Dang, it's been more than two decades since the first Yu Gi Oh! anime debuted in Japan! There's a real possibility that a lot of you reading this weren't even alive when the show was adapted for Western audiences, either. If anything, many fans today probably grew up with Yu Gi Oh! GX - the direct sequel series to the original.
This also means that some of you probably prefer Jaden (or Judai) Yuki over Yugi Muto - as well as the other way around. Hey, that's totally fine! We won't tell you what to think - we'll just compare their feats and let you decide which protagonist you truly like the most.
10 Yugi: Stomped Out Kaiba and Aigami
A common critique against Yugi Muto is that he relies on 'Dark Yugi' too much. We think this is kind of an iffy complaint (wouldn't you call on your superpowered Pharoah buddy when your life's at stake?), as well as one that isn't even valid later in Yugi's career.
Throughout the first series, Yugi steadily fights more of his battles by himself - using the fact that his enemies underestimate him to his advantage. By the time of The Dark Side of Dimensions, Yugi manages to beat Seto Kaiba and Aigami with nothing but his wit and skill!
9 Jaden: Excels Despite His Slifer Red Status
Similar to Yugi, Jaden also gets slept on (both in-universe and out) because of his rank at Duel Academy. For those who don't know, Jaden's a Slifer Red - the lowest possible rank a Duelist can have. The poor guy constantly got mocked and insulted by his "superiors," but he proved that rank held little sway in a Duel.
Time after time, Jaden bested foes from all across the rainbow; Slifer Red, Obelisk Blue - it didn't matter! By the end of the series, Jaden reminded everyone to never judge a book by its cover - or its color.
8 Yugi: Beating Enemies With Toys
Yugi also accomplished something similar, but with card types. If you were to ask any group of Duelists what their favorite card types are, you'd get a bevy of answers - Dragon, Beast, Fairy, Machine... you'd likely hear everything except Toy. Lacking in the power department, Toy cards tend to get looked down upon.
Maybe that's why Yugi decided to incorporate so many Toy and Silent cards into his decks - he too understands what it's like to be overlooked for your perceived weaknesses. Sure enough, Yugi's successfully bested numerous opponents with Toy Tank and Toy Box - cards you might never see in a real tournament!
7 Jaden: His Luck Of The Draw Is Incredible
On the other end of the spectrum, Jaden can make almost any deck work thanks to his impossible luck. This boy can topdeck cards like nobody's business - always managing to pull out the right card when he needs it most.
As any Duelist will tell you, it's not enough to draw a powerful or useful card - you also need the insight to know how you should use it. To that end, Jaden's skills and knowledge of the game come into play. Still, his topdecking ability is uncanny - it's almost like he has a special connection with his cards.
6 Yugi: Solved The Millennium Puzzle
Most of us fantasize about being pulled into some grand quest to save the world, but we should be glad that probably won't ever happen. Imagine being ripped from your daily life - no matter how stressful or monotonous - and being thrust into a world of evil magicians and powerful monsters!
For Yugi Muto, that nightmare became his reality when he was 16 years old! Thanks to the help of his friends and Pharoah Atem, Yugi managed to do the impossible - he completed the Millennium Puzzle and saved the day despite the odds against him.
5 Jaden: Defeated Darkness
Of course, Jaden's no slouch in the "savior of the world" department either - he and his friends fought the personification of darkness and won! To make matters worse, this creature fed off the fears and anxieties of everyone it encountered - and beyond!
Moreover, Jaden and his allies had contested with this being since the start of GX. At first, Darkness wasn't a major threat, but when the malevolent spirit threatened all that Jaden knew and loved, it was smacked down by the budding Duelist.
4 Yugi: Defeated Pharaoh Atem
Oh no, Yugi and the Pharaoh didn't have a falling out or anything like that - though this battle did mark the end of their travels together. You see, near the climax of the original series, Yugi and his friends found a way to send Pharaoh Atem to the afterlife (or the afterworld, as Prince called it) - the Ceremonial Battle.
Here, Yugi's skills and will would be put to the ultimate test. Atem would no longer come to Yugi's aid when he needed it - in fact, he'd be fighting his friend with every ounce of strength that he had! Yugi had to dig in deep to beat Atem, but he managed to do so by the skin of his teeth.
3 Jaden: Can Speak With Duel Monsters
Ah, all of a sudden Jaden's 'special connection' makes sense now. You see, even though Yugi had Pharaoh Atem by his side - along with all of his Dark Yugi powers - he couldn't genuinely communicate with monsters. At least, he couldn't normally do so any differently than anyone else.
Jaden, on the other hand, could see, hear, and control the spirits of Duel Monsters, thanks to his Gentle Darkness ability. Yuki inherited this power from the Supreme King - who we later learn was Jaden's identity in a past life! Even without his past self acting as a guide, Jaden accomplished much throughout his career.
2 Yugi: Considered The Best By Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's
Ultimately, Jaden never reached the same heights that Yugi did in-universe (though your mileage may vary on this one). As far as the world of Yu Gi Oh! is concerned, Yugi cemented himself as the greatest duelist to ever live in the original series.
By the time Yu Gi Oh! 5D's rolls in, everyone reveres Yugi Muto as the all-time champion of Duel Monsters. At that point, there's a possibility that both he and Jaden are dead and buried!
1 Jaden: Impressed Yugi With His Elemental Heroes
There's one last feat on Jaden's behalf that we feel matches Yugi's feat of becoming the in-universe GOAT - impressing Yugi Muto himself!
Near the very end of GX, Jaden is sent back in time to duel with Yugi. The two heroes don't just dive into the fray, however - they converse, connect, and show their cards to one another. By the time their meeting comes to an end, Jaden manages to impress Yugi with his Elemental Hero cards, as well as the bond that he shares with all of his monsters. When the GOAT thinks you're awesome, that really means something.