Ocarina of Time: Best. Game. Ever.

June 12, 2009

At least according to the users of GameFAQs. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time recently finished triumphing over Final Fantasy VII in the 128-game battle royale contest of Best. Game. Ever. 2009, which took place over the past two-plus months.

Each day, four games battled it out in the Poll of the Day, with the top two advancing in the bracket. In the final battle, Ocarina of Time edged out Final Fantasy VII. With the third- and fourth-place games from that match removed (also Zelda and Final Fantasy games, incidentally), Ocarina held onto its title in the bonus match, taking in 52.69% of the 155,838 votes cast.

GameFAQs has held some sort of tournament-style contest every year since 2002, with some years hosting multiple contests. There have been seven character battles, one game villains battle, two games battles, and one game series battle. The other games battle prior to this year took place in 2004. That battle was a 64-game 1-on-1 single-elimination tournament, in which Final Fantasy VII emerged victorious over Chrono Trigger in the finals, after defeating Ocarina of Time in the Division Finals [full bracket and stats] [bonus poll].

What does this turnabout mean for GameFAQs? I’d say it’s most likely a shift in user base demographics towards Nintendo. Nintendo games absolutely dominated the contest, what with a whopping four Mario games, four Zelda games, two Super Smash Bros. games, and a Pokémon game comprising 11 of the 16 final games, the other five being three Final Fantasy games, Resident Evil 4, and Metal Gear Solid 4.

Another surprises was Chrono Trigger getting narrowly defeated by Super Mario 64. There were also a few times where one game beat another in one round but then lost to it the next, such as Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow and Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy X and Super Smash Bros. Melee, and Metal Gear Solid 4 and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. There were a lot of other results that differed greatly from something which happened in 2004, but I won’t continue boring you with statistics.

All in all, it was a fun contest with a number of surprises, but I’m starting to question the value of these contests. They were fun and exciting at first when they were completely unpredictable, but now they’re starting to get dull as people get better and better at understanding what GameFAQs visitors like. It was refreshing to have a games contest this year after not having had one for five years. I suspect, though, that the contests will continue so long as they continue to attract more visitors to the site. So what will see next year? I’m hoping to see something completely new and different, but odds are it’ll be Character Battle VIII, with some mildly interesting gimmick.

My personal Best. Game. Ever. is Final Fantasy VI. What’s yours?

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