The Wii was a landmark moment, not just for Nintendo, but console gaming in general. While there had been previous attempts to make motion control viable with weird gadgets like the Sega Activator, Nintendo nailed the execution. The Wii Remote combined a 3D accelerometer with infrared sensors, revolutionizing the way games could be played.
Anyone who missed out on the Wii might be thinking “Why are Nintendo Wii games still so expensive?”. That’s because the used market prices for popular Wii titles have skyrocketed in recent times, especially since the online shop closed down. Finding a well-maintained used Wii is quite hard these days, and finding a game like Mario Kart Wii in mint condition is even harder.
Since the worldwide pandemic and the lockdowns it induced, people have been firing up games on their old Wii. They have also been using their Wii to play old Nintendo 64 and GameCube games. Games that are out of print will cost you a lot of money, especially if they belong to a Nintendo-exclusive IP (like Zelda or Mario).
Why Are Nintendo Wii Games Still So Expensive?
It’s due to a combination of rarity and Nintendo’s brand power. Not all Wii games are expensive, but some of the popular ones are practically collector’s items at this point. Games like Guilty Gear Accent Core XX Plus can cost upwards of $100 if you want a brand-new copy.
And that’s a lot of money, for a non-exclusive fighting game released in 2009. The same game can be had on other platforms like PS2, PSP, Xbox 360, and PS3. However, the Wii version plays very differently thanks to its use of motion controls.
Another rare Wii game is Xenoblade Chronicles. A JRPG that is considered by many to be one of the best Wii games ever made, and used copies in mint condition can cost upwards of 40 bucks. Once more, that’s a lot of money for a 12-year-old game.
Ironically, the Nintendo Wii’s top-tier build quality means that there is still a lot of demand for used copies of games. Many Wii units originally built in 2006 are still running to this day, along with their Nunchuk controllers. Lots of gamers who are nostalgic for the good old days of gaming in the 2000s are looking for games that they missed out on.
Can You Still Purchase Wii Games?
Yes, you absolutely can. If you happen to own a Wii U, you can purchase old Wii games and play them. The Wii U also supports Wii accessories.
And while the Nintendo Switch doesn’t have backward compatibility with Wii titles, updated ports/ remasters of old Wii games are available for the Switch. You can also use sites like eBay to hunt for copies of old Wii games. Shops that sell used gaming items might also have Wii games in stock.
Why Are Nintendo Games Still Full Price?
There are a few reasons for this, and most of them have to do with how Nintendo curates its brand. This company has been making console games for millions of people around the world since the early 1980s. Nintendo games are always in high demand, especially the platform exclusives that you can’t play anywhere else.
Nintendo games can be played by you, your kids, your parents, and pretty much anyone who wants to have a good time. They aren’t about chasing trends or showcasing photorealistic graphics. Nintendo consoles are designed to deliver a unique experience, and each generation brings something new.
The Switch is a portable gaming beast, the Wii was the first console to nail down motion control. Games made by Nintendo are designed to synergize with the hardware and input system of their current console. New games in the series aren’t marketed as being “better” than the old ones.
Since Nintendo caters to such a wide age demographic, its games are always in demand. Even on the used market, you’ll find copies of SNES and NES games selling for over $100. Nintendo delivers timeless games that remain entertaining for ages, and that’s why people still pay good money for copies of these games.
The Rarest Wii Games
If you visit a Nintendo fan forum or collector’s community, you’ll find some outrageously expensive games. These are either fan favorites or obscure titles that were printed in limited numbers. Some of these rare titles are region-exclusive and have unique gameplay, making them highly sought-after items for Nintendo collectors.
Take Dokapon Kingdom, for instance- a JRPG that plays like Final Fantasy Tactics with some light platforming and adventure elements mixed in. On eBay, listings of this game with just the disk can go upwards of $100. If you want a fully factory-sealed copy with the manual and case, you might have to fork over a thousand dollars.
Another rarity is the demo disk for Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, which is supposed to be a showroom exclusive. Gamers weren’t allowed to purchase it; it was merely a demonstration of the Wii’s capabilities and how they would work with the new Zelda game. However, a few copies have ended up on the used market and they can cost around 200 to 300 dollars.
Was The Wii A Failure?
Some people like to claim that the Wii was a failure because it didn’t manage to snag any of the “big boy” games released by AAA publishers. You know, the ones with photorealistic graphics and mature storylines/ characters. However, by every metric possible, the Wii was a massive commercial success.
It wasn’t designed to compete against the Xbox 360 or PS3, because Nintendo does its own thing. They make games for their consoles, and these are automatically timeless classics. Offering a blend of excellent gameplay, intuitive controls, and brilliant artwork.
Titles like Zelda, Mario, Mario Kart, Wii Sports, Super Smash Bros., Metroid, etc. can’t be had on any other platform. And the Wii trounced both Microsoft and Sony in terms of units sold. It also beat Xbox and PlayStation in terms of video game copies shipped, which makes this Nintendo console the definitive 7th-generation champion.
The Most Successful Wii Game
Without a doubt, Wii Sports. Prepare yourself to hear the number of copies this game sold- 82.9 million. For comparison, the best-selling PS3 game is GTA V with 29.52 million copies.
And the best-selling Xbox 360 game is Kinect Adventures, with 24 million copies sold. Now, both Kinect Adventures and Wii Sports have something in common. They are both motion-controlled games that were included as pack-ins with each console sold.
However, the pack-in offer wasn’t available in Japan. And even outside Japan, there were periods when the game was sold separately from the console. The same goes for Kinect Adventures, but we all know that the Kinect never really caught on and was a commercial failure.
The Nintendo Wii was a truly amazing piece of kit. Nintendo should have gone with the original project name and called it the Revolution. Because that’s exactly what it was, in a gaming sphere dominated by conventional controllers and AAA titles.
Nintendo’s Wii showed everyone that games are what sell a console, not its hardware specifications. The PS3 has a massively complicated processor made by IBM, Toshiba, and Sony. It was insanely powerful, and cost billions to develop.
However, the PS3 didn’t even come close to replicating Nintendo’s commercial success with the Wii. That’s because Wii games were designed to be fun, above everything else. With the Nunchuk controller, Nintendo’s Wii delivered gamers of all ages a truly unique and memorable experience.