January 21st, 1999. On this day in Japan, Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64 was released, and while the series would need another installment to really take off, the way people think about Nintendo and its characters would be forever changed. With only eight All Stars in its starting roster and a different take on what it meant to be a fighting game, over the last 20 years Smash has grown since then to become something greater than anyone could’ve guessed.

 

 
Seeing all the games’ boxes lined up like that really drives that growth home. Each new entry has brought something to the equation. Be it Melee’s massive expansion of the core gameplay and modes, Brawl’s story based single-player adventure, the dual platform design of Smash for Wii U & 3DS, or Ultimate’s mantra of “Everyone is Here!” that makes it the biggest game in the series by far; it’s impossible to deny that Masahiro Sakurai has worked tirelessly over the last two decades on these games.

So for every Smash landed, every friend made, every stage banned, every amiibo collected, every Spirit saved, every character added, every midnight launch, and every hype-filled pre-launch campaign; here’s to the last 20 years of Super Smash Bros.

 

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Written by Ricky Berg

When he isn’t writing for Nintendo Wire, Ricky’s anticipating the next Kirby, Fire Emblem, or if the stars ever align, Mother 3 to be released. Till then he’ll have the warm comfort of Super Smash Bros. to keep him going.

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