Published on December 28th, 2015 | by octaneblue3
Rare, Hard-to-Find Games for the Wii U
The Wii U may not be as successful as Nintendo would have hoped, but, at the very least, it’s had some excellent releases. Games as Mario Kart 8, Splatoon, and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U are all exclusives to the Wii U. While those three games are selling well for the console and are easy to find in stores, a number of Wii U games have become very difficult to find as new, sealed copies, at least for a decent price. Many of these games are actually published by Nintendo as well. Without further ado, here’s a list (in no particular order) of some rare Wii U games in North America. The prices listed here are current as of the date of this post; if this post is updated, a note will be left after this paragraph. Collector’s or Limited Editions will not be included on this list.
UPDATE 1 (Feb. 29, 2016) – Removed Pikmin 3, which will receive a budget-priced Nintendo Selects re-release in March 2016. Removed Bayonetta 2, which received a budget-priced (albeit standalone) re-release in Feb. 2016. Replaced it with the first Bayonetta game.
Release Date: November 18, 2012
Published by 505 Games, Funky Barn was a launch title for the Wii U. The critical reception for this farm simulation title was not good, as the game has score of 50 on Metacritic. Perhaps due to the lack of demand for the game, it seems to be out-of-print. New copies of the game are selling for over $60 on eBay. The game probably isn’t worth getting at that price, unless you’re going for a complete disc collection on the Wii U. Here’s a fun fact, though: Funky Barn‘s developer Tantalus Interactive collaborated with Nintendo on The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD.
Release Date: November 18, 2012
The only basketball title on the Wii U, this one likely became rare and out-of-print due to publisher Take-Two Interactive ceasing support for the Wii U not long after launch. There aren’t that many new, sealed copies of the game listed on Amazon or eBay, but the copies that are listed are currently available at $60 and up.
Rapala Pro Bass Fishing
Release Date: December 4, 2012
This game didn’t seem to have a very large printing, because there’s exactly one review for this game on Metacritic, with a score of 3/10. There aren’t many listings for the game on Amazon or eBay either. While one eBay seller, as of this writing, is selling new, sealed copies with a Buy It Now price of about $18, everyone else is selling new copies for $52 and up. So if you actually want this game, you should probably get it sooner than later.
LEGO City Undercover
Release Date: March 18, 2013
A collaboration title between TT Games, Warner Bros. Interactive, and Nintendo, LEGO City Undercover is a rare third-party exclusive for the Wii U in more ways than one. Most major retailers don’t directly sell the game anymore. A used copy of the game now goes for around $55, while new copies go for over $70. LEGO City Undercover is available on the Nintendo eShop for $59.99, but if you want to opt for a physical copy, it will be tough to find one for regular price now.
Game & Wario
Release Date: June 23, 2013
The latest entry in the long-running WarioWare series didn’t receive critical acclaim; it has an average of 61 on Metacritic, the second-lowest score for a game in the series. I’m not sure how well the game sold, but I’d wager that it didn’t sell well at all. So perhaps that’s why the game is now out-of-print. This game is, however, available on the Nintendo eShop, if you don’t mind going digital. A physical copy of the game originally retailed for $39.99, but that is now the average price for a used copy. A new copy goes for about $56 or more.
Phineas and Ferb: Quest for Cool Stuff
Release Date: August 12, 2013
I would probably guess that this game has become rare and out-of-print because the Phineas and Ferb cartoon that this game is based on aired its series finale this past summer. The Wii U version of this game only has one review on Metacritic, with a score of 50). Even though this game is rare on the Wii U, it is readily available on several other platforms. As of this post, there are exactly three listings for new and sealed copies on Amazon, ranging from $50-70. On eBay, there are exactly two listings of the game, both at about $80.
New Super Luigi U
Release Date: August 25, 2013
This expansion to New Super Mario Bros. U was originally released on the Nintendo eShop in June 2013 for $19.99, but later received a standalone physical release for $29.99. The physical version features a unique green case, making it a nice collector’s item. Not surprisingly, the physical version seems to be out-of-print, with new copies of the game going for well over the original MSRP. A double game pack featuring New Super Mario Bros. U + New Super Luigi U recently launched with an MSRP of $59.99, but be prepared to pay around the same price if you really want the standalone disc release of New Super Luigi U.
Wii Party U
Release Date: October 25, 2013
This game was released as a bundle, containing the game and a black Wii Remote Plus. The price of a new, sealed bundle has gone up to over $75. Some sellers are selling the game by itself for about $35, which isn’t a bad price if you don’t need another Wii Remote. This game is also available on the Nintendo eShop if you want the game but don’t mind getting it digitally.
Barbie Dreamhouse Party
Release Date: November 12, 2013
This game isn’t really that expensive right now, with new copies on Amazon ranging from $40 to $77. However, there aren’t very many listings for it online. Major online retailers no longer carry the game. This is available on the Nintendo eShop for $9.99, so if you want this game for whatever reason, don’t bother buying a disc version unless you’re going for a complete Wii U collection.
Hello Kitty Kruisers
Release Date: April 14, 2014
Clearly this is not a must-own title, but the price for new copies have increased to over $60. According to Nintendo’s web site, this game only goes for $9.99 digitally, so this is an instance of a budget title becoming rare for whatever reason. Interestingly enough, the official Nintendo web site still has “TBD” as its release date. This game probably didn’t get a huge printing on Wii U, hence its rarity.
Wii Sports Club
Release Date: July 23, 2014
The original release of Wii Sports on the Wii was a system seller. However, the HD remake of the game on the Wii U, even with online play, was not a system seller. Nevertheless, each of the five games launched as separate paid downloads on the Nintendo eShop many months before a physical release, which eventually happened in the summer of 2014. The disc contains all five games, similar to the original version of the game on the Wii. Unfortunately, the physical copy of the game has skyrocketed in price; new, sealed copies of the game are going for over $85 on Amazon.
Release Date: October 24, 2014
Bayonetta 2 was difficult to find during the holiday season of 2015. Once Bayonetta was announced as a DLC fighter for Super Smash Bros. for 3DS & Wii U, pretty much remaining copies were snatched up in stores and through online retailers, and many copies appeared on eBay for ridiculous prices, well above the game’s original MSRP of $59.99. From the game’s launch up until late 2015, all physical copies of Bayonetta 2 included a Wii U version of the first Bayonetta. However, when Nintendo re-launched Bayonetta 2 in February 2015, these copies did not include the first Bayonetta, but was released at a budget price point of $29.99. As such, if you’re looking for a physical copy of the first Bayonetta, you’ll have to hope to get lucky to find the now-rare 2-disc edition of Bayonetta 2, or you can try to buy the first Bayonetta for Wii U as a standalone, secondhand purchase.
Release Date: December 11, 2015
When this game was completely absent from Nintendo’s E3 2015 presentation, it was thought that this game would not reach North America. When Nintendo of America finally did release the game here, the critical reception was quite awful. I was reluctant to put this on here since Devil’s Third is a very recent release, but the game was not produced in a large quantity at all for its launch. Maybe Nintendo of America anticipated that this game would have a very lukewarm reception. Prices for new copies of the game have risen to well over $100, far more than the game’s MSRP of $59.99. It remains to be seen how Nintendo of America will handle this game’s shortage, but as of this post, online retailers have been receiving small quantities of the game on-and-off, but stock depletes very quickly.
Do you notice any titles not on this list? Leave a comment or send us a tweet, and we’ll add it to the group! Which one of these games do you have?