The longevity of Nintendo’s titles has always been a testament to their strength as a developer. While not all games age gracefully, the publisher’s titles continue to prove enduring. Today marks the fifteenth anniversary of perhaps one of their most beloved titles, Super Smash Bros. Melee. While the game was not the first in the franchise, it has proven to be the one that fans still seem to feel the strongest attachment to.
Releasing in Japan on November 21, 2001, Super Smash Bros. Melee released shortly after the launch of the Nintendo GameCube. The sequel increased the number of playable characters by 13 and added a number of new stages, modes and unlockable items. The game’s Nintendo 64 predecessor released to solid reviews, but Melee proved to be a far more influential title in the fighting game genre. The amount of content alone changed industry expectations.
The recent fervor surrounding the launch of the NES Mini has once again shown the world the endearing quality of Nintendo’s backlog. While Super Smash Bros. Melee has only existed about half as long as the games in that particular package, the title already boasts an impressive legacy. Melee remains a staple of the competitive fighting circuit, while also serving as the template for every subsequent title in the Smash Bros. franchise. On a system that boasted a library that included classics such as Metroid Prime, Resident Evil 4 and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Super Smash Bros. Melee still manages to stand as one of the console’s finest.