5) Super Smash Bros.
The original title in the series, Super Smash Bros. laid the foundation down for the franchise’s ascendancy to fame, and we absolutely love it for that. However, going back to classic Smash these days is unsurprisingly jarring. The controls will feel alien to anyone used to more modern versions, and above all else, it’s a comparatively slow and plodding experience. There’s also a totally different dynamic to items, too, which are especially potent. The hammer is an assured kill, while the home run bat has practically no wind-up time whatsoever. Racking up five KOs in a row with that bat is sickly satisfying, slugging foes all over the place like Barry Bonds.
The roster is sparse, but all of your key guys are there: Mario, Link, Samus, and not one but two representatives from the wildly popular new craze known as Pokemon. To that end, Pikachu is far and away the best fighter available, capable of chilling on the lower levels and spamming Thunder for cheap shots. Though he’s become a staple of the Smash series, the oddball inclusion of Ness was a little surprising at the time. He had only starred in one game up to that point (and still to this point, actually), and it had been about five years since EarthBound premiered – which, you have to recall, was still considered something of a failure at the time, before becoming a cult classic.
There’s no shame in the shortcomings of the original Smash. As a standalone title and the first of its ilk, it’s a remarkable achievement that’s still huge fun. In fact, it still gets regular tournament play to this day.