Super Smash Bros Ultimate is finally among us, and everyone really is here. From Mario on down to Ken Masters, Nintendo managed to squeeze in dozens of video game franchises from across the decades. The sheer amount of love shown to every character and franchise is staggering, with more than a hundred stages to punch each other on, and almost a thousand music tracks to back it all up. As with any fighting game, the main question is, "Who's the strongest?" The game has only been out for a few days, and players are still getting familiar with the changes and new characters. So this list is not a tier listing, but rather a ranking of how strong these characters are within their own games and universes.
Unfortunately, everyone will not be here because we'd be writing the list until the next Smash game comes out. We're just going to stick with the 25 absolute most powerful characters. Now, this is a series that includes literal gods, characters who have defeated literal gods, and Kirby. So there might be a bit of a gap between even the top of the list and the bottom. Also, don't get mad if your favorite character doesn't make the cut, we promise we like him, her, or it just as much as you. Unless your favorite is Pikachu, in which case we will politely but firmly ask you to leave.
The man himself. Ryu is the main protagonist of the Street Fighter series, and an extremely talented martial artist. You might be thinking, "How does a fairly normal human what can punch good make it in to the top 25?"
Excellent question! He's just that good at punching. So good at punching he has to actively try to punch lighter so his fights don't end tragically for his opponents, thanks to the Satsui No Hado locked in the depths of his soul.
The eponymous protagonist of the Pac-Man series, Pac-Man made plenty of appearances in arcade cabinets the world over. The gameplay within his games is fairly simple, merely eating pellets and fruit and avoiding ghosts who want to do something bad to you.
Until you get a Power Pellet, that is. Then Pac-Man earns his spot on the list by busting out his ability to eat ghosts. Horrifying, when you think about it. He can touch the untouchable, eat the uneatable.
22 CAPTAIN FALCON
Captain Falcon is the star and mascot of the F-Zero series. A champion racer and talented bounty hunter, Captain Falcon is a bit of a mysterious legendary figure within the F-Zero universe.
In the F-Zero anime, Captain Falcon is essentially a superhero, battling against the forces of Dark Millenium. It is revealed that Falcon is an incarnation of light, eternally opposed to his nemesis Black Shadow, an incarnation of darkness. At the end of the series, Falcon sacrifices himself with his Falcon Punch, ending Black Shadow's threat to the universe.
The title character of the Legend of Zelda series, Zelda is usually the princess in need of rescue by the protagonist Link. Like Link, she reincarnates across the ages whenever evil arises. As the bearer of the Triforce of Wisdom, she has a myriad of skills that can aid Link in his journey.
In Ocarina of Time, she demonstrates her ninja-like abilities as Sheik, and in Wind Waker, she leads a pirate crew despite still being quite young. She even demonstrates an ability to possess Phantom armor in Spirit Tracks.
The protagonist of Final Fantasy VII, Cloud marked the first appearance of Final Fantasy in Super Smash Bros. As the protagonist, he's also the strongest character in the main party, with balanced stats that make him effective with both weapon attacks and magic.
On top of that, he also has access to powerful material that allows him to summon all manner of powerful beings, from the demon Ifrit to the dragon god Bahamut. Plus he carts around that big ol' Buster Sword, gotta be pretty strong for that.
Space bounty hunter extraordinaire, Samus is the protagonist of the Metroid series. Orphaned at a young age, she was adopted by the advanced alien race, the Chozo. Infused with their DNA, Samus gained superhuman athleticism, and was granted the Power Suit.
In addition to her innate abilities combined with the Suit, she is also an extremely skilled fighter and hunter, taking on hordes of Space Pirates, and the extreme threat brought by the Metroids and Phazon. She even eventually gets injected with Metroid DNA, further enhancing her abilities.
Samus' archnemesis, and a repeated antagonist in the Metroid series, Ridley is a giant evil space dragon. Leader of the Space Pirates, his long-standing enmity with Samus usually ends up with Ridley getting blown up.
However, he just keeps coming back. He's also physically much stronger than Samus, brutalizing her quite frequently, and in one famous instance dragging her a considerable distance face first along a wall. Even after being defeated, he comes back as Meta Ridley, now a cyborg and even stronger.
Lucario saw a brief moment as the golden boy of the Pokemon franchise with the release of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. He was mildly pushed as a secondary mascot, and was given his spot in Super Smash Bros Brawl because of this.
As for power levels, Lucario is fairly strong, with a good typing, good moves, and good stats. He also received a Mega form in Pokemon X and Y, powering up his already good moveset to even further heights.
Greninja is the final evolution of Froakie, the Water type starter of Pokemon X and Y. As the name suggests, he is a ninja who is also a frog. It has excellent attack stats, a good typing, and a good moveset.
What really sets Greninja apart is its role in the anime, where protagonist Ash somehow managed to give his Greninja its own form of Mega Evolution, resulting in Ash-Greninja. This form was introduced to the games in Pokemon Sun and Moon, where it proved to be very powerful.
15 RICHTER BELMONT
Richter Belmont is the protagonist of Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, and a major antagonist in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. As a member of the Belmont clan, he wields the Vampire Killer whip, and slew Dracula with it.
What really sets Richter apart from other Belmonts is his presence as a boss fight in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. In order to unlock the full potential of Vampire Killer, protagonist Jonathan Morris needs to battle the Spirit of the Whip, taking the form of Richter. It's outright the hardest boss in the game, and caused much wailing and gnashing of teeth in 2006.
Corrin is the protagonist and player avatar in Fire Emblem Fates, the most recent new entry in the Fire Emblem series. As the protagonist and "Lord" character, Corrin is one of the strongest units in the game.
Thanks to the player's ability to customize a few stat growths and secondary classes, Corrin can become an absolute juggernaut. Add on their unique weapon, the Yato, and Corrin can stand toe-to-toe with most other units in the game and come out on top.
Bowser, King Koopa himself. The main villain of the Mario series, Bowser has been around since Super Mario Bros in 1985. A huge turtle dragon thing, he is usually only able to be defeated through the cleverness of a player-controlled Mario rather than direct combat.
Although Mario games don't really have a continuity, Bowser repeatedly kidnaps Princess Peach, demonstrating his supreme dedication and talent for foiling the protections of the Mushroom Kingdom. He's also physically very powerful, usually easily overpowering Mario.
The Hero of Time is the protagonist of the Legend of Zelda series. Usually tasked with saving Princess Zelda and Hyrule from the machinations of the evil Ganondorf, Link has to be a skilled warrior and adventurer just to make it through the day.
What sets Link apart is his vast array of equipment, from bombs and arrows to more magical items like the various magical rods and armors he acquires throughout his quest. His main weapon, the Master Sword, increases his powers even further.
Shulk is the protagonist of Xenoblade Chronicles, the first game in the Xenoblade series, and the seventh game in the larger Xeno meta-series. Shulk's weapon, the Monado, grants him the ability to see the future and change events in order to avoid disaster.
In Xenoblade Chronicles, Shulk and his Monado are the more effective way of dealing damage to the otherwise invincible Mechon, a race of machine lifeforms invulnerable to conventional weapons. At the end of the game (spoilers), he becomes a new god of his world, and uses his newfound power to create a world without gods.
Charizard is a dragon, but also not a dragon. One of the most popular Pokemon, Charizard is the final evolution of Charmander, the Fire type starter from Pokemon Red and Blue. Charizard has the highest stats out of the original starters, and is overall pretty strong.
His main power boost comes from Charizard X, its Mega form that finally grants it the Dragon type. With the new typing, the new ability that massively boosts the power of its contact moves, and the boosted stats, Charizard X is outright one of the strongest non-Legendary Pokemon.
10 DARK SAMUS
Dark Samus is the main antagonist of the Metroid Prime series of spinoff games. Created from the remains of Samus' Phazon Suit, Metroid Prime, and bits of Samus herself, Dark Samus' motivations and goals are mysterious.
By the time of Metroid Prime 3, Dark Samus has taken control of all Phazon in the galaxy, using it to corrupt and mind control the Space Pirates and various bounty hunters. It attempts to control Samus in the way, but fails. Dark Samus' vast power is such that Samus has to defeat the ever-growing threat of Phazon piece-by-piece before taking on Dark Samus head on.
Like Corrin before them, Robin is the player avatar of Fire Emblem Awakening. Unlike Corrin, Robin is more of a deuteragonist than the protagonist of their game. Their unique class, Tactician, gives them access to both swords and magic tomes, making them highly versatile.
Robin is also the mortal incarnation of the dark dragon Grima, and a doppelganger of them serves as the final boss of the game. Both the final boss version and the player controlled version of Robin are extremely strong, especially with the right equipment and skills.
Rosalina first appeared in Super Mario Galaxy, and became something of a mascot for those titles. She acts as Mario's mission control in the first game, and the narrator of the second. As the protector of the cosmos, she is essentially the god of the Mario world, living out in space.
She has the ability to create powerful force fields, and teleport vast distances. Her ship, the Comet Observatory, is immensely powerful, destroying an entire fleet of Bowser's ships in the center of the universe.
The immortal Great King of Evil, Ganondorf is the main antagonist of the Legend of Zelda series. Like Link and Zelda, he endlessly reincarnates across the ages, although in his case he is literally the same person, rather than a new individual.
He is immensely powerful, and only the power of the Master Sword can truly defeat him. Even then, it's only temporary. As the wielder of the Triforce of Power, his might is several leagues above Link and Zelda.
Palutena is a goddess from the Kid Icarus series. Although her powers are immensely reduced in the original 1986 title, she's back to full strength in time for the 2012 sequel. There, she is a benevolent goddess guarding the kingdom of Angel Land.
As a goddess, Palutena's powers are great, although she chooses to act instead through her servant, the angel Pit. She eventually is forced into a battle with Pit, as a powerful boss, made all the more difficult by causing a game over if she is defeated.
Mewtwo is a genetically engineered super Pokemon. First appearing in Pokemon Red and Blue, Mewtwo is a secret superboss found in the depths of the Cerulean Cave after defeating the Elite Four. As a legendary Pokemon, Mewtwo is extremely powerful, with the highest stats in the game.
Mewtwo grew even more powerful with the release of Pokemon X and Y, gaining not one but two Mega forms. With these Mega forms, Mewtwo becomes one of the two most powerful Pokemon in the entire series, even more powerful than Arceus, the god of the Pokemon universe.
4 POKEMON TRAINER
Even Mewtwo's immense power quells before the might of a 10 year old with a Pokeball. That's right, bringing us in to the top 5 is a fairly ordinary kid, armed with nothing but a Pokeball. But with the Pokeball, he can work wonders.
The specific trainer represented by Pokemon Trainer, Red, is the original protagonist of Red and Blue, and serves as the final boss for Gold and Silver. He makes sporadic appearances across the rest of the series, and is always the most powerful NPC trainer in any game he appears in.
What's a god to a guy with a big sword? Ike is the protagonist of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, and the secondary protagonist of its sequel, Radiant Dawn. While Ike takes a while to get online in Path of Radiance, he's an absolute monster in Radiant Dawn, capable of soloing entire maps by himself.
In the final levels, Ike goes on to challenge the god of his universe, and manages to come out on top thanks to Ragnell, his legendary god-slaying sword.
While Ike only has one god-slaying under his belt, Bayonetta has a laudable two. An Umbran Witch, Bayonetta first appeared in her self-titled game in 2009. There, she fights her way through hordes of angels, including some of the most powerful, eventually taking down Jubileus, the creator of the universe.
In Bayonetta 2, she takes down Aesir, the God of Chaos. Even above those two bosses, though, is Father Rodin, an optional superboss and possibly the most powerful character in the entire series. While it's certainly possible that Bayonetta can defeat him, he's an incredibly difficult boss.
Kirby is the star of his self-titled series, beginning with Kirby's Dream Land. While the games themselves are generally pretty light and fluffy, the pink ball at the center of it all is a force to be reckoned with.
EVERYTHING gets absorbed by Kirby. Regular enemies, bosses, the scenery, your very soul. He's a black hole of destruction that none can escape, only serving to grant Kirby new and ever more powerful abilities. He is the rock, the chain, and the lightning! Who is your New God, now and forever? Kirby Is.