Top 100 Games – 99 – Wii Sports

11 Feb

Wii Sports
Year: 2006
Genre: Motion/Sports

It’s the game that launched a thousand remotes. Into televisions, windows and faces. Wii Sports was a primary reason for the early success of Nintendo’s risky venture. After the relative failure of the GameCube it took a revolutionary concept to bring Nintendo back to the top of the home console market. The Wii proved to be a huge hit, thanks in no small part to this humble collection of sports. It appealed not just to Nintendo fans and children, but to people who would never play a game otherwise. The simplicity of controlling games with motions rather than the complexity of a button-based control scheme was instrumental in bringing gaming to a new audience, but Wii Sports had more than that.

Bowling is the best sport on offer

The charm of the game is instantly noticeable, from the gentle music and jingles, to the use of mii avatars, cute representations of players (or anyone else for that matter) Coupled with a surprisingly good game, Wii Sports was a simple, accessible piece of entertainment. While the boxing falls a little flat, the other games are a joy. Baseball captures the essence of batting well, without the overcomplicated and dull rules. Golf is perfectly suited to the control system, although it would be vastly improved later by EA. Tennis is multiplayer heaven for family and friends, even non-gamers, and the bowling, simply sublime. By far the best sport on offer, bowling registers gentle wrist movements to measure force and spin and is far more intricate than the likes of tennis, which is little more than wrist-flicking. It’s easy to learn but genuinely difficult to master, and the fact that it’s still fun to play now, despite a slew of imitators just shows the brilliance of Wii Sports.

With Sony and Microsoft now jumping on the motion control bandwagon its clear Nintendo struck gold with the Wii. Without Wii Sports though, it may never have worked. The perfect showcase for the new controls, and one of the biggest innovations in gaming since 3D, it may have been bettered by Wii Sports Resort, but for what it achieved in putting gaming firmly on the mainstream map, Wii Sports deserves a spot on this list.

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