Ranking Every Character From Super Street Fighter II, From Worst to Best

When it comes to any game, competitive or otherwise, players always want to know who is the best or worst. You could argue that Street Fighter 2 started this trend. Any character can win a match, but some are more likely to win than others, so fans are rabid to know about tiers. Still, tier lists aren’t set in stone, as they tend to fluctuate with every update.

Despite it being a controversial topic among fighting game fans, we will attempt to create a tier list of our own for this classic game. In May of 2017, Ultra Street Fighter 2: The Final Challengers, the latest iteration, launched on the Nintendo Switch. However, one of the game's most popular versions is Super Street Fighter 2. Therefore, we decided to rank the characters from this version rather than Ultra SF2.

Updated May 18, 2022, by Chris Sanfilippo: Capcom's signature fighting game series, Street Fighter, is still a significant player in the genre reaching its thirty-fifth anniversary this year! In celebration of this milestone, Capcom announced the return of its various fighting game titles in the Capcom Fighting Collection. One of the games included in this package is Hyper Street Fighter 2: Anniversary Edition, launched in honor of the series' fifteenth anniversary twenty years ago. This game iteration lets players match up different versions of the seventeen characters from SF2's run. So, we decided to revisit our rankings of fighters from 1993's Super Street Fighter 2, the last version of the game without super combos.

16 Zangief

Super Street Fighter 2 Tier Class: D

Let’s start this Super Street Fighter 2 tier list off with Zangief. He was never a good character in the vanilla Street Fighter 2. He’s the slowest character in the game, and his special moves are complicated to pull off. Honestly, they’re almost impossible to pull off on a gamepad.

Zangief is powerful, and his high stamina allows him to take hits well. He’s excellent when he’s up close and in your face. Sadly, his slow speed and large size make it hard for him to get close. Projectiles do great at keeping Zangief away, as you can zone the guy to death. In Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix, Zangief becomes a better character, and his moves are easier to execute, but he still gets outclassed by everybody else. Therefore, Zangief has always been far from the best Street Fighter 2 character.

15 Blanka

Super Street Fighter 2 Tier Class: D

The Brazilian Beast, Blanka, has excellent mobility. Blanka’s roll became faster in the HD remix with a quicker start-up time and recovery. Furthermore, his forward roll allows Blanka to do damage and close gaps. His up roll is a great anti-air, and Blanka’s back step roll gives the beast man a jerky motion that surprises opponents. Also, Blanka has his signature biting attack. The bite attack is a command grab, has an extensive range, and hits multiple times.

However, expert players know the biting attack’s timing and how to execute the combos that counter it. Blanka has trouble against many other fighters, specifically against fighters with projectiles. You’ll notice that many of the characters on this Super Street Fighter 2 tier list have difficulty dealing with Hadoukens and Sonic Booms. And as strong as his rolling attacks are, fighters can easily counter them.

14 T. Hawk

Super Street Fighter 2 Tier Class: D

T. Hawk is like Zangief, as he’s powerful up close and does significant damage. He also has high stamina, so he takes damage well. Unlike Zangief, however, T. Hawk is more mobile and doesn’t have too hard of a time getting in close to fighters. Typically, T.Hawk closes in with his Condor Dive, but the Dive can get evaded with a well-timed jump attack against it. In the first Turbo game, it's worth mentioning that T. Hawk has an unbreakable throwing loop.

T. Hawk is a more offensive character, meant to dive in and grapple, so he has a hard time against turtle players or naturally defensive fighters like Guile. As strong as T. Hawk is, he is lower on our Super SF2 tier list because his moves are easy to counter or avoid.

13 Cammy

Super Street Fighter 2 Tier Class: D

Cammy is a bit of a mixed bag. In Turbo HD Remix, Cammy plays more like her Street Fighter 4 version. Before that, Cammy had complex inputs in the original Turbo version. As a result, her Hooligan Throw was hard to execute, and a missed or blocked Cannon Drill left Cammy wide open. Fortunately, later versions of Street Fighter 2 amended these issues.

On top of her challenging inputs, Cammy's tactics and strategies aren’t consistent enough to win fights. While Cammy can string together combos, they are not the combos of Street Fighter 4, nor is Cammy as powerful as she is in SF4. Cammy is usually strong yet fragile, making up for her weaknesses with strength and speed. However, like previous characters, she has a hard time against projectiles and defensive characters. As a result, we consider Cammy low on our Super SF2 tier list, specifically in D class.

12 Fei Long

Super Street Fighter 2 Tier Class: C

The original Bruce Lee rip-off character, Fei Long, is fast and fierce. But like many of the game's low-tier characters, Fei Long has a hard time getting up close. Therefore, projectiles are a critical strategy in match-ups with Fei Long, who struggles against those who can fend him off. Still, if left to his devices, Fei Long has great pressure tactics and can trap fighters in the corner.

Although Fei Long is aggressive and has excellent offensive tactics, you still have to pick and choose how you attack. Fei Long can’t mindlessly attack. Otherwise, he’s wide open. To properly play as Fei Long, you have to mix up your combos quickly while being unpredictable. There’s an art to fighting as Fei Long, and this learning curve is one of his flaws. And like Cammy, he falls against defensive fighters and projectiles, leaving him on the lower half of this Super SF2 tier list.

11 E. Honda

Super Street Fighter 2 Tier Class: C

As you would expect from this Super SF2 tier list so far, E. Honda has trouble with projectile-wielding characters. So if you have a projectile, you can beat E. Honda. Still, Honda has more tools to deal with these attacks than some fighters we've covered already. For example, his Flying Headbutt negates projectiles in Turbo HD Remix, and his Sumo Splash jumps over projectiles, but it does leave Honda open to anti-air attacks.

On the bright side, E. Honda is powerful against non-projectile fighters. He beats them hands down. Honda has high stamina, and his Oicho Throw can trap fighters in and never let go. The combos capable with that throw are insane, as fighters are trapped and can’t escape. E Honda may not be the best Street Fighter 2 character, but he certainly outranks several low-classed fighters in our Super SF2 tier list.

10 Dee Jay

Super Street Fighter 2 Tier Class: C

There’s not much to complain about with Dee Jay. He's an all-around decent character, as he can do everything pretty well. In addition, Dee Jay has a projectile that lets him play defensively and has a decent up-close game. With all that, Dee Jay can effectively apply pressure. However, superior projectiles overpower Dee Jay’s fireball. Ryu and Sagat have far stronger projectiles, giving them an easier time against the Jamaican. And his Rolling Sobat kick can leave Dee Jay wide open.

The good part is that Dee Jay has tricky combos and can be unpredictable. He can juggle his opponents and keep them in the corner. Also, if you have good timing, Dee Jay can use his Machine Gun Upper to block fireballs. Overall, Dee Jay is solid and the best of our C-tier Super Street Fighter 2 characters. It’s just that there are better fighters to use.

9 Chun-LI

Super Street Fighter 2 Tier Class: B

Like Ryu, Chun-Li is a pretty balanced character, as she doesn’t have many weaknesses. For example, even though her anti-air isn’t the greatest in the game, it's still effective. Likewise, her Kikosho is a good projectile. Still, her overall best aspect is her speed. Chun-Li’s movement speed is fast, and her attacks come out quickly.

Also, Chun-Li has good pokes, which are essential in determining distance, keeping opponents off, or making the rush. It all depends on the situation you want to create. A common tactic with Chun-Li is rushing opponents and finishing the combo off with a powerful throw. However, Chun-Li can be predictable as she doesn’t have a wide variety of combos, and her hits don’t pack as much of a punch as other fighters. Still, if you rely on her speed, you'll discover she's one of the best Street Fighter characters. As a result, she earned her honorable B class on our Super SF2 tier list.

8 M. Bison

Super Street Fighter 2 Tier Class: B

The big evil villain of Street Fighter: M Bison is an entirely offensive character. Bison can quickly cross up to combo and make his opponent dizzy. Then, he can do the same cross-up to combo again to defeat the opponent. His ability to dizzy his opponents comes from his high strength and speed. Quite simply, Bison is tricky, as he has a lot of tools at his disposal and can mess with his opponents.

Naturally, it takes a while to learn how to fight with M Bison effectively because of his gameplay. Bison is a high-skill fighter, so learning his nuances takes a while. On top of the learning curve, his overall defensive game is weak. It’s easy to put Bison in the corner and keep him there. Bison is meant to be a rushdown character and requires aggressive gameplay. His defensive weaknesses keep M Bison from rising higher in our Super SF2 tier list.

7 Vega

Super Street Fighter 2 Tier Class: A

Vega has an extensive range, his punches and kicks go far, and he's one of the fastest characters in the game. Because of those factors, it’s tough to get close to the guy. In addition, he has no projectiles, which fighters can use to their advantage. But even with no projectiles, it isn’t easy to get close to Vega due to his agility. For instance, his wall dives are challenging to deal with and cause a great deal of confusion.

Vega's only real downside is that he's predictable, as he doesn’t have a lot in terms of combos. Vega players focus on wall dives a lot. Therefore, in match-ups against him, it's critical to anticipate these dives. Still, once you can sight Vega's wall dives, he is a much less intimidating opponent. However, being the lowest A-tier Super SF2 character is nothing to dismiss.

6 Balrog

Super Street Fighter 2 Tier Class: A

Many of Balrog's moves take after the mighty buffalo, and his skill set reflects this parallel. Balrog's stellar dashes, quick walking speed, and powerful punches make him one of the toughest of the four grand masters. Still, Balrog does have trouble dealing with projectiles, but it shouldn’t be too much trouble due to his incredible power and speed.

As if all of his strengths were not enough, in Super SF2 Turbo, Balrog can trap his opponents easily and then link into his super combo, which is one of the best in the game. This super combo is devastating since it follows up well out of most moves and has plenty of impacts. Even though Balrog got nerfs in Turbo HD Remix, he is still one of the best Street Fighter 2 characters, not only in Super SF2 but the series as a whole.

5 Guile

Super Street Fighter 2 Tier Class: A

Guile is the premier defensive character. His Sonic Booms keep fighters at bay, and if anybody stupidly jumps in, Guile Flash Kicks them out of the air. In turn, these two skills are Guile players' bread and butter. After all, a skilled Guile player can goad their opponent into jumping with Sonic Booms and then punish them with a Flash Kick.

Guile knows how to control space. When he wants to leave, he can. Or if he wants to bait you, he cam. Even his regular attacks are effective anti-airs if you don’t have a Flash Kick charged. However, defensive characters are tough to master. In less experienced hands, Guile can get overpowered by more potent fighters. Still, he is the best of Street Fighter 2's technical fighters and deserves a high spot on our Super SF2 tier list.

4 Ryu

Super Street Fighter 2 Tier Class: A

Ryu is the most balanced character on the roster. He's a jack of all trades but master of none. However, Ryu's balanced skill set and simple move inputs make him easy to learn. Everybody has played as Ryu at some point, and most people know the Hadouken, the Shoryuken, and the Tatsumaki. In Turbo HD Remix, developers added a fakeout Hadouken, adding a level of mind games to Ryu’s skill set.

Ryu has trouble against the stronger characters on this list. But even then, he still has a solid chance at winning the fight. In particular, Vega is a difficult match-up for Ryu, but Ryu still holds his own. Ryu's shallow learning curve and balanced fighting make him a fan favorite character and Capcom's poster boy. As a result, he deserves his A-tier spot on our list. Still, he is not the best Super Street Fighter 2 character.

3 Ken

Super Street Fighter 2 Tier Class: A

As an all-around good fighter, Ken is plenty of fun to play. He’s flashy, and he’s simple to understand. If you know how to use Ryu, you also can use Ken. Ken's move set was almost identical to Ryu's in the original Street Fighter 2. But, over time, Ken was modified with more flair and charisma. He's exceptionally proficient in rushdown techniques utilizing multi-hit combos.

But Ken is a high-risk/high-reward character, as he’s a lot more in your face than Ryu. If he messes up a combo, it leaves him wide open. It’s all or nothing with Ken, which can be too risky for some, meaning he's not one of the preferred characters to use in the game. Still, many consider his Super Street Fighter 2 version his best, even outranking his Turbo iteration in match-ups. For this reason, we decided to rank him high in our Super SF2 tier list.

2 Dhalsim

Super Street Fighter 2 Tier Class: S

Dhalsim is a dominating character and the first of our S class tier. But before we get to his strengths, let's address Dhalsim’s flaws. He’s slow. Very slow. He also doesn’t have any combos. Dhalsim’s attacks don’t cancel into one another. Much of his offense comes from single hits. On top of all that, Dhalsim’s signature stretchy limbs can get hit by some moves giving him a huge hit box.

In terms of Dhalsim's strengths, he has a superb defensive game. Those same stretchy limbs allow Dhalsim to keep pressure off himself and back on the opponent as they struggle to approach him. He also has excellent anti-air moves with his Standing Roundhouse Kick and Jumping Punch. His anti-airs, combined with his Yoga Fire, make for a simple yet devastating combo.

Dhalsim has a ton of tools to deal with specific situations. For example, if projectiles become too much to handle, Dhalsim can teleport close or away. And while slow, his air drills go far and do significant damage. He can also slide in and pull off a throw if he needs some breathing room. His deft flexibility, literally and figuratively, makes Dhalsim the second-best Super Street Fighter 2 character.

1 Sagat: The Best Character In Super Street Fighter 2

Super Street Fighter 2 Tier Class: S

Our top fighter on this list is the devastating kick boxer from Thailand, Sagat. Let's start again with the negatives. Sagat is slow. If a fighter avoids a Tiger Shot, Sagat is wide open for punishment. Furthermore, because Sagat has giant limbs, punishing him is easy. He also takes a while to play as effectively.

Now, let's address Sagat's positive attributes. Sagat’s attacks take off a lot of damage, and his defensive game is on point. HIs High and Low Tiger Shots make a problematic wall to crack through. Sagat also has a ridiculously powerful Tiger Uppercut (although timing this uppercut takes work). Therefore, while Sagat takes time to master, his immense power places him on top of our Super Street Fighter 2 tier list.

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