Video Games

The Ten Best Battlefield Stages in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros Ultimate - Bowser

Smash Bros. has some absolutely wonderful stages that are filled with interesting design elements and unique stage hazards. But sometimes it’s nice to just play on the classic Battlefield layout, where you don’t have to deal with all that stuff and you can focus on the simple joys of smashing bros.

The Battlefield layout, for the uninitiated, features a large “hard” platform with three “soft” platforms hovering above it. Every Battlefield stage from every Smash game has this exact layout.

Here’s an image so you can see exactly what I mean:

Super Smash Bros Ultimate - Battlefield

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate gives you the option to play a Battlefield version of any of its 103 stages. This means you can enjoy the eye-candy backdrops without worrying that Medusa’s head is going to come flying at you, or that the stage will suddenly drop into a pit of lava (I’m looking at you, Norfair).

I’ve already listed out the best Ultimate stages (as well as the worst), but this is my list of the best Battlefield stages in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Tortimer Island

Super Smash Bros Ultimate - Tortimer Island Battlefield

The standard version of Tortimer Island isn’t for everyone, but the Animal Crossing soundtrack is hard to top, and the tropical island vibe is the perfect getaway for a winter evening (which is appropriate since the game came out in December). The Battlefield version of the stage keeps those good, sunshiney vibes, but it replaces the sandy beaches with precarious cliffsides.

If you look underneath the main platform, you’ll see that this island is actually floating in the sky above the ocean, and that’s pretty cool.

Palutena’s Temple

Super Smash Bros Ultimate - Palutena's Temple Battlefield

The standard version of Palutena’s Temple is considered by many to be one of the worst stages in Ultimate (and I agree). Yet the Battlefield version gets rid of absolutely everything that makes the stage so terrible. This version lacks the large size, the disconnected feel, and the stupidly placed stage hazards of the original.

And without all the bad stuff getting in the way, you start to realize just how pretty the scenery is. I tend to be mesmerized by the transparent wings on the Palutena statue in the background.

Yoshi’s Story

Super Smash Bros Ultimate - Yoshi's Story Battlefield

This stage has an aesthetic that’s believably tactile, and I really like that quality in a video game background. The fabric is properly textured, and the cardboard is appropriately corrugated. The trees look like they’re made of discarded hacky sacks from the 1990s. The water looks yarny and two-dimensional. The grass looks like it’s colored on with marker.

A lot of love went into the construction of this stage, and you can see it in pretty much every visible detail.

Temple

Super Smash Bros Ultimate - Temple Battlefield

Similar to Palutena’s Temple, the Battlefield version of Temple gives you Roman columns and floating islands to look at without the distraction of a gigantic stage to play on. You get to bask in the nostalgia of those late-night Temple battles you used to have in Melee, though this time on a stage that’s sized just right for those Ultimate four-player battles.

Also, I really like the little Triforce symbols that decorate the platform edges.

Windy Hill Zone

Super Smash Bros Ultimate - Windy Hill Battlefield

Windy Hill Zone has some of my favorite background scenery in this game. It has a sort of blocky, Minecraft-style look, though everything has a fabric-like texture to it. It’s difficult to get a proper look at all of it on the standard version of this stage, and the Battlefield version puts you way above the landscape, letting your eyeballs soak up that delicious scenery without a giant windmill obstructing your view.

Find Mii

Super Smash Bros Ultimate - Find Mii Battlefield

If you’re into looking at cool skies, the Find Mii stage is a gratuitous pleasure. The standard version of the stage, though, is kind of a mess, since the mountain you’re standing on has a tendency to crumble beneath your feet. So if you want to gaze upon that beautiful sky without worrying about the integrity of the ground, try the Battlefield version.

There are some details I really like in this stage, such as the shadows of the platforms’ slats and the mountain with devil horns in the background. 

Fourside

Super Smash Bros Ultimate - Fourside Battlefield

Fourside proper’s layout is a bit tricky to deal with, since it features a series of buildings with tall vertical gaps between them. But the city skyline backdrop is stunning. The Battlefield version lets you gaze upon all those pretty city lights without trying to navigate the awkwardly asymmetrical rooftops.

Mario Galaxy

Super Smash Bros Ultimate - Mario Galaxy Battlefield

There’s no shortage of Mario-themed stages in Smash, but the Mario Galaxy stage is one of the coolest. The Battlefield version loses nothing aside from the curved playing field. You still get to see all the sparkly comets, flying pirate ships, and appearances by the Starship Mario from Super Mario Galaxy 2.

I’m really impressed that the designers put so much thought into redeveloping this map conceptually as a floating island instead of a sphere. You can see that the bottom half of the stage is covered in grass and has tree stumps on it, suggesting this is where the lumber came from to build the house.

New Pork City

Super Smash Bros Ultimate - New Pork City Battlefield

Unless you play a lot of 8-player Smash, you’re best off avoiding the standard version of New Pork City. It’s simply way too big and maze-like to be a proper Smash stage.

But the Battlefield version lets you enjoy the excruciatingly detailed backdrop without having to play on the nightmare that is New Pork City proper. This is one of the most draw-dropping backdrops in the entire game, combining 3D and pixelated 2D elements in a way that has to be witnessed to be believed. This stage is crazy good.

Luigi’s Mansion

Super Smash Bros Ultimate - Luigi's Mansion Battlefield

Luigi’s Mansion is a fun stage, but not everyone is a fan of the way it’s constantly crumbling and rebuilding itself (I’m certainly not). The Battlefield version puts you on the roof and lets you duke it out without worrying that the platform you’re standing on might be about to fall apart.

But wait, what’s that? If you scroll downward, you’ll realize this isn’t Luigi’s Mansion at all, but just the top portion of a house that’s floating eerily in a spooky pool of blackened sky. It’s a cool trick that makes this stage feel appropriately surreal.

Oh, and this stage has some of the best music in the entire game. I could listen to this Danny Elfman-sounding track all day long.

Josh Wirtanen owns this place and has opinions about pretty much everything. Follow him on Twitter: @joshuajwirtanen.