If you're a hardcore gamer, you're probably going to end up with a PS4 or Xbox One this Christmas - and fair enough. They're both great systems, and you can read our reviews here (Xbox One and PS4) to make your mind up (as long as you can find one).

But if you're a family, a committed retro-gamer or someone with fonder memories of Mario than you'd usually admit, we think you should look again in Nintendo's direction.

While the new Wii U console hasn't been a huge commercial hit yet, the range of games and experiences available is pretty impressive. And with Mario Kart 8 looming next year, there's never been a better time to jump on board.

Added to that there's the issue of price. You can pick up a Wii U bundle (with the Gamepad and at least one included game) for £250 - more than £100 less than either of the newer, beastier machines from Sony or Microsoft.

If you decide to go for it, here are nine of the key games that we think you should play. Not all of them are big titles - some cost just a few pounds, and will be very familiar if you had a console in the early 1990s. But all will be insanely fun - and get you great value for money.

Loading Slideshow...
  • NES Remix

    Nintendo's new homage to its 8-bit glory years is stunning value for £8.99 from the eShop, with classic scenes from 16 of its best old games chopped up into small, bite-size puzzle games that will annoy, frustrate and delight you in equal measure.

  • Super Mario 3D World

    Mario's first 3D HD outing was the best game of 2013. Not just on the Wii U - the best game released anywhere. It's ridiculously fun, especially in multiplayer, and is a true demonstration of Nintendo's mastery of its own particular corner of the gaming world.

  • Wii Sports Club

    Wii Sports was the title that sold tens of millions of Wii consoles - and its back, better, more beautiful and more fun than ever. Just three games are available right now (Golf, Tennis and Bowling) but each benefit from a low price (either as stand-alones or as part of a 24-hour pass), better graphics and tightened mechanics. The golf is a particular highlight, with the Wii U gamepad doubling as a tee on which you can see your club and ball before your swing.

  • Knytt Underground

    The Wii U isn't just great for Nintendo games - there are also some really excellent indie titles on the eShop too that are well worth exploring. Check out the twisted platforming action in Knytt Underground for a good example. Chasing Aurora and Cloudberry Kingdom are worth a look too.

  • Wii Party U

    If you've got a big family with a short attention span, you can do much worse than checking out this vast collection of minigames aimed and getting the most out of the Wii U's weird and wonderful range of control schemes.

  • Pikmin 3

    This puzzle-strategy sequel was 10 years in the making, but it was well worth it, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/07/22/pikmin-3-uk-review_n_3634929.html" target="_blank">with beautiful HD graphics, varied and complex levels and a surprisingly tough, but never stressful, gaming experience.</a>

  • Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker HD

    This remake of the old Gamecube Zelda outing didn't initially seem like a big deal for the Wii U. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/09/18/legend-of-zelda-wind-waker-hd_n_3946720.html" target="_blank">Only when playing it did we realise</a> how clever Nintendo's decision to refresh the game with new HD graphics had been. Without virtually any gameplay modifications, this is still an absolutely classic adventure game that feels right up to date, and should be an essential purchase for any Wii U owner with a bit of patience.

  • Street Fighter II Turbo

    Yes, this game is 20 years old. But yes, it's still amazing, and costs less than a fiver.

  • ZombiU

    This horrifying, tense stealth-shooter was one of the stand-out launch games when the Wii U launched in 2012. But over Christmas it's been reduced to just £7.99 on the Wii U eShop, and at that price it's a total steal. Just don't play it in the dark. It's genuinely frightening.