This is it! Metroid Prime vs. Xenoblade! Mario Galaxy vs. Wind Waker! Let's and go!
We're down to four games. We've got the 2002 GameCube classic (and RFN Game of the Decade) Metroid Prime taking on the underdog late-gen Wii RPG Xenoblade Chronicles. On the other side, we've got Mario and Zelda duking it out across generations with the 2003 GameCube game Wind Waker going up against the 2007 Wii game Super Mario Galaxy. The winners of each will compete for the best game of Nintendo World Report's 15-year life. Only your votes can decide that.
Voting ends around 10:00 a.m. ET on March 27. That day, we'll unleash the finals!
Metroid Prime (1) vs. Xenoblade Chronicles (4)
Metroid Prime: Among the many honors heaped upon the beloved 2002 GameCube game Metroid Prime, one stands out: it was NWR’s Game of the Decade. It is a deserving title, too, successfully translating an essentially Super Metroid world map into not just 3D but first-person to boot. While the GameCube control scheme took some getting used to, once it clicked, Metroid Prime was unlike any other experience. The Wii’s Metroid Prime Trilogy improves on perfection with the excellent control of Metroid Prime 3. Samus’ first 3D adventure is the one to watch—the real critical darling—in this tournament.
Games Defeated: Super Mario 3D World (WC), Super Smash Bros. Melee (4), New Super Mario Bros. (9), Pokemon Gold/Silver (16)
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.
Games Defeated: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2), Resident Evil 4 (1), Kirby's Epic Yarn (5), Ogre Battle 64 (13)
Super Mario Galaxy (1) vs. Zelda: The Wind Waker (1)
Super Mario Galaxy: Super Mario Galaxy is Mario’s first foray on the Wii back in 2007, and not only is it considered one of the best games on the Wii, it might just be Mario’s best adventure yet! Here’s a refreshing story: Bowser has kidnapped Princess Peach. This time, he takes Princess Peach’s castle and lifts it into outer space. Mario takes it to the sky, collecting power stars along the way in search of Bowser and Peach. The game makes great use of the Wii controls, using the nunchuk to move and the controller itself to preform actions. With intuitive controls, engaging worlds and a incredible orchestrated soundtrack, Super Mario Galaxy can be considered one of the best games of the last generation on any system.
Games Defeated: Super Mario Sunshine (6), Fire Emblem: Awakening (4), Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (8), Pokemon Snap (16)
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: Can there be any doubt that this is among the top contenders in this bracket? It’s a game so nice they sold it twice. Wind Waker is certainly one of the prettiest games in recent memory, with a cel-shaded, colorful art style that remains consistent and wonderful music that expresses whimsy (the pirate theme) and epic-ness (the ocean theme). The Great Sea feels like a living world, and there’s no shortage of things to do and treasure to uncover. Wind Waker is filled with moments you’ll never forget your first trip to Hyrule Castle, Princess Zelda’s reveal, and Link’s final blow to Ganondorf. As always, I expect great things from Toon Link in this tournament.
Games Defeated: Super Mario Galaxy 2 (3), Super Smash Bros. Brawl (4), Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader (8) Wii Sports (16)