The true definition of a power-up in gaming is somewhat subjective. Throughout the years video games have evolved, from side-scrolling plumbers and mushrooms to beefy soldiers sprinting through corridors, mowing down demons.
However, the general premise of a power-up remains the same. An item or entity that gives the player a specific power. Traditionally, these were temporary. However, as games have moved forward, becoming longer and following more of a story, power-ups can often, but not always, be synonymous with that of a powerful upgrade.
Many, many modern games have felt the impact of the power-up, even if they don’t explicitly have any to offer.
A great example of a power-up with a twist would be Superhot VR’s Mind Wave. At a certain point in the game you earn an ability with a cooldown, where you can easily obliterate one enemy from the field. It’s not your typical quad-damage, nor will it give you the ability to take an extra hit, but that’s completely the point - it adds variety.
Video games are always evolving and this list will look at the 10 best power-ups, be it from decades ago or this very generation.
10. Super Smash Bros. – Smash Ball
Power-ups in a competitive game are where the idea gets really interesting. You’re no longer killing mindless computer-controlled enemies, you’re doing your best to square off against other humans.
As a result, the Smash Ball from the legendary Super Smash Bros. beat ‘em up competitive brawler makes our list. The Smash Ball is Smash’s answer to the fatality, the super combo, the finishing move, if you will. Though, if used wrong, it’s far from effective.
When the ominous ball floats across the screen, all bets are off and everyone will change their attention to focus on it. Each character has a specific, exclusive final smash that requires a degree of forethought and preparation to use properly. However, before that, you will need to break open the Smash Ball and proceed to not get its power beaten out of you by the other competitors.
It’s a manic, fast-paced affair and can sound somewhat confusing to those who aren’t familiar with Smash. Regardless of confusion or character, it generally has the power to end another player’s life, or even the game.