The Video Game March Madness Bracket

  • Hello everybody! For those who are not into sports (or are unaware of this particular American custom to our international Allies), this month of March has a cultural phenomenon called "March Madness" because college basketball has a massive 68 team tournament towards the end of the month, where if a team loses just once, they're out. This keeps going until there is one team left that hasn't lost in the tournament to determine the champion.

    Personally, it's one of my favorite times (and events) of the year, so I thought it would be fun to adapt the format to video games. In order to do this, I took the top 64 games (So no repeats and no collections) as listed on Metacritic's all time rankings list (so there are games I don't think anyone here would have on this list, and fun fact, Metal Gear Solid was the first game on the outside looking in. Brutal, especially for One of the Greats (tm) ), and ordered them as they are listed on the chart 1 to 64 to determine the "Seed List" and is as follows:

    1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
    2. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
    3. Grand Theft Auto IV
    4. SoulCalibur
    5. Super Mario Galaxy
    6. Super Mario Galaxy 2
    7. Red Dead Redemption 2
    8. Grand Theft Auto V
    9. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
    10. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3
    11. Perfect Dark
    12. Metroid Prime
    13. Grand Theft Auto III
    14. Super Mario Odyssey
    15. Halo: Combat Evolved
    16. NFL 2K1
    17. Half-Life 2
    18. Bioshock
    19. GoldenEye 007
    20. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
    21. Resident Evil 4
    22. Batman: Arkham City
    23. Tekken 3
    24. Mass Effect 2
    25. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
    26. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
    27. Half-Life
    28. The Legend of Zelda: WindWaker
    29. Gran Turismo
    30. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
    31. Baulder’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn
    32. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
    33. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
    34. LittleBigPlanet
    35. Red Dead Redemption
    36. Gran Turismo 3: A-spec
    37. Halo 2
    38. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
    39. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
    40. The Last of Us
    41. Madden NFL 2003
    42. Portal 2
    43. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
    44. World of Goo
    45. Bioshock: Infinite
    46. Final Fantasy IX
    47. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
    48. God of War (2018)
    49. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4
    50. Devil May Cry
    51. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
    52. Madden NFL 2002
    53. Chrono Cross
    54. Madden NFL 2004
    55. Gears of War
    56. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
    57. Sid Meier’s Civilization II
    58. Quake
    59. Halo 3
    60. Ninja Gaiden Black
    61. Street Fighter IV
    62. Celeste
    63. Super Mario Bros. 3 (GBA version)
    64. Jet Grind Radio

    From here, I tried to split them into four quadrants in a serpentine fashion (1, 8, 9, 16, 17.... 2, 7, 10, 15, 18..... etc. Think about the Fantasy Critic Draft on the recent Easy Update.) If you follow this format for the above list, you'll notice that doesn't match the brackets below. The reason: I tried to not have multiple entries in a franchise in one quadrant. Zelda and GTA were the ones I had to move around the most to make sure there was balanced representation, but I did this for other games as well. And for Zelda specifically, there is a quirk on the 7 and 10 seed line that, no matter how I tried to rearrange it, two Zeldas are going to face each other in the first round, no matter what.

    So here's what I was thinking: I'll post one quadrant's worth of matchups and give everyone two days to get their votes in. Once done, (in this same thread) I'll move on to the next quadrant and so on. After all four quadrant's have completed, I'll move on to the second round, bringing back the first quadrant's winners. This will continue until each quadrant has a winner. Once at this step, the first and the last quadrant will go head-to-head, and the second and third quadrant will face off. Then there will be a one-on-one winner-take-all final vote between the last two standing.

    The only criteria is when voting, pick the one you want to win. You DON'T have to comment, campaign or anything else if you don't want to. If you DO want to comment or if there are any questions, I'll be more than happy to answer.

    A couple of final notes: Quadrant numbers were determined by the top seeds. So for the first quadrant of voting, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is listed as the overall top game, and therefore, in theory, should have the "easiest" path. Ergo, it leads Quad 1. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is the second overall game, so it's the top seed in Quad 2, and so on. Also, the matchups are presented in the exact same format as the actual basketball tournament to prevent the top seeds immediately going against one another.

    Make sense? I hope so. I'm not expecting much participation, but I thought it would be fun. Without further ado, here are the first quadrant's first round games. Have fun!

    1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time vs. 16. Super Mario Bros. 3 (GBA version)
    8. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas vs. 9. LittleBigPlanet

    5. Half-Life 2 vs. 12. God of War (2018)
    4. NFL 2K1 vs. 13. Devil May Cry

    6. Mass Effect 2 vs. 11. Madden 2003
    3. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 vs. 14. Sid Meier's Civilization II

    7. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim vs. 10. The Last of Us
    2. Grand Theft Auto V vs. 15. Quake

  • This is a really cool idea!

    Well, I suppose it's time for me to campaign for Little Big Planet. LBP is without a doubt the most unique and jolly platformer I have ever played. It is oozing with personality, and it has the best licensed music to ever be in a game. I beg you people, think of the sackboys!

  • @capnbobamous Thank you very much for the compliment!

  • I discovered a link error causing one poll to be a duplicate of another matchup: NFL 2K1 vs DMC redirected to the HL2 vs GoW poll so I was able to correct it. If you want to vote in the 4 vs 13 match, please do so, as I fixed the issue.

  • This madness will cause sadness, so I am IN.

  • This is a fun idea. Head-to-head fights like these are always brutal.

    By the way, I just recently thought that this place could use the function to create polls in threads in here. That Straw Poll site is neat and all, but one that would sit atop a thread here and show for instance which user voted which (if so decided) is a thing I miss around here. That feature would also make it possible to create more fun and interesting threads and possibly activate the place a bit more.

  • @capnbobamous GTA San Andreas though, it's so good! Had so many fond couch gaming memories with my fellow underage friends back in the day.

    Also, I'm picking Naughty Dog games no matter what, it's my legal duty.

  • I will just say that I spent hundreds of hours playing NFL 2k1, which was a huge milestone in sports games. Was one of the first games (if not THE first?) to use motion capture on live athletes. had over 1500 individual player animations. Was the first free multiplayer online competitive sports game that you could play on consoles without buying an expensive online attachment or subscribing to some competitive server. It supported up to 4 simultaneous players on each dreamcast, so you could potentially get an 4x4 football game where you had to actually play and strategize actual football against a significant number of non-AI players. It also kept up to date rosters and injury info throughout the season based on real life (if you chose to allow that).

    The NFL 2k franchise was one of the main reasons to own a Dreamcast. I know it's up against Devil May Cry, but it deserves it's credit.

  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, 3 and Jet Grind Radio are getting my vote no matter what. I'd honestly consider 3 one of my favorite games of all time and at the very least my favorite game on top 64 list. I don't have a lot of hope they'll get as far as they deserve but I won't let them die in round 1 if I have any control over it.

  • Nice this is a cool idea! There's some close match ups in there..

    Also, go NC State! Assuming they get in :|

  • @Sentinel-Beach Thank you for the compliment! As for your function idea, I'm not knowledgeable (clearly X-] ) about formatting posts, so I try to do it where it makes sense to me to set it up. If there is such a function, I'd be more than happy to learn!

    @Faaip Thank you as well! There's some bizarre matchups to come. Also, your team played a great game against mine yesterday, so good game to you guys! Wolfpack legit had me scared all 40 minutes.

  • Good stuff, I love tourney brackets.

    The one match-up I want to comment on : Ocarina of Time vs. Super Mario Bros. 3. I fully realize Ocarina of Time seems to be that game that everyone says they love but push your nostalgia aside a moment - is it honestly that great of a game or is your memory of it clouding your vision? It's janky as all hell, it looks pretty bad these days, a lot of the puzzles are too easy or too frustrating, and the combat is bland. Mario 3 on the other hand, appears to be timeless. Not only did it add so many things to the franchise, it still looks good to this day and is a perfect game to sit down with for a couple of hours with and finish.

  • Cool idea, but I just want to say.

    Bioshock Infinite has absolutely no business being on that list.

  • @bard91 As I said in the initial post: There is plenty on that list a lot of us wouldn't have on it. But I simply went down the chart in order.

  • @bard91 Bioshock Infinite has no right being that low on the list.* There, I fixed it.

  • @brannox oh I know, nothing against you, I'm aware the list is just based on averages, but still I saw it and had to express my discontent

  • @bam541 Could we have a Patron submit "dying when you fall in water in a game set in the real world" to Ginny's Cauldron? I feel like San Andreas does not get enough love for eliminating the most infuriating part of its 2 predecessors.

  • @bam541 Yeah it really sucks LBP is going against something as universally loved as San Andreas. Hell, I would vote for San Andreas if it was going against almost anything else.

  • Come on, QUAKE! Older brother Doom isn't on the list, this is your chance. Gogogo!

    OoT vs SMB3 counterpoint:

    Ocarina of Time is all around still a rad game to play today, both gameplay and story. The call to adventure and forced loss of innocence. Great temples, fun combat, and more spells/tools/consumables than most Zeldas.

    SMB3 has that underground level where you need to find a leaf and fly a stunned Koopa Shell to the top.


    Unrelated general thought about this thread:

    I'm not sure how hard it would be, but it would be neat to have the bracket tree with all future matchups listed (i.e. where in the tournament each winner advances to) so we can let our imagination speculate on which match will take down which game. If you post the 'adjusted' seed order, maybe another individual knows a website or some other automated method to create such an image for us.

  • @chocobop I thought about posting the full first round but keeping track of every straw poll was a little daunting (and if you see my first couple of posts after the OP, you'll see I was right as I flubbed one of the links. <=-J)

    Also, as I pointed out towards the end of the OP, the matchups are grouped together where you'll see what the potential is (and likely outcome if you remember the leaders after you vote). Meaning: Of the above quadrant, you know the 1/16 winner is going up against the 8/9 winner and so on.

    As for the rest of the matchups, it's a little fun for me to give the entire seed list and allow everyone's imaginations try to guess what the future matchups are about to be. I will say the entire bracket is already set, and the next quadrant will post tomorrow when I call off the vote for the first quadrant.