A tournament that began more than a year and a half ago on the r/Nintendo subreddit is soon coming to an end. In honor of the 10th anniversary of the subreddit, user KetchupTheDuck organized a tournament aiming to narrow down a single best Nintendo game from a pool of 1,246 Nintendo releases.
Now, members of the subreddit are tasked with determining one winner between The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and a Mario pick that will surprise some and seem obvious to others: Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.
When the tournament began, the unwieldy pool of Nintendo games was broken down into 128 brackets of 10 games, eventually resulting in two winners. From there, the remaining games were pitted against each other in one-on-one battles, narrowing the pool down to 128. Then this process was repeated to create a bracket of 64 for the tournament's fourth round—the first time the tournament could be represented visually.
Round six, which featured 16 remaining games, led to a few notable brackets: a Mario battle between Super Mario World and Super Mario Odyssey; a collectathon contest between Donkey Kong Country and Banjo-Kazooie; and the ultimate Zelda showdown between Ocarina of Time and Breath of the Wild. Of course, by design, plenty of upsets preceded these choices as well (the most significant of which was, of course, Golden Sun losing to Goldeneye 007).
In order to reach the final round, Breath of the Wild was determined to be better than Super Smash Bros: Melee, and Pokémon SoulSilver; meanwhile, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door had to best Mario Odyssey and the Metroid Prime Trilogy. The final choice, while as imperfect a representation of Nintendo as any two games would inevitably be, nonetheless offers a few compelling dichotomies: GameCube vs. Switch, action vs. RPG, linear vs. open world, nostalgia vs. recency bias, and of course, Mario vs. Zelda, a debate almost as old as elementary school playgrounds.
Voting for the final round began on November 5th, and will continue for about a week. Check back on November 12th to see who will take it all.