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2020 Mario Spinoff Madness Tournament

Round of 32

by the NWR Staff - April 17, 2020, 8:51 am PDT

We halved our game total in one fell swoop. See what upsets happened, what series have the most left, and what trends can be drawn from Mario spinoff voting.

Round one is in the books. 64 games entered, and 32 left. Note to self: putting up 32 polls on Twitter sucks. The first round was mostly chalk, but a few upsets shined a light on a trend that is interesting. If you want to cut to the chase, the updated brackets are attached and the votes for round two are below. But for now: stats!

  • Biggest margin of victory: Mario Kart 8 trounced Mario Party: The Top 100 95%-5%. The 2014 Wii U game was probably only a second seed because somebody gave it a 7.5 back in the day. The other single digits percentages were: Super Mario RPG (91%) over Mario Party: Star Rush (9%) and Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (94%) over Mario Sports Superstars (6%). Of note, The Super Circuit bracket had two of those dominant games (Mario Kart 8, Super Mario RPG), alongside two other games (Mario Kart Super Circuit and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door) with 80%+ victories.
  • Closest match-ups: Super Mario Party held off Mario Superstar Baseball 51% to 49%. Sure, Paper Mario will likely cream Super Mario Party, but Super Mario Party will always have the first round.
  • Upsets: Mario Super Sluggers (12 seed) has survived two rounds already and they came in hard against Mario Golf Advance Tour, winning 56% to 44%. Other upsets included Mario Party 3 (10 seed) over Mario Tennis (GBC), Mario Party 6 (11 seed) over Mario Tennis Power Tour, and Mario Party 2 (9 seed) over Mario Golf: World Tour.
  • Big takeaway: Read over the list of the upsets. Every single upset was a portable Mario sports game. What happened to the good will of those games?
  • Most dominant series: Let's be honest - this is going to be RPGs vs. Kart. Every Mario Kart game won their first match-up (well, except Mario Kart Tour) and the only Mario RPGs that didn't make the cut are Paper Mario: Sticker Star (good riddance) and Paper Mario: Color Splash (a damn shame). More than half of the remaining games can be tied to the racing or RPG genre.
  • Big second round match-ups: Two stand out as major at this stage. Mario Kart Wii vs. Super Mario RPG and Mario Kart 64 vs. Super Paper Mario. The oddsmakers put Super Mario RPG and Mario Kart 64 as the favorites, but even Mario Kart Wii or Super Paper Mario put up a strong fight and possibly win, it might portend the viability of the Kart or RPG series going forward. Captain Toad vs. Super Mario Kart is a real "old vs. new" battle. Captain Toad could be a contender, but can the original Mario Kart knock it out now? Lastly, every Mario Party enters this round an underdog. Can any of them survive? We have Mario Party (vs. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga), Mario Party 2 (vs. Mario Tennis 64), Mario Party 3 (vs. Mario Kart 8), and Mario Party 6 (vs. Mario Kart: Double Dash!!) still left.



KhushrenadaApril 14, 2020

I was about to say that it this was just going to be Mario Kart in a walk but it isn't just about the spin-off series in general but nearly every spin-off game. Then I saw Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door and realized there may actually be a bit of a competition to this whole thing. That said, despite personal preferences people playing Mario Kart may have as to which iteration they consider the best, I'm still predicting it now that the winner will be Mario Kart 8 (with Mario Kart Wii as my second choice champion if nostalgia plays a bigger factor for voters).

KhushrenadaApril 14, 2020

Holy Crap. This seeding is crazy. Now that I've had a chance to examine the brackets a bit, I don't know what is going to happen. The NorthWest (Top Left) bracket is madness. Super Mario RPG, Paper Mario: TTYD, Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 8 are all in that section and only one will make it to the Final Four?!? At this point, Double Dash or Mario Kart DS may actually have a better chance of pulling off the win for the Mario Kart series (which would be my preference  8) ).

I have a feeling the sports titles (Tennis, Golf, Baseball, Soccer) will get eliminated by the time things get to the Final 8 but haven't followed all of the branches to see if that would be the case. I think the RPGs, Parties and Karts will end up claiming those end of the tourney spots but we shall see. I'm realizing how many Mario spin-offs I've never played and/or only dabbled in like some of the sports games. I've always felt I've kept up well with Mario's spinoff forays but that is when looking at them divided into their subsections. With all of the games together (including a few I forgot existed), it all adds up to many, many games I've yet to play in the Mario spinoff collection.

Also, Mario Golf World Tour is misspelled as Mario Gold World Tour in the NorthEast (Top Right) bracket section.

that Baby guyApril 14, 2020

I think Mario Gold War Tour was an edutainment follow-up to Mario is Missing that focused on macro-economics and world trade.

KhushrenadaApril 14, 2020

Quote from: that

I think Mario Gold War Tour was an edutainment follow-up to Mario is Missing that focused on macro-economics and world trade.

I know the title was controversial because players often won by having their manufacturing of sporting goods and go-karts done overseas in the Koopa Kingdom using cheap Goomba labor. Despite that, I still think the game was highly popular enough to overcome that issue and win this Tournament but I guess we won't know that for sure since it wasn't included.

that Baby guyApril 14, 2020

Mario Gold World Tour is PAL name. In NTSC territories, it was War Tour. My bad.

Spak-SpangApril 14, 2020

Strong spinoff franchises:  Mario Golf, Mario Kart, Mario & Luigi Sagas, and new entry Mario Maker.

The interesting thing is, this is about genre preference...more than quality.

LafayetteApril 18, 2020

Mario Party 2 over Mario Tennis 64 is just criminal.

Spak-SpangApril 19, 2020

I kinda wonder what would have happened if you we had a Kart Bracket, a Sports Bracket, an RPG bracket, and a misc. Bracket.  Then we would at least learn what people think are the best of the Kart games, the best of the sports games, and the best of the RPG games. 

I am bummed that some of the best Mario sports games are getting voted out early.  I mean I absolutely hate sports games in general, but Mario Tennis 64 and Mario Golf 64 are some of the best absolute sports games ever.

Spak-SpangApril 20, 2020

Double Dash and the Super Star Saga that should be close. I am all in for Mario Golf 64.

BeautifulShyApril 23, 2020

For the final 4 between Thousand Year Door and  Mario Kart Double Dash I have to go with Thousand Year Door. 
Mario Kart 64 and Captain Toad:Treasure Tracker I am going with Captain Toad.

Spak-SpangApril 24, 2020

I loved Double Dash and 1000 year door was hard to get into. So DD for me.

KhushrenadaApril 24, 2020

I've only played TTYD once and that was when it had just come out. I've felt like replaying for some time but that goes for the original Paper Mario too. I've put it off for various reasons I won't get into to keep this post short. On the other side, I'm pretty certain Double Dash is still and probably always will be the GameCube I have put the most time into playing. Kept playing in during the Wii years since my brother and I were not big fans of Mario Kart Wii. Heck, there's a good chance it is the Mario Kart I've played the most out of all the other Mario Kart versions. (It's possible the original Super Mario Kart is the longest. Without time tracking on these older systems, I've got no way to track the time of my misspent youth.  ;) )

For that longevity and time, Double Dash is why I'm rooting for it in this battle.

NES_RPG_NERDApril 25, 2020

Sorry, but DD is the worst Kart game...MK64 FTW.

Spak-SpangApril 27, 2020

I have to go the Mario Kart 64.  The game has aged poorly when you put it up against the more modern Mario Karts, but that is what is supposed to happen.  Mario Kart's formula is defined and in some ways perfected in Mario Kart 64.  Mario Kart 64 has my personal favorite version of the Blue Turtle Shell, and I think a better less chaotic weapon system.  It is equally about combat and racing, which I think is lost in some of the more modern Mario Karts. 

Rancid PlanetApril 27, 2020

Double Dash (easily the best Kart game in the series) would beat it's GCN brother Thousand Year Door. But not 64. 64 has been improved upon time and agan. Meanwhile Thousand Year Door is STILL the best Paper Mario Game.

BeautifulShyApril 28, 2020

Thousand Year Door is the best between it and Mario Kart 64. 

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