Ah, Street Fighter II, one of the most classic fighting games of all time. Or is it series?

The game not only improved on the original Street Fighter but also set the standard for practically all fighting games to come.

…and then proceeded to have updates. Lots of updates.

With so many different updates and versions to Street Fighter II, it does leave one wondering: why the hadoken are there so many versions of Street Fighter II?

Let’s take a look and see what’s so different between all these versions.

1) Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (1991)

Ryu uses shoryuken on Dhalsim

Ryu takes out Dhalsim in The World Warrior. Screenshot from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xI284D4y1q4

The first of the SFII versions, known for improving on the original Street Fighter and setting the standard for future fighting games.

Like SF, it’s a one-on-one fighting game where the objective is to KO the opponent in a best of three match by beating down all of their energy.

There are also special moves, but unlike SF, they’re much easier to input.

It introduced us to the classic eight fighters: Ryu, Ken, E. Honda, Blanka, Guile, Chun-Li, Zengeif, and Dhalsim. After beating those fighters, players would face off against 4 secret “boss” characters: Balrog, Vega, Sagat, and finally M. Bison.

Or, in the Japanese version, M. Bison, Balrog, and Vega. There’s a bit of a name scramble from East to West, which is why you’ll hear them called “Boxer”, “Claw” and “Dictator” in tournaments.

The game also had several odd glitches, and in the event of draw rounds (”Double KO”) there could be a total of ten re-dos before the match was forcibly ended.

2)Street Fighter II: Champion Edition (1992)


Ken (using his Player 2 outfit) battles it out with Ryu. Screenshot from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyRex_mgbxU

The second version of SFII.

This is when the four boss characters became playable. In addition, mirror matches were also enabled, with Player 2 using an alternate color scheme and their character’s name being printed in blue.

Yeah, mirror matches actually couldn’t happen in The World Warrior. The things we take for granted in modern-day fighters.

Due to the mirror matches, the number of matches in Arcade Mode were increased to 12. Draw Match rounds were reduced to 4 as well.

In addition to re-balancing, some character art and backgrounds were revised and recolored.

Champion Edition also became known for being the target of illegally sold hacks of the game, such as Street Fighter II: Rainbow Edition, that attempted to make things more exciting.

And then Capcom stepped in.

3)Street Fighter II’ Turbo: Hyper Fighting (1992)


Ryu and Sagat clash energy shots with one another. Who will come out on top? Screenshot from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDG14ToytIc

Capcom’s response to the illegal hacks. And the final SFII game to be on Capcom’s Capcom Play System (CPS).

This added some faster playing speed that required more precise timing for pretty much all aspects of game play.

New special moves were added for some characters, as well as the usual rounds of re-balancing. Characters also got a new color palette.

Speaking of characters, each of their endings were updated to show them standing on a victory platform.

4) Super Street Fighter II’: The New Challengers (1993)


Sagat battles with one of the new challengers, T. Hawk. Screenshot from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eB7UMu2X2Zc

The first SFII game on Capcom’s CPS 2 system.

New characters came around this time – hence “The New Challengers”. We got T. Hawk, Cammy, Fei Long, and Dee Jay.

The scoring system was also changed to give out bonuses for doing certain things during fights, such as combos, first attacks, recoveries, and reversals.

Speaking of reversals, those were added in this update. This allowed players to attack quickly after hitting the ground or blocking to put them on the offensive.

Players could now select how fast their game would be too.

New “Dizzy” animations were added too, indicating how dizzy your fighter was based off of what was circling above their head.

Among the inevitable re-balancing was the reduction of “re-dizzy” combos that would result in a character getting dizzy again from too much damage.

Graphics were overall revised, new animations and victory poses were added, characters got new voices (with Ken & Ryu finally getting their own voices) and a new opening animation of Ryu shooting a hadoken at the screen was added.

Oh, and more alternate color palettes.

5) Super Street Fighter II’: Turbo (1994)

super turbo

Akuma battles with Cammy after seemingly killing M. Bison. Or Balrog. Or Dictator. Screenshot from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezUa0MKaV7I

AKA the one you probably saw being played at EVO.

Pretty much the culmination of SFII arcade versions. Well, at the time it was.

As usual, re-balancing and tweaks were had.

But perhaps the major game-changer, that also set another big standard for fighting games, was the introduction of the Super Combo.

During a round, a meter would fill up for launched attacks, attacks that hit, and attacks that were received. When full, you could launch your character’s Super Combo, a souped up version of a Special Move. These could do major damage, and if you KO’ed an opponent with it the screen would flash white and yellow.

Air Combos also got introduced. You could launch an opponent into the air with a “Launcher” move that could then be followed up with a combo of hits. Some characters would even stay in air longer than others during their combos, like Dhalsim.

Speed selection was also tweaked; the operator could set it to their liking, turn off any sped up game play, or allow players to select their own speed.

Bonus stages like the famous car smashing stage were removed, unfortunately.

This game also had a cool amount of secrets.

You could select “Old” versions of characters via a special code that made them play like an older version – though the new features of Super Turbo like Super Combos could not be used by ‘em.

Akuma (Gouki in Japan) was also introduced. This fearsome demonic fighter used a similar move set to Ken and Ryu, and could only be challenged if:
*You beat all opponents before M. Bison/Vega without continuing.
And either:
*You set a new high score in the process.
*You reached Bison in under 25 minutes.
If done right, Akuma would zoom on-screen and seemingly kill Bison before challenging the player.

Akuma could also be selected via a secret code…but of course he isn’t as powerful as his CPU version is. He also doesn’t have win quotes and a proper ending.

6) Hyper Street Fighter II (2004)


It’s Super Turbo M.Bison vs. Champion Edition M. Bison. The next evolution of the “Mirror Match!” Screenshot taken from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVLpRGiAbH0

Released in honor of Street Fighter’s 15th anniversary. This was originally a PS2 game before being ported over to the arcades.

A SFII dream match of sorts, as players could select any version of any character without needing to do any special codes. So now you can womp on World Warrior Ryu with Super Turbo Ken!

There were some restrictions, though; you can’t select the “Normal” (World Warrior) version of Vega/Balrog as he wasn’t playable in that game. And if both players pick Normal mode they couldn’t do mirror matches because those didn’t exist in World Warrior.

Stages and endings were pretty much the same as in Super Turbo, with some changes. And we got a nice new intro that showed off the logos for all the SFII games. The PS2 home port got some neat features such as:
*The ability to select what version of the music they got to play with, as the CPS music was different from the CPS2’s, and of course many home ports had their own versions of songs.
*An Art Gallery.
*And even an (edited) version of Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie.

7)Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (2008)


Akuma takes out DeeJay. Screenshot from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHrHj_6WR8c

AKA the one on PS3 and Xbox 360 with the really long name.

This featured new (optional) art, animation, and graphics by comic group Udon, who produced their own series of Street Fighter comics.

New music from OverClockedRemix was also added in. And of course, some new re-balancing.

There were also some other cool features: Online and offline multiplayer, training mode, hitbox displays, voice chat, a “Quarter Match” mode where spectators can jump in and challenge players, tournament mode, a world wide leader board, and in-depth stats tracking.

Quite a list!

8) Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers (2017)


Evil Ryu knocks out Chun-Li with a deadly finisher. Screenshot from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxskIyHDKw4

AKA They made ANOTHER version of SFII?

Currently a Nintendo Switch exclusive, though Capcom says they might port it if it’s successful enough, whatever that means.

There were two graphic styles to choose from: Classic arcade mode and an HD version.

Balancing and changed from the HD Remix were not carried over to this port. So it plays the same as Super Turbo. Well, throws are teachable but that’s about it.

Evil Ryu & Violent Ken – the latter which we hadn’t seen since SVC Chaos: SNK VS Capcom – were also introduced to the SFII world.

An Easy Mode was added that let special moves be assigned to any button on the controller for easy execution.

Dramatic Battle straight from the Alpha series was also added, allowing two buddies to team up against one CPU opponent.

Classic Super Turbo and New Sounds are able to be selected. New Sounds use Japanese SF voice actors that have been going at it since Street Fighter IV.

A gimmicky “Way of the Hado” first person battle mode was added that used motion controls.

And last but not least, a Gallery Mode and a Color Edit Mode where you could make custom character palettes.

And that’s just about it. Well, for the arcade ports at least. Yes, we did venture into some console versions at the end there, but they were revisions/expansions in their own right and not simple ports.

So hopefully now you know what the difference is between each version.

It really is interesting to see the evolution of SFII like this. Kinda reminds me of modern day games such as Hearthstone, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and Fortnite where they get frequent updates that change and re-balance how the game works.

Except with SFII you had to, y’know, buy a new board and everything. Well, conversion kits were a thing, but still.

What’s your favorite version of Street Fighter II? Personally I really like Super Turbo even though the US version is way harder than the Japanese version..for some reason.

Keep on fighting fellow World Warriors!