The Super Smash Bros. series has always been a staple for Nintendo fans. With every installment, Nintendo one-ups themselves with their crazy crossovers. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see Solid Snake put Mario in a chokehold? But of course, with every iteration, each holds their own charm and style to help it stand apart from the others. This doesn’t just mean more characters, but quality of life differences.
So which game rises above the rest? We’ve made a list of all Super Smash Bros. games ranked from worst to best. Let’s get started!
All Super Smash Bros Games Ranked
Can there really be a bad version of this game? Here’s our ranking of the worst to best Smash Bros. releases.
Super Smash Bros.
- Platform: Nintendo 64
- Release Date: April 26th, 1999
This is the game that started it all. Even though the original Super Smash Bros. is at the bottom of the list, it’s not a bad game. It’s fast-paced, combo heavy, and offers a great introduction of this soon-to-be iconic crossover game.
This game did have a lot of limitations, considering it was the first of the series. It also just shows how far the series has come from the original twelve characters that were introduced.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
- Platform: Nintendo Wii
- Release Date: January 31st, 2008
Now, this isn’t to say that Brawl doesn’t get anything right. The game paved the way for non-Nintendo characters to make the roster, like Solid Snake from Sony or Sonic the Hedgehog from Sega. It also introduced The Subspace Emissary, which was essentially a side-scrolling beat-em-up and a full-fledged story mode.
Nintendo also introduced the Smash Ball — an item that gives your character an ultimate cinematic move to knock out your opponents out of the map. So what made Brawl so bad?
Brawl added a tripping mechanic that makes the characters…well, trip. There’s no warning or indication of when it will happen — it’s completely random and leaves you vulnerable for a free hit. Some beleive that the mechanic was added to discourage competitive play and make it more casual-friendly for parties, but if anything, it just became a silly mechanic hated by the casual and competitive players.
To be fair, Super Smash Bros. Brawl also introduced online play so you can play with your friends or strangers through the internet. However, the online support for the game was low quality, leading to a lot of lag.
Super Smash Bros. 4 for Nintendo WiiU
- Platform: WiiU
- Release Date: November 21th, 2014
Commonly known as Smash 4, this game earned the reputation of basically being a better Brawl. The game was faster, had more combo potential, and of course, added more characters for a total of fifty-eight playable fighters. They also removed the tripping mechanic, thankfully.
Smash 4 also introduced Smash Tour, which is a Mario Party-like mode that gives your characters certain buffs for your fights. The mode got dull very quickly, however, and wasn’t noticeable enough to become the main attraction for the game.
Smash 4 did try and improve the online experience more by adding two modes — For Fun with flexible rules, expansive maps, and the ability to add or disable items, and the competitive For Glory with set rules to imitate competitive gameplay, no items, specific maps, and 1v1 action. Overall, Smash 4 was a solid title and set high standards for the next release.
Super Smash Bros. 4 for Nintendo 3DS
- Platform: Nintendo 3DS
- Release Date: October 3rd, 2014
Making Smash a portable game was a great idea. It made it more accessible for people to play with friends, since they didn’t have to stick close to their console. What really makes it unique is the Smash Run mode, which replaces Smash Tour. This mode is more exciting, giving you minions to defeat in order to earn buffs, and pitting you in one grand battle against your friends.
Even though it was on a handheld system, it ran well and was a good quality game.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
- Platform: Nintendo GameCube
- Release Date: November 21st, 2001
Melee is a very popular choice for casual and competitive players. It has a very long history with the competitive scene, and quickly became the installment that every future Smash game would be compared to. The Adventure and Classic modes were fun modes and a great way to unlock the characters and collectables.
Melee is the fastest out of all of them, which is part of the reason why this became such a huge competitive game. It had all the techniques and strategies to discover and learn, like wave-dashing or L-Canceling. It has some of the hardest execution, especially at a competitive level, but that is where most of the fun is at.
Nintendo didn’t even mean for this game to have as much tech as it did — Melee is frequently called a “happy accident.” The game became an icon to the competitive scene, and it is still growing today. There are still big communities and tournaments for Melee, and even a documentary featuring professional players!
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- Platform: Nintendo Switch
- Release Date: December 7th, 2018
Smash Ultimate has hardly any flaws. The gameplay is fast, moves are easier to pull off than in Melee, and the controls are more responsive. It even adds crazier crossover characters like Steve from Minecraft, Kazuya from Tekken, and even Sora from Kingdom Hearts. No previous characters were cut this time, as Nintendo included every single character they have ever had, bringing to an amazing eighty-nine playable characters.
There is a full story mode to keep you engaged with boss battles, and you can play it to collect characters for your roster. The online is a lot more solid, and introduced Global Smash Power (GSP) — a way to measure your rank with every individual character and climb even higher. At this point, this Smash Ultimate really is the ultimate title, and lives to honor the Smash series as a whole.
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