Ranking the Street Fighter Games

Which is the Best Street Fighter Game?

The Street Fighter franchise has continued to innovate for over 30-plus years. Each release possesses original ideas which create a delicious base for intense 1v1 combat. With every game being distinct, I have decided to revisit and rank the iconic titles. Due to the number of versions available, I am only ordering games developed by Capcom (so, none of the EX series), no crossovers (sorry Street Fighter X Tekken fans) and only one entry per numbered title. Well, with that out of the way, let’s rank the Street Fighter series starting with the worst of the series.

9. Street Fighter

Although the original set the foundation for every subsequent release, it sits at the bottom of the pile in terms of gameplay. While you can still deliver a devastating Hadouken, it lacks the fluidity and personality that enshrouds the series. The flair that we have come to expect with Capcom characters is absent with even franchise favorites coming across as bland iterations; however, it is packed with ideas that would soon morph into the most important game in the history of the genre, but that’s higher in the list.

8. Street Fighter Alpha

After several iterations of Street Fighter 2, many expected Capcom to release the highly anticipated sequel, however, they threw a curveball with the Alpha prequels. With its stunning art direction, the inclusion of Final Fight characters and much more, it was a hit with fans. Introducing the three-tiered Super Combo, Street Fighter Alpha is a key title that shaped the future of the franchise.

7. Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold

A natural expansion on its predecessor, Alpha 2 welcomed new and returning characters into the fray. Minor tweaks refined the experience to deliver incredible combat that resonated with fans. While it doesn’t drastically alter anything, it is still an incredible fighter that continues to be a fan favorite. 

6. Street Fighter 5: Champion Edition

The initial release of Street Fighter 5 was an unexpected misstep. The lack of modes, characters locked behind paywalls and other aspects left a sour taste in the mouths of fans. While Capcom made some perplexing decisions such as the addition of adverts, the gameplay was still incredible. Most of the issues were addressed in the Arcade and Champion Editions, and by the end, the game boasted the largest selection of World Warriors, however, a lot of players already checked out before this.

5. Street Fighter Alpha 3

The third release in the prequel series is the best. Capcom overhauled the gameplay adding three new fighting styles: A-ISM, V-ISM and X-ISM. Each of these alters the combat, offering a simple mode suitable for newcomers, standard and variable options. With a packed roster and breathtaking animation, Alpha 3 is a must-play for fans of the genre.

4. Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo

Street Fighter 2 has a ridiculous number of iterations, but Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo is the pinnacle of these. One key factor to this is the introduction of Akuma. A fierce rival of Ryu, he went on to become a major antagonist of the series and a fan favorite. As well as this, the game also was the first to include the Super Attack, which has since become a staple of the series. With the ability to turn on the turbo mode as well, this version took the classic to the next level.

3. Ultra Street Fighter 4 

It took 11 years for the next numbered entry in the series but it was definitely worth the wait. The shift from pixel art to fully rendered 3D model was a move that could have gone awry but Capcom’s attention to detail and signature personality shone through to capture the hearts of fans. Cinematic flair was added to Supers to heighten their impact and the Focus Attacks gave new strategic options during battles. The culmination of this not only reinvigorated the franchise but also the genre. The Ultra version of the game balances the characters and adds a plethora of fan favorites to make this one of the greatest fighters ever.

2. Street Fighter 3: Third Strike

Arguably the most technical of the series, Street Fighter 3 is a wonderful fighter. In a brave move, Capcom introduced a number of new characters with only a few big players returning. The overall presentation is magnificent. Visually, it perfects the pixel art style of its predecessor to deliver a smooth experience with incredible animation. However, it was the parry system that was a game changer. The ability to counter, allowed players to portray an elite level of skill and pummel their opponent in a stylish and slick manner. 

1. Street Fighter 6

After SFV stumbled at the starting block, it was important for Capcom to make sure that Street Fighter 6 did not fall over the same hurdles. In complete contrast to its predecessor, SF6 is packed with content. With a full single-player mode, various combat options and a unique online experience, the game is larger than any other in the franchise. In addition to this, mechanically, it’s the best it has ever felt. The Drive System combines aspects of prior releases to create a strategic layer to combat. New characters offer interesting options to cap off a truly remarkable fighter that raises the bar for its opponents.

So, that’s my list of the best Street Fighter games. Do you agree with the rank order? If not, what would you change and why? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter, and don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube for some great video game content.

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