If you’re looking to level up your performance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate then we’re here to help with our list of the 10 Best Super Smash Bros Characters In 2023.
We love Super Smash Bros. here at Retro Dodo, and with good reason. Nintendo’s scrappy beat ’em up carries endless nuance and balance that means battles are rarely won by dumb luck, and character selection is of the upmost importance.
Our list of the 10 best fighters considers a range of character attributes, including the meta of Smash Ultimate, insights from series director Masahiro Sakurai and perhaps, most importantly, how fun each character is to use.
While the Super Smash Bros. director doesn’t see how the franchise can get any bigger than Ultimate right now, we can comfortably revel in the brilliance of the biggest fighting game of all time.
Let’s celebrate those characters that have fought their way to the top of our 10 Best Super Smash Characters In 2023 list!
Table of Contents
The best Super Smash Bros Character is Steve from Minecraft. This blocky brawler entered the fray as part of Challenger Pack 7 back in October 2020 and made his arrival felt with his ability to mine for resources and craft his own walls and items.
Steve became a defensive powerhouse with excellent control over any stage in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. His ability to quickly produce blocks allows him to easily manage other fighters and lead them on a merry dance around the battlefield.
It’s not all about a strong defence though, and Steve has incredible damage potential with his ability to produce high-grade weaponry mid-fight. Any Steve player wielding his diamond tools should be approached with extreme caution.
We’re not alone in crowning Steve the best Smash character, however, as even the best Super Smash Bros. Ultimate player in the world, acola, uses Steve as his main.
Steve’s only weakness comes from his rather sluggish mobility, but with his extensive moveset that sees his damage output increase dramatically, it’s clear to see why Steve reigns supreme in Smash in 2023.
This S tier fighter made his first Smash appearance back in Brawl and has been improving ever since.
R.O.B is similar to our top pick, Steve, as he demonstrates excellent attributes in both offensive and defensive play.
As a heavy class character with a high weight stat, R.O.B can survive a barrage of punishment without leaving the stage, even when at a high percentage.
R.O.B’s weight is a double-edged sword, however, and combined with his above average fall speed, makes him an easy target for players that like to unleash multiple aerial combos.
Fortunately, R.O.B also comes equipped with some devastating K.O moves and his down special move, Gyro, is capable of dealing great damage and perfect for guarding the edges of stages.
Pikachu catches the third spot on our list of the 10 best Super Smash fighters in 2023 and ranks highly because of their exceptional mobility and, suitably, lightning fast startup of their aerial attacks.
Everybody’s favourite Pokémon (they’re mine anyway) is a triumphant aerial brawler a low height, with their entire aerial arsenal possessing the ability to auto-cancel, leaving them ready to unleash follow up attacks at devastating speed.
Pikachu’s lightning comes into play with their neutral special move Thunder Jolt acting as a long-range projectile that’s great for keeping enemies at bay.
Despite their tiny stature, Pikachu is also an effective grappler at close-range. Their back, forward and down throws all operate as potent combo starters.
Unlike R.O.B, Pikachu is one of the lightest characters in the game, making them easily knocked out by fighters with strong finishing moves. Any players looking to master Pikachu’s shocking moveset should be prepared to utilise their speed to their advantage.
Speaking of using speed to your advantage, it goes without saying that Sonic The Hedgehog’s speed is one of his greatest attributes.
Sonic typically bounces around near the top of various internet tier lists but zooms into the fourth spot in ours.
Sonic’s speed grants him the ability to quickly deliver damage and then retreat to safety. His Spin Dash and Spin Charge moves are effective and catching players unawares with fast attacks and his homing attacks prove difficult to shield against.
Sonic’s ability to cover ground quickly also aids him when he’s off the stage. His up special producing a spring he can use to gain altitude can be a literal life-saver whenever you find yourself on the back foot.
As a lifelong Sonic fan I often choose the blue blur when I’m playing Smash although I do have a tendency to accidentally spin dash off the edges of stages with frightening regularity.
If you’re looking for more Sonic action on the Nintendo Switch then check out our review of Sonic Superstars, once you’ve finished spin dashing into Mario of course!
Narrowly missing out on the fourth spot is Smash veteran Fox. This Vulpes vulpes (red fox – see, there’s something you’ve learnt today), is an overwhelming opponent during the early stages of battle.
Damage output is Fox’s greatest attribute with his powerful smash attacks giving him the edge in close and long-range combat.
In addition to his powerful moveset, Fox also benefits from tremendous mobility, allowing him to control battles with his ease of positioning.
Fox’s neutral game has made him a popular choice within the professional Super Smash Bros. Ultimate scene with several high-ranking players posting strong results with him.
Fox doesn’t quite beat Sonic in our rankings due to his poor endurance and fast fall speed. These combined flaws mean Fox is susceptible to being KO’d early by players that have mastered juggling aerial attacks.
Peach, you’re so cool…
Yes, Bowser’s unrequited love for Princess Peach may be down to her proficiency in the Super Smash Bros. arena.
As demonstrated in the Super Mario Bros. Movie, Peach has excellent aerial capabilities. Her ability to float at any height makes her a dangerous adversary while airborne. Float is also unrivalled when it comes to recovery after being blasted off the stage.
Peach’s special moves compliment her aerial superiority well with her up special, Peach Parasol, being particularly deadly as it launches her opponents into the air where Peach is her most formidable.
It’s also worth highlighting Peach’s Vegetable special, which has a low probability of spawning a Bob-omb or a powerful Mr. Saturn.
Cloud Strife, the hero of Final Fantasy VII, is rather suitably, at number seven on our list of the best Super Smash Bros Melee characters in 2023.
After being considered one of the strongest characters in Super Smash Bros. for the Wii-U and 3DS, the spikey haired swordsman has received several nerfs that see him fall into the bottom half of our list.
Despite his slight downgrade, Cloud still represents a fantastic character choice for his agile movement around the stage as well as his long-range Buster Sword attacks.
Cloud also benefits from the ability to charge up his attacks using his Limit Charge skill, enabling him to inflict increased damage for a short period of time.
Opponents looking to get the jump on Cloud will struggle against his Climhazzard up special that also prevents players from pressuring him during combat.
While not as overpowering as he once was, Cloud is still an enormous amount of fun to play as and one of the most iconic characters to witness in action.
8. Zero Suit Samus
Much like Sonic at number four, Zero Suit Samus is the epitome of a hit-and-run character.
Unburdened by her space suit, Zero Suit Samus’ mobility means she can traverse the stage quickly, allowing her to swiftly damage opponents before retreating to safety.
The hit-and-run nature of the Zero Suit Samus is fantastic at aggravating opponents who can’t match her agility. She’s strong both in the air and on the ground and her Final Smash, Zero Laser, is a truly beautiful explosion of power.
Zero Suit Samus may have appeared higher on this list if it wasn’t for several nerfs to her strengths over the years since Ultimate launched.
As it stands though, Zero Suit Samus is still a fun character to play with due to her speed, mobility and achingly cool Final Smash.
Sora was the final character to join the roster back in October 2021 and delights fans with his varied moveset and nimble agility.
Sakurai and the team at Nintendo perfectly recreated Sora’s most iconic combos from Kingdom Hearts. Landing consecutive blows with Sora’s Keyblade can deal extensive damage to foes.
Primarily seen as an aerial pugilist by the Smash Community, Sora’s double jump provides ample mobility that when combined with his strong combos, can lead to powerful KO opportunities.
The only downside to Sora’s jumps is that they are painful slow and floaty. This is consistent with how he controls in Kingdom Hearts so it’s not a massive surprise to see Sakurai’s eye for detail capture Sora’s weaknesses too.
While his aerial combat may be a double-edge Keyblade, Sora’s relatively small reach can be negated by employing his Sonic Blade ability or one of his three cycling Magic attacks.
While not technically one of the strongest characters within Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, it’s important to remember that games are supposed to be fun, and Link’s moveset is the epitome of that mindset.
We love Link because he’s an excellent all-rounder and one of the first characters from the starting line-up that players will get to grips with.
Of the starting eight, Link is only outmatched by Fox and Pikachu but his KO power makes him a force to be reckoned with early on.
Link is definitely a more defensive pick than some of the other heavyweights on this list. He’s not the fastest character to control and his attacks need to be utilised at the right time to avoid being unnecessarily punished.
Despite his drawbacks, Link is still a crowd pleaser. Detonating one of his down special bombs in an opponents face will never fail to illicit a smile and sniping players from a distance with his bow and arrow has won many rounds in our house.
And that’s a knockout for our 10 Best Super Smash Bros. Characters In 2023.
We had a few honourable mentions from the other writers here at Retro Dodo but perhaps the most unusually one came from Jacob, who favours Mr Game and Watch for some reason…
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Theo first fell in love with gaming when he sped through Green Hill Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog back in 1991. Theo has previously provided reviews, news coverage and articles for The Games Cabin and enjoyed producing comedic Let’s Plays on his own personal YouTube channels.
A huge Kingdom Hearts and Metal Gear fan, Theo enjoys deep gameplay mechanics and complex storylines. A completionist by nature, Theo has earned over 140 platinum trophies including top digital trinkets for Stardew Valley, The Witness, Bloodborne and a plethora of GTA games.
Outside of gaming, Theo can often be found riding his motorbike, headbanging at gigs or out in the countryside exploring nature and marvelling at the ‘realistic graphics’.