In gaming, especially video games, a tier list is a method for sorting characters in games which have combat as part of gameplay, based on their ability to win battles against the greatest number of other characters. There are multiple systems of labeling for these tiers; the most common method is ranking them using the Latin alphabet from A through F to indicate a character's quality, with F being the poorest quality, and A the highest quality that is normally available and assumed to be in common use by most players. An additional rank in this system, labeled S (for "Superlative" or "Superior," based on academic grading in Japan) or EX (for "Extra" or "Extreme"), is used to describe characters which are uncommonly good to such an extent that they qualify as "game-breaking," resulting in them being used infrequently for competitive multiplayer purposes: they are so OP (overpowered) that they render competitive play boring to the players, because they force every team to have compensatory countermeasures in place for dealing with them as a likely threat. This in turn makes every player's team repetitive and uncreative.

Other labeling systems exist on metagaming websites like Smogon, which ranks Pokémon according to their competitive viability with the labels (from strongest to weakest) Uber, Overused (OU), Underused (UU), and Never Used (UU). It is considered especially respectable to be good at winning with a UU or NU team, because of the challenge inherent in making them viable, and most players prefer to battle in the OU tier, while using Ubers is forbidden except in matches which clarify in advance that only Ubers will be used. An additional especially non-viable tier, "PU," exists, with its name being not an initialism for any other words, but rather a declaration that these Pokémon stink and shouldn't be used at all, as their inclusion in a battle makes it so insultingly easy for the opponent to win, that it isn't any fun for either player.

As of 2019, a tier list is also a type of meme graphic which represents a list of media characters, wild animals, media franchises, or other entities with some category held in common, and ranks them based on a set of criteria declared by the maker of the list, such as their merits, likable qualities, or their rank of favouritism respective to each other among the meme maker's personal tastes. The YouTube artist TierZoo, for example, creates a video series sorting wild animals as though they are video game characters in a global battle royale against one another, ranking them according to their speed, strength, stealth, and a number of other physical properties which make them good at hunting and defending themselves.

Iron Noder 2019, 25/30

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