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Video Games' Greatest Rivalries

Sometimes video game franchises are kind of similar. It can’t be avoided. Sometimes, those games inspire conflict and people take sides. Sometimes, a feature is written that arbitrarily decides a winner. It could be a matter of sales, a clear case of objective quality, or my own personable preference. Feel free to take issue with any of the declared winners below in our comment section!

Prototype vs. Infamous

Both games star superheroes with exceptional climbing and jumping abilities, both games are open-world, and both released in 2009. The two games inspired comparison for obvious reasons and before the two even released, people were taking sides.

Winner: Infamous
This one could, perhaps, be considered on a case by case basis. Some people prefer the insanity that is Protoype, while others, like myself, prefer the story-focused comic-book turned into a video game trappings of Infamous. The latter just feels like a much more polished game.

FIFA vs. Pro Evolution Soccer

FIFA comes from EA Sports, and Pro Evolution Soccer comes from a publisher that is not EA Sports, so it will always be the perpetual underdog. It doesn’t have the full roster of licensed teams, but many consider it a technically better game that hardcore soccer fans appreciate. FIFA, on the other hand, has all the licenses for all the teams, and the backing of EA Sports’ deep monetary pockets.

Winner: FIFA
FIFA has become synonymous with soccer video games. In the same way people don’t realize that Band-Aid and Kleenex are actually brand names and not definitions for adhesive bandages and soft tissue, FIFA has just become how people refer to soccer video games.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance vs. Justice League Heroes

Marvel and DC are always butting heads for one reason or another. This year it was The Avengers and Dark Knight Rises, but back in 2006, it was Marvel Ultimate Alliance and Justice League Heroes. Both featured a large cast of recognizable superheroes, and both offered co-op beat ‘em up RPG action. The two games released seven days apart with JLH getting out of the gate first. Turns out JLH’s lead time just gave everyone the opportunity to get a really bad taste in their mouths, which could only be rinsed out by Marvel Ultimate Alliance.

Winner: Marvel Ultimate Alliance
Marvel spawned a sequel. Justice League Heroes did not.

Madden vs. ESPN NFL 2K

There was a time when there was more than one football game option. The year was 2005, when Madden truly realized that it was not alone in the NFL universe. ESPN NFL 2K5 released with a price-point of $19.99, and many people considered it to be the better game.

Winner: Madden
Electronic Arts freaked out when the competition got too rough and picked up exclusivity rights to make NFL games. Since then, it’s been all Madden, all the time. Things are looking up, though.

World of Warcraft vs. Everquest II

You are probably too young to remember, but there was a time before World of Warcraft ruled the real world. It was a simpler time. We didn’t have iPhones, and the Internet was slightly slower. World of Warcraft may have shown just how huge a massively multiplayer online role-playing game could be, but Everquest was the game that started it all. Both had been in beta for quite some time, but the official release dates were only 15 days apart.

Winner: World of Warcraft
I am asking this question without the slightest hint of irony: Is anyone still playing Everquest II?

Too Human vs. Mass Effect

Too Human and Mass Effect were released about nine months apart, but both games had a lot of long-term hype leading up to their releases, especially Too Human. Both games were science fiction in nature, promising deep narratives that would span across multiple games. One of these games delivered on this promise. The other was called Too Human.

Winner: Mass Effect
Too Human ended up being a disaster, both critically and financially. Mass Effect is one the biggest series of this generation.

Check out the rest of our rivalries on page two.

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