List of SSBB tier lists (NTSC)
The Smash Back Room tier list has changed many times since its inception. Previous versions of the list are as follows. In later tier lists, characters are broadly ranked by their tier, and further ranked by the order in which characters are listed within the tier list. Earlier tier lists use numerical rankings, and characters with the same numerical value are listed alphabetically.
While many players wanted to have a tier list within a month or two of Brawl's release, the SBR decided to wait before making the first tier list. The idea was that making a tier list too early would result in it quickly becoming outdated, forcing the SBR to make a second one on short notice. Players' predictions of the tier list changed dramatically between the game's release and September. The most noticeable fluctuation was the placing of Snake, who was first considered about mid-tier, then skyrocketed to the perceived #1 spot above Meta Knight, this opinion being backed up by tournaments where Snake took almost all the top spots (in one case, the top 5 placings were all Snake). It wasn't until Mew2King began dominating with Meta Knight that players started believing that Meta Knight was a superior character, a belief that is widespread and undisputed today.
By this time, no player doubted Meta Knight's placing in the old tier list. In many players' opinions, Meta Knight wasn't just better than every other character, but better by a noticeable gap; this is why he is SS tier, above Snake in S tier. He was considered so good that it sparked a debate on whether he should be banned or not. After many heated discussions, the SBR (Smash Back Room) decided by vote that Meta Knight should be left alone and no one should be banned. It was too early to be making drastic rule changes.
Snake was also elevated above other characters to a similar degree, though not to the point of being considered banned. This resulted in both of these characters having their own tiers. Diddy Kong also received a huge bump up the tier list after NinjaLink successfully beat Mew2King by abusing Diddy's bananas to a level not seen before.
By this time, the tournament scene was heating up and top/high tier characters dominated the metagame. As a result, empirical data on low tiers is sparse; the low tier placings are volatile and move a lot. Notably, Olimar also got a huge bump to be tied to Lucario at 10th. Zero Suit Samus had been bumped to 16th as well. Both would hit high tier in later years.
In this list, Wario and Sonic made a large jump. Wario's change is due to the newly-found usefulness of his great air mobility, coupled with great recovery and heavy weight, making him a very defensive character that is hard to KO. While most of the community perceived Sonic as a bad character, dedicated mains continued to defy the tier list of Jan 1, 2009 by placing high in tourneys. In this tier list, their efforts were finally recognized. Donkey Kong fell four, R.O.B. fell three, and Lucario fell three-four, while the Ice Climbers rose four. This is so far the only tier list after the first tier list where Meta Knight doesn't have his own tier at the top.
This tier list once again placed Meta Knight at his own separate tier. Another noticeable difference was Ness's rise. In previous tier lists, Ness was ranked low, but is now placed in the lower part of the middle tier, tied with Bowser for 26/27th place. Diddy Kong and the Ice Climbers also had a notable rise, now being #3 and #5 respectively on the tier list. Pit also rose four places from the last list. Ike fell into low tier, and Zelda fell nine places into bottom tier - the largest drop of any character in the Brawl tier lists.
While Meta Knight had previously set a record for having his own tier at the top, Ganondorf sets a more dubious one by having his own tier at the bottom. This is also the first tier list to have a spot for Zelda and Sheik used as a pair. Other notable things about the new tier list are Fox's and Ike's high rise on the tier list (Ike's streak of falling down on each tier list was ended and he returned to his position on the original tier list), Bowser's significant drop and introduction into the low tiers, Zero Suit Samus's introduction into the high tiers, and being the first Brawl tier list to have a character repeat in the #3 spot with Diddy Kong (in previous tier lists, the character in the #3 spot was different for each tier list). This is also the first tier list where R.O.B. has not fallen.
For the first time in Brawl's history, Snake is no longer in the number 2 position; Diddy's rise from 11th in the first tier list continues to as far as most people expect it to go. The biggest position change from the last list is Wolf, who jumped up six places, returning to his original position from the first tier list.
Also notable, Yoshi is no longer considered a low-tier character. Luigi and Kirby both dropped four places. Ganondorf no longer has his own tier at the bottom. Ike, for the first time, is the highest he has ever been, being 23rd.
The BBR grouped tiers together for this list: Top (S, A, and B), High (C), Borderline (D), Mid (E and F), and Low (G and H). Use of the borderline group in mid-tier tournaments is up to the TO.
In this tier list, Olimar and the Ice Climbers made significant advances into the higher tiers, with Olimar taking the number 2 position from Diddy Kong and Falco now finally losing his 4th position to the Ice Climbers. Snake fell to fifth. Pit and Zelda/Sheik each rose three positions, while Wario fell three, Donkey Kong fell five and Luigi fell four again to the bottom of F tier or middle tier.
This is the current Brawl tier list. Like the previous list, the tiers are in groups: Top (SS, S, A+, A-), High (B), Upper-Mid (C+, C, C-), Mid (D), Lower-Mid (E), and Low (F). This tier list is based off of votes from the Brawl Back Room community.
In this tier list, the movements on this list are small but they do have notable changes. The number two rank has changed once again with the Ice Climbers taking the spot from Olimar. Marth has also risen above Snake and Falco, putting them at the lowest positions they have been to date. Thanks to her outstanding tournament results (especially since Salem won Apex 2013), Zero Suit Samus has been moved to the 9th position, leaving Wario at the 10th position.
Tier list chart
This table shows the ranks of each character through all of the tier lists, as well as a numbered description of their change in rank each time. "Change" lists how much a character's position changed between the two tier lists it is in between. "Highest" represents a character's highest position, "Lowest" represents their lowest position, and "Difference" lists the difference between the highest and lowest position. "Overall change" represents a character's change between the first tier list and the current tier list.