Who is the top Street Fighter character? This burning question has been at the heart of the series since it started picking up steam with Street Fighter II. However, with a series as expansive and filled with memorable characters as Street Fighter, things can be a little tricky.
Obviously, people are going to have their favorites. This might be down to loving the aesthetics of a given character, their playstyle, or just a general liking for no particular reason.
Street Fighter characters are abundant and full of personality. The purpose of today’s guide isn’t meant to be an exhaustive overview. Instead, it’s where the top characters rank in comparison to everyone else in the series.
Street Fighter is a series with over 30 years of history behind it. Naturally, there are going to be a ton of characters to pick and choose from.
Street Fighter Character Rankings
|Top 10 Most Popular Characters|
|Top 10 Least Popular Characters|
Street Fighter as a series has over 109 characters to speak of, at least before the release of Street Fighter 6. The series is constantly expanding, so you can expect these overall rankings to change with time. All said, there are some surprising facts revealed about where players rank their favorites.
Every Street Fighter Character Ranked: Who Comes Out on Top
So how does it work for every Street Fighter character ranked? Really it comes down to raw popularity. This isn’t a tier list for what will win the most matches, but rather characters who have stood out over Street Fighter’s long history.
Series mainstay Sakura Kasugano is the most popular Street Fighter character. As a character, there is no denying her infectious charm, upbeat attitude, and fun outfits. For players, Sakura can vary depending on the entry in the series.
In games like Super Street Fighter 4 and Street Fighter 5, she isn’t in the top brackets in terms of the meta. However, she has a very versatile toolbox filled with options for every scenario. The only real shortcoming to speak of is the lack of pressure she can apply from range.
Makoto was first introduced in Street Fighter 3 and has since gone on to become one of the most popular Street Fighter character choices for players. Her no-nonsense, stern attitude is endearing. There is also the fact that beneath her gi she is carved out of literal muscle.
Makoto requires a lot of patience to play well. She is very much a rush-down character, meaning she is there to close gaps and capitalize on openings. You wouldn’t want to start with Makoto as a beginner, but dedicated players will find a lot to enjoy.
Juri was one of the original characters introduced in Street Fighter 4. The South Korean fighter has quite the mean streak and is firmly in the villain camp. However, her fun visual design coupled with her inventive move set has made her a popular choice.
Juri requires a lot of familiarity with the mechanics of Street Fighter to play effectively. However, she has quite a few tools to apply pressure and claim victory from unprepared players.
Q has such an unorthodox design, it’s hard not to love him. Street Fighter 3 saw an introduction of whole new fighters to the fold, with Q being among the original designs. His hard-boiled detective facade, emotionless face mask, and brutal fighting style have made him popular in the years since.
Q has yet to show up in the franchise since his introduction. However, Street Fighter 3 still has a dedicated but small scene. Q is a very demanding character to play effectively, but you’ll be rewarded with high damage and some insane mixups.
Cody doesn’t originate with Street Fighter, but Final Fight. However, that hasn’t stopped Cody from being one of the most endearing characters to show up in the franchise. Cody is made for brawling, and he has such a flexible playstyle that you can apply pressure no matter the distance.
As you’ll see with more of these popular characters, he’s very much a character that demands a certain understanding of Street Fighter’s mechanics. For experienced players, however, he can be an unstoppable choice once the match starts.
Chun-Li needs no introduction. As the first major female character in the franchise, she’s had an enduring legacy since her introduction to Street Fighter II. Her popularity has led to fan uproar when she’s excluded from games like Street Fighter Alpha and Street Fighter 3.
Chun-Li is a bit easier to play and can apply massive pressure from the ground, air, or at a distance. If you’re looking for a versatile character with some visually stunning moves, Chun-Li is a great choice.
Sagat is popular for good reason. His brooding and distinctive design is coupled with a versatile set of tools meant to complement any play style. Sagat can play at range and take his time or close the gap with devastating knees and uppercuts.
Sagat is a little more in-depth to play than a traditional Shotokan character, like the next couple of entries. However, he makes for a great stepping-off point for beginners looking to play a more versatile character.
Akuma takes all the fun of a Shotokan character but adds aerial fireballs and a dash of evil to the mix. This bad guy is quick to pick up and has been a top-tier choice in multiple games. If you’ve started with Ken or Ryu and want to move to a more complex character, Akuma is a great choice.
Akuma takes familiar mechanics and adds some new twists to the formula. If you’re well accustomed to playing Ryu, moving to Akuma isn’t much of a stretch. You get more options too, especially for applying pressure up close or as you move in to finish the match.
Ryu has been the face of Street Fighter since the first game debuted in arcades. The stoic karate practitioner has a great stable of moves and is highly recommended for beginners no matter the game you’re playing.
Ryu can vary from game to game when it comes down to his actual ranking in the meta. However, his classic move set is built for all occasions and teaches players the fundamentals of Street Fighter. If you’re new to the franchise, he’s a great choice for learning how to actually play the game.
Who doesn’t love a little oddness in their favorite games? Blanka is a very unique Street Fighter character. His playstyle elevated him to meme status in the early days of Street Fighter II, but he’s remained a solid, but unorthodox choice in other games.
Blanka is very situational, but his odd play style allows players who’ve mastered him to really take advantage of the flow of the fight. He might not have the ranged tools of other characters, but he can certainly put a hurt on any fighter that isn’t prepared.
Every Street Fighter Character Ranked: Who’s the Least Popular
- Comes with modern and classic control styles
- Features rollback net code and cross-play
- Play as series favorites like Chun-Li and Ryu
Most of the series’ mainstays rank quite highly in terms of overall popularity. It really comes down to one-off characters from spin-offs that rank at the very bottom.
Players aren’t likely to remember characters like Khyber and Hayate and for good reason. Capcom certainly didn’t think the characters had staying power, otherwise, they would still be making appearances.
Of note, however, is that series regulars like Ken Masters barely are in the top 20 in terms of overall popularity. That said, there are plenty of characters in the franchise as a whole, so each character likely has a devoted fanbase.
Street Fighter is a great series for fighting game fans. It certainly isn’t the first-ever fighting game, but it has endured for good reason. Players have found a lot to love in the series as a whole, thanks to memorable characters.
Those looking to get into the series would do well to start with Street Fighter 6. The most recent game features a lot of quality-of-life improvements that drastically shorten the learning curve.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©charnsitr/Shutterstock.com.