Team Joystiq is barging into 2014 with a celebration of last year's best games. Keep reading throughout the week to see our assembly of ingenious indies and triple-A triumphs.Mario and his extended family has been our constant companion for quite some time now, and his adventures were starting to feel just a bit too ... familiar. There wasn't anything wrong with them, really, but they did lack that certain sparkle that made us fall for him all those years ago. We still loved him, of course, but we'd be lying if we said our eye hadn't started to wander. Then Super Mario 3D World came along to remind us that Mario is now, and forever shall be, our hero.
Super Mario 3D World imbues the franchise with fresh energy, crafting ingenious, secret-stuffed levels and slathering them in a fresh coat of Wii U-colored pretty. New power-ups like the clone-producing cherry and the adorable-yet-incredibly-useful kitty suit provided new ways to explore while also reminding us that jumping, running and smacking into blocks is still an incredibly fun way to spend your time. Just making it to the flag at the end of a level (and getting the 10,000 point bonus for landing on the top, natch) is a pleasure, but snagging all the hidden green stars and the rubber stamp in the process is a joy.