Best Video Game Tournament – 8-Bit Years – Finals

This is the finals for the 8-bit generation of video games, covering games roughly between 1985-89 including the NES and Sega Master System.

Please vote for one game in each pairing.

We’ve come down to the final two!

Super Mario Bros. 3


Developed by Nintendo, released in NA in 1990.

After the immensely popular Super Mario Bros., Nintendo’s first effort at a sequel was to make SMB2 JP, aka The Lost Levels, which was essentially more of the same, but harder. They decided that wouldn’t fly in NA and famously made another version of SMB2 out of another game, Doki Doki Panic. This resulted in a game that didn’t play very much like SMB but is pretty fun in its own right, and introduced many elements that went on to be integrated in the main Mario universe.

After that misstep, Nintendo no doubt wanted to make sure they got it right with SMB3, and the result is one of the best 2D platformers of all time. It expanded SMB with creative, themed worlds, new powerups, new stage elements, new enemies and more. In many ways, this game could be considered the magnum opus of the NES — and it’s still quite fun to play today.


NES version developed by Nintendo and released in 1989, but there have been many, many more versions.

What can be said about Tetris? It’s undoubtedly one of the most widely played games of all time. I’d wager that very few if any of the people reading this haven’t played some version of Tetris at least once. It’s been available on almost every platform imaginable including TI calculators and the sides of buildings. The object is simple: stack the falling tetrominoes to create solid lines, which then disappear. If you allow the tetrominoes to touch the top of the screen, it’s game over. It’s easy enough that even the youngest children and least technologically savvy people can play it, yet it can be difficult enough to challenge anyone. Its extremely simple nature lends itself to countless different graphical interpretations. Many later puzzle games have taken cues from it — although it’s not a Match 3 game, the popular Match 3 mechanic owes a great deal to Tetris by way of games like Columns and Tetris Attack / Panel de Pon.

Voting ends Tuesday 10pm EST.