Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is more than three years old and has gone well over half a year with no new characters and no new balance changes. Importantly, the community has also spent a significant amount of time playing offline since the return of events post-quarantine, giving the true meta time to develop.
As a result, many of the best players in the world have worked with the UltRank team to produce the game’s first-ever official tier list. Here’s a full overview of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tier list, including how characters in each tier tend to perform.
3 years after its initial release, with 71 top players participating, we are proud to present Smash Ultimate's first official tier list powered by @StartGG!
Interested in knowing the process and the stats behind it? Check out the article linked below! pic.twitter.com/wicJCnzily
— UltRank (@UltRankSSB) February 24, 2023
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tier list D-tier
One of the best things about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the number of viable characters. Most characters out of the 75 are able to be played in a tournament setting as long as enough time is put in. However, just like any game, there are still characters that simply lack the tools that other characters have and that is what this tier is for.
Ganondorf and Little Mac stand out as the worst of the worst on the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tier list, with abysmal recoveries and mediocre approach options. Others in this tier suffer from being too slow, like Dr. Mario, or having large, exploitable hurtboxes, like King K. Rool and Dedede.
C-tier characters all have something going for them but fail to fulfill a necessary niche compared to characters in the tiers above them. These characters are still capable of breakout runs as evidenced by Juan Pablo “Skyjay” Osorio Lozada’s outstanding second-place finish at Collision 2023.
However, these characters have glaring weaknesses and near-unwinnable match-ups, which can lead to inconsistent results as evidenced by Skyjay’s 97th-place finish at Genesis 9 shortly before Collision.
The B-tier of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tier list has characters that have strong representation competitively and have made it far in numerous tournaments. Starting at this tier, characters have strengths that allow them to stand out compared to others, although they are still overshadowed by the characters above them.
For example, Bowser can hit very hard and has a decent combo game, but has an obvious weakness in his inability to get out of combos. Meanwhile, Captain Falcon is incredibly fast and can combo well, but doesn’t do it nearly as well as the characters above him like Fox, R.O.B. or Palutena.
This tier of characters has a chance to win a Major with its many great representatives and strong tools. Many of the characters on this list are frequently mained by the best competitors in the scene. From William “Glutonny” Belaid’s explosive combo game with Wario to Naoto “ProtoBanham” Tsuji’s rock-solid Lucina, many grand finals of large majors have featured characters from this tier.
When recommending new players to pick up characters, this is the tier that most players will introduce the new player to. Characters like Mario have game plans that are simple yet incredibly effective. At the same time, characters like Sephiroth can be a bit more complex, leading to low floors but incredibly high ceilings when piloted correctly.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tier list S-tier
The top of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tier list is reserved for characters that have the complete package or force every other character to play on their terms. Steve is by far the most threatening of the bunch; in fact, the discovery of Steven’s Phantom Major League Gaming hitstun-canceling tech has led to major tournaments like Let’s Make Move Miami 2023 and the online Coinbox series banning Steve.
Steve is officially banned at the Coinbox for the foreseeable future. pic.twitter.com/0UhzkAvnHa
— hungrybox (@LiquidHbox) March 2, 2023
Meanwhile, characters like Joker and Pyra/Mythra can thrive due to having incredible frame data and minimal weaknesses. Sonic has also grown in favor among top players, with many asserting he has one of the best match-up spreads in the game. Carlos “Sonix” Pérez’s journey to becoming one of the best Ultimate players in the world has undoubtedly helped Sonic’s stock rise.
Ultimately, these characters’ strengths far outweigh their weaknesses. Players who solo main these characters are generally capable of winning majors. While bad match-ups may force other character specialists to try out secondaries, members of the S-tier have all the tools necessary to excel in Smash Ultimate.
About the Author
Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.