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10 Wii U and 3DS Online Games We Already Miss Playing

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It’s been over two weeks since the servers for the Wii U and 3DS online games shut down for good. Still, the memories of those online battles, the laughter from hilarious Miiverse posts, and the unexpected friendships we forged remain in our hearts. 

Although we can still enjoy these Wii U and 3DS online games in single-player, something is missing—the spark of that sense of community, healthy competition, and shared online experience. The games just aren’t the same without them.

Let’s take a bittersweet trip down memory lane and remember some of the best Wii U and 3DS online games.

Wii U Games

Although the Wii U didn’t have it easy throughout its lifespan, it didn’t mean its games suffered the same fate as the console. These Wii U games proved that fun and quality trumped all, especially when playing online.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Super Smash Bros Wii U Screenshot

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U brought the iconic Nintendo brawler to high definition. With a massive roster of beloved characters from the company’s history (and a few surprise guests), the game offered endless match-up combinations. 

Players could duke it out in classic mode or try new additions, such as the chaotic 8-player Smash. Online play brought these battles worldwide, although it was a bit laggy at times. However, the functionality allowed fans to test their skills against anyone. Smash for Wii U also offered inventive stage creation tools, making it possible to design battlefields right on the GamePad. 

While its online services are no longer supported, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U remains a legendary installment in the series.


Splatoon Wii U Screenshot

Splatoon introduced a refreshing take on the shooter genre—replacing bullets with ink while focusing on territorial control. 

Teams of Inklings—squid-like creatures with a knack for fashion—battled to cover the most ground in their team’s color. Players could switch between humanoid forms to shoot ink projectiles and squid forms to swim through their own color and recharge. Splatoon‘s maps were brilliantly designed, with verticality and hidden pathways allowing for sneaky tactics and surprise attacks. 

The game’s online modes were a major highlight, with fast-paced Turf Wars and ranked battles like Splat Zones creating addictive gameplay loops. Even when its online services were active, Splatoon wasn’t without its technical hiccups, but its charm and gameplay easily outweighed those issues. It became a surprise hit for Nintendo, proving that something different could thrive even in a crowded genre.

Super Mario Maker

Super Mario Maker Wii U Screenshot

Super Mario Maker was a dream come true for Mario fans everywhere. It took the classic level design tools of the Super Mario series and placed them directly (and officially) in players’ hands. 

The Wii U’s GamePad made building levels as easy as sketching, giving players access to familiar assets and new elements from iconic Mario titles. Players could craft levels that honored traditional themes, create bizarre puzzle courses, or even design levels that were nearly impossible to beat. 

The best part was sharing these creations online, where millions of other players could take on the challenge and offer feedback. Super Mario Maker brought together a global community of creators and players, sparking endless inspiration, friendly competition, and a healthy dose of frustration from those notoriously difficult Kaizo levels.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Wii U Screenshot

In Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, players stepped into the role of a hunter, tasked with tracking down and defeating gigantic monsters. Each hunt was an epic undertaking, requiring careful preparation, knowledge of monster weaknesses, and mastery of a chosen weapon. 

However, the game truly shone in online multiplayer, where forming a well-rounded hunting party created opportunities for strategic teamwork. Taking down colossal creatures together, sharing resources, and celebrating victories were core parts of the experience. 

Though its online modes may no longer be active, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate remains a testament to the series’ unique blend of combat, progression, and the joy of facing challenges alongside friends.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Edition

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Screenshot

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 brought the combo-filled action of the Tekken series to the Wii U.  Boasting a massive roster spanning the series’ history, the game specialized in flashy tag-team battles. Players could execute juggling combos, switch between partners mid-fight for extended damage, and even launch devastating combined assaults. 

The game also offered fun customization features, letting you outfit your favorite fighters in hilarious costumes, such as Toad. While plagued with occasional lag, the online mode hosted lively matches, tournaments, and a dedicated fan community.

3DS Games

Unlike the Wii U, the 3DS enjoyed massive success throughout its lifespan. Naturally, that also meant plenty of games to enjoy with others online. Here are five of the best 3DS games that offered an online experience.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Animal Crossing New Leaf 3DS Screenshot

As the newly appointed mayor of your town, Animal Crossing: New Leaf gives you the freedom to shape your life and community as you see fit. Spend your days fishing, catching bugs, planting flowers, or simply chatting with your quirky animal neighbors. 

New Leaf also greatly expanded the customization options of previous titles; you could design your clothes, decorate your house to the finest detail, and even enact ordinances to change how your town functioned. The game’s gentle pace, charming visuals, and relaxing soundtrack created a sense of comforting escapism. 

While it didn’t have traditional online battles or competitive modes, sharing your town with friends via StreetPass or connecting online to visit other villages added a touch of social interaction to the already vibrant experience.

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

Pokemon Ultra Sun Ultra Moon 3DS Key Art

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon took the foundation of their predecessors, Sun and Moon, and built upon them to create an even richer and more expansive journey through the sunny Alola region. 

The game’s familiar tale took a new turn with the introduction of the enigmatic Ultra Recon Squad and the powerful presence of Necrozma. New forms for legendary Pokemon, additional trials, and even a dash of dimension-hopping through Ultra Wormholes kept seasoned trainers on their toes.  

While the core gameplay remains true to classic Pokemon, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon offered an expanded exploration of the islands, new Z-moves to master in battle, and a post-game story arc that added depth to the Alolan adventure.

The Legend of Zelda: TriForce Heroes

Triforce Heroes 3DS Key Art

Departing from the traditional solo journey, Triforce Heroes demanded teamwork from a trio of Links, each clad in outfits granting special abilities. Together, players navigated puzzle-filled dungeons, working in tandem to solve environmental challenges and defeat bosses. The Totem mechanic, where Links could stack atop each other, added a layer of cooperation and coordination. 

Triforce Heroes‘ online mode was its true star, letting you connect with friends or strangers to conquer levels together. Communication was vital, from sharing hearts to utilizing quick emoticons to strategize during battle. While not without quirks in its online implementation,  Triforce Heroes was a delightful and refreshing spin on the Zelda formula, proving that even Hyrule is sometimes best explored with a few friends by your side.

Mario Kart 7

Mario Kart 7 3DS Key Art

Blazing across familiar tracks and brand new courses, Mario Kart 7 introduced new mechanics, like gliding through the air and diving underwater. Kart customization becomes a significant focus, allowing players to experiment with different chassis, tire, and glider combinations to find their perfect racing setup.

The real draw was in the online modes, where you could race against friends or opponents worldwide in fast-paced, item-filled chaos. Mario Kart 7 delivered that classic kart racing fix in a portable format, complete with the familiar thrills, hilarious rivalries, and occasional bouts of blue shell-filled frustration that have made the series a beloved classic.

Kid Icarus: Uprising

Kid Icarus Uprising 3DS Screenshot

A glorious revival of the classic NES title, Kid Icarus: Uprising is tailored perfectly to the Nintendo 3DS. Its blend of flight combat and on-foot battles made for a unique action experience. 

Players soared through aerial arenas as Pit, an angel fighting for the goddess Palutena, then battled foes head-on in ground segments. Uprising pushed the 3DS hardware to its limits with its fast-paced action. Quirky banter between Pit and the gods and its deep weapon customization and difficulty system created a truly memorable adventure. 

The real magic lay in Light vs. Dark’s online multiplayer mode. Hectic battles made for hours of fun, and the game’s dedicated community fostered a genuine sense of competition.

Written by
I started writing about video games in 2016, and haven't looked back since. It's been an amazing journey discovering new games and meeting the people behind them. Fueled by litres of tea and nightly legendary skirmishes on Halo Wars with my husband.

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