Can the Wii console play Wii U games?

The Wii is backwards compatible with Gamecube, not forwards compatible with Wii U games. The hardware for the Wii is worse than the Wii U's I imagine, meaning that if you could run them, they would run poorly, and the Wii U costs around $300,

Why was the Wii such a popular console when it had very few decent games?

The Wii was an unusual case, it looked popular on paper because it sold a lot of units and very quickly but in the home space, it was quickly forgotten. It had a few amazing games but they were offset by an alarming number