The development of motion controls in video games meant that players could experience video games in a whole new fashion, allowing players to feel the game rather than simply witness the action. The idea was so trendy that it catapulted Nintendo back into first place during the Wii generation of consoles, by a wide margin. However, somewhat ironically, this same technology which propelled Nintendo to the top is now viewed as gimmicky and looks like it will disappear from gaming in favor of the new fad, virtual reality. For the most part, we’re glad to see motion controls becoming a thing of the past. However, the following games, all of which used motion controls to some extent, were actually pretty good, and deserve to be recognized, even as motion controls fall out of the public consciousness.
10. Spider-Man 3 (Wii, 2007)
Look no further than Spider-Man 3 for an inexpensive, under-the-radar game that takes advantage of the Wii’s motion controls in an effective manner. This game has the dubious honor of playing completely differently depending on what console you’re using, which can be quite confusing. However, the Wii edition, which was developed by Vicarious Visions, uses the Wii Nunchuck and Wiimote in a brilliant fashion, turning a mediocre game into an absolute delight. There’s something undeniably enticing about having the ability to shoot webs from your wrists, and Spider-Man 3 offers the best way to majestically web-sling across a city. As a whole, the game isn’t nearly as good as the vastly underrated Spider-Man 2 for the PlayStation 2, but for pure motion controls, very few titles manage to match the crispness and responsiveness of the Wii version of Spider-Man 3.
9. Killzone 3 (PS3, 2011)
The first two Killzone titles were excellent first-person shooters, even though they really didn’t do anything to revolutionize the genre. What differentiates Killzone 3 from its predecessors, however, is the use of the PlayStation Move’s shooting attachment, called the Sharp Shooter. This underutilized peripheral turns an already fun game into a must-play experience. While it will never match the accuracy of a mouse and keyboard, the Sharp Shooter is far more precise than a traditional controller and is one of the best shooting attachments ever made. Unfortunately, the requirements to fully experience Killzone 3 with motion controls are high, as players will need a PlayStation Move, a navigation controller and the Sharp Shooter attachment. Acquiring the necessary pieces may not be practical, but those that are fortunate enough to experience Killzone 3 the way it’s meant to be played will find a fabulous first-person shooter they will likely enjoy.
8. Wario Land: Shake It! (Wii, 2008)
When Nintendo initially transitioned Mario to their portable Game Boy, the company apparently didn’t know what to do with the mascot. They seemed determined not to carry a straight port of the NES classic, opting instead to brand Mario Land as its own separate experience for the Game Boy. While the portable game was revolutionary at the time, Mario felt oddly out of place outside the Mushroom Kingdom and with different physics in his movement. While Mario Land II was a massive improvement, it wasn’t until Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 that Nintendo discovered what worked the best in a portable platformer. Wario Land: Shake It, which marks the debut of the series on a home console, utilizes the established brand and beautifully implements motion controls by allowing players to constantly interact with the environment. By shaking the controller, various tasks are performed such as raising columns and stunning enemies. The game also contains platforming sections performed on unicycles, which are completed by tilting the remote.
7. Red Steel 2 (Wii, 2010)
Developer Ubisoft should be commended for their perseverance in providing the Wii with an outstanding first-person shooter that successfully takes advantage of the console’s motion-sensing capabilities, especially since Nintendo consoles had typically shunned third party games in recent history. Their original vision was Red Steel, a stylistic shooter that arrived for the Wii’s launch. The title was widely panned, as reviewers found the game too ambitious for its own good. Rather than give up on the project, Ubisoft saw several strong elements present within the game, and that it had immense potential. As a result, thankfully, Red Steel 2 was developed and released, a title which offers flawless motion controls. The game blows away its predecessor in every detail, to the point that there is no comparison between the two. Unless players are unearthing every piece of video game history, skip the first game and jump straight into Red Steel 2, one of the best first person shooters to implement motion controls.
6. WarioWare: Smooth Moves (Wii, 2007)
Nintendo was clearly the console of choice for local multiplayer mayhem throughout the Wii’s lifespan. However, the biggest party on the Wii surprisingly didn’t belong to Mario Party with the title rightfully belonging to WarioWare: Smooth Moves. The WarioWare series began on the Game Boy Advance, where it flourished and eventually received a GameCube rerelease of the original title. The series progressed to the Nintendo DS prior to arriving on the Wii, where the 2006 release marked the first time an original WarioWare game was designed exclusively for home consoles. Developer Intelligent Systems, known for their spectacular Fire Emblem and Paper Mario series, showed once again why they are one of Nintendo’s best video game developers, as WarioWare provides an amazing party experience designed exclusively for the motion capabilities of the Wii remote. Like many party games, the WarioWare experience does become much shallower when playing alone, but with friends or family, there are very few motion-controlled games that can match the replay value and longevity that WarioWare provides.
5. Journey – Collector’s Edition (PS3, 2012)
Journey, which released digitally in 2012, was an incredible little game that was critically acclaimed for its fantastic style and unique gameplay. It quickly earned a retail release, called the “Collector’s Edition”, which included not only Journey, but also developer Thatgamecompany’s two previous titles. One of those titles is Flower, which may not be as immersive as Journey, but both games also provided motion controls never before witnessed on a Sony console, through the use of Playstation’s Move controller. By combining tight controls with incredibly immersive environments, Flower and Journey are two of the best of what motion controls can offer, and making this compilation a definite must-buy.
4. Wii Fit U (Wii U, 2013)
Wii Fit U follows in the footsteps of its predecessors on the previous console by proving an engaging way for players to perform physical activities. Yoga, strength training, games that improve your balance and various other fitness routines are made possible with the innovative Balance Board, which acts like a Wii controller and senses motion and pressure. The device then syncs this data to your Wii in order to replicate your body’s movements. Although this limits the majority of the activities to a single player experience, Wii Fit U provides an ingenious use of motion controls by integrating real life fitness benefits into the form of entertainment. The Wii Fit franchise has proven to have wide-reaching appeal, ranging from individuals feeling out-of-shape, to people attempting to recover from injuries and regain flexibility. Overall, Wii Fit U is an excellent exercise routine for all shapes and sizes.
3. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii, 2011)
Initially, there was a significant amount of backlash toward a Legend of Zelda title that didn’t use a traditional controller. First of all, the two Zelda titles already available for the Nintendo DS were widely panned for forcing touchscreen controls on players, and those gimmicky games had aged horribly. Furthermore, the first Zelda title to appear on the Wii, Twilight Princess, offered both support for the Wii Remote as well as a controller, and the majority of players preferred the use of a traditional controller with that title. Thus, Skyward Sword incurred a fair amount of skepticism, as gamers weren’t keen on a game that utilized motion controls more than any Zelda game before it. Fortunately, Nintendo was able to prove how fun motion controls could be, and players who have experienced Skyward Sword found that the same effects could not have been translated on a traditional controller. Skyward Sword is a celebration of motion controls as an integral portion of the gameplay, and a landmark achievement that shouldn’t be missed.
2. Wii Sports Resort (Wii, 2009)
Wii Sports proved to be one of the best launch titles ever made and was successful in selling the Wii as a brand to consumers of all ages. Wii Sports is an amazing title that still holds up to this day, but aside from nostalgia, there’s no reason to play Wii Sports today. when you could play its superior successor. Wii Sports Resort is a collection of 12 sporting activities, making it one of the better values in video games. The sports include enhanced games from the original Wii Sports as well as fun and exciting new sports such as swordplay, canoeing and wakeboarding, which show off the improved accuracy and precision capabilities of the Wii MotionPlus attachment. Wii Sports Resort is one of the most immersive experiences in gaming, which is fun for all ages and appeals to a wider demographic than any game that preceded it.
1. Metroid Prime: Trilogy (Wii, 2009)
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption shows how impactful motion controls can be, as the game was spectacular despite not matching the atmospheric suspense or narrative of the first two GameCube titles. That isn’t meant to be a slight on Metroid Prime 3, as the first two titles in the series are simply two of the best games ever made. However, Metroid Prime 3’s updated control scheme allowed it to stand ahead of its peers and gave the Wii its first must-have title. The Metroid Prime Trilogy compilation includes the third game, but also has the two GameCube titles implemented with the new motion control scheme, which prove to be the best way to play Metroid Prime. This is surprising, considering the fantastic games were initially designed for a traditional controller. But Metroid Prime simply works better with motion controls, as even the Nunchuck isn’t neglected, and can be flicked forward to cast the Grapple Beam. Metroid Prime is the rare game where motion controls elevate the experience. and after using motion controls, you might find it impossible to return to the standard controller when revisiting these classic games.