The competitive fighting game scene has some of the most passionate gamers alive in its community, with fans who go to great lengths to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each character in every game. The Super Smash Bros. series also has some of the most passionate fans of all time, due to the fact that it is filled with characters from other beloved video game series who are given the chance to battle it out in the biggest crossover spectacular of all time.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is promising to be the biggest crossover in the history of gaming and fans are salivating at the chance to learn all about the new characters, as well as the fact that they are able to return to their old favorites who were cut from older games and have been given a new chance at life. The highly competitive nature of the Super Smash Bros. scene has led to every character being dissected and it’s clear that there are distinct gaps in the strengths of the fighters in each roster, with some characters being far better than others.
We are here today to find out which Super Smash Bros. characters were the best in their respective games and which ones weren’t worth the bother of learning how to play – from the small monkey who could dismantle giants to the baby who may be due for a comeback.
Here are the 10 Smash Bros. Characters Who Are Overpowered (And 10 Who Are Completely Worthless).
20 Overpowered: Diddy Kong In Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U
Diddy Kong was one of the highest-ranked characters on the Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U tier list, which was partly due to the fact that he was mained by ZeRo, who was regarded as the best player in the world. The reason why Diddy Kong is so amazing is due to the sheer speed at which his moves come out and the combo potential they possess. Diddy’s agility when off the stage is also incredibly dangerous when combined with his speed, as it allows him to easily dispose of enemies who don’t have the room to recover or the speed to counter.
What about Ultimate? – Diddy has received a few changes, such as having a faster dash and less landing lag, but his recovery move and Monkey Flip move now travel less distance and his down tilt knocks opponents further back, making it harder to use it in a combo.
19 Worthless: Ganondorf In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
One of the most crippling factors that can destroy a Super Smash Bros. character’s viability is a lack of mobility and speed, as this is a game where swift characters have often dominated the metagame. The version of Ganondorf that appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl was let down by being incredibly slow, having a terrible recovery move that made him easy to edgeguard against, and a total lack of projectiles. Ganondorf had trouble even getting close to the opponents in Brawl, which meant that his powerful moves struggled to land due to their short reach.
What about Ultimate? – Ganondorf is now sporting his Ocarina of Time appearance, which has been accompanied by numerous buffs. Ganondorf is now much faster and deals more damage with his attacks, making him an overall better character.
18 Overpowered: Marth In Super Smash Bros. Melee
The Super Smash Bros. series can be thanked for bringing the Fire Emblem games to the West, as characters like Marth and Roy in Melee helped to inspire interest in the series. Marth’s amazing performance in Melee is what made him so popular, as he was one of the few challengers to the Star Fox characters that dominated the game. Marth’s high speed and surprising range for a sword-wielder made him a potent threat, especially when combined with his amazing combo potential. The wide range of Marth’s sword also makes him amazing when off the stage, due to his spiking potential.
What about Ultimate? – Marth has had all of his landing lag reduced in Ultimate, which has had the Smash Bros. pros excited for what this means for his aerial game, with some claiming that he now plays a lot closer to his Melee incarnation than ever before.
17 Worthless: Mewtwo In Super Smash Bros. Melee
Mewtwo is similar to the EarthBound/Mother reps in that he is difficult to learn for those who are new to the game, due to how floaty and tricky to control he can be. There was a period of time when Mewtwo was considered to be the worst character in Melee, due to just how light he was. Mewtwo was ridiculously easy to KO and his large frame made him easy to hit and trap in combos. It was Mewtwo’s sheer floatiness that was his downfall.
What about Ultimate? – Mewtwo saw huge improvements in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U and he has only become stronger in Ultimate. Mewtwo is both faster and heavier, while the end lag on most of his moves has been reduced. The only real nerf to Mewtwo has happened to Shadow Ball, which deals less damage and is much smaller.
16 Overpowered: Kirby In Super Smash Bros. 64
The Kirby series was created by Masahiro Sakurai, who is also the creator of the Super Smash Bros. series. This has led to several accusations of favoritism on Sakurai’s part, going back as recently as the last Direct for Ultimate, where it was revealed that Kirby was the only survivor in the galaxy of Galeem’s attack. The version of Kirby that appeared in the original Super Smash Bros. game may be the pinnacle of his success, due to his high speed, large hitboxes on his moves, and amazing smash attacks, with his forward smash being able to KO a foe who is as low as 80%.
What about Ultimate? – Kirby has received numerous buffs in Ultimate, especially in regards to his Inhale ability, which now has far more utility than it did before. The only downside is that Kirby’s throws have been weakened.
15 Worthless: Princess Zelda In Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U
The limitations of the Nintendo 3DS hardware meant that all character transformations were removed from Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U, which meant that Princess Zelda could no longer turn into Sheik mid-battle. The loss of Sheik was a huge knock to Zelda’s viability, as she was regarded as one of the worst characters in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U. The main reason for her weakness is that Zelda is meant to be about powerful magical projectiles, but they are all easy to predict and even easier to punish due to their slow start and end lag. Zelda is also easy to KO due to being a lightweight.
What about Ultimate? – Zelda now looks like the Princess from A Link Between Worlds and her moves have been reworked for the better. Zelda’s physical attacks have been made much faster and her special moves (most notably Phantom Slash) were changed so that she’s not so easy to punish when using them.
14 Overpowered: Falco In Super Smash Bros. Melee
Super Smash Bros. Melee was kind to the Star Fox characters, as Fox and Falco were regarded as the two best characters in the game. Falco shares Fox’s amazing speed, which can be combined with a highly effective move pool in order to KO foes at low percentages, most notably with his down smash being one of the best attacks in the game. The only thing that lets Falco down is his recovery move, which covers less ground than Fox’s and is easier to punish.
What about Ultimate? – Falco took a major nosedive in quality in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U and he doesn’t appear to have risen too much in Ultimate, as his moves still have a ton of ending lag (which is strange, considering how many characters have had their lag reduced). Falco Phantasm is also now stopped by shields, making it far more punishable than before.
13 Worthless: Bowser In Super Smash Bros. Melee
The original Super Smash Bros. game was heavily lacking in villain representation. It wasn’t until Bowser, Ganondorf, and Mewtwo arrived in Melee that villains were allowed to smash. Bowser was a huge letdown in Melee, due to how insufferably slow he was and how terrible the range of all of his attacks was. There are many players who believe that Bowser is on the same level as Pichu, which is a huge insult to the King of the Koopas.
What about Ultimate? – Bowser has only gotten stronger in subsequent Super Smash Bros. games and Ultimate is no exception. Bowser is much faster than previous iterations of the character and his base defense has been improved, to the point where he can resist many light attacks during the startup of his physical attacks.
12 Overpowered: Pikachu In Super Smash Bros. 64
The original Super Smash Bros. game was released at a time when Pokémania was in full swing, which meant that Pikachu was easily the most popular character in the roster at the time and his inclusion was a big deal for the game. Pikachu’s popularity likely contributed to how awesome he was in the first Super Smash Bros. game, as his incredible speed and recovery allowed it to outpace every other character in the game and its selection of special moves offered it a lot of utility in terms of what it could accomplish in battle.
What about Ultimate? – The Smash Bros. pros who have been given the chance to play Ultimate have been touting Pikachu as one of the most improved characters in the game, with the overall changes to the systems in the game benefiting Pikachu the most. Pikachu’s agility and move pool have been tweaked to make it one of the best off-stage and edgeguarding characters in the game.
11 Worthless: Link In Super Smash Bros. 64
Link reached new heights of fame during the Nintendo 64 era thanks to games like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, which made him a popular choice for players of the original Super Smash Bros. Link didn’t live up to his promise as the Hero of Hyrule, though, as his overreliance on subpar projectiles turned out to be his downfall, due to the fact that they could easily be dodged by the faster characters in the game. Link’s slow melee attacks and terrible recovery also prevented him from living up to his potential.
What about Ultimate? – The new Link comes from Breath of the Wild and his move set has been altered to reflect this. The properties of the Master Sword have been changed so that it now fires out a beam when Link is at 0% and his bombs can now be remotely detonated, which comes at the cost of losing access to the Clawshot and it’s extended throws and recovery.
10 Overpowered: Cloud Strife In Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U
Cloud Strife would have been a popular pick in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U even if he was terrible, due to how beloved he is. Cloud is pretty much the total package, due to his speed, strength, and the long range provided by his Buster Sword. His poor recovery is offset by amazing agility while in the air and his Limit Breaks offer a wide range of moves for him to call on, with the charging motion often pressuring foes into acting first.
What about Ultimate? – Cloud has received some significant nerfs in Ultimate, most notably in how his Limit Breaks work. Cloud can now only maintain a full Limit Charge for fifteen seconds before it disappears and he loses some charge if he is struck. The majority of Cloud’s physical attacks have also either had their damage reduced or had their end lag increased.
9 Worthless: Luigi In Super Smash Bros. 64
Masahiro Sakurai joked in the Ken reveal that he was the original clone character, even though that title should apply to Luigi, due to his appearance in the original Mario Bros. game. This statement was true in the original Super Smash Bros. in which Luigi was the first and only clone character. Luigi was an inferior copy of Mario, as his increased aerial range (a reference to the differences between the two characters in other games) was at the expense of diminished offensive capabilities, to the point where he was considered the worst character in the game.
What about Ultimate? – Luigi became his own distinct character in the later Super Smash Bros. games and his Ultimate iteration has received several significant buffs, most notably in a longer grab that uses the Poltergust and overall improvements to the speed and lag of his physical attacks.
8 Overpowered: Ice Climbers In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
The Ice Climbers seemed like a strange addition to the Super Smash Bros. cast in Melee, but their showing in Brawl proved that they could be horrifying to face in combat. The reason why the Ice Climbers were so broken was due to their ability to perform an infinite chain grab, with Popo and Nana being able to throw the enemy into a spot where the other could grab them, resulting in an endless combo that allows them to rack up as much damage as they liked.
What about Ultimate? – The Ice Climbers sat out Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U but they are back for Ultimate. Their ability to chaingrab has been totally removed, as Nana now cannot act when Popo initiates a grab. To make up for this, almost all of their other moves have seen improvements in order to keep them as a viable choice.
7 Worthless: Jigglypuff In Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U
Jigglypuff always seemed like a strange choice for the Super Smash Bros. roster, considering how many other more popular Pokémon there were in the original generation of games. Jigglypuff is often referred to as the Balloon Pokémon, which is fitting for its appearance in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U, as it’s the floatiest and lightest character in the game. It’s this lack of weight that makes Jigglypuff so terrible, as it’s the easiest character in the game to KO, which is only exacerbated by Jigglypuff’s lack of KO’ing options.
What about Ultimate? – Jigglypuff fans should rejoice, as it is receiving several buffs in Ultimate, most notably in the form of all of its physical attacks dealing more damage and Rest & Sing being far more difficult to punish.
6 Overpowerd: Fox McCloud In Super Smash Bros. Melee
It’s common in fighting games for the fastest characters to be the best, due to how most successful attacks will interrupt an opponent and allow you to perform combos on them. It takes a lot of work to master the speed available to Fox McCloud in Super Smash Bros. Melee, but your patience will be rewarded with a character that can outpace anyone in the game. Fox is also helped by his gadgets, most notably his Reflector shield, which can be used as an offensive move to spike opponents.
What about Ultimate? – The Ultimate version of Fox has received a few nerfs in the form of his recovery move being shortened and his throws all being weakened, though his physical attacks have been made stronger and his aerials have less landing lag.
5 Worthless: King Dedede In Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U
The Kirby villains were great in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, with King Dedede having some of the best grabbing and throwing capabilities in the game. The version of King Dedede that appears in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U had all of his amazing throwing techniques removed, as well as replacing his projectile with Gordo Throw, which can easily be reflected back at him. The fact that King Dedede was already a large and slow character meant that there was little reason to choose him.
What about Ultimate? – Sakurai looks after his boys, which is why King Dedede is receiving several buffs in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. King Dedede is now much faster and harder to KO due to his increased bulk, and almost all of his attacks have been made either faster or stronger.
4 Overpowered: Bayonetta In Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U
The inclusion of DLC in modern fighting games has led to accusations of “pay-to-win” characters who are intentionally better than the rest of the roster in order to make gamers shell out more cash. These complaints can easily be levied at Bayonetta in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U, as she is easily the best character in the game. The reason why Bayonetta is so great is due to her combo potential, which allows her to chain together potentially fatal moves from a single hit at the start of the match. Bayonetta also has some amazing defensive moves and has one of the best recoveries in the game.
What about Ultimate? – The best news that fans were given about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is that Bayonetta has been nerfed and her amazing combo potential and specials have all been weakened, even though people who have played her still say she is a force to be reckoned with.
3 Worthless: Ness In Super Smash Bros. 64
The older Super Smash Bros. games couldn’t be patched, but they did receive changes when they were released in other regions. Ness is an example of a character who was screwed by the international versions of Super Smash Bros. as he was nerfed hard when the game left Japan. The version of Ness in Japan had some of the most damaging attacks in the game, which were all weakened for the international release. Ness was left with easily punishable projectiles and a recovery that could be easily disrupted with a single hit, leaving him helpless as he falls to his doom.
What about Ultimate? – Ness is one of the most improved characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, with almost all of his attacks being buffed and the addition of air dodging giving him more recovery options.
2 Overpowered: Meta Knight In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
The power of Meta Knight in Super Smash Bros. Brawl is all the proof we need that Masahiro Sakurai favors his own characters over the rest of the roster. Meta Knight’s greatest asset was his speed, which was coupled with the best priority in the game and almost always ensured that he would hit first in an exchange. Meta Knight also had the fastest and most powerful KO’ing moves in the game and had so many jumps that he could easily escape from any situation that happened off-stage. The fact that Meta Knight was consistently banned in unofficial tournaments should give you an idea about how the Smash Bros. community felt about this character.
What about Ultimate? – Meta Knight was nerfed pretty hard in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U, most likely as a response to his power in Brawl. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is improving Meta Knight with several buffs to the speed of his physical attacks and special moves, but it’s unlikely that he will ever reach the same level of dominance that he achieved in Brawl.
1 Worthless: Pichu In Super Smash Bros.
The return of Pichu in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate might be the most surprising thing about the game, as Pichu was a joke character who was never meant to be taken seriously in a competitive battle. The fact that several of Pichu’s moves also damage it when used in battle and it having the highest hitstun in the game meant that Pichu was outclassed by everyone else in Melee and is considered to be the worst Super Smash Bros. character of all time.
What about Ultimate? – It seems that there has been a genuine attempt to make Pichu viable, as Pichu has received quite a few buffs to its attacks, even if it still takes a lot of recoil damage. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is due to receive a day one patch and will receive continued support throughout the lifespan of the Nintendo Switch, so we may see a day when Pichu is one of the most dominant characters in the game, which might be Masahiro Sakurai’s last joke at the expense of the fans.
Are there any other powerpowered or worthless Super Smash Bros. characters? Sound off in the comments!