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2020 Mario Spinoff Madness Tournament

Sweet 16

by the NWR Staff - April 18, 2020, 7:40 pm PDT

A pair of top seeds fall and the competition gets fierce.

16 more Mario spinoffs were voted off the island, and now we're down to just 16 games. Two top seeds (Mario Kart Super Circuit and Mario Tennis 64) were knocked out by Super Mario Strikers and Mario Party 2. Every second and third seed is still alive, and the seismic activity from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and Mario Kart 8 might knock the Earth off its axis.

Vote below, and enjoy the factoids.

  • Biggest margin of victory: Overall, the match-ups were a little closer but most weren't in doubt after a couple dozen votes came in. We had no 90%+ thrashings, but a handful of 80%+ victories happened with Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (over fellow GameCube game Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour), Paper Mario 64 (over Super Mario Party), and Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (over Mario Party 6). Double Dash's 87%-13% win was the largest. Of note, Mario Party 3 managed to eke out 22% against Mario Kart 8. Maybe Mario Kart 8 isn't the dominant force we might have expected?
  • Closest match-ups: Mario Party 2 and Mario Tennis 64 were neck and neck for the whole voting period, with Mario Party 2 knocking off the top-seeded Mario Tennis 64 by a count of 51%-49%. The next closest was Mario Kart DS over Mario Strikers Charged (56%-44%).
  • Upsets: Mario Party 2 pulled off another upset over Mario Tennis 64 and is the highest seed remaining (9). The only other shocker was Super Mario Strikers (8 seed) over Mario Kart Super Circuit (1 seed), though Super Circuit was very much the paper tiger top seed. The only other technical upsets were Mario Kart 64 (5 seed) over Super Paper Mario (4 seed) and Captain Toad (5 seed) over Super Mario Kart (4 seed), but any betting man would have likely called those.
  • Big takeaway: Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and Mario Kart 8 maybe should have been the finals match-up, but that's the way the semi-random seeding cookie crumbled.
  • Genre/series breakdown: Of the remaining games: 7 are RPGs, 5 are Kart games, 2 are sports games, 1 is a party game, and one is Captain Toad. The Paper Mario bracket will send an RPG or a Kart game to the finals, and the other three very likely will as well, even more so because the sports and party games remaining are lower seeds.
  • Big match-ups: Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door vs. Mario Kart 8 will be nuts. Aside from that, Mario Kart: Double Dash's dominance, granted over a bad 3DS Mario sports game (Sports Superstars) and arguably the worst Mario Party to make it to the second round (Mario Party 6), is overall surprising. Double Dash goes against Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, which might have the most sterling reputation of the Mario & Luigi games. The other sterling Mario & Luigi game, Bowser's Inside Story, goes against Mario+Rabbids, which could easily make a bid for the Final Four if the Ubisoft game can get past Bowser's Inside Story. Mario Kart DS should probably mop the floor with the other remaining Mario & Luigi game (Partners in Time), but it needs to be pointed out that Partners in Time somehow made it through two rounds.



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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