2014 Game of the Year 4: Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U

In which Nintendo does more than make a great fighting game, but also honors its rich history.

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Nintendo has made a mastery out of making its audience want to beat up their favorite icons. Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U both deliver that wonderful pleasure. But along the way this series has became more than a fighter, it became a full-blown celebration of Nintendo's heritage and never is that more evident than through the games that hit this year.

Nintendo has made sure to invite more characters to the party than ever, even making room for lesser characters as alternate skins. The fights themselves are as addicting as ever, but far less polarizing than the previous Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Now expert fighters can hone their craft without worrying about floaty mechanics or random spills, while beginners can still chuck Poke Balls at each other across a variety of Nintendo-themed stages. Even if the idea of obstacles on a certain stage turn you off, there's the option to set it to Omega 'Final Destination' mode, in order to retain the music and the background. There are options for players of all skill sets.

In fact, there are a lot of options, in general. There are numerous game modes to dive in to, like Master/Crazy Orders, while other previous modes like Classic and All-Star have been refined enough to feel like fresh additions. But nothing is more refreshing than full-blown 8-player chaos, whether using the Wii U Pro Controller or the old-school GameCube controller. Nothing makes Smash Bros. more fun than wailing on multiple targets and 8-player Smash makes the Wii U version feel like the party game it was always meant to be.

It's got a large roster of characters across franchises both classic and obscure, stages that span dozens of worlds across the ages, trophies that honor every little tidbit of history, and even the opportunity to customize your own Mii into a supreme fighting machine. Super Smash Bros. is more than just a fighting game. It's a Nintendo time capsule that packs in everything that's garnered the company such a devoted fanbase for decades.

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Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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