The Best Sports Video Game of All Time Tournament: Round 1, Part 1

This post breaks down matchups in STACK Gamer's tournament to decide the best sports video game of all time.

Now that March Madness has begun, we're psyched to have STACK readers hit up our bracket to decide the Best Sports Video Game of All Time. Here's a breakdown of the first group of opening-round matchups:

ESPN NFL 2K5 (1) vs. Excitebike (32)

The #1 overall seed takes on a lesser-known cult classic from the eight-bit Nintendo days, which just scraped by to get in the field of 32. Some gamers still swear by the presentation of 2K5, continuing to update its rosters to this day. The halftime show, with highlights of other games in progress, still stands as an excellent example of broadcast integration. Excitebike is fun, but in a simpler, unpolished sort of way.

Madden NFL 12 (5) vs. Base Wars (28)

The Madden franchise has a following unlike any other sports game on the market, and it took a huge leap forward this year with dramatically improved presentation and reworked gameplay—even if the audio left something to be desired. It takes on Base Wars, perhaps the best robot baseball game ever made and an NES classic in its own right.

NFL Blitz (9) vs. Blast Lacrosse (24)

Two arcade classics square off in this first-round match-up: the original NFL Blitz, with the kind of intense gameplay we've grown to love, and Blast Lacrosse, which could be called the NFL Blitz of lacrosse games. Note: we're not talking about the Blitz remake; we're going with the original, which means older rosters and plenty of late hits. Can Blast Lacrosse pull off a serious upset?

Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball (13) vs. College Hoops 2K8 (20)
This might be the tightest competition in the first round. Griffey was a phenomenon as an SNES title, and its fun factor was incredible, despite only one licensed MLB player (Griffey, of course). And College Hoops 2K8 is one of the last college basketball games on the market—both 2K and EA have ceased making college basketball video games, so fans still play this title from 2008.

We'll be rolling out match-up videos for the rest of the first round over the next few days. Until then, vote at STACK's Facebook page, and stay tuned to STACK Gamer for updates on the tourney! And if you want to hit us up on twitter ( @STACKMedia ), we won't ignore those votes, either.

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock