Fans of the Super Smash Bros. franchise have long been debating which game in the series is the best one. Often the competitive scene refers to the staying power of Melee on the GameCube, Wii owners look at the install base of Brawl, and more recently people have pointed to the character count of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Nintendo Switch. Each title warrants a playthrough based on its own merits and design, but which entry in the Smash Bros. series is the very best? Screen Rant is here to determine that once and for all.
As touched upon, there are variables that make each iteration of Smash stand out. There's a reason to check out each and every one as a result, but there can only be one number one. Without any further ado, here are all of the Smash Bros. games ranked.
5. Super Smash Bros.
The game that kickstarted the franchise is beloved to be sure, but it hasn't aged as gracefully as some may believe. That's not to say that this game isn't still a blast for anyone willing to dust off their Nintendo 64 and trident-shaped controllers to play, but it leaves something to be desired in this day and age. Add in the fact that the entire 12-character cast is present in every iteration that has released since, and it's clear that the original Super Smash Bros. has to be fifth on this list.
4. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Wii U/3DS
All in all, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Wii U and 3DS added a lot to the franchise that fixed issues that past iterations had. It sped up the pace of the action after it was slowed in Brawl and it added characters that helped modernize the roster. Even then, fan-favorite fighter requests were largely ignored – outside of perhaps Mega Man and an Animal Crossing representative. These titles also ended up kickstarting the notorious overpopulation of Fire Emblem characters.
3. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Arriving on the Wii, Super Smash Bros. Brawl gets a lot of flack for catering to a much more casual audience. Still, the game set a precedence for many components upon its arrival, most of which are admirable even today. The game's Subspace Emissary mode was ahead of its time, allowing gamers to see what it was like to have iconic Nintendo characters interact with one another through cutscenes. The game also introduced the first ever guest characters into the Super Smash Bros. series through Metal Gear Solid's Snake and Sonic the Hedgehog – making way for the inevitable additions of Pac-Man, Cloud, and Simon Belmont.
2. Super Smash Bros. Melee
There's no denying the staying power of the Super Smash Bros. title that many core gamers decidedly call the best entry in the series. Melee has managed to remain relevant in the competitive community through gameplay that puts an emphasis on skill, with a meta that only becomes deeper the more fans keep playing it. It's stuck around for so long because it's a technical marvel from a gameplay perspective and hopefully it will see new life through some sort of port to Switch sooner rather than later.
1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Many may believe that it's too soon to declare Super Smash Bros. Ultimate the best of the series. When comparing the content amassed in this title to other iterations, however, it's clear that nothing can even come close to rivalling it. Bringing back every character from the franchise's past, adding beloved newcomers like King K. Rool and Ridley, refining the gameplay even more, and implementing a brand-new story mode called World of Light, it's clear that this game is a love letter to Smash fans. All in all, it's an unrivalled offering from Nintendo that may never be topped, and the reception to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has driven that point home time and time again.