Super Smash Bros Ultimate
Release Date: December 7, 2018
Platform Played On: Switch
2018 Placement: #11 (-13)/Unranked
What It Is:
The ultimate compilation of Nintendo/fighting game/video game characters, Super Smash Bros has always been a series that fans have enjoyed to both speculate on and play. Every new release has adding growing tensions in what constitutes a believable new fighter, as later entries started scraping the bottom of the barrel for iconic Nintendo main-stays. Ultimate is the latest (and greatest) entry in the fighting game franchise, sporting a whopping 81 fighters from many different series as I write this and promising to finish its roster whenever the 82nd, final fighter is revealed.
Super Smash Bros is a fighting game and a party game all wrapped up into one that can be taken as seriously or as fun as one wants. If you want to play with all items on, go for it. If you want to play 1v1 no items, Fox only Final Destination, also go for it! The options in the game are so customizable that you can turn off and on individual items, choose CPU skill level, and train your Amiibo fighters. You have three different versions of every stage along with tons and tons of music so you can play whatever tracks you like to your heart’s content. “Everyone is here” is no lie in Super Smash Bros Ultimate’s case – it’s such a comprehensive roster that there’s definitely something for everyone.
Why It’s Important To Me:
Super Smash Bros Melee was the game of choice for my college group. While others grew up on Halo or Counterstrike, we were maining Yoshi and Ganondorf. And so the Smash Bros series has always kept an eternal spot both in my heart and also my top 100 games of all time. I’ll never be able to rid myself of the nostalgia of the 4-person brawls that occurred in my freshman dorm room as my roommate had the Gamecube and we all gathered in what we dubbed the “Lounge of Luxury” to snack and play Smash into the wee hours of the morning.
While I haven’t played Ultimate nearly as much as Melee, I also can’t justify to myself having more than one Smash Bros game on this list. Especially because the roster is so huge and all-encompassing in Ultimate that I don’t have the urge to play any of the previous games. It has every character that’s ever appeared, almost all the good stages, and enough of a single-player experience to keep me satisfied. Sorry, I’m not a Melee purist.
Ultimate is basically the culmination of two decades worth of Smash love. It carries all the weight of all my enjoyment of the original, Melee, Brawl, and the 3DS & Wii U versions. You can consider this an entry for the whole series OR just for Ultimate. Either way, it’s the one I’ll always be playing when I say I feel like playing Smash and I love it.
My Strongest Memory:
For Smash in general? Probably back in the Melee days when I started fucking people up with characters they thought were jokes. Both Yoshi and Jigglypuff got bad raps until I started practicing with them and then my friends learned to fear both of them. The absolute horror my friends get in their eyes when I pick Jigglypuff, even to this day, still brings me delight.
For Smash Ultimate specifically? It has to be the reveal trailer that Joker from Persona 5 was going to be the first DLC fighter. Yeah, it’s not an actual in-game moment. But I think the hype that trailer introduced is the best expression of the Smash Bros fandom and encapsulates the hype that new fighters bring to the table. The pure reaction of joy from everyone when that trailer dropped was just cathartic. It really blew the doors open on what characters were “deserving” of a spot and made speculation a free-for-all.
Why It’s #24:
I think if we were still in my college days, Smash would sit comfortable in the top 10, maybe even top 5. But two decades later and my friend group are all adults with lives outside 3 AM Smash tournaments. Playing it online doesn’t have the same feeling as sitting around on the floor, looking up at a CRT and laughing as we gang up on the one guy who always cheesed as Marth. Every time I get to gather my friends together and play Smash I cherish it, but most of the time it’s a big nostalgia burrito. When I do get to bite into it, I’m happy. Does this metaphor make any sense? Who cares. Minecraft Steve’s in Smash Bros, nothing has to make sense.