The Nintendo DSi and WiiWare gave small developers opportunities to sell cheap games that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to see.

Lately, the tendency is towards digital games, but in the middle of the 2000’s we were just starting to see indie titles in the Nintendo eShop, and some of them were pretty good.

Big companies started taking notice of the chance to sell cheaper titles, and with a low budget and no distribution costs, many went for a retro look that is still worth playing today.

The Wii was meant to appeal to a more casual market, and bring back gamers to the times of the NES and SNES, who just haven’t tried a new console in a while, with all the buttons, sticks, and complexity modern systems had, it is no surprise that video games weren’t attracting new players.

But these Wii titles take us back with a “retro style” from the 90s in their presentation, and while they look simple compared to what the PS3 and Xbox 360 were offering at the time, they accomplished what games were meant to be: Fun.

So here they are the

5 Best Retro Style Games for the Wii

Blaster Master: Overdrive (Sunsoft, 2010)

This is a reboot of the classic Blaster Master for the original 8-Bit Nintendo console.

Blaster Master Overdrive For WiiWare

Here you take control of a tank in 2D platformer sections, and it works as a sidescroller shooter, but you can get out of the tank and control the human character, and enter caves where it becomes a top-down shooter.

Exploring the world is like in the modern Metroidvania genre, where you can find power-ups and better weapons, and get new abilities that let you enter new places and keep exploring the map.

Sometimes you need to explore in the sidescroller parts as the human character, but you’re very vulnerable to enemy attacks, while in the tank you can sustain more damage and have a powerful cannon. You can also travel faster and jump over bigger gaps.

While it wasn’t as well received as Konami’s efforts to bring back its classic series, those who enjoyed the original game on NES are in for a nice nostalgia trip, and the Wii was the only console where it was available.

Sunsoft later rebooted the series again with Blaster Master Zero, which was better received by critics, but if you have the chance to try out Overdrive, it is worth it.

Heavenly Guardian (Starfish SD, 2007)

This top-view 2D shooter was inspired by the classic series “Pocky & Rocky”, and was even meant to be part of the franchise, but since the developer couldn’t reach an agreement for the license, they released it as an original IP, but the gameplay is mostly the same.

You take control of a Snow Goddess that shoots ice projectiles and is accompanied by a magical white rabbit that floats around her and can throw snowballs at opponents, freezing them on contact.

Heavenly Guardian

There are different types of ice blocks you can shoot, like a big, powerful but slow one, a three-way shoot like the Spread Gun in Contra, a pyramid-looking one that shoots really fast, and you can summon a blizzard to attack a big part of the screen if you gather enough snowball items scattered in the levels.

The maps are huge, with lots of enemies and places to explore, and you can collect crystals for score and even find snow bunnies that give you extra points when you complete a mission. At the end of each level, there’s a Boss Fight, and you have to use all your abilities to overcome them.

Princess Sayuki has a life meter represented by snowflakes and several lives. You can find food in the levels in the form of dango (dumplings on a stick) to replenish lives.

Heavenly Guardian was released for the PS2 a year after the Wii version and is now available for Nintendo Switch, PC, and PS4 with the name “Snow Battle Princess Sayuki”, which is a testament to the game’s quality, which still holds up today.

This is a fun, cute-looking, and very long game (for an Arcade style) that also has 2-Player Mode, and it’s entertaining enough for those looking for an old-school top-view shooting adventure. It deserves a couple of playthroughs.

Contra ReBirth (Konami, 2009)

Konami brought back the beloved Run N Gun that was all the hype in the late 80s and 16-Bit consoles in a new 2D sprite-based action game.

Contra ReBirth for Nintendo Wii Ware

The story is sort of a reboot for the franchise, and once you start playing you’ll see elements and hear music remixed from the early entries in the franchise.

It has the same gameplay as Contra III, and you can hang on platforms and tubes, and climb walls that have a ladder-like sticky surface just like in that classic SNES title.

You can play it with a Wiimote flipped to the side like an NES controller, the classic one, or a GameCube one.

If you use a Wiimote, you stand in place when you pull the trigger, while you can configure the other controllers to use a shoulder button to stand and be able to run while shooting, just like in the Alien Wars for Super Nintendo.

While it is a short game compared to the campaigns we were getting at the time of its release, it is a nice throwback to simpler times, and with its non-stop action we were reminded of what made Contra so great back in the Arcades, Super Nintendo, and Sega Genesis.

Unfortunately, the Contra series didn’t get any truly good games on the PSOne and PS2, but maybe if we had gotten a game like this in the late ’90s, the series would’ve survived with more and better-looking games, as Castlevania did, or how Metal Slug managed to stay relevant during the 2000s.

Contra ReBirth was only available for Wii Ware, it’s not included in the recently released Anniversary Collection, so if you ever come across a Wii that has it installed, get it on and blast some aliens!

Mega Man 9 & 10 (Capcom, 2008-2010)

The original Mega Man series got 6 entries on the NES, it got a 16-Bits title for Super Nintendo, and a 32-Bits entry, Mega Man 8 for PSX and Saturn in 1997, before Capcom decided to focus on all of the other spin-offs series in the franchise and left the original one without a new game for years.

Mega Man 9 from Nintendo eShop

So it was a total surprise when Mega Man 9 came out for Wii Ware and in classic 8-Bit style!

Both Mega Man 9 and 10 have the classic gameplay of Mega Man 2, where you walk to the sides, jump, shoot, and that’s basically it.

You select a stage, go and defeat the boss, take its weapon to use it yourself, and then try out against another robot boss to see if it’s weak against it. This is classic 80s platforming at its Best. And it is NES Hard!

Both games have been recently launched for modern consoles in the Mega Man Legacy Collection 2, and feature challenging platforming and boss fights that will make you throw your wiimote to the wall in rage just like in the good old days.

If you want a true Retro experience on the Wii, this is as classic as it gets.

Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth (Konami, 2009)

Originally released for the GameBoy in 1989, Castlevania: The Adventure is a sidescroller platformer, in the style of the original game for Super Nintendo. Although the gameplay feels a tad slower and you can’t collect secondary weapons to use.

Castlevania The Adventure ReBirth

For the Wii Ware, Konami decided to give it a full remake, and the result is a beautiful game that’s perfect for any fan of the immortal vampire hunter series before the gameplay became more like a Metroid title.

If you enjoyed Super Castlevania IV and Dracula X on Super Nintendo, or even if you got to play the GameBoy title, this is an excellent addition to the legacy of Castlevania. It’s a great way to bring back the retro feel of the franchise in a time when we had many RPG elements in the Nintendo DS entries and the 3D games were becoming generic action adventures.

In this remake, you can use sub-weapons (by pressing up+attack just like in NES and GB), and if you play with a nunchuck connected to the Wiimote, you can even flick it to use your whip. Talk about immersion.

Just like in Rondo of Blood, there are branching paths in some stages, that lead to you going to passing through different levels on your way to Dracula, and you can find keys hidden in the candles, that open locked doors that can lead to new paths, or special items to make your task easier.

This is a great title that unfortunately we haven’t seen on any other platform, and it’s a shame that Konami hasn’t included it in the Castlevania Anniversary Collection, since it would be the perfect place to relive this awesome title for those who never had the chance to play it back in the Wii days.