Top 15 Street Fighter Characters
Pick your poison (though I legimately love the music in a weird way). Well, the character selection screen is amazing, so pick that if you want the best one.
Character Selection Screen- Street Fighter IV
Indestructible (Japanese)- Street Fighter IV
Hey, guys. After 7 months of no original content by me, I'm finally back to writing blogs and what better way to start it than cover one of my favorite video game series, Street Fighter? Now, I have played my share of games and I have grown fond of the many faces in the series. Now I'm here to make a Top 15 on my favorite characters.
What are the rules? Well, the attributes do matter, but memorability, fun, and personality will play a huge role and I won't choose characters I don't like playing as but are top tier. Also, no Street Fighter EX. It's not because I don't like it, but mostly because I didn't play too much EX, giving me an unfair judgment and not enough of an impression of a cast of newcomer that I'm not too fond of. Also, my reasoning is strictly off of the Street Fighter games, so no reasoning that comes from crossovers like Marvel vs. Capcom. However, I will mention the game series if it was a part of my experience with that character (though it will not count towards my rankings). Now, let's get onto the list. Enjoy.
Note: I am aware of most of the themes being the Street Fighter IV version. It's not my fault that the Street Fighter IV versions are so amazing.
Guile's Theme- Street Fighter IV
Starting off #15 on this list is everybody’s favorite patriotic American flag tattoo wearing fighter, Guile. Initially, I was having trouble determining who would barely cling onto the #15 spot, with M. Bison as the completion, but Guile barely won with a few small factors. Now the real reason I didn’t rank Guile too high on this list is because I’m not really into charge characters, but man Guile can be really fun.
What makes Guile so unique for me is his Sonic Boom and kick that were really great to pull off in Street Fighter II. Somewhere along the transition, old Guile lost his large appeal in Street Fighter IV, but still remained one of my favorites throughout. That and he was the leading role in the brilliant Street Fighter film (I’m dead serious when I say it’s one of my favorite movies).
What made Guile beat M. Bison couldn’t be the brilliant film, because Raul Julia was absolutely perfect, nor the animated series had me linking the “Yes” and “This is Delicious” videos. What made Guile beat Bison is the fact that I’m *cough* half *cough* American and Guile is the perfect representation of our freedom. Only a true patriot would have an American Flag tattoo and have his stage in an airfield. Let’s not forget his awesome Street Fighter II and IV themes, with the latter being my favorite (everybody disagreeing in 3…. 2…. 1….). Good on you, Guile, and Bison, I’m sorry. I love your character and all, but I guess this will not be a “delicious” victory.
Seriously , Bison, I'm sorry, but I never really play as you too much, despite loving your evil and sadistic personality. I promise I'll be the first man to invest all of my money into Bison Dollars after your eventual takeover.
Yang's Theme- Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition
When I first played Third Strike, I never was into the twins, Yun and Yang. Their fighting styles were unique, but nothing I considered special. However, after playing as them some more in recent times, they slowly started to become a favorite. Now why Yang over Yun? I think Yang’s costume looks cooler. Shallow man I am.
Now what makes the twins so great is their rush tactics that I am getting fairly accustomed to, with swiping punches, heavy fist pounds, and swift dive kicks. It’s surprising how easy I could make a combo with Yang at a beginner’s level and how fun it is to execute said combos. His swiftness and well rounded arsenal of attacks have definitely made him a recent favorite of mine.
I guess Yang was one of those characters I never really gave a chance but ended up loving in the end. I also feel that if I play the game as him some more, I’ll definitely consider him higher on this list in the future. With extremely fun gameplay and a style that’s easy to pick up but tough to master, Yang gets the #14 spot. Oh yeah, and he looks cooler than Yun. Shallow man I am indeed.
Sakura's Theme- Street Fighter IV
Sakura is pretty much the stereotypical Japanese schoolgirl in every Japanese art and media. But the difference is that she’s freaking awesome and a wonderful character to play as. Now to many, Sakura Kasugano may just appear as a typical fan boy of Ryu, but she really doesn’t come off as annoying one bit (AMY, TAKE FREAKING NOTES). Instead, her cheerful personality and fighting spirit set her apart from the mold of a typical fan girl and transitions her into a personality you can’t help but enjoy.
Her play style isn’t bad either. She plays a bit like Ryu with similar Hadoukens and Tatsus, but with a small twist. Like Chun Li, her projectile cannot fly across the screen, but it can be charged into a larger burst. And her Shoryuken-like attack chains into a multi hit dash, while her Tatsu allows her to kick the opponent into the air for more damage and setting up for an Ultra if you’re playing Street Fighter IV.
Overall, Sakura is a very rare occurrence where a Japanese school girl fan girl ends up being really liked by me and not wanting to punch kittens repeatedly while I curse Japan for creating such a concept, and Darkseid reminding me that he has seen worse in the depths of the internet and that I should man up about it and Jawshy most likely coming in and making a suggestive comment, which makes me raise my eyebrow but not so much, because I expect that out of Jawshy. So yeah. With a fun scheme and a great personality that’s hard not to like, Sakura holds a solid spot at #13.
Abel's Theme- Street Fighter IV
Now, I really didn’t care about the newcomers for Street Fighter IV. While Gouken and El Fuerte were cool, they weren’t my favorites. C. Viper is like a rejected SNK character and Juri has made me hate her online, due to beginners spamming the heck out of her. Despite me enjoying Seth, Abel was the best newcomer out of the game, feeling pretty similar to Alex from Third Strike and mainly serving as a grappler.
As I said, Abel is a grappler. His main method of attack is to dash and hit his opponent up to three times, with the third blow being a throw. He also can grab his opponent and give them a good whirl in the air before slamming them into the floor. Along with his quick rolling, his Ultras and super have him going berserk and dashing into his opponent then giving them a repeating beating or throwing them into the air and slamming them into the wall.
When Abel fights, he gives a good beating and runs right into the fight, which is very contradictory of his French heritage.* I also did like his story as a man with no past and possible connection to Charlie, because of his recognition of Guile’s Sonic Boom. Abel is probably the most used newcomer to Street Fighter Fighter IV and for good reasons, which is why he’s at #12.
Authors note: I don’t hate French people and that was a joke. Don’t hurt me. ;-;
Cammy's Theme- Street Fighter IV
Ah, Cammy. One of the characters that I was instinctively good with, but rarely play as because it makes me look like a perv if I do (it’d be nice if she wore pants). This character first struck me not through her fighting, but through her stage in Super Street Fighter II. When I first fought her on the castle stage, I was initially swept away by her amazing theme and the beautiful castle setting. Her theme and stage are one of the first things that I associate Super Street Fighter II with and for good reasons.
Now Cammy is a very interesting character to play as. She lunges herself as a spinning arrow into her opponent (no arrow to the knee jokes, promise) and pretty much acts as a human projectile, with some devastating results due to her speed and agility. As I said, I kind of shy away from using her mostly because of her less than modest attire, but when Jesse is getting more than enough wins and we don’t feel like settling the score with MvC 2, I use Cammy. For some reason, her moveset comes very naturally to me and I usually have a blast playing as her.
I also find her story to be pretty cool, with the shock being that she was a hypnotized clone of M. Bison (Shadaloo must have horrible cloning devices, because she looks nothing like him) revealed to be his hypnotized lover at the end of Street Fighter II. It’s a pretty neat concept and her fun gameplay backs up her story to make her a fantastic fighter. Good enough to get the #11 spot. Now how about you invest in some pants and I might consider a higher position.
Dudley's Theme- Street Fighter III: Third Strike
Street Fighter III had a unique change of pace for the characters. Many of the Street Fighter II and Alpha faces were dropped in favor of new characters with similar movesets to the Street Fighter II crew. An replacement of Balrog to come out of Street Fighter III was Dudley, the classy British boxer who claims that his opponents have no dignity.
Dudley became a favorite of mine and kind of reminds me of a classy version of Balrog, especially with that epic mustache and hair. I also love the quickness of his fighting and I personally had an easier time to get used to him than Balrog with his quick uppercuts and devastating jabs. And let’s not forget about his rose throwing taunt and telling people that they’re gutter trash with his classy British accent. He’s everything you would want out of a classy boxer. And for those of you who don't like Dudley, you have no dignity.
I will admit that I wasn’t too much of a Dudley player in the past, but ever since I gave him a proper chance, I loved everything about him and was overjoyed to see him in Super Street Fighter IV. Albeit preferring him in Third Strike, he was a really fun character in IV and he’s one of the most memorable things from Street Fighter III, which is saying a lot.
Dan's Theme- Street Fighter Alpha 2
Okay, I know exactly what you’re thinking. “WHAT?! Dan is in the top ten? How is he so special? He sucks!” No, he doesn’t. I absolutely love Dan and his personality is just hilarious and over the top, one that makes me laugh with his overall goofiness.
If you didn’t know this already, go pick up an SNK fighter (preferably King of Fighters ‘98). Look at Ryo. Notice anything familiar? A projectile fireball attack, gi with the sleeves torn off, and his American friend Robert Garcia? Yeah, he’s pretty much SNK’s Ryu ripoff. Now to playfully get back at SNK, Capcom parodied Ryo, but giving him a pink gi, an overconfident yet weak personality, and making hinm one of the worst characters in Street Fighter Alpha 2 with most of his arsenal being moot compared to Ryu. In fact his ending in Marvel Superheroes vs. Street Fighter parodies another SNK character’s ending by having his sister say the final boss is their father (not canon).
Now what makes Dan so amazing is his personality. He’s an overconfident man trying to avenge his father’s death caused by Sagat. He developed his own fighting style with much weaker moves and he cries when he wins. Let’s not forget his Ultra where he does flashy punches and kicks, then an uppercut, finishing with a thumbs up and a teeth shining smile. Dan is one of the reasons I love Street Fighter so much and his overall goofy personality and fun in his fighting makes him worthy in the first place. And having fun is what video games is about.
And if that’s not a strong enough argument, I nearly perfected my friend in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 with a team of 3 Dans, then did it again with a team of Dan, Roll, and Jill (she kind of did most of the work though). If that’s not amazing, I don’t know what is.
Fei Long's Theme- Street Fighter IV
Fei Long is a combination of two awesome things, Kenshiro from Hokuto no Ken (which I don’t shut up about) and Bruce Lee. I remember him being one of the first enemies that I faced against in Street Fighter II and he was pretty awesome, with a rather annoying stage to fight in (the whole animal aspect in Street Fighter II was annoying).
Most of his attacks are centered around quarter circle movements and you can chain his punches together rather well. He also has a pretty awesome flaming kick that can result in some great damage, as well as being rather swift on his feet. But they really turned the awesomeness up to 11 when they gave him his Ultra in Street Fighter IV. He starts his Ultra off by giving off a manly yell, followed by pretty much reenacting the 100 Crack Fist and jumping in the air and sweeping through the opponent with a kick, a la Kenshiro. The only difference is that Fei Long doesn’t say that the opponent is already dead, with the opponent blowing up in blood. Shame….
Other than that, I find him to be a really fun and effective character to use in Street Fighter, particularly IV. His fighting style is unique and reminds me of my favorite anime character of all time along with one of my favorite martial artists, what’s not to love? Fei Long is a tribute done right and translated into an awesome character.
Dojo Redemption (Makoto's Theme)- Street Fighter III: Third Strike
Makoto is a hard character to get into. Instead of swift combos, perfect timing and powerful blows are what makes up her arsenal, which can be extremely deadly if you are facing someone who actually knows how to use her effectively.
First introduced in Street Fighter III, Makoto was one of the last characters I really played as in the game, considering the requirement of some experience in Third Strike before jumping in. I also played her in Street Fighter IV, but didn’t enjoy her as much until the buff in Arcade Edition, which made her awesome again. A tough as nails personality and skilled fighting is what makes her a favorite of mine.
I personally love her delayed punches and sweep kicks that can easily catch opponents off guard and her powering up that makes her get sun burned, along with her Ultras that make her give repeated hard punches to the stomach. With an awesome moveset that is best played when you are doing, Makoto clings the #8 spot with no problems.
Akuma's Rival Battle- Street Fighter IV
Every hero needs a counterpart that invites him to the dark side, and Akuma fits that role perfectly, going as far as sacrificing all of his humanity and soul into the Satsui no Hado. Now Akuma isn’t evil like many speculate, mostly because of his “morals”. He only fights those he finds worthy and does not kill innocent people, but rather those who challenge him to a battle to death. Those who were unlucky face his hard hitting blows and techniques like the Raging Demon, a move so powerful that everything goes black and the announcer is too scared to say KO (ok, maybe I made up the last part). And let’s not forget his fatal fight with Gouken, that had him supposedly killing the master of Ryu and painting his symbol with the blood of Gouken's corps, increasing Ryu’s disdain for him.
Akuma plays similarly to Ryu and Ken, with the same projectiles and tatsus. However, he has the ability to shoot projectile in the air, slide across the screen at quick rate, release a more damaging Hadouken by doing the input backwards, and unleashing a move called the Raging Demon, which takes a ridiculous amount of health and ends with Akuma posing over his knocked out opponent. His hits also have the impact of Ryu with the speed of Ken. The only drawback of Akuma is that with his strong offense comes weal stamina, allowing him to get a KO easier than most of the other fighters.
That aside, Akuma is a lot of fun to play as, and his story is pretty neat with how far only living to fight can take you. He’s an admirable character and I especially had fun with him in Third Strike, where I actually learned how to use him. With a deadly arsenal of attacks, Akuma is a powerhouse not to be reckoned with.
Ken's Theme- Street Fighter II: The World Warrior
I’ll admit, I was always a Ryu player and never played as Ken nor Akuma in my initial time with Street Fighter. However, once I started playing the greatness known as Third Strike (I sure do like a lot of characters in Third Strike), I began to appreciate him a lot. Ken Masters started off as a bratty child sent to Gouken for training alongside Ryu. Because of Ryu’s lack of interaction with others in his time at the dojo, Ken and him became more than best friends, but rather brothers.
Ken has also played a huge role in Ryu’s story, having been there in Ryu’s worst times and even offering his red headband as a sign of their friendship (hence Ryu’s red headband in Street Fighter II and later). He also trained Sean from Street Fighter III as a mentor, while continuing to participate in the World Warrior tournaments.
Gameplay wise, Ken is great. He essentially acts as a faster Ryu, but with weaker strikes in Street Fighter II. As time went on, Ken got his own exclusive moves, including his Shoryuken being much better than Ryu’s, with multiple flaming hits. His best form was in Third Strike, where he was easily among the best and I have a blast playing as him in that game and IV.
I always loved Ken’s confident and cheerful attitude that contrasted Ryu’s serious and stern personality. He always comes off as a fun guy, while being a strong supporting character. I also love his stage in the docks and his memorable theme in Street Fighter II. Overall, Ken is just a fun character to play as and made himself more than a mere Ryu imitator.
Chun Li's Theme- Street Fighter EX
Chun Li is a landmark character in the Street Fighter franchise. Being considered the first lady of fighters, she also is an extremely well made characters, breaking my initial trend of only playing as shotos (characters that play similar to Ryu with quarter circle projectiles and tatsus in case you don’t know that term) with her lightning kicks, wall jumping, and unique gameplay.
I enjoyed her quite a bit in the Street Fighter games, starting off with II, but I never grew to appreciate her style until Marvel vs. Capcom in the arcades. She just seemed like an overly complicated character (I still have trouble being good with her in IV), but if you put time into her, she’s quite a force to be reckoned with.
Her arsenal is a Kikosho (a variant of a fireball shot from one hand), her repeating kicks in one position, and Spinning Bird Kick, which has her flinging herself in an upside down hurricane kick with her two legs sticking out (that really looks painful). However, my love for her came in Third Strike, where she became absolutely ridiculous. That and I actually managed to be effective with her and rack up some nice combos.
Her story is rather simple, with M. Bison murdering her father (to him it was just a Tuesday (cookie to whoever gets the reference)). Wanting to avenge her father’s death, she uses her police woman skills to give beatings in the World Warrior tournament. While successful in avenging her father's death, she ends up making powerful alalies and friends like Guile (he hates Bison too) and Ryu.
Overall, Chun Li was a character that grew on me over time (thanks to MvC), and reached her top at Third Strike. I also really like her outfit compared to a lot of the fighters, though people may argue that it’s stereotypical. Though they kinda botched her portrait looks in this generation of Capcom fighters, they nailed it with Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, making her look very similar to her old school look. Overall, Chun Li is a phenomenal character and one that I always have fun playing as.
Twilight (Ibuki's Theme)- Street Fighter III: Third Strike
#3 and #2 are actually a tie and you‘re probably saying that I can‘t do that. As Craig used to say in the Top Tens, “It‘s our list and we can do what we want.” And I asked for help on determining who should get #3 and #2 and Shiro_Shishi said Ibuki because she’s a hot ninja (perv, lol) and Stickman said Ibuki as well, before calling me a perv. But I was too lazy to edit the cards, so whatever. #3 and #2 are a complete tie and I cannot choose which one I love more.
So, remember how I said it’s rare for me to like a Japanese school girl in games because they usually are annoying? (KARIN AND LILI, TAKE FREAKING NOTES (YES, I FREAKING HATE KARIN, AND LET’S NOT FORGET R. MIKA. SCREW THEM)). She’s pretty much a High School (technically College in Third Strike’s ending) student and a ninja, which is the most awesome thing ever. She has an overall cheery personality, maybe perhaps a bit too girly in Street Fighter IV, especially with her crappy English voice actor (her Japanese voice is great).
Let’s not forget her awesome moveset. She has a variety of grabbing moves, which she can use to emit a beam of light, with her Ultra making her opponent fly across the screen. She also has a variety of sweep kicks and strikes that can make for some awesome combos, along with her rushing that allows her to even go through opponents. How about her kunai knives? Awesome. And one of my favorite moves, the necksnap, which is extremely effective in taking down the opponent from distances and stopping opponents from spamming.
Her second Ultra is pretty amazing, with her giving the opponent a beating before flinging them into the air with a flurry of kunai knives and slamming their head into the ground. She’s seriously an amazing character and I love everything about her, gameplay and character wise. Everything about Ibuki is great to me and playing as her is always a joy and blast.
Also, Nick, if you’re reading this, I hope to meet you at a future SGC event, because I want to fight your Ibuki in Third Strike or IV.
Rose's Theme- Street Fighter IV
Rose, one of my mains in the Alpha games and one of my 3 mains in Street Fighter IV. What’s just as awesome as being a ninja High Schooler? Having psychic powers, a magical Sham-Wow that you can put your power into, while having awesome purple hair, and being able to clone psychic versions of yourself! The only thing that sucks is her English voice making her sound like an old woman (her Japanese voice is awesome (I hate Street Fighter IV’s English voices)).
Rose just cannot get a break. She’s a psychic who pretty much has the intent of stopping Bison while seeing potential in Ryu, wanting to protect him from harm. But Bison is like, “LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL I’LL JUST LET YOU KILL ME AND USE YOUR BODY AS A HOST,” and Rose is like, “NO! STOP STEALING MY BODY! ;-;” and Bison is like, “TOO BAD, I’LL JUST CRITICALLY INJURE YOU! YESSSSSSSSSS! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!” In English, Rose and Bison accidentally shared the same soul after Rose seemingly channeled all of his energy out and it got into her body, giving Bison control to her body. Though she has no memory of this ordeal, Rose has a vendetta against Bison’s wrongs and does whatever she can to stop his evil
Also, Rose seriously has an awesome and creative wardrobe, with her overcoat and scarf she can channel her energy into. And for some reason, Capcom can make crazy looking hair work (see Phoenix Wright) with her awesome purple hair. And no Stickman, I am not a perv.
Her gameplay is sort of similar to Ryu, in which she fire projectiles from her scarf and can perform a charging maneuver when you use the kick button with a quarter circle. She can also use her psychic moves to grab and throw enemies across and briefly levitate to grab a jumping enemy for a throw to the ground. Her Ultra, the Illusion Spark (sounds like she yells fusion spark in her Japanese voice), has her grabbing her opponent with her scarf and channeling her energy into a form of shock that can have quite a reach. She could also clone herself into psychic clones in the Alpha games, which made doing large combos a lot easier.
Some may not be huge fans of Rose, as her style may seem a bit weird when compared to Ryu, but I seriously love playing as her. I find her personality to be great and her moves can be very fun to pull off. Overall, Rose is a great character with an awesome moveset. Great enough that she is one of my mains in the series and at the #2 spot (or is it #3?)
Ryu's Theme- Street Fighter II: The World Warrior
This should not come as a shock to anybody who knows me. In fact, most of my avys and sigs are with Ryu and every time someone plays Street Fighter against me, there’s a huge chance that Ryu will be used countless times. But why you may ask? Well, it really is a long story, but I’ll try to summarize it.
Although I hated Street Fighter II when I first played it (foolish child I was), I bought Super on Virtual Console. I ended up loving it and one character stood in my mind, and that was Ryu. Normally, I am favorable when it comes to the ‘white knight’ characters, those who fight for good and usually the main character of the game. But it’s not just that. I honestly love the whole story and concept behind Ryu and his character.
While Ryu may just seem bland and boring to some, I love his whole character, being a strong and passionate fighter only wanting to fight the good fight. The dichotomy that lies in Ryu’s beliefs can either have him not using his full potential and falling weak or using all of his powers to destroy himself and his humanity, similar to Akuma falling to the Satsui no Hado. Although seen as very dry and cold, he is passionate about his fighting and his friends that he has made along the way, taking in every fight as an experience that he wants to use to better himself.
Ryu is also the most balanced when it comes to learning and attributes. His hits give off quite an impact, while he has good speed and vitality to back him up. He is also the easiest character to learn, with most of his moves being simple quarter circle imputs, having coined the phrase “shoto”. His moves consist of a fireball (the Hadouken), uppercut (Shoryuken), and tatsu (hurricane kick). In most games he can charge up his Hadouken for a Shinkuu Hadouken (or Metsu in IV) or the Metsu Shoryuken, which literally has him hitting the character so hard, the screen turns white. He gets even more overpowered when in his “evil” form, which has him being buffed like Akuma, with devastating blows, though he tries to prevent his evil side from taking over for the sake of his humanity and friends.
Ryu to me is the fitting archetypal hero that represents the entire Street Fighter series as a whole. Not only did he inspire a long list of heroes that were similar to him, but a lot of fighting games adopted his shoto techniques and controls. In fact, I’ll go as far as saying that without Ryu and Ken’s first adventure, fighting games would never be what they are today. Ryu has played a huge role into videogames and is easily near the top of my favorite video game characters.
When thinking about Street Fighter, I think about Ryu. It makes me remember the epic moments, like him and Ken fighting in a field in the gusts in the Alpha series or his many encounters with Akuma, or the image of him unleashing his Shinkuu Hadouken. I also remember the amazing stage on top of a building in the twilight, in my favorite music track in Street Fighter (or one of my favorite video game tracks).
A Capcom fighter without Ryu just cannot work. I can say that along with Mega Man, Ryu is the face of Capcom, being the lead in one of the most important games in the entire genre and kick starting the competitive fighting trend. Just this piece alone makes him the perfect #1 choice.
It doesn’t matter what Capcom fighter I’m playing; Ryu will always be my main in every video game that features him. His whole scheme is extremely easy for me to get into and I always have the most fun playing as him. Ryu will always be the face of Street Fighter for me and one of my favorite faces in videogames.
Thanks for reading.