Super Smash Bros has had plenty of noteworthy stages that have smuggled their way into our hearts over the last 20 or so years. And with Super Smash Bros Ultimate now in the hands of millions across the globe, it’s time to look at them all and decide what the top 20 Super Smash Bros stages are. It’s tough to pick between Nintendo’s iconic levels but only one can win, which also appropriately describes any match in Super Smash Bros.
Top 20 Super Smash Bros Stages – 20. Mario Circuit
Mario Circuit first appeared in Super Smash Bros for Wii U. It’s a clever stage that zips you through the Mario Circuit track from Mario Kart 8. A floating platform takes you on a whistle-stop tour of all the entire track, occasionally stopping to let you fight on a cliff, edge of the track (with Shy Guys smashing into you), and more. What makes it so memorable, however, is the fact that at times, the stage will have a roof that you will hit into and bounce off of, rather than flying upwards towards your demise.
Top 20 Super Smash Bros Stages – 19. Windy Hill Zone
While Green Hill Zone is the far more recognizable Sonic stage in Super Smash Bros, Windy Hill Zone (from Sonic Lost World) is the better arena. It’s a simple enough level, but the gradient makes for interesting use of items, particularly those that shoot projectiles. Windy Hill Zone promotes close quarters combat, but a spring will occasionally appear on the bottom of the screen that you can bounce off of. The windmill also adds a bit of welcome unpredictability.
Top 20 Super Smash Bros Stages – 18. Dracula’s Castle
Dracula’s Castle is the only brand-new Smash Ultimate stage to make it into this list. While the game’s new stages are all fun and well designed, Dracula’s Castle stands out the most. It features 34 music tracks, has enemies from the gothic series fighting against you, and items come out as you destroy the candles just as you can in the Castlevania games. It’s a nice touch.
Top 20 Super Smash Bros Stages – 17. Castle Siege
Castle Siege is a stage that takes you to a variety of different locations. Rather than being one huge stage, we are whisked from atop the castle, to inside (where two huge destructible statues lie in wait), to the underground, and back around again. There’s a lot of variety in this one level and it is the finest of all the Fire Emblem offerings.
Top 20 Super Smash Bros Stages – 16. Pirate Ship
The Wind Waker was always known for its lush cel-shaded visuals and charm, and this is exactly what oozes from Pirate Ship. Originally introduced in Smash Bros Brawl, Pirate Ship has us duke it out on top of the pirate ship from The Wind Waker. This is a ship full of tricks, however. You can jump into the sea (you won’t last long though), be flung by a catapult, or survive a bombard of bombs or crash. The King of Red Lions will even appear along with low gravity and a tornado that sends you all flying into the air.
Top 20 Super Smash Bros Stages – 15. Paper Mario
Although we can’t play as Paper Mario in any Smash Bros game, this inventive stage is the next best thing. It was first introduced in Smash Bros for 3DS and is a dynamic level. You’ll be fighting in a calm area with a windmill, on top of a ship, and on a big spinning Bowser head. There’s a lot to love with this one as it is always changing.
Top 20 Super Smash Bros Stages – 14. Garden of Hope
Ah, the calm and serene world of Pikmin. You can destroy and hide inside a ceramic pot of some kind, land on tins that slowly fall with any weight on them, get stuck behind a stick, and even get destroyed by a giant crab in Garden of Hope. Wait, did we say serene and calm? We meant dangerous. That dastardly crab is the ultimate bringer of doom.
Top 20 Super Smash Bros Stages – 13. Brinstar
There are several stages throughout the Super Smash Bros series based on Brinstar, but the Melee version simply named Brinstar is the best of the lot. It’s a relatively simple stage compared to a lot you’ll find in this list, but with destructible areas of the stage and rising acid, it’s a memorable one for sure.
Top 20 Super Smash Bros Stages – 12. Orbital Gate Assault
The only stage in this list that you can’t play on in Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Orbital Gate Assault is fantastic. It’s a visual tour de force and takes you on an epic fight through the Orbital Gate Assault of Star Fox Assault. You begin on the Great Fox, and end up fighting on top of Arwings, missiles, and more. Anyone can like this level but Star Fox fans will get an extra kick out of it.
Top 20 Super Smash Bros Stages – 11. PictoChat 2
Who else remembers spending hours on the built-in PictoChat messaging service on the Nintendo DS? Those were the days. There are two PictoChat stages in Super Smash Bros, but it is the second one that has made it into our list. While playing on the stage, a different doodle will randomly appear that effects gameplay. In total, there are 27 different doodles in PictoChat 2, including Paper Airplanes, Donkey Kong, and Pac-Pix. It’s a clever implementation of a more obscure Nintendo “game.”
Top 20 Super Smash Bros Stages – 10. Palutena’s Temple
Palutena’s Temple is one of the largest Smash Bros stages to date. It’s a huge arena with ample opportunity to fight in various different environments. It’s perfect for those long, intense fights and is like playing on three or four different levels all at the same time. That spike ball in the middle has claimed many a victim.
Top 20 Super Smash Bros Stages – 9. Pilotwings
While not quite as spectacular as Orbital Gate Assault, Pilotwings is another stage where you will be fighting on top of different aircraft. You’ll battle it out atop airplanes soaring through the magnificent skies of Wuhu Island and the original Pilotwings world. Be careful, however, as you will be dropped off onto a yellow monoplane and then back onto the red airplane. It’s visually stunning and requires good strategy and skill in order to thrive.
Top 20 Super Smash Bros Stages – 8. Flat Zone X
Flat Zone X is an amalgamation of two Smash Bros stages: Flat Zone and Flat Zone 2. The Game and Watch stage is a blast to play on with many different hazards appearing throughout a standard two-minute fight. The stage alters into several different Game and Watch classics, and it’s up to you and your skill to avoid punishment from Lion, Oil Panic, and Helmet. Be careful, too, as the launch boundaries are rather small. Plus, the stage actually takes place within a Game and Watch device.
Top 20 Super Smash Bros Stages – 7. WarioWare, Inc.
Just as with Flatzone X, WarioWare, Inc. is a stage that feels exactly as it does in Smash Bros as it does in the original game. You’ll be fighting on a relatively small stage that every so often whisks you away to a minigame lifted from the WarioWare series. You’ll not only keep fighting away but also have to win the minigames. Winning one will bag you with a reward, including invincibility. It’s a wacky, fun stage that perfectly evokes the WarioWare series.
Top 20 Super Smash Bros Stages – 6. Pokemon Stadium
Although it was a close call between the two Pokemon Stadium stages, we think that the original is the better of the two. The classic Melee stage is basic at first, but every so often it will “evolve” into something entirely different based on one of four Pokemon types: Grass, Water, Fire, and Rock. Each type is well represented and a giant screen in the background shows off the fight as it’s going. It captures the exciting nature of Pokemon battles well.
Top 20 Super Smash Bros Stages – 5. Jungle Japes
Jungle Japes is the classic Donkey Kong stage in Super Smash Bros. There are just four platforms to fight across, which makes for some hectic battles. Underneath the cabin, however, is a raging river, which, if you land in it, will likely cause your death. Klaptraps occasionally swim by, too, which will deal a hefty amount of damage if they hit you, likely causing a one-hit KO.
Top 20 Super Smash Bros Stages – 4. Onett
My young British mind chuckled at the Drug Store sign in the background and got blown away by the black Runaway Five van (literally). It’s a classic stage and there’s a good reason why it has appeared in every Smash Bros game since Melee. While it may look relatively small, there are plenty of platforms to jump on, and some of them are quite tricky, too, moving downwards with your character’s weight. It’s simple enough, but with enough going on to ensure you have to think on your feet.
Top 20 Super Smash Bros Stages – 3. Gamer
While Game and Wario might not have been the success Nintendo was hoping for, it has given us one of the finest Smash Bros stages of all time. Gamer is based on the same game that is a part of the Game and Wario collection. In 9-Volt’s bedroom, you’re fighting on top of a desk, with books and such making the platforms.
Every so often, however, 9-Volt’s mom will walk by in the background (or appear on a gamepad or art easel). This is where things get scary. If you are caught in her deadly gaze, you will receive 20 percent damage and get knocked back.
Top 20 Super Smash Bros Stages – 2. The Great Cave Offensive
As with Palutena’s Temple, The Great Cave Offensive is one of the largest stages in Super Smash Bros history. It’s a celebration of Kirby and requires a different set of skills to survive and thrive than normal. Pools of lava, for example, are scattered throughout the stage, touch any of these with your health on 100 percent or more and you’ll instantly die. This is a stage that feels like five or six stuck together and is quite tense when you’re badly damaged.
Top 20 Super Smash Bros Stages – 1. Temple
More often than not, when people think about Super Smash Bros stages, Temple is one of the first that springs to mind. This classic stage to end all classic stages is the original massive arena. There are plenty of different strategies you can employ in Temple. Want to run? Try the legendary Hyrule Jump. Want close-quarters fighting? Head to the bottom section of the stage. There aren’t any gimmicks here, either, so those looking for a more pure fighting stage are in luck. It’s the perfect, more well-rounded stage in Smash Bros and the best of the lot. Legendary.