Can we discuss the Nintendo Wii for a second? It's an amazing console. No doubt everyone on planet earth knows what the Wii is, but I wonder how many "serious" gamers have realized the true potential in this console.
I bring my Nintendo Wii, as opposed to my Gamecube, Xbox 360, or WiiU, with me to college each semester; it is so clearly my best option for many reasons, and after having spent the last couple of years playing the Wii to death, I can honestly admit that I would seriously recommend this console to any gamer looking for something different or new to play.
It could be that even after all of these years, you still have a Nintendo Wii tucked away in your attic or basement, gone untouched for the better half of the last 10 years. The Wii fell off from about 2008 - 2012, and considering that console generations only last for about 7 years, it's safe to say that the Wii suffered from a somewhat pre-mature death. Or at least that's what you may think.
First off, I'm going to take a moment to declare that there are so many more great games on the Wii then one might think. You have your Mario Galaxy, Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess, Metroid Prime 3, Guitar Hero 3, and Smash Bros. Brawl released within the first couple of years of the Wii's life, then everyone else knows about Mario Galaxy 2, Sonic Colors, and Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword, but I'm here as always to talk about lesser-known games, and let me say, these following titles are legitimately not only a few of my favorite games on the Wii, but a few of my favorite games of all time:
Kirby's Return to Dreamland
Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon
Sin and Punishment Star Successor
The Last Story
Right off the bat, six games to buy if you still have your Wii hanging around collecting dust BUT catching up on missed games is not exactly where the Wii earns it's $60 grey-market value.
The real hidden feature on the Wii that makes missing it a critical error in my eyes is the Wii's Virtual Console.
The Virtual Console is a free service offered by Nintendo with which one can use their Wii to download retro games for an extremely low price. I'm not talking only Super Mario Bros. to The Legend of Zelda, I'm talking everything from Mario Bros. to Golden Axe, to Megaman 2, then Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past, to Super Metroid, to Super Castlevania IV, to Secret of Mana, to Mega Man X, to Chrono Trigger on the SNES. After that, you've every must-play on the Nintendo 64.
92 titles from the NES - all $5
63 titles from the SNES - all $8
21 titles from the N64 - all $10
73 titles from the Sega Genesis - all $8
59 titles from TurboGrafx 16 - all $6
54 titles from NeoGeo - all $9
15 titles from the Sega Master System - all $5
and then hundreds of games released for download-only such as Sonic the Hedgehog 4 and Megaman 10
Of course, collectors collecting for their retro consoles will never be interested in a digital copy of a game as opposed to a cartridge, but this service is perfect for gamers like me since I'm willing to sacrifice a cartridge if I get to save $82 in return- I'll just use the saved money to fill my car up so I can drive to all of the cool parties I get invited to...
THEN, you have 100% backwards compatibility with the Nintendo Gamecube, provided you got your Wii before 2011, back when all of the cool kids got theirs. No need to discuss how awesome backwards compatibility is, provided you've read literally anything else on this blog (I am quite fond of the Gamecube, if you haven't noticed). What is also noteworthy is the fact that while component cables that upscale video quality from 480i to 480p are impossible to find for the Gamecube, they can be found easily for the Wii. So if you've ever wanted improved video quality for your Gamecube games, get a Wii.
With the Wii (about $50 on eBay at time of writing), you gain access to easily 20 amazing games as well as the rest of the Wii's admittedly mediocre library, all of the Gamecube's library, most of the library of the NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis, a bunch of N64 titles, Netflix, Youtube, and Project M. It's an old console with very few hidden gems, and even a handful of it's first party titles are garbage, but this console has immeasurable value to gamers who, like me, may be looking to update their knowledge of retro games without making their wallets cry or are trying to get through the summer's gaming drought with some great original Wii games that hold up without question.