Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has been out for over a week, and the subtleties of its gameplay are coming increasingly into focus. With a better understanding of what makes Nintendo's new fighting game tick, players are now able to make more informed rankings of its characters, and two Smash Bros. pros, Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios and William "Leffen" Hjelte, have done just that.
With Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, players are getting one of the fastest experiences in franchise history, and, as a result, a character's speed is a critical aspect to consider when picking a character. This is reflected in Barrios and Hjelte's rankings, neither of which include any "heavy" characters in the top tier. According to these rankings, a powerful moveset and good recovery alone are not enough to earn the highest honors, the character needs to have speed as well.
While there is some variation at the top of these rankings, Barrios and Hjelte agree that the following characters are the best that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has to offer:
Additionally, both players have the following characters (including the game's best "heavies") rated as "above average" to excellent:
- Donkey Kong
- King K Rool
- Meta Knight
- Pokemon Trainer
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Young Link
- Zero Suit Samus
While this 28-character overlap constitutes approximately one-third of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's roster, there are a great number of differences between Barrios and Hjelte rankings. One of the most notable divergences is that Barrios considers Pikmin's Olimar to be a top-tier fighter while Hjelte ranks him as average. Similarly, Hjelte's list puts Falco on top, and Barrios has this Star Fox character at "decent."
Furthermore, Hjelte, in general, ranks many characters much lower than Barrios. For example, Barrios' list puts characters like Link, Mega Man, and Snake at "above average" while Hjelte puts them at the bottom of the pack. That said, one thing the two can agree on is that Bowser Jr., Kirby, and Little Mac are some of the game's worst fighters.
The variations across these two players' rankings suggest that there is a lot going on with the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's roster. Hjelte further indicates that even the fighters in his lowest tier have something to offer, and players should thus feel comfortable taking any of their favorite characters into battle. However, for those that want a leg up on the competition, Barrios and Hjelte's rankings suggest that those listed above are all great places to start.