I know a lot of people who just seem to think Kratos is top tier because he has 'good AP gain'.
No, Kratos is definitely not one of the best characters in the game, and that shows when playing against people who are actually good; yes, even in free for alls. No, don't use Rank FFA's as an excuse because most of the people who frequent that are complete morons. True character potential is only shown once you fight people who actually 'know how to fight'.
Tier placement for PSAS depends on quite a few logistics. How long does it take certain moves to actually hit, how many stun capabilities into super does each person have, their AP gain, range, flexibility, and their matchups against other characters, to name a few.
For starters let me just say who the unanimous Top Tier actually is, before getting into why anyone and everyone places him up there.
He's definitely the best, as he has amazing AP gain on his easy combos, several moves that can cancel into a Super for an instant kill, a parry, a very large ranged Level 1 that comes out pretty fast, a very useful Level 2, and one of the best Level 3's in the game. Not to mention, most of his moves are safe even if they're blocked, as they have very little recovery time. And, for a rushdown character, he can get in on ranged characters quite fast and punish nearly everything they can do.
The reason Kratos is seen so much online isn't because he's good, but because of his 'ease of use'. Many games have this sort of character. Most people who complain 'about' Kratos complain about his chain dash, especially in a free for all. Protip: Block. That thing has a full second delay on block and is easily one of the most punishable moves in the game, just below Ratchet's Level 1 that takes a while to start up.
Kratos was made so newer players could get into the game faster. He's not some 'easy mode' because he's actually quite bad in the wrong hands. He is good in the right hands, but not nearly so much as his female counterpart, or the two third party sword wielders. He's not bad, but he's also not the best.
Anyways, back on topic. Some characters also have really difficult usability but are actually quite good and definitely not appreciated enough. Sir MANiel Fortesque and Jak&Daxter for example are two really amazing characters.
"Tier Crap" is not crap. I am a Twisted Metal "pro" and that game has vehicles that are OP'd. They nerfed many of them but some are still both easy to use and quite punishing. In the hands of a pro, forget about it.
This game seems to be similar. The ideas behind the characters' movesets are GREAT but in the end, many of them are both too punishing and too difficult to avoid while others suffer the opposite fate.
To the TC - Nice post and well-thought out. You probably have more experience than me but I'm gonna dispute your claims about Kratos...right, there is a recovery time in some of his moves but the low/non-existant recovery time in MOST of them makes him as bad if not worse than Raiden. Both of their 1 ,2, and 3 specials are easy to hit with and tough to or near impossible to avoid if placed well. And I am speaking on comparison to most other characters, not just generally. Kratos, in the hands of an "expert" is just better than most. Same with Raiden and Sackboy. This is all my opinion. I have been known to be wrong