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Street Fighter, by Capcom, is perhaps the most popular video game series of all time and the longest-running gaming franchise in history. It is mind-blowing to think that it has transcended the constant evolution of technology, starting from just being arcade versions to now gaming console exclusives. It stood the test of time and is still relevant after almost 35 years. 

It has always strived to take the fighting game genre to the next level. It has even extended itself into other forms of media, such as movies and TV shows because such was the reach and the demand this series has garnered over the decades. 

As is generally the case with a series of games or even movies and especially when it is something as famous and as vast as this one, the fans of the game have different titles as their favorites, and there is always this heated debate going around among them on online forums and platforms. So, despite the challenge of undertaking this task and keeping personal biases aside, here is the list of the 20 best street fighter games out there.

Best Street Fighter Games

Having said already that it is one of the most challenging compilations, what follows is a list of the best Street Fighter games to have ever come out of the biggest fighting game franchise of all time that every fanatic of the legendary series has to have explored at least once and every new player that comes into this universe for the first time should not miss out on, in no particular order: 

Ultra Street Fighter IV (2014)

As the name indicates, the Ultra Street Fighter IV, the follow-up to the Street Fighter IV, made its much-awaited debut in 2014, and how it dealt with the insane expectations it had to ride on it and so much more is a story for the ages. Widely regarded by many gamers around the world as one of the best fighting games of all time, not just in the Street Fighter series, this installment of the game brought about new mechanics, newer characters, and a lot of new iterations as well. 

Keeping in mind the amount of content it already provided, the improvement on the graphics front and the more-effective control it had begun to provide to the players were top-notch and gained widespread appreciation. It also managed to light up the annual esports events such as the Evo with its incredible gameplay. 

Street Fighter Alpha 3 (1998)

When Capcom, the video game developer company behind the Street Fighter series, launched their third game in this other particular Alpha title in 1998. It featured a newer, more extensive roster of characters to play with, making it one of the most balanced games in this Street Fighter series regarding character innovations and gameplay.

It also came preloaded with various distinct fighting styles, which was a huge talking point at its release. In 1998, the game's graphics and animation, primarily a 2D game still, were as good as they came. Although it was not visually distinctive compared to the other Alpha titles, it had enough to spice up the gameplay. 

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Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike (1999)

Closely following up, the Alpha 3 was the next one in the series, Street Fighter III 3rd Strike in 1999. If you want to play Street Fighter III, this is the version to go for, without a doubt. It was the last version of Street Fighter III and a refined one. The guys over at Capcom had probably decided to do a revamp of the game with this variant after making the fans wait for over a decade, giving way to newer characters and, more importantly, much-improved sound and an incredible soundtrack as the icing on the cake.

It is cited as one of the best games in the Street Fighter series, which is more than 20 years after its initial release; it says volumes about the quality of the game, especially when the stakes of 2D gaming were at an all-time low. For a fun gaming experience, also try the best IO games.

Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition (2018)

The Street Fighter V, launched before this and as the first one of the series V, had to suffer a lot of criticism with its gameplay choices, especially for the lack of a single-player mode. But this was a blessing in disguise for the next, far more refined and adept version of the game, Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition.

One of the latest games to feature in this list, it made its debut less than half a decade ago and was praised unanimously for being the solution to everything wrong with the previous version. Although there is one thing that was not liked much by many in this otherwise terrific game, the inclusion of ads kept disrupting the gaming experience in unexpected places, too, sometimes. So, it is one of the best fighting games ever made, and rightfully so.

Street Fighter V: Championship Edition (2020)

This game didn't have the cushion of its predecessor - Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition (2018), in that it did not follow up a lesser-liked game. Instead, it is releasing after one of the most loved games in the Street Fighter series, and it just had to perform up to the standards already set.

To everyone's liking, it did. The game featured a roster of whopping 40 characters, the highest so far in any Street Fighter game, and that opened up a whole new variety of possibilities in the game. The improvements that had already made its predecessor widely popular continued their way into this game in newer and exciting ways, making this as good as the previous version to come out in the whole series. 

Super Street Fighter II Turbo (1994)

One of the initial versions of the game, this Super Street Fighter II Turbo, was launched in 1994. This release was yet another step in the direction of making the game even more exciting, and they achieved it by incorporating a few newer modes in addition to the introduction of newer characters, as they traditionally do in every new version of the game, for the sake of speeding the gameplay up a notch.

There is no doubt that this game trumps Super Street Fighter II as the best of the Street Fighter II series. One more amusing fact that adds to this game's legacy is that it is still played competitively at tournaments, and that is no simple milestone for a game that made its entry more than 25 years ago. 

Street Fighter Alpha 2 (1996)

Street Fighter Alpha 2 (1996)

This one is, of course, the second installment in the Alpha title. Just like the name rightly suggests, it had retained much of the crucial features that the first Alpha game had and introduced new characters, new music and, more importantly, added something called Combos, a very game-specific term, on top of that and made giant strides alongside their non-Alpha counterparts. Along with apparent visual overhaul and improved control, it was pretty famous for its time. 

Like every other popular game, Street Fighter Alpha 2, too, had its fair share of criticism in that it featured a lot of dangerous attacks for implementation. One other important reason why the game deserves mention in this list in the first place is that it brought about the introduction of a character named Sakura into the Street Fighter universe, which would later go on to be a very popular character and, to the extent of being called a series stalwart. 

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Street Fighter (1987)

The one where it all began is the original Street Fighter, the first one of the most successful and longest-running gaming franchises to have ever come into existence. When it was birthed in 1987, no one, including the team behind it, would have foreseen such a monstrous journey that it would go through in the decades to come, that it was the only the beginning of a series of video games that was capable of world domination later and that it would inspire millions of fans across the globe who made the game what it is today. 

But, looking back now, it is the most basic and very much limited version of the game compared to the rest of the games in the franchise. It brought about a revolution in the fighting genre of the gaming world at that time but was not flawless in any sense of the word. The control it offered was very little and had only one character in the mix redeemed only by some of the moves to attack, which would then be adapted and followed by many others in the years to come. Just for being the very first iteration of this new world and having the scope and the ability to improvise and adapt over the years, you would want to give it a shot; worth it. 

Street Fighter IV (2009)

There was a time when the whole Street Fighter series was deemed almost dead. It was waning in popularity and was no longer in the picture because better games had started popping out everywhere, and its extinction was looming. That is precisely when Street Fighter IV was released in 2009 and put out as a statement that the series was still being prepared to die.

It was not immediately the pinnacle of the fighting genre or just in its universe itself, but it had more than enough in itself to stand up on its own and continue to stay relevant in the world of gaming.Probably incarnated as the entire franchise's designated savior, this game was a humongous success. It offered the series the redemption it deserved right at the right time. It was planned to be set among two different gaming eras of its own - Street Fighters II and III.

Therefore, it borrowed characters and features from both of its predecessors and made the gameplay all the more enticing for the players who had almost given up. As a result, the Street Fighter series is still alive and well even today, 13 years later. 

Street Fighter Alpha (1995)

Street Fighter Alpha (1995)

The game Street Fighter Alpha, the first of its kind at that time, was brought to life by the team over at Capcom in 1995. It was launched as a prequel to the Street Fighter II series. The most notable distinction incorporated into the game was the art style, inspired mainly by the anime world that could only be seen in other Capcom games until then, which would rule the gaming world for decades.

It was also very detailed and in line with the current design aesthetic of the game. This was also the first time a Street Fighter game featured characters from an entirely different game, such as Final Fight, in this context, which brought a different audience to this game. Also, the super-popular Super Combo was added to this game for the first time in the franchise. 

Street Fighter X Tekken (2012)

What happens when you attempt a crossover of the most prominent fighter in the 2D world and the biggest fighter in the 3D world? What if they meet at one place and lock horns with each other? How incredibly cool can that turn out to be? The game Street Fighter x Tekken (2012) is the answer you need.

The sheer excitement of seeing the usually three-dimensional Tekken characters in the two-dimensional world of Street Fighter was mouth-watering and enough of a selling point for the game that made its way into the series way back in 2012. 

This was also the same time when Capcom was trying all sorts of things to keep the series up and running, which paved the way for these crossovers. The game did have its share of negative reviews and backlash from the ardent fans of both games, but the effort itself was laudable in the first place. This was also before one of the prominent characters from the world of Street Fighter, Akuma, got featured in Tekken 7, and so this was the first-ever occurrence of both these worlds crashing into each other. 

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Street Fighter II (1991)

The second major installment in the franchise was this Street Fighter II in 1991. Although now it seems like a lifetime ago that this game was even a big deal, it created waves when it first came onto the scene. Gameplay-wise, it was a sizeable upgrade from the previous iteration, with newer varied gameplay, unique characters, and so forth.

It almost turned the arcade gaming world upside down with its monstrous impact and is still considered one of the most important and best arcade games of all time. The popularity of this game was so much that it was seen and played in every nook and corner of the world where one such machine could be spotted. It had sooner transpired into a global phenomenon that was impossible to ignore. 

Street Fighter: 30th Anniversary Collection (2018)

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection

It had been thirty years since the first Street Fighter came into existence, without even the slightest doubt that it would continue to run even after three decades. It is not that common or easy to still be relevant or even exist in the first place after such a long time in an industry as ever-growing and competitive as the gaming world is.

As rare as the feat rightly sounds, to commemorate its 30th anniversary, an Anniversary Edition was planned and launched in 2018, right after the highly-successful and immensely-popular Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition. It was a collection of twelve different arcade versions of this epic game that made its way into the market, marking that occasion.

When there are as many as 12 different variants in the said collection, it is expected to cover almost all of the major releases over the years, including the Alpha titles, and it did. It was also expectedly a vast playing experience and had various options, much more so than usual. 

Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting (1992)

Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting (1992)

The success and the reach of the original Street Fighter II were insane, so much so that several versions, still the official ones, started coming out subsequently. As one would expect, all of those titles were subjected to gradual improvements on the more critical fronts, such as the graphics, animation, control, etc., and additional features to come in handy in the gameplay. But on the other hand, some "unofficial" versions of the game had also started appearing all over, and it was somewhat difficult to distinguish them from the original, official ones. 

That is when the team behind the franchise decided to join in on the fun and launched this Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting in 1992. All of those unofficial rip-offs and bootlegs, which had gone on to modify the original Street Fighter II core by then, had yet to learn about this newer release. They all paled in comparison eventually; that is exactly what the Capcom people were waiting to do all the while. 

Super Street Fighter IV (2010)

The fun fact about this game is that it was initially only supposed to be an update to its previous version until they decided that it was too big for an update, so it was rolled out officially as a game of its own. That is the story of the birth of Super Street Fighter IV in 2010, with the franchise officially setting foot into the third decade of its existence. And just as the above-stated fun fact describes, it changed the game significantly.

It was the last one of the Street Fighter IV series, which could very well be seen in the improvements and the changes the game had undergone in this version. It was also released for gaming consoles like Nintendo. The game also remains to date as the most significant update a Street Fighter game has ever gotten itself. 

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Street Fighter: The Movie (1995)

The Street Fighter franchise was slowly becoming a big revelation on the global stage by 1995. A handful of games had come out of it by then, and variations of the original were a thing too. Enter Street Fighter: The Movie. What if the primary characters in the game were replaced by real-life movie stars and made to go through the game's routine?

That was exactly the idea behind this version of the game, and it was, admittedly, a move to further attract the masses to the already-expanding franchise. Capcom had even outsourced to do the game this time and were specialists in what they wanted.

The game featured Jean-Claude Van Damme and Ming-Na Wen, some of the top action movie star at that time, raising the bar for expectations among the fans. All of this hype was only to die down when the game was released because it had encountered several issues throughout the game. The end product probably, in hindsight, wanted to look like a Mortal Kombat game, but it just was not meant to be. Itemed a colossal failure. 

Street Fighter Anniversary Collection (2005)

The Street Fighter Anniversary Collection, which came out in 2005 as one of those special edition games that kept coming out now and then, is worth a mention in this list for the simple fact that it had managed to pack in two of the greatest and the most popular Street Fighter games of all time - Street Fighter III: Third Strike and Hyper Street Fighter II under one roof. It had, of course, going through the standard procedure of going through an upgrade in both graphics and gameplay, just like every other version usually does at the time of its release.

But besides all that, it was more of a celebratory nod to those two highly decorated, fan-favorite games. So obviously, the die-hard fans of the game had a feast with this one just for the sake of it and probably wondered how the game had become what it was throughout the years before that. It had also come with the movie copy of Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie included in it. 

Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (2008)

Just before the much-anticipated Street Fighter IV launch, the game with probably the biggest title in the franchise yet, Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, was released in 2008. There is a reason for such a long game title, though - it comes from the combination of two companies, other than Capcom itself, namely UDON Entertainment for the graphics overhaul and OverClocked Remix for the modified music tracks are new in the game. The former is a well-known comic publisher, and the latter is an established organization for preserving and remixing the popular music featured in video games. 

So, that is how both HD and Remix tags were added to the name. And just like the name, the game went all out at upping the experience this time. It featured two main modes: Classic and HD Remix modes. More importantly, it incorporated the ability to play online, making for many more interesting battles across the game. To compete against other real-world players is a dream for everyone who has a thing for fighting games, if not games in general. That also obviously meant that there had to be rankings and leaderboards, so the competition had just gotten a lot spicier if one could call it that. 

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers (2017)

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers (2017)

Being one of the most feature-rich games in the series so far, Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers was the final installment in the Street Fighter II series, which came out in 2017. The hype was unreal at that time, but it is safe to say that it, after all, was worth the hype. Not to say that it did not have any flaws at all, but it made up for it with its other abilities, such as letting the players choose between either playing in the good old graphics that it was marketed with back in the day or playing in the currently running, modern, much-improved, new-age graphics that this game had come up with. 

Another important note is that this game was a Nintendo Switch exclusive, but the price tag it came along with was cited by many as too much. Although it boosted many newer modes to meddle with, it was still best played in a single-player mode. It is also widely considered a premium upgrade over the Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. 

Street Fighter V (2016)

It might be the last entry in this list, but it is not the last if the entire list of games to have ever come out of the Street Fighter franchise is considered. Street Fighter V was the fifth straight mainline game to debut under the banner that had grown in stature and become legendary in 2016. Coming after a long gap, it already had more than enough expectations to be met. But instead, it dropped a bomb on all the game fans waiting for it by removing the single-player mode itself from the gameplay.

This move was met with widespread backlash and expectedly so, and the game never recovered wholly from the outrage it had brought upon itself. And not just that, the standards had dropped down otherwise too in this version of the game, and that was visible throughout the game, especially in the form of bugs and quite a lot of them. It was released as a PlayStation 4 exclusive across the world at that time. 


The game's ardent fans always have vastly different choices to be named as their favorites, and it is only natural that it happens because, in the end, it all comes down to what any individual looks for and is impressed by the most in a game. Therefore, it is bound to differ from individual to individual. But it is also difficult to try out every one of these games and then conclude as it might be tedious or even needless. In that case, this list might help make the choices easier and better. 


Absolutely. They have been two-dimensional games all along, so getting accustomed to the world it is set in, and the gameplay style is easier. Even when beginners can try out the latest additions to the franchise, it is safe to conclude that the older ones are much easier for the ones who are getting the hang of it initially. 

Initially, the Street Fighter series was a set of arcade games that needed its setup and the right custom-made machinery. Nowadays, the latest games are launched mainly as exclusives for popular gaming consoles and also ported for computer operating systems such as Microsoft Windows. 

The Street Fighter, as we know it today, is a game that is constantly evolving, matching up to the trends and the market's standards, and the expectations of its most loyal fanbase. That is what makes it an unmissable option for the players of this generation too. Street Fighter 6 is still in the making, the hype surrounding it is unreal.

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