Wii U backwards compatibility
Wii U backwards compatibility supports many older Nintendo game systems and consoles through Virtual Console. The Wii U will be backwards compatible with Wii game discs, and will support other systems through game downloads. Via the new Nintendo Network, users will be able to download Nintendo 64, GameCube, NES, and SNES games to the Wii U. These games, saved to the Wii U’s internal storage drive, will be playable on the Wii U controller, or a regular Wiimote controller. The games will be sold on the new Wii U eShop channel.

One of the new features to older games will be the ability to stream the game to the Wii U controller instead of playing it on the TV screen. Wii U backwards compatible games are also expected to be available in retail stores through pre-paid gaming cards.

Wii U backwards compatibility list

The following consoles and Nintendo systems will be backwards compatible with the console and sold through the Wii U Virtual Console:

  • Wii (game discs)
  • GameCube (downloads only)
  • Nintendo 64
  • Super Nintendo
  • NES
  • Neo Geo
  • SEGA Master System

Additionally, Wii U backwards compatible titles will expand beyond Nintendo consoles and will include several other third party game systems, much like on the original Wii. Note that the Wii U is not backwards compatible with the GameCube controller, which means GameCube games on the Wii U will have to use re-mapped controls to the Wii U controller. the Wii U will be fully backwards compatible with the older Wii system, due to the hardware such as the Wii U CPU and Wii U GPU being based on the same type of architectures and made by the same suppliers.

Wii U backwards compatible titles from older systems will be purchased with Wii Points, where 100 Wii Points = $1. Games are expected to cost from 500 to 1500 Wii Points, which translates to $5 to $15.

List of Wii U backwards compatible games

The following list is a sample of some of the games that will be available for the Wii U through the Virtual Console.

  • Super Mario 64
  • Mario Kart 64
  • Wave Race 64
  • Mario Golf
  • The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time
  • Mario Tennis
  • F-Zero (SNES)
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)
  • Super Mario World (SNES)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker (GameCube)
  • Metroid Prime (GameCube)
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee (GameCube)
  • Super Mario Sunshine (GameCube)

This Wii U backwards compatible games list is far from complete, Nintendo is likely to bring over the majority of the hundreds of titles from the Wii Virtual Console to the Wii U. These games will likely be released over a period of time, rather than all at once.

  • WiiU Fanatic

    i guess nintendo was waiting for this so they could put mp1 and mp3 so they wouldnt have to worry about the old lawsuit that happend with the n64 controller now u can play mp1 on the wii u controller.

    • leanna

      can i play Animal Crossing: City Folk with the wii u ? that one my all time games i love playing.

      • holden

        i’m sure you can because it was licensed and made by nintendo.
        but i don’t thin it’s possible to play on the gamepad itself
        nor am i sure about using the pro controller for wii u but you can always get a wii u november 18th and test it out for yourself.

        to be honest nintendo is bringing back the past with this system.
        the original wii only went up to 480p the wii u can go up to 1080pso i’m guessing you could play animal crossing city folk in hd on the wii u

      • Achromatic Hue

        Yes. Animal Crossing: City Folk is a wii game, which as mentioned in the article, will function on the wii U.

      • nit

        it looks like it can play every wii game but if you want to play any games before the wii generation you have to download

  • DOING OLD SCHOOL ON THE NEW SCHOOL IS VERY COOL!!!!!!!

  • Miks

    This is such a bonus over the 720/PS4. MS/Sony already stated that they are doing something against used games (not user friendly), but Nintendo will just have Wii AND Wii U used games market (super user friendly). It just shows, which of the 3 company’s the most friendly is.

  • james braselton

    hi there your right xbox 720 no opical means no halo games ps4 no used games eather no final fantasy 13 soo nintendo keeping backwards capatable is very good news for nintendo

    • concerned Wii fan

      I think your right, backwards compatibility for the wii u does sound like good news but what i’m concerned about is Nintendo sticking with the decision to throw in the backwards compatibility. When the original wii came out they said it could play Gamecube games and it had a memory port for the gamecube memory card, but when the newly upgraded version came out, poof! there goes the backwards compatibility. The many wii fans that probably bought it for use with gamecube games probably became a little disapointed that such changes were made. I know I was disapointed in the least to find that when I got mine that it did not have any memory ports for a gamecube memory card. It is a good console with lots of fun titles to choose from but where the last version lacks in backwards compatibility I think the wii u can take what the wii has to offer and bring a new sense of light on the matter of backwards compatibility. With all due respect heres to hoping that Nintendos budget cuts dont get to drastic.

  • Charlie

    WII U IS AWSOME!!! ūüôā

  • Dat

    Do you guy thinkt they will have Zelda OTT/ Master quest? I also like the Master quest .

  • Roy

    I still wish I can still play my gamecube discs on the WII U. I have a lot of them.

    • Braulio

      Sadly you won’t.
      Wii U will not support Gamecube games or controllers =C

      But if you have a Gamecube or a Nintendo Wii you will be able to play ’em C=

      That’s the reason I’m going to keep my Wii *¬¨*

      • Phil

        The thing I’m happy about thought is that they DO have some good GameCube titles for download for launch, and I can only assume they will add more throughout time.

  • Tim

    This is all very cool and iv’e never seen anything like the Wii U but i can see a whole lot of bugs coming since this is some new tech we’re talking about here…Im still buying the Wii U though because it s gonna be friggin AWESOME!!!! (O.O)

    • Phil

      I can see that too. I think it happened when Xbox 360 came out, when the PS3 came out and when the Wii came out but updates will make it all better. Wii U, here I come!

  • Josh

    i answered my own question…nevermind

  • Yon

    I like that they’re allowing gamecube games to be downloaded. It took me 3 years to find a reasonably priced copy of pikmin 2…

  • greentunicguy

    wind waker !!!!

  • KoisanX

    Good news! Else it would be worth jumping ship,..this just prevented me

  • Richard

    Unfortunately, the console wars will still put wii in last when next gen comes out. PS3s bluray, and MS Halo franchise, as well as all the other games that are superior to wiis, they are just a step away from being a leap ahead, wiis leap was outshined before when they came out with the wii console, just before the other twos release of thiers. They were the 1st to jump again, and will still be mostly based (Im assuming) on cartoon-esque games that appeal to young children. All your C.O.D fans, M.W. fans, ask anyone which console they prefer, even after the release of the U, I daresay it will still be the other 2 consoles. Wii boasts about its interface with youtube and netflix thru the controller.. 360 already does that, hands free w Kinect. Shoulda let the other guys jump 1st wii.. Too soon wii.. Too soon.

    • Cam

      You are an idiot Richard (You’re not I’m just frustrated with you being so closed to the wii because it doesn’t have halo.) Microsoft and sony only made their motion control things because the wii did it first. Also the wii is a more economical choice. Would you rather get a consol that costs less all together and has the motion control included or a consol that is much more expensive without motion control and have to pay and extra $50-$75 to get motion control with it. Plus the motion control games for the xbox and ps3 are gimmicky. The only wii games that are gimmicky are the ones made by other companies. You also said that wii games suck. Did you fall asleep during Super Smash Brothers, New Super Mario Brothers, Mario Cart, Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and others? You just hate the wii because some game companies shun it because of the graphics. People need to wake up and realize that graphics don’t make a game! I have no problem with the graphics because they are only there to slightly help the gameplay. People didn’t play Super Mario Brothers 3 in the NES days because of the graphics. They played it for the gameplay. I think the wii is the best console on the market. (Until the Wii U comes out.)

      • Derek Christensen

        Cam- ¬†Richard has a point. ¬†Core gamers, those in the 21+ age range (the majority of gamers) are simply not attracted to Nintendo’s offerings as much as those of the primary two gaming consoles. ¬†Nintendo’s formula has always been 1) Launch new console. ¬†2) Make a handful of new installments to existing franchises (Mario, Smash brothers, Zelda, Mario Kart, etc). ¬†I love those games, and I personally want to get a Wii U just for them. ¬†However, I am in the minority. Another huge problem Nintendo consoles have suffered from over the years – the consoles suck for sports gaming. ¬†Nintendo consoles are always several, if not dozens of steps behind the other consoles in regards to sports gaming. ¬†There are a couple genres that dominate the market in the US – FPS and Sports gaming. ¬†Nintendo has never even sniffed success in either genre. ¬†

        You’re right that graphics aren’t everything. ¬†Having the most desired games, on the other hand, is everything. ¬†I feel bad for Nintendo, in some ways. ¬†They always have a great product, but their third party support is weak. ¬†75% of Nintendo console’s software isn’t even something I would play if it were handed out for free. ¬†The Nintendo software market is very similar to the app market for the iphone/android stores. ¬†It is filled with a bunch of cheap games trying to make a quick buck, but lack any real depth, substance, or quality. ¬†When you evaluate the system on the quality of games Nintendo puts out, I’m positive the Wii U will be a great success. ¬†I simply worry about the rest of the software market.

        • Stephan Brown

          Nintendo is catering to mature audiences this time around and trying to get third party developers…. Look at Zombi U… they are aiming for hardcore gamers now

          • Yep. I like turtles.

          • Keith Dime

             Sean, shoving turtles up your ass is not considered liking them.

    • Jeffery Liechty

      Does no one even realize that Richards original comment was inaccurate? The 360 launched a whole year before the Wii. And the PS3 launched 2 days before it.. Wii did not jump the gun.. it was last. And Nintendo knows what they are doing.They have people who study the market.. they have degrees and experience with it.

      They have relased systems 5-6 years apart almost formulaicly from the be the beginning. looks like its worked, and they arent going to stop.

  • Alex V

    I’d like to know if these games will be 720/1080p HD, seeing as most resolutions below that look like garbage on HD sets. It’s another reason I personally don’t download re-released titles through ps3 sony.

    • Phil

      I believe Nintendo announced at the September 13th press conference that the Wii U will be in 720p and 1080p HD along with all the remaining information e.g. release date, price etc.

  • Mark

    Seriously Nintendo? Where it the world is Ocarina of Time Master Quest for the Gamecube on the VC? You can’t play gamecube games on the new Nintendo Wii U. Ocarina of Time Master Quest was awesome. I think it on the 3DS. But I think it should also be on the VC as well.

    • The Detonator

      you can download gamecube games on the wii u. the gamecube disks just don’t work. you can also play nes,snes, and 64 games as well. so yes you can play ocarina on the wii u. why would they do that? do increase sales.

  • gian

    Is it possible to play wii U games on the old wii?? For example COD Black Ops 2 is a wii U release but I have a wii

    • nick

      nope, that would be the same as asking “can i play wii games on my gamecube?” or “can i play ds games on my game boy advance?” it’s impossible

      • Sandyballs

        Does anyone have confirmation of this?
        I want to play the new WIIU Super Mario Brothers but don’t want to buy the new console.

        • Come on guy are you all that dumb? In technology NEW is mostly compatible with old but OLD is NEVER compatible with NEW. That’s why it’s called NEW. You don’t need a PhD in science to understand that… it’s like nick said…. can you play PS3 games on a PS2? Can you play Gamecube games on N64? BluRay can read DVD but DVD can’t read BluRay…

        • Keith Dime

           You really need this confirmed? Were you able to play any of the Wii games on the Gamecube? Were you able to play PS3 blu-ray disc based games on your PS2?

    • Sean

      New hardware have faster and stronger CPU to either play older software natively or through emulation.

      However, new software designed for new hardware usually cannot be played on older hardware because older hardware are either obsolete, incompatible, and/or not powerful enough.

      You cannot play Wii U games on Wii; you cannot play XBOX360 games on XBOX; you cannot play PS3 games on PS2 — you cannot play FarCry3 on a 1995 i386 computer.

  • simon cooke

    will the wii u let you play pokemon game off the wii and resident evil 4

  • gogotigers!

    the wii u is a complete waste of money and should be called back by nintendo. all it is is a cross between a DS and a normal wii.

    • Heather S

      Thats part of what is so amazing about it. If you don’t like the idea don’t be looking at websites promoting it.

  • Mateus

    What about the purchases I already made at the Virtual Console ? Will I be able to access them fron the Wii U ?

    • Xethaios

      This is an excellent question. I’d think so, it’d be a logical choice, and purchases that are compatible with the Wii U should be transferred so that they have the Wii U version.

  • RAND0M

    Will the Wii U games be compatible on the Wii Console Ex: Black Ops 2 is coming out for the Wii U, Will the Wii be able to read the disc? If not, will there be an update to make Wii U games compatible to the Wii? If not i am gonna be freaking mad if you cant play black ops 2 on the Wii, I don’t feel like spending another 300$ for another console to play one fucking game. Cause then when i get my new computer im just gonna buy Black Ops 2 for my PC. Its absolute bullshit, Why don’t they make it so Wii U and Wii disc are the same so that they both can read it. FUCK YOU NINTENDO. BTW this post is probably gonna be taken down cause i said “fuck”. The reason i dont wanna buy it for the pc is cause the pc doesnt have an controller for gaming on it. you have to use a mouse. That isnt fun if the controller is a mouse and keyboard cause you cant go beast mode on the mouse, cause its just gonna go snap in half when you rage or try to move really fast and do stuff

    • tddct89

      You are a total moron. That’s like someone waiting for the release of the PS3 and saying if I can’t play PS3 games on my PS2 I’m gonna be pissed. Why don’t Nintendo just go that extra mile and make an add on for their old gameboy advance that allows the gameboy advance to play Wii U games. What a revolution that would be. Idiot….

    • Xethaios

      Several things:
      1) No, you cannot play Black Ops 2 on the Wii. can you play Halo Reach on the original Xbox? No, that’s poor marketing. Why buy a brand new console when you can buy an older, cheaper console that does the same thing?
      2) You can buy game pads for the PC, and you can use a 360 controller for a PC, provided it’s the controller with a USB plug at the end. Then you can go ‘rage mode’ all you want that way.
      3) You can sell your Wii to buy the Wii U.

    • People like you shouldn’t play video games… they even shouldn’t touch anything related to technology… I don’t understand anything in music… do I play music? No… You don’t seem to understand technology so you shouldn’t play with it…

    • Keith Dime

      ¬†Your post should be taken down because you are a moron, not because you used a cuss word. Are you also mad that you can’t plan Black-Ops 2 on the 30 year old Atari 2600 lying in your closet? Idiot.

  • Vylon

    Can we play Monster Hunter 3tri on it?

    • Xethaios

      Most likely, it was a Wii game, so you’d probably be able to. You’d still need to use a Wiimote, though.

  • thomps333

    I don’t want to have to pay for a game that I already have, but can’t play. I just wish they would make an adapter for gameboy/gameboy advance games like they did for the gamecube. All the old gamecube systems I find end up not being able to read disks. Wii/Wii U/Gamecube games is great (like the first one), but…Wii/Wii U/ Gamecube/ Gameboy/GameBoyAdvance/GameBoyColor would be a hell of a lot better. I would rather have the physical games (that I don’t have, but i can buy for around the same price anyways), than downloads on the hard-drive. Just make a usb plug-in port for an adapter that you can put your cartridges on.

  • Sam

    I still own my original Game Boy, SNES & N64 that I had as a kid, and they all still work just fine. Probably can’t say the same for the Game Cube as optical drives tend to wear out, as happened on my ps2.

    Really they just don’t make consoles to last like the used to, they just want you to buy the new one so you can re-purchase games you already own on the new format again and again. People are dumb enough to do it though, apparently…

    • Keith Dime

      ¬†Consoles are released 5-10 years apart, I don’t know what you are talking about. Consoles are sold at a loss and no company likes to replace their console before they actually have to.

  • dashingw

    You will not be able to play wiiu discs on the wii. Think about it, they have gone to HD which means blue ray type discs instead of the regular ones which is why the wiiu is so much better in the first place.

  • Jedigoalie40

    I’m sorry but Nintendo f’d up… There is no reason a cd based console can’t play older cd based games… I for one don’t want to have 10 consoles from 3 companies so I can play games in my collection… Or I should get a free download of the game I have already purchased… If the trend continues I think a lot of games are going to get feed up with not being able to play older games… But I could be wrong because a lot of people are stupid enough to spend money on a game they already own… If a new Zelda comes out that is a squeal to another game then I want to be able to go back and play the previous one to remember the story line…

    • Daniel Ward

      When has Zelda EVER continued a story line? If you look at almost every single Nintendo branded game you will see one main connection, they are self contained stories. Another note is progression in game dynamics and controls. For example, in the Smash Brothers series the games progress with everything without getting rid of the original game standards like characters and basically give less desire to regress in the series to get more out of it other than short lived nostalgia. This is one thing to love about Nintendo, anyone can dig in and you can start from anywhere you can afford. Can’t do that with the PlayStation or the Xbox games that push those companies forward, making backwards compatibility far more important to them and their customers satisfaction. You obviously haven’t played enough Nintendo compared to the other two leading manufactures. Don’t bitch until you know your shit.

      • Dante

         Are you actually retarded? Zelda has always had a continuing story line as have many Nintendo title (super smash brothers included)
        If you actually did your research instead of bitching about people bitching you would know that most Nintendo titles DO have a recurring plot. The games aren’t always released in a chronological order but there is always a plot that spans all the games.
        I suggest you actually use Google next time you want to rant about people being wrong.
        Or better yet, actually play the damn games, because its quite obvious you’ve never played a single one in your life, and if you have then you obviously sucked so much at it that you couldn’t even pick up the plot line.

        http://zelda.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline

        http://donkeykong.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline

        Heres an article on mario timelines( although you only have to play the games to notice that they flow chronlogically in most cases I.e. Air ship in SMB3 is in SMW but sunken because mario destroyed it in SMB3)
        http://kotaku.com/5940568/the-extraordinary-quest-to-put-all-the-super-mario-games-on-one-timeline

        I could go on and list a timeline for nearly every damn nintendo game, But alas thats why they made the interwebs………for retards like you

        • Dante sounds like a little kid. Lol. Yeah, any nerd can argue that there a continuation of a plotline (Do you even know what a “plotline” is?)

          But the previous statements are also true, each game contains a¬†completely¬†separate¬†story. None of the games, except Zelda II, are¬†connected except by the over-nerdified pop culture of the fan universe. You know, the type of people who would post overly concerned comments online about a video game and then insult people they don’t even know over said video game. Yeah. ūüôā

          • Tyler Weeks

            Actually if research is done you’ll find an offficially released by nintendo, zelda time line and yes, zelda 2 is in it.

        • ¬†It may be written, but it sure don’t feel like a continuing timeline.

      • WT Herrod Jr.

        Majora’s Mask is a direct sequel to Ocarina of Time (same incarnation of Link), Phantom Hourglass is a direct sequel to Wind Waker. ¬†As stated elsewhere Zelda II is a direct sequel to Zelda and Link’s Awakening is a direct sequel to A Link to the Past. ¬†That’s without taking the timeline into account since most games just hint at previous games through references to legends and little easter eggs.

    • Keith Dime

       Keep your old system and stop whining. The fact that the wii-u can play old wii games is great news, now you want it playing DS cartridges, Gamecube games and whatever other crap you have accumulated. And if they do re-release an old game on the wii-u, guess what, no one is forcing you to buy it.

  • Drewsation

    When will old games be available on the wii u network all that’s there is wii u games

  • Uneasy Wii U fan

    So do you guys know how the controllers will work? Do to have to use the GamePad or can you use your old Wii controllers (actual ones, motion plus, nunchucks, etc.)? Also, would you be able to use the GamePad with old disks?

  • Annoyed

    Everybody needs to stop complaining about how you can’t play old games on the new system!! This is a new system, THEY’RE MOVING FORWARD! They can’t put gamcube and ps2 and ps3 and whatever else you want on there on there. If you wanna play old system games, use the old system and stop complaining about how the wii u can’t play them. I own a Dreamcast and you don’t see me complaining about anything. I use the old system. I understand that you may not want to have fifty systems, but A.) don’t buy that many in the first place. And B.) then don’t buy the wii u!!!!

    • Wil Skeen

      I find your comment ironic because Dreamcast is probably one of the most “backwards compatible” systems ever made. I play NES, SNES, Gameboy, Sega Master, Genesis, 32X, PS1, and Dreamcast games on my Dreamcast. It’ll play many more than that, too, pretty much anything <=32bit works great.

      That being said, you are right. I will want to continue playing my Gamecube games so I'll just keep my original Wii when I get a Wii U. Not a big deal at all.

  • donald smith

    is the wiimote compatable with the new wii u ????????
    i have lots of stuff for wii can i use it with wii u
    balance board, dance pad , orig controller ,with
    rechargeable batteries ????

    • Nicholas Ellis

      yes you can just watched the trailer

  • Tonya Trapp

    The Wii U is so awesome. The new Super Mario Bros U is so fun. It is new with an older game twist (if that makes sense). I bought it last night and it reminded me of the first set of Mario games. Now it they will just bring back some old school Duck Hunt. Woo Hoo.

  • wii player

    will I be able to play wii u games on an origanal wii console ?

    • No, sorry. You have to get a Wii U to play Wii U games.¬†

  • Guest

    Can you play wii U games in the wii console?

  • Jen

    will they sell conker’s bad fur day? i never owned it but i remember it being ridiculously fun

    • ¬†Unfortunately that IP was owned by Rare and Rare is now owned by Microsoft so I doubt we’ll be seeing Conkers on the Virtual Console.

  • Wesley Mitchell

    Is it possible to transfer Wii saved data into the Wii U? And is it possible to use a Gamecube’s memory card on the system?

  • I am not complaining but i do agree with the people that it should be backwards compatible with Game Cube, its not the end of the world (no pun intended) but it just makes things easier, and in all honesty i think its insanely annoying that Nintendo still wants to charge people for super mario Bros for the NES and all the other old ass games, just give the games away for Christ sakes. if they were all Free downloadable content SOOOO many people would be all over buying the new system – including myself “you say the wii U can play ALL the old school games for Free!!??? yes i will take 1 for each room in my house!! maybe not that drastic but you get my point that idea would out weigh charging for the old games by a good ton.. anyways sorry for the small Rant, but that’s just my 2 cents, i know Nintendo is never going to just GIVE games away… that would be ludicrous… a Billion dollar company just giving away the data of the game, no not the psychical game cartridge…the fucking data, give me a break

    PS – and for the people asking if you can play Wii U games on your Wii….SERIOUSLY?? LMAO – YES YOU CAN!! it works the same way as playing your 64 games on your Super Nintendo

  • Michael Wakeman

    WAIT? gamecube games have been comfirmed as downloads? Where did the daily get this information and if so I might as well got to heaven!

  • David Spears

    I was mad at first but then i realized i could probably just hack it to make it play my gamecube games or burn the game unto a CD that is compatible for the wii U

  • leroyhatesme

    Can I play my old wii games (i.e. mario galaxy and kirby) on the new system??

  • KonTheFluffy

    WHY NO GAME CUBE DISCS!

  • Add Double Dash, Luigis Mansion, Billy Hatcher, and Crazy Taxi to the Gamecube list, and I’m sold!!

  • I’m buying the Wii u for one reason, my computer plays the Xbox and Ps3 games and does a much better job at it. I can’t play a lot of Nintendo games so the Wii is the best choice. Besides, COD with a controller instead of a mouse and keyboard is just silly.