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Nintendo Wii U & 3DS Holiday Gift Guide 2015

by Dean James

Nintendo

Christmas is only two days away and that means we only have a couple days of shopping left, which is when places will likely be very crowded with last minute shoppers. This means you will want to know what you are buying in advance so you can get out quicker.

As a result, we’ve put together yet another gift guide for you, this time for the two Nintendo platforms that are out in the Wii U and 3DS.

While we stuck to only games from 2015 in the PlayStation and Xbox guides, this one will actually include a few staples that anybody who is getting a Nintendo system must have in their library from previous years.

While the NX may possibly be upon us in 2016, the Wii U itself has a very solid library. Even with the rather weak holiday lineup, the system had its fair share of quality games released during 2015, which take up the majority of this list.

This list is designed especially for those looking to shop for another, but it definitely can be a good guide to the best games for both the Wii U and 3DS that released this year for anybody shopping for themselves as well.

Wii U 32 GB Console Bundle

This is definitely something that would have been best gotten around Black Friday when the very limited Splatoon & Super Smash Bros. console was available, but for those that don’t luck out and somehow find that, the Mario Kart 8 bundle is still a great deal to get.

Wii U Pro Controller/Wii Remote & Nunchuk

The Wii U is definitely the most unique of the three consoles out right now, as it has varying controller schemes. While the GamePad is great for some games, a must for Wii U owners is the Wii U Pro Controller, which is one of the most comfortable of the modern controllers. Beyond that, if the gift recipient does not have a Wii Remote and Nunchuk from the Wii, you may want to look into picking up a pair or two of those as well.

Splatoon

Easily one of the biggest surprise hits of the year, as this incredibly unique shooter managed to not only bring in casual gamers, but also hardcore ones as well. The shooting is very different from the usual, which makes this one so enticing. Even better is that we consistently keep getting more free DLC, which makes the value of this game even higher.

Super Smash Bros. For Wii U

While not releasing this year, this is one game that you absolutely have to own as a Wii U owner. The main reason it’s included is the fact that the DLC for the game has come out throughout this year, with even more to come. The fact that you can now add both Cloud and Ryu to the game is reason enough to pick this one up.

Super Mario Maker

Truly a love letter to classic Mario fans, Super Mario Make is without a doubt one of the funnest games of the year. Giving gamers the ability to build their own 2D Mario levels with ease is a pure joy and the mechanics of doing so are so well done. On top of that, you can share your own stages or play others online, adding near infinite replayability to this game.

Xenoblade Chronicles X

This may be the last big release for the Wii U of the year, but it was so worth the wait. Offering perhaps the biggest open world map in gaming history, which is even more impressive by how lively it feels. The gameplay is very well crafted and meshes well with this world that will provide a gamer countless hours of gameplay.

Yoshi’s Woolly World

Also one of the more recent release for the Wii U in the US, Yoshi’s Woolly World is one of the better platformers to come out this year. Utilizing the absolutely gorgeous yarn visuals, this game is one that can be enjoyed by people of all ages by keeping the difficulty at just the right level.

Mario Kart 8

Just like Super Smash Bros., this is a game that is actually from 2014 but it had to be on the list as a true system seller. However, that is not all, as it also received new DLC late last year as well as this past Spring, so this is one that has even more content than ever if the very affordable DLC is bought as well.

Skylanders: SuperChargers

The only multiplatform game on the list, Skylanders: SuperChargers just seems to fit right on a Nintendo platform. For a game like this, visuals certainly aren’t everything and it performs just as well here as the most powerful consoles. What puts it over the to puts it over the top is the Nintendo partnership this year that brought us what have been donned Skymiibos for Donkey Kong and Bowser, as well as vehicles, both of which can be used right in the game.

New Nintendo 3DS Handheld

As with every previous Nintendo handheld, revisions of the system have come out after the initial one and following the 3DS XL a couple years ago, we got the New Nintendo 3DS XL earlier this year, with the regular New Nintendo 3DS coming later in the year as well as part of a bundle. With special editions that you can possibly find revolving around Zelda on the XL and the Animal Crossing bundle for the regular version, you can’t go wrong, though I personally prefer the larger screen on the XL version.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D

Having one of the quickest turnarounds from announcement to release in recent Nintendo history, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D is a must have for any 3DS owner that is a Zelda fan of any sort. Majora’s Mask was always one of the underrated gems of the franchise that got overshadowed by its counterpart Ocarina of Time, but this truly is the opportunity to shine with a few improvements to make it look and play better than ever.

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes

This game may be one that disappointed a lot of gamers upon its announcement and even after its release, but Tri Force Heroes really is a lot of fun to play. With online play available and also the ability to play with friends locally through download play, multiplayer will be your best bet, but even the single player can be fun as well in this multiplayer centric title.

Super Smash Bros. For 3DS

If we had Super Smash Bros. on the list for Wii U, of course we also had to include it for 3DS as well. With the aforementioned additions through DLC, including new characters and stages, and the ability to pick this one up easily on the go, any 3DS owner has to have this one.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3D

With the release of the New Nintendo 3DS coming earlier this year, Xenoblade Chronicles 3D wasn’t too far behind it, bringing one of the most critically acclaimed games of the last generation of consoles to portables. The only thing you must know about this one though is that you have to have a New Nintendo 3DS of some sort to play this one. The original 3DS or 3DS XL cannot play this one at all, so if you are looking to buy this for an RPG lover, make sure you know what type of system they have for sure first.

Pokemon

This is the most vague option on the list, but how can you have a Nintendo handheld without a Pokemon game? With Pokemon taking a break in 2015 in the mainline series, there are a few side games that released that may be good options, such as Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon, though that series is definitely not for everyone. Your best option may in fact be to just buy one of the four mainline games for the 3DS in X, Y, Omega Ruby, or Alpha Sapphire, as they still are as fun to play as they were at launch.

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer

2015 wasn’t the best of years for Animal Crossing fans, as while two new games were released in the series, both were spinoffs that tried very different things. amiibo Festival on Wii U was dreadful, but Happy Home Designer at least captured some of the Animal Crossing spirit, though still being far from a real AC game. For anybody that loves collecting items and designing their own hour to their liking, this could be the game for them.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

The latest game in the Monster Hunter series, this one released earlier this year and proved why people love this series so much. Giving players a lot of control while hunting and capturing creatures, the game even featured some neat Nintendo related secrets that are a lot of fun. Also, this one is played best on the New Nintendo 3DS due to the second stick, so just know that is the best place to play this one, though still playable on the original 3DS unlike Xenoblade Chronicles 3D.

amiibo

Beyond all the games released for the Wii U and 3DS, another perfect gift for any Nintendo fan are amiibo, which have luckily become much easier to come by. With recent restocks of previously impossible to find characters like Marth, Little Mac, Ike, and more, you may be able to find just the right one to give as a gift this year. With series based on Super Smash Bros., Super Mario Bros., Splatoon, Yarn Yoshis, and Animal Crossing, there are plenty to choose from out there.

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