Little mac? Better? please. Im one of the players that thinks he's op, but you cant argue that 19% on a fairly fast forward smash, super armor, High speed in general, a counter, and an attack that kills at 19% isn't exactly balanced by bad recovery.
I can. Because it's not just bad recovery. It's also easy walling by projectiles, little way to fight kiting or sharking, dying to moves at half or a third of the % required to get lightning (At the far side of the stage, Marth can gimp him with a sweetspotted uncharged fsmash. Around 30%.).
WARNING: All the below, is unproven, opinion. Do not take it as the thoughts or me nor others. Thank you.
Not to mention it's not balanced out well because "slightly better tham most" ground game doesn't make up for "Absolutely none, near-auto loss-in-the-air" air game, coupled with a bad recovery, insane fall speed, average airspeed with nearly no traction, the combination of extremely bad recovery an extremely low weight, which for good reason had never existed in a Smash game before bar SSF2(Chibi-Robo had a ton of falling speed and little vertical recovery, but that was a game where autosnap didn't exist, and he had good airspeed and insane horizontal recovery, and wasn't THAT light. Still, eh's considered the worst character by many), and to top it off, completely one-directional recovery that can barely be mixed up at all.
Who thought the idea of giving a weight that kills them faster than you can blink, a recovery that kills them faster than Jigs can blink, no way to defend himself offstage, and then balance it out with armor? Since when has armor made a character better, rather than just more annoying? His horrible air game forces him to rely on every gimmick he has and play insanely defensive, hence why less people use him, let alone well: Not that many people will play defensive. EVER.
To make things worse, it usually gives a horrible playing experience for them because kiting isn't fun and neither is a possible death at 13-42%(Hence why I hate playing Marth because if they barely hit me, I die at 58%. With Mega Man. In the middle of the stage. With near-perfect DI and VI. Yay. Now the whole match is an annoying uphill climb.) and for you because of possible death at 0% for one mistake, which becomes amplified at 30%, 50%, 80%, 100% and 120%, the point when more semi-spikes and moves start sending you too far.
I don't think Little Mac is garbage or top tier, I don't know where to put him. But in terms of how fun he is to play, both as or against, I'd put him in his own tier at the bottom. I love Punch-Out, so I'm obviously not happy to find everyone online just going straight for the ledge and spamming. It's satisfying to win, but winning is the most annoying task to accomplish in the history of fighting games.
tl;dr It doesn't balance out well. His lack of an air game makes him easily beaten by the most degenerate, annoying tactics out there that are bad normally, but actually work well on mac. Imo it's not fun to fight him unless you're very skilled, and it's not fun to fight as him unless they're not very skilled. I win a lot, but it's just a horrible grind for someone impatient like me.