We've been smitten with the second-gen Amazon Fire TV streaming-media box ever since its October launch. Its speedy content loads, especially with rewinds and fast forwards, has made it this author's favorite streaming device currently on the market, and its voice search and gaming capabilities are solid, functional bonuses.

That being said, we haven't exactly tossed our Xbox One or PlayStation 4 systems to the curb in favor of the 2015 Amazon Fire TV's game selection, but it's a decent Android-based gaming system—thanks in part to Amazon finally landing a few quality TV-minded games on its platform (Shovel Knight, Hotline Miami 2, etc).

The set-top box wasn't the only thing to get an update this year; last year's cheap-feeling, Amazon-branded controller got an update as well, and in our October review of the Fire TV box, we expressed our hopes that the updated, $50 pad would, at the very least, outdo last year's clunker. We finally got a review unit in our hands, and we can confirm that our low expectations have been topped—but is that reason enough to go with Amazon's new pad, and its perks, over compatible options like a wired Xbox 360 pad?

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