Best Video Game Character Support Finale: Mario vs Link

This week on The Ringer, we’re hosting the best video game character support, an expansive competition between the greatest heroes, sidekicks and villains in the video game world. And in addition to immersing ourselves in some of these iconic figures, we’ll also explore and celebrate the gaming industry as a whole. Welcome to Video Game Week.

And then there were two.

The final four of The Ringer’s best video game character support featured four icons of the medium: Mario, Sonic, Link, and Tony Hawk. (OK, sure, it’s totally fair to say that the last guy on this list might not be on the same rung as the top three, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a icon. He’s also a real human, which is perhaps noticeable here.) All four contestants had done a light job of their previous opponents, suggesting that they were clearly standing above everything else, and leaving to hear that the Final Four would be all-out war. But that’s not what happened. Instead, two characters have proven themselves to be an even more elitist class, all on their own.

After a week of competition, only Mario and Link are still standing.

Even though close matches are always more entertaining, you can’t discuss the final results here. Mario is Mario. The link is a link. Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda are titles that expand the possibilities of video games; they are fundamental blocks on which all the support is built. It’s no surprise that this is what the medium boils down to, although it’s surprising how compelling Mario and Link’s races have been. (Mario averaged 91% of the vote throughout the tournament; Link averaged 76%.)

Maybe now we’ll see this all-out war. Choosing between Mario and Link is like splitting hair – the two legends, both iconic, both charming heroes on honorable quests to save a princess. After a tournament defined by rashes, this match promises to come down to the wire. Vote now. Choose your destiny. Make the impossible choice and always live with it.


Which character should advance?

This survey is closed.

57% (1) Mario, “Super Mario Bros.” (5612 votes) 42% (1) Link, ‘The Legend of Zelda’ (4189 votes) 9801 votes in total Vote now

You can vote here, on Twitter and on Instagram until midnight tonight. Check back on Saturday morning to see who will be crowned the best video game character of all time.

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