This is Objection Network’s countdown of the top 25 video game series of all-time. We’re counting down to the best franchise ever on March 31. For more info on the voting process, click here.
12) Street Fighter (2 votes, 110 points)
Chris: Other fighting game franchises have come and gone over the years, but none have had the longevity or impact that Street Fighter has.
By now, you’ve certainly heard the stories about how influential SF was to both its own genre and video games as a whole. SFII was an arcade phenomenon, to the point where random gas stations in Phoenix had a cabinet and that made all the sense in the world.
The mid-90s were the perfect time to be a fighting game fan. Street Fighter led the charge with the fantastic Alpha series and the genesis of about a million crossovers with Marvel. I pumped a ton of quarters into those machines, and even though I was a babby child and wasn’t very good at playing them, I always had a blast.
The most remarkable thing about Street Fighter is its renaissance in the late 2000s. Very few series in gaming can claim to have overcome an 11-year gap between major releases and come back as good as (or better than) ever. But IV happened to catch the market at the right moment, particularly as platforms like YouTube and Twitch were becoming meccas for gaming content. As a result, IV and V have become one of the biggest eSports juggernauts in the industry.
I think the cast of characters is a large part of the reason why Street Fighter has been successful. Ryu might be boring as hell, but he’s iconic. Chun-Li is entrenched as one of the first women in gaming. M. Bison and his assorted Shadaloo villains, Cammy and her double-digit clones, 45,000 shotos and whatever the hell Birdie is. Everybody can find someone that they can say “hey, I like that” and then mash buttons with them until they win or lose.
Street Fighter V was a flawed release missing several critical modes, but the actual gameplay (you know, the “round one, fight” part) is really good. If there’s any series that Capcom won’t abandon, it’s this one, and that’s good news for people who have enjoyed fighting in the streets for the last 30 years.
Cary: I can only vaguely remember a time when Street Fighter wasn’t a part of my life. Between Street Fighter II Turbo and Super Street Fighter II, I don’t know that my younger siblings and I ever would have conversed! (Haha, not really, but…maybe.) Seriously, though, those were really great games. The juggernaut that the series became is testament to its popularity. I had it ranked at number three on my personal list, mainly because the vast majority of gaming relationships that I’ve developed over the years have been thanks to Street Fighter games. Super Street Fighter IV remains a current favorite, as I remain bit peeved at Capcom’s handling of Street Fighter V. I’m sure I’ll play it someday. It is a Street Fighter game, after all.
Christine: I was the kid who didn’t really grow up playing video games because my parents never wanted to get me a console. However, I grew up with a cousin who had a console. The few times I was over his house I either watched him play or I played a tiny bit after a ton of convincing on his part (I was a painfully shy and self-conscious little girl). What I enjoyed about the Street Fighter games were the variety of characters you can choose to fight as and how different their personalities came across when you played them. This may make me obvious or typical, but I really liked Chun-Li. At a time when games just didn’t seem to have too many prominent female characters, I was in awe of seeing a strong female who can hold her own in a fight against Ryu or any character really. For a little girl, Chun-Li was cool with her powerful punches and lightning fast side kicks. Her sense of justice was admirable too. If certain characters from a simple fighting game can leave that much of an impression on a little girl and then still have an impact years later, Street Fighter must be a testament to how much staying power this series still has on gamers old and new alike.
(13) Batman: Arkham
(14) Metal Gear
(18) Saints Row
(20) The Sims
(21) Grand Theft Auto
(23) Animal Crossing
(24) Silent Hill
(25) Donkey Kong