The complete history of Street Fighter

The Street Fighter series is currently in its 30th year, and what a three decades it’s been.

Capcom’s one-on-one (and sometimes 2-on-2 and 3-on-3) fighting series has consistently entertained die-hards and occasional dabblers alike, from its ‘10p a go’ arcade days (yes, I’m old enough to remember when arcade games cost that) to its bombastic modern-day console offerings.

What’s impressive about it is that, its dated first game aside – hey, we’ve all got to start somewhere – more or less every main entry in the Street Fighter series refuses to age, and continues to be immensely playable while other, often younger, games start to feel practically prehistoric.

The main series is just the tip of the Street Fighter iceberg, though – the antenna on the smashable car, if you’d rather – because since that first game in 1987 there have been nearly 150 different Street Fighter games, spin-offs, movies, TV shows and cameo crossovers with other games.

How do I know? Because I’m the mad bastard who’s tried to list every single one of them below.

In preparation for the release of the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection next week, then, enjoy the largest article I’ve ever written as we travel through the entire history of Street Fighter in true Tired Old Hack style: 27,000 words, one page, no ads or slideshows for your reading convenience.

Housekeeping

Before we get started, there’s a couple of things I want to point out, just to avoid potential confusion and comments later.

Firstly, this is an image-heavy article and the site is a bit funny when looking at right-aligned images on a mobile in portrait/vertical mode (which is something I’m working on). If you’re using a computer or a tablet you’ll be fine, but if you’re reading this on mobile and that arcade poster above messed up the text it might be best to read it in landscape/horizontal mode, even though that may go against everything you believe in.

Secondly and more importantly, in case you haven’t looked at the tiny scroll bar to the side of your browser yet, this is an enormous article. Fun fact (and this is true) – it’s a little over ⅓ of the size of the first Harry Potter book, so read it three times and you could have finished Philosopher’s Stone instead of reading about sumo wrestlers and green monsters kicking the shit out of cars.

This of course means no matter how much I check this article, there will be mistakes and typos. I’ll get a year wrong somewhere, have a stray comma in there, write Street Foghter accidentally.

If you see anything like this, please don’t mention it in the comments because I may not get around to seeing it for a while. My Twitter DMs are always open, please send me a DM there instead and I’ll be able to cleanly fix it pronto. Plus there’s the added of bonus of you not looking like a weirdo with a comment pointing out a mistake that no longer exists.

On a similar note, this is supposed to be an exhaustive list, so let me know if there’s anything missing in terms of:

• Street Fighter games and spin-off games
• Cameo appearances in other games
• Movies and TV shows

That’s all: please don’t start telling me about all the comic series, art books, soundtrack CDs and action figure lines I’ve missed out. I had to draw a line somewhere, so I’m sticking purely to games, movies and TV here.

Finally, if you really don’t want to sift through a metric shit-ton of spin-offs and cameo appearances and just want to read about the main games, I’ve highlighted some of the information boxes for the games in red.

If you scroll through the article only reading the red-info games, you’ll get a much quicker tour that ticks off all the main entries and a couple of other important ones, but none of the more trivial stuff.

Finally, if you enjoy this article or just think “Jesus, this guy is a freak for writing all of this”, please do spread the word. Share it on Twitter, post it in your Discords, stick it on relevant sub-Reddits or forums: I’m really happy with this article and the more eyes you help me put it in front of, the more I’ll be able to justify doing ridiculous stuff like this with more series in the future (Mortal Kombat, anyone?).

That said, enjoy.


Street Fighter

Main series entry
Original release – 30 August 1987
Format – Arcade
Fighters – 12 (2 playable)
Character debuts – Ryu, Ken, Sagat, Retsu, Geki, Joe, Mike, Lee, Gen, Birdie, Eagle, Adon

The first Street Fighter game was only really a moderate success for Capcom, even though it laid down a lot of the groundwork its sequel is better known for.

For starters, it was the first fighting game to introduce command-based special moves: playing as Ryu (or Ken if you were Player 2), the Fireball, Dragon Punch and Hurricane Kick made their debuts and were executed in exactly the same way they still are today.

It also introduced the concept of different strengths of attack, with players able to choose whether Ryu and Ken’s punches and kicks were light, medium or heavy.

Interestingly, these controls came in two flavours: the standard arcade cabinet introduced the six-button system Street Fighter fans continue to know and love today, whereas a deluxe version instead had two pressure-sensitive pads – one for punches and one for kicks – which chose which attack strength to use depending on how hard you hit them.

Although all the other characters in Street Fighter were technically ‘bosses’ because you can’t play as any of them, the main boss was Sagat, the lanky veteran known for his trademark eyepatch and the massive scar on his chest.

However, in this game his scar isn’t there yet. That’s because the story goes that at the end of Street Fighter, Ryu gives him a big bastard of a Dragon Punch and scars him for life.


Street Fighter

Home computer port
Original release – June 1988
Format – TurboGrafx-CD, C64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Amiga, Atari ST, PC
Fighters – 12 (2 playable)
Alternative title – Fighting Street (TurboGrafx-CD version)

Although Street Fighter didn’t exactly light the arcades on (yoga) fire, the late 80s was still an era rife with coin-op conversions – especially among UK home computer developers – so it ended up making its way to gamers’ homes anyway.

If a game was in the arcades, chances are some developer somewhere wanted an easy licensing deal so they could port it to the likes of the Commodore 64, the ZX Spectrum or more advanced systems like the Amiga or Atari ST.

The best of the bunch was the TurboGrafx version, known as Fighting Street and developed by Japanese studio Alfa System. The other versions were developed by Manchester-based studio Tiertex (which was infamous for shit arcade ports) and published by Birmingham studio US Gold.

If it’s proof of Tiertex’s weakness you’re looking for, Street Fighter is ideal because it actually got two different C64 versions. The UK version was developed by Tiertex, while the US version was handled by Pacific Dataworks. The difference in quality was ridiculous.


Human Killing Machine

Spin-off
Original release – March 1989
Format – C64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Amiga, Atari ST
Fighters – 11 (1 playable)

Not happy enough with its home computer ports of Street Fighter, Tiertex decided to go ahead and create its own unofficial sequel.

Taking control of Korean martial artist Kwon, players had to fight through another 10 enemies from all over the world.

This time your opponents were a little less conventional than usual, though. Take Maria, a bikini-clad Dutch prostitute. Or Shepski, a Soviet dog. As in, you literally had to fight a dog. And a bull too.

Not odd enough? Then consider the final boss, Markeva: an Arab terrorist from Beirut with a missile strapped to his back. This game didn’t do subtlety, in case you couldn’t tell.

Somewhere there’s an alternative universe where Human Killing Machine became the ‘true’ Street Fighter sequel and people today cosplay as fighting dogs.


Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight

Spin-off
Original release – 8 August 1990
Format – NES
Alternative title – 2010 Street Fighter (Japan)

Before Street Fighter became famous, Capcom was free to do whatever the shit it wanted with the name. Hence this bizarre futuristic action platformer for the NES.

According to the English language version, you played as Ken 25 years after the first game. He’s now a scientist who’s invented Cyboplasm, a gel that gives people superhuman strength.

Ken’s lab buddy Troy is killed and the Cyboplasm is stolen, so he gives himself bionic implants, makes an interdimensional transporter and heads off to find who did it. Plot twist: it was Troy, because it’s not as if it was making any fucking sense before that.

Here’s the real kicker: the game wasn’t even supposed to star Ken. In the original Japanese release the lead character is called Kevin Striker, but when it was localised for the west he was renamed to fit in with the series canon. Which this is definitely a part of. Probably.


Street Fighter II: The World Warrior

Main series entry
Original release – 6 February 1991
Format – Arcade
Fighters – 12 (8 playable)
Character debuts – Chun-Li, Guile, E. Honda, Blanka, Zangief, Dhalsim, Balrog, Vega, M. Bison

Here it is, the big one. Released four years after its predecessor, Street Fighter II single-handedly transformed the flatlining fighting game genre and set the rules that would be imitated for decades to come.

Greatly improving on the first game, Street Fighter II gave players eight characters to choose from, each with their own unique feel and special moves.

Now players could find a character that suited their playing style: would they go with the awesome strength of Russian wrestler Zangief, or nip around the screen with the speedy Chun-Li to frustrate opponents?

Street Fighter II’s iconic graphics, music and feel – every hit had a satisfying crunch that really made you feel like you were doing damage – made it an instant coin-op classic, and no arcade was considered complete without at least one SFII machine (usually more).

Such was its success, it’s been conservatively estimated that by 1995 Street Fighter II and Champion Edition arcade machines had taken in a total of $2.3 billion.


Street Fighter II’: Champion Edition

Main series entry
Original release – March 1992
Format – Arcade, PC Engine, X68000
Fighters – 12

As fans all over the world started playing the ever-loving piss out of Street Fighter II, Capcom decided to release an updated version to address some of their complaints.

Street Fighter II’ Champion Edition didn’t just add a cheeky apostrophe to the title that pretty much everyone missed (including you just now, probably), it also introduced a bunch of new and improved features.

Most notable was the ability to play as the four boss characters – Balrog, Vega, Sagat and M. Bison – for the first time, bringing the total playable roster up to 12.

Players could also choose the same character in two-player matches, meaning arcade-goers could finally see who the real local Dhalsim master was. Not that any of them could truly be proud, because Dhalsim is wank.


Street Fighter II: The World Warrior

Home console port
Original release – 10 June 1992
Format – SNES, Amiga, Atari ST, PC, C64, ZX Spectrum
Fighters – 12 (8 playable)

Street Fighter II was a massive success in arcades, but it was similarly dominant when it was ported over to home consoles too.

As with the first game there were a bunch of home computer versions published by US Gold, but it was the SNES version that blew gamers away.

Nintendo’s console was the perfect home for Capcom’s fighter, with the system’s power allowing for a remarkably close adaptation of the arcade game – something that was a rarity back then given that arcade systems were far more powerful.

What’s more, the SNES’s six-button controller made it idea for Street Fighter II’s control system, with absolutely no compromises made. The results were clear: selling 6.3 million copies worldwide, the SNES version of Street Fighter II is still Capcom’s biggest-selling game on a single platform to this day.

The SNES version of Street Fighter II became an enormous weapon in the early stages of the 16-bit console war, and Nintendo fans took great pleasure in rubbing the lack of Street Fighter in their Sega Mega Drive owning friends’ faces.

Well, while they could. But more on that later.


Varth: Operation Thunderstorm

Cameo appearance
Original release – July 1992
Format – Arcade

As well as embracing its newfound reputation as the master of fighting games, Capcom continued to release new arcade games in the other genres it was also known for: in particular, side-scrolling beat ‘em ups like Final Fight, and shoot ‘em ups.

It’s in one of the latter that a Street Fighter character makes an unexpected cameo appearance.

At one point during the fourth level of Capcom’s dystopian shooter Varth: Operation Thunderstorm, a tiny Ryu appears and performs a Dragon Punch.

If you shoot him you’ll get a bumload of power-ups. Not really sure what the logic is there, but fair enough.


Street Fighter

Animated film
Original release – 4 September 1992

The Street Fighter craze led to various companies trying to think of ways to cash in on it. Player’s Guides, bootleg toys and clothing were among these: I should know, because I owned them all as a young 10-year-old Street Fighter addict.

In Korea, animation studio Daiwon Animation (who’d done work on the likes of Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) decided to go one better by making its own completely unofficial Street Fighter animated movie.

It’s set in the year 2010 (what is it with that year and Street Fighter?) and stars two young chaps by the name of Saeng and Soryong. They’re obsessed with playing Street Fighter, and one day Chun-Li steps into reality and asks them to help her stop M. Bison taking over the world.

Donning their Ryu and Ken costumes, the pair decide to do their duty: starring in a low-budget, critically disliked unofficial movie.


Street Fighter II’ Turbo: Hyper Fighting

Main series entry
Original release – December 1992
Format – Arcade, SNES
Fighters – 12

Speaking of unauthorised products, the success of the arcade version of Street Fighter led to many arcade owners buying cheaper bootleg versions of the game from shady suppliers.

One of these, nicknamed Street Fighter II: Rainbow Edition, was a hacked version of Champion Edition which let players do weird shit like transform into other characters and throw fireballs in mid-air.

One thing it also did was run the game much faster, and it was this that convinced one Capcom employee to investigate doing the same with the official game.

Street Fighter II’ Turbo was an upgrade of Champion Edition (literally: arcade owners could install it into their existing CE boards) which added a new faster playing speed.

It also gave most of the game’s characters new special moves: Ryu and Ken could now do their Hurricane Kicks in mid-air, Chun-Li could throw fireballs and Dhalsim could teleport.

Street Fighter II Turbo also got a home release on the SNES and was bundled with the system for a while. It ended up shifting 4.1 million copies, which combined with the original SFII brought the total on SNES to over 10 million.


Street Fighter II Pinball

Spin-off
Original release – March 1993
Format – Pinball machine

Hey! Remember pinball? Of course you do: after all, it isn’t dead yet (as my article for Waypoint suggests, cheap plug https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/pinball-looking-pretty-lively-for-dead-game).

Well, back in the early 90s it was still a fairly popular thing, with some of the best ever pinball tables released during that period (take a bow, Twilight Zone, Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Addams Family).

Street Fighter II Pinball, released by Gottlieb, does not fall into this ‘best ever’ category, but that’s not to say it didn’t have a few fun features.

The aim was to defeat all twelve characters, picking up bonuses each time you did, before you ran out of balls. Story of my life, eh folks?

Most notable was a special feature in which a car appeared and could be crushed with the ball, similar to the car-wrecking bonus stage in the main video game.


Breath Of Fire

Cameo appearance
Original release – 3 April 1993
Format – SNES

Ryu’s cameo in Varth may have been a bit ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ but the same can’t be said for Chun-Li’s in Breath Of Fire.

Capcom’s first ever RPG was critically acclaimed and went on to spawn five sequels, but for the purposes of this article what we’re interested in its Chunners’ brief scene.

In the town of Bleak there’s a magician who offers to make money disappear (oldest trick in the book, if you ask me).

If you answer his series of questions in a certain way, you’ll be shown a secret room where Chun-Li is practising her Lightning Kick attack.


Street Fighter II’: Special Champion Edition

Home console port
Original release – 28 September 1993
Format – Mega Drive
Fighters – 12
Alternative title – Street Fighter II’ Plus: Champion Edition (Japan)

After 15 months of misery watching their SNES-owning friends enjoying the glory of their home versions of Street Fighter II and Turbo, Sega fans finally got a port of their own.

The Mega Drive / Genesis version of Street Fighter II was originally supposed to be a normal version of Champion Edition, with the four playable boss fighters and the ability for two players to choose the same characters.

However, when Capcom announced that the SNES was getting Street Fighter II Turbo, Sega asked Capcom to hold fire and add the speed settings from that to the Mega Drive version too, so that Nintendo fans couldn’t still claim they had the best version. As such, the Special Champion Edition on Mega Drive did indeed include ten different speed settings.

So enthused was Sega by getting Street Fighter on its system, it created a new six-button Mega Drive controller to replace the standard three-button one. Those with the old ones had to press the Start button mid-fight to switch between punches and kicks.


Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers

Main series entry
Original release – 10 September 1993
Format – Arcade, SNES, Mega Drive, PC, Amiga, X68000, FM Towns
Fighters – 16
Character debuts – Cammy, T. Hawk, Fei Long, Dee Jay

As happy as Capcom was with Street Fighter II’s success in the arcades, it was annoyed with the number of bootlegs roaming the market, preventing them from making all that hard-earned dollar dollar.

The main reason for this was Capcom’s CP System arcade system board, which was notoriously easily to hack and imitate. It was so easy that some countries reportedly had more unofficial Street Fighter arcade machines than legit ones.

Capcom countered this with the CP System II board, which encrypted the ROMs and made bootlegging nearly impossible. And to make sure there was something worth playing on these new boards, Super Street Fighter II was released.

This enhanced ‘sequel’ of sorts to Street Fighter II featured newly drawn animations for many of the characters and a load of new moves to keep things interesting.

It also was the first Street Fighter game to show a combo count on-screen, letting players know for sure whether they’d pulled off an unblockable series of moves.

More important, though, was the addition of four ‘new challengers’ – English assassin Cammy, Native American T. Hawk, Hong Kong martial artist Bruce Lee Fei Long and Jamaican stereotype Dee Jay – marking the first new characters since Street Fighter II launched.


Super Street Fighter II: The Tournament Battle

Game update
Original release – 10 September 1993
Format – Arcade
Fighters – 16

Arcade owners had a choice when buying in Super Street Fighter II cabinets. They could either buy standalone cabinets, or they could buy the Tournament Battle setup.

The Tournament Battle was an eight-player elimination tournament mode which triggered when four Super Street Fighter II machines were linked together.

By buying four cabinets and setting Tournament mode on each of them, arcades could host big contests in order to see who the best local Street Fighter player was.

You could say this was technically the start of the esports fighting game scene, if you wanted to be really tenuous.


Mega Man X

Cameo appearance
Original release – 17 December 1993
Format – SNES

Another cheeky wee Street Fighter cameo made its mark in Mega Man X, the first of Capcom’s 16-bit Mega Man spin-off games.

To get it, the player needs to collect all four upgrades, all eight heart containers and all four sub tanks, then defeat all eight bosses and reach the end of the Armored Armadillo stage with full health.

If you climb a wall at the end of the stage and collect the large Energy Unit that’s there then kill yourself, then do this four more times, on the fifth time it will be replaced with a capsule.

Inside is Mega Man’s creator Dr Light dressed as Ryu. He’ll give you Ryu’s Hadouken fireball move, which you can perform using the normal Street Fighter quarter-circle motion.


Super Street Fighter II Turbo

Main series entry
Original release – 23 February 1994
Format – Arcade, 3DO, PC, Amiga
Fighters – 17
Character debuts – Akuma
Alternative title – Super Street Fighter II X: Grand Master Challenge (Japan)

By this point gamers and magazines were starting to take the piss out of Capcom a little for their countless iterations of Street Fighter II.

Many Street Fighter fans – particularly those in the US who read magazines like Electronic Gaming Monthly and GamePro – were writing in on a monthly basis asking when (or if) Street Fighter 3 would be happening.

Capcom wasn’t ready to move on yet, though. Six months after Super Street Fighter II, another update was released in the form of Super Street Fighter II Turbo.

This introduced the Super Meter, which could be built up with attacks and special moves. If it filled before the end of the round, players could pull off devastating Super Combo moves, which were hard to execute but could do massive damage.

It also introduced Akuma (Gouki in Japan), the mysterious brother of Ryu and Ken’s master Gouken. If you reached the end of the game without losing a round and getting at least three perfect rounds, Akuma would appear and boot fuck out of M. Bison, replacing him as your final opponent.

He was also playable if you entered a hidden code, but with his mid-air fireballs and teleport move, he was considered too powerful among serious fighters and was banned from tournaments.


Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie

Animated film
Original release – 8 August 1994

It was only a matter of time before something as popular as Street Fighter would eventually make the jump to the silver screen, and it did so in two forms.

The first (and best) was this anime movie created by Tokyo-based animation studio Group TAC.

The plot revolves around M. Bison’s plan to kidnap street fighters from around the world to hypnotise them and use their abilities to assassinate people for him.

It all culminates in a battle between Ryu and a hypnotised Ken (who would later become known as Violent Ken), who eventually snaps out of it and helps kick the piss out of Bison.

The Animated Movie was much-loved among Street Fighter devotees and was particularly notable among younger fans for some of its more risque content.

This included Dee Jay referring to Bison’s troops as “some bad-ass motherfuckers”, and Chun-Li’s infamous nude shower scene in which it’s made clear in no uncertain terms that it’s not only her thighs that are oversized.


Street Fighter

Live-action film
Original release – 23 December 1994

While Japan got the much-loved Animated Movie, the US was instead treated to a very different type of Street Fighter movie.

This live-action effort was directed by Steven de Souza, the man who wrote other action classics like Die Hard, 48 Hrs and Commando. That’s wrote, not directed.

Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme as Guile (complete with American flag tattoo intended to make it clear that he’s definitely American despite his accent) and Kylie Minogue as Cammy, it certainly had ambition.

To its credit, it’s an entertaining film, but only because of how bad it is: few of the characters are anything like their video game counterparts (Dhalsim is a non-stretchy scientist, while Balrog and E. Honda are TV cameramen for journalist Chun-Li’s news reports), and the ‘action’ has about as many gripping moments as an oil-wrestling match.

It was, however, famous for one of the greatest lines in movie history, in which Chun-Li regales Bison (played by Raul Julia, who died shortly after filming ended) with the story of how he and his troops destroyed her town and killed her father, to which he replies that he doesn’t remember it, adding:

“For you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me, it was Tuesday.”


X-Men: Children Of The Atom

Cameo appearance
Original release – December 1994
Format – Arcade, Saturn, PlayStation PC

When you’ve got the world’s leading fighting game engine, you might as well make the most of it.

As such, Capcom didn’t just continue to solely work on Street Fighter games. It teamed up with Marvel Comics and started working on a bunch of fighting games using its various superheroes.

First up was X-Men: Children Of The Atom, based on the Fatal Attractions storyline that had run in the comics the year before.

As well as the likes of Wolverine, Storm, Magneto and Cyclops however, there was also hidden character: Street Fighter’s very own Akuma showed up for a scrap.


Street Fighter II V

Animated TV series
Original release – 10 April 1995

Over the years the likes of Devil May Cry, F-Zero and Viewtiful Joe have had their own anime series in Japan, so you’d better bloody believe Street Fighter had one too.

Street Fighter II V was a 29-episode series loosely based on Super Street Fighter II. Although it featured most of the characters from the game (only Blanka, Honda, Dee Jay and T. Hawk don’t appear), their stories were completely changed.

For example, whereas Chun-Li’s motivation in the game is to seek revenge on Bison for the death of her father, her dad’s alive and well in this series and is even one of the main characters.

Still, despite its refusal to stick to the game’s canon, it was generally well received and most fans think it’s a fun show.


Cyberbots: Full Metal Madness

Cameo appearance
Original release – 20 April 1995
Format – Arcade, Saturn, PlayStation

Another fighting game that initially seems unrelated to Street Fighter, Cyberbots was a one-on-one spin-off of Capcom’s beat ‘em up Armored Warriors.

Although it still played similarly to the Street Fighter games, its unique twist was that each of its fighters wasn’t a human, but rather a human sitting inside a giant bastard mech.

So why is it featured here? Well, one of the boss characters is a chap with the delightful name of Emperor Death Satan, and one of his mechs is called Z-AKUMA.

Yup, this is a game with a massive robot version of Akuma in it. So I’m sure you can understand my sheer bewilderment that it wasn’t more popular.


Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors’ Dreams

Main series entry
Original release – 5 June 1995
Format – Arcade, PlayStation, Saturn, PC, Game Boy Color
Fighters – 13
Alternative title – Street Fighter Zero (Japan)
Character debuts – Charlie Nash, Dan, Guy, Rose, Sodom

After releasing Street Fighter II, Champion Edition, Turbo, Super and Super Turbo in quick succession, Capcom started to gain a reputation as a publisher scared of finally moving on and making Street Fighter III, in case lightning didn’t strike twice.

Eventually, Capcom called everyone’s bluff by releasing a completely new Street Fighter game: not a sequel, but a prequel with the working title Street Fighter Legends.

Set between the events of Street Fighter and Street Fighter II, Street Fighter Alpha features younger versions of some of the regulars – Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Bison and Sagat – while bringing back Birdie and Adon from the original Street Fighter (and making them playable for the first time).

It also introduced a couple of new characters, including a pair from Capcom’s beat ‘em up Final Fight: hero Guy and villain Sodom.

Alpha offers a bunch of new gameplay mechanics, including a revamped Super Combo system which split the gauge into three levels as well as other additions like air blocking and chain combos.

It also included a secret Dramatic Battle mode, based on the animated movie, in which two players controlling Ryu and Ken can fight Bison together in a two-on-one battle.


Street Fighter: The Movie

Spin-off
Original release – June 1995
Format – Arcade
Fighters – 18 (17 playable)
Character debuts – Sawada, Blade, Arkane, Khyber, F7

In the 80s and 90s, most big action movies ended up getting a video game tie-in. So what happens when your movie is based on a video game? You get the game of the movie of the game. Two of them, in fact.

Confused? Right, here’s the deal. There were two completely different games based on the live-action Street Fighter movie starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.

The first was this arcade-only game, developed by Chicago studio Incredible Technologies (better known for its Golden Tee Golf games).

Rather than using artist-drawn sprites as in the other Street Fighter games, the movie tie-in used digitised sprites of the actors from the movie, ironically making the game look a lot more like rival Mortal Kombat.

The arcade version introduced a few new characters. The first was Captain Sawada, an Allied Nations soldier who played a brief role in the movie.

Then there was Blade – one of Bison’s masked troopers – as well as hidden characters Arkane, Khyber and F7, all three of whom were recoloured versions of Blade.

Oh, and let’s not forget the final boss, Super Bison, who was basically a souped-up version of Bison in a black suit (and wasn’t playable).

Sadly, the game itself was rotten. Incredible Technologies created a completely new fighting engine, meaning despite being called Street Fighter it both looked and played nothing like it.


Street Fighter: The Movie

Spin-off
Original release – 11 August 1995
Format – PlayStation, Saturn
Fighters – 15

While the arcade version of Street Fighter: The Movie was created by a Chicago developer, the home version was instead handled in-house by Capcom.

The result was a game that played far more like Super Street Fighter II Turbo, albeit a slower version which still used the digitised Mortal Kombat-style actor sprites.

The roster got a bit of a shuffle too. Blade and his three recolours were ditched, and replaced with two classic Street Fighter characters – Dee Jay and Blanka – who weren’t in the arcade version.

Captain Sawada stayed, but his moveset underwent a massive redesign, turning him into a comedy character. One of his special moves involved him slicing himself open with a katana sword and flicking out a crescent of blood which harmed opponents if it hit them.

Although it still wasn’t anywhere near as good as the ‘proper’ Street Fighter games, as one of Capcom’s first 2D fighting offerings on the new PlayStation and Saturn systems (it was a launch game for the PlayStation in the UK), it sold reasonably well anyway.


Street Fighter II

Handheld port
Original release – 11 August 1995
Format – Game Boy
Fighters – 9

While Capcom pressed on with its new Street Fighter games, it wasn’t quite done with its prized possession.

There were still a few systems that didn’t have Street Fighter II on them, and in mid-1995 Capcom did what many thought wasn’t possible (or probable) and made a port for the humble Nintendo Game Boy.

With only nine of the twelve original characters to choose from (Honda, Dhalsim and Vega were ditched to save cartridge space), the Game Boy version played like hot trash but was still a hell of a technical achievement.


Street Fighter

Animated TV series
Original release – 21 October 1995

You know what I was saying about loads of video games getting anime series in Japan? Well, over in America the likes of Super Mario Bros, The Legend Of Zelda and Sonic The Hedgehog were getting the Saturday morning cartoon treatment too.

Inevitably, Street Fighter got in on the action. Simply named Street Fighter, this 26-episode run was a sort of mash-up of the plots from the games and the Van Damme movie.

In it, Guile forms a team of hotshot fighters (think GI Joe) to take down Bison and his Shadaloo wanks.

Pretty much every character from the games makes an appearance at some point, and even yer man Captain Sawada turns up for a couple of episodes. There’s one based entirely on Final Fight too, for some reason.


Street Fighter II Movie

Spin-off
Original release – 12 December 1995
Format – PlayStation, Saturn
Fighters – 2 (1 playable)
Alternative title – Street Fighter II: The Interactive Movie (unreleased US title)
Character debuts – Cyborg

Here’s a strange one. As stated above, most Street Fighter fans tend to believe the Animated Movie was better than the live-action Van Damme one, so it was only sod’s law that the latter got the video game tie-in treatment.

The thing is though, the Animated Movie got its own game too. Well, sort of. Street Fighter II Movie – only released in Japan for the PlayStation and Saturn – is essentially an FMV game in which you ‘play’ as one of the cyborgs sent by Bison to track the world warriors.

The vast majority of the game consists of watching the entire animated movie and bringing up a cursor to scan things while you do.

Then, when it ends, you get a single one-round fight in which you get to play as the Cyborg (who basically has Ken’s moves) and have to beat Ryu, your power dependent on how well you scanned things during the movie.

There are three different endings depending on how well you do in this final fight, including one in which Bison becomes president. Look, I don’t know.


Street Fighter Alpha 2

Main series entry
Original release – 27 February 1996
Format – Arcade, PlayStation, Saturn, SNES, PC
Fighters – 22
Alternative title – Street Fighter Zero 2 (Japan)
Character debuts – Rolento, Sakura, Shin Akuma, Evil Ryu

After giving Street Fighter fans a prequel in the form of Street Fighter Alpha, Capcom decided to confuse everyone even further by making a sequel to the prequel.

Not only did Street Fighter Alpha 2 see the return of all 13 characters from the first Alpha (this time making Bison, Akuma and Dan instantly playable instead of requiring a cheat code), it also brought back Zangief and Dhalsim from Street Fighter 2, and Gen from the original game.

New to the series are Rolento (who was previously a boss in Final Fight) and Sakura, a Japanese schoolgirl who would go on to become a bit of a fan favourite. Can’t imagine why.

Alpha 2 played similarly to its predecessor, but ditched its Chain Combos for a new Custom Combo system instead.

This lets you hit two punches and a kick (or vice versa) to trigger a Custom Combo, letting you perform any normal or special moves for a limited time.

Since Akuma was now a ‘normal’ playable character, there was no longer any need for the previous game’s ability to unlock a special fight with him in single-player. To make up for this he was replaced with Shin Akuma, a more powerful version of Akuma (who could be unlocked with a cheat code in the PlayStation and Saturn versions).

The North American version of the game also included four extra hidden playable characters: Evil Ryu (a darker version of Ryu with powers similar to Akuma), old-school versions of Zangief and Dhalsim and a special version of Chun-Li in her Street Fighter II outfit.


Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo

Spin-off
Original release – 31 May 1996
Format – Arcade, PlayStation, Saturn, PC, Dreamcast, GBA
Fighters – 13 (8 in the arcade version)
Alternative title – Super Puzzle Fighter II X (Japan)
Character debuts – Morrigan, Donovan, Hsien-Ko, Felicia, Devilotte, Mei-Ling, Anita

It’s probably fair to say that most Street Fighter fans weren’t expecting a puzzle game to come next, but that’s exactly what happened with Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo.

Based on a lesser-known Capcom arcade game called Pnickies, it’s a standard block-dropping game where you have to match up blocks of the same colour.

Instead of them simply disappearing as soon as they’re matched, though, here there are special ‘crash’ gems which need to be part of the series.

This means you can stack up enormous piles of the same colour of gem, as long as you keep the crash gems away from them. Then you can drop a crash gem to clear the lot and trigger huge devastation.

In case you’re wondering what this has to do with Street Fighter, the game has you choosing from a selection of cute chibi versions of characters from both Street Fighter and Capcom’s horror-based fighting game Darkstalkers.

Each level is a one-on-one battle with another character, and as you perform good combos your character will attack their opponent. It was fun.


Street Fighter Zero 2 Alpha

Game update
Original release – Summer 1996
Format – Arcade
Fighters – 27

As previously mentioned, the North American version of Street Fighter Alpha 2 (or Street Fighter Zero 2 in Japan) added a bunch of new characters, including Evil Ryu and some classic versions of veteran fighters.

Keen to make sure Japanese fans didn’t feel short changed, Capcom released an update to Zero 2 in Japan called Zero 2 Alpha, which added all the extra characters.

Not only that, it also added EX (old-school Street Fighter II) versions of another five fighters – Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Sagat and Bison – to join Zangief and Dhalsim.

It rounded things off with a new Survival Mode, a 2-on-1 Dramatic Battle mode (like the one in the first Alpha) and an arranged soundtrack. Take that, the west.


X-Men vs Street Fighter

Crossover title
Original release – September 1996
Format – Arcade, Saturn, PlayStation
Fighters – 18 (17 playable)
Character debuts – Cyclops, Juggernaut, Gambit, Magneto, Rogue, Sabretooth, Storm, Wolverine, Apocalypse

Capcom had already released two Marvel-themed fighting games by this point, X-Men: Children Of The Atom and Marvel Super Heroes.

Given that both were essentially Street Fighter with comic book heroes, it was a no-brainer to mix the two and create the ultimate crossover game.

X-Men vs Street Fighter then, as the name suggests, took eight characters from the X-Men comics and nine from the Street Fighter series and chucked them all into one epic fighting game.

While most of the Street Fighter representatives were from Street Fighter II – Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Zangief, Dhalsim, Cammy, Bison and Akuma – Capcom was keen to ensure that the Street Fighter Alpha games weren’t left out, and so Charlie was added too.

This wasn’t just an important game because of its crossover nature, it was also the first of Capcom’s Street Fighter style games to incorporate a tag system. Players had to choose two characters and could swap between them during battle.

The game was eventually ported to the Saturn and the PlayStation, but the Saturn version was the greater of the two because of the console’s ability to handle 2D graphics better: the PlayStation version had to remove the tag feature due to memory limitations.

X-Men vs Street Fighter was the first game in what was to eventually become the Marvel vs Capcom series.


Street Fighter EX

Spin-off
Original release – 19 December 1996
Format – Arcade
Fighters – 17 (15 playable)
Character debuts – Skullomania, Hokuto, Doctrine Dark, Pullum Purna, Cracker Jack, Allen Snider, Blair Dame, Kairi, Darun Mister, Garuda

As the ‘90s rolled on polygonal fighting games became the new big thing.

Some (wrongly) felt that Street Fighter’s sprite-based graphics were starting to look a little dated, especially compared to the likes of Tekken and Virtua Fighter.

To combat this, Capcom enlisted the help of Japanese studio Arika – founded by former Capcom employee and Street Fighter II co-creator Akira Nishitani – to create a polygonal Street Fighter spin-off.

Street Fighter EX still played like a traditional Street Fighter game on a 2D plane, but the characters were now polygonal and the backgrounds were set in a 3D environment.

Despite the name, only five characters in the initial roster are from Street Fighter (Ryu, Ken, Guile, Chun-Li and Zangief), with Akuma a secret unlockable and Bison an unplayable boss.

The rest of the fighters were Arika’s original creations, from the baseball bat wielding bouncer Cracker Jack to Middle Eastern heiress Pullum.

Best of the bunch though is Skullomania, a struggling businessman who in his spare time dons a full-body skeleton costume and tries to be a superhero.

Interestingly, five of the game’s characters were initially locked away and were eventually unlocked over time to keep the game feeling fresh in arcades.

Street Fighter EX was an interesting experiment, and while it wasn’t quite as enjoyable as the main 2D series it did gain something of a following.


Street Fighter III: New Generation

Main series entry
Original release – February 1997
Format – Arcade
Fighters – 12 (11 playable)
Character debuts – Alex, Dudley, Elena, Gill, Ibuki, Necro, Oro, Sean, Yang, Yun

Finally, after years of rumour and speculation and it pretty much becoming the Half-Life 3 of the fighting community, Capcom gave in and released the long-awaited third game in the Street Fighter series.

The New Generation tag wasn’t just meaningless blurb, either: other than Ryu and Ken, every single character in Street Fighter III was completely original and new to the series.

The new lead character was Alex, a wrestler from New York to defend the honour of his best friend Tom, who’d been injured by new final boss Gill (who replaces Bison as the main bad guy).

A new generation of fighters also meant a new generation of fighting, and as such Street Fighter III introduced a bunch of new mechanics designed to breathe some new life into the genre.

These included new ways of moving around the screen: you could now dash, retreat, do high jumps and quickly get up after falling.

Super Combos were also replaced with Super Arts: these were similar in that they were over-the-top moves that used up part of a finite gauge, but the difference here is that each character has three different Super Art moves that the player has to choose between before a fight.

Most interesting, though, is the new parry feature. By pressing forward or down at the exact moment your enemy’s attack is about to hit you, you can dodge it without taking any damage (not even the slight ‘chip damage’ you can get when blocking).

The fact that this required perfect timing and was performed with a command that made blocking impossible made parrying a huge risk/reward system, and pros lapped it up.

The only disappointment was that there weren’t enough familiar characters. But Capcom was listening.


Street Fighter EX Plus

Spin-off
Original release – 3 March 1997
Format – Arcade
Fighters – 21
Character debuts – Bloody Hokuto, Cycloid β, Cycloid γ

Despite (or because of) its attempt to try something new with polygonal fighters, Street Fighter EX became relatively popular in arcades.

A few months after it launched, Capcom decided to release an updated version called Street Fighter EX Plus.

This version did a few things: firstly, it unlocked the five characters who were previously locked away with a time limit (Aluma, Blair, Allen, Kairi and Darun).

Secondly, it did a Champion Edition by taking the two non-playable boss characters – Bison and Garuda – and making them playable fighters.

Finally, it added four new characters: Evil Ryu from Alpha 2, a version of Hokuto called Bloody Hokuto (which is basically her in assassin mode, via a ‘mental suggestion’ implanted in her head by her father) and two cyborgs called Cycloid Beta and Cycloid Gamma.

The latter two are odd generic fighters who use other characters’ moves: Beta is a featureless polygonal model who’s entirely blue, while Gamma is a wireframe version.


Marvel Super Heroes vs Street Fighter

Crossover title
Original release – July 1997
Format – Arcade, Saturn, PlayStation
Fighters – 26 (24 playable)
Character debuts – Blackheart, Captain America, Hulk, Omega Red, Shuma-Gorath, Spider-Man, Cyber-Akuma, US Agent, Mephisto, Armored Spider-Man, Mech-Zangief, Dark Sakura, Shadow, Norimaro

The novelty factor of X-Men vs Street Fighter made it a success, so Capcom decided to try the same thing again by this time mixing Street Fighter with its other Marvel-themed fighter, Marvel Super Heroes.

Out went most of the X-Men (except for Wolverine, Cyclops and boss character Apocalypse), and in came a bunch of other Marvel characters including Hulk, Spider-Man and Captain America.

The Street Fighter roster, meanwhile, only saw a couple of changes as Cammy and Charlie were replaced by Dan and Sakura.

Tag-team fighting was once again the order of the day here (except in the PlayStation version again), with players able to choose any combination of two characters.

The game had six ‘secret’ characters, which were just existing characters that had been recoloured and had their stats changed slightly. Armored Spider-Man, for example, is just a grey version of normal Spider-Man with a slightly lower jump (because of the weight of his armour, you see).

By far the oddest addition though was Norimaro, who was only playable in the Japanese versions of the game. He was based on Japanese comedian Noritake Kinashi and is basically a grown man dressed as a newdy schoolboy, who throws plush toys and Akuma dolls at his enemies.


Street Fighter EX Plus α

Spin-off
Original release – 17 July 1997
Format – PlayStation
Fighters – 23

After a decent run in the arcades, Capcom and Arika brought Street Fighter EX to the PlayStation in the form of Street Fighter EX Plus α.

This home version included all the characters from the enhanced EX Plus arcade update, and also added two more fighters – Dhalsim and Sakura – for good measure.

Just to further push the Street Fighter vibe, the PlayStation version also included a ‘new’ mini-game where you have to break barrels (similar to the one in some versions of Street Fighter II).

Add to this stuff like a Practice mode, Survival mode, Team Battle mode, and Time Attack mode, and EX Plus α was a fuller package all-round.


Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix

Spin-off
Original release – 4 September 1997
Format – Arcade, Saturn, PlayStation, WonderSwan
Fighters – 12
Alternative title – Pocket Fighter (Japan)
Character debuts – Tessa

The success of Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo in 1996 had Capcom wondering what to do with the cute little ‘chibi’ versions of the characters that stood in the middle of the screen and performed moves on each other while the players focused on dropping gems.

The solution was obvious: make an actual fighting game using those chibi characters. And so Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix was born.

As with its puzzle-based predecessor, the game’s roster is a mix of Street Fighter and Darkstalkers characters, along with new addition Tessa from Capcom’s fantasy fighter Red Earth.

The fighting’s been made simplistic with only three attack buttons – punch, kick and special – and there are now gems and orbs involved too. Players can collect gems to power up their character, and collect orbs which can be thrown at the opponent to freeze them, turn them into stone and the like.

It’s also a more comedy-focused game, as many special moves make the fighters transform into different Capcom characters (Chun-Li, for example, has a special that turns her into Jill Valentine from Resident Evil).


Street Fighter II’

Home console port
Original release – September 1997
Format – Master System
Fighters – 8

While most regions were enjoying the move to the polygonal era with the PlayStation, N64 and Saturn, over in Brazil the humble 8-bit Sega Master System continued to be massively popular.

As a result of this, Brazilian company TecToy – who handled distribution of the Master System in Brazil – continued to develop official Master System ports of games that were exclusive to that country.

The likes of FIFA, Mortal Kombat 3, Earthworm Jim and Battletoads all got official Master System ports in Brazil, making them rarities for collectors these days.

One of the most interesting ones is Street Fighter II’, a port of Street Fighter II’ Champion Edition. The roster was cut to eight (so long Honda, Zangief, Dhalsim and Vega), the moveset was limited (the Master System only had two buttons) and there were no character-specific endings, but it was still a hell of a port given it was an 8-bit game.

In fact, the game’s development came about due to a practical joke played by TecToy. They held a meeting with a representative from Romstar (who for a while were licensing Capcom’s arcade games to third parties) to show them the version of Street Fighter II they were making.

They hid the Master System console and gave the representative two Mega Drive (Genesis) controllers, to make the representative think the game was running on Sega’s 16-bit system instead. Naturally, he was a little underwhelmed, suggesting a lot of improvements needed to be made.

Then they revealed that it had actually been running on the humble Master System, which blew the rep away: he agreed to let TecToy make the Master System port.


Street Fighter Collection

Multi-game collection
Original release – 18 September 1997
Format – Saturn, PlayStation
Games – 3

Although these days we live in a world where emulation is rife (and still legally dubious, despite what some will tell you), back in the mid ‘90s you had to rely on publishers re-releasing their older games if you wanted to play them on modern systems.

For that reason, in 1997 Capcom released Street Fighter Collection – the first of numerous compilations to come over the years – on PlayStation and Saturn.

It’s a two-disc collection consisting of three games. Disc one contains the original arcade versions of Super Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II Turbo: both are mostly unchanged, although Turbo is noticeably easier than the arcade version and Akuma is easier to unlock (just highlight Ryu and press L and R).

The second disc, meanwhile, contains a special version of Street Fighter Alpha 2 called Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold (or Street Fighter Alpha 2’ in Europe).

This is actually a port of Street Fighter Zero 2 Alpha, the Japan-only enhanced arcade version. To make things interesting, it also adds Cammy as a playable fighter, marking her Alpha debut.

Confused? Mate, we’re still only at the ‘90s.


Street Fighter III 2nd Impact: Giant Attack

Main series entry
Original release – October 1997
Format – Arcade
Fighters – 16 (14 playable)
Character debuts – Hugo, Urien

A mere eight months after Street Fighter III hit the arcades, it got its first sequel. Despite still featuring the Street Fighter III title, 2nd Impact was in fact the second game in the ‘Street Fighter III’ series.

The roster increased slightly with the introduction of three new characters: Akuma (who wasn’t in the first SFIII, but arrives in this one along with the more powerful, non-playable Shin Akuma), Hugo (otherwise known as Andore from Final Fight) and Urien (boss character Gill’s younger brother).

In terms of gameplay, 2nd Impact ‘introduced’ the concept of EX Specials (even though they’d already appeared in the console version of Street Fighter: The Movie).

These let you perform normal special moves with two or three attack buttons instead of the usual one, making the move a little more powerful, at the cost of some of your Super Art gauge.

You can also now escape from throws, and perform special taunts which give your character unique bonuses if you manage to complete them without taking a hit.

2nd Impact was a decent improvement over its predecessor, but it’s generally forgotten these days because it wasn’t long before Capcom enhanced it even further.


Rival Schools: United By Fate

Cameo appearance
Original release – November 1997
Format – Arcade, PlayStation
Fighters – 19
Alternative title – Shiritsu Justice Gakuen: Legion of Heroes (Japan)

Let’s take a break from all that fighting in the streets to focus on another Capcom series, one that’s set in the same canonical universe as Street Fighter.

Rival Schools is a 3D polygonal fighting game, developed by Capcom, which has a load of students and teachers from six different schools taking part in a huge fighting tournament.

Why is it important enough to be featured on this list given how many other fighting games Capcom made over the years? That’s easy, it’s got a Street Fighter character as part of its roster.

Yes, travelling over from Tamagawa Minami High School is Street Fighter Alpha 2’s Sakura. After all, when you’ve got a schoolgirl character in the Street Fighter series, it would be crazy not to include her in a school-themed fighting game.

The Japanese PlayStation version of Rival Schools had a second disc with a sort of dating game mode where you created your own character and guided them through school life before getting to use them in the main game. This was ditched for the western release due to the time it would’ve taken to localise.


Marvel vs Capcom: Clash Of Super Heroes

Crossover title
Original release – 23 January 1998
Format – Arcade, Dreamcast, PlayStation
Fighters – 22
Character debuts – Venom, War Machine, Captain Commando, Mega Man, Jin, Strider, Golden War Machine, Red Venom, Orange Hulk, Lilith-Mode Morrigan, Roll, Shadow Lady

First there was X-Men vs Street Fighter, then there was Marvel Super Heroes vs Street Fighter. Presumably at that point Capcom thought it was a tad unfair that the X-Men were getting extra help, so the Street Fighter cast got some too for the next game.

Marvel vs Capcom takes eight Marvel characters (including one boss, Onslaught, who’s unlockable in the Dreamcast version) and eight Capcom ones and lets players form a tag team of any pair.

This one was packed with references to other Marvel and Capcom properties, partly due to the new assist character feature, which let you summon other non-playable guest characters who’d jump in for a quick attack before leaping away again.

There were 12 guest characters on Marvel’s side, including the likes of Cyclops, Iceman, Juggernaut, Thor, Storm and Magneto.

Meanwhile, Capcom’s side featured 10 guests, including Arthur from Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, Michelle from Legendary Wings and one of the flying soldier heroes from Forgotten Worlds.


Street Fighter EX2

Spin-off
Original release – 26 May 1998
Format – Arcade
Fighters – 18
Character debuts – Sharon, Hayate, Shadowgeist, Nanase

The polygonal stylings of Street Fighter EX were obviously popular enough for Capcom and Arika to justify working together again for a sequel.

Street Fighter EX2 bucked the usual trend of sequels by offering fewer playable characters than its predecessor, mainly thanks to many of the original fighters created for the first EX getting punted out (all but five, in fact).

Blanka and Vega made their polygonal debuts in EX2, as did new characters Sharon (a European hitwoman with a gun), Hayate (a samurai looking for his missing father), Shadowgeist (an American cyber superhero) and Nanase (Hokuto’s younger sister).

The gameplay itself was fairly similar to that of the first EX, with the only major addition being ‘excel combos’. These act like the custom combos in the Street Fighter Alpha series and let you string together a bunch of basic and special moves for a brief period.


Street Fighter Alpha 3

Main series entry
Original release – 29 June 1998
Format – Arcade
Fighters – 28
Alternative title – Street Fighter Zero 3 (Japan)
Character debuts – Cody, Juli, Juni, Karin, R. Mika

Just as players were getting used to Street Fighter III being the new dog in town, Capcom decided to throw another swerve and released a new Street Fighter Alpha game.

Alpha 3 blew the second game’s character roster out of the water, adding another 10 fighters including a bunch of Street Fighter II favourites (Balrog, Vega, Blanka, Honda and Cammy).

Brand new characters included Cody from Final Fight, snobby brat Karin, Japanese female wrestler R. Mika and brainwashed German female assassins Juli and Juni.

By far the biggest addition to Street Fighter Alpha 3 was the ‘isms’ feature. There are three distinct playing styles to choose from depending on your taste: A-ism, X-ism and V-ism.

A-ism (or Z-ism in Japan) is the playing style used in the other Alpha games, where you have a three-stage Super Combo gauge and a number of Super Combo moves.

X-ism is more like Super Street Fighter II Turbo’s style, where you have a single Super Combo gauge and a single (but more powerful) move. Finally, V-ism lets you pull off custom combos like in Alpha 2.

This – combined with the fact that each ‘ism’ changes a character’s speed, strength and defence – adds a whole new level of strategy for serious players.


Fighter Maker

Cameo appearance
Original release – 30 July 1998
Format – PlayStation, PC

Here’s an interesting little curio, courtesy of American publisher Agetec (a US spin-off of Japanese publisher ASCII Coropration).

Fighter Maker does what it says on the tin (well, the box), letting players ‘create’ their own fighting games by making their own characters and even animating their moves.

In reality, it didn’t quite live up to the promise and generally tended to result in hilariously sloppy fights with bizarre character animations.

Why am I bothering to mention it, then? Because the Japanese version of the game included Skullomania from Street Fighter EX – a sole licensed character – presumably to remind players that nobody they create will ever be as cool as a shit businessman in a skeleton costume.


Street Fighter Collection 2

Multi-game collection
Original release – 31 October 1998
Format – PlayStation, Saturn
Games – 3
Alternative title – Capcom Generations 5: Street Fighter Collection 2

Originally released in Japan as the fifth entry in the Capcom Generations series of retro compilations, Street Fighter Collection 2 was also released in the west without the Generations branding.

Oddly, it’s arguably a less impressive offering than the first Street Fighter Collection, giving the player three older (and very similar) games than before.

While the first volume included Super Street Fighter II, Super Street Fighter II Turbo and a special ‘Gold’ version of Street Fighter Alpha 2, the second collection goes a little older-school.

This time players get the original Street Fighter II, Street Fighter II’ Champion Edition and Street Fighter II Turbo.

There were a few tweaks added: a new Collection mode added character profiles and artwork, while beating the game unlocked the option to play with an arranged version of the soundtrack.

There was also a ‘Super Vs Mode’ where you could choose between all three versions of each character: pitting the original SF2 Ryu against SFII Turbo Chun-Li, for example.

There aside though, there was no denying it was perhaps a little too limited given the strong similarities between the three games.


Fighting Layer

Cameo appearance
Original release – December 1998
Format – Arcade
Fighters – 16 (15 playable)

The Street Fighter EX games may have been developed by Japanese studio Arika, but the studio was never owned by Capcom and as such was free to work with other publishers too.

Fighting Layer is an example of this, as it was developed by Arika but released by Namco, which was arguably Capcom’s rival because of its success with the Tekken series.

Despite not being a Street Fighter game, it earns a place here for two reasons: firstly, it plays extremely similarly to the Street Fighter EX games (mainly due to it using the same engine).

Secondly, two of the characters from Street Fighter EX – Allen and Blair – are playable in Fighting Layer, at least making it part of the same universe.


Street Fighter Alpha 3

Home console port
Original release – 23 December 1998
Format – PlayStation, Saturn
Fighters – 34
Alternative title – Street Fighter Zero 3 (Japan)

Street Fighter Alpha 3 was already such a hefty arcade game – what with its 10 new characters – that Capcom would’ve been forgiven for porting it over to home systems without any changes.

Instead, it decided to improve the game even further by adding another six playable characters, most of whom were from Street Fighter II but had been ditched to make way for the shiny new Alpha roster.

Dee Jay, Fei Long, T. Hawk and none other than Guile made their Alpha debuts in the home versions of Alpha 3, appearing alongside overpowered clone characters Evil Ryu and Shin Akuma.

The home versions also added a bunch of new modes, including World Tour (where you travel around the world building your fighter’s stats), Survival and the 2-on-1 Dramatic Battle mode (although the Saturn version allowed for 3-on-1 fights and let you fight against everyone, not just bosses).


Street Fighter III 3rd Strike: Fight For The Future

Main series entry
Original release – 12 May 1999
Format – Arcade, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2
Fighters – 20
Character debuts – Makoto, Remy, Q, Twelve

The third and final game in the Street Fighter III series is generally believed by fans to be the best, mainly because it built on the already great 2nd Impact with a handful of new characters and fighting mechanics.

The 14 playable characters from 2nd Impact return for 3rd Strike, along with five new fighters (one of which is Chun-Li, making her SFIII debut).

Makoto is a young Japanese girl who specialises in karate, while Remy is a French kickboxer looking to get revenge on his dad for abandoning him and his sister.

Meanwhile, Q is a mysterious robotic masked man in a trenchcoat, and rounding things off is Twelve, a weird morphing humanoid that can turn into any weapon, T-1000 Terminator style.

In terms of gameplay, most of the strategies from 2nd Impact were carried over, but one new addition is the Guard Parry.

If you block a combo, the Guard Parry can be used at the end of the combo to turn your fighter red and leave your opponent wide open for a counter-attack.

A Dreamcast version of 3rd Strike was released the following year and let fans play as final boss Gill, then the PS2 got it in Japan in 2004. It also came to PS2 and Xbox in the west, but we’ll get to that later.


Street Fighter EX2 Plus

Spin-off
Original release – 11 June 1999
Format – Arcade, PlayStation
Fighters – 26 (24 playable)
Character debuts – Vulcano Rosso, Area

Much like with Street Fighter EX Plus before it, Capcom and Arika decided to release an enhanced version of Street Fighter EX2 in arcades (and later on the PlayStation) a year later.

EX2 Plus played more or less the same as EX2, but it did add Meteor Combos. These are powerful Super Combos that can only be activated when all three parts of the Super Combo gauge are completely full.

The main addition to EX2 Plus, then, is the extra characters. Ditching Hayate for some reason (though she was put back into the PlayStation version), Capcom added a trio of characters from the original EX – M Bison, Pullum and Darun – who hadn’t appeared in the standard version of EX2.

Sagat also arrives in his first ever appearance in an EX game, and rounding things off are two completely new characters: Vulcano Rosso (an Italian martial artist who can perform fire moves) and Area (a young British girl with a robot arm).


Shiritsu Justice Gaiden: Nekketsu Seisyun Nikki 2

Cameo appearance
Original release – 11 June 1999
Format – PlayStation
Fighters – 21

This Japan-only sequel to Rival Schools is more of an update than a brand new game.

It adds two new student fighters to the mix – gossip queen Ran Hibiki and loner chap Nagare Namikawa – bringing the total character roster to 21.

It also beefs up the game’s story mode, which as in its predecessor is basically a dating game. This version has a more complex plot and more mini-games to play throughout.

More importantly (for the purposes of this article), Sakura is still in there as a playable character, and therefore it still has a place here. So there.


Street Fighter Alpha 3: Saikyo Dojo

Home console port
Original release – 8 July 1999
Format – Dreamcast
Fighters – 34
Alternative title – Street Fighter Zero 3: Saikyo Dojo (Japan)

Six months after Street Fighter Alpha 3 was released on the PlayStation and Saturn, it came to the Dreamcast too.

The Dreamcast version included the full roster from the other home versions, including the newly-added console-only ones (Guile, Dee Jay, Fei Long, T. Hawk, Evil Ryu and Shin Akuma).

There were two new additions: the titular Saikyo Dojo mode is a special hard mode where you choose a character, who becomes extremely weak. You then have to defeat two extremely strong opponents.

Meanwhile, the Dreamcast’s much-touted online functionality made an appearance, although at this point it was only in a basic form: players could upload their high scores online.

Saikyo Dojo was re-released in 2000 through Sega’s Japanese mail order service Dreamcast Direct: this version added online multiplayer.


SNK vs Capcom: Card Fighters Clash

Spin-off
Original release – 21 November 1999
Format – Neo Geo Pocket Color

It was the crossover nobody ever believed could happen. In one corner was Capcom, creators of Street Fighter, Darkstalkers and countless similar fighting games.

In the other corner was SNK, creator of such well-loved fighting series as Fatal Fury, The King Of Fighters, Art Of Fighting and Samurai Shodown.

The two were rivals: the chances of them meeting were as likely as Mario and Sonic appearing in the same game together (i.e. it would never happen in a million years).

And yet, on 21 November 1999 the two finally did meet. Um, in a card battle game a bit like Magic: The Gathering.

Released on the Neo Geo Pocket Color, there were two versions of the game: one for Capcom fans and one for SNK fans. Each had certain exclusive cards but the general card battling was the same.

Fans looking for a proper fighting game featuring both companies would have to wait. But only for another nine days.


SNK vs Capcom: The Match Of The Millennium

Crossover title
Original release – 30 November 1999
Format – Neo Geo Pocket Color
Fighters – 26
Character debuts – Terry Bogard, Mai Shiranui, Ryo, Kyo, Iori, Athena, Leona, Haohmaru, Nakoruru, Akari, Yuri, Geese Howard, Orochi Iori, Baby Bonnie Hood

It was the crossover nobody ever believed could happen. Again.

Although it wasn’t quite on the format people were hoping for – rather than an arcade or console game it was released on the humble Neo Geo Pocket Color – SNK vs Capcom was still an important moment in the history of both games.

For the first time the likes of Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Morrigan from Darkstalkers and Akuma could take on the likes of Terry Bogard from Fatal Fury, Ryo from Art Of Fighting and Haohmaru from Samurai Shodown.

Despite the NGPC’s relative lack of oomph, SNK vs Capcom was still a nifty little fighting game with a 26-character roster, a wealth of fighter-specific music and a load of nods and references dotted throughout.

This wasn’t to be the only time Capcom and SNK were to butt heads in video game form, but as a first attempt (well, a second one if you count the card game) it was a fun experiment.


Street Fighter III: Double Impact

Multi-game collection
Original release – 16 December 1999
Format – Dreamcast
Games – 2
Alternative title – Street Fighter III: W Impact (Japan)

This compilation game for the Dreamcast consisted of the first two Street Fighter III games, the original and 2nd Impact.

Both games included arcade, versus and training modes, while 2nd Impact also got a Parry Attack mode where players could work on their parrying abilities in a bonus game.

It also took Gill and Shin Akuma – both of whom were non-playable boss characters in the arcade version – and made them playable.

Both games were good renditions of their arcade counterparts, but there was nevertheless an understandable sense of disappointment that the best in the series, 3rd Strike, wasn’t included.

This was, of course, because 3rd Strike was already due to come to the Dreamcast as a standalone game in six months’ time.


Marvel vs Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes

Crossover title
Original release – February 2000
Format – Arcade, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Xbox
Fighters – 57 (56 playable)
Character debuts – Cable, Colossus, Doctor Doom, Iceman, Iron Man, Marrow, Psylocke, Sentinel, Silver Samurai, Spiral, Thanos, Anakaris, Hayato Kanzaki, Jill Valentine, Servbot, Tron Bonne, Ruby Heart, Amingo, Sonson III, Abyss

If Marvel vs Capcom was a comic-loving video game fan’s fantasy made real, then Marvel vs Capcom 2 was [removed by lawyers due to indecency].

This absolute beast of a game more than doubled its predecessor’s roster, taking it from an already impressive 22 characters to a frankly obscene 56 (along with boss character Abyss).

It was basically an amalgamation of the three games that had come before it: every character from X-Men: Children Of The Atom, X-Men vs Street Fighter, Marvel Super Heroes vs Street Fighter and Marvel vs Capcom was added to this game (except for alternate versions, like Orange Hulk and Mech-Zangief).

On top of that, a whole host of other new characters made their debuts, including Jill Valentine from Resident Evil and Tron Bonne from Mega Man Legends.

That said, you had to earn them. When you first play the game only 24 characters are available: you have to unlock the other 32 by gaining points while playing which can be spent in a shop to buy new fighters, backgrounds and artwork.

With a roster this size it’s perhaps unsurprising that the tag team style gameplay from the previous Marvel vs Capcom was tweaked, with players now choosing teams of three instead of two.


Street Fighter EX3

Spin-off
Original release – 4 March 2000
Format – PlayStation 2
Fighters – 29 (28 playable)
Character debuts – Ace, Shin-Bison

The third and final game in the Street Fighter EX series was a PlayStation 2 exclusive, and was a launch game for the system in the US.

For the most part, it plays just like its predecessors, with the obvious difference being that it looked a lot better than the ports of the previous two games on the original PlayStation.

The main addition is tag fighting: as you play through arcade mode you can recruit the opponents you defeat and add them to your roster of up to four fighters. You can then be accompanied by one during fights, swapping them in when your energy is low.

This also leads to a new type of move called the Critical Parade. When both characters have two bars in their super meter filled and the tag meter is full, you can call in your partner and perform a powerful double-team attack where you control both characters and have unlimited Super Combos for a while.

As a launch game, Street Fighter EX3 was generally well-received. It was to be the last Street Fighter EX game though, with Arika moving on to other projects.


Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation

Animated film
Original release – 26 April 2000

Group TAC, the Shibuya-based animation studio responsible for Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie and the Street Fighter II V anime series, decided to go for the hat-trick with a third creation based on Street Fighter.

As the name suggests, this 93-minute animated movie isn’t focused on Street Fighter II this time, but its prequel Alpha instead.

It follows a young Ryu as he struggles to resist the ‘Dark Hadou’, an evil energy which constantly threatens to overcome him like it did with Akuma a long time ago.

While Ryu’s trying to cope with this, he also has to deal with a number of other issues, including the presence of Sakura (who wants to be his student) and the constant danger of Bison’s crime organisation Shadaloo.

Then there’s the small matter of Shun, a boy who claims to be Ryu’s long-lost brother. No spoilers, but Ryu would do well to keep an eye on that lad.


Capcom vs SNK: Millennium Fight 2000

Crossover title
Original release – Summer 2000
Format – Arcade, Dreamcast
Fighters – 33
Character debuts – Benimaru, Rugal, Vice, Kim, Raiden, Ryuji, King

First there was the card game. Then there was the Neo Geo Pocket Color handheld game. Then, at the third time of asking, fans finally got a ‘proper’ arcade crossover game where the best fighters from Capcom and SNK clashed.

The game features a roster of 17 Capcom characters and 16 SNK ones, although the term ’Capcom’ is probably a stretch because every fighter on that side is from Street Fighter (with the exception of unlockable character Morrigan from Darkstalkers).

Likewise, team SNK is almost entirely made up of The King Of Fighters characters (except for Raiden from Fatal Fury and Nakoruru from Samurai Shodown). As such, it could be argued that Street Fighter vs The King Of Fighters would have been a more appropriate title than Capcom vs SNK.

There’s also an interesting ratio system in Capcom vs SNK. Instead of simply having one-on-one, two-on-two or three-on-three battles, the character roster is split into four ‘ratios’, with each fighter having a value of 1, 2, 3 or 4 points depending on their strength and ability.

You can create any team you like as long as the total number of points doesn’t exceed 4, which means your squad can consist of anything from four weaker characters (say, Blanka, Dhalsim, Cammy and Sakura) to just a single powerful one (like Akuma).

The Dreamcast version of the game can connect to the Neo Geo Pocket Color: you can transfer currency earned in the NGPC version to the Dreamcast to help you buy and unlock hidden characters quicker.


Cannon Spike

Cameo appearance
Original release – 14 November 2000
Format – Arcade, Dreamcast
Alternative title – Gunspike (Japan)

Here’s a hidden gem from Capcom that nobody really talks about these days. Cannon Spike is a multi-directional shooter (similar to top-down twin-stick shooters like Smash TV).

The game’s played with three buttons: a ‘mark’ button (to lock on to enemies), a shoot button (to fire your weapon) and an attack button (for close-up melee attacks).

Since it’s a shooter, its main set-pieces are its boss battles, with the player regularly facing off against enormous, screen-filling enemies with hefty power bars.

Best of all, you don’t play as a generic ship or soldier like you’d usually expect in a shooter: instead, you get to choose from six Capcom characters.

These include Arthur from Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, Mega Man, Shiba from Three Wonders, B.B. Hood from Darkstalkers and – for the purposes of this article – Cammy and Charlie Nash from the Street Fighter series.


Capcom vs SNK Pro

Game update
Original release – Winter 2000
Format – Arcade, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2
Fighters – 35
Character debuts – Joe Higashi

Let’s face it, it wouldn’t be a Capcom fighter without some sort of enhanced edition, and sure enough Capcom vs SNK got an update a few months after release.

Capcom vs SNK Pro added a couple of new characters – Joe Higashi from Fatal Fury, and Dan from Street Fighter Alpha – bringing the new total to 35.

It also attempted to balance the game a bit by tweaking each characters’ abilities, nerfing some and improving others while adding the odd new special move here and there.

Finally, all the previously hidden characters were now unlocked from the beginning, something that was especially appreciated by Dreamcast owners who’d already spent countless hours grinding to unlock them all in the previous version.


Super Street Fighter II X For Matching Service

Home console port
Original release – 22 December 2000
Format – Dreamcast
Fighters – 17

Thought it wasn’t possible for Super Street Fighter II Turbo (or X, as it was known in Japan) to get another re-release? You adorably naive child.

Released only in Japan, SSFIIXFMS (as nobody called it) was a virtually arcade-perfect port for the Dreamcast.

The main gimmick here was the ability to connect to Matching Service, the Japanese version of the Dreamcast’s online service, and fight against other players around the country.

Though many praised its near-flawless authenticity and relative lack of loading times, sales were modest because it was still ultimately a six-year-old game by this point.


Street Fighter Zero 3 Upper

Game update
Original release – March 2001
Format – Arcade
Fighters – 34

Although it had been released on home consoles, Street Fighter Alpha 3 (Zero 3 in Japan) was still popular in arcades, where the fighting game scene continued to rack up the coins.

The problem was, the home versions of Alpha 3 were better than the arcade version, because of the six extra characters Capcom had added (Guile, Dee Jay, T. Hawk, Fei Long, Evil Ryu and Shin Akuma).

To make up for this, Capcom released an updated arcade version in Japan called Street Fighter Zero 3 Upper (or Street Fighter Zero↑ as the official title actually read).

This added the six new characters – bringing the arcade version in line with the home ones – and fixed a couple of glitches.

Players with the Dreamcast version could also insert their VMU memory card into the arcade cabinet to play as the customised fighter they used at home.


Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival

Handheld port
Original release – 13 June 2001
Format – Game Boy Advance
Fighters – 18
Alternative title – Super Street Fighter II X Revival (Japan)

Still not done with Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Capcom then decided to port it to the Game Boy Advance with surprising results.

Rather than a straight port of the arcade game, Revival mixes things up a bit to make it feel almost like a remixed version.

Guile, Ken and Bison got brand new stages exclusive to this version, while Chun-Li and Balrog’s stages were from Alpha and Ryu’s was from Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike.

Meanwhile, Shin Akuma – who was never in Turbo – is unlockable as a hidden character (although if you’re good enough to trigger a battle against him in arcade mode, the game freezes).

Rounding things off is a fantastic survival mode, where you can fight against up to 100 opponents in a row without a break: as soon as you defeat one they disappear and the next appears right away.


Taisen Net Gimmick: Capcom & Psikyo All Stars

Cameo appearance
Original release – 28 June 2001
Format – Dreamcast

Psikyo is a Japanese studio best known for its series of brilliant arcade shoot ‘em ups (it also developed Cannon Spike, which has already been mentioned in this article).

Taisen Net Gimmick is a crossover featuring characters from Capcom games – well, okay, just Street Fighter ones – and Psikyo games like Gunbird, SolDivide, Samurai Aces and fighting game The Fallen Angels.

Before you start getting too excited, remember that the last time Capcom entered into a new crossover the result was a card battling game instead of a fighting game.

Sure enough, lightning strikes twice here: Taisen Net Gimmick isn’t a fighter, it’s a mahjong game where the opponents just happen to be Capcom and Psikyo characters.

Of course, if you’re a mahjong fan anyway, fill your boots.


Capcom vs SNK 2: Mark Of The Millennium 2001

Crossover title
Original release – 1 August 2001
Format – Arcade, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2
Fighters – 48
Alternative title – Capcom vs SNK 2: Millionaire Fighting 2001 (Japan)
Character debuts – Chang, Rock Howard, Ryuhaku, Hibiki, Kyosuke Kagami, Maki, Ultimate Rugal

The second major game (and the fourth overall) in the ongoing battle between Capcom and SNK increased its predecessor’s character roster by 15 for a total of 48 fighters.

Team Capcom was improved with the likes of Eagle and Yun from Street Fighter, Maki and Rolento from Final Fight and young Kyosuke from Rival Schools.

Team SNK, meanwhile, added the likes of the hefty cannon ball wielding Chang from The King Of Fighters and Rock Howard from Fatal Fury.

There are three major gameplay differences in Capcom vs SNK 2 compared to its predecessor. While the first Capcom vs SNK featured a four-button control system similar to The King Of Fighters, the sequel goes for the Street Fighter six-button style instead.

The ratio system has been given a bit of a kicking too: instead of each character having their own set value, players can now choose their own teams of up to three fighters and assign each character a ratio of their choice.

Finally, there are six different fighting styles called ‘Grooves’ to choose from: these are based on various Capcom and SNK games and affect which type of super gauge and special techniques you can use.

There’s a lot to take in here, in other words.


SNK vs Capcom: Card Fighters 2 Expand Edition

Spin-off
Original release – 13 September 2001
Format – Neo Geo Pocket Color

While the ongoing battle between SNK and Capcom continued to be mainly fought through traditional fighting games, there was still something of a fanbase for the original SNK vs Capcom. You remember, the card game.

In order to appease those card-happy chappies, SNK released a sequel to Card Fighters’ Clash two years later, and dubbed it Card Fighters 2.

Released only in Japan, it more or less plays the same as its predecessor but adds 124 new character cards to the existing 240, introducing characters from the likes of Mega Man Legends, Dino Crisis, Garou: Mark Of The Wolves, Onimusha and The King Of Fighters 2000.

It was also something of a landmark game for SNK, because it was the last title to be released for the Neo Geo Pocket Color before its untimely (and unjust) early demise.


Street Fighter Alpha 3 Upper

Handheld port
Original release – 27 September 2002
Format – Game Boy Advance
Fighters – 37
Alternative title – Street Fighter Zero 3 Upper (Japan)

Just in case you weren’t already utterly stumped by the Street Fighter Alpha release saga, Capcom released yet another version on Game Boy Advance.

Due to the hardware limitations of the GBA, not every stage and music track from the other versions of Street Fighter Alpha 3 made it to Nintendo’s handheld.

Impressively, though, every character – including the console exclusive ones – did manage to make it onto the GBA cart.

In fact, not only were all 34 fighters in there, Capcom also added three more characters from Capcom vs SNK 2: Eagle, Maki and Yun.

Despite the clear audio and visual downgrade and the lack of sufficient buttons, the GBA version of Alpha 3 was surprisingly competent.


Capcom Fighting All-Stars: Code Holder

Crossover title
Original release – Planned for early 2003 (cancelled)
Format – Arcade, PlayStation 2
Fighters – 15

The Street Fighter EX series may have been dead by this point, but Capcom fancied another crack and turning a 2D fighting series into a 3D polygonal one.

Capcom Fighting All-Stars was going to gather a selection of Capcom’s own characters – from Street Fighter regulars like Ryu, Chun-Li and Akuma to the likes of Mike Haggar from Final Fight and Strider Hiryu.

It had a plot too: a mysterious chap called Death is threatening to bomb Metro City (the location where Final Fight is set), so it was up to the game’s numerous heroes to find and defeat him before it was too late.

The game was due to include finishing moves (sort of like less gory versions of Mortal Kombat’s fatalities), and had a time limit throughout, with the ending changing depending on how quickly you beat the game.

Ultimately, the game was scrapped and never released, though the subsequent Capcom Fighting Jam – released the following year – carried some of its ideas over.


Capcom vs SNK 2 EO

Home console port
Original release – 4 July 2003
Format – GameCube, Xbox
Fighters – 48

As previously explained, Capcom vs SNK 2 was a little intimidating for newcomers because of the sheer number of options available.

The presence of no fewer than six different fighting styles – or Grooves, as they were known – made it incredibly difficult for beginners to get to grips with the game.

The GameCube and Xbox versions attempted to fix this by offering an optional EO system (which stands for Easy Operation), designed to let players pull off special moves just by moving the right stick in a single direction.

It also included a new GC-ism Groove (known as EO-ism in the Xbox version), which simplified the controls and made playing the game easier.

Although purists balked at these attempts to make the series more approachable, the option to stick with the more complex control methods meant no real harm was done.


SNK vs Capcom: SVC Chaos

Crossover title
Original release – 24 July 2003
Format – Arcade, PlayStation 2, Xbox
Fighters – 36
Character debuts – Mr Karate, Kasumi Todoh, Earthquake, Genjuro, Shiki, Goenitz, Mars People, Zero, Demitri Maximoff, Serious Mr Karate, Red Arremer, Violent Ken

Until this point, Capcom and SNK’s arcade-based clashes had all been handled by Capcom. Obviously, though, there are two fighting game companies involved here.

SVC Chaos, then, marked SNK’s first attempt at a full-on crossover fighting game (aside from the Neo Geo Pocket Color one, of course).

As a result, it played less like a Street Fighter game and more like a King Of Fighters title, with that series’ four-button control scheme and more straightforward mechanics (no Groove system or air guards here, for example).

Although many of the newcomers this time around were SNK characters – understandable, given we’re on their turf this time – some other Capcom faces made their ‘Street Fighter’ series debut, including Zero from the Mega Man series, Demitri from Darkstalkers and Red Arremer, a demon from the Ghosts ‘n Goblins games.

It also marked the first appearance of Violent Ken, who was basically an excuse for Ken players to get their own Evil Ryu.


Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition

Main series entry
Original release – December 2003
Format – PlayStation 2, Arcade
Fighters – 17 (with 65 variations)

“I bet Champion Edition Guile would kick the Super version of Bison’s arse!” “Yeah? Well I reckon Turbo’s Blanka could destroy the original Ken!”

These are arguments that were had by nobody ever, but Capcom decided they should be solved regardless, and as such Hyper Street Fighter II was born.

This amalgamation of all five major versions of Street Fighter II lets you choose any version of any character and have them facing off against each other.

This means there are 65 different character set-ups available: 8 from the original SFII, 12 from SFII Champion Edition, 12 from SFII Turbo, 16 from Super SFII and 17 (including Akuma) from Super SFII Turbo.

What does this mean, though? Well, as well as cosmetic changes – each character’s profile picture is taken from that specific game, and their voice samples change accordingly too – each version of a character has different strengths and weaknesses depending on how they performed at that time in the series.

This obviously results in a massively imbalanced game, with Super Turbo characters getting their usual combo meter and Original characters having far more powerful attacks. But there’s no denying it’s fun.

After originally releasing on the PS2 in Japan and Europe, Hyper Street Fighter II was then given an arcade port to bring everything full circle.


Street Fighter Anniversary Collection

Multi-game collection
Original release – 31 August 2004
Format – PlayStation 2, Xbox
Games – 2

It could be argued that two games barely counts as a “collection”, but given that one of them is Hyper Street Fighter II, let’s allow it.

Anniversary Collection took the recently-released Hyper Street Fighter II and bundled it with Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, giving players a nice mix of new and old.

As an added bonus, the entire Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie was included as an extra feature, though it was a censored version with the swearing and Chun Li’s shower scene getting the snip.

Anniversary Collection launched on PS2 and Xbox, the latter offering online play on its Xbox Live service. The PS2 version was only released in the US, since Hyper had already been released as a standalone game in Japan and Europe.

Since it was new to Xbox, however, owners of Microsoft’s console could buy it in any region: literally, as it emerged, because it was one of the few region-free games on the original Xbox.


Capcom Fighting Jam

Crossover title
Original release – October 2004
Format – Arcade, PlayStation 2, Xbox
Fighters – 23
Alternative title – Capcom Fighting Evolution (NA)
Character debuts – Jedah, Leo, Hauzer, Hydron, Kenji, Ingrid, Pyron

Capcom may have cancelled its 3D scrapper Capcom Fighting All-Stars, but it still wasn’t willing to give up on the idea of a bunch of characters from all its fighting games coming together for a huge punch-up.

Opting to stick with its tried-and-tested 2D approach instead, it came up with Capcom Fighting Jam, which brought together five of its most popular fighting titles.

The main roster included four-character teams representing Street Fighter II, Street Fighter III, Street Fighter Alpha, Darkstalkers and the fantasy-themed Red Earth, rounding things off with two bosses – Pyron from Darkstalkers and Shin Akuma – and Ingrid, an original character who was originally planned for Capcom Fighting All-Stars.

Players could put together tag teams by combining any two characters from the roster, allowing for some potentially interesting match-ups.

It was a great idea in theory, but the results were a bit of a mess. Each character used a fighting system from the game they represented, and the sprites were essentially copied and pasted over with animation frames cut out to make everything run at roughly the same speed.

Players complained that it was about as well-balanced as a man on stilts sailing a yacht through a storm, and the strict ‘four characters only’ policy for each series meant fan favourites like Ken and Sagat were nowhere to be seen.


Namco x Capcom

Crossover title
Original release – 26 May 2005
Format – PlayStation 2

While Capcom and SNK continued their collaborative love-in, Namco was presumably watching from afar, thinking: “Harumph, we make fighting games too.”

Eventually it decided to jump into the Capcom crossover ring as well, but rather than going with another fighting game, it opted to go in a different direction (at least at that point).

Namco x Capcom was a Japan-only turn-based strategy RPG with action elements, in which your heroes could be joined by a multitude of heroes from a wide variety of Namco and Capcom games, as they fought a similarly large selection of enemies from the same franchises.

There are over 200 characters in total, with allies including Street Fighter alumni like Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li and Cammy. Characters from the likes of Final Fight, Dino Crisis, Mega Man Legends, Strider, Dig Dug, Klonoa, Soul Edge and Tales Of Destiny featured too.

The presence of Namco characters also meant this was the first time Street Fighter and Tekken fighters appeared in the same game, laying down the groundwork for another fan-requested clash to come in the future.

While Namco x Capcom was only released in Japan, future entries in the series would get western releases too. But patience, we’ll get to that.


Capcom Classics Collection

Multi-game collection
Original release – 27 September 2005
Format – PlayStation 2, Xbox
Games – 22 (3 Street Fighter games)

In the late ‘90s Capcom released a five-volume series in Japan for the PlayStation and Saturn, named Capcom Generations.

Each volume contained a few Capcom arcade games, as well as art galleries and hints. The fifth volume, incidentally, contained three Street Fighter games and was released overseas as Street Fighter Collection 2. Remember? We covered it about 10,000 words ago.

Capcom Classics Collection is a compilation of all five volumes (16 games in all), along with another six games to bring the total to 22.

This meant that alongside the original, Champion Edition and Turbo versions of Street Fighter II were the likes of Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, Ghosts ‘n Goblins, Final Fight and the criminally underrated Gun Smoke.

Curiously, it also included Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, potentially marking the first time a SNES game was officially emulated on a PlayStation or Xbox system.


Street Fighter Alpha: Generations (film)

Animated film
Original release – 25 October 2005

This 45-minute film isn’t related to the previous Street Fighter Alpha film: it was produced by a different company (the Tokyo-based A.P.P.P.) and was mainly intended for western audiences.

It begins with a prologue in which Akuma (referred to here by his Japanese name Gouki) kills his master Goutetsu, before the film skips forward in time.

We then join Ryu as he visits his old dojo, where he’s encountered by a ghostly vision of Akuma challenging him to a fight. He then meets an old master, who offers to train Ryu while he prepares for his scrap with Akuma.

Generations didn’t exactly have Street Fighter fans in raptures: it was only modestly received, and didn’t even make it to Japan until 2009, when it was included as a bonus film with the live-action Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun-Li (which presumably made it seem much better by comparison).


Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX

Handheld port
Original release – 19 January 2006
Format – PSP
Fighters – 38
Alternative title – Street Fighter Zero 3 Double Upper (Japan)

A mere eight years after Street Fighter Alpha 3 arrived in arcades, Capcom finally released its last enhanced port.

Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX was available exclusively on the PSP and is essentially the most feature-heavy version of the game.

As well as all the characters from the arcade versions, MAX includes the three fighters added to the GBA game (Eagle, Maki and Yun) as well as Ingrid from Capcom Fighting Jam, bringing the final total to 38.

It also included a Dramatic Battle mode (albeit one that let you choose which characters to use for once), a tag mode called Variable Battle, a 100-fighter survival mode called 100 Kumite and new character-specific endings for the newly added characters (which the GBA version was lacking).


Final Fight: Streetwise

Cameo appearance
Original release – 28 February 2006
Format – PlayStation 2, Xbox

This fairly poor 3D beat ‘em up was Capcom’s attempt to resurrect the Final Fight series, which still enjoyed a cult following from its ‘90s arcade glory days.

Playing as Kyle, the younger brother of the first game’s Cody, you have to explore Metro City as you try to find information about Cody’s disappearance.

The game itself was dull and clunky, leaving all but the most hardcore Final Fight fans a tad disappointed.

Why’s it here, though? Because, oddly, one of the game’s boss fights is against Cammy, who turns up for an optional pit-fight at Guy’s dojo.


Capcom Classics Collection Remixed

Multi-game collection
Original release – 22 March 2006
Format – PSP
Games – 20 (1 Street Fighter game)

Around half a year after Capcom released Capcom Classics Collection on PS2 and Xbox, it brought out a similar compilation on the PSP.

There were 20 games in Remixed, including Captain Commando, Final Fight, Forgotten Worlds and Strider.

Street Fighter fans would be forgiven for feeling a little underwhelmed, though, as the series’ only representation here is the original 1987 Street Fighter (yes, the one where you only play as Ryu).

There was another PSP compilation on the way soon though: as you’ll soon see, this seemed to be Capcom’s anthology phase.


American Dad vs Family Guy Kung Fu II

Cameo appearance
Original release – 27 April 2006
Format – Web game

Back in the days when Flash games were still a big thing, the official Family Guy and American Dad websites both hosted this comedy crossover title.

Naturally, it’s a fighting game where players can choose between four Family Guy characters (Peter, Lois, Chris or Stewie) or four American Dad characters (Stan, Hayley, Roger or Klaus).

“But if we’re just counting Street Fighter imitators,” you may be asking, “then this article might as well be thousands of games long.”

Ah, but you see, this one actually has Ryu in it too, as in the actual Street Fighter II version, as a playable character.

In true Street Fighter fashion, an enhanced version called American Dad vs Family Guy Kung Fu II Turbo Hyper-Mega Edition was released later on, and added a few new characters (Meg, Brian, Francine and Steve).


Street Fighter Alpha Anthology

Multi-game collection
Original release – 25 May 2006
Format – PlayStation 2
Games – 7
Alternative title – Street Fighter Zero: Fighters’ Generation (Japan)

Although the title for this PS2-only compilation may suggest it’s a standard three-game jobby containing the Street Fighter Alpha trilogy, it’s actually packing a lot more than that.

Yes, it does indeed include Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter Alpha 2 and Street Fighter Alpha 3. It would be failing in its basic duties if it didn’t at least tick that box.

However, it also includes Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold – the console-exclusive version included as part of Street Fighter Collection on PlayStation and Saturn – which included Cammy as a playable character.

On top of that, it’s also got Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix, for seemingly no reason other than because it’s a game.

Not enough? There are two secret unlockable games too in the shape of Street Fighter Alpha 3 Upper (the Japanese arcade update that added Guile, Dee Jay, T. Hawk, Fei Long, Evil Ryu and Shin Akuma), and Hyper Street Fighter Alpha.

It’s the latter that’s the most interesting here: like Hyper Street Fighter II, it lets you choose different versions of each character and pit them against each other: for example, you can make the Alpha 3 version of Blanka fight the Alpha 1 version of Chun-Li.


Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded

Multi-game collection
Original release – 24 October 2006
Format – PSP
Games – 19 (3 Street Fighter games)

Look, I told you this was Capcom’s anthology phase. This is a definitive history, just stick with it.

Not content with releasing one retro compilation on the PSP, Capcom decided to hit players with a second Capcom Classics Collection title seven months later.

Reloaded featured another 19 titles, such as the Ghouls ‘n Ghosts trilogy, Commando and 1943.

As for Street Fighter, there was a better selection this time with the holy trinity of Street Fighter II, Champion Edition and Turbo all available.


Capcom Classics Collection Vol 2

Multi-game collection
Original release – 14 November 2006
Format – PlayStation 2, Xbox
Games – 20 (2 Street Fighter games)

I know. Trust me, we’re nearly out of this bit. We can get through it. Street Fighter IV’s coming up soon, I promise.

The second console edition of Capcom Classics Collection included the likes of Mega Twins (which I personally love), Strider and Varth: Operation Thunderstorm (with its Ryu cameo, which you may remember from about three months ago, when you started reading this article).

The original Street Fighter’s in here – presumably in case PS2 and Xbox owners were jealous of all the Street Fighter 1 fun PSP gamers were clearly having – as well as the clearly much better Super Street Fighter II Turbo.


SNK vs Capcom: Card Fighters DS

Spin-off
Original release – 14 December 2006
Format – Nintendo DS

SNK wasn’t done with its card battling crossover series yet, but with the Neo Geo Pocket Color long dead by this point, there was only one natural home for it.

Card Fighters DS, the third game in the series, ditched its predecessors rules for an entirely new system similar to Magic: The Gathering but far less refined.

A bunch of new cards were added to cover characters that had been introduced since the last game was out, such as Phoenix Wright and Devil May Cry’s Dante.

Unfortunately, Card Fighters DS is remembered more for what it did wrong than what it did right.

For starters, the localisation was abysmal, with poor English and incorrect spelling. Ryo is called Ryo at one point, and don’t get me started on the character description on Dhalsim’s card, which reads (no edits made here):

“Dhalsim uses his yoga power to earn money street fighting to feed his son Dada and work on his yoga fighting skills. He also can spit fire and teleport in the air so he need not fight to get food money for his wife of who’s 17.”

Even worse, it launched in North America with a game-breaking bug that made it literally impossible to reach the end. In an era before handheld games had online patches, SNK had to recall and replace faulty cartridges.

Unsurprisingly, there haven’t been any more SNK vs Capcom card games since.


Capcom Puzzle World

Multi-game collection
Original release – 6 February 2007
Format – PSP
Games – 5 (1 Street Fighter game)

It’s another compilation, but at least this one has something a little more interesting going for it.

Capcom Puzzle World consists of five different puzzle games, three of which are from the Pang! series (also known as Buster Bros in the US).

The five games on offer are Pang! (Buster Bros), Super Pang! (Super Buster Bros), Pang! 3 (Buster Buddies), Block Block (a standard Arkanoid-like block-breaking game) and Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo.

This was not the last fans would see of Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo in 2007, however.


Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix

Spin-off
Original release – 30 August 2007
Format – Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Fighters – 14
Character debuts – Morrigan (bat transformation)

Told you.

The HD Remix version of Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo was released as a download-only title on the Xbox 360’s Live Arcade and the PS3 via the PlayStation Network.

The majority of the game is similar to the standard version, though there were a few changes and tweaks to freshen things up a little.

Most obvious is the upgrade to HD visuals. The gems, backgrounds and character artwork have all been redrawn to make them look all nice and highly defined.

There’s also a new playing style called X’ Mode (note the dash), which rebalances the game to make it more suitable for competitive play.

It wasn’t all good news: the character sprites that fight in the middle of the screen weren’t redrawn, making them look significantly blurrier than everything else.


Harvey Birdman: Attorney At Law

Cameo appearance
Original release – 8 January 2008
Format – Wii, PlayStation 2, PSP

Harvey Birdman was a bizarre animated comedy on Adult Swim in which the star of ‘60s Hanna-Barbera series Birdman And The Galaxy Trio became a lawyer defending other vintage cartoon characters.

The law-based nature of the show made it ideal for an Ace Attorney style courtroom video game, and with Ace Attorney developer Capcom in charge of publishing duties it should come as no surprise that this is exactly what we got.

The game consists of five separate cases for Harvey Birdman to solve, with all sorts of daft jokes and cameos taking place throughout.

Among these cameos are a bunch of Street Fighter characters, including Guile, Zangief, Dhalsim and Chun-Li.


Street Fighter Online: Mouse Generation

Spin-off
Original release – April 2008
Format – PC
Fighters – 20
Character debuts – Shin, Batsu, Akira Kazama, Hu Fei, He Tieshou, Mei Chaofeng, Linghu Chong, Zhou Botong, Cyborg 004, Cyborg 005, Cyborg 006, Cyborg 009, Johannes Krauser II, Gavan, Barack Obama

Here’s a bizarre one.

Street Fighter Online: Mouse Generation was a free-to-play online fighting game released for the PC in association with Japanese toy company Revoltech, and was played entirely using a mouse.

The left button was used for punches, the right button was for kicking, and moving the mouse in various ways triggered special moves.

Revoltech is known for its beautiful, highly articulated action figures, which is why the Street Fighter characters in Mouse Generation are actually their Revoltech versions: articulated joints, screws and all.

If playing as a bunch of Street Fighter toys wasn’t odd enough, this is actually a crossover game where the other characters are based on manga, anime and Chinese novels(!).

That means alongside Ryu, Ken, Guile, Chun-Li and Zangief are entrants from the Cyborg 009 manga, the Detroit Metal City anime and the alcoholic swordsman from the 1967 Chinese novel The Smiling Proud Wanderer.

Oh, and Barack Obama was added as DLC. For Valentine’s Day.

Tragically (but in no way surprisingly), the plug was pulled on Mouse Generations a little more than a year after it launched, due to “various reasons”. All that’s left to remember it by are some poor quality decade-old YouTube clips.


Street Fighter IV

Main series entry
Original release – 18 July 2008
Format – Arcade
Fighters – 19 (17 playable)
Character debuts – Abel, Crimson Viper, Rufus, El Fuerte, Seth, Gouken

Eleven years after the launch of Street Fighter III, Capcom finally gave players the fourth main chapter in the Street Fighter series.

The initial gameplay reveal was met with some debate, as a number of purists were concerned by the switch from 2D hand-drawn sprites to 3D polygonal fighters – something that had only been done in spin-offs until that point.

Once it launched in arcades in July 2008, however, it quickly won over fans and was promptly accepted as one of the fighting game community’s key tournament games.

After years of progressively more complicated game mechanics, SFIV’s producer Yoshinori Ono was keen to have the fourth title return to its roots and make it feel more like Street Fighter II. As a result, complex systems like parrying were dropped.

That’s not to say it was without innovation, mind. Focus Attacks let players absorb an attack and perform a counter-attack, while Ultra Combos are more powerful alternatives to Super Combos, swooping the camera around and making use of the polygonal engine.

The arcade version introduced two non-playable boss characters: Seth quickly got a reputation for being cheaper than a charity shop liquidation sale, while the mysterious Gouken – the oldest brother of Akuma and the sensei of Ryu and Ken – made his long-awaited first appearance.


Pinball FX

Crossover DLC
Date of Street Fighter content – 12 November 2008
Format – Xbox 360

The creation of Hungarian developer Zen Studios, Pinball FX was a collection of three pinball tables that offered things not possible in real-life pinball (like characters walking around on the table).

Over time, the game added DLC tables, and while most of these were original creations a couple of them were based on official licenses.

First was a Rocky And Bullwinkle table, but after that came a Super Street Fighter II Turbo one, complete with its own car-crushing mini-game and characters like Blanka and Akuma standing on the glass.

When Pinball FX eventually got a sequel in October 2010, anyone who owned the original could port over its purchased tables – including the Street Fighter one – to Pinball FX 2 for free.

Sadly, by the time Pinball FX 3 came around in 2017 and launched on Switch, Xbox One and PS4, the Street Fighter license had expired and the table didn’t make the jump.


Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix

Home console port
Original release – 25 November 2008
Format – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Fighters – 17

While arcade gamers were getting to grips with Street Fighter IV, the game wasn’t quite ready to launch on home consoles yet.

At least they had this to pass the time: an impressive remastered version of Super Street Fighter II Turbo with all the sprites, character art and backgrounds entirely redrawn from scratch.

Every frame of character animation from the arcade version was replaced with digital artwork created by Canadian art collective UDON Entertainment, giving the game an impressive anime look.

The music was turned upside down too, with every track replaced with rearranged versions performed by members of the OverClocked ReMix video game remix community.

The gameplay itself was also rebalanced, with all 17 characters receiving either new moves, buffs or nerfs (or combinations of the three).

Ryu got a new fake fireball, for example, while Honda was tweaked so he was better against characters with fireballs, but worse against characters without them.

For those not in favour of all the changes, Capcom had your back: it was still possible to play the game using the original art style, music and balancing.


Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Cross Generation Of Heroes

Crossover title
Original release – 11 December 2008
Format – Arcade, Wii
Fighters – 23 (22 playable)
Character debuts – Mega Man Volnutt, PTX-40A, Saki Omokane, Soki, Viewtiful Joe, Yami, Casshern, Doronjo, Gold Lightan, Hakushon Daimao, Ippatsuman, Jun the Swan, Ken the Eagle, Karas, Polymar, Tekkaman, Yatterman-1

“We’ve got this crossover lark in the bag”, Capcom thought. “We’ve done crossovers with the X-Men, Marvel in general, SNK and… um, Chinese books. So what’s next?”

Turns out the answer was Tatsunoko Production, a 50-year-old Japanese animation studio responsible for a whole host of much-loved anime series and movies (and best known in the west for Battle Of The Planets and Samurai Pizza Cats).

Tatsunoko vs Capcom brings together 11 Tatsunoko characters and 11 Capcom ones for over-the-top fighting action. As in other ‘vs’ games, the controls are simplified – there are three attack buttons and an ‘assist’ button – and players put together teams of two fighters for tag battles.

The arcade version was designed with Wii hardware in mind, making the subsequent Japanese Wii port relatively easy. According to producer Ryota Niitsuma, this also made it impossible to port the game to other consoles without it being rebuilt from scratch.

Tatsunoko vs Capcom may not be the most refined or well-balanced game out there but its crazy air juggles and the introduction of much-loved characters like Viewtiful Joe and Mega Man Volnutt meant it was great fun to play.


LittleBigPlanet

Crossover DLC
Date of Street Fighter content – 11 December 2008
Format – PlayStation 3

Sony’s customisable platformer LittleBigPlanet had more crossovers than a knitting pattern, with new costumes and decorative items released for the game on a monthly basis.

Assassin’s Creed II, Ghostbusters, Marvel, Metal Gear Solid, Watchmen, The Incredibles, Pirates Of The Caribbean and LocoRoco were among the numerous franchises all getting the LittleBigPlanet treatment.

This meant the notion of a Street Fighter tie-in wasn’t really a case of if, but when (the answer being 11 December 2008, as stated above).

The Street Fighter II Costume Kit included four different outfits for Sackboy, letting him dress up as Ryu, Zangief, Guile or Chun-Li.

It could also be carried over to LittleBigPlanet 2 and 3, as well as the Vita version and racing game LittleBigPlanet Karting.


Street Fighter IV

Home console port
Original release – 12 February 2009
Format – Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Fighters – 25

The home versions of Street Fighter IV finally launched seven months after the game had originally hit arcades.

To make up for this, Capcom added six new characters to make Xbox 360 and PS3 owners feel special, and to give the coin-op crew a reason to buy it.

The six returning fighters in question were Dan, Fei Long, Sakura, Gen, Rose and Cammy (the latter winning an online Capcom poll asking fans who they most wanted to see coming back).

Also new to the home versions were a Challenge Mode designed to help players learn and perfect each character’s moves, and the option to choose English or Japanese voice acting for each character.


Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind

Animated film
Original release – 12 February 2009

The home versions of Street Fighter IV came in two editions: the standard release and a Collector’s Edition which included a figurine, the soundtrack, a player’s guide and a new animated movie called The Ties That Bind.

Produced by Tokyo-based Studio 4°C, The Ties That Bind is a 65-minute anime that explains some of the goings-on that take place just before the game.

It follows Crimson Viper as she tries to kidnap Ryu for Seth, who wants to harness the power of his Dark Hadou.

Meanwhile, Chun-Li and Guile are teaming up to try and find out why popular martial artists are disappearing, while Cammy and her special UK task force Delta Red are investigating odd energy sources coming from the Amazon.


Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun-Li

Live-action film
Original release – 27 February 2009

Well, this happened.

The Legend Of Chun-Li was Hollywood’s second attempt at a live-action Street Fighter movie, but instead of going for the camp Van Damme action movie aesthetic of the 1994 film this one tries to be a bit more series.

As the name suggests, The Legend Of Chun-Li follows everyone’s favourite Chinese arse-kicker… um, except this time she isn’t Chinese, she’s American with Chinese parents.

Years after her father was kidnapped by Bison’s henchmen, Chun-Li gets a mysterious Chinese scroll. After getting it translated (since she isn’t Chinese, remember), she travels to Bangkok to find Gen, who it turns out used to be friends with Bison.

Cue a load of bullshit including (but not restricted to) Vega being played by Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas, Crimson Viper being a blonde police detective and Balrog having nothing to do with boxing.

Oh, and of course there’s the flashback scene where Bison kills his pregnant lover by tearing their prematurely born daughter out of her womb and transferring his conscience into her.

Naturally, it was rated PG-13 in America.


Zen Pinball

Crossover DLC
Date of Street Fighter content – 20 August 2009
Format – PlayStation 3

Although Zen Studios had previously released Pinball FX exclusively on the Xbox 360 (see above), it didn’t want PS3 owners to miss out on the ball-flipping fun.

As such, it created Zen Pinball as a PlayStation exclusive. It was more or less the same sort of thing, except some of the tables were different (it had a Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 table, for example).

Naturally, since it was so popular in Pinball FX, Zen also brought the Super Street Fighter II Turbo table over to Zen Pinball.

Much like its Xbox equivalent, it could also be carried over to the inevitable Zen Pinball 2.


Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars

Crossover title
Original release – 26 January 2010
Format – Wii
Fighters – 27 (26 playable)
Character debuts – Frank West, Joe the Condor, Tekkaman Blade, Yatterman-2

A little over a year after Tatsunoko vs Capcom launched in Japan, the impossible happened: Capcom confirmed it for a western launch.

Despite being massively Japan-focused and featuring a bunch of characters unknown to the vast majority of American and European gamers, Tatsunoko vs Capcom did indeed make it to Wiis in that region.

Capcom decided to freshen things up by adding a few new characters, including Roll from Mega Man and Frank West from Dead Rising.

This improved roster was also a good excuse to re-release the game in Japan under the new Ultimate All-Stars title.

Reaction to the game from western critics and gamers was positive, although sales were a fraction of what other Street Fighter titles usually accomplished here.


Street Fighter IV

Mobile port
Original release – 10 March 2010
Format – iOS
Fighters – 8 (updated to 14)

In a somewhat unexpected move, Capcom ported Street Fighter IV to the iPhone in 2010, around the time the iPhone 3GS was doing the rounds.

Despite its relatively low graphical power at the time, Apple’s device put out a reasonable rendition of the game, though the touch-screen controls made it much harder to play with any degree of accuracy.

Tricks were put in place to cater for this: a new SP button could be tapped to perform special moves instantly, while pulling off Super Combos was as simple as tapping the combo meter when it was full.

The game launched with just eight characters, but over time a trio of updates brought the total roster to 14.


Super Street Fighter IV

Main series entry
Original release – 27 April 2010
Format – Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Fighters – 35
Character debuts – Hakan, Juri

Here we go again! It seems that Yoshinori Ono’s intention to make Street Fighter IV feel more like Street Fighter II also extended to releasing a bumload of updates.

The first was Super Street Fighter IV, which was released on home consoles only (peeving arcade-loving Street Fighter fans a little).

The main addition was 10 new characters, including two debuts: Turkish oil wrestler Hakan and South Korean taekwondo sadist Juri.

Other returning fighters included the likes of Dee Jay, T. Hawk, Cody and Guy, ensuring those crucial Super Street Fighter II and Final Fight markets were catered for.

The game was also rebalanced based on feedback from Street Fighter IV players, with some of the better characters getting ‘nerfed’ and the weaker ones receiving new abilities.


Super Street Fighter IV Original Video Animation

Animated film
Original release – 28 April 2010

This 35-minute anime story was included as part of the Collector’s Edition for Super Street Fighter IV, but only the Asian Xbox 360 version (meaning about four people probably bought it).

It was designed to introduce fans to the Super version’s new character Juri, and so the majority of the plot revolves around her and the Feng Shui Engine, an odd implant in her eye socket.

This ocular novelty gives Juri ridiculous powers, so Chun-Li, Guile and Cammy team up to try to find out more about her.

The OVA was eventually re-released in 2012 as part of the 25th Anniversary collector’s set, but we’ll get to that.


Street Fighter: Legacy

Short film
Original release – 2 May 2010

This fan-made short film was written by Joey Ansah (a martial artist who was in The Bourne Ultimatum) and Christian Howard (a British martial artist).

It was so well made that Capcom gave their blessing to the production and allowed it to be shown.

They also started talks behind the scenes with Ansah and his partners, but that’ll come later.

Until then, the short film is freely available on YouTube, so fill your boots:


Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition

Main series entry
Original release – 16 December 2010
Format – Arcade, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
Fighters – 39
Character debuts – Oni

It was only a matter of time before Capcom tried to cheer up arcade-going fans pissed off that Super Street Fighter IV had only been released on home consoles.

SSFIV: Arcade Edition added the 10 new characters that had previously been exclusive to the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, and added another four characters for good measure.

Street Fighter III alumni Yun and Yang made their return, as did Evil Ryu. There was even a brand new character, Oni, who’s the demon form Akuma takes when he becomes one with the Dark Hado.

Console owners jealous of these four new characters (and the extra balancing the arcade version got) didn’t miss out forever: the Arcade Edition eventually made it to Xbox 360 and PS3 in June 2011, both as paid DLC and a new physical disc for those who didn’t already own Super.


Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate Of Two Worlds

Crossover title
Original release – 15 February 2011
Format – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Fighters – 39 (38 playable)
Character debuts – Chris Redfield, Dante, Deadpool, Thor, Super-Skrull, Dormammu, X-23, M.O.D.O.K., She-Hulk, Taskmaster, Phoenix, Trish, Amaterasu, Albert Wesker, Nathan ‘Rad’ Spencer, Mike Haggar, Galactus

The third major Marvel vs Capcom game offered the biggest roster in the series to date, with 18 characters on each side along with one DLC character for each (Shuma-Gorath and Jill Valentine).

As in the previous game, combat consisted of 3-vs-3 tag battles where players can choose any trio from any side, meaning an all-Resident Evil team of Chris, Jill and Wesker was a very real thing. And very glorious it was, too.

Capcom employed the talents of Marvel writer Frank Tieri (Wolverine, Deadpool, Ironman) to make sure the game’s storyline and endings had that authentic Marvel feel.

The combat was also simplified a little to make the game more accessible to a wider audience (in particular newcomers who maybe loved comic books but didn’t know the intricacies of a typical fighting game).

The three-button attack system from Tatsunoko vs Capcom was implemented, and a Simple Mode was added which featured a single attack button and a single special button: this mode drastically cuts down the number of possible moves but was aimed at complete beginners.


Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition

Handheld port
Original release – 26 February 2011
Format – Nintendo 3DS
Fighters – 35

In an impressive move few thought possible, Super Street Fighter IV arrived as a launch day title for the 3DS, Nintendo’s shiny new 3D-enhanced handheld.

Amazingly, despite being on a system with a fraction of the power of the Xbox 360 and PS3, the 3DS port of Super Street Fighter IV was surprisingly faithful, with all 35 characters included and every move and stage present.

It even added a bunch of new features: as well as the obvious inclusion of stereoscopic 3D (which made the fighters look like little toys fighting on a stage inside your 3DS), there was also a new over-the-shoulder viewpoint (which looked cool but didn’t work very well).

A new Lite control method let players assign special moves to corners of the 3DS touch screen and tap them to pull them off instantly, and a new mode designed to make use of the 3DS’s StreetPass connectivity let you unlock little in-game figurines and use them to build a team of fighters that could take on other players’ teams.

The overall result was a success, shifting around 1.2 million copies: not bad for a third-party launch game.


Street Fighter IV Volt: Battle Protocol

Mobile port
Original release – 30 June 2011
Format – iOS
Fighters – 18 (updated to 22)

If the original iOS version of Street Fighter IV was created to prove that it was possible to get Street Fighter IV on an iPhone (at least in some sort of form), then its follow-up was an attempt to prove it could also handle online multiplayer.

Despite the name implying it was some sort of fancy new edition, Street Fighter IV Volt was really just another update for the existing iOS game, except sold as a ‘new’ game.

It looked and sounded practically identical to the first iOS SFIV, with the only major additions being the aforementioned online multiplayer and four new characters: Balrog, Vega, Cody and Akuma.

Further free updates to the game added Sakura, Makoto, Yun and Fei Long, eventually bringing the roster up to a respectable 22.

It also had an interesting pricing scheme at launch: on the day of release Capcom sold it for $0.99, and then raised the price by a dollar each day until it finally reached the actual price, $6.99.


Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition

Home console port
Original release – 23 August 2011
Format – Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Fighters – 20

Street Fighter IV and its updates may have been keeping many Street Fighter devotees happy, but there was still a proportion of the fanbase that wasn’t impressed by the switch to 3D.

Said fusspots were satiated with this download-only port of Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, with added online multiplayer functionality.

As well as offering a perfect rendition of the game (even all the glitches and bugs), Online Edition added a new Trials mode where players could learn parrying, expert parrying and handicap.

There was also an in-game currency called Vault Points – don’t worry, this was before loot boxes – which could be spent on artwork and remixed music.


Street Fighter II Collection

Multi-game collection
Original release – 27 September 2011
Format – iOS
Games – 3

Ever keen to release a compilation, Capcom decided to build on the success of its iOS versions of Street Fighter IV by giving iPhone-owning fans a chance to play the classics too.

This three-game pack includes the original Street Fighter II, Street Fighter II’ Champion Edition and Street Fighter II Turbo.

There’s options to tweak the touch screen so you can play with either four attack buttons or six, depending on how in-depth you want to go.

Like other touch screen enabled Street Fighter games, there’s also the option to assign special moves to the screen to make them easy to perform.


Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3

Crossover title
Original release – 15 November 2011
Format – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Fighters – 51
Character debuts – Phoenix Wright, Ghost Rider, Hawkeye, Firebrand, Doctor Strange, Nemesis, Iron Fist, Vergil, Nova, Rocket Raccoon

Fans were enjoying Marvel vs Capcom 3 but a game that ridiculous was (somewhat unsurprisingly) extremely unbalanced.

In an attempt to correct this, Capcom released Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, an updated version of the game with a bunch of changes made to the balance.

More importantly for most players, though, was the addition of no fewer than 12 new characters, many of whom were making their debuts.

From cult lawyer hero Phoenix Wright to classic Resident Evil enemy Nemesis, to Marvel heroes Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider and Rocket Raccoon, it’s fair to say this was an impressive update.


Street Fighter X Tekken

Crossover title
Original release – 6 March 2012
Format – Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, PC, iOS
Fighters – 50 (55 on PS3 and Vita)
Character debuts – Kazuya, Heihachi, Nina, Asuka, Lili, Kuma, Paul, Law, King, Marduck, Hwoarang, Steve, Bob, Julia, Yoshimitsu, Raven, Jin, Ling Xiaoyu, Ancient Ogre, Lars, Alisa, Bryan, JACK-X, Christie, Lei, Pac-Man, Toro, Kuro, Cole, Bad Box Art Mega Man

Crossovers with superheroes are one thing, but when Capcom and Namco Bandai (as it was known then) joined forces to confirm it was working on two games featuring Street Fighter and Tekken characters, the fighting game community shat its mind.

The first game released (and still the only one out at the time of writing) was Street Fighter X Tekken, which was developed by Capcom and used the Street Fighter IV engine.

It’s a tag battle game, where players choose teams of two. Despite using the Street Fighter engine though, the tag rules are those of Tekken Tag Tournament: if one fighter is beaten, both lose (their partner doesn’t keep going).

38 characters were available at launch – 19 from Tekken, 19 from Street Fighter – and another 12 were added as DLC, bringing the total roster to a hefty 50 characters.

Even better, the PS3 and Vita versions featured five exclusive guest characters: Sony’s Japanese cat mascots Toro and Kuro, Cole McGrath from Infamous, Pac-Man in a giant wooden mech and, best of all, the weird fat yellow-suited version of Mega Man from the original NES game’s box art.

The game was well-received by fighting fans, and the wait began for Namco Bandai’s response game, Tekken X Street Fighter, which uses the Tekken engine instead.

We’re still waiting to this day.


Asura’s Wrath

Crossover DLC
Date of Street Fighter content – 9 May 2012
Format – Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Something of a cult favourite, Asura’s Wrath is a Capcom-produced story-based fighting game with numerous cutscenes designed to make it feel almost like an interactive anime.

It told the story of Asura, a demigod who heads out to get revenge on the other demigods who stabbed him in the back.

The game launched in February 2012, but a few months later it got some ridiculously good DLC in the shape of two ‘lost episodes’.

These have Asura facing off against Ryu and Akuma, but – in a brilliant touch – presents each battle not through the usual Asura’s Wrath engine, but via the Street Fighter IV engine instead. Character cameos are fairly regular, but how many times have you seen an actual game itself making a cameo appearance?


Onimusha Soul

Crossover event
Date of Street Fighter content – 28 June 2012
Format – PC, PlayStation 3

While most Onimusha titles are third-person action-adventure games, Onimusha Soul was a spin-off designed to be played in web browsers.

It was a card-battling game with city building elements, but while the game initially focused on the many characters from the Onimusha series, Capcom eventually decided to branch out a bit.

A series of crossover events meant loads of different Capcom characters ended up in Onimusha Soul over time, representing the likes of Devil May Cry, Resident Evil, Viewtiful Joe and Ace Attorney.

Naturally, it’s the Street Fighter cameos we’re interested in here: over the span of the game’s like there were cards for Ryu, Crimson Viper, Rose, Cammy, Ibuki, Ingrid, Sakra and Chun-Li.


Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Collection

Multi-game collection
Original release – 18 September 2012
Format – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Games – 4 (Xbox 360 version), 8 (PS3 version)

There are few things more visually impressive than the Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Collection, which was released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 to celebrate a quarter century of the series.

Coming in a velvet collector’s case with a certificate of authenticity, the set’s centrepiece is an 8” LED light-up statue of Ryu doing a Dragon Punch.

It also comes with an embroidered, full-size replica of Ryu’s belt, and a 64-page book of tribute artwork.

As for the games, both versions include Street Fighter X Tekken with the character and costume DLC, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition with the costume DLC and download codes for Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition and Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix.

The PS3 version also includes codes for the original PlayStation versions of Street Fighter Alpha, Alpha 2 and Alpha 3, as well as a PSP download for Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX.

On top of all this, it came with two Blu-ray discs containing a documentary about Street Fighter as well as Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, the Ties That Bind anime that came with the Street Fighter IV special edition, the Super Street Fighter IV OVA that came with the Asian Xbox 360 collector’s edition, and the entire 26-episode Street Fighter animated series from the 90s.

And rounding all this off? A mere 11 CDs containing the soundtracks from Street Fighter, Super SFII Turbo, SF Alpha 3, SFIII: 3rd Strike, Super SFIV and Street Fighter X Tekken, plus a bunch of fan-made remixes.

It may not have had anywhere near a complete collection of Street Fighter games, but the extra non-game content made this a great purchase for fans.


Marvel vs Capcom Origins

Multi-game collection
Original release – 25 September 2012
Format – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Games – 2

The download-only Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition was relatively well-received, which no doubt pleased Capcom and developer Iron Galaxy Studios (who’d handled the port).

Iron Galaxy was then given the nod to release a couple more retro Capcom fighters, giving them the same online multiplayer and upscaled HD visuals.

Marvel vs Capcom Origins, then, was actually two games in one: Marvel Super Heroes and the first Marvel vs Capcom.

As well as online battles and eight-player lobbies, it added a bunch of challenges which let you unlock bonus concept art and videos from the game’s ‘vault’.


Project X Zone

Crossover title
Original release – 11 October 2012
Format – Nintendo 3DS

Remember when I told you about Namco X Capcom, the Japan-only crossover action RPG released for the PS2? Well, it only went and got a bloody sequel, and this time it came to the west.

Project X Zone once again combined characters from Namco Bandai and Capcom, but this time Sega got into the action too to make for one of the most ridiculous crossover games ever.

A total of 60 characters were made available to befriend and add to your roster as you played, ranging from the big names – Ryu, Ken and Chun-Li from Street Fighter, Jin and Heihachi from Tekken, Akira and Pai from Virtua Fighter – to more obscure or cult fan favourites.

No other game has you teaming up Ulala from Space Channel 5 with Chris and Jill from Resident Evil, or pairing X and Zero from Mega Man X with Lady from Devil May Cry.

Well, one other game does, but be patient: we’ll get there.


Minna to Capcom All Stars

Crossover title
Original release – 25 October 2012
Format – iOS, Android

In case it isn’t clear yet, the 2010s are very much the era of crossovers and cameos when it comes to Street Fighter. You’re going to start seeing this a lot more from this point in the article.

A prime example is Minna to Capcom All Stars, a free-to-play, social card battle RPG game released by Capcom in Japan.

It’s set in another dimension called Capcom World, where all the Capcom characters live. When the mysterious ‘Chaos Energy’ appears one day and threatens to destroy Capcom World, its defence agency CPS (Capcom Savers) sends out a distress signal which is picked up by players all over the world… INCLUDING YOU. Well, including some Japanese people.

The game featured a load of different character cards including all the usual suspects and some more interesting ones: Ryu, Chun-Li, Mega Man, Dante, Leon from Resident Evil 4, Amaterasu from Okami, Phoenix Wright and the like.

Sadly, it didn’t live long and the servers were killed on 11 April 2013. But, as you’ll soon find out, it was just replaced with something else, so don’t be too upset about the dead card game you never played anyway.


Wreck-It Ralph

Cameo appearance
Original release – 2 November 2012

Disney’s brilliant CGI movie about a video game character trying to find his purpose in life featured a veritable who’s-who of gaming cameos.

Bowser, Dr Eggman, Qbert, Pac-Man ghosts, Sonic the Hedgehog and countless other gaming icons make appearances throughout, so naturally Street Fighter gets in on the action too.

During a support group for villains, Ralph is joined by (among others) Zangief and M. Bison.

In a particularly heartfelt speech, Zangief explains in broken English how the world needs villains and he’s just helping by filling that role. “I say, Zangief, you are bad guy. But this does not mean you are bad guy.”

Elsewhere in the movie, Ryu and Ken are seen finishing their shifts, heading out of their Street Fighter II arcade machines and heading to the bar from Tapper for a well-earned rootbeer.


Street Fighter X Mega Man

Crossover title
Original release – 17 December 2012
Format – PC
Alternative title – Street Fighter X Rockman (Japan)

Street Fighter wasn’t the only Capcom franchise enjoying its 25th anniversary in 2012: its dinky robotic hero Mega Man was also celebrating a quarter century of gaming goodness.

As a way of commemorating this, a Singaporean indie developer called Seow Zong Hui started work on a crossover game combining both series.

It’s basically a new NES-era Mega Man game, but instead of fighting robot masters at the end of each stage, you fight a Street Fighter character instead. Naturally, in true Mega Man style, every time you beat a boss you gain one of their moves to use in other levels.

Zong Hui decided to show the game to Capcom while he was working on it, which was a bold move because they could have told him to cease and desist.

Instead, they were impressed, and decided to help him finish the game. It was then officially released as a free download on the Capcom Unity site.


Street Fighter X All Capcom

Crossover title
Original release – 11 April 2013
Format – iOS, Android

As previously explained, Capcom’s social card-battling RPG Minna to Capcom All Stars was binned six months after launch.

On the same day, though, it was replaced with Street Fighter X Capcom, a shiny new social card-battling RPG game designed to be a much better experience.

Once again set in Capcom World, this time the story revolves around a new Street Fighter tournament. Just before the final, where Ryu is set to take on Chun-Li, all the other Capcom characters decide they want to take part too.

To sort out the situation, a ‘Capcom No. 1 Finals Steering Committee’ is quickly set up, to find out who the winner is with help from the players all taking part in the game.

There are more than 500 characters cards in the game covering more than 20 franchises in Capcom’s history. As well as Street Fighter, there’s representation for Final Fight, Monster Hunter, Okami, Ace Attorney, Devil May Cry, Resident Evil and loads more.


Monster Hunter Frontier G

Crossover DLC
Date of Street Fighter content – 24 April 2014
Format – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, Vita, PC

The west may finally be Monster Hunter mad now thanks to the huge success of Monster Hunter World, but Japan’s been loving it for many years.

Frontier G was (and still is) an MMO spin-off of the main Monster Hunter series, with over 4 million registered players across all formats.

Being an online game it’s had its fair share of special events and tie-ins, one of which was the ‘Street Fighter Kit’.

Designed to tie in with the upcoming Ultra Street Fighter IV (calm down, we’ll get to it), it lets players buy special armours so they can dress up like Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li or Cammy.


Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist

Live-action TV series

Original release – 23 May 2014

Remember that three-minute Street Fighter: Legacy short film? Well, Capcom was so impressed with it that it gave the node for a full web series.

Assassin’s Fist tells the story of Ryu and Ken as they learn about their master’s past and discover that they’re the last ever practitioners of the Assassin’s Fist fighting style.

145 minutes of footage was shot for Assassin’s Fist, and it was presented in a number of different ways. Firstly, video site Machinima showed it as a 12-part web series, with each lasting 12 minutes.

Then it was made into six 22-minute episodes for TV broadcast, followed by a cut down 105-minute TV movie. Finally, the full uncut 145 minutes were released as a movie on DVD and Blu-ray.


Ultra Street Fighter IV

Main series entry
Original release – 3 June 2014
Format – Arcade, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 4
Fighters – 44
Character debuts – Decapre, Poison

After Street Fighter IV, Super Street Fighter IV and Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, Capcom’s community manager Seth Killian confirmed that there would be no more updates to the fourth game.

But this is Street Fighter we’re talking about, damn it.

Three years later, Street Fighter IV got one final update in the shape of Ultra Street Fighter IV, which added six new stages, five new characters and an Edition Select mode.

The new fighters included the returning Elena from Street Fighter III, Hugo from Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact and Rolento from Street Fighter Alpha 2.

It also saw the arrival of two new characters: Russian elite guard Decapre (previously seen but not playable in Street Fighter Alpha 3) and Poison, a fan favourite transgender enemy from the Final Fight games.

Edition Select mode worked similarly to Hyper Street Fighter II, in that players could choose which version of their character to use: SFIV, Super SFIV, Super SFIV Arcade Edition, Super SFIV Arcade Edition Version 2012, Ultra SFIV and the new OMEGA versions (which substantially change each character’s moves and abilities for a new challenge).


Super Ultra Dead Rising 3’ Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX + α

Crossover DLC
Date of Street Fighter content – 9 June 2014
Format – Xbox One

Capcom’s Dead Rising series has never exactly been known for doing things seriously, but the DLC for its third game was probably a high point in piss-takery.

SUDR3ARHEEX+α (as all the cool kids call it) is a separate mode designed to play like an old-school Capcom beat ‘em up (such as Final Fight).

If you’ve been reading this entire article from the start, it should be fairly easy to figure out what the title is a reference to, and sure enough Street Fighter is represented here.

Of the four players you can choose between, Nick (the main hero in Dead Rising 3) has an optional Ryu costume, while Annie (a supporting character in the main game) comes with a Chun-Li outfit.


Street Fighter IV: Arena

Mobile port
Original release – 24 June 2014
Format – iOS, Android
Fighters – 22

You’d be forgiven if you’ve never heard of this one, because it didn’t launch in either the west or Japan.

A collaboration with South Korean company Nexon, Street Fighter IV: Arena is a Korean-only release that’s essentially a tweaked version of Street Fighter IV Volt, the mobile game released back in 2011.

The main difference is that Arena features in-game currency which lets you buy power-ups for your characters.

There’s also a badge battle mode where you collect characters and put together a team of three which you can then pit against an opponent’s team.


Street Fighter: Puzzle Spirits

Spin-off
Original release – 9 December 2014
Format – iOS, Android

As noted above (waaaay above), Capcom initially dabbled with Street Fighter puzzle games back in the mid ‘90s with Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo.

You can forgive it, then, for jumping aboard the mobile puzzle game bandwagon like so many other publishers have done this decade.

Street Fighter: Puzzle Spirits is a combat-based puzzler that’s sort of similar to Puzzle & Dragons, but with different play mechanics that focus more on lining up combos to do loads of damage to your opponent.

It enjoyed a decent run of success, lasting a couple of years until the servers shut down on 30 August 2017.


Street Fighter Battle Combination

Spin-off
Original release – 30 March 2015
Format – iOS, Android

Another offering from Capcom’s mobile arm, Street Fighter Battle Combination is a card-based fighting game that was in beta for about two years.

Players collect cards that represent Street Fighter characters from different eras, and then put them together in teams of three.

You then use these cards to put together combo attacks, then start the battle and hope your pre-planned attacks play out well enough to defeat your opponent.

It’s an interesting strategy-based way to play Street Fighter, but regardless it – like so many other mobile games – eventually ran its course, with the servers shutting down exactly two years after launch.


Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

Crossover DLC
Date of Street Fighter content – 1 May 2015
Format – Nintendo 3DS

Monster Hunter Frontier G may have been the first game in the Monster Hunter series to include special Street Fighter themed gear, but it sure as balls wasn’t to be the only one.

The much-loved 3DS game Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate wasn’t just the biggest game in the series to date – with more monsters than any other entry before it – it also got free monthly DLC for the first nine months of its life.

The May DLC combined three much-loved franchises, to fans’ delight: as well as Metroid-themed gear for your hunter (including Samus’s Varia Suit, Zero Suit and Arm Cannon), you could also get costumes for your little Palico helper.

One of these was a Mega Man costume, but more importantly there were also Blanka and Chun-Li outfits included.


Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U

Crossover DLC
Date of Street Fighter content – 14 June 2015
Format – 3DS, Wii U

The fourth and fifth games in Nintendo’s fantastic Smash Bros series included not just the finest characters from the house of Mario, but also included a healthy number of guest characters.

At launch these included Pac-Man, Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man, but a series of paid DLC released added characters from other third-party franchises too.

Bayonetta was a nice surprise for fans of Sega’s incredible action games, while Square Enix got its Smash Bros debut with the inclusion of Cloud from Final Fantasy VII.

Best of all though (arguably) was the introduction of Ryu, complete with his own stage based on his Street Fighter II environment. Unlike other Smash Bros characters, you could perform Ryu’s special moves using the proper directional commands from the Street Fighter games.


Project X Zone 2

Crossover title
Original release – 12 November 2015
Format – Nintendo 3DS

The decision to release massive RPG crossover Project X Zone in the west was clearly a good one, because it sold well enough to justify an English language version of its sequel too.

Project X Zone 2 follows on from the events of the first game, and its story is even more confusing. It’s about… um, look the important thing is it has shitloads of characters in it.

The game once again brings together familiar faces from Capcom, Sega and Bandai Namco, but this time even Nintendo gets in on the act with Chrom and Lucina from Fire Emblem Awakening making an appearance.

Everyone else from the previous game is in here, including Ryu, Ken and Chun-Li from Street Fighter.

Meanwhile, other new heroes that can be recruited to your squad include Leon from Resident Evil, Kazuma and Goro from Yakuza, Phoenix Wright and Maya from Ace Attorney, Ryo from Shenmue and Axel from Streets Of Rage.


Granblue Fantasy

Crossover event
Date of Street Fighter content – 13 November 2015
Format – iOS, Android

Unlike most mobile games on this list, Granblue Fantasy launched in March 2014 and is still going strong more than four years later with no sign of its servers being switched off.

It’s probably unsurprising, given that it’s a turn-based RPG that reunites Final Fantasy V, VI and IX art director Hideo Minaba with Final Fantasy I-XI composer Nobuo Uematsu.

The game enjoys an extremely healthy event schedule with new time-limited events turning up more or less once a week.

Crossover events covered in Granblue Fantasy have included tie-ins with SNK’s Samurai Shodown, Cardcaptor Sakura, Attack On Titan and Space Invaders.

Not one, but two Street Fighter events have taken place in Granblue Fantasy so far. In November 2015 players were treated to Ultra Granblue Fighter, released to promote Ultra Street Fighter IV, which let them add Ryu and Chun-Li to their party.

Then, the following year, the Granblue Fighter V event – designed to tie in with Street Fighter V, which we’ll get to soon – added Karin and new character Rashid.


Blood Brothers 2

Crossover event
Date of Street Fighter content – 3 December 2015
Format – iOS, Android

Not a sequel to the tragic ‘80s musical, but a mobile strategy game by Tokyo-based mobile giant DeNA.

Like many other online mobile games, Blood Brothers 2 had numerous special limited-time events, and one of these was a Street Fighter crossover.

Rather than simply chucking the characters in for no reason though, DeNA at least attempted to explain these happenings as part of the game’s lore.

Apparently M. Bison accidentally enters a portal which takes him to the world where Blood Brothers 2 is set and starts recruiting some of its finest monsters to join his Shadowloo terrorist organisation.

The good guys decide to do something about this, so they create their own portal and pull in Ryu and Chun-Li to help boot Bison’s balls.

Blood Brothers 2 killed its servers on 15 December 2016. You’re probably noticing a theme here.


Monster Hunting Quest

Crossover event
Date of Street Fighter content – 11 December 2015
Format – iOS, Android

Finally, a mobile game that hasn’t died (well, at least not at the time of writing)!

Monster Hunting Quest (translated by some as Monster Hunter Big Game Hunting Quest for some reason) is a card battle RPG courtesy of Capcom, but it’s only available in Japan to date.

It’s a strange concept: most of the hunters in the game are women, and you attack monsters by choosing which card you want to use, then pulling back and firing it at them like a catapult.

Naturally, limited-time events are commonplace, such as the collaboration event held to help promote the aforementioned Street Fighter Battle Combination mobile game.

Ryu, Ken, Guile and Dan cards were added for a month, and there was also a special tournament where players could try to get cards of Chun-Li looking sultry and, in keeping with the spirit of the game, Cammy with her arse out.

Look, it’s not my fault it isn’t very subtle.


Japan Sumo Cup: Yokozuna vs Street Fighter

Crossover title
Original release – 15 December 2015
Format – Web game

The award for strangest game in this entire article surely has to go to Japan Sumo Cup: Yokozuna vs Street Fighter, a web browser game in which… well.

The aim was to promote the Japan Racing Association, Japan’s foremost horse racing organisation, with an online game featuring virtual renditions of real-life racehorses.

However, instead of having jockeys racing these horses, you instead get to choose from either four real-life sumo wrestlers who’ve all reached the sport’s highest rank of yokozuna, or nine Street Fighter characters.

The race is controlled with rhythm action sections where you press up and down on the keyboard, and the better your rhythm the better the race goes. Naturally, things get batshit crazy with Ryu throwing fireballs behind him at enemy horses and Dhalsim riding his pet elephant Kodal instead.

Criminally, the game’s no longer available to play.


Street Fighter V

Main series entry
Original release – 16 February 2016
Format – PlayStation 4, PC
Fighters – 16 at launch, 34 by the end of 2018
Character debuts – F.A.N.G., Laura, Necalli, Rashid, Abigail, Ed, Kolin, Menat, Zeku, G, Falke

After what felt like an endless stream of cameo appearances in other games, Street Fighter finally made its proper comeback and took its next step forward with the next main chapter in the series, six years after Street Fighter IV.

In a bold move, Capcom announced that Street Fighter V would be a PS4 exclusive, something that’s stuck to this day (if you don’t count the PC version).

It’s fair to say it didn’t quite enjoy the smoothest launch, however. While fans did praise the gameplay and were happy with what felt like a solid update to its fighting mechanics, the fairly limited roster of 16 characters and lack of modes (especially for single-player gamers) made the game feel a little unfinished.

Capcom has been remedying this since, however, by regularly adding new modes and fighters over various ‘seasons’ (i.e. years). A single-player story mode was added in June 2016, and six new characters have been added to the roster every year, one every couple of months.

Many of the fighters making their debuts are also from countries that had been underrepresented in Street Fighter until that point. The mysterious Necalli appears to have an ancient Aztec heritage, while Rashid represents the Middle East and Menat is Egyptian.

While each batch of new fighters can be bought with real cash in traditional DLC fashion, they can also be unlocked with ‘fight money’, Street Fighter V’s in-game currency.


Street Fighter: Resurrection

Live-action web series
Original release – 15 March 2016

Since Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist was that rare thing – a live-action video game spin-off that people actually liked – a new four-part series was created to tie in with Street Fighter V.

Resurrection is a sort of prologue to the game, and includes Laura and Kolin from SFV as part of the plot.

Laura wants to become a world class fighter, so she goes to Ken for help. Meanwhile, Ken and Ryu team up with Interpol to try and stop an undercover arms deal that could destroy London. Fun times.


Tekken 7: Fated Retribution

Cameo appearance
Original release – 5 July 2016
Format – Arcade, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Tekken X Street Fighter may be stuck in development hell, but that doesn’t mean players haven’t yet been able to see how Bandai Namco would handle adapting a Street Fighter character to Tekken’s fighting engine.

Tekken 7 is the latest game in the long-running fighting series, and its Fated Retribution update – which released a few months after its initial arcade launch and is the version that came to home consoles – adds none other than Akuma as a guest character.

Believe it or not, in this world of video game crossovers, Akuma was actually only the second ever guest character in a Tekken game, after manga dinosaur Gon in Tekken 3 back in 1998.

He isn’t alone, though: he was subsequently joined post-launch by two other guest fighters: Geese Howard from Fatal Fury and Noctis from Final Fantasy XV.


Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers

Home console port
Original release – 26 May 2017
Format – Nintendo Switch
Fighters – 20

The Nintendo Switch is a fantastic part-console, part-handheld device with a strong emphasis on being able to play local multiplayer anywhere you want.

Naturally, then, Street Fighter is a perfect fit for it, which is why this ‘new’ version of Super Street Fighter II was released for the Switch a couple of months into its life.

I say ‘new’ in quotes because it’s actually an enhanced version of the digital-only Xbox 360 and PS3 game Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, giving players the option to use the same UDON-created redrawn HD sprites and backgrounds.

The main additions here are Evil Ryu and Violent Ken, the latter making his first official Street Fighter debut (following an appearance as a boss character in SNK vs Capcom: SVC Chaos).

There’s also a bizarre new mode called Way Of The Hado, where you control Ryu from a first-person perspective and use the Switch Joy-Con’s motion controls to perform fireballs and Dragon Punches.

The controls are about as accurate as a Pinocchio witness statement, though, so let’s just pretend that mode never happened.


Street Fighter IV: Champion Edition

Mobile port
Original release – 12 July 2017
Format – iOS, Android
Fighters – 31 (32 on Android)

One final attempt at getting Street Fighter IV right on mobile, anyone?

In fairness, Champion Edition more or less gets it as good as it can at this point, with a one-off fee of £3.99 to unlock the whole game and a roster of 31 fighters (as well as Dan, if you get the Android version).

To date, this has been Capcom’s last crack at a mobile version of Street Fighter IV, and with bluetooth controller support and online battling it’s probably the best it’s going to get.

Unlike most of the mobile games in this article, then, it’s actually available to download now, so get on the App Store or Google Play and get in amongst the free trial.


Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite

Crossover title
Original release – 19 September 2017
Format – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Fighters – 38 (36 playable)
Character debuts – Monster Hunter, Sigma, X, Black Panther, Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Gamora, Ultron, Winter Soldier, Ultron Omega, Ultron Sigma

The latest instalment of Marvel vs Capcom took a while to win fans over, after some early cinematics shown before launch led to a backlash against the quality of Chun-Li’s character model (though it was improved by launch).

Ditching the three-on-three system that had become the standard for Marvel vs Capcom, Infinite went back to the two-on-two system the series started with.

Its new Active Switch mechanic lets you swap your two characters at will, potentially pulling off hefty combos by swapping mid-attack.

The ‘Infinity’ in the title refers to the Infinity Stones, which form part of the gameplay too. You choose a Stone before a fight, and each gives you different abilities and stat boosts.


Puzzle Fighter

Spin-off
Original release – 27 November 2017
Format – iOS, Android
Fighters – 23
Character debuts – Ada Wong, Alastor, Chuck Greene, Dr Wily, Regina

After dabbling with different types of mobile Street Fighter games, Capcom finally gave fans the long-awaited, proper sequel to 1996’s Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo.

Puzzle Fighter has the same mechanics, where players have to merge gems of the same colour then use a crash gem to trigger them and make large combos, at which point your character performs a special move on the screen.

Making things interesting here is a wide cast of characters from all manner of Capcom games. Street Fighter obviously gets the most representation, with Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Dan, Blanka, Nash, Honda and Bison all in the roster.

However, you’ve also got the likes of Phoenix Wright, Ada Wong from Resident Evil, Dr Wily from Mage Man, Chuck Greene from Dead Rising and even Regina from cult favourite Dino Crisis in there.

If you fancy trying it out you’d better be quick because – you guessed it – the servers are shutting down. It’s being taken off app stores on 1 July 2018 and will go offline on 31 July, but it’s still worth a download for now because all the microtransactions have been killed off and the game chucks a shit-load of free characters, cash, gems, moves and XP at you now so you can enjoy how it would have felt playing the game a few months into its life.


Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition

Main series entry
Original release – 16 January 2018
Format – PlayStation 4, PC
Fighters – 28 at launch, 34 by the end of 2018

Street Fighter V garnered a bit of controversy when it was revealed that it was going to be the first major game in the Street Fighter series not to be released in arcades.

When it was revealed that Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition was on the way, then, it seemed inevitable that this meant a coin-op version was finally on the cards.

Turns out that wasn’t the case: Arcade Edition is actually an update for the existing PS4 game, adding a bunch of new modes: including the much requested traditional Arcade Mode.

Arcade Edition was released as a free download for players who already owned the original Street Fighter V, as well as a separate release for those who didn’t have it yet.

There was a benefit to getting the standalone version, though: the 12 new characters who had been added at that point were instantly unlocked and available to play as, instead of requiring you to buy them with Fight Money or real cash.


Monster Hunter World

Crossover DLC
Date of Street Fighter content – 16 February 2018
Format – PlayStation 4, Xbox One

The latest game in the Monster Hunter series has been an enormous success, to the extent that it’s actually now the best selling game in Capcom’s history (with 7.9 million copies shipped).

And yes, as has now become Monster Hunter tradition, there’s a way to unlock Street Fighter costumes in the game.

A special event lets you earn a full armour set that makes you look exactly like Ryu from Street Fighter V. There’s also another that unlocks Sakua’s costume, plus you can now buy Chun-Li’s costume as DLC, as well as the fireball and Dragon Punch gestures.

Although some of these unlockables were initially only available to PS4 owners with a Street Fighter V save, they’ll all eventually be available to other PS4 and Xbox One owners. Hell, they may even be already: I’m seemingly one of the few people who don’t have the game yet.


Power Rangers Legacy Wars

Crossover event
Date of Street Fighter content – 17 May 2018
Format – iOS, Android

One more cheeky little cameo for you, just in case there was still a tiny lingering doubt that this may not be the decade of crossovers after all.

Power Rangers: Legacy Wars is a mobile fighting game released in March 2017 to tie-in with the movie released at the same time.

Earlier this month, the game added Ryu, Chun-Li, Guile and Akuma as playable characters: you can fight as them for free in certain challenges, or unlock them permanently through loot boxes (or $5 per character if you can’t be arsed taking the gamble).

Cammy and M. Bison will be added too in June, so keep an eye out for that if the idea of Street Fighter and Power Rangers joining forces pumps your nads (or female equivalent).


Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection

Multi-game collection
Original release – 29 May 2018
Format – Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Games – 12

And so we come to the final game in the article, due to be released in just a couple of days.

As you’ve seen now, there have already been a number of Street Fighter compilations released over the years, but none have spanned multiple series in the way the new 30th Anniversary Collection promises to.

There are 12 games in total here, kicking off with the original 1987 version of Street Fighter and moving on to all five main versions of Street Fighter II (The World Warrior, Champion Edition, Turbo, Super and Super Turbo).

Then there’s all three Street Fighter Alpha games, and all three Street Fighter III games. Of all these, Street Fighter II Turbo, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike all support online multiplayer.

Finally, the Switch version will also include a bonus tournament feature for Super Street Fighter II which essentially works like the extremely rare Tournament Battle arcade version: it’ll let you put together an eight-player tournament using four Switches.

Rounding things off will be an extensive archive with concept art, fighter biographies, a music player and an interactive timeline (which will hopefully be more concise than this absolute bastard you just finished reading).

I’ll have a full review up on the site soon. Until then, it’s been a long journey. Rest your eyes, you deserve some sleep. I know I bloody do.


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9 thoughts on “The complete history of Street Fighter

  1. I enjoyed this article immensely. I was neither a hardcore console gamer nor a good at fighting games but at least I came to indulge in the world building that the Street Fighter and it’s spin-offs have created. I did, however enjoyed being beaten silly by my older brother, who happens to have a Sega genesis at the time. He brought a lot of cartridges but Street Fighter is the most enjoyable of them all. Since then I have owned a Playstation, or have played stuff on my PC, never really caring if I’ve leveled up or my character ( I always play Ken) didn’t get to sneak in that power combo. True enough I’m almost 50 now but darn it, I’d still play Street Fighter!

    Like

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