A few of the top ranked players in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U have created tier lists based on early impressions for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. These top players are ZeRo, Nairo, Abadango, Dabuz, and Marcbri. Handily, a Reddit user named self.smashbros combined the tier lists into a single one, and it yields some interesting results.
According to this early tier list, Pikachu, Sheik, Marth, Lucina, Diddy Kong, and Olimar are ranked as the strongest characters in the game. The highest rated newcomers are Daisy and King K. Rool. There is no true opinion of Piranha Plant yet. This makes sense, because Piranha Plant was just announced about a week ago.
Tier lists have remained a part of Super Smash Bros. for years. In Melee, Fox was consistently ranked the best. In Brawl, you can find Meta Knight dominating the tiers. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U did a better job balancing the characters, making every fighter viable. But, there were characters that consistently got the best results. Shiek and Diddy Kong were consistently ranked as top tier. Things changed when Cloud and Bayonetta arrived. Cloud was consistently ranked as one of the best characters due to having big kill options, and speed. Bayonetta has been ranked as the best character in the game, having an infamous aerial combo that can KO characters at early percentages. Despite being weakened in a patch, Bayonetta was still overpowered, and the Wii U competitive scene was dominated by her.
Balancing a large roster of diverse characters is hard, but Smash Bros. has done well, aside from overpowered characters like Meta Knight in Brawl and Bayonetta in Wii U. Ultimate seems like it's going to have the best-balanced roster yet. Bayonetta appears to be nerfed, and even Zero Suit Samus appears to have less combo potential. It will be interesting to see how the tier lists evolve when the game launches. Of course, players do not need to feel constrained by a list. If you like how a certain character plays, but find them ranked low in the tiers, you don't have to give up that fighter. It is often more fun and fulfilling to play a character one enjoys rather than rigidly follow a list. Whether or not you follow a tier list is up to you.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will launch on December 7th.