Smash Bros. Ultimate Review Roundup [Updated]

King of the ring.

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2018 may be wrapping up, but there was one last big release in store for Nintendo Switch before the new year comes along. Last week saw the arrival of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the latest installment in Nintendo's crossover fighting series. True to its name, it's also the biggest, boasting the largest selection of characters, stages, and music in the franchise's long history.

On top of bringing back every character to have ever appeared in a Smash game (along 11 new additions to the roster), Ultimate introduces a number of changes and new features to the series' formula, not least of which are Spirits--collectible characters you can equip to imbue your fighter with stat boosts and abilities. One of the ways you can collect these is in World of Light, an expansive new RPG-style campaign that's one of the deepest single-player experiences the series has offered.

With its release now upon us, reviews for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate have begun appearing online, and the critical consensus is that it's another fun fighting game packed to the brim with content. We've rounded up a sample of Smash Ultimate reviews below. You can also visit GameSpot sister site Metacritic for a much broader look at what critics think of the new brawler.

  • Game: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Release date: December 7
  • Price: $60 US / £60 / $89.95 AU

GameSpot

"Situational downers don't stop Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from shining as a flexible multiplayer game that can be as freewheeling or as firm as you want it to be. Its entertaining single-player content helps keep the game rich with interesting things to do, as well as bolstering its spirit of loving homage to the games that have graced Nintendo consoles. Ultimate's diverse content is compelling, its strong mechanics are refined, and the encompassing collection is simply superb." -- Edmond Tran [Full review-in-progress]

CNET

"For now, SSBU plays like a well-balanced game with new elements to keep it fresh and interesting for a long time. The meta game could develop to a point where one character is broken and overpowered, but until then, SSBU has a great shot at bringing Smash players from across the fandom together." -- Alfred Ng [Full review]

IGN -- 9.4/10

"Super Smash Bros. Ultimate lives up to its name, offering the most comprehensive game in the series to date. It has an absurd amount to play, fight, and unlock--though that can be to its detriment at times. While the World of Light adventure mode isn't reason alone to get Smash Bros., it's still a consistently amusing and shockingly large campaign, and a worthy compliment to Ultimate's incredible multiplayer core. The Smash Bros. series has always maintained a wonderful balance of chaotic beat-em-up fun and tense fighting game action, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate refines and improves on both sides of itself without abandoning either one." -- Tom Marks [Full review]

GamesRadar+ -- 4.5/5

"The amount of content in Ultimate blows most other fighters out of the water. The fact that every match feels like a fair, if chaotic, fight is incredible, especially with a roster of more than 70 superstar characters. While some of the polish doesn't hit the mark completely and the absence of a variety of single-player modes is disappointing, Ultimate is a fighter I’ll be playing for years to come." -- Aron Garst [Full review]

EGM Now -- 9.5/10

"Considering you can make a custom Smash fight with Spirits available, players will have even more ways to customize fights with friends, and that's what Super Smash Bros. should always offer. The series has stuck around as long as it has because it has given players depth, freedom, and fun when playing with friends. It's the fact that Ultimate has amplified these traits--not just throwing in new stages and fighters--that makes it a true culmination of the series." -- Evan Slead [Full review]

Game Informer

"I'll have my final impressions when the game is ready, but I'm confident in saying that it's outstanding. Unless the patch bungles things in an unexpected way, the core game is as silly and fun as it's ever been. I'm completely in love with the wealth of new options that the game offers, including the ability to easily set up custom rulesets and have them surfaced on the main Smash menu--no more menu fiddling to get things set up for stock matches! I also like the new option for having final smashes come from filling a meter instead of having to break the smash ball. It's a nice twist on the mechanic that makes things feel a little more fair." -- Jeff Cork [Full impressions]

US Gamer -- 4.5/5

"I suppose Smash Bros. Ultimate puts the franchise's real issue to rest. Online and offline, competitive and casual, it seems to have a little bit of something for everyone now. You can customize it to be a hardcore fighting game, or you can make it the silliest experience ever, with giant characters and a huge numbers of items. As a tribute to classic gaming with an enormous amount of content, it truly earns the name "Ultimate." It may never top Melee in the hearts of fans (what can?), but I think it'll be a staple on Switch for a long time to come." -- Kat Bailey [Full review]

Eurogamer -- Essential

"Forgive me for getting a little breathless, but this is that sort of game; an enthusiastic grab bag of gaming history, where familiar call-backs are met by deeper cuts and references to obscure NES RPG series by the beloved, departed Data East. And that enthusiasm is infectious, too--Smash Bros. is, and always has been, a smile of a game, an endless festival featuring all your favourites plus a few more besides. Yes, it gets a bit messy sometimes, but the best festivals always do." -- Martin Robinson [Full review]

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