Universal acclaim - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
Buy On
  1. 100
    An exotic cocktail of entertainment for Nintendo fans, who will slurp up every last drop, and if you want to talk about longevity, I've had this game on import for about six months and I still haven't finished it.
  2. Nintendo Power
    Smash Bros. is known for its deep game play, and Melee is a bottomless pit. [Dec 2001, p.166]
  3. It's a great party game for those in the need of a quick fix, but there's plenty of depth for those that desire to see it, as evidence in the copious amounts of secrets, strategies, and subtle nuances.
  4. Nintendo and HAL have done the impossible…improved a game to near perfection...Vintage gaming mixed with modern expectations and gameplay at its best.
  5. 100
    A showcase of a game. There is so much to do and unlock, both in the single-player and multiplayer modes, that the title can easily eat up dozens of hours of your time.
  6. 100
    Apart from the remarkable gameplay, graphics and sound, SSBM sports enormous replay value.
  7. The amount of detail that has been shoved onto all of the game's character models is fantastic – some of them it would be hard to differentiate from FMV models.
  8. 100
    Even if you're alone, the sheer amount of options, trophy collecting and hidden characters make this game worth playing again and again. It's easy to learn but incredibly challenging to master and collect all the trophies.
  9. Overall, a very fun game to play, though a warning goes out to anyone who can get frustrated with games, as this game's difficulty can really frustrate and anger you at times as it had me.
  10. 96
    SSB Melee puts the original to shame with its countless options and longevity. This has become and will likely become one of my favorite GameCube titles of all-time. It's that good.
  11. With solid gameplay, numerous options, and loads of extras, most will find their money well spent. Even the graphics and audio are impressive, leaving little to be desired.
  12. It's a long way from the Tekkens of this world, with no complicated combos or tricky special moves to pull off, but under the surface there's a fighting game that requires almost as much skill in its own way, as any of the 'serious' martial arts sims - and is a lot more fun. [NGC]
  13. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Suffice it to say, if the first game made you happy, this jam-packed sequel will make you crap your pants with glee. [Feb 2002, p.160]
  14. The controls are tight and responsive and very well designed. Gameplay is top-notch, with tons of different modes to play though and a multiplayer element that is truly unbeatable. The game will never die, and will remain fresh time and time again.
  15. With 25 characters and 29 stages, and only half of that available at start, you have a fighting game you'll be spending lots of time in. With almost 300 trophies available, you'll be spending lots of time trying to gather all of them as well.
  16. Game Informer
    Melee is wholesome original, and the most rewarding multiplayer experience available for any console. [Feb 2002, p.86]
  17. I have played SSBM every day since I got it and I cannot get enough of this game.
  18. While the game might not be the greatest single player adventure we've seen this year, it very well may be the best multi-player one.
  19. Orchestra-style music and finely tuned sound effects liven up the battlefield quite dramatically and are executed extremely well; I just simply love the music for the Pokemon Stadium stage.
  20. GMR Magazine
    A Nintendo fanatic's dream, if only for the exhaustive gallery of collectible Nintendorabilia. [Feb 2003, p.96]
  21. Seeing the ducks from "Duck Hunt" or the 2 dimensional Ice-climbers (also featured as playable characters) will have you praising Nintendo for their kindness in bringing back some long forgotten gaming moments.
  22. Completely rips apart the rulebook, delivering a 'fun' fighting game that everyone can play.
  23. The graphics are great, the sound is great, and gosh darn it if the game is just a blast to play with different quest challenges and various hidden characters to unlock.
  24. The only reason SSBM doesn't achieve gaming nirvana is for two reasons: the variety of arenas isn't extensive and sometimes the camera pans so far out it reduces your character to the size of an ant. Otherwise, you're looking at great game.
  25. Almost perfect. Some of the challenges are a bit difficult but they help build your skill level. And although the graphics aren't stunning they are above adequate for this game, and are still very good.
  26. 90
    This is one game you won't put down until every technique, option and secret has been revealed.
  27. The game has an enormous amount of charm, and it mixes old school with new school almost seamlessly.
  28. Probably the most fun game out for the Game Cube right now. It's not really a fighting game as much as it is a four-person party brawling game.
  29. 90
    The most complete multiplayer console package to date--an absurd, wild, and wickedly fun game with lots of variety, unbelievable visuals, and more longevity than most of the gods of Olympus.
  30. It's a button-masher in the best sense of the term, and even people not normally interested in fighting games should check it out. While its raison d'être is multiplayer, soloists can't ask much more.
  31. 90
    Even above and beyond its top multiplayer action, SSB:M's chief asset is its tremendously varied gameplay.
  32. The perfect sequel. It gives us more of what we want while not changing the heart of the gameplay too much.
  33. Cheat Code Central
    Yes, the game still lacks a certain depth, and fighting game fanatics raised on "Soul Calibur," "Virtua Fighter" and "Tekken" should certainly look elsewhere, but fans of Nintendo (and of the first game) will absolutely love what's going on here.
  34. Nintendo's spastic tribute to itself stands quite strong as one of the most engaging multiplayer games available for any console platform.
  35. Frustrating as it can be, every fight is a spectacle of chaotic gameplay that will have you absorbed.
  36. While it surely won't appeal to the Tekken heads, it's a great fit for those who swear by Samus and die by Donkey Kong.
  37. Play Magazine
    There are so many classic Nintendo cues in Super Smash Bros. Melee, I almost cried. [Feb 2002, p.57]
  38. netjak
    The camera angles were enigmatic and frustrating. The action on the screen was great when we were fairly close to the fighting, but once scaled out became chaotic. The personal feel of smacking each other around when close was decent and enjoyable; but once the action panned became impersonal and out of touch.

Awards & Rankings

#1 Most Discussed GameCube Game of 2001
#1 Most Shared GameCube Game of 2001
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 666 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 26 out of 666
  1. DemonicAngel
    Feb 6, 2005
    First off, let's get one thing out of the way. Don't even bother with the single-player. This is a multiplayer game through and First off, let's get one thing out of the way. Don't even bother with the single-player. This is a multiplayer game through and through, and whilst it's commendable that the developers came up with modes to keep lone gamers happy, they can't compare to the sheer insane joy of 4 players smacking each other around with crazy special moves. Controls are simple to learn but it'll take some time to become really good at the game. All the characters control differently and have different strenghts and weaknesses. Samus Aran, for example, is powerful and has plenty of ranged attacks, but her bulky armoured suit slows her down. Captain Falcon, on the other hand, is very speedy and has great hand-to-hand combat skills, but can be tricky to control and has no ranged attacks. Everyone will find one or two characters they prefer, but they're all good in one way or another (except the horrible Ice Climbers... *shudder*). Overall, an immensely fun multiplayer experience that would make an ideal party game. Full Review »
  2. Humfry
    Jan 12, 2002
    I can have ganondorf kick pikachu in the groin! U cant get much better than that!
  3. Jan 24, 2016
    This game is fun! I like it a lot more than I used to. The graphics are okay for the GameCube. The character selection is great. I like theThis game is fun! I like it a lot more than I used to. The graphics are okay for the GameCube. The character selection is great. I like the Adventure mode but I liked SSE in Brawl better. And this game introduced A LOT of stuff to the series. Super Smash Bros Melee is a great SSB game and I would recommend it. Full Review »