Tell us the best sports video game ever

This week at SB Nation, we’re going to be talking about video games across the network. That’s not limited to sports video games, but in this post, right here, that’s what we’re going to talk about. What is the greatest sports video game title of all time?

That’s where you come in. We’ve selected 32 games from a variety of sports, types and eras, and we’ll be running polls over the course of this week for you to decide which one reigns supreme (there’s more info at the bottom on the selection and seeding process, for those interested). There are some I couldn’t make room for (Pyre and Golf Story stans, know that I’m with you) and some I definitely forgot. I’d love to hear about them! Please yell at me in the comments.

And the winner is …

Mario Kart 64!!

Results

Finals

(5) Mario Kart 64 (53%) vs. (8) NCAA Football 13 (47%)

Semifinals

(5) Mario Kart 64 (71%) vs. (1) Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 (29%)

(7) Wii Sports (49%) vs. (8) NCAA Football 14 (51%)

The Originals Region (pre-1999)

First round results:

(1) NBA Jam (90%) vs. (8) RBI Baseball (10%)

(4) NFL Blitz (26%) vs. (5) Mario Kart 64 (74%)

(3) Punch-Out!! (58%) vs. (6) NHL 94 (42%)

(2) Tecmo Super Bowl 55% vs. (7) Backyard Baseball 45%

Second round results:

(1) NBA Jam (46%) vs. (5) Mario Kart 64 (54%)

(3) Punch-Out!! (36%) vs. (2) Tecmo Super Bowl (64%)

Regional final results:

(5) Mario Kart 64 (76%) vs. (2) Tecmo Super Bowl (24%)

The Turn of the Century Region (1999-2003)

First round results:

(1) Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 (84%) vs. (8) Ken Griffey Jr.’s Slugfest (16%)

(4) NBA Street Vol. 2 (74%) vs. (5) WWF No Mercy (26%)

(3) SSX Tricky (41%) vs. (6) Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 (59%)

(2) Madden 2004 (89%) vs. (7) Top Spin (11%)

Second round results:

(1) Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 (75%) vs. (4) NBA Street Vol. 2 (25%)

(6) Tiger Woods PGA Tour (2004) 32% vs. (2) Madden 2004 (68%)

Regional final results:

(1) Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 (58%) vs. (2) Madden 2004 (42%)

The Mid 2000’s Region (2004-2008)

First round results:

(1) ESPN NFL 2K5 (88%) vs. (8) All Pro Football 2k8 (12%)

(4) College Hoops 2K8 (50%) vs. (5) NFL Street (50%)

(3) NBA Live 2005 (83%) vs. (6) iRacing (17%)

(2) MVP Baseball 2005 (30%) vs. (7) Wii Sports (70%)

Second round results:

(1) ESPN NFL 2K5 (55%) vs. NFL Street (45%)

(3) NBA Live 2005 (23%) vs. (7) Wii Sports (77%)

Regional final results:

(1) ESPN NFL 2K5 (27%) vs. (7) Wii Sports (73%)

The Modern Era (2009-Present)

First round results:

(1) FIFA 13 (27%) vs. (8) NCAA Football 14 (73%)

(4) Fight Night Round 4 (58%) vs. (5) Super Mega Baseball 3 (42%)

(3) NBA 2K12 (49%) vs. (6) Rocket League (51%)

(2) MLB The Show 09 (89%) vs. (7) Motorsport Manager (11%)

Second round results:

(8) NCAA Football 14 (88%) vs. Fight Night Round 4 (12%)

(6) Rocket League (55%) vs. (2) MLB The Show 09 (45%)

Regional final results:

(8) NCAA Football 14 (72%) vs. (6) Rocket League (28%)

How the games were selected

A combination of personal preference, crowd-sourcing my SB Nation and Polygon colleagues, Metacritic review scores and the always-slightly-intangible “legacy” factor. I limited it to one selection per franchise (and often used Metacritic score as a tiebreaker) — if you are so inclined, feel free to view each individual entry for a franchise as representative of the franchise as a whole. This is not my 32 favorite sports games of all time — that would be a different group. I tried to make the group of games representative of the common fan favorites and the different kinds of sports games we’ve seen over the years.

Seeding was done strictly via Metacritic review scores, with the exception of the first region (old enough that most didn’t have Metacritic scores). I tried to make logical seeding out of that one.

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