The Melee Stats Top 100: The Top 10

By Melee Stats | 11/21/21

The Melee Stats Top 100 Players of All-Time as presented by PGstats concludes today, the 20th anniversary of Super Smash Bros. Melee's Japanese release with the reveal of the top ten players.

For more on the methodology behind these rankings, the people who made this all possible, and the schedule going forward, read our introductory article here.
For other articles in the series, see below:
By Anokh "EdwinBudding" Palakurthi
Where do we start with ? Is it his Samus, which moves at the speed of light? What about his Sheik, which looked far and away like the best Sheik in the world within a year of play? You could also talk about his Fox, which helped carry him to a magical Genesis 5 victory.
These are all good answers, but I'm going to bring up something different: when Plup decided to go Luigi, for fun, at CEO Dreamland. Here, he casually finished in top eight and gave the otherwise mediocre character his highest placing at a major ever. This might seem like a bit of a weird answer to give when talking about one of the greatest players ever, but this performance convinced me that Plup could do this with three-quarters of the cast. Relax; I'm joking...sort of.
By Anokh "EdwinBudding" Palakurthi
might be the the most terrifying opponent for any Fox in Melee history, but what differentiates him from every other Marth player is his unmatched dedication to the character. Three of the greatest smashers ever - , , and even Ken - needed secondaries or other mains at different points in their careers to overcome the standard Sheik, Captain Falcon, and general weird mid-tier-shaped roadblocks that Marth mains frequently run into.
Meanwhile, Zain has never been deterred, always finding new solutions and ways to make his character look like the best one in the game. Anyone remember when the go-to-phrase about the "perfect" Marth was that they would have "PP's neutral" and "Mew2King's punish?" Newsflash: it's actually Zain (and he's better).
By Melissa Blight
It's easy to see Azen as "merely" a perennial No. 2 behind Ken during the MLG era, but Tounament Go 6, MLG New York Playoffs and Viva La Smashtaclysm were some of the biggest tourneys of their time, and Azen won each of them over the best competition in the world.
When the lights were brightest, Azen showed up with diverse cast of characters, consistently proving he could prevail. In particular, his MLG New York Playoffs victory - 2006, where he beat PC Chris, took down KoreanDJ, and had the legendary winners quarterfinals comeback against Ken - remains one of the greatest tournament performances of all-time.
By Anokh "EdwinBudding" Palakurthi
has one of the most fascinating career arcs out of any Melee player. In contrast to his current reputation, he used to be one of the most active competitors in the scene - not to mention, someone known for monster popoffs against crowds that heckled him.
When many of his peers were reluctant to travel for Smash, PPMD went to Washington, California, and even Norway just to play Melee. It's easy to note his brief reign atop the 2014 Summer SSBMRank, but his initial rise was was an unprecedented and frankly unmatched three-tourney ascendance from Revival of Melee 3 (New York), Winter GameFest VI (San Diego), and Pound V (Virginia). He won all three events, also beating Mew2King, Mango, , and in a row. By doing so, PPMD launched the Era of Five Gods, which ended poetically with his immortal first-place finish at Apex 2015.
By Anokh "EdwinBudding" Palakurthi
It feels like yesterday when first dubbed himself the "godslayer." He certainly looked like it at GOML 2016, where he beat Mew2King, Hungrybox, Armada, and Mango in a row to win the event. What's crazier is that Leffen's incredible resume could have been even better than it is right now, were it not for factors outside of his control.
Whether it's a visa ban or a worldwide pandemic stopping him from traveling, Leffen has faced - and overcome - more logistical roadblocks than any comparable player. Many times, these roadblocks came at moments where it looked like Leffen was a hair away from seizing the world No. 1 spot. Either way, something tells me that we're going to see the Evo champion succeed many more times throughout the next decade.
By Glenn "KayB" Kim
In the summer of 2002, posted on Smashboards for the first time. kickstarting a legendary career in which his tag would become a household name across the Smash scene. Not only did Mew2King briefly rise to being the best player in the world, but he remained a threat to win majors for 16 years in a row: a milestone rivaled only by Mango.
The mere thought of an official Mew2King retirement - a scene without him at all - is somehow equally valid and unthinkable alike, as Mew2King has taken a step back from competing within the last two years while still remaining active as a content creator. Regardless, his ultimate legacy remains his near-unparalleled dedication to the game; his presence that unquestionably remains a foundation for the scene to be what it is today.
By Melissa Blight
Ken was called The King of Smash for a very good reason: his reign of terror at the top is something we'll never see again. Ken has, by far, the most consecutive grand finals appearances at majors of all-time (14). He dominated the scene from its inception, winning Tournament Go 4 before he even knew how to wavedash.
He also invented dashdancing, the Marth upthrow chaingrab on spacies, coined wobbling - hell, he has a goddamn combo named after him. Ken's influence is still felt every time you see a certain other red Marth destroy people, though I'd argue that the color still belongs to the king; the greatest Marth to ever touch the game. It'll take a lot to unseat him from his throne.
By Melissa Blight
After almost five straight years of not winning a major, and a disappointing ninth place at The Big House 4, was considered on his way out of the scene's top echelon. If only we knew what we had in store, as 2015 was Hungrybox's best year in half a decade, with each subsequent year seemingly only getting better.
His emotional EVO 2016 victory, his incredible run at the end of 2017 to become No. 1 in the world, and his reign of terror through the next two years practically cemented Hungrybox in the conversation for greatest of all-time. It took an international crisis in 2020 to slow down his otherwise inevitable journey to the top, but with Melee now back in full swing, who knows what's in store for the Clutchgod? Will he ever choose to lose again?
By Melissa Blight
There is one word that defines : consistency. When looking at the numbers, Armada practically comes out on top in every category. Dominating in major winrate by an astronomical margin, having a positive head-to-head record on all of his contemporaries, and never getting worse than fifth at a major tournament are the most eye-popping stats, but they're barely a blip in his ridiculous resume.
He was also the head organizer of Europe's first truly international tournament series (BEAST), an innovator of both Peach and Fox; someone everybody feared and respected from when he proved what he could do at Genesis. Many of Melee's greatest moments involve toppling Armada, because doing so was such an impossible feat.
By Anokh "EdwinBudding" Palakurthi
People come and go from the Melee scene. The game itself changes over decades of play. But continues to stick around, taking on the best of each generation on the biggest of stages and outlasting everyone.
Only Mango can say that he beat Ken in 2007, tore Mew2King's heart out in 2009, fiercely battled with Armada in 2016, outdueled Hungrybox in 2019, and vanquished Zain in 2021. If aliens invaded the planet; if the sky finally turned red and meteors began to fall; if an otherworldly calamity split the seas and tore the ground apart, Mango would remain in front of a CRT, holding a GameCube controller, and playing Melee with his last breath.
He is the unfading spirit of Melee, an embodiment of the game's perseverance over so many years, and the Melee Stats Top 100 pick for greatest player of all-time.
Watch The Top 100 in video format here:
Thank you for joining us on this journey through two decades of Melee history! Follow @MeleeStatsPod and @PGstats on Twitter to keep up with all the latest in Melee content.