Mario Kart 8 (WiiU, 2014)
After being somewhat disappointed with Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7, I was ready to be impressed by Mario Kart 8, especially after playing the game in 2013 at Nintendo World in Manhattan. When it finally launched this year, it managed to exceed my expectations, delivering on the audio-visual front, the mechanical front, and on the track design front. Sure, the battle mode is an afterthought, but it's small potatoes considering everything that's right with Mario Kart 8, including opulent visuals, an orchestral soundtrack (a first for Mario Kart), silky smooth online play, and imaginative tracks that rank among the best in the series. I could play this game forever, and probably will.