Super Smash Bros. is a series of crossover fighting video games published by Nintendo. It primarily features characters from their own franchises. All five games have been directed by Masahiro Sakurai.
The gameplay objective differs from that of traditional fighters by aiming to knock opponents off the stage instead of depleting life bars. The original Super Smash Bros., released in 1999 for the Nintendo 64, had a small budget and was originally a Japan-only release, but its domestic success led to a worldwide release. The series achieved even greater success with the release of Super Smash Bros. Melee, which was released in 2001 for the GameCube and became the bestselling game on that system. A third installment, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, was released in 2008 for the Wii. Although HAL Laboratory has been the developer of the first two titles, the third game was developed through the collaboration of several companies. The fourth installment,Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, were released in 2014 for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, respectively. The 3DS installment was the first series title to be released on a handheld platform. A fifth installment, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, is currently in development for the Nintendo Switch and is scheduled to be released on December 7, 2018.
The series features many characters from Nintendo's most popular franchises, including Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, Samus Aran, Fox McCloud, Kirby, and Pikachu. The original Super Smash Bros. had 12 playable characters, and the roster count has risen to 26 characters in Melee, 39 in Brawl, 58 in 3DS/Wii U (seven of which are downloadable), and 68 in Ultimate. Some characters are able to transform into different forms that have different styles of play and sets of moves. The games also feature many non-playable Nintendo characters, such as Petey Piranha from the Mario franchise. In Brawl, two third-party characters were added: Solid Snake and Sonic the Hedgehog. Additional third-party characters Mega Man, Pac-Man, Ryu, Cloud Strife, and Bayonetta appeared in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, while Solid Snake was not included.
Every title in the series has been well received by critics, with much praise given to the multiplayer mode experience. The Super Smash Bros. games have spawned a large competitive community and have been featured in several high-profile gaming tournaments.