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Street Fighter vs. Tekken: Full Comparison, History, and More

Tekken 7 ps4

Street Fighter vs. Tekken: Full Comparison, History, and More

Key Points

  • Street Fighter is Capcom’s flagship fighting game series and has sold 50 million copies worldwide.
  • The franchise has been around for over 30 years and has seen four mainline titles and numerous spin-offs.
  • Street Fighter II popularized the 2D fighting game genre and introduced concepts like combos and meter management.
  • Tekken is the premier 3D fighting game and has sold over 53.5 million copies.
  • Tekken started as a test case for 3D models in video games and has seen seven mainline releases.
  • Street Fighter 6 has been released to critical acclaim, while Tekken 8 is highly anticipated.

June 2, 2023, saw the release of the sixth game in the mainline Street Fighter franchise. Street Fighter 6 has been released to critical acclaim and looks to revolutionize the 2D fighting game genre once again.

Also looming on the horizon is Bandai-Namco’s Tekken 8, which looks to be the undisputed king of 3D fighters once more. Both of these game series have long and storied histories that reach back decades.

In honor of such massive milestones between both games, it is worth going into the history of both series. With franchises dating back decades and being part of pop culture for so long, there is certainly a lot to take in. Grab a snack and a drink, and let’s help these two franchises square off.

Street Fighter Overview

The Latest and Greatest
Street Fighter 6 - PS5
$44.99
  • Comes with modern and classic control styles
  • Features rollback net code and cross-play
  • Play as series favorites like Chun-Li and Ryu
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/16/2024 01:03 pm GMT

Street Fighter is Capcom’s flagship fighting game series and serves as the blueprint for every 2D fighter that has come after it.

The most recent release, Street Fighter 6, has just recently released and has been met with critical acclaim. Street Fighter wasn’t always one of the standouts in the gaming landscape, however.

Since the release of the first game, Street Fighter has sold 50 million copies worldwide. Fighting games have always been particularly niche for gaming, but these are impressive numbers. There are other fighting games that come well ahead of it, however.

History

Street Fighter has its roots in the 1984 release of Kung Fu Master. Back in the 80s, Capcom was little more than a small development house based out of Japan. Martial arts movies and other media were still very much the rage in the 80s.

Takashi Nishiyama, one of Capcom’s designers, would come up with the initial concept of Street Fighter during a particularly long meeting. The doodles he made on a sheet of paper would later serve as the basis for the 1987 release of Street Fighter.

The first Street Fighter is little more than curiosity these days, being a promising concept with disappointing execution.

It wasn’t until the series was handed a second chance by designers Akira Nishitani and Akira Yasuda that it would become a smash hit.

Nishitani and Yasuda served as the design team behind the 1989 smash hit Final Fight and would serve as the driving force behind Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. The second game would release in 1991 to arcades.

The second game would prove exceptionally popular, being a massive hit in arcades and a console seller for the SNES and Genesis.

In the last 32 years since Street Fighter II’s release, the franchise has seen four other mainline titles, a slew of spin-offs, and more copycats than you can count. This is thanks to the second game codifying the elements which would make 2D fighting games such an enticing competitive endeavor.

What is a 2D Fighting Game

2D fighting games operate on only two planes of movement. Gamers will have to contend with both vertical and horizontal planes. Despite the limited planes, 2D fighters can be very technical in nature.

Fighting games have gotten a bit of a reputation for being intensely time-heavy investments to get to a basic level of competitive competency. Beyond Street Fighter, series like Guilty Gear, Mortal Kombat, and King of Fighters are all examples of 2D fighters.

Street Fighter II is the first game to really popularize this style of gameplay. The later release of Super Street Fighter II Turbo is arguably the first real competitive 2D fighter in spirit.

All of the genre’s conventions stem mostly from this particular release, with concepts like combos, meter management, and other modern features.

Despite pixel art falling out of favor with major studios, 2D fighters are still very much alive and kicking. Street Fighter 6, Guilty Gear Strive, and Mortal Kombat I are all examples of how the genre remains fresh in 2023.

Compared to Tekken

Street Fighter is the older series compared to Tekken, but both have been massive in the competitive e-sports space. Tekken is a 3D fighter first and foremost, however, and as such the mechanics driving gameplay are vastly different.

Street Fighter has more options for keeping distance during normal gameplay, while Tekken has other features to help gamers close the gap.

In an odd twist, Tekken 7 does feature Akuma, a guest character from Street Fighter. Bandai-Namco faithfully transferred the feel of playing Akuma to Tekken, with most of his move set being very much intact.

At the end of the day, both games are about kicking people. With that in mind, Street Fighter has fireballs and other options to keep pressure and distance.

Tekken Overview

Still Great
Tekken 7 - PlayStation 4
$14.85

Tekken 7 is the latest entry in the series and still very worth playing. The online scene is vibrant and it has a robust competitive esports following.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/16/2024 10:17 am GMT

Tekken is the premier 3D fighting game and one of the most popular gaming franchises the world over. Street Fighter has always had its place in the gaming landscape.

Tekken is very close in terms of staying power. The franchise has sold over 53.5 million copies of all games to date. This places it right in line with Street Fighter.

History

The early days of 3D gaming were something to behold. Tekken has its start in the wake of Sega’s popular Virtua Fighter franchise. In fact, they even share the same director. Tekken itself started as a test case for the use of 3D models in video games and would release in 1994.

The first game is very rough around the edges, as you’d expect from a 29-year-old video game. However, the core concepts are still very present today.

The first game was the smash hit right out of the gate. Namco pioneered the use of a cheaper arcade board, especially when compared to the Model 2 series from Sega. Tekken was initially just a copycat of Virtua Fighter, back when Sega was still a dominant force in arcades.

The first game would also be the game to get for early adopters of the Sony PlayStation.

Since 1994, the game has seen six more mainline releases, an upcoming eighth release, and remains a highly competitive e-sports title. While it might not enjoy the same level of pop culture relevance as Street Fighter,

What Is a 3D Fighting Game?

3D fighting games have three planes for gamers to use to their advantage. In addition to the horizontal and vertical planes, there is also the presence of the depth of the actual playing environment. As such, practice players can side-step moves rather than risk blocking.

3D fighters are oddly the more niche of the two main types of fighting games. While 2D fighters continue to flourish, Tekken has been the only notable release in 3D fighting games for a number of years.

Tekken 8 will be the next major release in 3D fighting games. Tekken 8 looks to be an improvement on the already stellar Tekken 7.

Compared to Street Fighter

Tekken has never had much in the way of ranged options. This stands in stark contrast to the usual Street Fighter gameplay types. As such, you won’t see many users with fireballs and the like.

Instead, the fighting styles between each character are very unique and stylized. Each character comes with their own tools to apply pressure and close the distance.

As previously mentioned, Akuma does guest star in Tekken 7. He is one of the very few characters in the game to control in a completely different manner than the series convention. This is the exception rather than the rule, however.

Closing Thoughts

Tekken and Street Fighter still remain pillars of the fighting game genre. While fighting games might not hit the same heights as the genre’s heyday in the late 90s, both have staying power.

If you’re looking to dive in and play one, Street Fighter 6 is as good a place as any to get started. Tekken 7 still has plenty of years of competitive energy behind it, but you might want to wait for Tekken 8.

  1. Street Fighter 6 - PS5
    $44.99
    • Comes with modern and classic control styles
    • Features rollback net code and cross-play
    • Play as series favorites like Chun-Li and Ryu
    Buy Now on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/16/2024 01:03 pm GMT
  2. Tekken 7 - PlayStation 4
    $14.85

    Tekken 7 is the latest entry in the series and still very worth playing. The online scene is vibrant and it has a robust competitive esports following.

    Buy Now on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/16/2024 10:17 am GMT

Summary Table

Game SeriesOverviewGameplay Style
Street FighterCapcom’s flagship 2D fighting game series2D fighting with focus on combos, meter management, and distance control
TekkenPremier 3D fighting game series by Bandai-Namco3D fighting with unique character styles, emphasis on close combat and sidestepping

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it easy to get started in fighting games?

If you’re just looking to play with your friends, you can just jump right in. Competitive gaming is going to take a lot more time invested, however.

Is Tekken the first 3D fighter?

No, that would be Virtua Fighter.

Is Street Fighter the first 2D fighter?

As a one-on-one versus game, yes.

Which is the best Street Fighter entry to get started with?

Street Fighter 6 has modernized controls and tutorial modes, so that would be the best bet.

Which Tekken is the best to get started with?

Tekken 7 has a massive community behind it if you don’t want to wait for Tekken 8’s release.

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