The Big Question: Mario Or Zelda?

On the face of it this is a dumb question, I'll admit that, Mario and Zelda are both extremely different experiences that work on extremely different levels. But when you think about it preferring one over the other sort of defines what kind of gaming experience you prefer.

I'll try and explain exactly what I mean by that.

Mario, to me, has always felt like the epitome of video game systems firing on all cylinders. It's a very pure gaming experience. The mechanics are wound tight, everything feels good and balanced. The word I'm trying to avoid using here is 'fun'. Mario games are always fun, moment to moment, always. There's a concentrated joy that comes from all Mario games, like skulling cordial straight from the bottle.

Zelda, on the other hand, is the closest thing Nintendo has to the video game as experience, as a story told through mechanics. Zelda, unlike Mario, feels like an adventure. It's a game that you might take a little more seriously.

So in that sense I've always thought that preferring Mario or Zelda goes a long way to defining what kind of gamer you are, as corny as that sounds.

So with that: which do you prefer?


    If you asked me before 2007, I would have said Zelda without question. But then Super Mario Galaxy came out and I thought "gaming doesn't get better than this!!" *extremehyperbole*

    Then Super Mario Galaxy 2 came out and my head literally* exploded from sheer awesome.

    But the number of Zelda games I enjoy is greater than the number of Mario games (I can't play side-scrolling Marios for some reason), so I'm going with Zelda.

      Yeah - definitely.

      To be honest though, I'm having a lot of trouble answering this question. I don't think either series is as consistent as metacritic scores, and I wouldn't rate any of the recent titles in either series. I'm quite hopeful for the next 3D Mario.

    Mario. Probably more to do with having spent more time with the series, playing Mario Allstars and Mario World on the Snes, while my first experience with Zelda was OOT (So I have a little trouble going back to the earlier 2D ones)

      Well, Zelda is certainly pretty but Mario's ass just won't quit.

    Mario franchise games I have played:
    Super Mario Bros
    Super Mario Bros 2
    Super Mario World
    Super Mario 64
    Super Wario Land
    Super Mario Kart
    Mario Kart 64
    Mario Kart Wii
    Mario Kart 7

    Zelda franchise games I have played:
    Legend of Zelda
    Legend of Zelda 2
    Link's Awakening

    Ehh.... Zelda.

      You missed Mario Kart Double Dash.. Seriously if you can pick it up, I believe it was the last good Mario Kart.

        Was that one on Gamecube? I never had a Gamecube.

          Yeah it was on the Gamecube. If you have a Wii then they are backwards compatible with Gamecube games. If you're keen, pick up a copy of Double Dash from Ebay and you'll have some good times ahead.

          Last edited 11/09/13 1:52 pm

        I preferred Double Dash to the Wii one.

        Would liked to have seen them revisit it.

      I've seen 'let's play' videos and complete walkthroughs of all the N64/Gamecube Zelda games, and to them I still say, "meh?" Give me the choice between them and Zelda 1-4, and I'll pick the first four every time.

    Tough question really. So much of my great gaming memories have involved Mario such as Mario Kart with 4 player on N64. But I was younger the games seemed so epic and immersive and beautiful. Different franchises for different moods but ....Zelda. For Kokiri Forest theme.....Zelda. haha

    I think I prefer Zelda, but then I remember that Skyward Sword is a thing that exists.

    Mario it is then.

      Thank God I'm not the only one who thinks Skyward was so lacklustre

        It was a chore. Which was a shame, because the sword play was a joy, some of the dungeons were fantastic, and the graphics were pretty (even more so if you give it a shot in the dolphin emulator).

        Skippable dialogue boxes and actual fast travel alone would have made a massive difference.

        Last edited 11/09/13 12:56 pm

    pretty hard choice. But if I compare SMB1-3, SMW, SM64, MK, MK64, NSMB, to OOT, MM, LTTP (I`m only naming my fav ones) I think Mario wins overall...

    I'm saying Zelda today, but if asked again in a week I might say Mario.

    These two game franchises hole a lot of memories for me.

    Although A Link To The Past is one of my favourite games of all time, I've spent a lot more time playing Mario games.

    So, Mario for me I guess.

    Last edited 11/09/13 1:59 pm

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