With every character in franchise history returning for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the upcoming game for the Nintendo Switch is packed full with playable fighters, and more will still be announced before the game's release date.
According to Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai, bringing back every character was the development team's top priority. The new game will feature 63 returning fighters, including all of the DLC characters from the 2014 installment as well as forgotten characters like Young Link and Pichu, who haven't been playable since Super Smash Bros. Melee in 2001. At least nine newcomers will also be present, bringing the game's current total number of fighters to a whopping 72.
The nine new characters are the Inklings, Ridley, Daisy, Simon and Richter Belmont, Dark Samus, Chrom, King K. Rool, and Isabelle. This is still much less than the number of new characters that each Smash game generally adds, but Sakurai has already warned fans not to expect "too many new challengers", especially since their main goal was to focus on all returning fighters. However, the last character to be revealed was Isabelle in early September, which gives Nintendo plenty of time to announce more characters before the game launches in December. Though it's unlikely that there are many left to reveal, Nintendo may still announce a few more in the coming months. Here are a few who all have good chances of getting in on the action:
Various leaked information about Ultimate that has proven to be reliable and accurate. It was leaked that Ridley, Simon, and Isabelle would be in the game, but many were doubtful, considering that Sakurai had previously taken the position that Ridley was "impossible" due to his size. The official reveals of both Ridley and Simon gave the leaks a great deal of credibility, causing many to believe other leaks as well, like the one about Ken Masters from the Street Fighter series joining as an "echo fighter" to Ryu.
In Ultimate, an echo fighter is basically a clone of a different character, but with different visuals and animations. In games like Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter V, Ken has his own move set and is too unique of a character to be thought of as a clone of Ryu. However, Ken was actually designed as a Ryu clone in the first Street Fighter game. It wasn't until later installments that Ken grew into a separate character with his own moves. This means that, if Ultimate uses the classic version of Ken, he would make perfect sense as an echo fighter.
A leaked screenshot of the game shows Ken standing next to Pichu, Ivysaur, and Pac-Man on the Moray Towers stage. While the image isn't definitive proof, it adds weight to recent claims and makes it appear more likely that Ken will soon make his Super Smash Bros. debut.
Months ago, it was leaked that Pokemon Sun and Moon would receive representation in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but it wasn't clear which character would appear. It was rumored that it wouldn't be Lycanroc or Decidueye, but possibly Incineroar.
Incineroar is the third and final form of the Generation VII Pokemon, Litten, who is one of the three starter Pokemon in Sun and Moon. Incineroar is a large cat-like Pokemon who focuses on slashing attacks and fire-based moves and could make an interesting addition to Ultimate without being too similar to Charizard. Based on the accuracy of earlier leaks and the fact that every Smash game adds a new Pokemon, Incineroar could be one of the next newcomers announced for Ultimate.
King K. Rool, the main villain of the original Donkey Kong Country trilogy, was confirmed for Ultimate during a Nintendo Direct in August. This means the Donkey Kong series finally has three representatives, which is still a small number considering how important Donkey Kong is to Nintendo. If Nintendo decides to add a fourth character from the series, Dixie Kong would be the most obvious choice. Diddy Kong's girlfriend and the main protagonist of Donkey Kong Country 3 is a fan-favorite with tons of gameplay potential with her helicopter-like hair and bubblegum gun. Unlike King K. Rool, Dixie is still relevant in the gaming world. She is a playable character in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, one of the biggest hits on the Nintendo Switch.
Dixie Kong was actually planned to appear in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Dixie would have functioned as one half of a tag-team with Diddy Kong, similar to the way that they were able to swap places in Donkey Kong Country 2. Unfortunately, Dixie never made it into Brawl, but she could get her own spot on the roster in Ultimate. Some assume that Dixie would serve as an echo fighter to Diddy Kong, but this wouldn't accurately represent her move set from past games, since she can both glide and attack with her hair (two things that Diddy Kong can't do). Dixie Kong is just different enough from Diddy Kong to make a solid addition to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.