With all of the anticipation of a new console from Nintendo to be unveiled at this year's E3, we can safely say that the Wii is on its way to retirement. Within the past five years since its release in 2006, Nintendo's Wii system supported many great features that have pleased casual and not-so-casual gamers alike. Arguably, the Wii's best feature was the ability to download old and often formerly unreleased games with the Virtual Console feature. Sin and Punishment, once a Japanese exclusive N64 title, for example, was made available to the entire world thanks to this service.
However, there are still some games that were never made available for download on the Wii. The following are five games that need to be released for Virtual Console before the Wii retires. The fans are still waiting!
5. Killer Instinct (SNES, 1994)
Thanks to Street Fighter IV and the new Mortal Kombat, the recent revival of fighting games made it feel like it's 1993 all over again. Another popular fighter at the time was Killer Instict, released for the SNES and arcade in 1994. This was the game that you showed off to your friends in order to impress them with its (at the time) beautiful graphics. The game had a memorable set of characters, great soundtrack, and finishing moves that were comparable to Mortal Kombat. However, since Microsoft acquired Rare in 2002, many of Rare-based titles such as Killer Instinct quickly have become forgotten. It's a shame, since a virtual console release of the game could give the series a much-needed revival.
4. Chrono Trigger (SNES, 1995)
Considered as the Back to the Future of video games, Chrono Trigger is one of the most memorable role playing games to be released on any platform. With memorable character designs by Akira Toriyama (creator of the Dragonball), soundtrack composition by Yasunori Mitsuda, multiple storyline endings, it's a shame that this work of art hasn't been released on the U.S. Virtual Console yet.
3. Final Fantasy III (SNES)
Now properly known as Final Fantasy VI, this particular iteration of the popular Final Fantasy series hasn't received the attention it deserves. Regarded by gaming enthusiasts as the greatest RPG ever crafted, fans have eagerly awaited a re-release of FFVI since the day the virtual console feature of the Wii was even announced. Featuring the largest cast of playable characters in any of the numbered Final Fantasy titles, some of the best graphics on the SNES, soundtrack composer Nobuo Uematsu's finest work, and a deep storyline that mature issues, Final Fantasy VI was an RPG unlike any other. It pushed itself away from the predictable themes and stories of other RPGs at the time. Since Square-Enix likes to resell their existing games as often as possible, it's unlikely that Final Fantasy VI will be released on the virtual console outside of Japan. Which is a shame– every gamer, young or old, should experience this masterpiece.
2. Star Fox (1993, SNES)
The Star Fox series, unfortunately, has been abused so often that modern gamers just don't care about it any more. It's such a sad fate. The SNES game, along with its amazing sequel Star Fox 64, are among the best games of their respective consoles. The SNES original was a technical marvel at the time– it used the Super FX Chip in order to create a polygonal, three dimensional world on the SNES, which was a system that mostly had sprite-based games. Star Fox needs a revival more than other other video game series, and a virtual console title could have given it the jump-start that it needed.
1. Earthbound (SNES, 1995)
The cult following for Earthbound has been amazing. Released in 1995 for the SNES, Earthbound received very low commercial reaction in the United States, selling only 140,000 copies in North America. After the popularity boom of Japanese RPGS a few years later, Earthbound was unearthed and recognized as a game ahead of its time, particularly for its unique art style, quirky yet serious storyline, and most notably, its humor. Super Smash Bros' inclusion of the game's protagonist, Ness, can also be credited with the resurrected popularity of the series.
According the June 2008 issue of Nintendo Power magazine, Earthbound was the #1 “Readers' Most Wanted” Virtual Console title. Its unreleased prequel, Mother, was on the same list as #4. There is no doubt that the fans want Earthbound, and it's so unfortunate that Nintendo isn't doing,
much anything about it. Let's hope there are some Earthbound-related surprises down the road.