Nintendo? Who's that again? This year's E3 will be all about the PS4 and the tentatively-titled 720, right? After all, Nintendo dominated E3 2011 with the Wii U; isn't it only fair that MS and Sony get their fair shot(s) at E3 2013?

Well, yes. But I wouldn't count Nintendo out. Nintendo knows it's got a lot of uphill battles to come, but that simply means that the stakes are higher. And since when has Nintendo buckled under pressure? If I were the average gamer, I would be watching Nintendo very closely as they need to grab a part of the spotlight if they want to remain competitive this generation. This means they need games. And lots of them. They need all of the games from January's Nintendo Direct (which, for the record, announced more than half-a-dozen games) and the other titles that have been delayed. They need a laundry list of games that are going to be released in the second half of 2013. This game-centric E3 is likely reflected in their press conference schedule. Rather than combining all of their announcements into one, large press conference, Nintendo is holding several, smaller news releases. Maybe each press release is a blockbuster game? Who knows? All I know is that Nintendo would not likely cede the spotlight to MS and Sony so quickly and easily.

So, while MS and Sony will likely be dominating the show, there's no reason to count Nintendo out yet. They have a lot of tricks up their sleeves, and this list is designed to see which Wii U games are most highly anticipated. "Most highly anticipated" is highly vague and obviously varies from person-to-person, yet I've tried to gauge the overall interest in the titles and the overall popularity of the game's franchise. This means things like the amount of articles you'd find on the game if you were to Google its title, the sales performance of previous entries, the hype during high-information periods for these titles, and even the activity level of the game's message board on GameFAQs. I do not gauge the potential quality of the game. While there is a bit of bias built into the list, the choices are justified with recent media attention and current knowledge of the game. After E3 (which is held, yet again, in Los Angeles from June 11th-13th), I will compile The Top 10 Wii U Games at E3 based off of the actual presentations at E3 rather than the pre-conference hype. But we'll save that for later. Without further ado, I present to you The Top 10 Most Anticipated Wii U Games at E3!

With recent delays, hype for Rayman Legends has dropped. The game was originally supposed to be released earlier this year as a Wii U exclusive, but was delayed so that the Wii U version could be released at the same time as the newly-announced PS3 and 360 versions. Ubisoft has attempted to compensate for this move by releasing daily challenges and demos, but negative reception has only increased. There's even a petition with over 11000 signatures demanding the Wii U version be released immediately. Nevertheless, some anticipation for the Rayman Legends game remains--if only because fans are waiting with bated (more like baited...) breath. A lot of information has been released about the game--especially the demos in the Wii U eShop--but it seems Ubisoft hasn't rekindled the attention it once had. In fact, anything short of releasing the game immediately would likely just garner more negative attention from fans and Wii U owners. To make matters worse, Ubisoft has confirmed that the title is ready to launch. That's right--the Wii U version is being held up so the 360 and PS3 versions can be developed. The only saving grace for Ubisoft is the fact that they seem to be the only major third-party developer interested in the Wii U at the moment.

Rayman is still popular, but Ubisoft is making enemies with Nintendo fans quickly, and they're losing interest with each passing day Rayman Legends isn't released. Yet interest remains. Negative attention is still attention, and Wii U owners who otherwise wouldn't have heard about Rayman Legends are now familiar with the title. Ironically, the delay will likely just end up hurting Ubisoft more than it helped them; Rayman Legends is now contending with many first-party Wii U titles in the second half of the year, and it's getting released on two waning consoles. Unfortunately, it's likely we'll have to wait 'til September for the game. E3 may have some playable version of Rayman Legends, but Ubisoft will likely just cut their losses and move onto their other future titles--the ones they haven't shot in the foot yet.

One of the biggest surprises at January's Nintendo Direct was the announcement of another Monolith Soft game, looking similar to Xenoblade Chronicles. The game's tentative title seems to be "X," though nothing is clear about this new entry. Speculation has been running rampant about the game, given Monolith Soft's track record of producing high-quality games (including one of my favorites--Baten Kaitos). The short trailer in the Nintendo Direct seems to indicate that there is some sort of time element and that there might be online. Regardless, X should be a promising title. While the sheer secrecy of the game provides wonder and amazement (and fodder for the media), several factors diminish the overall interest and anticipation: the cult-classic-esque feel with Monolith Soft and the lack of information as to whether it will even be presented at E3. That doesn't mean that the game won't be one of the biggest second-party games released in recent times for Nintendo, but it does mean that "X" will need to be properly publicized this time. E3 is the perfect opportunity to build that hype. The sole trailer for "X" is mysterious, and Monolith will need to demonstrate that the anticipation is justified. The lack of information is going to be a double-edged sword, but hopefully Monolith can mitigate the doubts to create the hype this title deserves.

Yarn Yoshi is being developed by the same studio that developed Kirby's Epic Yarn: Good-Feel. The similarities are reflected in the aesthetic design of the two titles; both revolve around the whimsical world of crafts. Yarn Yoshi will likely act as a spiritual successor of recent Yoshi's Story-esque games. Considering very few Yoshi games have been released on consoles, the prospect of another game is building attention and anticipation for what Good-Feel will do with the tabula rasa. Only a few screenshots and short clips have been released, but the game will likely be either playable at E3 or will have significant new footage. Yoshi is a very likable and recognizable character, and hopefully that translates into media coverage. Nevertheless, Yarn Yoshi will probably be flying under the radar until it releases--much like another recent Mario spin-off, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon.

Hence, Yarn Yoshi is one of those lesser-known first-party titles, and Nintendo seems to have a lot of those. For instance, how many of you know that Earthbound is getting officially localized soon? The success of Yarn Yoshi will hinge upon whether Nintendo can build attention and can shake the somewhat kiddie-like premise Yarn Yoshi will likely present. Kirby's Epic Yarn was by no means a bad game, but it suffered from these preconceptions and an ailing console. Yarn Yoshi will probably face both of these problems, so E3 presents an opportunity to correct these wrongs. Nevertheless, the anticipation remains.

As a Pikmin fan, this is my moment to say that it has been nine long years since the release of Pikmin 2. Pikmin 3 was originally expected to be a Wii title; then it was expected to be a launch Wii U title; then it was expected to be a launch window Wii U title; now it's confirmed for August 4th. Simply having a date to look forward to puts Pikmin 3 at #7 rather than #9 or #10. While Pikmin 3 isn't exactly a system seller, it is promising to be a very respectable entry into the series, and it has been playable at various events, including E3 2012. Shigeru Miyamoto--Pikmin 3's lead director--is often quoted as saying "A delayed game eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad." Well, Miyamoto, it's time to release the game.

The anticipation isn't as pungent this year as it was last year; to be honest, only a release around launch would've allowed Pikmin 3 to garner the attention it truly deserves. With all of the new titles announced, Pikmin 3 is overshadowed, yet again. Furthermore, its predecessors are both pseudo-cult-classics, mitigating the familiarity with the series. Pikmin 3 simply needs to get released, and, now that it is getting released, the hype and anticipation should start to build. Too bad that Pikmin 3 won't be the star of the show at E3 this year.

An RPG? And it's being co-developed by Intelligent Systems (think Fire Emblem, Paper Mario, and WarioWare) and Atlus (think Megami Tensei, Tactics Ogre, and others)? And it's a crossover RPG? Hell, the only reason this game isn't number one is because Fire Emblem isn't exactly Nintendo's most popular franchise and Megami Tensei hasn't been localized to build much of a fanbase. However, I assure you that the fangirls in Japan are squealing!

Both games revolve around darker themes in their respective franchises, and speculation is running rampant as to what the game will actually be. Could it be a strategy RPG as both franchises are known for? Or could it take an entirely new twist? Simply being a crossover RPG will earn the game the respect it needs to perform well--just give us the E3 presentation the crossover deserves! This could be the next Kingdom Hearts or Marvel vs. Capcom--a masterpiece that develops into its own respectable series.

This game wouldn't place this low (high?) if it weren't for all of the Sony fans anticipating this game--anticipating the downfall, crash-and-burn, and utter destruction of this game. All because it isn't on the PS3 or PS4. As a brief aside, I would like to remind everyone that Platinum itself stated that "Would Bayonetta 2 not exist without Nintendo? The answer is yes." Anyway, much of the hype around Bayonetta 2 is actually there because of Sony fans and the temper tantrum that some of them threw with the announcement of Bayonetta 2 as a Wii U exclusive. A short trailer is out there on the Web for Bayonetta 2, and Sega has confirmed that it is advising the development of the title. It will be interesting to see if Bayonetta 2 actually makes an E3 appearance and if a release date is announced. The hack-and-slash game should also be playable, if development is going smoothly (hell, with Sega, Nintendo, and Platinum all working on the game, I don't see how it could not be going smoothly). The title is one of the few third-party Wii U exclusives, and, with all of the media attention swirling around the switch from 360/PS3 to Wii U, it will surely receive some of the spotlight at E3. Now's the time to capitalize...

Zelda already? At #4? Not at #1? You must be some sort of Zelda hater, random-author-whose-name-I-don't-know! Well, yes, I must admit that Zelda isn't exactly my favorite franchise. I haven't even played (*flame shield activated*) Ocarina of Time. But the reason this game places so highly (lowly?) on the list is because the hype is somewhat mitigated by the confirmed release of the Wind Waker remake/port. Not many people are looking forward to a new Zelda game when Wind Waker is getting re-released: perhaps only the die-hard Wind Waker haters. Regardless, the only Zelda footage released in the Wii U's lifetime was a series of gameplay demos during the 2011 E3; Nintendo has stated that these demos were just to showcase what the Wii U could do with Zelda, and were not a part of the actual game. To be sure, the demos are impressive. The second screen will allow Nintendo EAD to implement versatility like that in Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks. The possibilities are not endless, though--especially so for a franchise that has remained stagnant for much of the last two decades. Unfortunately, not much else has been released about The Legend of Zelda Wii U; it was recently promised at January's Nintendo Direct, but it seems likely that the game won't release 'til next year, given this year's star-studded release line-up and the already-announced Wind Waker title. There are so many strikes against Zelda this year that it shouldn't be surprising that it places at lowly #4. Y'know, despite my preconceptions of Zelda.

The sheer fact that Mario Kart happens to be Nintendo's pinnacle system seller earns it number two on this list. Mario Kart Wii has sold more than 33 million units, and it continues to sell an appreciable amount every week despite releasing more than five years ago. Mario Kart 7--while less of a success than its cousin on the Wii--still acted as a catalyst with regards to ramping up sales of the Nintendo 3DS. The 3DS is now outpacing DS sales if their life cycles were lined up contemporaneously, and part of that success can likely be attributed to the release of Mario Kart 7 as well as other subsequent games.

So, what do we know about Mario Kart Wii U? Just about nothing. There's a lot of speculation (and wishful thinking) about what will be in store for us with the newest Mario karting venture, but, if Nintendo can expand upon the still-active Internet gameplay in Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7, then they should have a home-run. Given Nintendo's past with Mario Kart, it's very likely that the newest iteration could be released by this holiday season. Mario Kart has a large following, and it would be naive to ignore the newest entry in the series at this year's E3. The casual appeal is inherent.

It would be a videogaming travesty of the utmost treasonous nature to not include a Super Smash Bros. game in a most anticipated list. Ever since the divisive release of Brawl (mind you, the recommended reviews on GameFAQs range from 2/10 to 10/10 with the vast majority residing at those extremes), some fans have looked forward to the Wii U incarnation to provide a proper sequel to Melee. Other fans seek an expansive sequel to Brawl that delivers more comprehensive and respectable online features. Not a day goes by that there's another roster topic on the Wii U board (yes, Ridley is too big, and, no, Paper Mario is not a clone)--surely, the anticipation is very high on GameFAQs.

Nintendo has also confirmed that the Wii U iteration of Super Smash Bros. will include some sort of connectivity with the 3DS that has yet to be explained or elaborated upon. No screenshots have been released of the game, and there is very little information on the game--likely a by-product of the delayed Brawl launch. Sakurai--the mastermind behind the Super Smash Bros. series--has stated that he would like to maintain the current feel of the series, explaining that the games have found their target audience. Only time will reveal what Sakurai and the rest of the development team have in store for one of the most anticipated games at E3, and it's likely that a vast majority of people with Wii U are salivating at what Nintendo will bring to the table with regards to Smash.

It's frankly impossible for Smash to impress everyone, but the sheer fact that it could fulfill anyone's wishes creates an unparalleled buzz at E3.

Honorable Mentions

- The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD - Again, Wind Waker is somewhat overshadowed by the looming announcement of a new Zelda game. On top of that, Wind Waker itself is still decisive (dem cartoon graphics).
- Watch Dogs - It isn't an exclusive, and the game is likely going to outshined by the new 720/PS4 games. The next-gen multiplats are far more interesting than the cross-generational multiplats.
- The Wonderful 101 - Touted as a new IP, there isn't much attention given to this game. While the gameplay looks intriguing, the premise isn't exactly interesting or engaging, limiting the amount of attention the game receives.

Regardless of whether you're going to be watching Nintendo, MS, or Sony, this year's E3 should be one of the greatest yet! Not one, but two consoles are being revealed; on top of that, Nintendo is set up to impress with multiple blockbuster titles. And, to be frank, it is imperative that Nintendo actually comes up with something impressive this year, or the Big N will start to fall behind. They've had a year-long head start--now's the time to capitalize. The titles on this list are the perfect way to accomplish that feat.

If you want to discuss this Top 10 list--or any others--click on the message board link below the author credit. We'd love to hear your thoughts!

List by super_luigi16 (05/06/2013)

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