Mario Tops Sonic as Most Popular with Brits in Survey

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Neither may be leading the nominations at the BAFTAs this week but veterans Mario and Sonic have firmly staked their claim as the nation’s Favourite Video Game Characters of all time, the plumber edging out his spiky blue rival for top spot, a new poll reveals.


The survey of 3,000 Britons (out of about 60M - or roughly 0.005%), commissioned by top shopping website, revealed just over 22% plumped for Mario. Sega mascot Sonic fell just short with over 21% of the vote.

The results come as the British Academy of Film and Television Arts prepares to bestow its highest individual honour, a Fellowship, on Mario’s creator Shigeru Miyamoto at Friday’s BAFTA Video Game Awards.

Top 10 Video Game Characters of All Time (based on 3000 Britons)

1.       Mario (Super Mario) 22%

6.       Luigi (Super Mario)

2.       Sonic (Sonic The Hedgehog) 21%

7.       Link (Zelda)

3.       Lara Croft (Tomb Raider) 12%

8.       Chun Li (Street Fighter)

4.       Pac-Man (Pac-Man) 11%

9.       Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII)

5.       Donkey Kong (Donkey Kong)

10.   Kirby (Kirby’s Dreamland)

 Nintendo icon Mario, who squeaked past his longstanding rival from Sega by less than one percent, trounced protagonists from more recent smash-hit franchises, including Metal Gear Solid, Grand Theft Auto and Halo.

The duo, with almost half a century of gaming action between them, scored almost double the number of votes of their nearest rivals. Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft managed 12% while pill-munching 1980s arcade pioneer Pac-Man netted over 11% of the votes.

Halo may be a flagship title on Microsoft’s Xbox consoles but cybernetic hero Master Chief could not even garner 1% of the vote.

Another big name to fail to win the British public’s heart was Niko Bellic of Grand Theft Auto IV, despite being the central character in one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful games of all time. The Eastern European gangster bombed with just over 1%.

Despite first appearing in 1981 and 1991 respectively, Mario and Sonic remained firm favourites with younger players, coming out clearly on top with 16-18-year-olds and those aged 19-21.

Pac-Man won the lion’s share of its votes from older gamers, scooping as much as 19% of the votes from those aged 36-40 and 51-55.

Critics of sex and violence in computer games may decry their effects on the young but it was the eldest voters aged 56+ who voted voluptuous gun-toting explorer Lara Croft as their all-time favourite, the only group to do so.

Duncan Jennings, co-founder of, commented: "It is clear from the results that, despite the vast array of new gaming characters in recent years, old favourites still remain top of the list. Mario and Sonic have stood the test of time and are proof that we never tire from a good character with great personality." 

In : PC

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