9: Super Smash Bros. Brawl
The Super Smash Bros. series got its start on the Nintendo 64, and gamers everywhere spent countless hours playing as their favorite Nintendo hero and beating their friends’ favorites to a pulp. A couple of years later, and the GameCube’s Super Smash Bros. Melee seemed to dwarf the original in almost every way, and had people hooked more than ever. Seven years passed before Super Smash Bros. Brawl would hit store shelves and would again dwarf its own predecessor.
With a bigger and more balanced (not to mention more logical) character selection, including third party characters Solid Snake and Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Smash Bros. Brawl is, by far, the biggest Smash Bros. to date. What made the roster all the better was the clever uses of the characters (no tossed-in clone characters this time), some of which, like Snake or Wario, displaying more creative movesets than Melee’s entire roster.
But it wasn’t just the characters, the entire game expanded the entire Smash Bros. experience in just about every way. From the multitudes of whimsical stages right down to the wonderful musical score (composed by many of the biggest names in video game music), everything about Brawl was made bigger and better than ever before.
If any drawbacks are to be found, it’s in the underwhelming adventure mode (more a means of unlocking all the characters than anything) and the lack of options in its online mode (unless you’re playing against friends). But these trivial quibbles are forgotten almost entirely by the seemingly endless replayability of the whole package.
It’s hard to imagine what else can be done with Smash Bros. Of course, we thought the same thing with Melee. Though Brawl is definitely a hefty act to follow.
Remembered for: The brawl to end them all
Immense hype surrounded Brawl years before its release. Its E3 announcement trailer revealing the first batch of new characters, which included the shocking introduction of Solid Snake, set the wheels of expectation in motion. As time went by, series creator Masahiro Sakurai revealed bits and pieces of the game through his personal blog, which would eventually reveal Sonic the Hedgehog, bringing to life the old question of who would win in a fight between the blue hedgehog and Nintendo’s iconic plumber (as if time didn’t already answer that).
It all worked, as Brawl became the best-selling fighting game of all time, and many would say they’ve spent more time on it than any game of the current console generation.