The fighting game community is fond of creating tiers for every major game that is played in tournaments. This is a system where characters are broken down into groups based on their overall effectiveness in the hands of skilled players.
These tiers are by no means scientific and there have been plenty of instances of upsets at tournaments where a player has won a high-profile match while using a low-tier character.
The Internet has made it easier than ever for players of fighting games across the world to battle each other. This has also made it easier for data to be compiled about the strengths and weaknesses of each character. There are some characters that defy analysis and are simply better or worse than every other member of the cast.
We are here today to look at the best and worst characters from the biggest fighting games ever made-- from the leader of X-Force who loves to fill the screen with projectiles to the witch whose amazing powers can only be used by those who are willing to pay more.
Here are the 10 Fighting Game Characters Who Are Way Too Overpowered (And 10 Who Are Completely Worthless)!
20 Overpowered: Cable
Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes has a definitive high tier of four characters that is unchallenged. These four characters belong in the "God Tier" and you will commonly see them used in tournaments. They are Cable, Magneto, the Sentinel, and Storm.
Cable is easily the most annoying member of the God Tier, as it takes almost no skill to use him effectively. Cable is the king of the button mashing characters, as a lot of his attacks are projectiles that fill up a chunk of the screen.
Projectile attacks are particularly deadly in 2D fighting games, as you have limited space in which to dodge them. It's possible to block projectiles, but this will usually deal chip damage and give your opponent time to prepare another ranged attack.
All you need to do to win with Cable is to hammer the buttons and rely on his Viper Beam to kill the enemy before they even get close to you.
19 Worthless: Roll
It's possible for characters to be so terrible that they belong in a tier all of their own. This was the fate of Mega Man's sister in Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, as she was given the "Roll Tier" all by herself.
Roll is meant to be a joke character who is only used for light-hearted matches. It's not too shocking to see a joke character in Marvel vs. Capcom 2, considering how huge the roster is. You really shouldn't use Roll in a tournament match, unless you are either supremely skilled at the game or just want to show your contempt for everyone involved.
The reason Roll is so bad is due to her low range and damage: she is a small character with barely any movement speed and can easily be overwhelmed by large enemies. Roll's attacks do very little damage and she might have the worst super moves in the game.
18 Overpowered: Guile
Street Fighter II is considered to be the title that created the fighting game genre as we know it today. It stands to reason, then that it wouldn't be balanced, as the people at Capcom had no idea that it would become as influential or popular as it did.
The character to look out for in the hands of a truly skilled player is Guile. This is due to how difficult he is to approach in combat. Guile has a powerful ranged weapon (the Sonic Boom) to force you to advance, which allows him to use the long reach of his crouching sweep/forward attacks.
If you try and advance on him by jumping, then you will have to deal with a Flash Kick, which is a lot harder to block in the first version of the game.
17 Worthless: Zangief
Zangief has long been a major example of how much the computer cheats in a fighting game. This is due to how difficult it is to input the button commands for his most powerful moves, which the computer has no problem accomplishing in nanoseconds.
All of the cheating in the world couldn't save Zangief in Street Fighter II, though, as his lack of projectile weapons and slow speed made him dreadful in competitive matches. Zangief had some of the most powerful moves in the game, many of which couldn't be blocked, but they were useless in the face of being outpaced by pretty much every other character in the game.
The later Street Fighter titles would show pity on Zangief and make him one of the best characters in the competitive scene.
16 Overpowered: Fox McCloud
Super Smash Bros. Melee is a game that is defined by speed. The mechanics of the game can be bent and broken in the hands of a player who has dedicated their life to working out every single glitch and trick that will give them an extra few frames on an attack. Watching a high-level Melee match can be tricky, due to the sheer intricacies of what is happening.
The best Melee character in the hands of a skilled player is Fox McCloud from the Star Fox series. Fox's speed and offense make it almost impossible to defeat him unless you are playing a character of roughly equal speed, such as Falco or Sheik.
Fox's true strength lies in his Reflector Shield, which is the fastest move in the game and has a great deal of utility, along with being able to block attacks like other shields.
15 Worthless: Pichu
Pikachu has consistently been one of the best characters in the Super Smash Bros. series. This is due to his lightning-fast speed, high offense, and wide-range of projectiles.
It seems that the complaints about Pokémon nepotism made an impression at Nintendo, as the two new Pokémon added to the game in Melee were some of the worst characters in the game. Mewtwo was slow and easy to knock out, while Pichu was just terrible in every regard.
Pichu's small size and lack of weight mean it is very easy to stunlock with throws. The fact that it damages itself with his own KO attacks means that it weakens itself every time it goes for a takedown. Pichu's only advantage is the speed at which it can grab and throw opponents.
14 Overpowered: Hilde
The fact that the Soul Calibur series uses weapons means that the range of attacks becomes even more important when determining which character you want to use.
Weapon range is one of the factors that made Hilde one of the best characters in Soul Calibur IV. Hilde is a knight who fights with a short sword and a spear. It is the spear that makes Hilde so deadly, as it is very fast and has an incredible reach.
Hilde would be unofficially banned from most tournaments, due to her infamous "Doom Combo" that could win a match if it hit. It was possible for Hilde to perform a chain of moves that would knock the enemy out of the arena when used in succession. The Doom Combo was also easy to perform, so it saw a lot of play in tournaments until Hilde started to be banned.
13 Worthless: Rock
Rock is one of the original characters in the Souls series. He appeared in Soul Blade as the slow but strong character. Rock was pretty much out outclassed by Siegfried in every regard, which would only continue with the introduction of characters like Astaroth.
The thing that makes Rock so worthless is his lack of speed. The long range of his axes and maces would be beneficial if it weren't for the fact that there were other characters with similar range who were a lot faster.
The characters with shorter reach tend to be the fastest characters in the game, which allowed them to close the distance before Rock could make use of his high strength. This lack of speed makes Rock the worst character in Soul Calibur IV.
12 Overpowered: Yun
Street Fighter III and the later editions of the game were released during the time when the popularity of fighting games was at its lowest. The genre has made a comeback in recent years, which has been helped by the increased interest in eSports and streaming, but there was still a few years when fighting games weren't selling well.
It was due to this lack of interest in fighting games that the Street Fighter III titles didn't attract much of a fanbase. These were some amazing games, which rewarded players of all skill levels.
Street Fighter III definitely had a few characters who stood above the rest. Yun is generally considered to be the best, due to his amazing speed and offense. Yun has some of the best opening moves that can lead to devastating combos, which requires a high level of defense on behalf of his opponents in order to dodge or block them.
11 Worthless: Twelve
The Street Fighter series has added several artificial lifeforms to the roster over the years. The most famous of these is Seth, which is the name you will shout when throwing the controller at the screen when losing to his cheating range of moves.
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike introduced Twelve to the series. Twelve has control over his DNA, which allows him to shapeshift into various forms.
Twelve has incredible mobility and a range of awesome air attacks. However, these don't make up for his weak defense and offensive power, Aerial attacks also don't mean much against fast characters, who will make you pay for putting yourself in a position where it is hard to defend or dodge incoming attacks.
10 Overpowered: Golbez
The question of who the best character is in Dissidia Final Fantasy and its sequel usually comes down to two characters: Exdeath and Golbez. Exdeath is an incredibly hard character to master, but his defensive abilities make him almost impossible to defeat in the right hands. Golbez is considered to be the best due to an overpowered move pool that is easy to master.
Dissidia Final Fantasy is a fighting game that is set in a 3D arena. It is for this reason that Golbez is so powerful, as his move set makes him powerful at every range.
His ability to create a continuous short-range HP attack (Genesis Rock) with such a wide area of effects makes it hard to approach Golbez when he has high Bravery. Golbez can capitalize on this with a large range of laser attacks that strike at a distance, meaning that nowhere is safe from his offense.
9 Worthless: Onion Knight
The Onion Knight is the representative for Final Fantasy III in Dissidia Final Fantasy. His style is known as Mystic Fencer, which refers to his ability to hit the opponent with lots of weak attacks in a row.
The reason the Onion Knight is considered to be the worst character in Dissidia Final Fantasy is due to the high lag after performing an HP attack. If the Onion Knight misses an HP attack, then he leaves himself wide open for a counter-attack for several seconds.
This makes him a high-risk character to play, as his lack of offensive ability means that you will be forced to chip away at the enemy in order to take them down. Onion Knight's post-attack lag makes it easy for the opponent to take back all of the Bravery you have stolen in one well-placed counter.
8 Overpowered: Bob
It used to be an archetype in fighting games that the bigger characters would be the slowest. This was to make up for their strength and natural reach. These characters never used to fair well against the smaller and faster characters, as it was too easy for them to be stunlocked by swift attacks.
Bob from Tekken 6 was meant to be a subversion of the slow/fat character type. Bob was massively overweight, yet he was also one of the fastest characters in the game. This attempt to break the mold turned Bob into one of the most powerful characters in the Tekken series.
Bob's speed was matched by his powerful offense and a range of powerful combos. His large size also made it easy for him to air-juggle opponents, which can be devastating in the right hands.
7 Worthless: Zafina
Using a character with an unpredictable fighting style can work wonders in a competitive match. This is due to a lack of originality among fighting game players, who will gravitate towards the popular characters with a proven history of winning matches.
This attitude has led to many upset victories in tournaments, where popular players lost against characters who were rarely used, as they weren't used to facing them.
Zafina from Tekken 6 was an attempt at making an unpredictable character with strange moves. This didn't turn out so well, due to the fact that her moves are easy to punish, regardless of which ones are used. Zafina's unpredictability cannot make up for how easy it is to break through her attacks while she is performing them.
6 Overpowered: Meta Knight
The latest Super Smash Bros. game had the ability to download mandatory patches that were needed for online play. This was a feature that was desperately needed during the Wii era, as one character became the undisputed champion of Super Smash Bros. Brawl - Meta Knight.
Meta Knight's greatest asset is his speed and the priority of his moves. It's almost guaranteed that Meta Knight will hit first in an exchange. Meta Knight is also amazing off the stage, due to his numerous spike moves and high recovery distance. The sheer ease at which Meta Knight can defeat opponents led to him being banned in many tournaments across the world.
The only character who is even close to Meta Knight is the Ice Climbers, which is due to their amazing chain throws. The Ice Climbers require a lot more skill to master, while Meta Knight is great from the start.
5 Worthless: Ganondorf
Ganondorf was a last minute addition to Super Smash Bros. Melee, as Masahiro Sakurai noticed that he could be turned into a clone of Captain Falcon. The return of Ganondorf in Super Smash Bros. Brawl meant that he could be turned into a unique character with his own identity.
It turns out that the changes made to Ganondorf in Super Smash Bros. Brawl meant that he is considered to be the worst character in the game. This is due to his total lack of speed and the low priority of his moves.
Ganondorf also suffers from the same issue as Little Mac in the latest Smash Bros. game in that he has almost no recovery, which can be deadly in a game full of effective edgeguarders, like Meta Knight.
4 Overpowered: Dante
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite wasn't well received upon release. This was due to graphics that looked worse than its predecessor and announcing the DLC characters before they finished announcing the free ones in the base game.
This reaction is a shame, as it is an excellent fighting game that improved upon aspects of the earlier titles in an effort to make it easier for new players.
Dante was a powerful character in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and its follow-up, due to his amazing speed and offense. Dante's sword attacks have wide coverage, which can be followed up with his guns for extra range.
The reason he is strong is due to his overall amazing attributes, which make him easy to master. He doesn't require any gimmicks other than his strength, speed, and range.
3 Worthless: Ryu
It's odd that Ryu is so bad in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, as he is considered to be the main character of the Street Fighter series and is one Capcom's main mascots.
Ryu's main weakness is a lack of mobility, especially for movement in the air. Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is a game where it is easy for moves to fill a large portion of the screen, with a lot of attacks possessing a wide area of effect.
The fact that Ryu doesn't have many movement options can make it very easy for him to get trapped, especially when fighting characters like Dormammu. Ryu also has low damage with his attacks, which means that you have no real reason to choose him over any other character in the game.
2 Overpowered: Bayonetta
It has become harder in recent years to determine which fighting game characters are the best. This is due to the fact that developers can now patch the game after release and add in new characters as DLC.
Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U were the first games in the series to feature mandatory patches and DLC. If we were discussing the base version of the game that you could buy on release day, then Diddy Kong would earn the top spot on this list. Diddy was nerfed over time and his position was usurped by Bayonetta.
Bayonetta's strength is based on her combo potential, as almost all of her moves can immediately be followed up by another. This gives Bayonetta the potential to knock out a player at the start of a match using a single combo. She also possesses moves like Witch Time and Bat Within, which can result in the most punishing counter attacks in the game.
Bayonetta is so strong that many tournaments have considered banning her outright from play. She has taken Meta Knight's place as the most over-powered Smash Bros. character and Nintendo seems to be fine with it. We can only hope that the inevitable Smash Bros. port for Nintendo Switch finally brings the Umbra Witch down a peg or two.
1 Worthless: The Mii Fighters
The introduction of the three Mii character archetypes in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U (the Brawler, Gunner, and Sword Fighter) excited a lot of fans, as it opened the possibility for any person to be a playable character in the game. There was nothing stopping you from basing a Mii character on yourself or any celebrity you desire.
Nintendo's skittishness over allowing people to create potentially offensive characters meant that you couldn't use them in most online modes. This automatically makes the Mii Characters unpopular, as it limits the number of people you can play with.
The three Mii Fighters also suffer from a generic moveset that is outclassed in every regard by all of the other characters in the game. The fact that most tournaments don't allow custom moves means you might not even get a chance to play a Mii Fighter in the first place.
Can you think of any other overpowered (or worthless) characters in fighting games? Let us know in the comments!