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The Top 7... Bitter rivalries

Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo) versus Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega)



Choosing sides: The character you picked in this bitter rivalry may well have decided who your friends were. In one corner you've got Mario, always doing something fun and silly, be it throwing fireballs, wearing a cape or growing a raccoon tail. But in the other corner is a fast 'n' furious speedster who's actually got a personality. He's new, he's edgy, he's everything Mario isn't. The games didn't play anything alike, but that didn't stop the entire planet from enduring this intense 10-year face-off.

Highlights: Mario reigned supreme through the NES days, but in 1991, everything came into question. The cute and cheery ways of SNES megapower Super Mario World were actually facing competition from a foot-tapping rival that emphasized excitement over exploration. Sonic didn't want you to dick around looking for warp zones and secret coins, he wanted you to RUN and RUN some more. RUN through a loop, RUN for some rings, RUN to the boss, then RUN to the next level. Always move forward, who cares about what's behind, right? These two distinctly different philosophies cut the gaming community in half. You were a Nintendo gamer or you were a Sega gamer, and that was it. People would spit, throw things, even take a swing or two if you said their platform sucked. It was unheard of then, and such an intense difference of gaming opinion has never since appeared. We are so glad internet forums did not exist in 1992. If people were willing to get into physical fights, what kind of insanity would have broken out thanks to the anonymity of the web?

The outcome: After Sega's numerous hardware losses (Sega CD, 32X, Saturn, Dreamcast), not even Sonic was cool enough to buoy the entire company. Even his reputation has fallen, a meteoric downward spiral filled with awful supporting characters, terrible gameplay and utterly idiotic storylines. Still, Nintendo fans bought Sonic titles in droves when they appeared on the GameCube, ensuring the franchise's future. Sega and Nintendo are now pretty tight, as evidenced by the upcoming Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games and the successful GBA and DS Sonic titles. The once angriest of foes are now practically best buds.

The only sour point to this story is that there has yet to be a definitive victor in a one-on-one fight between Mario and Sonic, and the 2008 Olympic Games are not the venue we want to see the feud settled at. Rumors continue to fly that Sonic may appear in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. If that's the case, it'll be Nintendo who wins this decade-long battle - the sales from Brawl alone could keep Wii afloat for years to come.

To read GamesRadar's other Top 7 countdowns, click here.

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34 comments

  • TheHungryLemur - June 1, 2011 1:07 p.m.

    It had to end with Mario VS Sonic. Sega does what Nintendon't!
  • TR4rules - October 11, 2010 5:23 p.m.

    I love all theses games, except madden, unreal and quake. I can't stand multiplayer focused only games. However the game i hate the most aand the saw fit to cement the feelinf was madden. I loved the 2K football series, it was always better and then ea decided that couldn't make a better game so they decided that they would make the only one
  • AlexMercer1337 - November 9, 2009 10:31 a.m.

    I CANNOT believe that Halo and Call of Duty weren't included in this article.
  • pyro9393 - December 7, 2008 10:44 p.m.

    sonic and mario rule but only the orginals and id take re over sh any day
  • ryno - December 2, 2008 3:02 p.m.

    i like resident evil better than silent hill
  • Monkeylink - November 30, 2008 11:40 p.m.

    Mario And Sonic Have been competing since they were made And they both SUCK
  • ShadowOps117 - May 18, 2013 7:51 p.m.

    Shut up.
  • cultofbananas - October 10, 2008 8:03 a.m.

    Wow. I hate EA more than ever... I knew they had some sort of corrupt hand in buying out the NFL, but 15 YEARS?!?!
  • AA95mp - September 8, 2009 2:06 p.m.

    i haven't played quake 2 but i love unreal tournament so it's ut for me.
  • ShadesofGrey - June 27, 2009 4:19 a.m.

    FF IX... I could just never take it seriously. How was it ever an attempt to "hearken to the old school"? The FF IV, V, and VI casts were all serious, grownup characters. As great as the gameplay was, IX is the only FF game I've never WANTED to replay. Steiner is to blame. The coolest/strongest playable character... and he has a look and demeanor that absolutely refused to be taken seriously. Take FF X, replace Auron with Steiner. That game would suck, too.
  • KillerPotato - June 4, 2009 3:25 a.m.

    Sony freaking made final fantasy awesomer, nintendo was good but Sony is better
  • 4everbored - June 1, 2009 8:49 p.m.

    you forgot pro evo and fifa
  • reroxas - March 20, 2009 4:31 a.m.

    I think (no offense) to RE fans which I am though Resident Evil 4 was NOT scary it was amzing don't get me wrong but it didn't give me the thrill. While Silent Hill is scarier, But on the whole equal. But to tell you the truth I expected the Final Fantasy one to be about FF against Dragonquest not Nintendo FF vs. Sony FF. The sony FF is ALOT better than nintendo FF. Every Final Fantasy from 7-12 (not counting 13 ain't out yet) except for 9 and give or take 11 proves that but the remakes of 3 and 4 were good but Sony's was alot better.
  • CoD_22 - March 17, 2009 7:53 p.m.

    @skstorm, it wouldnt be cod4 vs halo it would be cod vs moh. i cant wait for the next moh even though i love cod. moh:european assault on ps2 was the first shooter i played. i decided not to get airborne when i got my ps3 xmas 08
  • Toprockerturner94 - February 7, 2009 2:37 p.m.

    ive never played final fantasy nintendo so i'll have to go for sony
  • Toprockerturner94 - February 7, 2009 2:35 p.m.

    tekken rocks its definately the best fighter ever.ive only ever played virtua fighter on the sega master system and i didnt enjoy it
  • Toprockerturner94 - February 7, 2009 2:32 p.m.

    street fighter is the best. though mortal kombat is good for its fatality's and fighting humor street fighter for me has the edge over mortal kombat
  • GamesRadarBrettElston - February 5, 2009 10:33 p.m.

    Just keep in mind this was posted in July 2007, months before either CoD4 or Halo 3 were out. Still had a lot of fun with it though. It's also from the old site design, hence the many pages instead the now-standard four.
  • gutlessVADER - February 4, 2009 11:16 p.m.

    wat u like sucks wat i like rules i hate u adn wat u like
  • noobeater - February 4, 2009 7:02 p.m.

    im sorry but i think mario hands down beats sonic be it then or now (certainly now) oh and i by far prefer mortal combat however with resi v silent hill ...silent hills which i have only recently played its more tough....silent hill is terrifing but i think resident evil is more fun good article

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