Five Great Gaming Rivalries, Past and Present

5. League of Legends v.s Dota 2

Oh mobas, your communities are so toxic.  You’re filled with haters and meanies and all manner of jerk-wads who can’t wait to bash anyone who dares to join in the fun. Even worse, you’re quick to bash every little change made to the game’s balance, hero roster, etc…  But just like you feel about your little brother, you can rip on them but no one else better do it.  Whether you’re a League player or a Dota player it’s basically guaranteed that you have some strong feelings that you’re more than willing to share about the other game.

4. Sega vs. Nintendo

The Sega vs. Nintendo rivalry is long over, but when it was a big deal it was a really big deal.  I owned both consoles, but I didn’t own a SNES until much later, so I was primarily a Genesis guy.  Sega had inferior graphics and sound, sure, but at 10 I really didn’t even notice.  What I did notice was that I could see blood on the Genesis.  That one very minor detail completely separated the two consoles.  In a way, Mortal Kombat created the perfect opportunity for Sega to create an edgier persona for itself simply by not turning the original arcade game’s blood into sweat (well, and including the super brutal fatalities I suppose).  In the end though, Nintendo seems to have permanently claimed victory in that rivalry.  The sad thing is that I don’t believe Nintendo won so much as Sega let themselves lose due to some bad financial management.

3. Street Fighter vs. Mortal Kombat

Ok look, Street Fighter is the better series.  The controls are tighter, the game plays faster, and there’s more to master.  We can have that debate if you want, but I think that the majority of people would agree that Street Fighter is a better fighting game series.  That said, Mortal Kombat is a better series when looked at as an overall game. MK has lots of interesting characters who have stores that go beyond one paragraph on a load screen.  There is an ongoing saga full of heroes and villains, all attempting to wrest control from one another.  I really enjoyed MK9, and that was largely due to the way the game chose to lay out the campaign.  It forced/allowed you to try out pretty much every character in the game, while simultaneously revisiting the old stories, shedding light on some new details, and being a ton of fun to actually play.  It’s not as tight as Street Fighter, but it’s more fun, in my opinion.  But as with all great rivalries, there will be many out there who disagree with me.  That’s fine.  In fact, that’s awesome.  A healthy rivalry, like the one between SF and MK helps to keep both series’ fresh…or maybe not **cough** MKX **cough**

2. Console vs. PC

The console vs. PC rivalry is one that’s been building for years now, and honestly, I think it’s a truly important one in the context of the future of gaming.  That said, there’s little doubt in my mind that PC gamers are still nothing more than the very vocal minority.  Take these numbers, for example.  Diablo 3, one of the biggest PC-only release in recent memory sold 30 million copies in 3 years.  Grand Theft Auto 5 sold that same number in 6 weeks.  There are a lot more console gamers out there than there are PC gamers.  The odd thing is, when you look at the direction that the overall industry is going, it’s clearly been guided by the PC for years now.  Everything from digital purchases to downloadable content to day-one patches.  Even the antiquated idea of having a hard-drive in a console was something that seemed oddly PC at the when first introduced.  In my opinion, that’s what makes the PC vs. console rivalry so important and so great.  PC fans think that they’re better because when you look at the history of tech, they’re on the front lines.  Console players think they’re better because their libraries are more robust and their gaming machines are far more accessible.  I’m interested to see though, whether or not the PC vs. console rivalry dies as the two continue meld into one, or if the rift grows more pronounced.

1. Microsoft vs. Sony

Even with the results from earlier this week, the Sony / Microsoft rivalry continues to be huge.  All you need to do is look back at E3 a couple of years ago to see that.  And guess what, even if the rivalry cools off for a few years, when it’s time for the PS5 / XBoxGobbletyGook debate, you know it’s going to heat up again.  The best part of the rivalry, in my opinion, is how the executives seem like their doing promos for Wrestlemania when they take the stage at trade shows.  Honestly, I want to see Kaz Hirai walk out to The Rock’s theme song, holding some championship belt over his head.  I’m going to lay my cards on the table here, I could care less about the Sony vs. Microsoft debates anymore.  When you look at how similar the hardware has become, and just how few notable exclusives there are anymore, it’s getting more and more irrelevant.  But as that happens, the hilarity of the whole thing becomes more and more evident, which is my favorite part.  The posturing is the absolute best.