As series director Masahiro Sakurai said himself, it’s a miracle Super Smash Bros. Ultimate exists. Having Mario and Zelda duke it out against Street Fighter’s Ryu and Final Fantasy 7’s Cloud on a battlefield from Metal Gear Solid is a weird, wonderful thing that only the Smash Bros. series can deliver – and Ultimate is undoubtedly Smash Bros. done big and done right.
With 74 fighters (depending on how you count), 108 stages, nearly 1300 Spirit characters to collect, and a single-player Adventure mode that took me a full 24 hours of playtime to beat, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate offers far more in a single package than any of its four predecessors. And while it occasionally felt like pruning away some of its weaker bits could have made Ultimate an even stronger and more consistent whole, excellent new mechanical and aesthetic additions make it stand out as far more than just a rehash of old ideas. It’s nothing short of the brand-new Smash Bros. game I’d imagined as the ideal sequel for the Switch.