Super Smash Bros. (JP) (known as Smash Bros. or Smash) is a series of crossover fighting games published by Nintendo, featuring characters from different franchises that come together and try to knock each other off the stage.
The first game Super Smash Bros., has 12 playable characters but four are unlockable. The characters from the start consisted of Nintendo All-Stars: Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, Samus Aran, Yoshi, Kirby, Fox McCloud, and Pikachu. The unlockable characters were Luigi, Captain Falcon, Ness and Jigglypuff.
The fourth and fifth installments, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U introduced newer third-party characters like; Mega Man, Pac-Man, Ryu, Cloud Strife and Bayonetta, while Solid Snake was cut from the roster.
As aforementioned, there are five games in the series as of yet. It has been suggested by the series creator and director Masahiro Sakurai that the third game in the series would be the last that he would actually direct.
Super Smash Bros. (1999)
The first installment in the series was released on the Nintendo 64 in 1999. It included 12 characters from various Nintendo video games, including Mario, Pikachu, Link, Yoshi, Samus Aran, Donkey Kong, Kirby, Fox McCloud, Ness, Luigi, Captain Falcon and Jigglypuff.
Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001)
The second installment in the series, made for the Nintendo Gamecube, featured a much larger cast of characters including all of the originals, in which some were still locked others were available from the start. Some new characters were Princess Peach, Bowser, Zelda and Ice Climbers.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008)
This is the third installment in the series for the Wii, featured a slightly larger cast then Melee, including a lot of "character replacements" since some of the characters from Melee are gone from this one. Perhaps the most effective replacement on the Smash community was Lucario replacing Melee's Mewtwo. Some new characters were Pokémon Trainer, Lucas, Pit, Olimar, Diddy Kong and Meta Knight. The first one in the series to contain third party characters (Sonic the Hedgehog and Solid Snake) and is the first game in the series to include the Final Smash.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U (2014)
The fourth and fifth installments of the Super Smash Bros. series was released for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. The two titles will have the ability to trade custom fighters. The two games also share a roster but, they both otherwise have numerous different features, with the Wii U version having the most content. It was also confirmed by Nintendo that Namco Bandai developed the game to speed up production.
Super Smash Bros. has a unique community in that it is one of the larger ones and it has been persistent in playing an older entry over newer ones. Super Smash Bros. Melee is by far the most played game. It has also quite a large following in general, being one of the most watched streams at EVO.
References in other games and other media
In Kid Icarus: Uprising, Palutena mentions a parody of it, Super Bash Sisters.
Playstation All Stars: Battle Royale is a game made on the concept of this game but instead of Nintendo characters, it is replaced with with Playstation characters.