Ranking the Brawlers: All 35 of them!

Ever wondered who’s the best brawler? Well, I’m sure you’ve at least debated it. Finally, Console Monster is here to help you figure out once and for all who the best Brawler is (in my opinion); or you can just disagree with it, your choice. Here is my list of the top characters in Brawl starting with the worst at 35 and bringing you my conclusion to who I think is the number one brawler. Like all lists there is a criteria for judging the characters, and they are judged in this way (though not in this order), speed, strength, versatility, ease of use, and of course the final smashes. Keep in mind this is one man’s list and these are my opinions so please feel free to disagree or agree. Enjoy!

Note: The attacks mentioned are in accordance with a GameCube controller.

Update: I’ve noticed this list has been getting a lot of attention. I wanted to clear up a few things.

First and foremost I am not trying to say this is a be all end all list, by any stretch of the imagination.

Secondly, I wrote this because I thought it would be something fun to discuss. Heck, I welcome your top 5, 10, or even 35, it’s all in fun.

Third. I am not saying I am the best brawler, no way, I’m not that arrogant. So in turn, this editorial only reflects my opinion as a brawl player, it’s not something that I am saying is 100% right. It’s an opinion. Could Jigglypuff kick Kirby’s behind even though I put ‘her’ at 35 and Kirby at 1. Absolutely. All in all the character who is the best depends on the person who is using them. If you notice one of my criteria for best player was ease of use. Thats why I put some of the ‘slower’ characters where I did, I’m not thinking about just hardcore gamers, I’m thinking about people who have never played Brawl as well.

Every character has a strength and weakness, but every character, and hear me on this, every character can not only be good, but a great fighter. So please, do not make this list out to be me saying I’m better than you or that my opinion matters more than yours. It is simply just my opinion. Enjoy.

35. Jigglypuff

Not only do I think Jigglypuff is the worst brawler all around, I think ‘she’s’ the worst character to be put into the game (of those that are already in the game). I would have loved to see Crash Bandicoot or even an easily attainable Nintendo character such as Bowser Jr. being put in. But I’ve got to give it to ‘her’, she’s been in every game so respect is due. All in all, JigglyPuff is weak and one of her premier attacks, i.e., what ‘she’ is known for, only makes the opponent helpless for an extremely short time if you haven’t worked their HP percentage up. But if you know how to use her and use rest (down b) after using sing, you can send opponents flying. So ‘she’ does have upside, but not something that the so-so casual player would see. Even though ‘she’ is at the bottom of the list, ‘she’ can still whoop you with the right person controlling.

34. Ganondorf

I know, I know, Ganondorf is so freaking strong, but with all that strength comes a horrible downside. He’s slower than ice melting in a cold room and if you play free-for-all and everyone decides to gang up on you, you better hope to get a final smash or else you’ll get creamed.

33. King DeDeDe

Yes, he can float. Yes he can inhale (but not change his attacks like Kirby). Yes he’s big, so he’s strong, but honestly, King DeDeDe is just a poser. He’s not really that great of a brawler. His hammer can be effective when you land it. But he’s nothing overly impressive and he’s a HUGE target. HUGE.

32. Bowser

As with King DeDeDe, Bowser’s a huge target but you’ve got to give it to him. He’s very dangerous especially when he lands his punches, grabs you or does a down A attack and hits a lot of people with his spin. Bowser’s downside is that he’s very big and he’s higher on the list than KDDD and Ganondorf because he’s faster than Ganondorf and has a better set of moves than KDDD.

31. Diddy Kong

He’s nimble. He’s quick. He’s small. But his array of moves are just not there. His side B attack doesn’t do much, and it’s hard to land. Throwing a banana peel with down B would be great if this was Mario Kart, and although as cool as his final smash is, it’s hard to control and aim. He’s fun to play with, but you have to be really committed to have him as your main character.

30. Zelda/Sheik

Zelda can be a real asset for someone who knows how to use her, but in the heat of battle some of her moves take too long and don’t land like some may want them to. When she changes into Sheik she’s more nimble but the moves aren’t as powerful. Plus the down B is given up to change. So in essence you are sacrificing one thing for another. She can be deadly, but she’s not near the top.

29. Ice Climbers

“But Jeremy, there are two of them!” Yes, and that can be a dangerous advantage, but what happens when they knock the pink one out – how are you going to get back on the platform? Ice Climbers are fantastic during grab-the-coins. Trust me, I played back-to-back-to-back grab the coins against the computer on the semi-hard difficulty and they won every time in a four-person match. They won because there are two of them, but they need each other to be effective and if another person is smart enough and gets them separated, it’s bye bye climbing and hello avalanche because they are falling.

28. R.O.B.

I really didn’t want to put R.O.B. this low, but I had no choice. His laser has to re-charge and when you do his final smash, it sucks. Seriously, it’s no good and it hardly compares to some of the other people on the top of this list; top means scroll down, so I guess that’s technically bottom but they are higher up on the number list. R.O.B. has good smash attacks and a great recovery up B move, but it’s not worth losing out on his final smash which is fairly simple to dodge.

27. Toon Link

He’s here simply because he’s not as good as the real thing and he’s lighter. Don’t get me wrong, he can be a force to be reckoned with (if you missed that part, go read it again) and I like playing with him, but he’s just a spawn off of Link and he’s not AS good as some of the other characters on this list.

26. Peach

The reason I have Peach here is because of her ability to float and her ridiculous smash attack when it comes to hitting you with a golf club/tennis racket/frying pan. Her final smash sucks! Yes it puts people to sleep, but when they wake up they can eat all her peaches. Peach is the only character with a final smash that can actually benefit other competitors more than it hurts them.

25. Donkey Kong

Although really big, Donkey Kong can be nimble like Diddy Kong (not the same as Diddy but like), and he’s very strong with just his regular attacks. He can be hard for beginners to learn how to use him, but once you figure it out, DK can be pretty vicious.

24. Mr. Game and Watch

He is deceptively strong. Even though his final smash isn’t flashy (just like he isn’t much to look at), he’ll tear you a new one if you don’t watch out. Though he looks like a pipsqueak he’s pretty strong… for a 2D character.

23. Pit

Pit is fun to play with. He’s got some pretty nifty attacks with Palutena’s bow, but really, Pit is not that strong and he’s not that quick. He seems strong and he seems quick, but he’s not. He’s great for a beginner player because they should have absolutely no trouble getting back on the platform with his up B attack. But that’s just it, his up B attack does nothing to anyone, it just helps him out by letting him fly across the Atlantic in 5 swoops if he wanted to.

22. Ike

Boy am I gonna get it on this one. Ike is the man. Ike is so dog on strong, but he’s slow. Not Ganondorf slow, but it takes a while to lift that strong sword. For the veteran you could make a case that Ike should be number one on this list and I won’t argue with you, but overall he’s just not the easiest player to figure out and use. But he’s got tremendous upside.

21. Wolf

I like Wolf because he’s got agility and he has power to boot. But as far as his up B attack and his side B attack go, they are pretty much the same. They differ in up B being able to repeatedly hold opponents in the attack where as the side B is more of a one quick slice. Both are effective in their own way. He’s a nice intermediate fighter, but doesn’t cross either edge into a beginner or veteran category. To use the tired cliche, he is what he is.

20. Olimar

Olimar is nothing without his Pikmin, but in all fairness it’s not hard to pull six Pikmin out of the ground quickly with B. The problem is that there’s a lot of luck involved with which Pikmin he gets. Sometimes it’ll be a powerful Pikmikn to attack with and at other times not so powerful. He does have an upside with how small he is, and his final smash is a surefire hit, but what Olimar gains in size and speed, he gives up in a down B and up B attack. The down B (which calls Pikmin to him wherever they may be stranded on the level) is almost moot since he can get new Pikmin so quickly. It also also allows for a new Pikmin to be put in the front of the line. The up B hardly ever hits anyone because of its attack angle and is best used when having six Pikmin so that his “rope” of Pikmin is longer to get back on the level.

19. Meta Knight

This guy rocks! He’s quick, can take on multiple enemies, can fly and he reminds you of a stealthy ninja. But he’s not strong and his final smash doesn’t always hit. Furthermore, if you do his up B attack to try to get back on the platform you better have some serious side-scrolling airplane landing skills or else you’ll go straight into the -1 column in the brawl bank.

18. Mario

Yes, all you Nintendo darlings, I put Mario at 18 because that’s where he should be, the middle. He’s a nice all round character and you’ll get a little quickness here, a little smash there, a decent smash attack over there, but all round, Mario is nothing impressive, he’s simply efficient – and that ain’t bad.

17. Wario

Yes, the arch-rival is better than the good guy. He can ride a bike into you, use the bike and throw it at you, he walks like he’s missing a frame-rate and yet he’ll punch your lights out. His final smash doesn’t look like much, but he’s much stronger and faster because of it. A huge downfall of Wario is his up B doesn’t have much range to get you back on the level if you’re falling off.

16. Pokemon Trainer

This is another character I wish I could put higher, but the fact is I can’t. The reason being is that even though you can choose between 3 characters, you give up a down B attack just like in the case of Zelda/Sheik. Now this doesn’t mean the end of the world as you still have three characters; ‘small and quick’, ‘medium and well rounded’ and ‘strong and big’, to choose from. Switching takes time and one pokemon’s strength is another pokemon’s weakness. My favorite out of the three is Squirtle (16 A) because I think he has the best all around attacks and character build. After him is Charizard (16 B) then Ivysaur (16 C).

15. Sonic

And if you aren’t grilling me about Mario, you will grill me on Sonic. Look, Sonic is awesome (now if we could just get him to have a decent solo game), but he’s weak. He’s the fastest in the game, there’s no doubt about it and that can cause some serious headaches for your opponents, but he’s weak. His up B attack is great at getting you back on the platform. His spin attacks are awesome (even if it seems as if all his moves are spin attacks). He’s still the fastest thing alive, but again, he’s weak.

14. Luigi

Deceptively, Luigi is strong. He’s not stronger than Wario and he’s not as well rounded as Mario, but he embodies something those other two don’t have – not to mention his final smash. On most levels, Luigi is a sure-fire hit. His little dagger punches are pretty darn strong, but don’t let his demeanor fool you, Luigi will knock you out.

13. Fox

Fox is so dog on fast, but he’s not Sonic fast. His moves however are extremely varied and they embody what Fox is; quick and powerful in short bursts. He won’t manhandle you with his strength, but when he hits he doesn’t hit you once, he hits you three times and then darts out of the way and hits you again (not to mention his up B attack can take all 3 opponents out of the game because it will just encompass them in flames and before you know it, he’s gone).

12. Yoshi

Yoshi is big, but not the biggest, fast, but not the fastest, agile, but not the most agilest. Because he is all three of those things, that’s earned him a high spot. Sure, his up B move is pretty pathetic when it comes to getting back on the platform, but his double jump should be more than enough in most cases. Yoshi has always intrigued me because he is easy to learn, but hard to master, and that makes for a great character.

11. Ness

Ness just made it out of the top ten because of one thing – learnability (and yes I do know that’s not a word, its funny). Yes, you read right, Ness is a little bit harder to control than Lucas. His up, down, and side A attacks are quick, but they aren’t that great. Don’t get me wrong, Ness is a wonderful brawler, but he had to just squeak out of the top ten because of the ability for gamers to learn how to use him.

10. Captain Falcon

Captain Falcon is surprisingly strong, and my word he’s quick. It’s amazing, because usually in SSB you have to give up something to be good at another thing, but Capt. Falcon is pretty much one of the most well rounded players in Brawl. Yeah his final smash sort of takes the control away from the player because you are just watching what is essentially a cut-scene, and sure his special attacks aren’t the greatest, but he can own you with the right moves.

9. Lucario

One of the most intriguing characters in Brawl. His final smash is sick, let’s get that straight, and his moves are strong. He can be slow, sometimes painfully when in the arena with brawlers such as Sonic and Fox, but as he gets hurt, he gets stronger. As a brawler, it’s inevitable that your HP percentage is going to go up, but you give me a character like Lucario and I can make the most of it – that’s superb.

8. Link

He can be quick or a little slow depending on the swing of the sword. I like the new tornado boomerang, and his range is added with his bow and arrow. He’s not the flashiest of characters, and his final smash seems to be useful only against one opponent (although it’s possible to get more), but Link is Link. He’s a bad boy and he’s really not that hard to use. The problem I think people may have with him is that he’s not as flashy as some of the other characters. But if that’s his only problem – who cares?

7. Falco

Wow. Surprise surprise. No one was expecting this I bet! If you were, then you know why I’m putting this here. Falco gives me fits when I’m brawling, playing on Classic, and when playing on All-Star. He gives me fits because he’s quick like Fox and has the strength like Wolf. No he’s not as fast as Fox, but I would be so bold as to say he’s almost as strong as Wolf. Falco fights like a cool bird playing 2nd fiddle to Fox. He’s tough, he’s fast, and he embodies everything you need in a brawler.

6. Samus

If this was Melee, Samus might be lower, but because Samus can essentially change into an entirely different character without sacrificing any of her moves to get there is something magnificent. I was pretty bummed when I found out you couldn’t pick Zero Suit Samus from the regular character lineup. But after further review there are ways around this at the character selection screen (some may say it’s legit, some may say it’s a cheat and that you should get ZSS legitimately with a final smash) and also in game without a final smash. All in all having essentially two characters to choose from helps out the character of Samus. Because with all her array of well varied moves and special attacks she is the only character with a true second character to play with.

5. Pikachu

I was brawling with Pikachu the other day and you know what I thought… “Holy Pokemon”. Ok, so I didn’t say that, but gracious, Pikachu is a monster. His down B attack is enough to make a grown man throw his controller through a window and hit the neighbours dog in frustration. Pikachu is quick and strong for his size. His final smash is a bit hard to control, but hey, he can’t have everything right?

4. Snake

One of the only reasons Snake isn’t number one is because it’s hard to figure out your strategy with him (i.e., he acts like a beginner character to a degree, but when you start using him you realize you need to know what you are doing or else you will walk into your own traps). His regular hand-to-hand attacks are surprisingly strong, and his weapons are even better, but you’ll have to get used to the lag in some of his attacks and his final smash to use the Foxhound spy the best.

3. Marth

He is everything Ike isn’t. He’s got speed people and his swing of the sword is just right. His counterattack (when used properly) can be deadly. I remember one time when I hadn’t played Melee in a while, I played a couple of people I knew and both of them chose Marth and both of them whipped my behind. Marth is a force to be reckoned with.

2. Lucas

Lucas looks pretty much like Ness, except he’s a blondie. But don’t let that fool you, Lucas can take you out! His Psi attacks are ridiculous and they aren’t even his special moves. The smash attacks are what make Lucas so good in my eyes and I love using him. Unlike Ness who just uses a yoyo on his up B and down B attacks, Lucas uses a Psi attack that can send your opponent flying. When executed at the right time you can really put the other brawlers on their heals, but a downside is that his final smash (with the right amount of dodges and awareness) can be rendered ineffective.

1. Kirby

BYYYYYEEEYYEEYYYEE! Don’t you hate hearing that after Kirby K.O.’s you – his stupid little taunt. All jokes aside, Kirby is the best all round character (in my opinion). Yes, he’s the easiest character to use and some might say the cheapest, but at the same time he has his weakness. He’s light and can be smashed pretty quickly, but Kirby is the epitome of what a brawler should be – fast, quick, agile, strong, stealthy and deceptive. And lets not forget to mention Kirby can copy any one of the Brawlers. Kirby is the best all around (get it? He’s round. lol) character in my opinion.


Jeremy White

Jeremy is really a little kid who took over a 6'3 adult body. He likes the X-men, Spiderman, Batman, Superman, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Stewie..you get the picture. He reviews games and writes news for Console Monster. The games he most likes to play are games like Lost Odyssey and Final Fantasy, especially FFVII. He wants to marry Aeris, but would settle if Seth came along and was more aggressive towards him. He loves the NFL (yes American Football), and his teams are the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers. His video game writer/blogger/gamername alias (cause he thinks it's cool) is Adridius.

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