Best Wii U Ports for Nintendo Switch 2023

Nintendo Switch Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Nintendo Switch Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

Although the Wii U wasn't a very popular console among Nintendo fans, there were still some great games available. But you don't have to find an old Wii U to enjoy them. The Nintendo Switch has had quite a few games port over so you can play them on the new console, and on the go.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild (Image credit: Nintendo)

Because this was such a big launch title for the Nintendo Switch, it's easy to forget that it was originally released on the Wii U. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild revitalized the series with its open-world exploration. This is one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch and definitely a must-have. The Switch version has a better visual and the environmental sounds are enhanced.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

super mario kart 8 deluxe

super mario kart 8 deluxe (Image credit: Nintendo)

Even if you did have Mario Kart 8 on Wii U, getting the Nintendo Switch version too is definitely still worth it. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has all the same things the Wii U game had plus a lot of extras. For battle mode, there are new courses. Players can also choose new racers and new karts. Plus it has a new feature called Steering Smart that makes driving a little easier for young drivers and new players. These are just a few of the many enhancements made to this popular title.

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (Image credit: Nintendo)

There are many great Mario titles on the Nintendo Switch, but for those who like the classic and simple platform-style the history is built on, this port may be the choice for you. The port doesn't feature the asymmetrical multiplayer mode that the Wii U had but it is still multiplayer. Nabbit and Toadette join the roster of playable characters adding more choices and faces to love. But perhaps the biggest addition to the Switch version is the inclusion of New Super Luigi U, meaning you really get a two-for-one deal.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe

Pikmin 3 Deluxe Charlie Brittany Alph

Pikmin 3 Deluxe Charlie Brittany Alph (Image credit: Nintendo)

Pikmin 3 also gets a boost for Switch release with Pikmin 3 Deluxe. Playing on the Switch gives players the option to do local co-op, a feature not available for any games on the Wii U. Those who played the Wii U version will also notice new side missions with Captain Olimar. It also now gives players the option to choose a difficulty level.

Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition

Hyrule-Warriors Nintendo Switch

Hyrule-Warriors Nintendo Switch (Image credit: Nintendo)

The predecessor to Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity was released not only on the Wii U but also the 3DS and now the Nintendo Switch. While there isn't a lot of extra content compared to the previous iterations, it's still worth the upgrade. The port includes all of the DLC available from the older console versions in the base game and is made to be more visually stunning.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore

Tokyo Mirage Session #FE Encore

Tokyo Mirage Session #FE Encore (Image credit: Nintendo)

The Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensai crossover game feature fashion and music in a whole new way. Changes to this RPG include some new side stories, outfits, and music. It also includes all the Wii U DLC. A huge change that will save players a lot of time is the ability to change the speed of Session attacks with Quick Sessions.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze Switch Hero

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze Switch Hero (Image credit: Nintendo)

So far this is the only Donkey Kong title on the Switch, but it's a very good one. Although it doesn't add much from the Wii U version, Funky Kong is a new character available to add an easier game mode to the mix. If you didn't play the game on the Wii U or don't have your Wii U to play it on anymore, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is a great modern Donkey Kong game worth the money.

Bayonetta 2

Bayonetta 2 screenshot

Bayonetta 2 screenshot (Image credit: Nintendo)

Bayonetta 2 on the Nintendo Switch may offer a slightly better frame rate when docked compared to the Wii U version, but not much else is different. However, this game was already great as it was originally released. If you haven't tried this title yet, it's definitely worth the play as we ramp up for the Bayonetta 3 release soon! And if you haven't been introduced to the series at all, a physical copy will give you a code to download Bayonetta as well.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

captain toad

captain toad (Image credit: Nintendo)

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker on Switch makes use of the unique accessories brought into the Switch with a VR mode available through the Nintendo Labo: VR Kit, not available on the Wii U. Bring friends into the game with a new two-player option! It was about time for Toad to have an adventure all his own.

Pokkén Tournament DX

Pokken Tournament

Pokken Tournament (Image credit: Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc)

Bringing the fight style of Tekken together with cute creatures and fiesty moves is Pokkén Tournament DX. The DX version brought a few small changes that made a big difference. To encourage a daily check-in, the Switch version includes daily challenges that are simple to complete. It also added a team battle mode where you choose Pokémon to build a party to battle with.

The Wonderful 101: Remastered

The Wonderful 101 Remastered Switch Screenshot

The Wonderful 101 Remastered Switch Screenshot (Image credit: Platinum Games)

Kickstarter gave this title a second life on the Switch. The remaster has added onscreen prompts for players to follow and understand the controls. While this title may have flopped on the Wii U, this remaster has given it a great second chance.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury

Super Mario 3d World Bowsers Fury Bowser Fairy

Super Mario 3d World Bowsers Fury Bowser Fairy (Image credit: Nintendo)

Enjoy all the fun that was Super Mario 3D World and add on a whole new set of challenges with the included Bowser's Fury. Although there were aspects of Super Mario 3D World built specifically for the gamepad of the Wii U that are no longer there, there are new ways to play with friends via online and local wireless play. Plus the Bowser's Fury mode is like an entirely new game where Mario joins with Bowser Jr. to take down the big baddie Bowser himself.

Great games on a better console

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Thankfully, many of the great games on the Wii U were made for the Nintendo Switch like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. These titles are good for beginners and seasoned gamers alike.

For a good title the family can play together at home, New Super Mario Bros. U or Pikmin 3 Deluxe have great co-op modes. The solo gameplay is fun too!

Alex Huebner

Alex has been working with iMore as a Freelance Gaming Writer for three years. You can also find a few articles of hers on Android Central and Windows Central. She regularly covers Nintendo Switch games and accessories as well as iOS game apps. In addition to the Nintendo Switch, you may also find her playing on the PlayStation and PC. When she doesn’t have a controller in hand she likes to spend her time with her husband, son, and dogs, exploring new places, or hiding away with a book (or comic book). A few of her favorite games include the Zelda franchise, Little Nightmares, and Animal Crossing.