By the time you read these words, Super Smash Bros. Brawl will have become Nintendo's fastest-selling game of all time, with over 1.4 million copies sold in the first week it was available in the States. Normally, I wouldn't point out sales numbers as an indicator of quality—but the fact that Brawl has beat out the most important videogames of our collective childhoods says more about how fantastic it is than any adjective I know.
It's not all wine and roses, however: The fighting game's online mode simply sucks. As a result of Nintendo's idiotic "friend code" system, connecting your Wii to someone else's is unnecessarily complicated, and setting up a fight with friends at long range is generally more difficult than it's worth. Another quibble: Brawl necessitates precise, quick movements that simply aren't possible with the Wii's standard Wiimote and Nunchuk combination, so if you lack a more traditional gamepad for the Wii, you're going to have to pick one up.
But those same precise movements are what make Brawl so amazing. The fighting system is simple enough for beginners, but complex enough to keep people playing for months. Sure, the graphics don't stand up to the latest Xbox 360 or PS3 games, but they're soaked in that classic Nintendo style—which seems to be more appealing to most people anyway.
Speaking of Nintendo style, the game includes every important Nintendo character from the company's entire history: Mario, Donkey Kong, and Pikachu are series mainstays, but for this edition, Nintendo also went out and picked up Metal Gear Solid badass Solid Snake and Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog. Nostalgia alone should force any twentysomething gamer to pick up a copy.
With the next Grand Theft Auto and Metal Gear Solid titles coming out in a few months, I'm hesitant to say Brawl is a lock for game of the year—but undoubtedly, it's the finest title the Wii will see anytime soon.