The Street Fighter series took the world by storm in the nineties, and after Street Fighter II, they were everywhere.
Not only were they in people’s homes, but they were also added to arcades everywhere.
The series featured dynamic characters with special fighting moves and had excellent replay value for a fighting game series.
In this article we are ranking the best 7 Street Fighter games according to the author’s experience after playing most of the games in this series. Let’s get started:
#7 – Super Street Fighter IV
This game came out for Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS, and PS3, and it’s the culmination of a lot of experience from the Street Fighter game makers.
It has that quality where it only takes a minute to learn, but a lifetime to master that all great games have.
Many people consider it one of the best 2D fighting games ever made. It has all the classic characters on display, including Ken, Ryu, Blanka, Guile, and so on all back.
Some interesting new characters are joining them, however. There are 6 new characters to choose from, including a grapple type character named Abel, a female character that jumps in the air and shoots fire named Crimson Viper, and a big character named Rufus, who is a lot of fun to play due to being so fast despite being large and bouncing around a lot.
The game itself is an upgrade on the Street Fighter IV game that came before it.
It also had a fun online mode which was a lot more pared down than other online options for Street Fighter, making it more straightforward.
It had an “endless mode” which meant whoever wins stays and plays the next player.
#6 – Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers
Unlike many of the other games on this list, Ultra II is a modern game that came out for the Nintendo Switch just a few years ago.
It really shows just how popular Street Fighter II was since additions to it are still coming out now.
One thing that makes it fun is that you can actually choose between two different styles of graphics including “Classic” and “New generation.”
It’s also an interesting game because it adds different types to classic characters.
For example, you can play as Evil Ryu or Violent Ken. Evil Ryu is a demon-possessed version of the character from a previous series.
Violent Ken is a brainwashed version of Ken due to the villain M. Bison using psychic powers.
New features include grapple breaks and an entirely upgraded system including updates to music to make it sound modern, and tweaks to balance and combo timing.
In other words, those who loved Street Fighter II are getting all sorts of new options to make the game more perfect than ever since you get to play with all the modern tech available while still having that classic style.
It’s also a lot of fun to play a game as classic as Street Fighter II on a modern controller like the Switch.
#5 – Street Fighter III: Double Impact
This game came out for the short-lived system Sega Dreamcast. It has more of a realistic look than many of the other games in the Street Fighter series, and it originally came out as an arcade game before it was ported over to Dreamcast.
The game is unique in that it adds entirely new characters beyond the classic Street Fighter characters Ryu and Ken.
It just looks and feels like a new game with some of the older mechanics. You had a whole new way of powering up super moves, and the system for parrying is also different.
The game looks impressive with shadow images showing the progression of moves.
The gameplay always had a satisfying feel to it when you landed punches as well, which made it great for replay.
#4 – Street Fighter III: Third Strike
This game was so popular that it came out for just about every game system you can imagine, including PS2,3, and 4, all the Xboxes, Windows PC, and Switch. It came out originally for Dreamcast. It has a very colorful, stylized art style and many people pick it for the best Street Fighter game.
The characters available are up to 20 for the last installment of Street Fighter III.
They include Chin Li, who wasn’t in some of the others, as well as four new characters named Makoto, Remy, Q, and Twelve.
You can play Akuma in this version as well, who was a villain from previous games. This game also adds something called “Guard parry” which allows you to do something during a stun.
This was a fun feature that people called a “red parry” because your character’s skin turned red while doing it.
The game also graded you on how well you did in a particular fight based on different elements. These included offense, defense, and techniques.
It’s a smooth game with a lot of options, making it obvious why the game was so popular when it came out and remains so.
#3 – Super Street Fighter Turbo
This game was the first to add a secret character known as Akuma. In order to add this character, you had to enter a code during the character select screen.
The character is super powerful and is usually banned in tournament play. The heads-up display got some new graphics for this version.
The game also added some super combos. This meant adding a “Super” meter that slowly filled up when you successfully completed moves.
Once your super meter was filled up, you could activate a super combo, which automatically executed a bunch of moves in a row, which does a huge amount of damage if it lands.
This was another one of those games that came out on a lot of systems at once, including Game Boy Advance, Play Station, Dreamcast, PC, Sega Saturn, Amiga, and others.
This game was popular enough that people actually still play it competitively in tournaments even though it’s been 20 years since the game came out.
They are still making new versions of it too, such as the remake for PS3 and Xbox 360 that came out which was titled Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix.
#2 – Street Fighter Alpha
Street Fighter Alpha had a colorful style that set it apart a bit from the original Street Fighter options.
It also added some extra characters that hadn’t been in the franchise before, including Sodom and Guy from a different Capcom game called Final Fight. A few traditional characters from the original are missing like Zangief and E. Honda in order to make room for other new characters like the grappler called Birdie.
Some new mechanics include chain combos which happen when you interrupt a priority move from your opponent with a stronger one, which had a satisfying feel to it.
You can also block in the air now and do something called an “Alpha counter” which was a strong counterattack you could make during an opponents move if you had enough energy in your Super Meter.
The Super Meter is upgraded as well since it now has three levels. Once you unleash all three levels, it does a serious amount of damage.
One of the things that makes the game so satisfying is that you can do a tremendous amount of damage in one shot if you do it at the right time.
The graphics are all new and updated and have some really striking looks to them.
#1 – Street Fighter II
Again, it’s hard to beat the game that set everything else in motion. Street Fighter II just had the perfect combination of everything.
The controls were responsive, and you could always tell when you pulled something off correctly versus when you didn’t.
In other words, unlike with some other games, you never really felt cheated. It always felt like the A.I. Was treating you fairly, generally.
On top of that, the characters were colorful and engaging with fun, creative powers, and backstories.
For example, the character Blanka was this green wild man from Brazil that had skin like an electric eel.
You could generate electricity with a simple move where you just pressed down and mashed one of the striking buttons. This lets you electrocute an opponent just by standing near him or her.
There was E. Honda, the sumo wrestler who was big and had an aggressive style like you imagined a sumo wrestler would.
In other words, your moves made you feel like you were bullying opponents as you stood over them.
You had chops and a move to slap your opponent over and over again and when playing against E. Honda, it always felt like you were trying to get out from under the shadow of a giant.
In contrast, the signature characters Ken and Ryu felt like much more precise characters, attacking with kicks and punches at exactly the right moment.
The character Chun Li moved the way she looked, light and fast, overwhelming opponents with speed.
That’s what made the game so much fun to play, everything moved the way that it looked like it would.
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