Universal acclaim - based on 81 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 80 out of 81
  2. Negative: 0 out of 81
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  1. Brawl is easily the most fun I’ve had on a Wii, and could be the most fun I’ve had with a game in ages. It’s just that good. There is just so much to do, and so many different and refreshing things added that it would be a crime not to at least take a look.
  2. Nintendo Power
    Rarely has any title delivered so much amazing action, such a wide variety of modes, and so many hours of value. It doesn't get any better than this. [Mar 2008, p.82]
  3. It’s obvious that developer Game Arts have put a painstaking amount of effort into creating this game and every time we play it we’re discovering new Nintendo references which bring back a rush of nostalgia. Brawl’s chaotic multiplayer sessions are some of the best to be had on the system, plus there are plenty of challenges and modes to amuse those ‘friend-impaired’ individuals out there as well. It’s a no-brainer, every serious Nintendo fan out there should score themselves a copy of this game, invite some friends/victims around, and have a smashing good time.
  4. 100
    I have never seen more effort put into a video game than what has been shown in Brawl. With unbelievable multiplayer fighting, an enormous single player mode, and collectibles that will last for years, there's no reason why you shouldn't buy it.
  5. 100
    From the fighting mechanics to roster of players Brawl is a well-rounded game that I just couldn't put down. The only downside to Brawl is that it doesn't do anything to reinvent the series. It takes elements of past SSB games and refines them, which is great, but players expecting an entirely new experience won't find it here.
  6. From the digital-crack gameplay to the ocean-deep customization to the enjoyable Subspace Emissary, it's completely jam-packed with Nintendo love. The sights, the sounds, everything is an unfiltered pat on the back and incessant in-joke for longtime fans. For everyone else, it's a dependably solid fighter that destroys its predecessor in every way.
  7. 100
    Brawl is a good game, with solid controls, a lot of options, and not-much-better-than-the-last-one-graphics. For the uninterested gamer, it's a curious diversion. For the Nintendo fanatic, Super Smash Bros. Brawl is like manna from heaven.
  8. Never before has there been a game with more replayability then Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
  9. 100
    Super Smash Bros. Brawl has lived up to the promise that has been dangled in front of us for so many years and should be snapped up by just about anyone willing to hold a controller.
  10. Play Magazine
    The character models and animation are absolutely superb, the backgrounds seamless works of art and the gameplay easily the most diverse and enduring of any “fighting” game to date. I wouldn’t even classify it as a fighter. This is an action masterpiece.
  11. 100
    The graphics are beautiful, the audio is clear, the online system is one of the best on the Wii in over a year and a half, the stages are varied, the mini-game experiences are time-consuming, the trophies are endless, the game is much more balanced and the new items are a blast.
  12. 100
    Take into account the deep customization, barrage of unlockables and game modes, online components, and the polish and balance of it all, and Brawl is quite a force to be reckoned with, expanding those hours of value into months, if not years of good times.
  13. But at the end of the day, no other game offers the wealth of content for a mere $50; and if early indications live up to their potential, we'll all be playing Brawl for another six-and-a-half years.
  14. In a game where the amount of content is similar to the overwhelming amount of stuff in Japan on one's first visit, and that already managed to waste away hours on end before online play was included, it's safe to say that Super Smash Bros. Brawl has one heck of a lifespan.
  15. 100
    Everything about this game is beautifully orchestrated and flawless in presentation.
  16. Otherwise, it’s the absolute pinnacle of the Smash Bros. series and a fun game to boot.
  17. 100
    Considering how much content you get before you ever even go online, this is easily one of the most generous, gratifying, and fun games you can get for the Nintendo Wii. Super Smash Brothers Brawl is nothing short of a smashing success.
  18. AceGamez
    Super Smash Bros. Brawl offers incredible value for money - there are masses of characters, levels and game modes to explore, the music is fantastic, the gameplay is superb and the production values are through the roof.
  19. 100
    Smashtacular. Buy it, or regret it forever.
  20. 100
    Although Super Smash Bros. Brawl will feel familiar to people who have played the game before, it's a lot harder to play this time.
  21. 100
    Four different control options as well as an as-deep-as-you-want-it combat style mean that whether you’re a parent looking forward to seeing Mario and Sonic have a punch-up, or a Nintendo fan wanting the Nintendo Chronicle (of love), Brawl can offer you an outstanding game.
  22. What else can I say other than you simply owe it to yourself to buy this game and treat yourself to one of the greatest multiplayer gaming experiences of all time. The only thing that stops me from giving it a perfect score is the not so perfect online mode.
  23. Every aspect of the Smash Bros. series has been expanded. From the many interesting new characters to the tons of new items and stages to master, I don't see how any diehard fan can't be happy.
  24. Brawl is fun, both alone and with friends, and if you’re a completist like me (completist: a gamer who refuses to stop playing a game until they have unlocked all the secrets and done everything there is to do), you’ll be looking at literally hundreds of hours of fun before you get even close to finishing.
  25. 95
    The title's robust and balanced multiplayer offerings are completely engrossing and wholly entertaining from beginning to end, and this time around you can take those bouts to the online arena for similarly satisfying results.
  26. 95
    Bottom line: Super Smash Bros. Brawl is a must-purchase for every single Wii owner. If you own a Wii, you have to own this game.
  27. With a bigger roster than ever, online multiplayer, and the ability to share screenshots, custom levels, and game replays with friends, Super Smash Bros. has never been better.
  28. In Brawl, Nintendo has handily produced one of the most compelling, rich and densely-packed experiences available on any console.
  29. The core gameplay has remained largely unchanged since the N64 days, meaning we've essentially been playing the same game for nine years, and we'll be playing the same game for another five or six years, at least. Get it, appreciate it, and enjoy it.
  30. With extremely tight controls and finely tuned balance, the core fighting mechanics and local multiplayer are spot on. There’s still nothing like learning the intricacies of every character, discovering possibly the most unlockables in any game yet, and using all of that to beat the crap out of your friends late into the night.
  31. This is a game that reaches a fun factor which few games dare even dream of. It is absolutely packed to the gills with content, and features enough improvements over its predecessor to make it the best installment in the series by far.
  32. The Subspace Emissary mode is a bit weak, the loading times are a bit hefty, and the online gameplay suffers from some lag and the usual Nintendo online awkwardness. However, those issues are far overshadowed by the excellence that permeates the rest of the game.
  33. From the solid graphics, great sound to the nearly perfect gameplay, you really can’t find anything wrong with this game.
  34. 95
    Super Smash Bros. Brawl is the type of game that actually delivers on every promise as well as exceeding every expectation.
  35. n-Revolution Magazine UK
    As a game, it's brilliant; as an all-encompassing experience for Nintendo fans, it's quite possibly unsurpassed. [Issue#20, p.70]
  36. While Super Smash Bros. Brawl does not offer very much in the way of innovation, it is one of those games that is so polished and so full of value that it is bound to sell well for quite some time.
  37. Official Nintendo Magazine UK
    Even looking at it with a cynical eye, it's incredibly hard to fault Brawl. You're going to adore this game. [July 2008, p.62]
  38. 95
    It’s impeccably presented, lovingly crafted and absolutely incredible value for money.
  39. The astonishing array of imaginative and well implemented characters, along with the hundreds of unlockable items to discover, ensure that SSB Brawl is easily the most definitive Smash Bros yet, and the best game you can buy for the Wii. But forcing you to unlock half of the characters and stages, not to mention the unbelievably botched online options, only serves to frustrate everyone who foresaw the greatness that could have been.
  40. Maxi Consolas (Portugal)
    It’s not Melee’s something even better. Hundreds of extras, dozens of characters and an incredible multiplayer makes for the strongest candidate to game of the year for the Wii. Even if it doesn’t appeal to all of the casual audience, it’s a mandatory title for the console. We strongly recommend it. What else can we say? [Aug 2008]
  41. More than a simple fighting game, it's fun to play and boasts high production values, capable of pleasing a vast audience of gamers.
  42. The amazing amount of features and characters included in the game plus the online gameplay make Brawl one of Nintendo's best titles to date. Even those Nintendo fans who are not interested in fighting titles will find this one appealing.
  43. Brawl is average if you intend to play it by yourself. As a multiplayer game, it nears perfection. Though the subspace emissary is a disappointment, the fast-paced fighting, bountiful modes and customization options, and a deep set of hidden content to be unearthed give it staying power that few other games possess.
  44. In the simplest terms, Brawl makes Melee look like a demo sampler.
  45. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    That said, Brawl still shines as the go-to party game for a houseful of friends. [May 2008, p.70]
  46. Everything about his game - just about every little detail there is - fits. Super Smash Bros. Brawl is here to stay – if you’ve waited for a reason to get yourself a Wii, here it is. Easy, fun and rewarding!
  47. Pelit (Finland)
    No more frustrating fiddling with vague motion sensing remote. Controls are accurate and Brawl supports almost any pad you can plug it in. It's fast and furious and on the bonus side, Super Smash Bros. Brawl suits perfectly for the beginners and advanced gamers. [June 2008]
  48. Nintendo love spills from every pore and the multiplayer can't be beat, but Smash Bros risks growing too familiar. It never breeds contempt, but it doesn't quite muster that Galaxy magic.
  49. 93
    With simple to use but tricky to master controls, a useful handicap feature and a staggering variety of great characters, Brawl is the perfect competitive party game.
  50. Games Master UK
    Controlling Brawl with the remote's D-pad feels like the devil's work and even the remote/nunchuck pairing suffers from the lack of a second analog stick - you need it for quick smash attacks. It's playable with the Wii's controllers, but seasoned smashers should grab a Classic Controller or dust off their old GC gear. [Apr 2008, p.58]
  51. The combat is all very smooth and familiar, and feels like a return to an old friend. But, when placing this combat into the intensely long Subspace Emissary mode, it doesn’t quite mesh.
  52. In the end, Super Smash Bros. Brawl is just a superb game. While the single player alone will not last gamers forever, the size and amount of unlockable content make it a viable option when there is nobody around to play with.
  53. Matches play like a Destroy All Monsters mêlée, with up to four players duking it out until the last man, or Pokémon, stands.
  54. It’s hard to find a game out there for the Wii that provides more value for the money, or has more to see and do. The huge roster of well done, interesting characters combined with the wackiness of the in game items and the interactivity and challenges of the various stages packs the game full of memorable moments regardless of which portion of the game you decide to spend time with.
  55. 90
    You might find that mastering some of controls can be a bear because Brawl's fighting game controls are being mapped over to a side-scrolling action platform game.
  56. 90
    Super Smash Bros. Brawl isn't a giant leap forward from "Super Smash Bros. Melee," but it didn't have to be. This is going to be the game that Wii owners will be playing for the life of the system, and they're going to love every minute of it.
  57. Yeah, the graphics don't really go too far forward, the online options could've been less strenuous, and the load time could've been cut back. Regardless, there's still far greater good here than we could've ever expected from the game.
  58. Edge Magazine
    Super Smash Bros is a series that has often been unfairly derided as button-mashing, largely thanks to its surface sheen of cutesy characters, but it has one of the most enduringly innovative and deep systems of any fighter. [Apr 2008, p.84]
  59. netjak
    Overall, Super Smash Bros. Melee is still a frantic fighting game that's easy to pick up, has tons for you to do even in single-player mode, and it's still one of the best fighting games to pull out with company – with four players and intuitive controls, anyone can pick it up easily.
  60. It truly is a unique game because it’s simple, and yet the concept will last you not only for hours or days, but weeks and months. If you can’t enjoy this game, stop playing video games.
  61. Super Smash Bros. Brawl is one of the most fun multiplayer experiences you will have on any console. Period.
  62. It's consistently satisfying over long periods, fulfilling its usual role of dominating a willing crowd's evening into the early hours, and now allowing you to sustain that after everyone's gone home using the Internet.
  63. 90
    Epic, beautiful and quite wonderfully Nintendo in its almost sexual brilliance. Arousing stuff.
  64. games(TM)
    It’s not the best Nintendo game of all time, but thanks to the sheer amount of polished content packed within the disc, it is definitely the ultimate one. [May 2008, p.98]
  65. 90
    Brawl isn't perfect. The single-player mode isn't nearly as polished and fun as the multiplayer. The disc is crammed so full of content that the loading times can get annoying. But it's still without equal -- can you even think of another four-player fighting game?
  66. With an epic online mode, dozens of unlockable characters and stages and hundreds of collectible trophies, Brawl deserves its place in every Wii-owner's collection.
  67. If you can grin and bear your predictably initial lacklustre performance, you'll soon realise you're within the grasp of one of the greatest Wii games to date.
  68. 90
    Brawl has the most characters, is the best balanced, delivers the most and generally trumps both the other games so far.
  69. This game is huge in entertainment value and a tour de force for the Nintendo stable of characters. Its many game options and the full-on combat make it a game you will come back to again and again. Highly recommended for any Wii owner.
  70. Although the singleplayer mode has been improved, the game is most fun if played together with friends.
  71. Whoever's heart skipped a beat at the simple thought of seeing all these characters together should eye this game as an instant purchase. If you have no special connection to the characters, the game still offers a competent battle system and a slew of modes, that amount to hundreds of hours of gameplay.
  72. Nintendo has done it again, creating another “must-have” Wii game built on an old franchise.
  73. Arenas are wonderfully bizarre...I was especially taken by an arena based on the Wario Ware games, where combatants periodically take breaks from battle to dodge objects or chisel statues.
  74. 85
    Despite its absolutely luminal reception, there is a strong argument that Brawl will appeal to the two polar opposites of the gaming community but fall flat to the majority of 'middle class' gamers in between. The very casual gamer will enjoy the chaos and the pyrotechnics, the hardcore gamer will love the bizarre mojo they can discover to gain their edge, but the middle of the road party player will probably soon tire of the impetus of play without being able to access the deeper mysteries.
  75. So, yes—the online functionality is a little on the shallow, blunted side compared to that of its next-gen console peers, and there are some offputting load times…but these are minor complaints. There’s so much here in the way of cool details, nifty items and ubiquitous, understated fan service that it’s a little difficult to grade Brawl’s raw gameplay without factoring in the Nintendo-culture saturation factor.
  76. Despite having an online mode that disappoints in nearly every respect, Smash Bros Brawl gets everything else right.
  77. The questions you need to ask yourself before deciding to invest in Super Smash Bros. Brawl concern your own personal level of love for Nintendo’s rich history and your ability to rustle up enough enthusiastic locals to get into the multiplayer. If both of those are in your favor, then this is definitely a game you’ll want to add to your collection. But if you aren’t big in either department, you probably won’t understand what all the fuss is about in the first place.
  78. 80
    Perhaps by being willing to limit itself, Brawl could have been a great game. As it stands, it is simply the strongest iteration of a great series.
  79. Nintendo's third entry in the Smash Bros series isn't just a trip down nostalgia lane - it's also a heck of a fun experience. With an insane amount of content and a gameplay begging for sessions with a bunch of friends this is a perfect addition to the series. A somewhat dodgy online mode and random events during fights mar this otherwise fantastic and frantic experience.
  80. If you've got a few like minded friends to play with you, this is some of the best fun you can have with your Wii yet. Single players will be left scratching their heads wondering what the hubbub is really all about.

Awards & Rankings

#1 Most Discussed Wii Game of 2008
#1 Most Shared Wii Game of 2008
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 2068 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Sep 20, 2010
    Fun as hell. If you loved Melee, you will adore this game. For some it might feel like a massive expansion pack but you just can't miss this.Fun as hell. If you loved Melee, you will adore this game. For some it might feel like a massive expansion pack but you just can't miss this. Completely balanced characters, easy to pick up controls and countless goodies and entertainment at its disposal. Get it. Full Review »
  2. SuperRater
    Nov 4, 2009
    Ever since the first super smash brothers came out for N64, i have been waiting for a Super Smash Brothers game that would really impress me. Ever since the first super smash brothers came out for N64, i have been waiting for a Super Smash Brothers game that would really impress me. This one did! This came contains many of my favorite characters and some new ones that I really like playing as. With many ways to make the brawling fun, this game really delivered. But like many games this one isn't perfect. The online multiplayer is a little dull with just jumping into a battle without being able to talk or add people to a friends list. But other than that this game has everything a long time super smash brothers player wants. The new final smashes and custombisable levels add a new twist to the game to. All in all this is a really good game that is defenitaly worth buying! Full Review »
  3. JordanG
    Oct 12, 2009
    Best fighting game ever made? Yes. In my eyes Soul Calibur II is the only thing that comes close. The fast paced, hectic action is easy to Best fighting game ever made? Yes. In my eyes Soul Calibur II is the only thing that comes close. The fast paced, hectic action is easy to play and when on multiplayer it plays like nothing else. Seriously, this and Halo 3 are the two best games to ever bring out at a party Full Review »