Best Local Co-Op & Split-Screen Nintendo Wii Games

The Nintendo Wii is a classic console that has been forgotten about more recently in favor of the Nintendo Switch. Nevertheless, the Wii and many of its games represent a unique moment in gaming history. Some continue to say that it laid many of the foundations for VR and for gaming to become much more physical.



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Nintendo has always created some great party games, and the Switch is home to some of the best.

However, the Wii wasn’t known for particularly great online multiplayer capabilities. Instead, it was considered to be the ultimate party game console, filled with great titles that could be played along with friends in local co-op and split-screen styles instead of being apart during gameplay.

Updated on January 10, 2024, by Chris Harkin: Though the era of the Nintendo Wii is long gone, there is a huge space for remembering many of the great games that were released for it. The Nintendo Wii was a revolutionary console, especially for playing locally with friends. Between the many Mario spin-off games that were great for parties and the Wii Sports series, there was an endless amount of fun to be had playing on one console with friends, and that means there are many beloved games from that era worth remembering, from franchises that are still running to wonderful but forgotten one-off games.

10 Carnival Games

Metacritic Score: 56

Four players competing in Carnival Games

  • Release Date: August 27, 2007
  • Developer: Cat Daddy Games
  • Platforms: Wii, Nintendo DS, and iPhone

One of the best party games for split-screen play was Carnival Games, which let players enjoy a variety of 25 different mini-games based on different carnival games. These short-but-sweet mini-games made for a lot of fun and players were prompted to try and get high scores in each of them.

Battling against friends competitively in a variety of short-form games like this made for one of the more memorable party games for the Nintendo Wii. Carnival Games may never win any awards or even get a sequel, but the fun it provides as a party game is highly memorable to many Nintendo Wii fans, and it was severely underrated by critics at the time.

9 Mario Party 8

Metacritic Score: 62

Mario Party 8

Mario Party 8

May 29, 2007

Hudson Soft

Party Game

The Mario Party franchise has always provided one of the best video game party experiences available, and Mario Party 8 was one of the very best in the franchise’s history. Providing players with some great upgrades to previous entries, as well as using the capabilities of the Wii in some great mini-games, this was one that many Wii lovers will remember.

Many players would say that there isn’t a lot of room for innovation in a franchise like Mario Party, but despite the basic style, Mario Party 8 managed to stand out and make for a great entry that players remember well and have often returned to, digging out their old Nintendo Wii consoles for that exact purpose.

8 Wii Sports

Metacritic Score: 76

wii sports tennis

Wii Sports

November 19, 2006

Nintendo EAD

One of the great original games that helped showcase the design and capabilities of the Nintendo Wii, this game came with the console in many cases and provided players with an almost futuristic feeling at the time of being able to play several different sports with a huge range of motion involved, all from the comfort of their own home.


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Wii Sports was an ingenious yet simple idea, and it became a massively successful one, providing families with a game that they could all try out together. With a great progression system and amazing local multiplayer capabilities, Wii Sports was an immediate classic for party gaming.

7 The House Of The Dead: Overkill

Metacritic Score: 78

Zombie walking towards the player in The House of the Dead: Overkill

  • Release Date: February 10, 2009
  • Developer: Headstrong Games
  • Platforms: Wii

A fun, if ridiculous game, The House of the Dead: Overkill hearkened back to the classic arcade games in this franchise by allowing the Nintendo Wii remote to act as a makeshift gun. In true arcade-style format, players had to work as a pair in a local co-op game to defeat all the zombies and other horrific creatures that appeared in each level, moving around in rail-shooter style.

House of the Dead: Overkill featured an amazingly fun style, including plenty of bloody and brutal moments and some crazy creatures, as well as lots of fun collectibles and an absolutely bonkers narrative that kept players heavily entertained throughout, making for the perfect party game.

6 GoldenEye 007

Metacritic Score: 81


This remake of the original GoldenEye 007 game had mixed reviews from fans and critics but managed to make for one of the best cooperative shooter experiences that players ever found on the Nintendo Wii, making for a truly great split-screen experience and one of the best arena shooters ever.

The Wii controller didn’t often work well for shooter games, particularly for FPS ones, but some ports to the console by a variety of games in these genres managed to find success and this was especially true for GoldenEye, which remains one of the most beloved Wii games for many players.

5 Mario Kart Wii

Metacritic Score: 82

mario kart wii race wallpaper
mario kart wii race

Mario Kart Wii

April 27, 2008

Nintendo EAD


A game that massively launched the idea of the Mario Kart franchise and helped showcase the capabilities of the Wii, Mario Kart Wii was definitely the biggest name in the history of the console for local split-screen gaming, providing a simple format with the fun optional wheel controls that let players race around different tracks and engage in battles with their friends together.

Up to four players could be on the same console for races, grand prix series, and team battles that also included AI racers and provided one of the most simple but extremely fun racing games in history, helping launch the popularity of the Nintendo Wii to even greater heights.

4 WarioWare: Smooth Moves

Metacritic Score: 83

  • Release Date: January 15, 2007
  • Developer: Nintendo SPD
  • Platforms: Wii

One of the most fun series of party games released by Nintendo has to be the WarioWare franchise. This game features Mario’s nemesis finding an artifact called the form baton, and using it to wreak havoc while various stories are told about other characters around Diamond City.

The mini-games throughout are the focus more than the story, the game allowing players to share a single Wii remote among up to twelve players to play different games, only after the single-player campaign has been beaten. Smooth Moves remains the only major Wario game that was released for the Wii, but it is easily a classic of the platform.

3 Kirby’s Epic Yarn

Metacritic Score: 86

Kirby and Prince Fluff at the end of a level in Kirby's Epic Yarn

Kirby’s Epic Yarn

October 17, 2010


Considered by many to be one of the most adorable games of all time, Kirby’s Epic Yarn is an absolutely charming game filled with bright colors and happy gameplay. The entire campaign can be completed in local co-op by two players working together as they traverse a yarn-filled world.

As a game this friendly, the one downside of Kirby’s Epic Yarn is how easy it is, but even so, it is still so much fun to revisit and play that few players could manage to hate it. Despite the lack of challenge, fans have made sure this game hasn’t been forgotten, enough so that it got a re-release later for the Nintendo 3DS.

2 New Super Mario Bros Wii

Metacritic Score: 87

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

November 15, 2009

Nintendo EAD


There have been a number of great Mario games over the years that have given the franchise, and various Nintendo consoles, a great name for cooperative and versus play in local and online play. New Super Mario Bros Wii provided a traditional 2D platform experience that up to four players could take part in.


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Steam has plenty of online multiplayer PC games, but the platform is not lacking in great local co-op titles either.

Not only this but the sheer runtime and variety in levels provided by New Super Mario Bros Wii made for one of the best cooperative Mario games of all time. While some players struggled with the platforming controls a Wii remote could provide, this game managed to garner a lot of support and made for one of the last truly great 2D Mario games.

1 Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Metacritic Score: 93

Bowser confronting Rayquaza at the Lake in Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

March 9, 2008


A franchise that has gone on to become one of the biggest in the world, Super Smash Bros. was already a huge deal by the time Brawl was released. The third entry had a lot of expectations surrounding it after Super Smash Bros. Melee became the highest-selling GameCube game of all time.

However, through an improved and sizable roster of playable characters and a great local co-op system, Brawl went on to become another major fighting game hit for Nintendo. Despite containing the capability for online multiplayer battles, Brawl remained a major name for Nintendo Wii party gamers, engaging in battles on the sofa locally was a much-beloved aspect, making the bar sky high for future entries.

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