Every Super Smash Bros. Game, Ranked: Which Is the Best?

Super Smash Bros. games have undergone several evolutions throughout the years. Which game comes out on top?
Image Credit: Nintendo

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In what other game can you pit Mario against Bayonetta? It’s only in Super Smash Bros. games that you can settle these unlikely matchups.

SSB has revolutionized the fighting game. The platform-style combat, diverse cast of crossover characters, and unconventional way of KO’ing your opponent make SSB different from all the rest.

While all SSB games have the same basis, not all of them are exactly the same. Here, we’ll break down all SSB games, from worst to best.

5. Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Super Smash Bros. Brawl is the third installment in the Super Smash Bros. series, debuting seven years after Super Smash Bros Melee. That said, Brawl isn’t a bad game—it just got buried within the Smash timeline.

Brawl introduces us to an even larger and more diverse roster of characters. For the first time, Brawl gives us the chance to play as Snake, Pokémon Trainer, Wario, and, of course, Snake. It’s a fun cast of characters that we missed out on in Melee.

While Brawl also introduces new features like the Smash Ball and online multiplayer, it’s not as iconic as its predecessor or its successors. Because of this, Brawl has become a forgotten blip in Smash history.

4. Super Smash Bros.

You just can’t diss the original Super Smash Bros. game. Although it definitely isn’t the best in the series, it still manages to retain a distinct identity. SSB became the framework for later games, and was gradually built upon.

As you probably know, the content in SSB is pretty sparse. We can only choose from 12 classic Nintendo characters and nine stages, all of which have remained in the series ever since.

The blocky graphics and lack of content aren’t an issue—after all, it’s the first entry in the series. Its controls, however, are the issue. The N64 controller hasn’t aged well, and it makes the game exceedingly harder to play.

3. Super Smash Bros. 4

Super Smash Bros. 4 is basically the bigger, better, and more exciting version of Brawl. It takes away quite a few fan-favorite characters, namely Pokémon Trainer, Snake, Wolf, and the Ice Climbers, but replaces them with 21 new fighters.

The roster alone is enough to trump Brawl and secure its spot towards the top of this list. With amazing new fighters like Greninja, Wii Fit Trainer, Pac-Man, and Villager, SSB4 has seen some major changes. Let’s not forget that SSB4 is the first Smash game to include DLC, which brought us Ryu, Bayonetta, and Cloud.

SSB4 was also released for the Nintendo 3DS. Even though most players prefer duking it out on GameCube controllers, the 3DS version still succeeds in giving you the full Smash experience on-the-go.

2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Not only does Super Smash Bros. Ultimate combine all of the characters and stages in previous games, but it also adds a ton of new content. It’s the biggest Smash game to date, with a whopping 74 base characters, and an ever-increasing list of DLC fighters.

SSBU is a major step-up from older titles. The robust list of fighters, massive soundtrack, and huge selection of stages makes it the most ideal Smash game ever. Sakurai has finally met fans’ demands, giving us a Smash game that seems like it can’t be beat.

Still, it doesn’t hold the number one spot on this list. SSBU has its downfalls, like the addition of some disappointing DLC characters, the missing Target Smash minigame, and the constant struggle to balance the gargantuan roster of fighters.

1. Super Smash Bros. Melee

Over almost two decades after its release, Super Smash Bros. Melee still has an active competitive community. And even more surprisingly, the release of SSBU never caused its popularity to die down. There’s just something about Melee that other SSB games lack.

With a total of 26 fighters and 29 stages, it’s far from the behemoth that we call SSBU. The original SSB may have started the Smash craze, but Melee added way more fuel to that fire. Melee‘s fast, flexible gameplay let players take advantage of wavedashing, an iconic glitch that made the Melee competitive scene what it is today.

Melee brings us back to a time when there was no online multiplayer, DLC, or constant updates. It gives us the chance to plug in our old GameCube, sit down with a friend, and annihilate each other on one screen. Melee is Melee, and it will never change.

What’s Your Favorite Smash Game?

SSBU comes close to dethroning Melee as the best SSB game of all time. Maybe it’s just nostalgia-fueled love, but Melee will likely remain the most-respected SSB title forever.

If you’ve been playing SSBU, you already know how easy it is to get lost in the massive roster. Fortunately, we’ve made it easy to figure out which SSBU character you should main.