The Nintendo Wii will forever go down as one of Nintendo’s best consoles. Whereas Sony and Microsoft looked to keep one-upping each other, Nintendo tried an alternative approach for its seventh-generation console. Released in 2006, the Wii sold over 101 million units making it the second best-selling home console behind the Nintendo Switch.
Whereas video game consoles had historically been focused on those who had a passion for video games, the Wii crossed over into everyday life with its new playing style. Instead of the traditional controller, the Wii and its “Wii Remote” opened the door to the general gaming public. Even so, the Wii was still full of games that appealed to just about everyone.
What is a Real-Time Strategy Game?
One of the most popular genres of video games, this format is often confused with turn-based strategy but differs in a few important ways. In RTS games, players are able to set up their structures or units in different places on a map with the goal of destroying their opponent. Real-time strategy games are often understood by their gameplay where a player must gather resources to create additional units and structures to defeat an opponent.
In a real-time strategy game, time flows as it does in the real world. The gameplay doesn’t stop and there are no turns. As you are gathering resources, so too is your opponent or enemy. RTS games will traditionally take place on a large map with two or more players battling against each other. Because of the nature of the game, replayability is excellent.
Was the Nintendo Wii Known for Real-Time Strategy?
Overall, the Nintendo Wii wasn’t known for any one particular type of game genre. Instead, it was more recognized for its innovative controller input with the Wii Remote and Nunchuck. Games like Wii Sports were what helped set the Wii up for success with its unique motion control technology.
Of course, the Wii wasn’t completely dedicated to family-friendly titles as there were a large number of games to appeal to the more hardcore gamer. Real-time strategy games are one of those genres and while it’s not the biggest library on the Wii, there are definitely titles that will keep you coming back for more.
#7: Ant Nation
Ant Nation is a mixed real-time strategy game, unsurprisingly, about ants. Super ants, in fact, and it’s your job to help guide them to help the colony’s goal and conquer the world around them.
In this game, you have three main tools that will guide you on your journey. The first is a magnifying glass to help you zoom in and out so you can properly guide your colony on a map. The second is a pipette to use for navigating large groups, and the third and final tool is a pointer tool so you can select one ant to control.
With more than 100 million available, there’s definitely a real-time component as you try and grow your colony, but the game itself was released to decidedly mixed reviews. A 52 Metascore on the Metacritic scale indicates a pretty broad range of thoughts on this title. For some, the tedious grinding to help your ants hoard food was too much, and, for others, the slower pace left the game wanting more engagement on the player’s end.
What’s more is that for a kid-friendly console, the notion that to train your ants, you sometimes need to burn them with a blow torch, is a head-scratching decision from the developers.
#6: Defendin’ DePenguin
Part real-time strategy and part tower defense, Defendin’ DePenguin not only has a cute name but incredibly cute gameplay. This is truly a game for all ages that’s very much a pick-up and play.
The gameplay essentially asks the player to build towers that will hurl projectiles in the form of snowmen and ice cubes at invading animals. As you play, you will follow “Little Blue,” a feisty penguin who is determined to stop animals from invading his little part of the world and stealing their fish stockpile.
As the game progresses, Little Blue must acquire coins to help build new towers, which is where the RTS aspect of this title comes into the frame. In most RTS games, building infrastructure is how you acquire resources to build up defenses but in Defendin’ DePenguin, you must defeat your enemies and earn coins. The more coins you earn, the more defenses you can build, and hope that your defensive patterns are enough to slow down your enemies.
With a 67 Metascore from critics and an 8.5 from users, Defendin’ DePenguin makes good use of the Nintendo Wii’s control scheme all while ensuring gameplay is good for all ages.
#5: Battalion Wars 2
We’re finally in the green on Metacritic as Battalion Wars 2 for the Nintendo Wii is a beloved title and real-time strategy game. Scoring a 75 from critics and 8 out of 10 for users, this game is just plain fun. Between the depth of the tactics necessary to win and the replay value, there’s so much to enjoy about Battalion Wars 2.
If you haven’t played the first game, just know that you are fighting against the “Solar Empire” to charge a super weapon that can cause mass destruction. Right from the start, the cartoony style graphics are a mix of realistic and cartoonish and that’s totally okay as this is a console mostly for families, after all. Your job, as the commander of a battalion, is to capture enemy bases and disrupt their supply lines while also defending your own base.
From driving tanks, commanding ships, or piloting plans, you’re right in the fight as you utilize the Nintendo Wii’s control scheme to control all of your units for an all-out assault on an enemy base. And, while you don’t necessarily have to focus on resource gathering, the real-time strategy necessary to win the day makes this game a must for any Wii owner.
#4: New Play Control! Pikmin
Pikmin is one of those classic Nintendo series that has never reached the same fame as Mario but remains a much-loved series.
Ported over from the GameCube, New Play Control! Pikmin finds players in a world inhabited by Pikmin, who are plant-like creatures that will follow any instructions our main character gives them. As one might expect, there are enemies afoot and these Pikmin-munching predators need to be stopped at all costs.
Metacritic puts this game at a 77 for critics and an 8.7 for users, and when both critics and users agree, that’s a pretty good sign you’re going to enjoy this game. Fighting is mixed in with hunting as you seek out your missing ship parts that are spread over five different areas. Rest assured that resource management, a real-time strategy staple, will play a critical role in your success or failure.
What makes New Play Control! Pikmin so interesting is because its gameplay is limited every day. You start with 30 days to complete your objective of recovering the ship parts but only have 15 minutes per day (in-game) to do so. There’s plenty of replayability to help you successfully achieve your goal and with the adorable characters and art direction, you’ll want to play again and again.
#3: Dawn of Discovery
The year is 1404 and you are the son of King George and your people need your help to recover from an awful famine and drought.
A PC port to the Nintendo Wii, the visuals of the game are near gorgeous and are among the best the RTS genre has to offer on the console. Everything from the dialogue to bright colors just makes this game not just easy to dive into, but a pleasure to stick around and play for hours.
Back to King George and his two sons, William and Edward who couldn’t be any different. Within the “story” campaign, both sons are sent out to cultivate islands to help feed the kingdom’s starving people. You take on the role of William, the nicer of the two sons and the one who wants to peacefully provide for his people whereas Edward wants to conquer.
The game adds a heavy focus on building up your society and maintaining happiness among your subjects, and to do so, you use the Wii Remote as a mouse cursor and it works surprisingly well. It’s a complex game to be sure, but with a Metacritic score of 81 and a user rating of 8.5 out of 10, there’s a whole lot to like.
#2: Swords & Soldiers
Another cutesy title in the Nintendo Wii lineup, Swords & Soldiers is a simplified variant of the real-time strategy genre and it works so, so well. As a real-time strategy game, you are going to need to think fast about how to increase your income, research new features that can help advance your society, and buy more units to defend your land.
The gameplay rests on the back of three different factions with Vikings, Aztecs, and Chinese groups all offering something different, and how they operate will force you to adjust your strategy again and again. The Wii Remote acts as a pointer for clicking on actions you want to take on-screen and you can opt to play with the Wii GamePad.
While real-time strategy games can often be hit and miss on consoles, the simplified gameplay of Swords & Soldiers helps it excel and the Metacritic scores are proof that it all works. Critics offer up a score of 84 while users give a 7.6 out of 10.
#1: Little King’s Story
The perennial favorite of the Nintendo Wii’s real-time strategy lineup of games, Little King’s Story is the highest-rated title on Metacritic.
Opening up with a score of 87 by critics and 8.6 out of 10 by users, the story begins with Corbo, your young player who is about to have his life changed forever. After finding a buried magical crown, Corbo is quickly thrust into the role of King of a land that is limited in resources.
As King, Corbo must navigate the challenges of gathering resources, upgrading his village, and increasing the population. As you get further into gameplay, there’s plenty of combat available alongside exploration, both of which you’ll need to learn to successfully navigate the challenges of being the King.
The animations are adorable and the characters have enough of their own personality to make the game a real treat. The Wii Remote is perhaps the lone downside of the game as it doesn’t double as a pointer control as it does with other RTS games on this list. That’s a big downside as the analog stick isn’t nearly as fun or intuitive to use but it’s easy to overlook the controls thanks to the gameplay you’ll want to come back to again and again.
When it comes to real-time strategy titles, the Nintendo Wii will never go down as the best console for games of this genre. Of course, that’s not to say there are not some diamonds in the rough as proven by titles like Little King’s Story and Swords & Soldiers.