Gaming Tier Lists And Why Its Unfair

Gaming tier lists are created to arrange various video game elements into different ranks based on certain benchmarking criteria. Some important benchmarks include character stats, unlocking difficulty, overall value, and more.

Most tier list categories include S-tier, A-Tier, B tier C tier, and D tier. The S-Tier usually has the best of the best gameplay elements a video game can offer to the players. On the flip side, the D-tier includes the lowest quality or the total opposite of the highest ranking tier.

Tier lists allow players to get an overall picture of a character roster in a game, the difficulty ranking of side-missions, or any other factor for which the tier list was created. A simple search on the Google search engine will allow you to see the growing trend of tier lists in the video game industry.

The large influx of tier lists on the web is the result of players demanding tier list on forums such as Reddit, Quora, and more. As a result, publications have made a habit of curating source authentic tier lists. I, for one, find fighting, FPS, and other video game genre tier lists helpful at Exputer.

While tier lists can prove to be a blessing to some, the very nature of creating a list ranking all the elements from S-tier to D-tier welcomes scrutiny and makes the whole process an affair of fair and unfair treatment. The core problem comes from the biasness of the author for the video game elements for which the tiers list was designed in the first place. Here is the list of problems that come after publishing a tier list. Some of these are taken from Top Tier List.

High Subjectivity

A major problem that a lot of tier lists have is that they are highly subjective. Most tier lists are a reflection of an author’s personal viewpoints. For example, we can find multiple tier lists regarding Brawlhalla on the web. Still, all of them have ranked the characters differently, e.g., Exputer ranks Mako as an S-tier fighter. At the same time, other publications or players on Reddit can place this character in D-tier character. Such differences in opinion make it all the more difficult for gamers to decide where exactly a particular character of a video game stands in the full roster.

When it comes to ranking top video games in a year kind of tier list, most lists do not consider great video games worthy for the S-tier. To them, they do not find the quality of a specific video game to be high enough or to their standards.

So, a lot of games end up being underrated. Different authors have set up a different standard for categorizing video games in general or their elements. Some may consider the plot to be important, while others consider the gameplay. A tier list writer making a list judging the gameplay aspect of a video game only will scrutinize the plot of the game and thus can place a great game with a good plot in the B or C-tier category instead of top-tier.

While writing a tier list, an author has to choose and set appropriate standards by selecting appropriate ranking benchmarks. If he categorizes any particular character in the S-tier, he has to provide good reasons for it. Most fail to do so, and the tier list becomes inappropriate. An S-tier character has to have good stats and gameplay style, while an A-tier character can have a few disadvantages, and they must be explained properly so that players who visit a tier list webpage can get the full picture. Likewise, reasons must be given for placing a character in the D-tier, explaining all potential disadvantages and even some positive points if a character or game has any.

Inappropriate Standards

Some tier lists on the internet can be outright misleading. They fail to entail particular standards and judge a video game character based on their personal liking instead of how good or bad that character is in a video game. For example, a few tier lists may consider a character to be an S-tier based solely on the fan-following and not on the overall gameplay value that character offers to the table. Tier lists created on inappropriate standards also ignore the negative qualities of video game characters and, as a result, categorize them in the S tier without considering the disadvantages.

So, choosing appropriate standards is a fundamental style while curating tier lists. It is something I always find while reading tier lists at Exputer. Some good standards include overall gameplay experience, difficulty, and video game character’s learning curve.

Overburdenening S-Tier Category

The major problem with many tier lists I see on the internet is that many overuses or overburden the S-tier. In Tekken, a lot of tier lists would consider Jinn to be an S-tier character solely on his popularity. For example, Jinn from Tekken can become the best character and has great gameplay value. Still, he is not the best character in Tekken to play with as he has a difficult learning curve. However, a lot of players pick this one in the game because they read a tier list over Reddit or Quora ranking Jin in the S-tier category.

Failure To Consider Other Factors

Some Tier lists categorize characters based on the win rate of that character. For example, in a Brawlhalla tier list, the author may consider Onyx an S-tier character due to a higher win rate without considering other factors such as a player’s skills while using Onyx and the level and skill of the opponent he or she is fighting against. This benchmark or ranking characters in a tier list becomes inaccurate because it fails to consider other factors that decide the victory.

Another example, in Smash Bros Ultimate, different stages may have unique outcomes. The game has an extensive character roster, and some of these characters may do well against particular characters while having trouble dealing with the other ones. As a result, video games such as SSBU can make it harder for you to rely on the tier lists as you would have to choose particular characters to counter an opponent. In Smash Bros, Pikachu is strong against Donkey Kong, King decade, etc., while weak against Peach and dizzy.

Many Tier lists have various problems, and they fail to convince readers by providing rational or constructive reasons. As a result, most tier lists available on the internet are highly subjective, biased, and unfair. These tier lists can bring certain invaluable characters to the spotlight or could do the total opposite of it to valuable ones.

One must have adequate benchmarking criteria or tools so as to resolve this problem. An author should judge a video game or a particular character based on the overall value it offers. For example, the character stats must be compared and contrasted. An opinion not backed by any proof does not hold much ground.

Most Tier lists fail to consider the appropriate Benchmarks and thus become unfair. The character art style and looks cannot be the only benchmark in categorizing them into tiers. A lot of other factors must be considered in deciding the Tier to which a game or a character must be assigned to. Some of these factors may include Plot and Gameplay experience e.t.c


Tier lists are important for video games containing a huge character roster. They can help players to visit a tier list web page, gather the overall information regarding the standing of characters and start playing the game accordingly. They may even prevent gamers from spending money on certain characters that are not worth buying. I, for one, find Exputer to have maintained various benchmark standards while making video game tier lists. These benchmarks can prevent unfair judging of characters and games.

Leave a Comment