#14. DONKEY KONG COUNTRY RETURNS
Systems: Wii
Release Date: Dec. 3
The original DKC, by Rare, has long been one of our favorite games of all time, and we feared that new developers Retro Studios would drop the banana bunch ball with their Wii-generation version. We should't have worried. It's platforming at its purest, mindbending level design festooned with secret goodies. Also, it's fucking hard. Remember when games were hard? Not stupid hard, not controller-throwing hard, just hard. Hard enough to make getting that last letter to complete the K-O-N-G upgrade, or surfing that tidal wave just right, a victory. Which makes the game a victory in its own right.