9 | Wii Sports Resort | Wii
If you've purchased a Wii since 2009, you've probably played Wii Sports Resort -- it came bundled with the system. WSR takes your Mii on a Club Med-esque vacation to the fictional beach resort Wuhu Island. Players have twelve different sports -- archery, sword fighting, Frisbee golf, and cycling to name a few -- and can compete cooperatively, against a computer, or solo. The game even tracks progress, awarding stamps and experience points to players developing their Wii sports skills.
Unlike popular sports simulation game franchises like Madden or MLB: The Show, Wii Sports Resort is a kind of sports-themed party game. Up to four friends can compete head to head or form teams, mimicking the basic movements of each of the sports, free of the confines of a stationary controller. The cute, cartoonish charm and excellent in-game physics compliments the integrity of Wii Sports Resort being both an adult and kid-friendly game. It works as a rainy day retreat and after-hours party.
8 | Punch-Out!! | Wii
Punch-Out!! is a classic series; its roots are based in American arcades. The Wii exclusive Punch-Out!! game is a big deal for a number of reasons. Not only is it the first addition to the series in over a decade, it's also the first to be rendered in 3D with full motion video and it's got a multiplayer mode. You can play it like the original home console version, holding your Wii remote horizontally and using 1 and 2 as A and B. Or you can use the motion sensing capabilities of the Wii to punch with the Wii remote and nunchuk.
The game centers on your character Little Mac, and it's up to you to bring him up in the professional boxing circuits. The boxers you face range from relatively easy "tutorial" characters to exceptionally skilled heavyweights. Every opponent is brimming with character, from King Hippo (a veteran of the series) the enormous oaf to Mr. Sandman, the undefeated MVBA World Champion. Even Donkey Kong makes a special cameo appearance (appearing in Last Stand Mode and Exhibition Mode) as the Lord of Games.
7 | NBA Jam: On Fire Edition | Xbox 360, PS3
”Booooom-shaka-laka!” Any gamer worth their salt has to be familiar with NBA Jam’s overzealous announcer, and his many over-excited in-game exclamations. But the constant spouting of these silly slogans is just a small element in the game’s overall over-the-top charm.
Featuring characters with big heads pulling off bigger stunts with downright huge attitudes, NBA Jam successfully blurred the line between “sports game” and “arcade game” on its initial release, and On Fire Edition, the series’ most recent iteration, brings that same arcade-y charm to HD-gen consoles. It’s an over-the-top blast, and it comes highly recommended for b-ball pros and newbies alike.