When you think of rivalries, a few names come to mind: Magic Johnson vs. Larry Byrd, Professor X vs. Magneto. Well you can add Red vs. Blue and Fox vs. Falco to that list, because video games have had their fair share of rivalries and we’re counting down the best. A couple of things to keep in mind: We’re only sticking to rivalries between characters from one or multiple games and from the same universe, not characters who’ve had a a rivalry based on the consoles they’ve been on. That means no Mario vs. Sonic. Yes, they did eventually get to meet but they weren’t really rivals by then. We also tried to keep the “hero vs. villain” rivalries out of this list, they deserve their very own top 10.
Contributions by Paul, Jim, Diego and Rafael.
10. Shovel Knight/ Black Knight
Black Knight appears as the first boss in Shovel Knight and is an obvious foil to Shovel Knight, wearing black armor, wielding a shovel, and even using moves similar to your own. When the two encounter each other Shovel Knight says he has no quarrel with Black Knight and demands that he gets out of the way so he can advance to the Tower of Fate and take on the enchantress. Black Knight refuses telling shovel knight about a group of other knights the enchantress has gathered up know as the knights of no order and claims that anyone wishing to reach the enchantress has to go through him. After defeating Black Knight he runs off, only to appear later in the game. After completing an optional roaming fight against him you will see Black Knight refuse to work under the enchantress as he serves no master. The final time Black Knight steps in your way is as you are about to enter the tower of fate, there the enchantress meets him and once agains asks him to join her side and again he refuses. After besting him in combat one last time he asks Shovel if he knows who he is protecting and tells him that if he hurts her he will have to deal with him one more. It’s during this moment that you realize that Shovel and Black Knights are two people working towards similar goals, protecting and saving Shield Knight. The two aren’t enemies, but rather two men fighting for the woman that they (seemingly) love.
9. Master Chief/ Arbiter
Since the original Halo: Combat Evolved, Master Chief has been at the forefront of battlegrounds. He’s fought the Covenant, the Flood, the Prometheans and essentially represents the best hero humanity has to offer. In Halo 2, Bungie introduced the Arbiter, the alien Covenant’s highest honor bestowed upon one individual. The Arbiter is meant to undertake the most dangerous missions assigned from the Covenant’s Prophets. Like Master Chief, the Arbiter represents the highest of ideals. However, these two warriors fought on opposite sides of the battlefield, at least until the Arbiter discovered the Great Journey of the Covenant faith was a lie. The Arbiter and Master Chief joined forces soon after. These two warriors, each representing the best of their respective cultures, fought together to destroy the Halo rings and save the universe form the Flood.
8. Solid Snake/ Liquid Snake
Born of battle and of the legendary Big Boss’ genes, the twin snakes, Solid and Liquid, take up the number eight spot on the rivalries list. Identical in almost every way, their rivalry only boiled to an inferno during the Shadow Moses Incident; Liquid and the military group Sons of Big Boss revolted against the United States and captured an American nuclear weapons facility. Solid Snake’s mission was to infiltrate the island of Shadow Moses, discover what nuclear capabilities the terrorist group possessed and rescue two hostages. However, the mission changed and evolved into a war of secrets and conspiracies. Liquid, posing as Kazuhira Miller, lead and manipulated his brother Solid Snake into accidentally activating Metal Gear Rex. After Solid Snake defeats the Metal Gear, he meets Liquid atop the destroyed machine for a final battle between brothers and superior genes.
7. Dante/ Vergil
The rivalry between Dante and Vergil in Devil May Cry is one that is not fully hashed out until the title’s third installment, where we learn the full extent of the polarizing differences between these two twins of the demonic knight Sparda and human Eva. Being rash, witty, and reckless, Dante (the main protagonist of the title) embraces his human side almost completely, to the point of becoming a demon hunting mercenary. Vergil on the other hand is silent, collected, a noble swordsman, and has an insatiable hunger for power that draws him closer to his father’s demonic side. This sibling rivalry goes beyond just a backyard throwdown; the two battle frequently, always instigating each other while also keeping a sense of honor with their lives being put on the line. In this twisted way, they challenge each other knowing neither will back down while Vergil also hoping to make Dante realize his full potential as a demon, but Dante’s duty to protect humanity won’t be strayed. Then again, Might controls everything.
6. Fox/ Falco
The Fox vs Falco rivalry is a classic one. Although both Fox and Falco are members of the Star Fox team and are working towards a common goal there is often times a sense of rivalry. This mainly comes from Falco’s rather snarky (and somewhat abrasive) remarks in Star Fox 64. Like, if you accidentally shoot him you’ll get a rather sassy “Hey Einstein I’m on your side”. Even when saving him, Falco will still manage to fire off a rather sarcastic “Gee, I’ve been saved by Fox, how swell!”. Despite his almost constant sass he’ll occasionally throw out a line like “Ah! You’re getting better, Fox.” and it’s during these little moments when they player starts to realize that while the two are working towards the same goal, both Fox and Flaco are engaged in a friendly competition as they compete against each other to prove who is the strongest member of the team.