Five great Wii games for the holidays

The holidays are here and that means the video game fans in your life are hoping that they will soon have some new games to play. (Hint, hint ... they want you to buy them a new game ... or two).

The Wii is a great game machine for the whole family. And so we've come up with a list of some superb Wii titles released this year — titles for the youngest, most innocent gamers in your household to the oldest and grittiest gamers on your list.

"Kirby's Epic Yarn"
Rated E for everyone
There has never been a more adorable game than this one. But Kirby's newest 2-D platformer isn't just cute as the dickens, it's super cool too and an absolute delight to play. The famed Nintendo character has been given an eye-poppingly crafty makeover for this game — that is, Kirby has been turned into a circle of yarn and his world into a fabric store dreamscape. Cute as it all may be, this creative game is one that players of every age will appreciate as they puzzle their way through this handmade world's many charms. (Read more about "Kirby's Epic Yarn" .)

"Super Mario Galaxy 2"
Rated E
This sequel to the beloved game "Super Mario Galaxy" lives up to its predecessor and knocks it out of the park well beyond. Mario's Galaxy-spanning adventures are more innovative and more astonishing than ever. The level design is wonderfully innovative and quite epic — there are just so many unique worlds for Mario to discover and explore and they're all so wildly creative you won't want to stop playing. This game is pure unadulterated fun.

"Donkey Kong Country Returns"
Rated E
Oh Donkey Kong, you've always been there for us. This holiday, the king of gaming apes has returned in "Donkey Kong Country Returns," a side-scrolling platformer and a good-looking one at that. Here you play the great ape as he tries to save his island from the evil Tikis who have stolen his bananas. We especially love the multiplayer option — a second player can jump in and play Diddy Kong at your side. If that player happens to be younger or less experienced, they can simply have Diddy Kong jump on Donkey Kong's back and carry him through the tougher moments. That makes this game something the oldest and newest Donkey Kong fans can bond over. Read more about "Donkey Kong Country Returns" .)

"No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle"
Rated M for Mature audiences only
$30 (but often available at a discount)
Don't believe the Wii haters when they start complaining that this little machine doesn't have anything to offer adults. Yeah, the Wii may be home to lots o' family fare, but there are some truly grownup titles to be found. "No More Heroes 2" is one of them. This M-Rated game of hack and slash, does a good job making use of the Wii's motion controls, delivering some bloody battles, a bawdy story and tons of personality to boot. This gritty offering is for the hardcore gamer on your list for sure.

Red Steel 2
Rated T for teens
$30 (but often available at a discount)
While the first "Red Steele" game disappointed players with its sloppy motion control implementation, "Red Steele 2" more than makes up for that misstep by delivering a superb game that puts the Wii's to work in style. Played from the first-person perspective, "Red Steel 2" lets you shoot and sword fight your way through a delightful array of enemies. The game's art style draws on both samurai and wild west traditions to deliver a wonderfully stylish look. Most importantly, the controls are tight and the game is a thrill to play.

P.S. Keep your eyes open for "Disney's Epic Mickey" — it doesn't hit shelves until Nov. 30th so we can't officially add it to our list. But from what we've seen so far, it looks like it could be a holiday hit.

For more holiday video game gift ideas, be sure to read: