The Super Smash Bros. series was originally something completely different. Masahiro Sakurai, the creator of the series, originally worked on a four player fighting game called Dragon King: The Fighting Game. Sakurai grew dissatisfied with this game, and reworked it to have prominent Nintendo characters as the fighters. This led to the creation of the first Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64. The game was a surprise hit, and each subsequent Nintendo console has had a Smash Bros. game to call its own.
While the first Smash Bros. was more of a party game than a fighting one, some fans took the game seriously, and mastered its unusual mechanics. The release of Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Nintendo GameCube changed everything. Melee is considered one of the most technical fighting games of all time. If players take the time to learn the precise button presses that allow them to exploit how the game works, then they will be rewarded with victory.
With four games in the series, a lot of work has went into determining who the best and worst characters are in the Smash Bros. series. We are here today to name and shame the worst characters in each game. Just remember, we are talking about how well the characters work in competitive play, and how well they work against other opponents from the same game. From the Balloon Pokémon, to the hated scion of Pikachu. Here are the 15 Lamest Super Smash Bros. Characters.
15. Jigglypuff (3DS/Wii U)
A lot of fans will likely remember the singing Jigglypuff from the Pokémon anime. It is due to this more famous incarnation that Jigglypuff was chosen as the second Pokémon representative in the original Smash Bros.
Due to it being the so-called “Balloon Pokémon”, Jigglypuff is one of the lightest characters in the series. This makes it obscenely easy to KO, due to the sheer amount of distance it is knocked back from a hit. This is made worse due to Jigglypuff’s unique weakness – the Shield Jump. If you break Jigglypuff’s shield while it is blocking, it will be knocked back so much that you are almost guaranteed a KO.
Jigglypuff has one of the most powerful moves in the game – Rest. By using Jigglypuff’s down + special, it will hit for a high amount of knockback. Jigglypuff will fall asleep after using this move, making it risky (as you will be vulnerable for a few seconds after its use). Rest was one of the most devastating moves in the first two Smash Bros. games, as it could reliably cause a KO at low damage. It was nerfed horribly in Brawl, making Jigglypuff one of the worst characters in the game. It was slightly improved in 3DS/Wii U Smash, but not enough to regain Jigglypuff’s lost advantage.
14. Luigi (SSB64)
As the Smash Bros. series went on, the games created a distinction between the size of characters. There are small characters, who are fast, and hard to hit (like Pikachu). There are big characters, who are strong, and hard to knock back (like Donkey Kong). There are also a lot of medium sized characters, who are somewhere in the middle.
Luigi was one such medium-sized character, but he had a terrible disadvantage in the original Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64. It was a major weakness, and he had nothing to make up for it.
Luigi is the slowest character in the game. He was still a clone of Mario at this point in the series, meaning he had copies of all of Mario’s moves. Almost all of them are less effective than Mario’s version of the same move. The exception to this is the Super Jump Punch, which was made stronger. The problem with the Super Jump Punch is that it is very difficult to land, especially with Luigi being as slow as he is.
13. The Mii Fighters (3DS/Wii U)
Before we can discuss the problems with the Mii characters as actual fighters, there is a big issue with them that stops people from choosing Miis in the first place.
You cannot use them in online play, except with your friends.
The reason for this should be obvious. Miis are all about customization. If Nintendo allowed them to be used online, then you would have players creating and using offensive characters. All of the online matches would be dominated by Mii Hitlers, fighting against Miis with crudely drawn genitalia on their face.
This makes it harder to improve whilst playing as any of the three Mii characters (Gunner, Fighter, and Swordsman). One of the best ways to get better at Smash Bros. is to play against other people online. You will be facing a wide variety of players, most of whom will be very skilled at the game. Choosing a Mii character as your main will restrict how well you can train with them.
12. Princess Zelda (Brawl)
Princess Zelda was introduced to Smash Bros. in Melee. She must have gotten tired of Link saving her in so many games, and decided to take matters into her own hands… by punching Ganondorf right in his stupid face.
Despite being a magic-user and a royal, Zelda is not well-regarded in the Smash Bros. competitive scene. Her main magical ranged attack is very poor, and not likely to force players into acting. Like Mewtwo in Melee, Zelda is very floaty, and has a slow landing speed. This makes it easier to pull off aerial combos on her. By far her worst attribute is her unreliable recovery move. “Farore’s Wind” allows Zelda to teleport across the stage in the direction that the player is pushing the control stick. This can lead to Zelda reappearing too far away from the stage, and falling to her doom, due to the player not knowing exactly where she is going to reappear
One advantage that Princess Zelda has is her ability to turn into Sheik. Throughout the series, Sheik has consistently been ranked as one of the best characters in the game. It would be a real shame if Nintendo separated the two characters…
11. Ness (SSB64)
Two characters from the EarthBound/MOTHER series have appeared in Smash Bros. over the years – Ness and Lucas. While Shigesato Itoi has claimed that he never wants to make another EarthBound/MOTHER game, the characters and settings will forever live on within Smash Bros.
Ness uses the power of PSI, this gives him a wide-range of useful psionic abilities in battle. In terms of sheer utility, both he and Lucas are the undisputed masters. They can attack with both fire and ice, cause status effects, and absorb enemy projectiles.
The biggest problem that most new Ness (and Lucas) players face is with the recovery move. Instead of a regular attack that sends them upwards (like most of the cast), Ness is frozen in mid-air for a few seconds, while the player guides a ball of energy from his head into his body. If this move is successful, it will propel Ness in the direction that the energy ball hit him from. In the original Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64, this move was very unreliable. Instead of grabbing onto the ledge, there is a good chance that Ness will just crash into the side of the stage, and fall to his doom.
10. Mewtwo (Melee)
Simply unlocking Mewtwo in Melee was a chore on its own. The quickest way is to have five hours of 4 player matches (or just leaving a match open with an infinite clock for five hours). We wonder how much electricity was wasted over years by impatient people who just wanted to play as their favourite Pokémon.
When they finally unlocked him, they would have quickly realized that they shouldn’t have bothered, as Mewtwo is a terrible character in Melee.
Most big characters in Smash Bros. are easier to hit, because they present more of a target. This is usually offset by making them heavier, which makes them more difficult to knock out of the arena. Mewtwo is both a large character, and a light one, making him very easy to KO. He lacks the speed or strength needed to make up for this huge weakness.
Mewtwo finally returned to Smash Bros. as the first ever DLC character in the latest games in the series. He is now considered one of the better characters in the game, and has finally been given the treatment that he deserves as the most powerful Pokémon of all.
9. Roy (3DS/Wii U)
The Fire Emblem series is one of Nintendo’s oldest properties. For whatever reason, Nintendo decided not to release any of the games in the West until the early 2000s. The reason for this change of heart was due to the inclusion of Fire Emblem characters in Melee. Marth and Roy became popular characters, and the fan reaction prompted Nintendo to start releasing Fire Emblem games in the Europe and America.
In the latest Smash Bros. games for 3DS and Wii U, Roy is one of the riskiest characters to play as in competitive. While he is fast and strong, he lacks any sort of projectile. This makes it easy for ranged characters (Link, Samus, Duck Hunt Duo) to chip away at his health, or force him to dodge during his approach. Roy also has a very fast falling speed and a weak recovery move, making him susceptible to Edge-guarding.
Roy is a DLC character in the latest Smash Bros. game. This means that you have to pay extra for a character that sucks. Don’t waste your money on him – spend it on Cloud or Bayonetta, who are better characters in every way.
8. Bowser (Melee)
The King of the Koopas was considered for inclusion in the original Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64. He did not make it into the game, possibly due to the presence of two other Mushroom Kingdom characters (Mario and Luigi). Bowser made his first appearance in Melee, and added considerably to that game’s villain contingent (along with Mewtwo and Ganondorf).
Sadly, Bowser did not leave much of an impression in his first Smash Bros. appearance. He was one of the most powerful characters in the game, but was too slow to make any use of it. His size makes him very easy to hit (and stunlock), and his fast falling speed makes him easy to Edge-guard against. Melee as a competitive game is obsessed with speed, this is why Fox is considered the best character in the game. The “slow but powerful” archetype has no place within Melee.
7. Princess Zelda (Again) (3DS/Wii U)
While the Brawl version of Princess Zelda had some major flaws, they were made up for by one massive advantage – the ability to turn into Sheik.
Sheik is generally considered to be one of the best characters in every Smash Bros. game that she appears in. This is due to her blinding speed and combos. Even landing a blow on Sheik can be difficult, due to her highly acrobatic jumping style. Sheik is considered one of the best characters in both Melee, and the most recent Smash Bros. game for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U.
When creating the 3DS version of the latest Smash Bros. game, certain characters and features could not be used due to hardware limitations. One major change to the game was the removal of character transformations. This refers to Samus changing into Zero Suit Samus after using a Final Smash, the Pokémon Trainer switching Pokémon mid-battle, and Princess Zelda turning into Sheik (and vice-versa).
Princess Zelda had none of her previous problems addressed in the latest Smash Bros. game. With the ability to turn into Sheik gone, she lost one of the few reasons you might have had for picking her in battle.
6. Mario (Brawl)
Mario is both Nintendo’s most beloved child and biggest cash cow. Despite the fact that he is a chubby, middle-aged man, Mario is one of the most consistent characters within the Smash Bros. series. He is usually the “all-rounder”, a character that has mastered the basics, and fights with simple, but effective techniques.
When it comes to Brawl, Mario took a severe dive in skill, and is considered one of the worst characters for competitive play.
His short recovery move makes him susceptible to meteor smashes, making him one of the easiest characters to Edge-guard against. His finishers are unreliable, and difficult to pull off due to how easy they are to predict. In addition, the reach of most of his melee attacks is abysmal.
In a game where being the best at something is the key to winning (or just being the best at everything, like Meta Knight), then being the all-rounder is not a good thing. Mario is a good character to learn the basics of Brawl with, but he should not be played with in a tournament.
5. Little Mac (3DS/Wii U)
Side + B = off the stage. See you next time!
Punch-Out!! was one of the most popular games on the NES. Its main character, Little Mac, had his first Smash Bros. appearance in Brawl, where he was an assist trophy. He joined the main roster in the latest Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U, with a trailer that showed him punching Samus right in the kidney.
From the very first trailer, it was obvious that Little Mac was a gimmick character. While he is one of the best ground-based characters in the game, Little Mac has no skill in the air. His recovery move is easily the worst in the game, and he is painfully easy to Edge-guard/meteor smash against. If you can get Little Mac off the side of the stage, then he becomes your plaything. He also has no ranged attacks, and his Side + B involves throwing his entire body at the enemy. This move does not stop at the edge of the stage, making it essentially a wasted move, as it is too easy to knock yourself out with.
4. Kirby (Melee)
In the original Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64, Kirby was one of the best characters in the game. Back then, fast characters had a massive advantage over the slower ones. Due to Kirby’s speed, he could easily overwhelm the likes of Link and Luigi.
Then Melee happened, and Kirby became terrible. He sucked hard (and not in the usual way Kirby does when devouring his foes).
One of the most important moves you can have in Smash Bros. is the an attack that you can use whilst moving. An approaching move can lead into a combo, or force the other player to react. It is here where Melee Kirby fails. He has almost no combo potential, and must position himself before using an attack. In a fast-paced game like Melee, this means death. His light weight also makes him very easy to KO.
3. Ganondorf (Brawl)
Ganondorf first made a Smash Bros. appearance in Melee. While he wasn’t in the same league as Fox McCloud or Marth, Melee Ganondorf was notorious for his power, reach, and what may be the best meteor smash in the series.
When Ganondorf was added to Brawl, all of his old strengths were made meaningless in the wake of his new weaknesses. His strength was counteracted by his slow speed. Not only were Ganondorf’s regular attacks made unplayable slow, but so was his grab. Being able to throw is an important move in the Smash Bros. series, as it allows you to harm people who hide behind their shield. The poor reach and speed of his grab, combined with his lack of projectiles made Ganondorf an easy character to kite against. He has no real recourse against a fast character with a good projectile.
2. Link (SSb64)
Adding projectiles into any fighting game is a difficult proposition. If you are making a Street Fighter-like game on a limited 2D plane, then adding ranged moves has to be done very carefully. They cannot be too easy to pull off, or too powerful when they hit. If they are, then the players would do nothing but spam Hadokens at each other all match.
The Smash Bros. series has had few qualms with including ranged attacks. This is due to the wide-open arenas, and the high mobility of even the slowest characters. Link from The Legend of Zelda has had a wealth of ranged attacks, ever since the first game in the series. His bow, bombs, and boomerangs make him one of the most difficult characters to get close to.
In the original Smash Bros for the Nintendo 64, Link’s weapons were made redundant by his slow speed. He was so slow, he had to have his speed increased for the European version of the game. His projectile weapons may be useful, but when the enemy gets close, he has nothing to back them up with.
1. Pichu (Melee)
What kind of fighting game character damages himself with his own attacks? Pichu, that’s who.
Even in Pokémon, Pichu isn’t liked very much. It was created as a pre-evolution form for Pikachu, but it essentially added nothing new to the game. Most people would rather just catch a Pikachu in the wild, than go through the annoying process of raising Pichu’s Friendship stat in order to make it evolve.
For some insane reason, Pichu was added into Melee. Whenever he uses any of his electric attacks (a staple of Pikachu’s repertoire), Pichu takes recoil damage. This makes it more difficult for Pichu to either combo, or KO an opponent. Pichu is also very weak physically. It is the lightest character in game, and therefore very easy to KO. Pichu also remains stunned for a long time after a throw, meaning a character with a fast throw can just chain throw him into oblivion.
Congratulations Pichu! You are the unwanted step-child of both the Pokémon and Smash Bros. series.