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#31: Donkey Kong Country Returns (2010)
Last Year: 30

Retro Studios certainly has a knack for returning SNES-era superstars to their rightful glory. Not satisfied just for raising Samus Aran from the dead in spectacular fashion (we'll get to that later), Retro Studios took up the task to returning (ahem) Donkey Kong Country to its rightful place among the all-time platforming greats. Rare did an incredible job of first creating the amazing Donkey Kong Country series back on the SNES (as seen by my previous placing of DKC2), so Retro had quite the shoes to fill. But with the release of Donkey Kong Country Returns, Retro didn't just meet expectations, they exceeded them. This game is an ode to amazing platform design, and always keeps things fresh and (super) fun. And like the DKC series before it, the game is quite challenging, but always fair (the kind of game where it's "Just one more time! I know I can get it this time!"). It had a few small issues (getting a perfect head bounce is harder to perform than it needs to be, and getting used to the shake controls), but on the whole, the game is amazing. Truly one of the all time platforming greats.