Super Mario Bros. Region
#1 Super Mario Bros. vs. #16 Advance Wars
#2 The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past vs. #15 Mortal Kombat
Hey, here’s a Zelda game! To me, Mortal Kombat and its sequel were more significant as arcade games (remember those?) than as games you played at home. It’s too bad online play wasn’t possible when MK was first released. That might have made this different. As it stands, Link to the Past should easily advance.
#3 Golden Eye 007 vs. #14 Aladdin
GoldenEye really transcended it’s genre in the sense that everyone played it. You could say it was the grandfather of both modern FPS games and stealth titles. Aladdin is a fine platformer, but it’s in over its head here.
#4 Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare vs. #13 WWF No Mercy
Want to know how biased I am here? I’m a lifelong wrestling fan who’s been writing about it professionally since I was in college. I bought an N64 just for No Mercy and WrestleMania 2000. And I suck at shooters. So you know I’m pulling for the upset here, even though Modern Warfare catapulted the FPS genre into the stratusphere.
#5 Mega Man 2 vs. #12 Banjo Kazooie
I was never much of a Banjo Kazooie guy, but I do tip my hat to quality games even when I don’t play them myself. If Mega Man 2 doesn’t win, it’ll be a sign to me that the voters are younger than I would have expected.
#6 Donkey Kong Country vs. #11 John Madden Football
Sports games were hard for us to pick and seed. People tend to think of them as series instead of as individual games, and with the exception of NHL 94, I don’t really have a favorite year that stands out in my mind for most of them. We picked the original Madden because it started something that impacted pop culture as a whole, but DKC is probably a better game strictly on its own merits. i could see an argument either way here.
#7 League of Legends vs. #10. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
This is going to be sacrilegious to some because Zelda games inspire fanatical devotion. But LoL has defined its genre, is the most popular game in the world by some measures and it’s free. A 7 seed might even have been too low. Plus, there’s another Zelda game elsewhere in the bracket.
#8 Minecraft vs. #9 Resident Evil 2
It’s tough to think that a series as popular and enduring as Resident Evil would be gone after one round, especially since we live in the Golden Age of zombies in pop culture (though perhaps toward the tail end). But Minecraft is more of an overall phenomenon, playable on so many platforms and appealing to so many different types of gamers. It gets my vote to advance.