#19: Street Fighter Platform: Arcade Year: 1991
Original review score: 5 out of 5 Stars
Street Fighter II not only popularized one-on-one fighting games, it served as the bedrock for almost every fighting game since, from Mortal Kombat to Virtua Fighter to Tekken.
Why It Was Innovative:
Before Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting's earth-shaking debut in 1991, the fighting game genre largely consisted of the mindless beat 'em up action of Double Dragon or the Zen-like simplicity of Kung-Fu. Street Fighter II shattered these expectations, effortlessly popularizing and pioneering the competitive fighting genre with concepts such as rapid combo attacks and over-the-top special moves. Even Street Fighter II's button layout and attack commands, such as Ryu and Ken's fireball motions, heavily inspired future fighting games whether they were 2D or 3D in design. But Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting's greatest assets remain its gameplay depth and overall character balance, two qualities that remain widely respected nearly 20 years later.