->''Po Yi sat down to play ''TabletopGame/{{Talisman}}'' with his generals. He said: "At this moment, each of us has an equal chance of winning. When we choose our character cards, then we will no longer have equal chances."''
-->-- ''[[http://www.chimeramag.com/features/tenpoints.html General Tso: The Ten Points]]''

So the game's been out for a while. It's been beaten and [[NewGamePlus re-beaten]]. The secrets have all been discovered, the items have all been [[HundredPercentCompletion collected]], the EasterEgg has been unearthed, and the [[UrbanLegendOfZelda ridiculous rumors]] have been debunked. For all intents and purposes, the game is solved. That means there's only one thing left to do...

...That's right. It's time to get on the Internet and argue about which characters are the best.

It seems inevitable when you've got a game with LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: the time will come when the only thing left is to try and figure out whether [[VideoGame/FireEmblem Lowen's]] early joining time on Eliwood/Hector mode and slighty higher base stats make up for joining later than a Lyn mode trained Paladin!Sain or Kent. It can be a polite discussion or a FlameWar; a debate of logic and reason or a contest to see who can stick their fingers in their ears the longest. It usually gives birth to legions of {{Scrub}}s and StopHavingFunGuys. If the game happens to have a competitive scene, expect even more of this.

The characters are usually divided into rough levels of ability or "tiers", from which the trope takes its name. Those tiers frequently look something like this:
* '''God Tier''': Characters that are ridiculously good, to the point that it is almost unfair to use them. Most likely some sort of secret boss character that was not meant to be used in normal competitive play. There have been very few games with characters that could be considered to be in this tier, and they are probably [[GameBreaker banned.]]
* '''Top Tier''': Incredibly good characters that are still overpowered, but less so than those in God Tier, and not overpowered enough that they warrant a ban. When God tier is banned, these are the characters to choose. They are generally better than most non-God Tier characters, counter-picks notwithstanding.
* '''High Tier''': All around good choices. Usually, they are here because they have advantages over Top or God tier characters and beat a lot of lower-tier characters. They have only a few weaknesses.
* '''Mid Tier''': The "[[TheRedMage average]]" guys. They are usually here because they have an advantage over at least one Top or God tier character, but have too many flaws to be used effectively elsewhere. Alternately, [[JackOfAllStats they have no glaring weaknesses compared to the lower tiers or any solid advantages over the higher ones.]]
* '''Low Tier''': You probably don't want to choose these. They could theoretically be useful, but choosing such a character is a suboptimal choice; take only if you need to fill space. Sometimes, these characters find a niche for their shock value, or because they work well against unprepared or surprised opponents. This sort of usage stops working once your opponents get wise, at which point you should return to a higher tier.
* '''Bottom Tier''': {{Joke Character}}s, and those who are just bad. They may have an advantage over someone in top tier, but outside of [[ThisLooksLikeAJobForAquaman that specific situation]], be prepared to have extreme difficulty using a Bottom Tier character in high-level play.

Sometimes when comparing two characters directly against each other, a lower-tier character is favored over a higher-tier character due to having abilities or moves that are devastating against that character specifically. This is often called a '''counter-pick'''.

Sometimes the tiers get shaken up due to {{Metagame}} shifts, and characters that were once below-average can become more useful. However, the chances of this phenomenon occurring diminish if no new content is added to the game.

Depending on the game, tiers may not be as pivotal as they seem or are portrayed to be (indeed, some games are closely balanced enough that the tiers are only rated as a formality, ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIV'' being one such example); most often, they exist, but are generally less important than than the skill/advantages of a particular playstyle or adaptive player. Which, of course, leads to discussion for which playstyle is best.

All of the above notwithstanding, some players simply don't give a damn about this trope and will simply use whichever characters they want. It can also be a sort of SelfImposedChallenge. After all, anybody can probably beat the game with enough practice if they're using a God-tier character. Beating it while using a Low- or Bottom-Tier character is a BraggingRightsReward in and of itself.

Compare: PVPBalanced, CompetitiveBalance. When a character's tier placement negatively affects players' opinions of him, he becomes a TierInducedScrappy. See also SuperWeight for character power levels narrative-wise.



[[folder: Fighting Games]]
* ''Capcom vs. SNK'' actually codified its tiers in-game, and based the number of characters one could select for their team on what tier each character was; this didn't go over very well with gamers, and was dropped for the sequel. (In the sequel, the player splits 4 "Ratio" amongst up to three characters, giving the player some input as to the character's tier.)
* Tiers are completely evident in nearly every single Anime/DragonBallZ game.
** The [[VideoGame/DragonballZBudokaiTenkaichi Tenkaichi]] and Raging Blast series are notorious for their tiers (which is somewhat expected with over 100 characters).
** In general, throughout the series, transformed characters are far better than their untransformed counterparts.
** The Raging Blast God Tier features completely broken characters, including Kid Buu, Super Saiyan 2 Gohan, Super Gogeta, and Super Vegito. Each has ridiculous stats and can easily chain massive combos.
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'': The competitive ''Smash'' community maintains tier lists for each game decided upon by top-level players on Smash Boards. Most tournaments are composed exclusively of high and top-tier characters, because other characters are generally seen as too weak or too finicky to be competitive. Special tournaments are sometimes run where players are restricted to playing mid-tier and below characters.
** The original game on the Nintendo 64 has a small cast of 12 fighters, making for a much closer gap character-balance-wise. Isai, a well known ''Smash 64'' player, is known for being the only player in the ''64'' community to be consistently good ''with all 12 characters'' in tournament play.
** ''Melee'' tournaments often feature both Star Fox reps, Sheik, Marth, Jigglypuff, Princess Peach, Captain Falcon, and the occasional use of the Ice Climbers, Pikachu, Yoshi, Dr. Mario, etc. Special note goes to Fox and Falco, who are considered the best and second best characters in the ''Melee'' metagame respectively due to being good at just about everything. The former has [[SomeDexterityRequired a high learning curve]], but when properly played, is a sight to behold. In fact, Fox is so good that a community meme known as 20xx was spawned as a result. [[labelnote:Explanation]]20xx is a hypothetical year in which the meta game has been pushed as far as it can go, making Fox the only character worth playing anymore. Of course, every Fox is played to perfection, and as a result, rock paper scissor matches are held for port priority. Whoever wins that wins the actual match.[[/labelnote]]
** ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBrosBrawl'':
*** The third ''Smash'' game has a single borderline god-tier character -- Meta Knight. Universally considered the best character in the game, he dominates most of the cast with extremely fast and safe attacks, excellent recovery and edgeguarding capabilities, and unrivaled ledge game. He has one or two matchups against other top tiers that ''might'' be considered 50-50, but many are skeptical. He was been dominant enough in the competitive scene for many fans, and some tournaments, to support banning him.
*** After Meta Knight are the Ice Climbers, whom some would argue are better than Meta Knight in some ways due to being too good with chaingrabs.
*** ''Brawl'' also has the odd case of King Dedede, who isn't generically overpowered, but is so strong against a small number of characters that those characters are essentially non-viable in tournaments.
** Thanks to the occasional balance patch and a roster that's ten times more balanced than ''Brawl''[='=]s was, the tier lists in ''For 3DS/Wii U'' has a case similar to ''Street Fighter 4''[='s=] where the bad characters aren't that much worse compared to the top tiers and even bottom-tier characters are capable of impressive tournament placing, given some effort. That said, pre 1.06 patch, Diddy Kong was seen by many as the new Meta Knight due to a frustratingly good down throw to up-air combo many came to call "Hoo-hah". [[ComplacentGamingSyndrome It got so ridiculous that at one point, it was common to see Grand Finals of Smash 4 tournaments where both players used him.]] Diddy ended up getting nerfed throughout two different patches; although initially perceived to have dropped from top to high tier, players who mained him discovered that although he was indeed less powerful in certain areas, his greatest strengths remain untouched, and he retains his top-level placement.
*** With that said, Sheik, a character who was already universally considered back in the ''Melee'' days to be top tier, has since become ''the'' best character in the meta game. Even patches haven't nerfed her all that much if at all.
*** The characters introduced through DLC have all been unique cases similar to Little Mac or Ike from ''Brawl'' in that at first, they tend to perform well if not dominate the meta game until players get enough match up familiarity to counter them. Of all the characters introduced through DLC, Mewtwo was initially considered to still be a low-tier mess, even after having been buffed from ''Melee'', until a series of patches nullified or alleviated most of his weaknesses and turned him into a viable top-tier fighter. Fellow ''Melee'' veteran Roy wasn't as lucky and remains low on the tier list, largely due to his bad approach. Lucas plays about the same as he did in ''Brawl'' as a low/mid tier character. Ryu is considered to be high-tier, since his being a JackOfAllStats in his home series plus his combo oriented style of play from said series translates well to a ''Smash Bros.'' game.
*** This isn't even beginning to mention how Cloud Strife affects the meta game. Wanna know how crazy he is? Players of all sorts simply discarded their mains for Cloud and ''still'' did well or started placing much higher at their weekly local tournaments. Granted he has some of the worst recovery and a very limited throw game, but that's just a small price to pay for his insane priority and being able to smash at ''60% or even less.''
*** Corrin is perceived as a solid mid to mid-high tier because of his/her unique shapeshifting moves and an ability to pin his/her opponents into the ground which can then be cancelled into another move.
*** Bayonetta was so overpowered at release due to her absolutely killer aerial game and combo ability that an infamous patch was dedicated solely to nerfing her ''and no one else''... and it ''still'' didn't keep her from being considered the best character in the game.
* ''StreetFighter III: Third Strike''. It was supposed to make the game more balanced, given the complete and obvious advantages certain characters had over others, and it did so for half the characters. The others simply moved around between tiers.
** In most fighting game communities, the Chinese characters were top tier throughout all three games.
** Sean went from Godly in ''New Generation'' to ''2nd Impact/Giant Attack'' to bottom of the bottom.
** LethalJokeCharacter Rufus from ''Street Fighter IV'' is considered nearly godly.
* David Sirlin (who did balancing for StreetFighter and Puzzle Fighter HD Remix) accepts that perfect balance is impossible, as characters with differing abilities will always have advantages and disadvantages over each other, but believes that the God Tier and Garbage Tier should be empty, and that no specific character-versus-character matchup should give more than a 6-4 advantage (meaning that if equally-skilled players play ten matches, the character with the advantage should at most win six and lose four). His own games (Kongai, and especially the tabletop games Puzzle Strike, Flash Duel, and Yomi) go through ''years'' of playtesting and tweaking in search of this.
* ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom2'' has 56 characters, and therefore tiers are inevitable. The unique thing is that the current god tier isn't banned, but are actually favoured for tournament play simply because all the options and tactics available to them mean that they're also the most interesting characters to play in the game. There's also the fact that the game is less dependent on individual characters and more on team synergy. Some good teams aren't totally dependent on the god tiers, but instead team them with lower-tiered characters who have really good assists that make the overall team stronger.
* In ''VideoGame/TatsunokoVsCapcom'', the Japanese developed a different tier list for the characters (partially because unlike in the United States, the players didn't stop thinking that Anime/{{Karas}} was a broken character), using two tier lists -- one for the overall character performance being the point (combat) character and another for the character's assist. Roll isn't considered the lowest tier (she's mid), and her assist is ranked high in the tier list, upping her rank as a JokeCharacter to LethalJokeCharacter.
* Due to the ''massive'' changes that occurred between the original ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' and its sequels, it can be quite hard to pinpoint exact tiers at times. However, beginning in ''Guilty Gear X'' the tiers have become more or less well-defined due to the series' mechanics becoming more and more polished over time, which in turn affects the balance of power for better or worse. Of note is that, like Capcom's Versus Series, much of the combat in ''Guilty Gear'' favors a fast-paced and technical approach, with characters that possess incredible mobility, mixups and disjointed hitboxes constantly being at the top.
** The first game would almost be counted out due to [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness how broken some of the mechanics are]], such as having ''infinite Tension meter'' when below 50% life which allows for perpetual super move spamming. Because of this, there are at least two characters considered to be quite dangerous: Millia Rage with her [[BulletHell infinite Iron Maiden projectile spam]] and Justice with her [[WaveMotionGun infinite Gamma Rays]]. And that's not getting to how easy it is to land [[OneHitKill Instant Kills]] that would end the ''entire match'' as opposed to merely ending a single round like it does in later games.
** Beginning in Guilty Gear X, however, the tiers became more defined, with the Assassin's Guild characters[[note]]Millia, Zato-1 and Venom[[/note]] consistently ranking very high on the list, if not outright at the top, while the two main characters Sol and Ky would consistently dance around the midrange area. Newcomer Johnny Sfondi also lands in the top tier due to highly tricky but incredibly strong mobility and unblockable mixups.
** ''Guilty Gear XX'' had a very unusual tier setup -- partially because the game is so well-balanced that tiers rarely affect a match significantly, but unusual in that the top tier consisted of only ONE character -- Eddie. Mainly because of his ability to destroy you on wake-up due to unblockables. Eddie was crippled somewhat in ''Slash'', but he recovered in ''Accent Core'' (with a triple unblockable sequence) and now shares his spot with Testament. The catch? All of the characters have a ''steep'' learning curve, and it can take several months (or even ''years'') of practice to use them effectively in TournamentPlay.
** ''Guilty Gear Xrd'', having been openly described to be based off of #Reload, once again places Zato at the top due to unblockable setups and disjointed hitboxes, followed closely by Faust, Johnny, Raven and newcomer Elphelt Valentine who also possesses her own brand of unblockable mixups. However, it also returns to having a slightly more unbalanced tier selection, with the high/top tiers possessing significant advantages over other characters in terms of zoning, pressure, mobility and damage output. In fact, three out of the top 8 players at [=EVO=] 2016 ''[[ComplacentGamingSyndrome all had Zato as their main]]''. Still, most matchups depend largely on individual player skill, and any competitor worth their salt can still find a way to dominate with their favorite character no matter the odds.
** An interesting case in particular across all games is Axl Low, who started out as a [[MechanicallyUnusualFighter quirky]] character in the first title[[note]]For reference, he could chain a P > K > S > HS gatling combo from half a screen away due to his sliding standing kick, has an infinite ground combo consisting of ''repeatedly chaining standing P and K'' until your opponent got dizzied, and was the only character to possess a special move that doubled as a Dust Attack[[/note]]. His ''[=GGX=]'' retool was widely considered as his weakest incarnation due to poor mobility, abysmal move recovery and a severe lack of pressure/mixup tools compared to the rest of the cast, basically painting him as a poor man's Dhalsim and earning him the derogatory nickname [[FanNickname "Axl Low Tier"]] which has stuck with some to this day. While somewhat mitigated with the discovery of his infamous high-damage [[{{Shoryuken}} Axl Bomber]] [[CycleOfHurting loop]], it took until ''[=XX=]''[[note]]''Especially'' the ''Accent Core +R'' iteration[[/note]] to truly fix his design by adding new tools for close quarters defense, footsies, space control and the ability to use special cancels on some of his moves, thus elevating him into high tier. Come ''Xrd'' however, despite losing many of his tools from ''Accent Core'' he was considered to be ''the'' absolute God Tier character on day one due to the addition of the [[SpamAttack Sparrowhawk Stance]], which lets Axl pressure and juggle his opponent from across the screen at the cost of temporarily losing his mobility. This lasted until players learned about Sparrowhawk's weaknesses, after which his ranking plummeted and eventually sat at around upper mid-tier.
* ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' has 3 characters in the Top Tier spot: Rachel, Nu, and Arakune. In that order. Rachel is extremely good, but VERY hard to use effectively unless you know how to control her wind. Nu has magical flying swords which enable ridiculously long and damaging combos, but she has very low health and defense. Arakune has '''[[BeeBeeGun BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES]]'''.
** In contrast, in ''VideoGame/BlazBlueContinuumShift'', the top 3 in ''CS'' are now Bang Shishigami, Litchi Faye-Ling, and Ragna the Bloodedge -- all of whom are combo-oriented characters instead of zoning characters. Litchi has numerous combos which can lead into resets. During one of her combos, she will inevitably (and it WILL always happen) get enough heat to end her combo with a knockdown and follow with her Great Wheel super, which is used to trick the opponent when they get up, repeating the process. If played correctly, she can trap you in a corner and shred you to pieces. Bang went from bottom tier to top due to several of his hitboxes being altered, and many of his moves come out much faster. His basic combos can also deal around 4000-5000 damage. Ragna is like Litchi and Bang combined: he has a large amount of reset opportunities with his new Belial Edge and oki game, but utilizing this takes the simplicity of using Bang.
** The ''Continuum Shift II'' update is considered to be very well balanced. On the top we have Makoto and Noel, and on the bottom Tager. Most characters are viable, and tournaments top 8 generally have few overlapping characters.
** ''Continuum Shift Extend'' is also considered to be very well balanced. Thanks to the damage nerf, characters that can produce high damage like Ragna, Valkenhayn, and Hakumen tend to be high in tier list.
** New system mechanics in VideoGame/BlazblueChronophantasma changed up the listing a bit. The CSEX tops were still pretty up there, and a few mids went up a bit. Newcomers like Azrael became top due to their damage potential and all around good movepools. The other newcomers ranged from Mid to low tier, with the sole exception of Kokonoe. The first two iterations of the game had her as the undisputed God Tier due to having tools that fucked over the entire cast, including being the only character to have a truly unblockable setup.
** The third iteration, "Chronophantasma Extend" saw a significant change in the list due to overall damage buffs but as well as the nerfing of many character options. Notably, Iron Tager, a character considered by many to be low tier for quite a few games, has become one of the best characters in the game. How good? Players actually conclude that he stands a significant chance of beating ''Nu'', a character he notoriously did poor against throughout the entire series and also another top tier character in this iteration.
* Note that TournamentPlay will shake tiers up. Sometimes a victor discovers an overlooked technique with a low-ranked character that the upper tier characters have no counter for. Also, some characters are fantastic counters against half the cast but get mopped by the other half, instead of being above or below-average consistently.
* ''Super VideoGame/StreetFighterII Turbo''
** You can select the old ''Super Street Fighter II'' versions of the characters by quickly inputting a code after selecting them. Old Sagat is considered top tier, and is "soft-banned" in some tournaments (meaning that there is a tacit agreement not to use him, but he can be used anyway), not because he is so overpowering (Balrog and Dhalsim are better characters overall), but because the players agree that the inclusion of Old Sagat makes the game less interesting as a whole.
** Akuma is considered God Tier in ST for a variety of reasons, such as his ability to lock down opponents in inescapable blockstun with repeated red fireballs (they can even let go of the joystick and are still stuck blocking until they die). Akuma was toned down a lot in SF HD Remix, but due to bugs such as his Raging Demon super being inescapable from blockstun 75% of the time, he was banned from tournaments.
* ''VideoGame/SoulCalibur 4'' tiers generally class Hilde as god tier due to her "Doom Combo" that can ring out from pretty much anywhere. Other generally good characters to use include Sophitia and Kilik, whereas Rock in particular is awful.
** ''[=SoulCalibur=] 5'' currently has no "concrete" tier list, but matchup charts so far have placed Cervantes and Alpha Patroklos very high on the lists. Raphael and Z.W.E.I. are considered the weakest characters, while Dampierre gets his own placement below them for being a JokeCharacter. That being said, the game is very well-balanced and considered an improvement from ''4'' in that department.
* ''[[VideoGame/VirtuaFighter Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown]]'' is largely considered to be well-balanced. Most players agree that Akira is at the top, but he's not overpowered due to the high learning curve required to be decent with him, as well as his lack of full circular attacks. You can watch many matches and see that there isn't any one character who dominates the screen time.
* ''VideoGame/JoJosBizarreAdventureHeritageForTheFuture'': One thing certain is that Kakyoin is very much high tier due to his Mystic Trap setups. Oh, and Petshop? He's so broken he's tourney banned.
* The VideoGame/GundamVsSeries, like ''Capcom vs. SNK'', codified its tiers as part of the gameplay. Each team has a resource meter (worth 6000 points in the ''Extreme Versus'' series and 1000 in ''Gundam Versus'') and characters are divided by how much they cost. The lowest tier units can respawn four or five times before depleting the resource meter, while the most powerful machines can only do this twice; however, the tiers are by no means a hard-and-fast measure of character quality. The [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam0080WarInThePocket Zaku II Kai]] is always placed in the lowest cost tier but consistently ranks high overall because of its trap grenades, resulting in its being the only bottom-cost unit to get tournament banned; the [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing Gundam Epyon]] is the opposite, being in the highest cost tier but generally ranking at the bottom overall because while it can string together insane melee combo chains, melee is literally all it has and thus players have to be ''incredibly'' good at getting in close in order to actually get to use those combos, generally making it more trouble than it's worth.
* Saltybet has five tiers based on how powerful a character is. If a character wins 15 times in a row, it can ascend to the next tier, but if it loses 15 times in a row, it will be demoted to the lower tier. It's not uncommon to see characters who are too good for one tier, only to be completely annihilated by the next tier up. Some characters may even be untiered because of factors such as AI breaking super armor, regularly cause problems such as slowdown, have an unusual gimmick that most normal characters can't deal with, or are just so confusing, not even the creators know how they work.
** '''X Tier''': The god tier. Reserved for the [[GameBreaker most broken and overpowered characters]], such as Rare Akuma. These can typically overwhelm normal fighters in a few seconds, liberally spam {{One Hit Kill}}s, and have [[ArtificialBrilliance TAS level AI]]. Some characters even have alternate palettes that make them powerful enough to fit in. Unlike most tiers, characters have to be manually put into this tier, and the fights are best two out of three with no tourneys in rotation. Sometimes nicknamed eXhibition Tier because these characters tend to be requested in exhibitions often (ironically enough, several of them have been banned from being requested due to causing problems such as crashes and freezing the game so long, the match skips automatically).
** '''S Tier''': The high to top tier and the highest a character can ascend without being X tier. It consists of standard {{SNKBoss}}es, characters with professional level AI, characters that have absurd damage output from regular attacks, and powerful and diverse movesets.
** '''A Tier''': The upper tier. Consists of characters who have solid AI and decent movesets or strong characters who have at least one weakness keeping them from being true S tiers (such as [[MightyGlacier lack of agility]] or [[GlassCannon health]]).
** '''B Tier''': The low to average tier. Consists of regular characters with okay AI and movesets but [[{{Jobber}} have a tendency to throw fights]]. May even consist of P Tiers who were freed.
** '''P Tier''': The bottom (Potato) tier. Consists of characters who [[ArtificialStupidity have no AI]], very poorly made characters, {{JokeCharacter}}s, and those that [[CantCatchUp just can't keep up with the more modern B Tier fighters]]. With good reason, it has been DemotedToExtra due to how boring the fights can get. Even though P Tier tourneys have been discontinued and matches rarely show up in matchmaking, Gold members can free just about ''any'' of them for an in-game price and request them in exhibitions (either to see if there are any promising characters unfairly put in or just to troll the viewers).

[[folder: Driving Game]]
Many {{Driving Game}}s have their cars divided into slow, medium, fast, and lightning fast, with the last one usually being a secret tier.
* Although the ''VideoGame/GranTurismo'' games don't explicitly use Car Tiers, their cars can be pretty much divided into snail-slow subcompacts, slow sedans, medium sports cars, fast supercars, super-fast JGTC racing cars, lightning-fast Le Mans racers, and the [[TitleDrop Polyphony Formula Gran Turismo]].
** The arcade mode in the first three games had an explicit series of tiers. They were Class C for compact sedans, Class B high-power sedans, Class A sports cars, and [[RankInflation Class S]] supercars (in GT2) or racing cars (in GT3).
* ''VideoGame/NeedForSpeed: Carbon''
** The game divides its cars into three tiers. The first tier is made of cars such as the Mazdaspeed 3 or the Chrysler 300C, the second tier includes the Dodge Charger and the Lotus Europa, while the third tier includes ''the Dodge Viper and the Lamborghini Murciélago''
** The game also actively enforces the tiers by denying lower-tiered cars performance upgrades that would put them on par with higher-tiered cars, a sharp contrast from the ''[[VideoGame/NeedForSpeedUnderground Underground]]'' games and ''[[VideoGame/NeedForSpeedMostWanted Most Wanted]]'' which allowed the likes of the Chevrolet Cobalt to, once upgraded, compete with (and even surpass) a Porsche Carerra GT.
** In ''VideoGame/NeedForSpeed Hot Pursuit 2'', the PC version has classes, in [=PS2=] you can tell the tier by the police car that chases you, though the corvette tier, featuring cars from the Corvette Z06 all the way to the Ferrari F50 was wider than the actual tier wherein players of a similar ability would have a decent chance to win (excluding unlucky mishaps).
** ''Need for Speed: Rivals'' has a subtle tier system based on the heat level they start off when leaving a hideout as racer or the max level of pursuit tech they can mount. An early game 2015 Mustang starts at heat 1 and only mounts level 1 pursuit tech while an end game Ferrari Enzo starts at heat level 4 and can mount any pursuit tech at level 4. This is more apparent in friends only or offline play.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Forza}}'' series simultaneously adheres to this trope and subverts it: every car is designated a "performance index", complete with a corresponding tier denoted by a letter grade, but most low-tier cars can be upgraded enough to compete with higher tiers. The Performance Index is calculated from an algorithm that rates the average flying lap time of the vehicle on an imaginary track; so it's possible for cars with a low PI (but tuned to a specific track type) to beat cars with a much higher PI.
* ''VideoGame/MarioKart''
** ''Mario Kart: Wii'' gives each character has a subtle boost in certain stats like Speed and Drift. Players have already begun to make a tier list based on who has the biggest Speed bonus, etc. While the differences do not really make much of a difference in a VS race, some people will still use the top rated characters anyway.
** This tier system is much more apparent in ''VideoGame/MarioKart DS'', because of the drift system. Characters like Yoshi got huge boosts off drifts and would be relentlessly used online by anyone who could snake well. Drifting in Mario Kart Wii was toned down because of general dislike of the system.
** ''Mario Kart 7'' basically mirrors what ''Mario Kart Wii'' did. Not only are people only using Metal Mario for his extra top speed, but kart parts used online and in time trials seem to be only the B Dasher and Mushroom Wheels (or Gold Tires), because this combo gives the best top speed possible without sacrificing too much in acceleration or steering.
** In ''Mario Kart 8'', the super-heavyweights (Bowser, Dry Bowser, Morton, Wario, and large Miis) have the highest speed stat of any racers in the game, and you'll rarely find a world record time that doesn't use one of those five.
* Arcade racing games VideoGame/InitialDArcadeStage and VideoGame/WanganMidnight mostly avert this, since all full-tuned cars can compete on an equal footing. There are, however, [[JokeCharacter cars that are meant as novelties]], most notably the [=AE85=] Levin for IDAS and the Subaru [=R2=] for WMMT.
* ''VideoGame/{{Blur}}'' has (from slowest to fastest) classes D, C, B, and A. Differently-tuned versions of the same car can appear in different tiers; for example, the Nissan 350Z (D- and C-Class), Chevrolet Camaro (D-, C-, and A-Class), and Dodge Challenger [=SRT8=] (D-, B-, and A-Class).

[[folder: Competitive Pokémon Battling]]
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'', despite having over 800 Pokémon of varying balance (as well as mons with alternate forms and Mega Evolutions), has taken to heart the game's preaching of using your favorite Pokémon. The most well-known tier system, Website/{{Smogon}}'s, organizes all Pokémon into 6 official tiers and a boatload of Other Metagames with modified rules, with tournaments and friendly battles taking place in any one of the tiers. It is also continuously changing, with Pokémon changing tiers based on usage, and even implementation or removal of [[HouseRules clauses]] and other factors (for instance, the introduction of Eviolite[[note]]A held item that boosts the defense and special defense stats of the holding Pokémon by 50% provided that the Pokémon can still evolve[[/note]] altered plenty of Pokémon placement in tiers).
** First off is Ubers. This was formerly not a tier but a banlist (Or, according to Smogon, "A banlist first and a tier second"), as Pokémon in it are only in there so that the OU metagame doesn't suffer. Pokémon in this tier are considered too [[GameBreaker broken]] for standard competitive play. Pokémon in this tier can not be used in any competitive battle unless the rules specifically allow it, or the players agree to use them. This tier is a metagame in itself, since the overpowered nature of all the Pokémon used creates balance. However, when Mega Rayquaza showed up, it was deemed overpowered ''[[UpToEleven even for Ubers]]'', leading to the creation of AG (see below), and the turning of Ubers into a real tier.
** The first actual tier is the [=OverUsed=] (OU) tier. This tier is composed of the Pokémon that have been used the most (About a 3.4% usage) based on data gathered by Smogon's battling simulator Pokémon Showdown!, and is updated every month. These are basically the best Pokémon in terms of their stats, abilities, typing, and/or movepool (not counting Pokémon in Ubers, of course). In OU battles, only Pokémon from OU and below are allowed.
** The second tier is the [=UnderUsed=] (UU) tier. This tier is composed of Pokémon that are occasionally used. The Pokémon in this tier usually have a problem or two that prevents them from being used easily, or have Pokémon in the upper tiers that fulfill the same purpose, but do it better [[note]] Though it is not unheard of for a UU Pokémon to find a niche in OU or even Ubers, as being on a lower tier doesn't necessarily make them bad (For example, the ORAS Viability Rankings rank Mega Aerodactyl as A-, which is basically the Top Tier, despite being UU for the majority of Gen VI [[/note]].
** The third tier is the [=RarelyUsed=] (RU) tier. Added in Generation V to account for the [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters ever-increasing number of Pokémon]], this tier often features Pokémon that can be used competitively but have notable flaws, Pokémon that are simply outclassed by both OU and UU Pokémon, or simply Pokémon that are terrible in OU and UU.
** Fourth is the [=NeverUsed=] (NU) tier. This tier is, as its name says, composed of Pokémon that are almost never used in higher tiers because of their stats and/or typing is considered to be terrible in higher tier. Or that the Pokémon has a useless ability. As such, it's not hard to find many Pokémon in this tier serve purposes that Pokémon in higher tiers can do better.
** The fifth tier is the PU tier, which doesn't stand for anything (Except "Peeyew that stinks!"), introduced in Generation VI. It was once an unofficial tier for Never-Used (NU) Pokémon that happens to have low usage even by NU standard (such as Arbok and Parasect), but has been turned into an official tier by popular demand.
** In addition to this, there is a tierless metagame aptly titled Anything Goes (AG). It's essentially Ubers, except with all its clause removed, sans endless battle Clause, and well as certain Pokémon that are ''[[UpToEleven too Uber for Ubers]]'' are permitted here (currently only Mega Rayquaza).
** The tier system is designed to allow any Pokémon to be used competitively by sifting Pokémon into a collection of similarly powered groups. Removing this would force everyone into playing AG.
** These tiers are constantly changing as data is collected from Pokémon Showdown! and as new games are released. A good example is Charizard. [[note]]Formerly in the Borderline tier, the release of the 4th generation and Stealth Rock (deals damage to Pokémon switching in depending on its weakness or resistance to Rock) dropped it down to the Never Used tier, as Stealth Rock lowered its HP to the point that its most common strategy (sacrificing HP for Substitute and Belly Drum) left it to where any attack would instantly faint it. Now that Gen VI has come and gave Charizard 2 Mega Evolutions, both its Mega Evolution forms have skyrocketed to OU.[[/note]] At the beginning of a new generation, the tiers are typically wiped, anything with a base stat total of over 600 is automatically sent to Ubers (With the exception of Pokémon with hindering abilities, Kyurem and its Black Form), and the tiers are sorted out from there as the new metagame evolves.
** It is also worth noting that other than banlists (Ubers and Borderline), the placement of a Pokémon is determined exclusively by their frequency of usage, and thus a high tier Pokémon is simply one that is frequently used in that specific tier, even if they would not unbalance a lower tier. Conversely, a Pokémon may be [[KickedUpstairs banned]] to a tier where it is useless, because placement in a lower tier would destabilize that metagame [[note]]For example, Zygarde is UU by usage, but it is in BL because of its great bulk, near-perfect offensive typing, and it can learn [[StatusBuff Dragon Dance, Coil]] and Glare, making it too powerful for UU.[[/note]]
** In addition to the standard tier set (which organizes Pokémon on the assumption that anything you can do without hacking is legal) there's Little Cup, where Pokémon must be level 5, must be able to evolve, and must not evolve from anything. Little Cup has its own list of Ubers, OU, and UU, and other modified rules. There's also the many, many, ''many'' Other Metagames with modified rules, such as Almost Any Ability, which allows any Pokémon to use [[ExactlyWhatitSaysontheTin almost any Ability]], which have a completely different set of Pokémon from OU, due to certain tweaks making some previously unviable Pokémon viable [[note]]For example, the RU Braviary now finds itself at the top of the Viability Rankings due to being able to use Gale Wings.[[/note]]
** Everything above applies only to Single Battles. Doubles Battles has 3 tiers instead (Ubers, OU, UU) and there's no BL. Due to how different Doubles Battles is compare to Single Battles, most Pokémon are on a different tier. For example, Skarmory and Darkrai are in UU instead while Mega Camerupt and Politoed are in OU. Triple Battles doesn't have tiers at all and Rotation Battles aren't even playable on Pokémon Showdown!

[[folder: Role Playing Games]]
* A big thing in the ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' fandom, where the participants don't stop simply at unit performance. They also take into account joining time, joining requirements, joining level, starting stats, stat growths, weapon options, support options, elemental affinity, promotion requirements, and other, additional abilities in their quest to accurately rank the characters. Due to [[{{Cap}} the way]] [[RandomNumberGod the system works]] in ''Fire Emblem'', the vast majority of characters are at least usable if you really want to play them, and so the tier lists are mostly arranged by merit of which characters are most helpful for Ranked or low-turn playthroughs. The ''Fire Emblem'' community's mantra in these debates is "personal experience means nothing"; just because a character worked out for you does not make that character good; you may have simply gotten lucky with the {{Random Number God}}dess. The community judges a character's stats based on averages for their level progression.
** As a general rules, the top tiers of a ''Fire Emblem'' tier list are mostly dominated by mounted units. This is largely thanks to the how poorly balanced mounted units are compared to foot units, who have better movement, solid stats for combat, immediate access to 2 weapons, and the rescue/drop system which allow them to excel for both combat and utility. Fliers are usually put in the same category thanks to their ability to ignore terrain which allows fast clears of a lot of maps when used correctly. For everyone else, unless they have a utility that matches the mounted units (ex. healers and dancers) or have a really good combat, they will not be as high as units with mounts.
** Character who sit in God Tiers are generally those who influence the game to a much bigger extent than the rest of the cast, such as [[VideoGame/FireEmblemShadowDragonAndTheBladeOfLight Caeda and Lena]], [[VideoGame/FireEmblemGenealogyOfTheHolyWar Sigurd]], [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBlazingBlade Marcus]], [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones Seth]], [[VideoGame/FireEmblemPathOfRadiance Titania, Jill, and Marcia]], [[VideoGame/FireEmblemRadiantDawn Haar]], and then there's [[GameBreaker Robin]] -- the PlayerCharacter from ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening Awakening]]''.
* ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'', despite being an RPG, has over 40 characters to choose from, so tiers were bound to arise, especially since some characters are worse than others.
** [[KnightErrant Glenn]] is considered one of the best in the game, and the principal reason to [[spoiler:not help Kid when she is poisoned.]] The alternative choice gives Razzly, who is a fantastic mage, but the player almost always have [[GirlNextDoor Leena]], who is just as good, only tougher. Later in the game, Karsh is almost always picked over Zoah for the same reason, and Irenes tends to be the go-to pick if Harle's black elemental nature would do more harm than good.
* ''VideoGame/RadiataStories'' proudly boasts over 150 characters you can collect and use in battle, and the quests to obtain them have a wide range of difficulty which doesn't always correspond to each character's strength. There are characters you'd have to be crazy not to go into the final battle with, characters that are only there for the lulz, and inevitably you'll find a character that you just plain like. They're all pretty interesting.
** The game actually gets slammed by those who play only the early sections of the game for this, as many of the early characters are outright useless except as decoys. One very early character, a FarmBoy cleric, even outright says he has no skills at all (his only attack is very slow and unwieldy), but he's still better than some characters, which have no attacks at all, and their only support ability is to remove [[StandardStatusEffects status ailments]]. The win-the-fight-single-handedly good characters, however, are almost invariably the [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking leaders of certain sub-factions]], and require you to collect every one of their subordinates before they can be added into your group. This means you have to do things like drag that annoying, useless brat mage around until he gains 10 levels to recruit his father just so you can recruit that father's boss. Oh, and if we're speaking power levels, the humans have much better character choices than the non-human faction does.
* After the arena system was introduced in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', players and developers alike have been compiling statistics about which character classes are over- or underrepresented in high-rated teams. Naturally, these statistics are then (ab)used regularly in flamewars about [[PVPBalanced class balance]].
* In ''VideoGame/AdvanceWars'', although ''any'' character can become a potential GameBreaker if used properly, message boards have still agreed on a definite tier system, with Grit, Colin, and Hachi (and often Sensei and Kanbei) rooted firmly at the top, thanks purely to the pure ease with which these characters snap the game in half. And god help you if you play Sturm or his big brother Caulder, the intentionally gamebreaking final bosses, who are universally regarded as not of this world.
** The devs seem to be aware of this practice, at least as far as PurposelyOverpowered final bosses go: Caulder/Stolos can't be selected for wifi matches in ''Days of Ruin/Dark Conflict''.
* ''[[http://www.urban-rivals.com/ Urban Rivals]]'' (which sometimes advertises on the sidebar to your left) has their marketing strategy built around this. Each virtual card represents a character that appears in comic book features, has a backstory, a set of stats and abilities, and their description pages contain reviews on the cards appearance, strategic applications, and effectiveness. Many forum threads are about which cards or dream teams a given player advocates. The auction market for these cards can be manipulated into high fluctuation based on current popularity, collector status, or how much cleavage or implied nudity is on the card.
* ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfile'' has a lot of characters but they are clearly examples of Character Tiers. Partly due to a few very powerful weapons that can last until the end of the main game can be obtained early and just make the two Lancers or the heavy swordsmen extremely powerful. Many characters of course cannot be perfectly balanced due to some attacks that have varying levels of power and usability. It's clearly established that almost all the Sorcerers are worthless (Due to several coming and only one is needed) or OvershadowedByAwesome, The archers except for Janus and Valkyrie Suck, and the sword users just CantCatchUp.
** But this changes in the seraphic gate where swords just ridiculously overpower everything.
* This happens in ''VideoGame/DarkCloud''. Interestingly, the tiers match up with when the characters join the party, with earlier ones generally being more powerful. See that game's YMMV page for a more in-depth analysis than what is presented here.
** Toan, and Xiao are hugely powerful, to the point of almost being broken, and are the first two characters.
** Goro and Ruby are hard to use, but very effective when used properly, putting them neatly in middle tier. They join third and fourth, respectively. Ruby is ahead of Goro in this tier due to being more intuitive, and thus, easy to unlock the full potential of, for most players.
** Ungaga and Osmond are plagued by different kinds of problems, and there's never really a time when another character won't outdo them. They join last.
** Note that this is a somewhat loose tier list, as the game has a very extensive and involved upgrade system; any character can become a powerhouse with the right items, equipment, and other power-ups.
* The ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' games, in which both mecha and individual pilots are ranked.
** Notable on the God tier are Anime/GaoGaiGar, Zeorymer [[spoiler:taken further by Great Zeorymer in J]] and the Aussenseiter (Daitrombe) as well as its pilot [[strike:Elzam]] Ratsel in every game they're in. The Black Selena HM in all games Nadesico is in except W. The Vaisaga also makes a good case for this in OG at least, but on the GBA version of OG 2 you can only get it on your second playthrough and it's kinda hard to get. You can get it your first time through in the [=PS2=] version though. Also, strangely, the Gundam X Divider can be deadly without many upgrades in Alpha Gaiden, as well as Kamille and his Zeta Gundam, which Kamille is God tier (Better stats than ALMOST every other pilot in all the games I've seen, even more than Char and Amuro), and the Zeta is Top to High most the time. If it's not the best MS in the game, you can just switch him.
** The Mazingers in Alpha Gaiden is a unique case.
*** First, Mazinger Z, a decent unit in and of itself. It's extremely cheap in term of energy consumption, doesn't need morale (in contrast to other super robots), accompanied by relatively strong weapon with good range coverage that gets a slight power up later in the game, and Mazinpower to increase attack power by 20%. It's fairly sturdy to boot.
*** Great Mazinger is a contender for Top tier. Tetsuya is involved in a lot of scenario in higher number than most other character, have good stats, high SP and Great is one of the best overall unit having High damage, need no Morale requirement for all of its weapon except for it MAP attack, and all of them consume few energy, but while its strongest attack only has 1 ammo but deals massive damage. It also get Mazinpower.
*** Then theres Mazinkaiser. It has a massively powerful weapon on all range with its weapon able to reach 4-6 range, all of its attacks don't need will to be used, massive armor, high HP, and its dodge is higher than some reals. It gets Mazinpower to further enhance its already powerful attacks. In fact, its attack is so powerful that a fully upgraded Mazinger Z without power up is of the same power as fresh Mazinkaiser. Also, it has good terrain modifiers. It goes without saying that it's a God tier unit. Not to mention Koji is a Top Tier pilot only being slightly worse than Tetsuya.
** You've also got Ideon up there on the God tier or beyond, at least in Alpha 3 where you don't have to worry about that pesky universe ending IDE gauge. Banpreios in Alpha 3 also is God tier. On the low ends, you have mook Gundam pilots and most supporting characters like Katz, Fa, Musashi in Getter 1, any MS that isn't piloted by Char or Amuro that's not a Gundam, and any Astevailis that isn't piloted by Akito or Gai. The Valzacard in W is God tier as well.
*** The resident JokeCharacter Boss and Boss Borot is an anomally in the tier list. In older SRW, boss is Mid tier at best, having decent Seishin set, and Boss is one of the better Ressuply unit. Its extremely cheap repair cost lets you to use it for suicide bombing purpose just in case. However, some newer SRW gave Boss his subpilots, having awesome Seishin but get hit by MagikarpPower to fully achieve its biggest potential. Then come J, L and W. in J, and W its a SwissArmyKnife able to repair, ressuply, and have strong and economic weapon and its really cheap to upgrade. In L, boss has an awesome Squad bonus, and a lot of its attack deals massive damage AND lower morale. Both game also has 3 Pilot Seishin for Boss. In these SRW, Boss is a contender for Top tier.... then you have games like the Z series and V where he's based off of the Shin Mazinger version and is absolutely useless.
* The popular ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} 3'' map ''VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncients'' has characters divided according to early or late game, extent of item dependency and ganker/tank/carry types, amongst others. One key type is the "pubstomper", which can do over 1000 DPS with a full compliment of items, but is dependent on "farming" heavily and thus only dominates in individualist "pub" games, being usually hunted and shut down in TournamentPlay. Competitive worthy champions vary wildly in role, to say the least.
** There really are no truly best or worst characters when playing a full 5v5 game. Under other conditions this may not be true. 1v1 matchups favor dps characters, early-game harassers, and single-target stuns. Only-middle-lane games favor AreaOfEffect spells and pushers. Even "pubstomper" characters aren't necessarily overpowered in pub games - if the opposing team is poor, those character can most quickly become unstoppable, but if its own team is poor then those characters can also most quickly become useless.
* ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' has some degree of tiers; other then the in-game tiers (unlocked by levelling up their "lower tier" units), some classes have definite advantages over other; until you realise that [[GameBreaker Divine Majins]] beat ''everything'' except ''maybe'' Flonne in a ''single'' stat. They are very time-consuming, though.
** Later games balanced this out a little, to the point where in ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 3|AbsenceOfJustice}}'', Majins are considered the worst class in the game.
** In general with ''Disgaea'', since only the PSP port of ''VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness'' had PvP, this is mainly based on stats and performance against other stats and performances. Equipment, residents, and abilities play heavily into each character, and the Story characters can also be ordered along the same way. While each game has a definitive "best" class, it all depends on how one combines a character with its equipment and according to its abilities and overall stats. As an example, assuming one faces off against a Ninja with an Iron Knight, one has to take into consideration their abilities, the evasion potential of the Ninja versus the exceptional defensive wall of the Iron Knight, movement, attack possibilities, and what residents are in each item. If an Iron Knight has a 100 Specialist Alchemist in their weapon, it could take only one hit to win since the poison would pretty much assure repeated damage, but may never get the chance considering the dodging ability of the Ninja especially if the ninja has equipped a weight to activate its ability by keeping its health low, and also has a 25 Lover specialist, making it like catching air with your bare hands. In contrast, a Baciel never misses thanks to its ability, making a Ninja worthless, but it hardly matters if you can't miss if you're up against an Iron Knight with such incredible defense that you're doing basically no damage. ''Disgaea'', in the end, mainly comes down to math and performance on whether something will perform in a given situation or not, but since the game has 9999 levels, the majority of all the battles fought in the game will mainly come down to being higher level unless one is up against the very last bonus bosses in each game, or wants to see the true potential of the character in question.
* In the first ''Franchise/MassEffect'' game, Adepts were basically the top class - their powers kept enemies under permanent lockdown to the point where they could never fight back. Even the final boss was not immune. This made the hardest difficulty in the game (Insanity) pretty easy. Sentinels were considered the absolute worst class in the game, due to being a SpoonyBard class that was basically the MasterOfNone, having the worst weapon skills and weaker biotic and tech skills than any class bar the Soldier (who had no biotic or tech skills) without anything to really make up for it. In an attempt to tone down Adepts in the sequel, the game was changed so that biotic powers no longer work on enemies with any type of shielding (Armor, shields, or barriers). Every enemy in Insanity difficulty is shielded after the first mission, dropping Adepts from the best class to the worst. Sentinels also got a huge boost when they were given the same weapon skills as Engineers or Adepts (still technically the worst, but this could be remedied in a later mission that let them upgrade their weapon selection to include assault rifles) and the Tech Armor power, which made them the most durable class. They also got abilities to deal with pretty much every protection (Overload was especially useful considering how common shields were).
** The first game was also very glaring in two regards: One was that the Krogan Battlemaster (aka Wrex) was very powerful due to him being sort of a Vanguard (soldier/adept hybrid), while still retaining most of the perks of the soldier class (heavy armor, regeneration, wide array of weapons to choose from...) as opposed to the standard vanguard. The other was the predominance of synthetic opponents, which made classes that were good at controlling/hurting these comparatively strong. ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' did away with this due to geth not being nearly as prominent in this game as in the first one.
** [=NPCs=] in ''Mass Effect 2'' are ranked based on their powers. Miranda's powers are always useful, and she gives a damage bonus to the entire squad, making her the best overall. Mordin is feast or famine - against organics (particularly the Blood Pack, since he works well against armored foes), he is utterly amazing. Against synthetic foes, he is terrible. At the low end of the tier list is Jack (who has no skills for dealing with armored foes and is very fragile), Jacob (who is simply inferior to Grunt in all respects) and [[spoiler:Morinth]], for having all the problems of Jack without the Warp Ammo bonus power that makes her playable.
* Companions of the same class in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' have access to the same class abilities, so they are pretty much interchangeable in the party... until you unlock the [[PrestigeClass Specializations]], that is. Since each companion has a predetermined spec in this game, and not all specs are equally powerful and/or useful, it induces a certain inequality. Among party mages, for instance, the [[MagicKnight Knight-Enchanter]] Vivienne is easily the best pick, as her specialization counteracts most of the weaknesses inherent to her class (low defenses, lack of effective melee capabilities), while also boosting the party's overall survivability; Solas, whose Rift Mage spec gives him an impressive damage output boost, comes second, while Dorian's Necromancer abilities are sadly very situational and rarely see much use.
* ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden}}'' is in the same boat as ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' in that the huge roster of characters (technically 108, but only about half of that can be used in battle) has greatly encouraged the use of tiers. Typically, physical fighters come up above magic users and weak fighters with several rune slots (and thus, plenty of customization potential) are far more valued that strong fighters with few or no rune slots.
* Not all of your recruits in ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'' are created equal. While every class's basic stats are about the same, their "potentials" are assigned purely based on their personality, resulting in some characters with nothing but useful perks, and some with absolutely crippling drawbacks. Since there are plenty of people to choose from, each with their own very unique personalities, and even the worst of them are usable with a bit of clever tactics (plus the entire game is singleplayer only) it ends up adding charm and individuality without taking away from gameplay.
* Due to the way ElementalRockPaperScissors works in ''VideoGame/ZanZarahTheHiddenPortal'', Psi, Ice, Light, and Dark faeries are inherently the most powerful combatants, so at least three of them are more-or-less {{Required Party Member}}s by the endgame (most likely Light, as you'll mostly be fighting Dark and Chaos fairies); whereas Nature, Stone, and Chaos tend to become [[TierInducedScrappy Tier-Induced Scrappies]] because they are mostly one-trick ponies with lots of easily exploitable weaknesses.
* In addition to the competitive tiers described above, ''VideoGame/{{Pokemon}}'' can also be judged by "in-game tiers", which judge them by how useful they are in the single player campaign. Unlike the competitive tiers, factors such as how early and easily they can be acquired and made to evolve are taken into account, as well as how they match up against that game's gym battles and other bosses.
* The party members in ''VideoGame/SouthParkTheStickOfTruth'' had a very clear character tier delineation,
** Butters the Merciful was the go-to party member for most of the game. His attacks were very good at hitting heavily armored opponents, and his special skill made him great at harming vertical columns of enemies.
** Elf King Kyle was overpowered as soon as he became available, with a high-damage all-hitting attack he could one-shot almost all enemies, even on higher difficulties. The only reason people rank Butters higher than him is because Kyle only joins in the late game.
** Princess Kenny was better than Butters at dealing with lightly armored foes because the bow attack hit multiple times, and the unicorn attack hit enemy rows, which enemies often grouped themselves as. Unfortunately, a failure would kill Kenny.
** Stan hit very hard and was decently tough, but became less useful once Kyle joined the party.
** Jimmy only had one use, putting [[BonusBoss Al Gore's Secret Service]] to sleep. Other than that, he wasn't useful.
** Cartman's magic wasn't bad, but it simply wasn't as good as Kyle, and by the time Cartman was available, so was Kyle. He was really only useful to gain achievements.

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''
** The Dungeons & Dragons community has an ultimate prototype for a (ridiculous) God Tier character: Pun Pun the Kobold. Pun Pun was initially created in 3.5e and has since been worked out in other editions as well as versions in other [=RPGs=] mechanics. It's essentially the most [[MinMaxing minmaxed]] character possible in a given set of mechanics.
** In 3rd edition, versatility (how many problems a character can contribute to solving) is often at least as important as power (how powerful the character's abilities are for problems) in tiering. In one popular system, the top tier is characters who, with the right spells prepared, can solve nearly anything the GM can come up with as a standard action. Lesser tiers either have [[CripplingOverspecialization less versatility]] or [[MasterOfNone less power]]. For example, Druids tend to be high/top-tier due to their highly versatile magical powers which include conjuring and purifying food and controlling the elements as well as the ability to transform into various animals, as are Wizards, who depending on whether or not they prepared the right spells and still have spell slots the cast them, can either be a UselessProtagonist or effectively overcome absolutely ''anything''; Fighters on the other hand tend to be low-tier as they are unparalleled allies in battle but have few useful skills outside of Intimidate (i.e, outside of a fight, the only thing they're really good for is ''preventing one''). In general, while a character of any tier can be a GameBreaker with the right factors, only a high-tier character can be a [[StoryBreakerPower Story Breaker]]. Imagine how ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' would have turned out if Gandalf could teleport any distance, read minds, identify any item instantly, and make anyone [[NoSell immune]] to mental influence... and that was just a fraction of his abilities.
** More in-depth: [[https://web.archive.org/web/20160912163229/http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=658 The generally agreed list]] is six tiers. Tier 1 is for characters like wizards, clerics, and druids, who possess StoryBreakerPower and can utilize pretty much every type of it. Tier 2 is for characters like sorcerers, psions, and favored souls, who have access to similar StoryBreakerPower, but to a more restrictive degree (the creator compared it to the difference between a nation with a thousand nukes and one with ten). Beneath them, the tiers refer to characters in terms of how good they are at their given focus, and how many things they can do well. Tier 3 is for characters like bards, factotums, and duskblades, who can either do one thing incredibly well and still pull off other tricks passably, or [[MasterOfAll do pretty much anything effectively]]. Tier 4 is for characters like rogues, barbarians, and rangers, who [[CripplingOverspecialization can do one thing incredibly well but struggle at doing anything else]], or [[JackOfAllStats can do a lot of things to a passable degree]]. Tier 5 is for characters like fighters, monks, and paladins, who can generally be okay at one thing but not much else, or [[MasterOfNone can do a lot of things but kinda sucks at all of them]]. Tier 6 is for classes that can't even be okay at the thing they're supposed to be good at, and is mostly reserved for [[JokeCharacter deliberately weak]] [[{{Muggles}} NPC classes]] and the worst-designed PC classes. And then there's [[BrokeTheRatingScale the truenamer]], which is so [[ObviousBeta mechanically broken]] that it doesn't work as intended, fluctuating between 4 and 6 depending on whether they can make their rolls consistently.
** Tiers themselves are based on "As Written" comparisons based on how effectively the class can deal with different situations. The original author pointed out that optimized fighters can still be a low tier but capable of taking down the [[PhysicalGod Tarrasque]] in a single turn. In the the right hands, many classes can be equal to higher tiers in power, even though they still remain in their tier because of their lack of versatility. The Truenamer breaks the tier system by dint of its mechanics not being properly thought out, getting worse by every level, [[MagikarpPower until level 20,]] when it will just spam Gate Celestial Angels.
** [[PrestigeClass Prestige Classes]] generally are set on separate tier [[https://web.archive.org/web/20160818031632/http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=1573.0 system]], ranking them on how they might move the expected base class through standard tiers. Marvelous tier advances base class by two tiers, Great to Good Tier by one, Medicore don't advance it at all and Bad to Awful Tier and Catastrophic Tier can actually [[PowerUpLetdown move the class down one or two tiers]]. What you enter PrestigeClass from is also important - for example, Warshaper is Marvelous Tier when taken by classes who cannot use magic, but only Medicore Tier, when taken by a caster. Some are also very situational - Dragonstalker and Dragonslayer are Bad to Awful Tier, but if your game is focused heavily on fighting dragons, they're respectively Good to Great and Medicore. A few prestige classes are informally referred to as "Tier Zero", which doesn't have a precise definition but is generally accepted to mean a prestige class designed to make a Tier 1 class significantly better - for instance, the Planar Shepherd upgrades the druid's already-powerful VoluntaryShapeshifting to let them turn into celestial beings instead of animals and lets them set up bubbles that run on different laws of physics, while keeping basically all their old power.
** The 4th edition of D&D sought to remove this by making all the classes follow the same progression, so ''everyone'' is [[LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards linear]]. Predictably, this nevertheless didn't result in a uniform power level, and discussions about which classes are higher-tier than which others are common. For example, "iconic" classes like the fighter and wizard have ''many'' more spells, feats, and abilities printed than "what on earth is that" classes like the Battlemind or the Seeker.
*** On the other hand, it's been said that the power spread of the entire 4E tier system could fit within one tier of 3.5, partially because of more aggressive errata and the inability to do things which simply break the gameplay in half. Additionally, while some classes have many more powers to choose from, in reality all that actually matters is the -strongest- powers at any given level - unlike in 3.x, where spellcasters had access to every single new spell in every single book (at least potentially), characters in 4th edition are limited in their number of powers, so no matter if you have four powers or thirty to choose from, you still have the same breadth of ability. The primary advantage lies in that with a higher number of powers, it is more likely one will be overpowered, and less likely that all will be bad or unsuitable for your build.
** D&D Minis had informal tiers based on the perceived usefulness of a particular miniature. Unlike the RPG, spellcasters were rarely in the top tier due to SquishyWizard Syndrome, among other things. Also, very few of the most powerful monsters from the RPG were top tier as minis, due to poor playtesting by the Devs.
** 5th edition tried to rebalance the classes and eliminate the tier system and... ultimately ended up just reshuffling the tiers around a tiny bit. Wizards and Druids are still more than capable of wrecking the game in every situation, while Bards somehow ended up sharing a God Tier spot with them due to their ability to break the skill system entirely and learn up to 9th level spells from EVERY classes spell list. Clerics were bumped down a little bit and Paladins became less specialized, but ultimately the tier system is still prominent, it just looks a little different compared to 3.5.
* 3.5e successor TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}} strives to make all characters much more balanced, with limited success. All classes received upgrades, but low tier 3.5 classes received more extensive rewrites while powerful 3.5 classes only received minor enhancements to make them more fun to play along with some nerfs to the most well-known exploits. A good example is that the Wizard, a top tier character, received new abilities which are hardly worth a mention and had many metamagic feats nerfed, while the Paladin, a tier 5, had its trademark Smite Evil boosted into a permanent buff against the designated target, its Lay on Hands ability was boosted to be far more useful as a source of healing and status removal, and its other abilities were generally enhanced, pushing it up into Tier 4. The overall balance of the game is unchanged, however, and competent casters can still break the universe in half while fighter-type characters still tend to lack any versatility outside combat.
* While it is generally agreed that tabletop wargames ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' and ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' have army tiers, getting anyone to agree which armies are in which tier is nearly impossible. It also revolves around the competitive metagame as much as individual matchups and will often depend on how easy or hard it is to make the army competitive. This issue is exacerbated by the fact that the more popular armies get updated much more often than the less popular ones.
** Daemons of Chaos in Warhammer Fantasy is an exception to the rule, everybody agrees that they're God Tier.
** It's a joke among the 40k fandom that you're not allowed to bitch that GWS hates, ignores or deliberately nerfed your army unless you play Dark Eldar. Their original codex was released in 1998 for the launch of 3rd edition 40k, and they did not receive a new codex until 2010, for the ''Fifth Edition'' of 40k.
*** Necrons had similar issues. The changes from Fourth to Fifth Edition almost completely gutted their competitive metagame, and since their army had such little variety it was nigh impossible for players to find new tactics. This was eventually fixed with the release of a new, much larger codex in late 2011[[note]]and to prevent the same problem from happening twice in a row, the codex was written with the upcoming Sixth Edition rulebook in mind rather than the then-current Fifth Edition[[/note]]
** The Orks also had a long time between their 3rd edition codex and their next one. They were one of the first to come out for 3rd edition in 1999 but didn't get another until early 2008 just before Fourth Edition was replaced by Fifth Edition. Their next scheduled Codex update is early 2014.
*** That said, they never quite tipped into Bottom Tier or God Tier at any point since 2000.
** In Apocalypse (extremely high-point games), however, two God Tier factions have emerged. The Imperial Guard simply have more and more powerful vehicles than anyone else, especially fliers (and Apocalypse is won on vehicle power), while Chaos Daemons...[[GameBreaker can cherry-pick units from any faction so long as the model has spikes on it]].
* A lot of debate goes on in ''MagicTheGathering'' fandom as to whether one card can be "strictly better" than another. While it's certainly true that as the game gets more powerful in general newer cards outshine old ones with the same casting cost and power/toughness (though all of the very strongest cards ever printed are long since out of print), it gets harder to judge recent cards against each other due to how situational many cards are these days.
** This is complicated by Wizards releasing cards that [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=88817 seem useless]], only to either 1) release another card later that makes it useful, 2) have a player suddenly realize how it was meant to be used in the first place, or 3) to have a player use it in a way that they didn't intend but that [[GameBreaker completely breaks the game]]; the last tends to be the largest problem. Ironically, One With Nothing itself was meant to be a completely useless card, but due to a deck that wizards never even thought was viable, let alone good, coming to exist - a deck that won by forcing its opponent to fill up their hand with cards all the time - One With Nothing briefly became a tournament staple, though the popularity of the deck in question (Owling Mine) declined dramatically after everyone started playing aggressive decks that simply didn't care because they were throwing lightning bolts at people's heads, and drawing more cards just meant more lightning bolts and Kird Apes.
** In ''Mirrodin's'' case, it was a whole mechanic that worked mostly as intended, but was more dominant than expected. Cards costing one-fourth what they should proved slightly too strong. The same thing happened in the Urza block. Due to the way the mechanic counted the resources spent, what was supposed to give back the resources (and ''maybe'' a bit more) winded up returning a lot more. In both cases, the ability to play your whole hand in a turn or two ''and'' do it sooner than you should be able to was [[GameBreaker a bit too much]] for the metagame.
** The same debate goes on regarding different decks - generally there's the "best deck", several other top-tier decks, and a large number of second-tier decks. Then there are the "rogue" decks that aren't popular enough to have an obvious tier, and the decks that are pure {{Metagame}} choices. Being able to select the right decks is considered as much of a skill as playing well.
** It's important to note that there ''is'' an official definition for "strictly better" - a card is strictly better than another card if it does more for an identical cost (or the same/more for a smaller cost). Lightning Bolt, for example, is strictly better than Shock - both cost one red mana, but Lightning Bolt does an extra point of damage. Of course, with the way Magic tournaments are run, those strictly better cards might not always be legal.
* In traditional TabletopGame/{{chess}}, the white player is considered to have a slight advantage simply because he moves first, which agrees well with statistics[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-move_advantage_in_chess]]. This is not the case in other chess-variants, especially ''shogi'' (Japanese chess) where both players have an almost even 50% chance of winning.
** One way to fix this advantage in chess and other games where turn order can be an unfair advantage given identical starting circumstances is with the "pie rule" - where one player makes the first move with white. The other player then has the option of either playing as black or switching to white for the game.
* On the other hand, the first-move advantage for Black in {{Go}} is not disputed. Strangely enough, it took until the twentieth century for compensation for White to become standard. It's called [[http://senseis.xmp.net/?Komi komi]] and consists, depending on the ruleset, of 6.5 to 8 free points added to White's score.
* ''TabletopGame/BloodBowl'' has a fairly well-agreed upon tier system divided into three tiers: Tier one consists of all teams that are perfectly capable of running a main scoring strategy (running, throwing or bashing) out of the box. Tier two consists of teams that either need some SPP development to do so, or have an obvious drawback when playing their favoured strategy. Tier three are obvious [[JokeCharacter joke teams]] who basically depend on luck to win. Notably, something like 80% of the game's teams are in tier 1. How strong a team is also depends a lot on the type of tournament/league you're playing, other teams participating, and rules (such as time limit per move) that are implemented. And, of course, ultimately [[RandomNumberGod Nuffle is the final arbitrator]].

* ''VideoGame/AceCombat'':
** Since ''VideoGame/AceCombat6FiresOfLiberation'' comes with multiplayer capability, the planes themselves have been separated into tiers. All of the planes are divided into three categories: "fighters", "bombers", and "multirole" planes. Within each category are other tiers based on each individual plane's performance attributes. Naturally, many modern planes such as the F-22 or SU-47 would be far superior to older planes like the F-16 or A-10.
** ''VideoGame/AceCombat04ShatteredSkies'' had a Versus mode, albeit it (and ''VideoGame/AceCombat5TheUnsungWar'') referred to the bombers as "attackers" and doesn't state tiers, it's soon clear where each plane fits in.
* In Creator/TomClancy's ''VideoGame/{{HAWX}}'', tiers do exist, but many planes toward the top are close enough that it's not that clear cut and while the F-22 is near the top it's hardly alone. This also ignores that "guns only" still rather illogically allows unguided rockets which can be a significant edge and a reason to chose another plane. Guns only actually gets rid of one of the F-22 edges which is that it's hard to lock due to stealth, but also has high maneuverability unlike most of the other stealth planes. Without missile the extra lock time is a non-factor and a number of other planes are just as or very nearly as maneuverable.
* In nearly every online sports game, there is a small group of teams with an enormous advantage (much like RealLife).
** In the ''NCAA Football'' series, for instance, there are over 115 teams, but only show-offs and super-fans pick outside the Top 10.
* The ''FIFA'' series, being a reflection of the current state of world football, is naturally this. The tiers in-game are actually startlingly accurate when compared to real life.
* The campaign modes in ''VideoGame/EuropaUniversalis'' and its sequel, being based on and seeking to emulate late medieval to modern European history, do not pretend to create balanced factions in any way: various nations are more economically and militarily well-off from the very beginning, and scripted historical events affect gameplay in such a way that make it more difficult even for successful nations to continue dominating if history says that they cannot, effectively altering tiers based on the length of the game. Skilled players can take advantage of game mechanics to turn the tiers on their heads, but non-Christian, non-Western European nations have a much harder time at it.
** In fact, until a almost world conquest by a native american faction in a AAR in [=EU3=] [[http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?384744-The-Audacity-of-Hope-An-Iroquois-IN-AAR (Here it is)]], it was considered impossible to become a world power with them, merely surviving being already a lot.
*** Note: in the third game, the scripted events disappear, monarchs are no longer pre-determined (which means that you are no longer certain if you start in the 1600's as France that Louis XIV is going to live as long as he did - and it brings up the possibility that he might be succeeded by a douché with a weak claim due to sudden heir deaths and after the succession, crisis after crisis) and non-European powers can "Westernize" and thus increase their tech rate - reducing the gap to the Europeans.
* Similarly, Koei designed VideoGame/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms and VideoGame/NobunagasAmbition to be historically accurate. As a result, both games are unbalanced, and both have at least one scenario where Cao Cao and UsefulNotes/OdaNobunaga (respectively) are at least twice as powerful as the second strongest force.
* ''VideoGame/EVEOnline'' goes through this with every major patch. Each of the four races has had a turn at being the Flavor of the Month depending on who boasts the current ScrappyMechanic; maybe it's the Caldari with ECM jammers being overpowered, Minmatar dominating because of unbalanced speed tanking, Gallente hurting because their close range ships suffered from the super-speed nerf or players calling for a boost to the Amarr all around. Fortunately, the EVE devs generally listen to the community....even if they swing the [[{{Nerf}} Nerf Bat]] a little to hard at times.
* ''[[VideoGame/GoldenEye1997 GoldenEye]]'' for Nintendo 64 included at least 2 playable characters in multiplayer that were considerably shorter than other characters, specifically including Oddjob. Thanks to the way the game's auto-aim worked, it would fix on a point that would be where the head was on any other character - and just above the head in his case, requiring you to manually aim down (which was difficult on the N64) and give the Oddjob player plenty of time to gun you down. It got so bad that tournaments (and friends) banned use of Oddjob and the Moonraker Female (the other short character) from use.
* The ''VideoGame/GundamVsSeries'' has its tiers built into the game; the Universal Century and Cosmic Era games use a five-star system (with half-stars), typically following technical progress (which means in the ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny''-based game, most of the returning ''SEED'' machines are downgraded). In ''Gundam Vs. Gundam'' the system is simplified to three levels (3000 for hero machines, 2000 for middle-of-the-roaders, and 1000 for {{Mooks}}); ''Gundam Extreme Vs.'' adds a 2500 tier consisting mostly of [[TheRival Rival]] and [[TheLancer Lancer]] machines.
* ''Wrestling/{{WWE}} Raw Deal,'' a ProfessionalWrestling collectible card game, took almost no time to sort itself into character tiers from Stone Cold and Chyna nearly unbeatable in earlier sets, to Andre the Giant and Largest Athlete in Sports Entertainment, the Big Show alternate, in later sets. Interestingly, the devs insisted that the game was perfectly balanced and that players just weren't finding the other characters' "killer archetypes." Said archetypes, if they ever existed, still haven't been found yet ten years later.
* ''VideoGame/HeartsOfIron 2'', what tier a country belongs to depends almost entirely on its size and industrial capacity. The strongest countries are, in order: Germany, the Soviet Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Italy, and France[[note]]At the start of the game, anyway. The order can change quite dramatically when certain industrial advances are researched, or peacetime production penalties removed[[/note]]. It's possible to conquer a continent or more with some of the smaller countries (especially Brazil and Argentina, which are far away from the main super-powers), but almost any country on the European continent will either be conquered by Germany or allied with Germany. Same with Japan and Asia.
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert2'' has this for the countries rather than characters. When playing multiplayer with the expansion, Yuri's side is Top Tier and can border on God Tier. For the Allies, Korea and the USA are Top Tier since their special units/abilities don't cost anything extra (USA gets free paradrops, Korea gets about a 50% upgrade to Harriers without a corresponding cost increase), Great Britian is slightly lower on the Top Tier, and Germany and France are Mid Tier - useful, but rarely worth skipping out on either free stuff or long-range instant protection against enemy special infantry units. For the Soviets, Iraq is Top Tier, Cuba is Mid Tier, and Russia and Libya are Low Tier. When facing an Allied player, Cuba drops to Low Tier, and Russia and Libya drop to Bottom Tier because often only Iraq can stop hordes of Mirages Tanks (especially in vanilla [=RA2=], without the expansion) if the Allies survive the early game.
* ''VideoGame/ShiningForce 1'' and its subsequent games have this in spades. It makes sense, since there's always going to be those who excel, and those who don't. The problem is that many characters always had decent stat gains, if you're ''lucky'' every five levels. The most notorious bad character that isn't even a JokeCharacter (but might as well be) is poor Hans.
** Even worse is the only response to this: "Use better characters". Yep, that's right. Now imagine if everybody did that. The game would get pretty stale pretty fast, then. That's why they give you 29 different characters to choose from, so you can try something new.
** Another notorious example is in ''VideoGame/ShiningSoul'' 1, where the Dragonute is the only character with no redeeming qualities. Yes, he gets a breathe weapon counter, but... that's it. He's slow, has bad range, hits as much as nearly everyone else(as in rarely), and gets very few useful abilities save that particular one. In fact, the list in order would best be considering(from High to Low) Mage, Archer, Warrior, Dragonute.
* ''VideoGame/UnrealTournament2004'' has an InUniverse example: the teams the player fights in the single-player mode have a different tier. (Weak-Tough-Strong-Godlike) The Weak tier characters can only be fought in the Team Qualification round, and the challenges. Those in the Godlike tier are the candidates to be the team the player faces in the Finals. This is also reflected in the bots chosen for these teams, as the Weak team has "weak" bots (overall low accuracy, low aggressiveness, low agility and low team tactics) while the bots in the Godlike tier are the inverse.
* ''VideoGame/DungeonCrawl'':
** The many gods available have been ranked into tiers. While almost all of the gods (except Xom) are very powerful if chosen wisely, some gods are easier to use and are useful in more builds than others.
*** High: Kikubaaqudgha, Okawaru, Sif Muna, The Shining One, Trog, and Vehumet
*** Middle: Beogh, Elyvilon, Lugonu, Makhleb, and Yredremnul
*** Low: Ashenzari, Cheibrados, Fedhas Madash, Jiyva, Nemelex Xobeh and Zin
*** [[JokeCharacter Joke]]: Xom
** The races have also been ranked into tiers of "Easy-Medium-Hard," again more based on ease of use than strength. Classes haven't as such (as they only affect the start of the game, not your progression), but each race has classes (and often weapon types) that synergize well with them.
*** Easy: Centaur, Deep Dwarf, Draconian, Gargoyle, Halfling, Hill Orc, Kobold, Merfolk, Minotaur, Spriggan, Troll, Vine Stalker
*** Moderate: Deep Elf, Demonspawn, Ghoul, High Elf, Human, Naga, Ogre, Tengu, Vampire
*** Hard: Demigod, Felid, Formicid, Mummy, Octopode
* Non-gaming example: [[http://memegenerator.net/tier/god Meme Generator]], which is a website for [[MemeticMutation generating memes]], ranks the available 'characters' by popularity/ubiquity as God Tier, Demigod Tier, Legendary Tier, Top Tier, Fascinating Tier, Meh Tier, Lame Tier and Fail Tier.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Geneforge}}'' series uses a PointBuildSystem, with skills divided into three categories (Combat, Magic, and Shaping) and the cost of buying skill ranks dependent on class affinity. Character classes each had one strong skill category, one average, and one weak. General fan consensus on class viability usually goes...
** '''God Tier''': Sorceress (Strong Magic/Avg. Shaping/Weak Combat). Added in the final game, and it's pretty obvious why it was never in any of the previous ones. Average shaping skills are sufficient to make powerful creations, and strong magic is far handier than strong combat if you've got a meatshield or two handy.
** '''Top Tier''': Shaper/Lifecrafter (Strong Shaping/Avg. Magic/Weak Combat) and Agent/Infiltrator (Strong Magic/Avg. Combat/Weak Shaping). Both solid choices, they trade off the top dog slot between games as spells and creations are rebalanced.
** '''Mid Tier''': Servile (Strong Combat/Avg. Magic/Weak Shaping). Added in the fourth game. Mathematically more powerful than the Agent if minmaxed, but harder to play if you don't know the system inside-out.
** '''Low Tier''': Guardian/Warrior (Strong Combat/Avg. Shaping/Weak Magic). Competitive in the first two games, and at least usable in the third, but outclassed later on. Strategically simple, so doesn't adapt well if played on high difficulty levels.
** '''Rubbish Tier''': Shock Trooper (Strong Shaping/Avg. Combat/Weak Magic). Added in the fourth game, apparently just for the sake of completeness. Again, average combat is much less useful than average magic if you've got meatshields you could be buffing.
* Rogue-like games such as ''Ancient Domains of Mystery'' have this in spades. While the game can hardly be considered easy under any circumstances, playing a Wizard or Archer in ADOM is much, much easier than playing a Farmer or Thief.
* ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' has spawned lots of tier lists, the most popular can be found [[http://www.reignofgaming.net/tier-lists/solo-tier-list here]]. They're constantly being changed, cause every patch brings nerfs and buffs to certain characters. As such posting a tier list here would be kinda useless. Once in a while, low tier characters get "discovered" and end up in top tiers. Many agree that characters in lower tiers can still be effective, [[OvershadowedByAwesome maybe being less allrounder than the top tiers]].
* You might think that simple SimulationGame ''VideoGame/AnimalCrossing'' wouldn't have character tiers. [[http://villagertrade.tumblr.com/popularity You would]] [[http://www.belltreeforums.com/showthread.php?109343-List-of-Villagers-Based-on-Popularity be wrong]]. As a rule, the tiers are based solely on villager popularity (which, in turn, is based mostly on [[RuleOfCute villager cuteness]]) and are mostly used in villager trading, so anyone who doesn't trade can just ignore them. Even if you ''do'' trade, you can probably ignore the tiers--but you might be less likely to have a deal go through if you try to trade a low-tier villager for a higher-tier one.
* Advancements in {{pinball}}, both in technology and in competition, has resulted in some games having their own tier lists too:
** ''Pinball/{{ACDC}}'' pinball machine has tiers regarding its songs. At the beginning of the game, and after hitting some milestones, you're asked to pick a song, which changes the rules of the table. Naturally, different sets of rules would contain different high-scoring options and different ways to exploit the rules, and this means that some songs are considered to yield higher scores than others. Although there are disagreements on which song is the best to use due to differences in play style, some songs are far, far less popular than others. (You will hardly see "TNT" or "You Shook Me All Night Long" in competitions, for instance.) All of the top players know exactly how each song stacks up against the others and why, and this knowledge is essential to doing well in tournaments.
** When you begin a game of ''Pinball/GameOfThrones'', you are asked to pick a house to play as. Each house has one or more advantages in particular areas and also affects which objectives will be available at the start. With several months since its release, the choices for houses in competition have solidified (but that may change with patches later on).[[note]]As of July 2016, the tiers are as follows, based on frequency at major competitions: Top tier are Martel and Tyrell, high is Greyjoy, middle is Targaryen, low is Stark, and bottom are Baratheon and Lannister.[[/note]]
* For ''VideoGame/StreetPassMiiPlaza'':
** In ''Mii Force'', Brown, White, and Light Blue shirts are better than other shirts. Brown and White can destroy purple plasma shots while Brown also gives a perpetual shield against physical attacks. The only drawbacks of Brown is that when it blocks a physical attack it launches you in the opposite direction, potentially into another trap and Brown shirts can be really hard to find. Light Blue shirts just have good range, rapid fire, damage, and destroy fire based attacks. While other shirts like Blue, Red, and Orange are good in general and other shirt colors are good in certain levels (2-3 for Black, 3-1, 4-1 and 4-3 for Light Green), Light Blue, White, and Brown are the best shirts to have on your ship during most levels of ''Mii Force''. They make arcade mode a bit easier. The only useless power is Dark Green, whose attacks are both weak and unreliable.
** In ''Find Mii'', Yellow, Light Blue, Dark Blue, Red, Black, and White shirts are often required for passing certain levels. In addition, Red and Dark Blue magic is handy for armored enemies where, if not strong enough, can still deal damage that way, and Light Blue and Light Green magic can be handy against the Green Slime. Once again Dark Green is the most useless type of magic in the game.
* In ''VideoGame/ThisWarOfMine'', Marko and Bruno are at the top (since their abilities are so handy and universal), Marin, Pavle, Katia, and Roman are high tier (Marin's good for shelter development while the others are good for trading or hostile engagement), Zlata, Boris, and Arica are mid-tier (Zlata being a JackOfAllTrades, Boris being strong but slow and having a huge backpack, and Arica for her stealth abilities), Anton and Emilia are low tier (Anton merely being better with animal traps and creating the not too useful herbal medicine and Emilia is simply emotionless), and down at the very bottom is Cveta (with the [[SarcasmMode fantastic ability]] of being friendly to children).
* The counselors in ''VideoGame/VideoGame/FridayThe13th'' are easily divided up in terms of utility, and the game rewards ''speed'' over every other trait they might have. That, by itself, puts Mark and Crissy right at the top of the list, with Laura trailing behind them since she can't jump as high. George, Paul and Debbie will count themselves fortunate to be used by any players who aren't specifically making a point to actually use each counselor's individual strengths, or who aren't playing a SelfImposedChallenge.
* The ''VideoGame/AdvanceWars'' series tends to have fairly atypical tier rankings. It's generally agreed that the "bottom-tier" characters in the game come off more as balanced mid-tiers (Andy, Olaf), with the next step up being characters who feel noticeably stronger than those (Sami, Grit), then characters who are [[GameBreaker pretty much broken]] (Colin, Kanbei), and then characters [[PurposefullyOverpowered who might be fair in a two-on-one game]] (Sturm, Hachi). The exceptions are Flak and Jugger, who are basically {{Joke Character}}s.