Street Fighter is a franchise with more than 30 years on the road, being one of the most influential and important titles in the history of video games. Between canonical games, spin-offs and multimedia content such as mangas, animes and films of a somewhat dubious quality, the chronology of Street Fighter may sound confusing, but this text will help you understand the order of games and events surrounding the franchise.
Important: The focus here is the canonical games of the series, that’s why titles like Street Fighter Ex Plus, Street Fighter: The Movie and the crossovers with Marvel as X-Men vs Street Fighter will not be considered.
- Release year: 1987
- Order of events: It all starts here
The first game of the chronology of Street Fighter is somewhat obscure and was first released for arcades. Here we still have Ryu with red hair and sneakers. Your goal is to win a series of fights in the tournament to be considered the strongest in the world.
Ryu fights and defeats Sagat in the final, becoming champion. However, the victory was not the most honorable: Ryu had lost the fight, when Sagat went to help him get up, Ryu was dominated by the “Satsui no Hado”, a kind of dark side of his power. After losing control, Ryu executes a shoryuken that severely injures Sagat, resulting in his famous scar and Ryu’s victory.
Street Fighter implemented one of the most important mechanics in fighting games to date, which are special moves activated through specific commands. Scams like hadouken and shoryuken were an innovation for the time.
Despite the pioneering spirit, the title had limitations, as it was only possible to play with Ryu and to play with Ken it was necessary to challenge another player and take the second control. Also, the controls weren’t very responsive, making it difficult to execute the special moves.
Street Fighter Alpha: The Warriors Dreams
- Release year: 1995
- Order of events: After Street Fighter and before Street Fighter II
Street Fighter Alpha, also known in Japan as Street Fighter Zero, it was a series of games that brought many changes to the franchise. The game received a look reminiscent of anime style and its characters look younger than Street Fighter II. This is because Street Fighter Alpha has its story developed after Street Fighter and before Street Fighter II. Yes, I said it was confusing.
In this title there is no specific tournament, the characters are wandering around the world. The series began to give importance to the relationships between the characters such as the friendship between Ryu and Ken, Akuma’s goal of getting Ryu to let himself be controlled by the dark side to become stronger, and Ryu’s struggle not to let that happen. .
In parallel we see the development of M.Bison as a megalomaniac villain and mind controller with his Psycho Power, becoming the main antagonist of the franchise. In this context we also meet Charlie, Guile’s friend killed by M.Bison, who ends up being the motivation for the military to enter the tournament of Street Fighter II.
Street Fighter Alpha received two sequels: Street Fighter Alpha 2 in 1996 and Street Fighter Alpha 3 in 1998, both introduce new mechanics, add more characters and develop the main plot. In general Street Fighter Alpha was an important point of renewal for the franchise.
Street Fighter II: The World Warriors
- Release year: 1991
- Order of events: After Street Fighter Alpha and before Street Fighter IV
Street Fighter II pits the world’s strongest fighters in a tournament organized by Bison, who returns with a new weakened body after the events of the Alpha series. The villain is looking for Ryu who can serve as his new body, but in parallel he also aims to brainwash and use fighters as weapons.
There is no concrete definition of who won the competition, but if we consider Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Akuma ends up killing M.Bison at the end of the tournament.
Street Fighter II it was the game that defined many aspects of fighting games. It even defined archetypes of characters that are still used today. From balanced characters focused on spells like Ryu, passing through “grab” characters, also called Grapplers like Zangief or even characters made to play from a distance like Dhalsim.
Compared to the first game, the sequel brought great innovations to the genre, with eight fighters available, each with their own motivations, in addition to counting the first appearance of a combo system, making this one of the most important titles in the chronology in Street Fighter and from the gaming world.
Street Fighter IV
- Release year: 2008
- Order of events: After Street Fighter II and before Street Fighter V
Street Fighter IV was released after a nine-year hiatus since the release of Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. The title modernized the series with its look and 2.5D gameplay in which the characters and scenarios received a 3D treatment, but the gameplay continued to be applied in 2D.
This time the plot puts the fighters to fight Seth’s ambitions, one of Shadaloo’s experiments that would be used as M.Bison’s reserve body, but which became conscious and took over part of the corporation created by the villain, giving rise to the organization SIN.
Seth intends to use a biological weapon that collects energy and information from the fighters and after many conflicts, the final fight takes place at the SIN base. Ryu defeats the villain, but uses the “Satsui no Hado” and ends up losing control.
Gouken, Ryu and Ken’s master, who everyone believed to be dead, appears to control Ryu and then take him to train and learn to master his power.
Street Fighter IV stood out for bringing classic characters back and developing deep yet accessible mechanics like the Focus Attack, which consisted of carrying a blow that could receive the impact of an opponent’s blow and still continue the attack, being the biggest highlight of the game.
The game received three different editions: Super Street Fighter IV, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition e Ultra Street Fighter IV, plus a portable version for the Nintendo 3DS.
Street Fighter V
- Release year: 2016
- Order of events: After Street Fighter IV and before Street Fighter III
The history of Street Fighter V pits fighters with the goal of stopping Shadaloo once and for all and thwarting M.Bison’s plans to dominate the minds of every fighter in the world using a satellite system called the Black Moon.
In Street Fighter V, Charlie who had died in Street Fighter Alpha is brought back to life by a mysterious woman named Helen. Mad scientist FANG has taken over from Sagat at Shadaloo, Ryu is on the journey to control his power and the story revolves around two teams of fighters who act to thwart Shadaloo’s plan.
In the end, Charlie sacrifices himself to weaken M.Bison and Ryu ends up defeating the villain once and for all or until Capcom sees fit to bring him back.
Street Fighter V was the first game in the series to feature an exclusive story mode called “A Shadow Falls”.
Creating a story mode was necessary for Street Fighter V, because rival titles like Mortal Kombat e Tekken they already had narratives developed in a more interesting format. Even if the story is not that elaborate, it’s worth knowing more about the characters and seeing the unfolding of events involving the Illuminati of Street Fighter III.
Street Fighter III: The New Generation
- Release year: 1997
- Order of events: After Street Fighter V
Street Fighter III is the last relative game in the series when we talk about plot. With Shadaloo destroyed, the threat now lies with the Illuminati organization led by Gill, who sees himself as a divine figure and intends to command the planet mode as his own utopia.
The story is very simple and puts Alex, the new protagonist, looking for revenge, after Gill seriously injured his friend in a fight. In the end, Alex ends up defeating the villain, coming to the conclusion that he shouldn’t fight driven by feelings like hate and follows his training to be an even better warrior.
Capcom’s goal with Street Fighter III was to introduce a new generation of fighters to players, so much so that in its first version, only Ryu and Ken returned, although Chun-Li and Akuma also appeared in the revised versions of the game.
Street Fighter III was one of the most complex games in the series with its “Parry” system, difficult to master, but which guaranteed many advantages for dedicated players who managed to master it and created iconic moments in the competitive scene like the Evo Moment 37.
What to Expect for the Future of the Series
What Street Fighter V makes a link to the events of Street Fighter III, the expectation of fans is that the next game will feature the events of Street Fighter III and also a new arc with new content for the franchise.
This was a brief (perhaps not so brief) summary of the chronology of Street Fighter. The plot is a little confusing, as the series’ narrative was being developed (and changed) as new ways of telling stories were adapted to games. However, perhaps it is an aspect that Capcom could have given a little more attention to.
The oldest titles on the list as Street Fighter, Street Fighter II, Street Fighter Alpha e Street Fighter III can be found easily in the collection. Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC.
With information: CBR, Den of Geek, SVG