When we think fighting games, we think Capcom. When we hear the term EVO, we immediately remember hype moments from Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Super Street Fighter 4.
These thought processes should come as no surprise to fighting game followers. Capcom is an established publishing powerhouse that has put out memorable releases for the genre.
Anyone who’s ever charged up a Sonic Boom or performed quarter circle motions owes their respect to Capcom. The 25th anniversary of the Street Fighter series made us reflect on the company’s impeccable fighting game record. They’ve put out a ton of awesome titles, so here’s hoping they’ll be putting out even more.
As they get to work on the future of fighting games, we think it’s time we looked back into their past.
Ready your life bars as we count down Capcom’s greatest fighting games.
25. Saturday Night Slam Masters
90’s heads should find this game familiar. As for other gamers out there, here’s your first glance at a super fun Capcom wrestling battle royal. The roster was inspired by real life wrestlers like Big Van Vader and Mexican luchadors like Lizmark. We had a ball taking on three of our buddies in the Team Battle Royal mode. You ever wondered what Haggar of Final Fight fame was up to before he became mayor? Here’s your answer.
24. Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix
Now this fighting game was more of a fun diversion instead of a serious one. Popular members of the Street Fighter and Darkstalkers roster were shrunken down to tiny proportions for this lil’ romp. The game was a blast due to the outlandish moves and outfits of the dream roster. Zangief smacking dudes around with a steel chair was hee-larious! Nurse Morrigan was also a nice gag (and kinda sexy, too).
23. Power Stone
Sega’s Dreamcast console played host to several high quality fighters. This 3D arena take on the genre happened to be one of those games. We instantly took a liking to the game’s 19th Century-inspired cast and the many ways in which we could command the battlefield. If we were able to get three Power Stone’s before our opponent, the fun truly began. RYOMA FTW!
22. Power Stone 2
The sequel to the aforementioned game on this list was bigger, better, and brighter. Power Stone 2 added on charming new characters, an item creation mode, and insane boss fights. The two player limit was increased to four, which meant the fun factor hit new levels as well. We tend to believe that this series was the Dreamcast’s version of the Super Smash Bros. series.
21. Rival Schools: United by Fate
When we first heard about this game’s concept, we didn’t think it would work. A bunch of high school stereotypes get together and hash out their problems…THROUGH TAG BATTLES? It sounded a bit far-fetched. But as it turns out, this concept ended up being a success. The roster featured a smorgasbord of interesting characters that we love to this day (ROY IS DA MAN!). The 2D gameplay was backed by 3D graphics, which made it stand out in a big way.
20. Project Justice
Dreamcast got the next entry in the Rival Schools series. This time, the sequel changed its name and also increased in quality. We were now allowed to pick three team members and pull off amazing double/triple team maneuvers. What made this game so much more memorable than its predecessor? Burning Batsu, a vicious band geek, and super moves inspired by swimming instructors.
19. Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars
The famous Tatsunoko brand brings to mind great achievements in Japanese animation. Capcom brings to mind unforgettable memories of classic video games. We never even thought about a crossover game that pitted Ryu and Zero against Casshan and Doronjo…until this event happened. We’re happy this strange Vs. battle eventually dropped on our shores. The fights move at the speed of light and pure mayhem ensues every time we play it.
18. Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge
So it turns out the creatures that go bump in the night fight each other while we’re safe in bed. This updated gem of a fighter let us go to war with a vampire, a kung-fu werewolf, a sexy succubus, and plenty more night warriors. What attracted us to this game was its use of dark visuals and over the top violence we weren’t used to seeing in other Capcom fighters. Pyron raised our salt levels pretty high, though…
17. Darkstalkers 3
The third title in the Darkstalkers series was the most complete version to date. The “Dark Force” system came into play, new characters such as B.B. Hood and Q-Bee were added, and the fighting felt way faster and fluid. The game’s stages stand out the most. We have a hard time getting the image of Jedah’s final stage out of our head. Aw man, remember what happened to that baby when the fight was over? *shudders*
16. X-Men: Children of the Atom
The X-Men are a group of instantly recognizable super heroes that Marvel created and cultivated. The kids of the 90’s came to love them even more once their Fox cartoon series hit the air. Capcom took the art design of the cartoon and applied it to this 2D mutant showdown. We have unforgettable memories of walking into an arcade and watching Iceman Ice-beam the hell out of Sentinel for hours. This fighter was just the start of something even greater, though…
15. Marvel Super Heroes
Marvel is home to some of the greatest heroes and villains in comic book history. We always wondered what would happen if Wolverine took on Iron Man. And who’d prevail in this dream battle: Captain America vs. The Hulk? This fighter let us act out such situations. The gems system was the main hooker for us once we mastered this game. Dr. Doom and Thanos as the game’s final bosses was just the icing on this nerdtastic cake.
14. Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold
The Street Fighter Alpha series definitely sped things up for the entire Street Fighter franchise. The game’s animation looked way better and getting to play with a Final Fight cast member was cool. The Gold edition of the second Alpha game is one of our favorites. The usual suspects were in, but this time we got additions such as Cammy and Evil Ryu. We’ll never forget this game’s “Chunky M. Bison.”
13. X-Men vs. Street Fighter
The Vs. series of Capcom fighters began to take shape once this fighter became a reality. Our heads damn near exploded when this game hit arcades. For the first time ever, Professor X’s mutant crew faced off against Capcom’s street brawlers. The introduction of tag team gameplay and partner assists made the game’s battles truly chaotic. Cyclops’ Super Optic Beam is the stuff of legend.
12. Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter
We eventually got an upgraded version of the previous game on this list, but this time the focus was on Marvel Super Heroes fighting against Street Fighter.The only X-Men who came along for the ride were Cyclops, Wolverine, and Omega Red. But they were also joined by new guys and gals like Spider-Man, Sakura, and Blackheart. Cyber Akuma and the other secret characters made this game so much more memorable, too.
11. Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes
So it finally went down. Capcom decided to throw its vast catalog of heroes a bone in this epic battle with Marvel’s comic book legends. Now we were able to choose from recognizable Capcom icons like Ryu and Mega Man. But we also got the chance to pick some faces that weren’t as prominent when this game first dropped: Strider and Captain Commando. Marvel gave us new playable Marvel characters like Venom and War Machine to try out, too. The assist characters were also amazing to watch in action. LET’S GO CRAZY!
10. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
This fully realized rendition of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is what we regard as the best version. The roster got fleshed out with much requested characters and the mechanics of the game got a much needed overhaul. We expressed feelings of joy at finally seeing Ghost Rider, Dr. Strange, Vergil, and Nemesis in a fighting game. In all honesty, this is the release we should have gotten from Capcom in the first place.
9. Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
Thanks to downloadable games, we now have the opportunity to enjoy a slew of classics from our glory years. Seeing Street Fighter 2 with a brand new comic sheen done by Udon was one of the main highlights of this digital update. The entire classic cast was redrawn and all the additions brought on by the Turbo edition were here as well. Hardcore players could even alter some of the finer details of certain characters.
8. Street Fighter Alpha 3
Alpha 3 is still that game, son. This title gave us awesome newcomers such as Cody, R. Mika, and Karin. Each of the previous systems from past Street Fighter iterations came along in the form of “ism’s.” This game sported some of the tightest and fastest gameplay in the series. We enjoyed the home version a lot more than the arcade version, since it gave us additional characters and the fantastic World Tour Mode.
7. Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes
56 playable characters. A jazzy soundtrack. 3D backgrounds. A ginormous three part boss. All these things added up to one of the most addictive fighting games ever released. Marvel vs. Capcom 2 let us take three members of the massive roster into battle for endless amounts of team combinations and quick assists. We still play this game from time to time just ’cause it never gets old. If you call yourself a gamer, this game should be taking up space on your hard drive or your physical collection. Is this fighter balanced? Not exactly…but it’s fun as all get out.
6. Street Fighter IV
Before the release of this new entry in the ever popular series, fighting games took a dive in popularity. No one was checking for the genre anymore and there simply weren’t many fighting games being released. Capcom producer Yoshinori Ono not only revived the Street Fighter franchise with this game, but he revived the fighting game community as a whole. Street Fighter IV was a grand return to form that introduced new mechanics like Ultra’s and Focus Attacks. Oh, plus we got to meet C. Viper for the first time.
5. Super Street Fighter IV
Capcom treated its fourth version of Street Fighter IV to a welcome update. This jam packed release provided us with mad new fighters to choose from: Cody, Makoto, Juri, Hakan, Adon, Ibuki, Dudley, Dee Jay, and T. Hawk. The finer details of the prior release were ironed out for this one. This game and its unlimited hours of replay factor pulled us in and hasn’t let go since.
4. Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition
Capcom did it again! This time, they threw us four more characters (Yun, Yang, Evil Ryu, and Oni) and an even more refined version of previous entries’ mechanics. We were super jealous when we heard about this game being exclusive to Japanese arcades, but we’re glad Capcom came to their senses and brought this over to the U.S. as a DLC update. We’re totally ready for the next one! Can we get Karen or Rolento, please?
3. Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium 2001
Fighting game fans still play this fighter religiously and so do we. They’ve also been calling for a sequel to this game…and so have we. Capcom vs. SNK 2 took the best fighters from both respective brands and pitted them against each other in a grand battle. The “Groove” system was a cool addition to the proceedings and the bosses we came across were epic in battle. We were glad we got another chance to see if Terry Bogard could best the mighty Ryu.
2. Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
When the Street Fighter series moved into its third iteration, a lot of changes were made. At first, the roster did away with most of the classic cast and the animation was changed for the better. Capcom got this game right by the third update of this venerable series. The art style got even more refined, the soundtrack was incredible, and we loved all the new fighters and fighting styles brought on by this update. As much as we love Ryu and Ken, we’re happy to have Urien and Alex on board.
1. Street Fighter II: The World Warrior
This is the fighting game that changed everything. Without Street Fighter 2, the fighting game genre would not be where it is today. There would be no Haduken’s, no Sonic Boom’s, and no Tiger Shot’s. We’ve spent a godly amount of quarters on this game and we’re still going to. The game got updated a million times after this initial release, but it’s only right that we pay homage to the original. We salute you, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior.
Let’s hear from you! What are your favorite Capcom fighting games? Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below.