinds of ways that can help you land a big jump, or deter your competition. Considering this is an early Wii game, the game doesn’t look that bad, especially the ever-changing tracks and colorful trucks.
The multiplayer aspect of the game is a lot of fun, allowing up to two players to race in split-screen. Excite Truck is an unapologetically arcade racing game, and it prides itself on just that; this is one of those games that prove you don’t need a lot of customization and real-world brands to deliver a good racing experience, just a good sense of speed.
Another great arcade racer, and one with years of videogame history under its belt. Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing gathers some of the most famous mascots from Sega’s history and pits them against each other in frantic races where skill is more important than luck, something rarely seen in a kart racer.
Mario Kart veterans will feel right at home when playing All-Stars Racing: the game “borrows” some of the basics from Nintendo’s classic franchise, like power-ups and drifting. Each character has their own vehicle with their own set skills, but the player can change these skills by unlocking medals. Every vehicle in the game is fashioned after their pilot, and each one of them is full of charm and uniqueness.
The power-ups resemble those seen in Mario Kart, with one key exception: rubber banding is kept to a minimum in this game. Rubber banding is the infamous term that Mario Kart players use when a character that is in last place gets better items than those in the first place. While this is great when it happens to you, it also happens to COM players frequently, turning every race into a game of chance rather than skill.
Graphically, the game looks great: classic Sega characters from the 16-bit era are rendered in 3D without losing an inch of their charm. Over 20 mascots from various Sega franchises make an appearance in this game, including classics like Crazy Taxi, Monkey Ball, and, of course, Sonic the Hedgehog. The racers will ride through 24 tracks also based on classic Sega classics like The House of the Dead, Jet Set Radio, even obscure titles like Billy Hatcher and Samba de Amigo are present in the game.
An additional feature not present in Mario Kart is the ability to choose the type of vehicle your character rides. There are three kinds of vehicles: cars, bikes, and hovercrafts. Each of these vehicles has advantages over the others, but keep in mind that their performance can be greatly hindered by the terrain of the track.
Even if you’re not a huge Sega fan, the charm and fun gameplay of All-Stars Racing is more than enough to satisfy your need for another fun kart racer. It has just the right amount of unique content to not feel like a rip-off of Nintendo’s leading kart game, and it’s definitely up there as one of the best arcade racers available on any console.
Need for Speed is a name that cannot be absent from any racing games list, and The Run might be one of the most ambitious titles in the franchise’s history. The Run spans the whole width of the United States as its racetrack, in a frantic persecution that goes all the way from San Francisco to New York. If you have a need for speed, then this in arguably one of the best Wii U racing games.
As you race, you’ll also have to be on the lookout for police and reckless drivers that are more focused on taking you out than winning the race. The Run also has a sort plot that moves the action forward and keeps you invested in completing the country-wide race. Following the Need for Speed tradition, you’ll be able to take the wheel of powerful real-life cars that most people only dream of driving. That said, these cars don’t feel anything like their real-life counterparts and instead embrace the arcade nature of the NFS series.
The multiplayer in The Run is a pleasant surprise the likes only the Wii can provide: 4-player split-screen multiplayer for you and your buddies to play locally. This feature is not present in any other console version of The Run, making the Wii one your best bet if you’re looking for a fun racing game to play at parties.
The Run uses DICE’s Frostbite 2 engine, a graphics powerhouse that looks gorgeous in motion. That said, Frostbite might’ve been a little too much for the aging Wii hardware, leading some users to believe previous NFS games on the console that didn’t use the engine looked better. If you don’t mind some muddy visuals or a short single-player campaign, then The Run just might become your favorite Need for Speed game.
Another game in the Need for Speed series, Hot pursuit was the first attempt of the franchise at a soft-reboot. This time, developer Criterion, well-known among racing fans for their Burnout series, delivers an action-packed racer chock-full of thrills and high-speed chases for days. Although this falls within the Need for Speed franchise, it is a completely different experience which is why we chose to list it as one of our favorites for best Wii U racing games.
Criterion added a lot of their flair to this game, and that includes the takeout system present in Burnout games. Racing fairly is a possibility, but real winners in Hot Pursuit make their opponents crash and finish first-place with little competition left. Takeouts provide you with bonuses like turbo and extra credits, but beware of the police, as they’ll chase you and use every weapon in their arsenal to stop you from winning a race.
Unlike The Run, Hot Pursuit takes the high-stakes racing to a global scale, as the player races across 20 tracks all over the world. Of course, racing in NFS is done in style, and this time 33 high-performance cars from real manufacturers are available for choosing. Unique to the Wii version of the game are the power-ups, pickups that increase your cars’ performance and give you an edge over your pursuers.
The real-life locations also act as open-world stages for the game’s boss battles. Hot Pursuit will take you across Chongqing, Dubai, Rio de Janeiro, and Las Vegas. Career mode is not the end for Hot Pursuit’s replayability: the Wii version is also the only one that includes a 4-player split-screen mode.
5. Mario Kart Wii – Most Popular Wii U Racing Game
It seems impossible to talk about the Wii without mentioning the Mario name even once. Mario Kart Wii is the quintessential kart racer, improving the tried and true formula cemented by its predecessors and implementing all the right gimmicks from the Wii’s unique hardware. This game is not just one of the best racing games on the console, it’s one of its best games period. Of the other titles mentioned, this classic is easily one of the best Wii U racing games.
As is tradition with the Mario Kart series, the game involves a bunch of Mario characters racing with their karts in 4-races cups. New to the Wii version are the bikes: they’re overall faster than karts, but their reduced weight affects their handling and are easily pushed by bigger karts. Additionally, each character has a bigger selection of karts to choose from, each with different stats, making the process of customizing your vehicle crucial for winning races.
The addition of bikes adds another layer of complexity to the game, as these vehicles behave quite differently from karts, including the ability to perform wheelies. Mixing the two types of vehicles together makes for even more frantic races than ever before. Add to that the myriad of power-ups that can be used by players and CPUs alike, and you got yourself a racing game sure to keep you on your toes at all times.
In terms of game play, the player has the option of using four different control schemes. You can hold your Wii remote sideways like a steering wheel and use motion controls, or go for the more conventional Classic Controller. A neat consideration is the ability to use the GameCube controller as well: that’s a feature many conservative players will be glad to hear.
Final Thoughts on the best Wii Racing Games
It is truly surprising that we do not see more people playing on the Nintendo Wii U. The immersive experience and the endless fun makes the Wii U one of the best gaming consoles, in our opinion, the best overall. Still, it isn’t always easy to decide what games to buy, especially just starting out. That is why we put this list together of the best Wii Racings Games for those of you that like a competitive racing game. Hopefully this will make it a little easier for those of you that are new to using a Wii U. If you still aren’t sure where to start, maybe check out our lost of the best wii u games.