Sibling Rivalry: Luigi Challenges Mario – Who Will Prevail?

Sibling Rivalry: Luigi Challenges Mario – Who Will Prevail?

Mario and Luigi are considered one of the most notorious gaming brothers. While Mario is Nintendo’s star, Luigi has his own gaming series. Like many characters in Mario’s universe, some will fade into the background as an ally or friend, while others will receive their own series. Luigi falls into a different category. He’s the lovable, goofy brother who rarely gets screen time at the start, but once people realized how great Luigi was, his stardom skyrocketed.

Mario, on the other hand, may very well be the most recognizable gaming character in history. This isn’t going to be an easy fight for Luigi, but I think it’s going to be closer than people think. As usual, we’ll have three categories: Screen time, powers, and pop culture relevance.

Let’s get started!

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Luigi Challenges Mario: Screen Time

A screenshot from Super Mario 64.
Mario’s move to the 3D era was an instant success.

©Screenshot from Super Mario 64.

This section is about the number of games these characters appear in, and it matters if you are a main character or just an accessory character. Let’s start with Mario.


  1. Super Mario Bros. (1985) – NES, Famicom Disk System, Virtual Console, various ports
  2. Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (1986) – Famicom Disk System, Virtual Console, various ports
  3. Super Mario Bros. 2 (1988) – NES, Famicom Disk System, Virtual Console, various ports
  4. Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988) – NES, Famicom, Virtual Console, various ports
  5. Super Mario World (1990) – SNES, Virtual Console, various ports
  6. Super Mario 64 (1996) – Nintendo 64, Virtual Console, Nintendo DS, various ports
  7. Super Mario Sunshine (2002) – Nintendo GameCube
  8. Super Mario Galaxy (2007) – Wii
  9. New Super Mario Bros. (2006) – Nintendo DS, Wii U Virtual Console
  10. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (2010) – Wii
  11. Super Mario 3D Land (2011) – Nintendo 3DS
  12. New Super Mario Bros. 2 (2012) – Nintendo 3DS
  13. New Super Mario Bros. U (2012) – Wii U
  14. New Super Luigi U (2013) – Wii U
  15. Super Mario 3D World (2013) – Wii U, Nintendo Switch
  16. Super Mario Run (2016) – iOS, Android
  17. Super Mario Odyssey (2017) – Nintendo Switch
  18. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (2019) – Nintendo Switch
  19. Super Mario Maker 2 (2019) – Nintendo Switch
  20. Super Mario 3D All-Stars (2020) – Nintendo Switch (collection of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy)
  21. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury (2021) – Nintendo Switch


  1. Luigi’s Mansion (2001) – Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U Virtual Console
  2. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (Luigi’s Mansion 2 in PAL regions) (2013) – Nintendo 3DS
  3. Luigi’s Mansion 3 (2019) – Nintendo Switch

Notable Games Featuring Luigi:

  1. Super Mario Bros. series (e.g., Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, etc.) – Various platforms starting from 1985
  2. Super Mario 64 (1996) – Nintendo 64, Virtual Console, Nintendo DS, various ports
  3. Super Mario Sunshine (2002) – Nintendo GameCube
  4. Super Mario Galaxy series (Super Mario Galaxy – 2007, Super Mario Galaxy 2 – 2010) – Wii
  5. Super Mario 3D World (+ Bowser’s Fury) – Wii U, Nintendo Switch
  6. Super Mario Odyssey (2017) – Nintendo Switch

Then of course you have the spin off games for both characters.

Super Smash Bros. Series:

  1. Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001) – Nintendo GameCube
  2. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008) – Wii
  3. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U (2014) – Nintendo 3DS, Wii U
  4. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018) – Nintendo Switch
  1. Mario Tennis series – Various platforms and releases
  2. Mario Golf series – Various platforms and releases
  3. Mario Strikers series – Various platforms and releases
  4. Mario Baseball series – Various platforms and releases
  5. Mario Party series (various titles) – Various platforms and releases

Luigi is at a massive disadvantage for this one. While he does have the Luigi Mansion, he’s only an accessory character in the rest of the games. While Mario is the star in almost everything he’s in. There is only one clear winner in this section.

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Screen Time Winner: Mario

Luigi Challenges Mario: Powers

Now, it’s about the powers. Each character has unique abilities over each game, so it’s going to be close.


  1. Super Jump: Mario is known for his incredible jumping ability, allowing him to leap great distances and reach high platforms.
  2. Super Strength: Mario possesses impressive strength, enabling him to lift and throw objects, defeat enemies, and break blocks.
  3. Fireball: With the Fire Flower power-up, Mario gains the ability to shoot fireballs from his hands, which can defeat enemies and break certain obstacles.
  4. Invincibility: Certain power-ups, such as the Starman, grant Mario temporary invincibility, making him impervious to enemy attacks.
  5. Super Size: Consuming a Super Mushroom or a similar power-up causes Mario to grow in size, granting him increased strength and durability.
  6. Ground Pound: Mario can perform a Ground Pound move, where he jumps into the air and then pounds the ground, creating shockwaves that defeat enemies or activate switches.
  7. Spin Jump: The Spin Jump move allows Mario to spin in mid-air, defeating enemies and breaking blocks beneath him.
  8. Wall Jump: Mario can execute a Wall Jump, enabling him to bounce off walls to reach higher platforms or change direction quickly.
  9. Swimming: Mario is a skilled swimmer, allowing him to navigate underwater environments and defeat aquatic foes.
  10. Flying: Certain power-ups, like the Super Leaf or Cape Feather, give Mario the ability to fly or glide through the air, extending his jumping range.
  11. Riding Yoshi: When Mario rides Yoshi, he gains additional abilities like eating enemies, flutter jumping, and using Yoshi’s unique powers.
  12. Cappy’s Possession (in Super Mario Odyssey): In Super Mario Odyssey, Mario can throw his cap, Cappy, to possess certain enemies and objects, gaining their abilities and controlling their actions.


  1. Super Jump: Like Mario, Luigi is known for his excellent jumping ability, allowing him to reach high places and perform long jumps.
  2. Super Jump (Higher than Mario): In certain games, Luigi’s jump is even higher than Mario’s, giving him a unique advantage in reaching elevated platforms.
  3. Poltergust 3000: Luigi wields the Poltergust 3000, a vacuum cleaner-like device, in the Luigi’s Mansion series. It allows him to capture and defeat ghosts and interact with the environment to solve puzzles.
  4. Poltergust G-00: In Luigi’s Mansion 3, Luigi upgrades to the Poltergust G-00, which comes with additional abilities and features to face new ghostly challenges.
  5. Scuttle: In the Luigi’s Mansion series, Luigi can scuttle, a quick burst of movement, to dodge enemy attacks or maneuver swiftly.
  6. Invisibility: In some games, Luigi can become temporarily invisible, granting him stealth abilities or invulnerability from certain enemies.
  7. High-speed running: In games like Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Smash Bros. series, Luigi’s running speed is faster than Mario’s, making him more agile.
  8. Thunderhand: In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Luigi gains the ability to use Thunderhand, which electrifies his punches for extra damage.
  9. Copy Ability (in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga): Luigi can temporarily copy Mario’s abilities and power-ups to perform special moves or attacks.
  10. Haunting Abilities (in Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon): In Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, Luigi can summon and control certain objects using the Dark-Light Device, aiding him in solving puzzles.
  11. Defensive Techniques: In various games, Luigi displays unique defensive techniques, such as dodging and counterattacks.
  12. Spin Jump: Like Mario, Luigi can perform a Spin Jump, allowing him to defeat enemies and break blocks.
  13. Riding Yoshi: Like Mario, Luigi can also ride Yoshi, gaining the same abilities and advantages as when Mario rides him.

I think most Super Smash Bros. fans can conclude that Luigi has Mario beat in this department. While Mario is strong in most games, Luigi packs a powerful and shouldn’t be underestimated.

Powers Winner: Luigi

Luigi Challenges Mario: Pop Culture

This one isn’t even close. They made a movie about Mario twice. And while Luigi was present in both, the focus was on Mario. Luigi has proven himself over the years as a main character and can even carry a franchise, but he’s nothing compared to Mario.

The winner for the pop culture relevance is Mario!

Powers Winner: Mario

And that means Mario has a 2-1 victory over Luigi!

Overall Winner: Mario

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