- Just how much this game improved over its predecessor. Sakurai barely had any breaks during this game's production, and it all paid off. Super Smash Bros. went from a neat little game on the Nintendo 64 to one of the most celebrated video game series in existence in merely two games, all within the span of two years.
- For fans of the bad guys, Melee itself gets one for introducing villainous fighters, allowing people to play as Bowser, Ganondorf, and (debatably) Mewtwo. Fans of Wolf, Ridley, Dark Samus, and King K. Rool can thank this game for making it all possible. And as a bonus, this also happens to be the first game where Ganondorf is playable at all.
- There's also the fact that this game introduced Nintendo's main two Damsels in Distress, Peach and Zelda, as fighters. Ever want to prove that Peach's magic can overpower the Koopa King? You can do that! Wanna see the fruits of Zelda's training as Sheik, or even use the magic of the golden goddesses? Sakurai's got you covered!
- The Ice Climbers of all people got in. Who knew that two 8-bit mountain climbers could come with cryokinetic abilities and fight as a team?
- There's something strangely awesome about Mario fighting in a doctor's outfit and using his lab coat as a Badass Cape.
- Falco Lombardi finally gets to show off his Awesome Ego and fight alongside his Friendly Rival.
- And of course, special mention goes to this game for getting Fire Emblem out of No Export for You status and making it one of Nintendo's most popular franchises with the inclusions of Marth and Roy, the latter debuting specifically in this game.
- Ladies and gentlemen, this final character is as old-school as you can get: hailing straight from 1980, we have Mr. Game & Watch, a surprising yet still welcome addition to the cast.
- Luigi's introduction in Adventure Mode. The cutscene starts as normal, with Mario jumping into the air, ready to battle the player only to be knocked backwards by Luigi footstooling him in mid-jump. Who says Luigi's always player two?!
- Giga Bowser at the end of Adventure Mode. It looks like you've just beaten the final opponent in the Adventure, when all of a sudden, Bowser returns from the pit and transforms into an evil demon version of himself. It's also fitting as Bowser is the definitive Nintendo villain, and having him provide the biggest challenge in the entire mode is nothing short of justice.
- If that wasn't enough, the final Event Mode match has Giga Bowser fought alongside Ganondorf and Mewtwo in what can be considered the ultimate battle against the forces of darkness. And if you think that's not already epic enough, take a look at this unbelievable Giga Bowser KO.
- Two words: Wombo Combo.
- The intro movie to Melee. The whole damn thing. From the Mario trophy coming to life with the help of electricity and a wailing choir, to one of the best Title Screams in video games. The movie was originally made to demonstrate features of the Gamecube not possible on the Nintendo 64 and by God does it show, still holding up even a decade after Melee's release.
- The Establishing Character Moment shown in the intro for each character. Highlights include; Mario showing off his acrobatic skills, Bowser appearing in an inferno of flames, Link practicing his sword skills (and is joined by Zelda and Ganondorf, the other Triforce wielders in showing off their gauntlet marks), Donkey Kong swinging through his jungle home, Samus fighting Ridley, Popo and Nana (the Ice Climbers) scaling a series of glacier platforms, Nana saving Popo when he slips, and Ness arriving in Onett via teleport running.
- During Link's practicing, a collection of scenes involving his young self appear in the background, showing how he became the legendary Hero of Time he is today.
- Melee getting recognition and respect at EVO 2013. To elaborate, for years players of other fighting games didn't take a platform fighter like Smash Bros. seriously, even though Melee had great players as far back as 2002-2003. Getting your favorite competitive fighting game added to the pool of games played/streamed is not easy, especially something on the level of EVO. Later subverted when it was struck from the EVO 2019 lineup...and double subverted because the game that "replaced" it was Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which is considered to be almost as balanced of a game as Melee is, meaning the franchise will likely have a presence in future EVO tournaments to come. Still though, the fact that it held its crown for so long is an astounding feat by itself, and for it to be topped by its own successor is a sign of evolution for the franchise.
- While it's still reasonable to want Ganondorf to have his own moveset, there's a brilliant thing about having him as a Moveset Clone of Captain Falcon. The Captain's moveset is the truest to Dragon King, the alpha version of Smash Bros. So when Ganondorf copies his style, it's a shameless way to shoehorn him in at the last minute, sure, but it also means Ganondorf is effectively using the very first moves that were ever developed for Smash Bros, fitting for the ancient King of Evil.
- Pulling off a counter. "Your Marth is about to get Falcon Punched! What will you do?" Your friend laughs maniacally as you stand there about to get punched. On more second and- *DING* -Cpt. Falcon disappears off the screen...at the other side.
Awesome / Super Smash Bros. Melee