Whether it’s the Nintendo 64 original or the Switch’s current crown jewel, each game in the smashingly successful Super Smash Bros. franchise has its own legion of dedicated fans that push their skills to the limit and show them off in cutthroat tournaments.
However, for as long as competitive Smash has existed, there have been complaints about certain characters being overpowered, cheap, “broken,” and so much more. These complaints aren’t just relegated to bickering to friends, either; this has been a serious discussion amongst professional competitors.
With Super Smash Bros. Ultimate still riding high (and having a record-setting run at EVO), it might be time to consider whether or not complaints about certain characters, regardless of the game, have any validity, and that’s what w’re talking about in our list of 20 Smash Bros. Characters Who Should Be Banned From Tournaments.
20 Meta Knight
There should be no surprise that our first entry deals with this infamous Kirby villain, as he redefined what it meant to be “broken” in Super Smash Bros.
Despite a valiant effort, Meta Knight was never completely banned from tournaments, which is a shame, considering just how overwhelmingly cheap he is.
Before people even really knew who Marth (or Fire Emblem) was, they did know one thing for certain: Marth was the best character in Super Smash Bros. Melee, hands down.
Whether we like it or not, Marth continues to be a popular choice of character in Melee tournaments, though it would be nice to see some rules enforced in order to make things less predictable.
The dainty princess of the Mushroom Kingdom, Peach, has risen above routine kidnappings and transcended into a merciless warlord who everyone should fear… at least in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Her air attacks, unconventional floating ability, and shockingly powerful combos have all been cited as evidence of her newfound supremacy, so it might be best to cut her off before she becomes the next Marth.
The Star Fox team had it great in Super Smash Bros. Melee, as both Fox (who we'll get to later) and Falco were near the top of the food chain when it came to the best character choices.
Blazingly fast yet a mightily heavy hitter, this avian “Fox clone” is as much of an ace in Smash as he is in Star Fox lore.
Sonic the Hedgehog’s long-awaited appearance in Super Smash Bros. was a moment of pure delight for his fans, but it soon became apparent that the blue blur’s addition into Brawl brought with it a terrifyingly overpowered menace.
Sonic’s basic move set in Brawl is already a dangerous arsenal of quick, high-powered moves, but his Final Smash is icing on the cake of painful cheapness.
It was surreal to not only see Final Fantasy VII’s Cloud on a Nintendo system, but in a Smash game… and he’s definitely made a name for himself there.
While he’s still a force to be reckoned with in Ultimate, it doesn’t compare to his overwhelming might in Smash 4, where, in the right hands, his Limit Breaks lead foes to their doom.
14 Diddy Kong
We’re kind of cheating with this one, since a Smash 4 patch was able to relatively tame this beast, but we’ll just pretend that didn’t happen so we can rant about how insanely broken Diddy Kong was.
The patch was absolutely necessary, as Diddy Kong went from “eh” to “oh no” at about the same rate Pichu did (more on THAT later…) He dominated the meta-game in few ways other characters have.
We’ve already mentioned Marth (big surprise), so it should be even less of a shocker that Lucina makes the list, too, being his echo fighter and all.
To be fair, there isn’t too much about her that separates her from Marth (despite Marth’s slight alterations in Ultimate), but her ability to deal damage is tangibly greater, as are a few of her B-moves.
In other words, she’s just different enough from Marth that she could throw off people who are used to fighting him and him alone.
12 Ice Climbers
The Ice Climbers are often considered to be gimmick characters who are cool, but have no real value… but that’s a mistake, especially if we’re talking about Brawl.
The infamous infinite chain grab allowed the Ice Climbers to engage in an endless combo against an opponent, delighting in inflicting as much agony as possible until they mercifully ended things altogether.
11 K. Rool
Despite the fans demanding K. Rool’s Super Smash Bros. inclusion, there were a few nay-sayers out there who didn’t want him, often saying that this wacky character wouldn’t bring anything to the table. King K. Rool must have heard them, though, because he made sure he brought game-breaking fury into the fray.
K. Rool may be large, but he has powerful attacks and even more powerful defenses, thanks to the rampant use of “Super Armor” with many of his moves.
This croc is a dangerously broken tank that needs to be barred from tournaments for the safety of everyone involved.
10 Pokémon Trainer
The Pokémon Trainer might be the least lamented character on this list. In fact, we’d go as far as to say that he’s rarely brought up during heated discussions regarding who should or should not be banned… but that doesn’t mean there’s no validity to the admittedly few complaints that exist.
This fighter is really three-in-one, and although he’s hard to master, professional players have proven that Pokémon Trainer has a versatile and easily-abusable move set.
Bayonetta has earned a decent bit of ire from the Smash Bros. fandom, partially due to her left-field inclusion in the series, but also because of the ridiculous level of battlefield domination she’s capable of in Smash 4.
Her combos are easy to chain together, resulting in explosive amounts of damage, and she’s also armed with extremely effective defensive moves, resulting in a character that is top tier in both defense and offense.
Pikachu is an annoying and formidable opponent in every last Super Smash Bros. game in existence, but his Nintendo 64 debut will always be remembered as the peak of his power.
In general, the original game’s Pikachu is a well-balanced monster, with all stats trending in the positive.
Despite arguably being significantly improved upon in Ultimate (it arguably being his second best version,) those who played the original will always remember that version of Pikachu as the most dangerous.
Not unlike Pichu, Isabelle was designed as a “joke character.” We’re using quotation marks because, despite being a “joke,” Isabelle, from the get-go, was a monstrously cruel competitor.
As many will no doubt recall, Isabelle’s fishing rod was an insanely overpowered tool of destruction. Thankfully, in a rare case of Nintendo actually caring, they nerfed her (in secret, no less!)
When the original Super Smash Bros. had just come out, Kirby was the most popular character in our friend group. We may not have known why at the time, but it’s become obvious as this Nintendo 64 classic was thoroughly dissected: Kirby is a dangerously broken animal, and no one is safe.
All of his stats are abnormally high, his Smash attacks are arguably the most effective in the game, and, with no easily exploitable weaknesses, he is unstoppable when being controlled by a master player.
“No items, Fox only, Final Destination.”
We’ve all heard it and all have that one friend who lives by it, but despite its increasingly embarrassing joke status, there’s a reason why it exists in the first place: Melee’s Fox is an almighty character with incredible versatility in combat.
Banning Fox would ruin the meme, but that’s a cost we’d be willing to take if it meant putting this rabid predator out of circulation.
Hailing from Splatoon, the Inkling’s debut in Super Smash Bros. was a rousing success… but at what cost?
The heights of Inkling’s potential are still being uncovered (thanks to their unique mechanics), and it seems likely that once pro players have finally fully digested what the character is capable of, there will need to be a thorough discussion as to what actions, if any, need to be taken regarding tournament play.
3 The Hero
Despite just arriving to the game, there’s already a surprisingly potent rumbling suggesting that Dragon Quest’s Hero be banned from tournaments.
The main reason behind this movement is that he is capable of delivering a quick one-hit KO using one of his spells.
While that feature could theoretically be devastating in the hands of pro players, we’re skeptical on how easy it would be to pull off, considering the amount of RNG and human error involved.
A joke character in Melee, Pichu was the butt of all jokes. He was embarrassingly light, shamefully weak, and all of his moves did damage to himself. Pathetic, really.
Well, Pichu must have taken all the negativity to heart, as he spent the next few years honing himself into a dangerously broken warrior capable of instilling fear into even the hardiest of opponents.
1 Star Fox/Wolf Final Smashes
Two things: yes, we know these aren’t characters, and, yes, we’re aware that Final Smashes aren’t exactly a thing in most tournaments.
REGARDLESS, Brawl's devilishly cheap Landmaster Final Smashes are so easily abused and overly powered that it’s more than possible to make your opponent lose multiple lives with a single summon!
Truly, only the most spineless among us uses these vile tools to acquire unearned victories.