When Super Smash Bros. Brawl was released in 2008, Meta Knight was instantly considered to be the best character in the game; in fact, it didn’t take long for a sizable portion of the community to think that he was overpowered and potentially worth banning from competitive play.
Part of the reason for why players wanted him banned was because of how good he was, specifically how some of his moves and options in-game had a low-risk, high-reward outcome. Players who struggled with lower tier characters could counterpick Meta Knight and very quickly see an improvement in results.
The pro-ban side of the community fought hard for Meta Knight to be banned from tournaments, with one such player making a satirical guide on how to play the character in competition. The video became a hit, and remains one of the most popular videos in Brawl’s history.
It’s worth noting, of course, that high-level Meta Knight play was always more diverse than these controls; this video was a way of making light of the countless lower level players who picked up the character to try and abuse his moveset to improve tournament results.
Lower level players would often spam his down smash, as well as his Tornado and Shuttle Loop specials; these three moves were known to be incredibly strong as well as very difficult to punish, meaning that spamming them would be relatively safe.
Parody content on Meta Knight and his overpowered nature were a staple of Brawl culture during its lifespan; one of the most popular memes in competitive Smash is the song “Meta Knight Da Bess,” a parody of Drake’s “Best I Ever Had” that touches on why players would switch to the character in hopes of getting better results.
To read about one of the few tournaments where Meta Knight had almost no impact, check out this article on EVO 2008!