Top 10 Rivalries

Media is often at its best when the characters have something to fight for; be it pride, be it the hand of the one they love, or be it for a bowl of delicious food – You name it, these guys are fighting for it. But they don’t fight just because they’re vicious enemies, or even because they hate one another. Instead, we’re focusing on the rivalry, the challenge that one another can bring one another, even if they’re fighting for the same cause.

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Media is often at its best when the characters have something to fight for; be it pride, be it the hand of the one they love, or be it for a bowl of delicious food – You name it, these guys are fighting for it. But they don’t fight just because they’re vicious enemies, or even because they hate one another. Instead, we’re focusing on the rivalry, the challenge that one another can bring one another, even if they’re fighting for the same cause.

So in this week’s Top 10, we’re focusing on compiling a list of our personal rivalries – These characters may fight one another, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they dislike one another! Now, it’s time to point dramatically at one another, shout “YOU!” and shoulder tackle, full steam ahead, into our list.

Top 10

10) Woody and Buzz Lightyear – Toy Story 1


The classic fight of old vs. new. Woody the cowboy has been Andy’s best friend and favourite toy for years, until the shiny new space-man with more gadgets than you can shake a gigantic stick at shows up. Suddenly everyone is fascinated by the new, all action war machine, with lights and wings and noises, and start to turn away from the stuffed doll with a drawstring.

The fight turns very strange as time moves on, as a scuffle between the two lands them in some deep… trouble, leading to Buzz having a mental breakdown, Woody losing the faith of his former friends, and a battle of life and death against the lunatic next door, Sid. While the two end up as firmer friends than ever, the story can only take place because of their mutual distrust of one another: the deluded plastic hero, vs the displaced friend.

9) The Powerpuff Girls and The Rowdyruff Boys

On paper, these two are basically polar opposites – One is all about sugar, spice and everything nice, whereas the other is about being stinky, smelly boys. It’s a typical boy vs girl argument, where we’re more sympathetic with the girls than we are with the boys – Because again, boys are smelly. That’s the premise of this whole rivalry, which panned out so greatly on our screens back in the early 00’s.

But just because these two are polar opposites and constantly at one another’s throats, it doesn’t mean that they’re always bad to one another. In fact, in the newer Powerpuff Girls episodes, which takes on a more anime-esque look, they’ve even been shown to be sympathetic to one another. Heck, go back to the original cartoon and you can see the Rowdyruff Boys helping the Powerpuff Girls when, ultimately, they knew in doing so was more right than it was wrong.

8) Batman vs. Superman


It’s about to get cinematic, but this is a fight that’s been going on for quite some time. Superman may stand for truth, justice, and the american way, but he’s a little more relaxed about the whole killing “thing” than the Dark Knight of Gotham. Granted they’ve both killed people in the past, but they often come into harsh conflict, and yet maintain an enduring friendship… of a sort.

Though they’ve worked together to found the Justice League and unite the greatest heroes on earth (or at least those with earth’s best interests at heart) they still argue over how to go about protecting the peace. Batman has no issue about breaking the law when it’s for the greater good, he calls Clark “the Boy Scout” because of how chummy he is with the american government.

It all comes down to a bloody showdown, when the old friends beat the living hell out of one another in Miller’s Dark Knight Returns. An aged and harshly sceptical Wayne faces off against a Kent who he sees as a political pawn, who begs the old man to see reason, to stop.

Still not looking forward to the film.

7) Naruto and Sasuke

Naruto & Sasuke

Teenagers are always squabbling. Sometimes they squabble with magical ninja powers.

Naruto is the worst in his class, but getting lumped in a team with the best kid in his class and the girl he has a crush on – who in turn has a crush on the best kid, obviously – is going to end up in some pretty angsty shenanigans. Like every anime protagonist of his ilk, Naruto is determined to be the very best, like no one ever w- sorry, wrong series. Sasuke is already the very best, but like every side character of his ilk he’s never satisfied with how good he is and is determined to get better.

Love rivals, ninja rivals, and with the intervention of the big-bad Orochimaru, arch-nemeses. But despite Sasuke’s rising evil side, Naruto can’t help but fight to save his friend from the darkness that holds him, even if he has to beat the idiot half to death over a few dozen episodes. But it’s a rivalry that drives each to grow stronger, to compete, and to thrive.

6) Kirby and Meta Knight

Kirby and Meta Knight
Source: DeviantArt – Sakikoamana


“ [Meta Knight is] Kirby’s mysterious rival, this masked swordsman appears in several Kirby games. His cape transforms into wings to grant him flight. In Smash Bros., his quick sword skills and aerial agility set him apart. He can jump five times in a row, and he has a special move to soar higher.” — Trophy descriptionSuper Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS

Anyone who has ever owned a Nintendo console, be it the NES, SNES, Nintendo Wii or even a DS, will be aware of the amazingly cute Kirby. He’s just a little adorable marshmallow, who… eats his enemies instead? Jokes aside, it’s true that Kirby might be one of Nintendos most beloved mascots. But of course, when you think about Kirby’s enemies, more often than not, you’ll hear people say “Meta Knight”, rather than King DeDeDe. But why exactly is that? Enter Super Smash Bros.

When Meta Knight was added to the roster, he was displayed to have some slight resentment to the little pink puffball, which is true. He does have some – Because the two are polar opposites in terms of their personalities. Meta Knight doesn’t necessarily want to see harm brought to Kirby; in fact, rarely is that the case. You’ll more often than not only disarm Meta Knight if you defeat him, too. No, this is a rivalry that has the potential to turn sour… But nevertheless, even though they may fight, they will rarely opt to kill one another (just mechanics say you lose a life if you lose to Meta Knight, man. That sucks.)

5) Mario vs Sonic

Mario vs Sonic

This one is kind of a parallel to the ongoing battle between sega and nintendo. Mario was the legend of the platformer genre, and is still the victor in the ongoing conflict between the two, but back in the 90’s it got heated. Born in the 80’s as the arch nemesis of a barrel throwing ape, Mario has a cheery smile and family-friendly dungarees, the world he occupied was filled with happy smiles, angry mushrooms, and fire-breathing dragon-turtle. In the 90’s Sega levelled their far slicker hero, the devil-may-care hedgehog with attitude and super-speed trainers.

Sonic’s latest entries into the gaming arena have been rather lacklustre, and while Mario may have been outdone by younger, more experimental side-scrollers he’s still holding strong. That said, Sonic’s ventures onto television have been arguably more successful, continuing today and with plans for new cartoons in the future, where Mario has nothing. Well, nothing but millions of dollars in game revenue. More recently they’ve started facing off in gaming titles, but only ever in Nintendo games… I guess we know who won this fight.

4) Ryu and Ken – Street Fighter Series


Palette swap fight! America vs. Japan in the fight of two best friends, divided by nations, united by a discipline, Ansatsuken. Their story is closely intertwined, as they are as willing to fight back to back as they are face to face, and often they have to do one or both. Ken is lighter on his feet, faster to lay down the blows, and is a generally more cheerful guy and a family man; Ryu is slower, stronger, and also happens to harbour a seed of the purest evil that occasionally rears its ugly head and decimates all in front of it whether Ryu wants them dead or not.

Now the world of arena-fighters is filled with rivalries, Sub-Zero and Scorpion,  Ky Kyske and Sol Badguy, Kirby and Yoshi, and we considered them, honestly we did. But there’s something far more likeable about the ongoing scraps between these comrades and competitors for the World’s Greatest Warrior, and something far more memorable about the hadouken-off between them… and Dan Hibiki.

3) Inuyasha vs Koga


Inuyasha is the dog demon, who always has a chip on his shoulder. After being released from his imprisonment seal, the arrow sticking him to an ancient tree, Inuyasha is made to travel with his saviour Kagome (and I guess in some ways, his new captor), so she and he could fix feudal era Japan. Whilst on their journeys, Kagome finds a way to control the really wild dog demon boy via the special necklace and her likeness to Kikyo. The two end up having a lot of mutual respect for one another.

So how does Koga fit into all of this? Koga is a wolf demon, who is always looking for… Well… A bit of fun, let’s just say. He’s been known to hit on Kagome, and the territorial Inuyasha is always quick to get annoyed about this. Although the two fight a lot, they often will work together when it comes to Kagome. Through the interactions with Koga, Inuyasha realises how much he loves Kagome, even though he doesn’t want to admit this.

2) Mac vs Windows vs Linux

Mac vs PC vs Linux
Source: Aegidian forums

Ever since computers have become a vocal topic for geeks and nerds across the world, we’ve had an issue. We’ve got those who swear by Macs, those who abide by Windows and of course, those who call out for Linux. This argument has been around since the 80s and probably even earlier than that… But it really hit its crux around the 90s, where Mac vs PC started to gain an advertising campaign. Linux would sit in the background and listen to all of the noise – Then some people started to big Linux up as a type of silent guardian.

Interesting little tidbit for you all: between the three GeekOut guys, Timlah runs a Linux desktop. Joel runs a Windows desktop and Chris runs a Mac laptop! So yes, we literally are able to see merits to all views in this argument, but let’s be real here: Each have their own merits… Can this ridiculous rivalry just come to an end already? Here’s what you need to know:

  • Linux – Use this for development and productivity!
  • Mac – Use this for creativity and development!
  • Windows – Use this for creativity and productivity!

If you have a preference for one of those combinations, then go for it! Besides, with projects line WINE around, Linux can run most WIndows games… and Mac? Many games companies like to develop for Mac! Everybody is a winner!

1) Rival Trainers – Pokemon

Pokemon Rivals and Pokemon Protagonists
Source: Tumblr


Red vs Blue.

Gold vs Silver.

All of them.

Yes, that’s right, rivalries in Pokemon are our number one slot, which is a little bit of a cop out, but we feel it’s justly so. In fact, the moment we saw this was our Top 10 topic, we both immediately, without any in-fighting and squabbling, said “Pokemon”. But originally, Joel said Ash vs Gary which would make sense. After all, on the anime, Ash always seemed to want to beat his rival, even though Gary was generally the better of the two.

But we settled on all of the Pokemon Rivalries. This is Red vs Blue (as well as Ash vs Gary), this is Gold vs Silver. This is all of the rivalries in Pokemon, because if there’s one thing everyone can agree on in the Pokemon games… The rivalries are what makes the games stories what they are. It’s not just about going to catch ‘em all, or beating the champion – It’s about the journey to get there. Bothersome as some of these rivals may be, they ultimately take you through your whole journey… And we kind of love having them there. As much as we dreaded hearing Blues theme tune.

Honourable Mention

Some rivalries transcend media itself; going sometimes into the real world or just being a mainstay of its genre. In our next two items, we show off these honourable mentions for rivalries that will forever be around.

Timlah vs Joel – Top 10 Lists

Timlah vs Joel - GeekOut South-West

Is not real rivals coz Joel is teh greetest <- Written by Tim who is a doodoo

But seriously, we spend our many evenings preparing these Top 10 lists for you in deep arguments and heavy deliberation. We are two very different people with different experiences and tastes, and we will defend our choices to the hilt. It’s not unheard of for one or both of us to put our foot down when we know that the right decision isn’t being made, and more often than not it all comes good.

Tim and I put ourselves through each others company, not because we want to, but for you, good readers, fair and gentle readers who are far wiser than we two squabbling nerds sat having weekly arguments over the smallest things. And in the end we’re better people for the experience.

Timlah was here,

Joel is a loser!

Rivals in dating sims

Yandere Simulator Rival-Chan
Okay, so this is actually from Yandere Simulator, but the point still stands!

I couldn’t think of any explicit examples here, however often when you play a dating sim, there’s a rival. Yes, those games – Those ones where you play as a guy or a girl who wants to attract someone, most often of the opposite sex, to be your (in game) partner. It’s not exactly rocket science, it’s effectively a visual novel, which follows the format of a Create-Your-Own-Adventure book.

The rival in dating sims are people who is also pursuing the character you’re trying to build a relationship with. Be it a childhood friend of the character, or that uber hot character who wants your potential date, you know the rivals are always trying to screw you over – and it’s fine. It adds drama to the stories! Not all dating sims have rivals, but when they do, there’s usually a good amount of backstory behind them!

There’s no more need to fight now, we’re finished with our list for this week. Now put down your swords and pens, let’s just have something delicious to eat. You’ve given both Joel and Timlah a chance to really duke it out over the top rivals of all – but now it’s your turn once again! Grab that mouse and choose what we should do our Top 10 on next week.

Did you enjoy this week’s list? Do you agree that the Pokemon rivalries are the best rivalries of all? Did we miss any rivalries out? Let us know in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter. Got an idea for a future Top 10 topic? Get involved on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag: #GeekOutTop10. To end this article now, in the spirit of rivalries and good taste… A message from our lord and rival saviour Gary:

“Smell ya later” Gary Oak

Author: GeekOut Media Team

GeekOut Media is made up of Joel and Timlah, with extra support from friends and other writers. We often write Top 10 articles together, so join us for some strange Top 10 lists across all geek content.