As much as I would like to say Zelda, I really have to say Mario. Super Mario really is the face of Nintendo, he has always been the console seller, he was their first game, and he is really expendable. Now this is not me saying what series is better, I am just saying what I believe id the true face of Nintendo. Now Mario has a few things going for it, expend ability and simply because his games are easy to pick up and play. I will try to prove why Mario is truly deserving of the title of Mr. Nintendo.
First of all Mario is very expendable as he can make various spin offs and still make them feel like a Mario game. mean seriously when people say they want to see a Zelda Kart or a Zelda sports game is really disappointing to me because they want Zelda to be something it's not. Zelda has always been a whimsical adventure game about exploration and wonder while the Mario series has always been a variety of things it could be a platformer, a high paced racing game, or even a strategic RPG. Let's take Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars for example it was almost completely different from the Mario games that preceded it and it still felt like a proper Mario game, unlike when Nintendo tried to do something different with Zelda II: the Adventure of Link and it wasn't received that highly. Which is why the Zelda series can't change to drastically for it to be a "proper" Zelda game.
Next I would like to talk about is how easy Mario is to pick up and play. Mario games are especially easy to pick up and play because it has almost the same controls in every game, A to jump, B to run and and other actions, and the D-pad to move. While Zelda is constantly changing in terms of controls, let's take the unreleased Skyward Sword which has motion controls where you control your sword and shield with the Wiimote and nun chuck, it's not like you can go to play Ocarina of Time and still expect it to play the same way. Mario is the better choice for casual gamers because it is easy to pick up and play, and it will probably stay that way.
In conclusion, as much as I love Zelda, I really have to give the award of Mr. Nintendo to Mario himself for all the reasons listed above and more. Honestly, I think there is no reason to think that Link has or will be Mr. Nintendo ever, I am seriously, when you think of Nintendo do you really think of Link? Well, i you read this far, thanks! I really hope you enjoyed my post and have an outstanding night!