It's been two years since the Wii U made its debut, and 2014 saw the launch of several first-party flagship Nintendo games that gave us fresh takes on familiar staples. The success of Mario Kart 8 proved that the cute kart racing series still has plenty of life, with amazing course design married to outstanding visuals and controls. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U once again united several iconic characters for an all-out fun brawl, making and breaking many a friendship. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze sported challenging boss battles that tested our mettle.
But it wasn't just the first-party games that made a splash on the Wii U. 8-bit side-scroller Shovel Knight charmed us with its memorable characters and platform mechanics. And of course, the slick, action-packed Bayonetta 2 proved itself to be worthy of being inducted into that most exclusive of GameSpot clubs, joining the small group of games to which we have awarded a rare 10 score.