The year is 2001 and your boy is balling out in sixth grade at 11 years old. Friday comes around and my best friend invites me over to hang out, which can only mean one thing — Super Smash Bros. All of you know exactly what I’m talking about. Even now in 2016, when I see my friends, we hook up the old school CRT television and go in. Super Smash Bros isn’t just a game, these are battlegrounds we grew up on. Pride on the line, who are you going to pick? Are you going to go with Nintendo’s mascot Mario? Or give the (infinitely better) understudy Luigi a shot? Are you trying to dunk people with Legend of Zelda villain, Ganondorf? Or troll all your friends with Jigglypuff. With Smash Bros Melee turning 15 this month I’m going to go through my seven favorite characters.

1. Marth

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What I loved about Marth, growing up, is when Melee came out in 2001, no one knew what game he came from. However, once we grew up (and Google became the new AskJeeves), we learned Marth was from Fire Emblem. Plus, with Marth’s inclusion in Melee, many Marth vs. Link 1v1s were played because who doesn’t like a good sword fight? If you were able to master Marth, wavedashing could give a huge edge in a fight. 

2. Fox

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I used to play Fox in the first Smash Bros., but he wasn’t really my style in Melee. However with him being the fastest character in the game and able to string combos with ease, Fox is one of the best fighters. Also he has a blaster that’s able to rack up damage quickly with little to no lag; and how cool was it when you had characters like Samus fire a charge shot and you were able to reflect it back for the kill? 

3. Falco


Part of the reason I didn’t play Fox in Melee was because he was too fast and challenging for me to control. Luckily, in Melee, they provided an alternative in Falco Lombardi. Falco provided a great rivalry for Fox, but he was also pretty much a clone of him, just slower. To compensate for that slowness, he’s stronger and hits harder than Fox. In my opinion, Falco’s aesthetic was so cool. He could hold his own in battle and he would always trash talk in the menus (which is fitting seeing as how he was second command to Fox). 

4. Captain Falcon


Truth be told, I didn’t even really try Captain Falcon in-depth 'til this last generation of Smash Bros. but there’s no way you play Smash and don’t have at least one friend who mains Captain Falcon. The mascot’s game F-Zero wasn’t insanely popular, but Captain Falcon slowly but surely became one of the primary images for Smash Bros. To put that in perspective, we haven’t seen a full-blown F-Zero game since the GameCube, but Captain Falcon has been in all four Smash Bros. games. 

5. Luigi

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I’m horrifically biased with this because Luigi has been my favorite Nintendo character since the first Smash Bros. Nintendo made Luigi (who's criminally underrated to the general public) the shy younger brother who’s always in his older brother’s shadow, but in Smash Bros. Melee they gave him some powerful moves that even Mario doesn’t have. Although at first they gave Luigi pretty much the same move set as Mario, by the time Smash 4 came around, Nintendo gave him a majority original move set. And who doesn’t love his taunt?

6. Peach


I hate Peach in Smash Bros. She definitely should be in it, it makes sense, but I hate her. Growing up I always thought she wasn’t a great character, but then I met people who actually know the game. I’ve been crushed by Peach mains so many times I’ve lost count (I’m talking to you, Josh). Her unorthodox mechanics — like floating after her double jump — make it hard to predict what Peach is going to do next. She has a counter, great recovery, strong aerials and the most annoying ending victory speech in gaming history. Did I mention I hate her? 

7. Mario


I’ve always been biased against Mario, because Luigi is clearly the better and stronger twin, but I finally started warming up to him after really learning the character in the latest installment of Smash. Mario’s perfect because he’s the most balanced character. Beginners can pick up the plumber and not deal with a steep learning curve, but if you study the character enough you can be really good with him. Between reflecting items with the cape or jumping off the stage to dunk someone, Mario is a lot of fun to play with and an accessible character to pick up. 

So which character did you love to play as? Let us know who and why in the comments below!