Resident Evil 4 and Xenoblade Chronicles are the favorites in this bracket.
Now that we’re done the Wild Card Round, it’s time to get to the fun stuff. Round 1, aka the Round of 64, features a ridiculous 32 match-ups between 64 deserving games. We’ve split them all into four regions, led by the highest-rated games (according to Nintendo World Report and MetaCritic) of the entire batch: Metroid Prime, Super Mario Galaxy, The Wind Waker, and Resident Evil 4. Go ahead and vote for these match-ups and show your colors in the discussion. What’s your Cinderella game?
Voting ends on March 15 at around 1 a.m. ET. On March 16, we'll have Round 2, with 32 games and 16 match-ups, ready to go...
Mario Golf GBC (16) vs. Resident Evil 4 (1)
Mario Golf GBC: Mario Golf on the Game Boy Color is the first in the series to include the beloved RPG mode, where players can take a rookie golfer and turn him into someone who can take down the super golfing Mario. It’s got classic golf gameplay that Nintendo and developer Camelot refined over the years. Even today, it holds up, as evidenced by the warm support of the 3DS Virtual Console release. If only the 3DS game will still have the RPG mode. We can dream, right?
Resident Evil 4: Here’s a game that was great on GameCube in 2005 but even better as a remake (on Wii). Resident Evil 4 found a fine balance between action and suspense that the series has never matched, and Leon S. Kennedy’s often-setback rescue of the President’s daughter proved an engaging plot that didn’t require knowledge of the series’ complex backstory. There are always more secrets to find, and repeat playthroughs are greatly encouraged through new, powerful weaponry. The game also features some nail-biting boss fights and a great, subdued musical score. Can Leon, Ashley, and Luis clinch the victory?
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (9) vs. Pikmin 2 (8)
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap: The studio at Capcom/Flagship delivered another fine entry in the Zelda series with 2005 GBA classic, The Minish Cap. A major gameplay component in Minish Cap is Link’s ability to shrink to solve puzzles or explore the small cities of the Minish (a group of magical, miniature people). Link’s quest involves retrieving the four elemental artifacts to repair the legendary sword, the Picori Blade, and take down the power-hungry, Minish magician, Vaati. Minish Cap has several unique gameplay components and classic Zelda gameplay elements, making it one of the most memorable adventures on the GBA.
Pikmin 2: Pikmin was great, but you know’s better? The 2004 GameCube game Pikmin 2. Pikmin 2 built on an already fantastic game to make it even better. More Pikmin species, more players and more big baddies to take on made this a wonderful experience. With the introduction to dungeons, the expansive world grew even larger. Pikmin may have been tiny, but Pikmin 2 is bigger and better. It’s huge. For real.
Rhythm Heaven (12) vs. Kirby’s Epic Yarn (5)
Rhythm Heaven: At long last, Rhythm Heaven made it to America with the 2009 DS release. The magical and whimsical charm of the unique rhythm game was well-loved on DS, even if the touch screen reliance was frustrating at times. The memories of tapping will always remain to those who played Rhythm Heaven and likely often entered Rhythm Hell due to the challenge of some of the games.
Kirby’s Epic Yarn: When this title was first revealed before it came out in 2010 on the Wii, players were skeptical. Who wouldn’t be? Change is scary. But change can also be a great thing. Take Kirby’s Epic Yarn, for example. This game turned Kirby on its side and introduced a UFO-load of fun new gameplay mechanics. Making your way through the yarn-based worlds was visually pleasing as well as tons of fun. Throwing yarn at your enemies, ripping back pieces of scenery and seeing Kirby’s all-new transformations helped make this game great.
Ogre Battle 64 (13) vs. Xenoblade Chronicles (4)
Ogre Battle 64: There weren’t many RPGs to speak of on the Nintendo 64, and less still strategy RPGs. It didn’t matter to Quest – Nintendo’s money was good enough for them to produce one of the deepest and most rewarding tactical RPGs ever made. While most SRPGs are content to let you build individual people, Ogre Battle 64 requires developing your soldiers and assembling them into squads that maximize their potential. Ogre Battle 64 gives as much as the player is willing to put into it; hidden classes, items, skills, and tactics await discovery by the most dedicated.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Nintendo’s purchase of Monolith Soft was leading up to this. The long-delayed launch of Xenoblade Chronicles introduced players to an expansive world that stretches across the body of two frozen titans. Expansive vistas offer fleeting views of the two giants, locked in eternal combat. Monolith Soft, seemingly unphased by the constraints of the Wii hardware, produced more than just a stunning visual show, they also innovated innumerable ways to streamline the chore-like tasks that encumber the JRPG genre. While the Wii lacked a deep library of JRPGs, Xenoblade Chronicles could convincingly stake a claim to being the best of its generation.