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This article was published on April 13, 2017

Watch the evolution of these Street Fighter characters over 30 years

Watch the evolution of these Street Fighter characters over 30 years
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

Street Fighter, as fighting games go, is in a league of its own. After first releasing the title in 1987, Capcom has peppered us with a steady stream of iterative updates and new characters every few years to follow. A handful of characters have been punching and kicking each other in the face for over 30 years now.

From humble beginnings on coin-operated arcade machines to the polished mastery of Street Fighter V on PS4 and PC — it’s been a helluva run.

And for most characters, the years have been kind to them — as MuchGames showed us below (even though I secretly hope for a Street Fighter VI that shows Ryu, Chun-Li, and Ken as 60-year-old badasses).


Ryu seems to have switched personal trainers throughout the years. He’s slimmed down, toned up, and sometimes just looked flat-out swole. But he hasn’t changed much, aside from not being able to pick a hair color.


Chun-Li hasn’t missed a leg day in more than three decades. Props, girl.


Ken was basically the red version of Ryu (with blonde hair) for, well, most of the franchise (don’t hurt me Street Fighter fans). Seems he’s donned a bit of a samurai look for Street Fighter V, and he’s rocking that man bun, although I think he’ll live to regret that decision.

It’s interesting to see how popular characters have progressed over the life of the franchise. None have made bold departures from the original, but what’s perhaps most striking is just how oddly-shaped past video game characters could be — looking at you Street Fighter EX 2 (and 3) — without anyone really noticing at the time.

Let’s check out some others:

M. Bison





What a cool insight into the life of a video game character. It’s amazing to see not just the evolution of each character, but also the level of detail afforded by more powerful hardware as time went on. Granted, there were some misses — again, Street Fighter EX 2 & 3 — but overall the series has been as solid as any in the fighting niche.