Mario Kart 8
I've played enough Mario Kart in my life to know that this is the best version of the venerable kart-racer since the Nintendo 64 era.
Mario Kart 8 is my favorite series entry since Double Dash, and if it gets arena battle tracks at some point by way of DLC, it will be a near-perfect package. Its vibrant visuals will hold up for years to come, ensuring that the game will withstand the test of time, and it will be a staple in my household for a long, long while.
The overall high quality of the game is so impressive that it doesn't really matter that much that the zero-gravity gimmick barely adds anything that's truly new. Next time around, though, Nintendo might need to come up with new tricks if it hopes to keep us coming back for more.
The deeper handling, pop-out arcade style graphics on a scale unseen before in the series, the social network friendly Mario Kart TV and Miiverse features and of course the heavyweight Mario moniker itself are Nintendo's best chance to date of turning round the Wii U's fortunes. Quietly underpinning all this is the best Mario Kart experience I've has since it's revelatory introduction some 22 year ago.
Mario Kart 8 shows a playful spirit, refinement, and attention to detail that has been missing in the last few entries.
All in all, these missing features and changes for the worse are disappointing blemishes on what is still an incredibly enjoyable game. Mario Kart 8 isn't the best game in the series, but it adds enough new visual, gameplay, and track design flourishes to its well-trodden core kart-racing gameplay to be worth a look.
It may not be revolutionary, but it adds just enough to pique interests while keeping the core experience we've all grown up with, regardless of age. Mario Kart is one of those timeless franchises that every age group can enjoy, and sometimes, that's enough to celebrate.
It may just be more Mario Kart, but that continues to be no bad thing.
Mario Kart is typically the best racer for most people. That's no different with Mario Kart 8.
The core racing, driving and course design in Mario Kart 8 is better than any of the seven games that came before it. But battle mode stinks