5 Times Sonic Totally Beat Mario

There are moments in Sonic and Mario’s histories worthy of debate: Sonic 3 or Super Mario 3? Who had the better first 3D game? Mario Kart Wii or Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing Wii? However, there are also moments when it is so obvious that Sonic won, even the most hardcore Mario fans will have a tough time assembling a counter argument. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and revisit 5 times Sonic totally beat Mario!

Sonic the Movie is better than Super Mario Bros. the Movie

note: I’m comparing these two as they were both released worldwide as movies, this is not a comparison of Mario and Sonic animes

Do I really need to go into this? Super Mario Bros. the Movie was a failure on so many levels. Terrible adaptation, incoherent plot, cheesy acting and a critical and financial failure. I remember back in the day thinking that even if they had failed at a good script and the acting was passable, at least it would be cool to see characters like Koopa and Yoshi given a realistic makeover.

But nope, not even those characters were given the same treatment that the Ninja Turtles were given three years before. Instead we got a human Koopa and a creepy little t-rex. Seriously, if films like Labyrinth and Ninja Turtles can give cartoonish characters realistic depictions, why couldn’t Mario the Movie give us a huge lizard wearing a gold crown and a green dinosaur with a saddle? They even screwed up the most simple of characters like Goombas and Toad.

And then we have Sonic the Movie. Compared to the Mario movie, this thing is near perfection! Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and new characters Old Man Owl, the President and his daughter going up against Robotnik, Metal Sonic and Metal Robotnik. SEGA wisely went the animation route, because really, when dealing with video game characters as fantastical as Sonic it’s the best way to go.

The plot, while a bit different from the game storyline, is still true to the characters and their intentions. It should be noted that the movie came out just after Sonic 3, so at the time the movie really didn’t seem so different until the Dreamcast games arrived. The only faults I can find with it are that the English voices aren’t so great, then again the DVD has the Japanese track.

Sonic the Hedgehog had the better Game Boy Advance games

It must have stunk being a Mario fan when the Game Boy Advance released. Imagine, a handheld promising graphics comparable to the SNES with the promise of handheld Mario games. The original Game Boy had the Mario Land series, which featured new and original stories and stages for the handheld device. So what did the Game Boy Advance offer by way of Mario platforming games? Rereleases of SNES games! What more, those releases kicked off with the least loved Mario title, Super Mario Bros. 2. Aside from adding collectible items, a scoring system and slightly different enemies and environments (ooh look, that Shy Guy is slightly larger!), Super Mario Advance is far from the handheld platformer that Mario fans deserved. What followed were rereleases of Super Mario World, Yoshi’s Island and Super Mario 3. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all good games, but would you rather have a rerelease or a brand new game? Enter Sonic.

Sonic knew how to make a Game Boy Advance game. Sonic Advance was the first wholly original 2D Sonic title since 1994’s Sonic Triple Trouble (Chaotix did not feature Sonic and Sonic Pocket Adventure reused a number of elements from past games). Sonic Advance featured four playable characters, all with brand new moves, nine zones with a total of 13 acts and a final boss fight. The game was fun, new and the best 2D Sonic game in years. Following Sonic Advance were two more new games, Sonic Advance 2 & 3, which introduced new gameplay methods and characters.

In my opinion, a great newly developed game beats out a great rerelease.

Sonic had the better sequel


Speaking of Super Mario Bros. 2, I should get this controversial one out of the way. When it comes down to it, Sonic 2 is a better game than Super Mario Bros. 2. Think about it, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was developed with the full intention of being the sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog. The developers went to great lengths to improve nearly every aspect of the game. Better graphics, better music, a second player, a competition mode, faster speeds and an epic ending. And they succeeded at every one of those aspects.

Meanwhile there is Super Mario Bros. 2. It’s not a bad game by any means, however it really isn’t the true sequel to Super Mario Bros. The actual sequel would be Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (aka Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan). Unfortunately, it seems Nintendo execs though the game’s difficulty was too much for Western audiences and instead they redesigned and reskinned the game Doki Doki Panic. So we have two sequels to Super Mario Bros. One is a reskin/redesign and the other is a “hard mode” of the original game with new layouts but very little else in terms of improvements. Improvements wouldn’t occur until Super Mario Bros. 3, which really is the game that should have been Super Mario Bros. 2.

Sonic had the better 2D sidekicks

Again, this one is controversial, but I have to conclude that Sonic had the better 2D sidekicks simply because they were far more original in design. While Luigi was simply a second player re-color, and Toad and Peach popped up and quickly disappeared following Super Mario Bros. 2, Sonic’s 2D sidekicks not only stuck around for sequels but they also evolved as the games went on. Case in point:  Luigi continued to do what Mario did, only evolving to the point of being a bit taller and jumping a bit further and higher than his brother. Meanwhile Tails developed the ability to fly and carry secondary characters and Knuckles glided and climbed walls. With the Advance series came even more moves, by way of melee attacks and tag team abilities in Sonic Advance 3. Sorry Luigi, but Tails and Knuckles beat you.

Sonic had and will have the better anniversary celebrations

While the “will have” has yet to be proven, rumors of Sonic’s 20th look to be leaps and bounds better than Mario’s 25th. Even when leaving speculation aside, Sonic’s 10th anniversary celebration beat that of Mario’s 25th. Let’s compare, shall we?

Mario’s 25th featured red DSi and Wii consoles, bundled with games that had been released in 2005 (Mario Kart DS) and 2009 (New Super Mario Bros. Wii). Also released was a straight port of the SNES’s Super Mario Bros. All-Stars, with no extras on disc. C’mon, even Sonic Jam came loaded with bonuses! Also included with All-Stars is a soundtrack CD (although 10 of the 20 tracks are short sound effects clips) and an art booklet. The art booklet is the one decent item in the set. 2010 did see the release of Super Mario Galaxy 2, however the game was very much detached from the 25th anniversary festivities. No “25th” logo on the box, no bonus stages paying homage to the event. Correction: there was Throwback Galaxy.

Now let’s compare Mario’s 25th to Sonic’s 10th Birthday Pack. Back in 2001 Sonic celebrated his 10th in a big way. We had the sequel to Sonic Adventure released on the same day as Sonic 1 was released, ten years later. As a bonus, those who bought the game on release day had a chance to pick up the Sonic Birthday pack. The package featured a gold soundtrack CD, complete with 23 full tracks including music from the just released Sonic Adventure 2. Also included in the pack was a gold coin, commemorating the date, and a booklet filled with facts, a gameography and historical oddities. The anniversary didn’t end there, as those who collected every emblem in Sonic Adventure 2 were treated to a fully playable 3D Act 1 of the original Sonic stage Green Hill Zone. Did I mention that the Sonic Birthday Pack was free with purchase of Sonic Adventure 2, while the Mario 25th pack will set you back $30?


If it sounds like I’m having a haterpalooza on Mario, I really am not. I enjoy the Mario games and respect the character. However in the current day and age where Sonic is the butt of many jokes in the gaming world, I think it’s important to note that Mario is not all good either. There have been times where Mario failed and Sonic succeeded. While those times have been few and far between nowadays, perhaps the winds will change in Sonic’s favor and 2011 will be the true return of SEGA’s mascot (fingers crossed, knock on wood). Who knows, maybe both mascots will find success in 2011? There’s always room for two great platforming icons.


25 responses to “5 Times Sonic Totally Beat Mario

  1. Sega Uranus says:

    There was an animated Mario movie that was not bad at all, very similar quality to Sonic OVA, I suppose – Though it is obvious which one I prefer.

    Mario's GBA games were mostly ports, yes, but they were pretty much perfect outside of the addition of his voice. It is arguable that some are better even, Luigi played much differently in SMW and Mario Brothers 3 had new levels completely. Meanwhile you completely forgot Sonic Genesis exists, one of the worst game ports of all time.

    I am not sure what you mean by better 2D sidekicks, but I can agree that Sonic's designs are usually more unique. Though, that is not always a good thing.

    The anniversary stuff is completely wrong, Sonic's 15th anniversary had arguably – Well, not arguably, but completely obvious to everyone that pretty much every Sonic game released that year was complete garbage. Super Mario Galaxy 2 did not have an anniversary emblem on the cover, but it actually completely remade a LOT of classic Mario levels, and they were done extremely well too, they even added story elements to these for them to make sense.

    You really picked some weird stuff man, what about how Sonic always has original music, none of which is ever midi on the consoles anymore (even Mario Galaxy 2 had stock sounds any free software can support…), or how Sonic games are available on basically every platform available now, or how Sonic games have had far more art styles than Mario even will (most likely), or how Sonic does not have a party series.

  2. Thing is, Mario's GBA games didn't simply release the games with the original game title. Rather, they sold them as THE Mario Advance series despite the games simply being ports (and released in a wonky order, might I add). True, Sonic Genesis stunk, but there were more than enough alternative Sonic games to play on the GBA and the game was released so late into the consoles life that it might as well have not been released at all. Also of note, the PSP and GP2X already had good versions of Sonic 1 via emulation and the PSP's Genesis collection also released in 2006.

    By better 2D sidekicks I mean that Sonic had better alternative characters to play as in his 2D games. They featured more unique designs, more varied abilities and the stages themselves were far better designed to take advantage of those abilities.

    Thanks for your thoughts! I'd welcome an article submitted by you mentioning "5 more times Sonic Beat Mario". These were just my five picks, of course there will always be different opinions from others on what constitutes a "beating".

  3. Sega Uranus says:

    The order of the Mario GBA games WAS pretty wonky for sure, but there were some pretty class games for it (Super Circuit is always forgotten by everyone for whatever reason and Mario & Luigi RPG was one of the best original "Cute" RPGs I ever played). A lot of the Sonic games are not that good, though some like Battle are better than most expect, and the Tiny Chao Garden was really addicting if you got to experience the games just as they came out.

    Sorry if my original comment came off kind of snotty, but I generally think both franchises are not taken care of as good as they should be.

  4. No problem dude, and I agree. The GBA Chao gardens were very cool. Especially that they worked with the Gamecube Sonic games. 😀

  5. cube_b3 says:

    This article is bias, have you forgotten the 15th anniversary of Sonic?

    Also for the 1991/2001 comparison screen shot, try to use something similar like the Ice Cap Zone from Sonic 3 :D. If your showing green hill show a green stage from Sonic Advance as well.

    I have only seen the Disney Sonic Movie and it didn't have Knuckles in it as far as I remember, the pictured Knuckles from the movie looks very weird with a cow boy hat, have never seen him like that.

    A good article though.

  6. Sonic's 15th was quite bad , though I never saw it as a milestone year. Decades and quarter centuries are the only real times of celebration. I chose the 10th and 25th due to this and because both franchises had similar birthday packages and sequels to a 3D game.

    btw, what cartoon are you referring to? Disney never teamed with Sonic. Thinking of the DIC christmas special maybe?

  7. cube_b3 says:

    DIC Entertainment is a subsidary of Walt Disney and it was marketed as a Disney Product here.

  8. Oh! That's crazy, I never knew that. Closest I thought they came was that the series appeared as reruns on the Disney Channel. I definitely recommend the Sonic anime movie. It had great art and animation, very '90's stuff. Knux has a hat because, eh, I guess they we're trying to make it his thing. Knux was a rather new character at the time, so they didn't really have a concrete background for him just yet. Though he does claim to be a treasure hunter in the anime, which hints at his treasure hunting stages seen three years later.

  9. CrazyTails says:

    Hey Cube, you go watch that sonic OVA RIGHT NOW!!

    I agree with this whole article. All the things you picked are very true.

  10. Sharky says:

    Good idea for an article but Id have mentioned that

    -The late great MJ was involved with the music, in fact all Sonic music was awesome.

    -The classic Sonic level designs SHIT on the classic Mario level designs.

  11. Chaosmaster8753 says:

    I think it would've been better to compare the Sonic OVA to the Mario OVA because the SMB movie isn't in a similar category as it.

  12. nuckles87 says:

    You forgot two key things, Barry.

    1. Sonic had a much better, much more successful comic book career. He has had not one, but TWO long running and successful comic book series, one in the US and one in the UK. The one in the US has had a variety of specials, mini series, and spin offs, and is still running today. Mario's stand alone comic didn't even last a year, I think.

    2. Sonic SatAm >>>>> Super Mario Super Show. Unless you're high.

    Surprisingly, Sonic's been a lot more successful in cross media enterprises then any other gaming mascot.

  13. fernandeath says:

    Sonic is also faster than mario!

  14. Sega Uranus says:

    Nuckles, you are crazy. SatAM is worse and way darker than even the worst Shadow stuff, it is the core reason why the fanbase is so disgusting.

    The multiple and long running comic series is an achievement though, even if they all are not good.

  15. nuckles87 says:

    lol, you are way overexagerating how dark it is, man. It's not dark at all, certainly not on the same level as Shadow.

    And quite a few people like it, including this guy:


    Second half :P.

    But I'm comparing it to Mario's show, anyway. Gonna defend that piece o' crap?

    Look, I'm not gonna oversell it like it's overzealous fans do. But it's at the very least a fun little show with decent, kid friendly storylines, and an occasional dark and emotional edge that other video game shows never touched, instead replacing it with terrible storylines and horrible, stupid, and often pun riddled humor. I'm really not setting the bar very high by saying it's better then anything Mario ever did.

    You like spagetti jokes? Then the Mario Super Show is for you!

  16. Wilhelm says:

    Hold up, I'm going to give the movie to Mario..

    Never have I laughed so hard at such a pathetic excuse of a movie.

    Plus you gotta give them credit for giving it a shot using real-life things, rather than just animations.

    Like back in those days, making video game movies, were hard. Than again apparently it still is considering very rarely does someone do it properly.

  17. I recall the Archie Sonic comic poking fun at live action video game movies, claiming that Michael J. Fox would soon be playing Sonic in a film (Tails was let down that an actor named "Fox" was playing a "hedgehog"). lol

  18. Autosaver says:

    Mario had better GBA ports…..

    Oh, lets remember the Sonic 1 GBA as an anniversary. XD

    /mario fanboy

  19. Wilhelm says:

    Autosaver, you got a point.

    nintendo does port things properly..

    Genesis Sonic 1 GBA was a huge fail of a port…

    But I can't remember Sega really giving to much shit about it…

    The ports to cell phones weren't all that bad tho.. I got Sonic 2 on my Blackberry, given the situation that a blackberry button is the size of a typical zit on a 14 year old. This proves to be difficult to play the game…

    Im getting off topic aren't I?

    I'll agree with Autosaver with the Sonic 1 Port to GBA was a huge failure compared to Mario's ports..

    which all mario games on the gba were ports except for the odd few.

  20. Kfcnyancat says:

    You forgot that Sonic had a better 3D transition that was more faithful to the 2D games and tried many new things at the same time.
    Then again, even though SA1 is the better game, SM64 was more revolutionary.

  21. ckphatman says:

    theres one thing you all forgot: sonic has had more tv. show series tha mario. mario has had super mario super show(and only the cartoon portion was good) super mario 3 and super mario world cartoons. sonic had SatAM aosth, underground, and sonic x. (even though x and underground wernt real good, they still count) also, too you mario friends out there, why are you on SEGAbits? are you on just to rant about this article? btw, sonic being multi platform makes it easier to play his games, and being multi platform gives sega more money. if you wanna play mario, you gotta by a nintendo console. GENESIS DOES WHAT NINTENDO’NT, BITCHES!

  22. ckphatman says:

    but i still like mario, even if i DO like sonic more.

  23. ckphatman says:

    why are you reading this comment?

  24. bertodecosta says:

    Added one : Sonic appears in almost every console, while Mario’s only showing up in Nintendo’s console.

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