Read Part 1 first.
Street Fighter’s characters are some of the most iconic in the world. You can find them on billboards, in murals decorating the sides of shops from San Francisco to Brazil, and as piñatas at your local grocery store. They’re often shallow caricatures of the cultures they represent, but that over-to-the-top characterization is part of why these characters have stuck around for so long; seeing your culture on a TV screen, no matter how careless the portrayal, can mean a lot when you don’t see it anywhere else.
In the spirit of global street fighting, we’ve decided to pit every Street Fighter character against each other for the prize of our affection. We’ve collected a panel of experts (two experts, to be exact) and ranked characters from every game in the series (and we do mean every game) from worst to best. Who is the best fighter of streets? Read on to find out. Part three will be up later this week.
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70. Kevin Straker: The protagonist of Street Fighter 2010, the side-scrolling action spin-off of Street Fighter proper, Kevin Straker was changed to be Ken in the American version of the game. The story was later made non-canonical, but it amounted to Ken in the far-off future of 2010 hunting down parasites and the hosts they inhabit, gaining power after every fight. Eventually, he finds his enemy and finds out that he was a parasite all along! It's cheesy and non-canonical, but if nothing else at least a fun note in the series.
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69. Oni: The only thing that jumps the shark harder than an Evil Ryu is an Evil Akuma. Akuma was already evil, it's just that when he fuses with the dark energies of the Satsui no Hado he also lacks all self-control and takes another stage name, Oni. It's one of the most ridiculous ideas in the series' canon, but you have to hand it to Capcom; they managed to make their umpteenth shoto-clone stand out from the pack by giving him a fun moveset. Upwards fireballs, air dashes, and that thing where he dashes behind and slaps you—he matches the intensity of his aesthetic design, and while the idea isn't great, the execution is solid.
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68. Area: Besides being the living embodiment of every bratty rich kid stereotype in existence, Area is also a fighter who employs robotic enhancements. An EX series combatant, Area doesn't get much backstory outside of being the daughter of a talented inventor and a snob who will use any advantage she can to win. Using both rocket-powered roller skates and a bionic arm, you would think she'd be a more challenging fighter, but she's a fairly basic and forgettable character altogether.
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67. Remy: Street Fighter III: Third Strike may not have had many of the fighters from previous games, but it definitely had fighters like them. Remy was a lot like Guile, though he could throw his version of the Sonic Boom (called Light of Virtue) high or low, like Sagat. Having a character more about controlling space than smothering an opponent was a rarity in Third Strike. Unfortunately, Remy was a forgettable and underpowered character amidst a cast like Chun-Li, Ken, Yun and Dudley. He's also not the most interesting character, aesthetically, and his personality stinks.
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66. Maki: The least well-known Final Fight character to make it over to Street Fighter deserves more credit than she gets. She replaces Guy in Final Fight 2, gets mixed up with all the Shadaloo nonsense while looking to settle a score with him in Street Fighter Alpha 3, and is the only Final Fight character in what's probably the best Capcom crossover game, Capcom Vs. SNK 2. Essentially, she reps the series that made her when no one else will. She's also a more modest version of The King of Fighters' Mai Shiranui, and proves the lady ninja motif doesn't have to lead to bad character design.
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65. Sodom: Clothed in samurai garb and blue jeans, Sodom is Capcom's take on non-Japanese people obsessed with Japanese otaku culture, sometimes referred to as "weeaboos." Sodom has appropriated Japanese weapons and body armor, and improper Kanji lettering scrawled on his chest. While Sodom's story is interesting, he ends up being little more than a footnote in the series overall. He's little more than a comical and fun addition from the Final Fight roster.
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64. Shadowgeist: Fueled by desire for revenge, with a killer outfit to boot, Shadowgeist is one cool character. After his wife and daughter were killed by an oppressive government, he swore to seek revenge on the man responsible and donned the ridiculous outfit you see to the right. He uses mostly the same moves as Skullomania, another EX fighter, and he doesn't really get more backstory, but that costume was enough to move up him a bit over others on the list.
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63. Darun: Darun Mister (one of the best names in the series) has a killer, Wario-esque mustache, but he doesn't have much else to distinguish himself. Most of his moves are inspired by Zangief, who Darun has set out to fight after being unsatisfied with his current crop of opponents. This design calls out for more outlandish prowess, but as a replacement for a better and more popular character, he simply can't compete with the Russian Cyclone.
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62. Hokuto: Wielding a naginata and fans, Hokuto's fighting style is based off the use of these weapons in a style called kobudo. A stoic woman skilled in her fighting style, Hokuto is able to duck under attacks using her specials, making her a deadly fighter at certain distances. Her Meteor Combo also differs, depending on the range at which she uses it, and she plays heavily around the use of her meter. She suffers due to being stuck in the EX series, but would certainly feel right at home with Street Fighter V's new V System, if she ever gets a second chance at the limelight.
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61. Pullum: Pullum manages to be more interesting than her bodyguard, Darun, by having a wider array of fighting styles at her disposal. She takes elements from both Dhalsim and Guile, has an anti-air throw, and can switch between long-range keepaway and aggressive play easily. Like many of the Street Fighter EX characters she's easy to see as an amalgam of previously established archetypes, but she's perhaps one of the best characters in the EX series, both in terms of design and move set.