Given all the noise around the Wii U, Super Mario 3D World was always going to be an interesting addition to the series. What should come as no surprise, though, is just how good it was.
Although it stuck to a previously introduced template rather than shake the very foundations of the gaming world - ala Mario Galaxy - 3D World was a genuine joy to play through. Ensuring that variety and sheer surprise were tantamount from start to finish, Mario continued to throw new ideas at you to the point of lunacy. No matter what you expected it had up its sleeve, there was always something else waiting just around the corner.
Easily one of the best offerings on the Wii U - and a reason to buy a console if you're yet to invest - it was a game that kept on giving, too. For those who wanted to plunder its hidden depths, there were secrets and Easter eggs lurking, and the sheer amount of levels it packed in was nothing short of excellent.
It opened up the experience to three other friends as well, yet another, if not expected, wonderful addition. Sure it often added up to nothing more than people jumping on each other's heads like idiots, but it did change the game's dynamic. Super Mario 3D World was simultaneously a fantastic single and multiplayer offering.
Regardless how the Wii U continues from this point on, it will always be responsible for one of the best games in the Mario franchise, and that statement alone is worth a pretty penny.