A staple in not only the realm of fighting games, but in all of gaming, Street Fighter has crossed over from being just a niche arcade quarter-eater that kids would hit up after school, to becoming a mainstream part of our daily pop culture world. It’s even crossed over to actual combat sports and sports entertainment as we’ve seen MMA fighters throw Hadouken motions mid-fight and WWE wrestlers use it as an actual (scripted) move in the ring. Street Fighter has transcended gaming and has earned its place in the history books as the fighter that put an entire genre on the map.
So while Capcom created a juggernaut with its premier fighting franchise, not everything about Street Fighter is glittering with gold. We understand that with hundreds of characters across numerous games and an infinite amount of editions of each game, they can’t all be winners. But some of them were so lame and unoriginal that it sparked us to group them all together and list them off for your enjoyment and Capcom’s embarrassment. It’s just a reminder that even the most groundbreaking video games can make some big mistakes every now and then. Oh and that awful Jean-Claude van Damme film didn’t help things either.
But Kylie Minogue as Cammy aside, here are the 15 absolute worst and lamest wastes of character selection space in the history of Street Fighter.
One of Shadaloo’s four main baddies, Balrog isn’t by any means a weak character, but he’s just a boxer. Yes, the sweet science is an artform that is underappreciated these days and we still wouldn’t want to mess with an actual pro boxer in a fight, but this is Street Fighter and when you have guys throwing fireballs out of their hands and badass women who can kick at a hundred miles an hour, just punching faces isn’t up to snuff.
Think about it this way: When a professional MMA fighter steps into the cage, it’s best that they know more than one disciple. Heck, it’s not called mixed martial arts for nothing. We don’t doubt that Balrog would do well in an actual boxing match, but this is a knock down, no holds barred fight, and floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee would just gets him burned. Literally.
Did you know there was a character in the Street Fighter franchise named Remy? Well there totally was and we don’t blame you if you either didn’t even know this waste of space even existed or you just totally forgot about him. Remy is a completely outdated green haired punk kid that hates everyone and everything because his daddy left him and his family to pursue a career in fighting. So his solution for this is to become a fighter himself (what?) and beat up everyone who fights because, yeah that will bring daddy back.
And if you thought they origin story of this Hot Topic reject wasn’t lame enough for him to land him on this list, he pulled a Mr. Freeze and froze his sister in a block of ice to preserve her dead body because she was the only thing he ever cared about or because brooding.
First introduced in the original Street Fighter game as a non-playable character, Birdie finally became a selectable character in Street Fighter Alpha and made no impact on the series whatsoever. This British punk rocker is exactly how the stereotypical English punk rock biker from the ‘80s would look like, but it seems like he hasn’t been hitting the gym as often as he should and now looks like one of the aging overweight SAMCRO members from Sons of Anarchy.
So even though he looks like a rocker in the midst of a midlife crisis, he still could’ve been a formidable fighter, right? Wrong. In fact, one of his key moves uses that outdated blonde mohawk as an actual weapon. Yeah, he charges at opponents and smashes his hair into them, which, we think, is really painful because of his excessive use of hairspray. Or something.
12 Evil Ryu
What’s lamer than taking a beloved character and making an evil version of him because you ran out of ideas for characters? How about doing it on multiple occasions. Evil Ryu is exactly what his moniker claims him to be: an evil version of popular World Warrior Ryu and he's one of many characters Capcom made evil versions of for some reason.
Debuting first as a different colorway for Ryu, this evil version first became a playable character in Street Fighter Alpha 2. He’s got a moveset similar to Ryu, but he’s been recently evolving those moves to resemble Akuma’s and….Ugh. We can’t talk about this fool anymore. Look, as a general rule you can’t be a cool character if you started off as an alternate color for another character. End of story.
Probably the most controversial selection in this list, Blanka is one of the original eight playable World Warriors in the franchise’s first mega-hit, Street Fighter II. But being one of the originals doesn’t mean that he’s one of the best.
His overall colorful look and eclectic moveset are fine enough, but his backstory reads like something that a Capcom staff writer came up with while having one too many one night and decided to watch The Jungle Book. See, it turns out a kid named Jimmy was involved in a plane crash and then raised in the jungle, which totally doesn’t explain why he’s green or an actual real life man-beast. In addition to that completely unoriginal origin story, his first foray into civilization takes place after he eats a melon from the back of a truck and ended up traveling out in the world for the first time in his life. This is how he learns English, and how we lose interest.
It’s a common trend that final bosses in fighting games are cheap, but Street Fighter IV’s Seth really takes the cake when it comes to cheapness. And this wouldn’t be so bad if he at least had a compelling backstory or look, but that’s not the case. Instead what we’re stuck with is a Watchmen Dr. Manhattan lookalike with a giant orb in his stomach that serves as the CEO of the weapons division of Shadaloo. That’s honestly a sentence we never thought we’d ever say.
His moveset includes such cheapness as the ability to suck you in close for attacks, a Ryu-like Shoryuken, a Guile-like Sonic Boom and, worst of all, this dork can teleport at will much like Dhalsim, making him infuriatingly miserable to fight against. The less we see of Seth in future Street Fighter games, and Capcom games in general, the better.
9 T. Hawk
We’re all for powerhouses that can slam their opponents into the ground after spinning them around in mid-air and all, but T. Hawk is lame for deeper reasons. First, his look feels a little outdated (and maybe even a little culturally inappropriate) what with his Ultimate Warrior-esque boots, tiny denim vest and lack of shirt. But beyond just his look, he has one of the worst fighting stances we’ve ever seen, showing off the fact that he has no discipline in any real fighting style. He doesn’t even have his hands up to guard himself. Instead he looks like a DJ (not DeeJay) slowly spinning tiny records as he invites opponents to smash his face.
We will say that at least his moves don’t consist of a bunch of grapples like those of most powerhouse Street Fighters (we’re looking at you Zangief), but that still doesn’t redeem him of all his other deplorable characteristics.
The second on our list of cloned characters that are so much crappier than another popular character, Decapre is one of many Cammy ripoffs in the Street Fighter universe, but just like Juni and Juri she just ends up being a poor woman’s version of the original. As a member of M. Bison’s “Dolls”, she doesn’t only rip Cammy off, but she also borrows the Shadaoo leader’s psycho power and has a Vega-like claw, giving her three strikes when it comes to originality.
On a positive note, Decapre’s moveset is different enough that we don’t think she’s a worse cloned character than Evil Ryu, but she’s still a cloned character and we think the guys and gals over at Capcom have enough creativity that they needn’t be so lazy when it comes to introducing new fighters.
When you’re one letter away from being named after something horrific, you know you’ll end up on a “worst” list somewhere. Beyond just his name, Sodom seems like he’d be a cool character at first glance, but then if you squint and look closer, you’ll realize he’s a samurai wearing a pair of blue jeans with socks and sandals.
Upon closer examination, there is a pretty solid reason for his awful sense of fashion. Turns out he’s not even Japanese, but just an American dude who loved the country’s culture so much he half-dressed like a samurai. And he must’ve not been that much of a fan of Japanese culture, or maybe he’s just a dumbass, because he misspelt his own victory scroll that he unveils during his ending in Street Fighter Alpha.
Another victim of lazy character design, Charlie Nash was first referenced in Street Fighter II before become a full-fledged playable character in Street Fighter Alpha. A former Captain of the US Air Force, he was murdered by Bison, leading his best friend Guile to go on a mission to take down Shadaloo.
Look, just because Nash and Guile were good friends, doesn’t mean that they have to have the exact same moveset and look just like each other. And while he does have a Sonic Boom and flash kick in his arsenal, are we to believe he’s a more accomplished fighter than Guile because his moves only take one limb to pull off? We hope that’s not the case because we would still choose Guile over this fool. The only dilemma is trying to figure out which one of them has the worse hairstyle.
You know you suck when your biggest rival doesn’t even know who the heck you are. While we can go on and on about how Rufus has absolutely no formal training and he developed his fighting style from watching movies and reading books, or how a man of his size and shape should never ever be seen wearing a Britney Spears-esque jumpsuit, we want to focus on the lack of respect he gets from his opponents and why it's merited.
Debuting in Street Fighter IV, Rufus joins the tournament in order to beat Ken because his girlfriend suggests that he do it in public for the world to see. The thing is, Ken has no idea who Rufus is and even though we don’t know how their encounter canonically ends, we have our money on Ken setting this moron on fire with a couple of dragon punches. Respect is earned and Rufus has yet to earn it from competitors, his girlfriend, or the fans.
Unfortunately we need to include some copy for this entry, but you can take one glance at Gill and know why he’s so high on this list. Yet another cheap final boss, this time in Street Fighter III: New Generation, 3rd Strike and for a handful of characters in 2nd Impact, he’s the leader of a secret organization (so many secret organizations) creatively called the Illuminati and has control over the elements of fire and ice. We get that he’s supposed to look like some sort of Greek god, but the long flowing locks and cloth banana hammock aren’t intimidating at all, and being colored half red and half blue just because he has control over fire and ice is a little too on the nose.
We’re just as surprised as you to see Cody on this list because of how much of a badass he is in the Final Fight series, but when it comes to Street Fighter he’s pretty much a dude who is voluntarily in prison (he can break out any time he wants as evidenced in Street Fighter IV) and fights while shackled.
Although we do think it’s cool to see a crossover of narratives between the two franchises, he’s jailed at the end of Final Fight Revenge for his excessive street fighting, a guy who goes to engage in fisticuffs while handcuffed is just not a thing to boast about. And while we think he’s doing it to prove just how much of a kickass fighter he is, his moves basically have him resorting to using a prison shank and throwing rocks at his opponents. Rock may bash scissors, but Hadoukens burn Cody.
2 Rainbow Mika
R. Mika, or Rainbow Mika, is female wrestler whose costume (or lack thereof) would put a ‘90s WWE Attitude Era Diva to shame. We’re all down to have more powerful women in video games, but we would like ones that aren’t so scantily clad and wear getups that are actually functional.
Exploitative attire aside, Mika inexplicably made the cut as one of the characters in the PS4 exclusive Street Fighter V, but has drawn the ire from fans for both her outfit and her fighting style. Her main appeal is utlizing her moveset to stack her opponents into a corner and hit them with a series of unpredictable moves that become like rolling a dice on whether to block high or low for the defending character. One missed block and you are done for, proving that Mika’s outfit isn’t the only thing cheap about her.
Let’s make this perfectly clear: There is nothing cool about Dan Hibiki and there never will be. While seemingly a parody of popular Street Fighers Ken and Ryu, Dan is regrettably a fully fleshed out dork of a fighter. Garbed in a pink gi, the ponytailed (gross) karate fighter has a self-belief in himself that can only be described as delusional – just ask his miserable win-loss record. His motivational sayings and single tear-filled cries are just as cringeworthy as his pathetic fireball and flying karate kick.
If the creation of Dan was Capcom’s way of trolling us into thinking they created the next Ken or Ryu, bravo to them. Jerks.