Rivalries are a product of competition and there is plenty of competition throughout video game history. What rivalries can stand above the rest and claim the title of greatest ever?

Top 7 greatest rivalries in the gaming world

Rivalries are a product of competition and there is plenty of competition throughout video game history. What rivalries can stand above the rest and claim the title of greatest ever?

What defines a rivalry? The definition reads competition for the same objective or for superiority in the same field. By taking that definition and applying it to the video game world, there are plenty of rivalries that are worth noting. Which ones stand up as the greatest? The most embroiled rivalries harken all the way back to the early Nintendo days. Some are more modern warfare, but which ones are truly the most heated? 

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7. Sub-Zero VS Skorpion

These two were on the same side in the (awful) Mortal Kombat movies, but Skorpion VS Sub-Zero is the fiercest rivalry of the Mortal Kombat world. These two are the poster children for the Mortal Kombat death match. They are polar opposites as one uses ice to slaughter his enemies, while the other burns them to death with fireballs.

6. Mario VS Sonic

This could also be swapped out as Sega VS Nintendo, but that rivalry has long been over. Nintendo may have taken down Sega, but the two top stars of both brands are still going strong. Sonic, of Sega fame, and Mario, the Nintendo poster boy, have been going at it since the mid ‘90’s. Sonic and Mario have both starred in a litany of games including a pairing of the two in the Nintendo Wii and DS game Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. These are two of the greatest video game icons of all time and will be going nowhere soon.

5. Call of Duty VS The World

It just seems like you are either a huge fan of the series or you hate the Activision juggernaut. The Call of Duty series is every casual gamer's go-to game, and more often than not, it can be very frustrating. Like every other first-person shooter, CoD has a hardcore fan base, and they will defend the series like it is their dying wish. Simply put, you either love Call of Duty or you hate Call of Duty. Is it a rivalry in the gaming universe? Maybe not, but it certainly has divided a large contingent of gamers around the world.

4. Mortal Kombat VS Street Fighter

The fighting genre has seen many newcomers that have tried to challenge the throne, but the Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter franchises have always reigned supreme. The differences between the two are stark with Mortal Kombat’s blood and gore being a drastic opposite to the cartoonish color of Street Fighter. Both have re-defined the fighting genre and have blazed trails all their own, but this rivalry will carry on with seemingly no end in sight.

3. Sony VS Microsoft

It may be a little hard for people to take this rivalry seriously because they both make a ton of money and could probably care less about what each other is doing. However, everybody knows that you are either a PlayStation or an Xbox gamer. Apologies to my Nintendo fans, I am right there with you, but these two software giants are currently on another level. While Xbox 360 seemed to be stronger than its PS3 counter part, PS4 has utterly dominated Xbox One. Prepare to see this rivalry go on a long time as we are just getting started. Long live the console wars!

2. Console Gaming VS PC Gaming

A rivalry that has many different views, the console gaming and PC gaming argument may never truly have a declared winner. It seems that the market for console gaming will always be around, but PC has certainly strengthened from year to year and will only improve. PC gaming certainly seems to have the brighter future, and the confirmation of a new PS4.5 that would require a PC to run makes us ask: will console gaming begin to rely on PC gaming in order to reach new heights?


1. Mario vs Bowser

Bowser has been wreaking havoc in Mario’s life longer than we can remember. These two have seemingly been going at it for more than a lifetime. Bowser just can’t keep his hands off of Princess Peach. Mario would be better off chaining her to a fence in an underwater castle rather than letting her lollygag around the Mushroom Kingdom. It is only a matter of time before these two will wage war again. This is the ultimate rivalry to end all other rivalries. Even if it is a little one sided, I am sure Bowser will never stop trying to make Mario’s life difficult.


Now it is time for the games and situations that came close, but didn’t have the track record of the previously mentioned. These all are still very good rivalries and you can even stake your claim in the comments section below. Surely, there are some other rivalries worth mentioning.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Marvel VS Capcom
  •  Link VS Ganon
  •  Master Chief VS The Covenant
  •  Star Fox VS Star Wolf
  •  Earth VS Invaders
  • Nintendo Handhelds VS Sony Handhelds
  • Rock Band VS Guitar Hero

At the end of the day, who really knows who is the winner of these heated rivalries? With the exception of Mario VS Bowser, there is no clear winner to any of these. Both sides of each rivalry have a compelling argument as to why one is greater than the other. Some people feel Mortal Kombat is cooler than Street Fighter, others think that a PC is the way to go and the console is yesterday’s news. Let the rivalries rage on and the debates fly, this fight is just getting started.

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Eric Adams
When I am not out being Batman, I am here on my computer writing about video games. When I am not out being Batman or writing about video games, I am playing video games. When I am not doing any of the three, call an ambulance I may not be breathing.