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These are the results of the 2007 edition of the Best Game of the Year Tournament, ran by The Raven 2 in early 2008. To this day, it's the only tournament in which a #16 seed has defeated a #1 seed, as The King of Fighters XI defeated Halo 3 in the opening round. The tournament was won by Super Mario Galaxy, giving Nintendo its first Game of the Year championship

Best Game of Each Month in 2007, according to Board 8[]

Month Game of the Month
January Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Justice For All
February Final Fantasy VI Advance
March God of War II
April Super Paper Mario
May Odin Sphere
June The Darkness
July Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s
August Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3
September Halo 3
October Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations
November Super Mario Galaxy
December NIGHTS: Journey of Dreams


 
North Division Super Mario Galaxy
Guitar Hero III
Super Mario Galaxy
Phoenix Wright AA: T&T
Super Mario Galaxy
BioShock
Super Mario Galaxy
(1) Super Mario Galaxy
(16) Mario Party DS
Super Mario Galaxy
Rogue Galaxy
Super Mario Galaxy
Zack and Wiki
(8) Rogue Galaxy
(9) Blue Dragon
(5) Odin Sphere
(12) NCAA March Madness 08
Odin Sphere
Zack and Wiki
(4) Rock Band
(13) Zack and Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
(6) Tomb Raider Anniversary
(11) Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
Fire Emblem 10
Guitar Hero III
Guitar Hero III
Assassin's Creed
(3) Guitar Hero III
(14) Virtua Fighter 5
(7) The Darkness
(10) Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 2
The Darkness
Assassin's Creed
(2) Assassin's Creed
(15) Planet Puzzle League
East Division Phoenix Wright AA: T&T
Metroid Prime 3
(1) Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations
(16) Mega Man ZX: Advent
Phoenix Wright AA: T&T
Phantom Hourglass
Phoenix Wright AA: T&T
Super Paper Mario
(8) Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
(9) Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
(5) Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s
(12) Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
Uncharted
Super Paper Mario
(4) Super Paper Mario
(13) Trauma Center: New Blood
(6) Mario Strikers Charged
(11) Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
Ratchet and Clank Future
Metroid Prime 3
Metroid Prime 3
Call of Duty 4
(3) Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
(14) Half-Life 2: Episode Two
(7) Crackdown
(10) .hack//G.U. vol. 2//Reminisce
.hack//G.U. vol. 2
Call of Duty 4
(2) Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
(15) Warhawk
South Division Contra 4
BioShock
BioShock
Persona 3
(1) Halo 3
(16) The King of Fighters XI
King of Fighters XI
Hotel Dusk
Hotel Dusk
Contra 4
(8) Hotel Dusk: Room 215
(9) Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles
(5) Final Fantasy VI Advance
(12) Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions
FFT: War of the Lions
Contra 4
(4) Contra 4
(13) Lost Planet: Extreme Condition
(6) Eternal Sonata
(11) Lunar Knights
Lunar Knights
Portal
Portal
BioShock
(3) Portal
(14) Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales
(7) Forza Motorsport 2
(10) Neo-Geo Battle Colosseum
Neo-Geo BC
BioShock
(2) BioShock
(15) WarioWare: Smooth Moves
West Division God of War II
Persona 3
(1) God of War II
(16) Geometry Wars: Galaxies
God of War II
Heavenly Sword
God of War II
Phoenix Wright AA: JFA
(8) Heavenly Sword
(9) Ninja Gaiden Sigma
(5) Pokemon Diamond/Pearl
(12) Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker
Pokemon D/P
Phoenix Wright AA: JFA
(4) Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Justice for All
(13) Fire Pro Wrestling Returns
(6) Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars
(11) Team Fortress 2
Command and Conquer 3
Mass Effect
Mass Effect
Persona 3
(3) Mass Effect
(14) Picross DS
(7) NIGHTS: Journey of Dreams
(10) Sonic and the Secret Rings
NIGHTS 2
Persona 3
(2) Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3
(15) Jeanne D'arc

Interesting Facts[]

  • The Ultimate Loser in the tournament was Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker
  • This was the first GOTY contest in which a Capcom game didn't win.

Zero's Final Thoughts[]

By this point, the low vote totals became something I got used to for the first round, though things began picking up for the most part as soon as the second round. By the time round 2 hit, at least half of the matches hit 10+ votes, but it would be round 3 where things truly took off. Sure, there was the 4-3 duds between Phoenix Wright/Super Paper Mario and Mass Effect/Persona 3, but we also got high-vote slugfests like Metroid Prime 3 beating Call of Duty 4 17-13 (Call of Duty making it to round 3 is something we'll never see again) and Portal and BioShock combining for a whopping 50 votes in a 2-day matchup. When the quarterfinals began, the lowest combined amount of votes in any match would be Super Mario Galaxy vs. Guitar Hero III, and that was 20.

The seeding was better, though the contest wasn't without its upsets. Rock Band laid a huge egg as a #4 seed, losing to #13 seed Zack and Wiki in round one. Zack and Wiki would then beat #5 seed Odin Sphere to prove the win wasn't a fluke. We'd also see Ratchet and Clank Future and Uncharted represent the PS3 well as double-digit seeds, as they upset Mario Strikers Charged and Guitar Hero Encore respectively. But no egg was bigger laid than that of Halo 3; Halo 3 won September's Game of the Month poll and was awarded a #1 seed in the tournament. Despite the low vote total, the result was etched in stone as The King of Fighters XI became the first and only #16 seed to date to win against a #1 seed. All of a sudden, the top half of Halo's division was anyone's game, and Contra 4 would take advantage of the opportunity, living up to its #4 seed.

Capcom's quest to three-peat was in the hands of Board 8's very own Phoenix Wright, who had Trials and Tribulations as a #1 seed and Justice for All as a #4 seed (though some credit goes to Zack and Wiki for making it to round 3, but it wasn't getting past tournament favorite Super Mario Galaxy). Justice for All would come up short, only making it to round 3 before getting pasted by God of War II. Trials would give Capcom their third straight final four appearance though, beating out Metroid Prime 3 in the quarterfinals. However, it wasn't enough to beat Super Mario Galaxy, as Phoenix lost 12-9 in the semifinals, guaranteeing that a new company wins the coveted Game of the Year contest.

The Orange Box came out in 2007 as well, and while Half-Life 2 and Episode One couldn't be in the tournament, there was still opportunity for the other 3 games to shine. Episode Two and Team Fortress 2 would expectedly be one and done, but Portal was ready to clean house as a #3 seed, and it did so by beating its first two opponents by a combined score of 21-1. This set up Portal vs. BioShock in round 3, which was arguably the best match of the whole tournament, with BioShock needing overtime to take Portal out 27-23. By that logic, Portal would wind up being the 3rd or 4th strongest game in the whole contest. BioShock would earn a trip to the final four after edging Contra 4 by one vote, where it would then face Persona 3 in the semifinals, the same Persona 3 that beat BioShock for August's Game of the Month. However, BioShock would instead get sweet revenge, flat out owning Persona 3 with a 21-8 score on its way to the championship match.

This set up Super Mario Galaxy vs. BioShock, a match that I would consider appropriate considering it was my top two games of 2007 facing off. However, that's where my agreeing ends and disagreeing begins, as BioShock would wind up losing to Super Mario Galaxy 31-23 in a match that was never really that close. Don't get me wrong; Mario Galaxy is a great title and it was deserving of my #2 spot that year, but BioShock was a game changer and it sits in my top 20 games of all time.

Regardless of the result, the 2007 tournament was a success, though the best was truly yet to come.

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