Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
The Wii U might have had a quiet year, but it's the only system with a Shin Megami Tensei/Fire Emblem mashup that feels like a magical anime series. It's also pretty amazing: Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is bubbly and engaging, with a lengthy role-playing quest that is unlike any we've played elsewhere.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
We'll have to wait until March to dive into the new The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but now's the time to revisit a remastered favorite from the back canon. Twilight Princess HD updates the Wii and GameCube odyssey with extra content, Amiibo support and other tweaks, making for the best version of an old favorite.
It's Pokémon meets Tekken ... and somehow, that works startlingly well. This cartoonish fighter switches between close-up 2D action and open arena maneuvering, yet coheres well into a fast and fun flurry of Poké-chaos. It's still not a full-fledged Pokémon console game, but fans should love it.
DrinkBox put an oddball spin on the "Metroidvania" formula with Guacamelee, and now applies its own special touch on first-person dungeon-crawling with Severed. As a one-armed woman, you'll explore and slay on a quest for revenge, consuming monsters' entrails for upgrades and using the GamePad screen for sword strikes.
DrinkBox Studios, $15
Paper Mario: Color Splash
Paper Mario is Nintendo's opportunity to get a little weird with the gaming icon, and Color Splash shows a lot of personality with its dialogue and "thing" cards alike. This vibrant and quite funny adventure has some missteps, but given the Wii U's library of late, it's still one of the more enticing games on the platform this year.
Head back to Polygon’s 2016 Gift Guide hub.
Header illustration: Alice Carroll