The venerable fighting game series Street Fighter celebrated a big birthday with the release of the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, a compilation of 12 fighters pulled from the franchise. Street Fighter itself is a steadfast part of any fighting game enthusiast's library, and it's also been home to several memorable and iconic characters since its inception. Ken, Ryu, Chun-Li, Cammy: you know them all.
But in the interest of celebrating amazing women in gaming, we've put together 10 of the coolest women from Street Fighter in a ranked list for your viewing pleasure. Starting from the bottom (though that in no way means "worst" here) and going up to the most iconic character, we've got your favorites in plentiful supply here. You might even meet a new fave you want to start maining right now. Get ready to celebrate these ladies and their Street Fighter legacy just in time for the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, now available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch and PC.
Fortune teller Menat is a newer addition to the Street Fighter roster, but she practically oozes cool from every pore. From her sassy walk to her impossibly awesome specials, the young Egyptian supplies the heat in every battle. With her floating crystal ball Left Eye of the Lion, she brings the pain with copious amounts of Soul Power as she summons orbs, reflects projectiles, and lands crits on opponents with her Critical Art Nefertem like an absolute boss. Named for the goddess Hathor and known to strike more than a few catlike poses, she's a formidable enemy that you'll want to steer clear of if you know what's best for you.
Sakura Kasugano is a sailor uniform-clad fighter from Japan with an intriguing fixation on Ryu. As such, she's learned most of his techniques and even wears a white headband that Ryu actually gave to her at some points. She views the popular fighter as an idol and teacher, and wants nothing more than to be taken on as Ryu's student. She may take her fighting cues from one of the most popular Street Fighter characters out there, but she's her own woman with a powerful array of techniques and signature costume that everyone knows by now. Her running Shoryuken and Hadoken are terrifying additions to battle, as well as her V-Triggers Haru Arashi and Sakura Senpu.
Capoeira fighters are always intriguing additions to any roster, and the lighthearted Elena is no exception. The Kenyan fighter is cheerful with a "tomboyish" nature, and she also happens to be a princess of an East African nation. You don't want to mess with royalty, that's for sure. But you wouldn't know this based on her personality, as she's one of the most "free" and fun-loving people you'll ever meet. She also happens to be quite close to Sakura. Using only kicks, she utilizes her strong Capoeira moves to keep her opponents guessing, as she uses dance-like moves and kicks enemy butt to the rhythm of nature. Short version? Elena rules.
Mika Nanakawa, or "Rainbow Mika," is a Japanese professional wrestler from the Iwashigahama Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling organization, and she looks up to Zangief. She's a bright and powerful young woman with colorful, eye-catching outfits. But don't let her appearance fool you. She may look like a ray of sunshine, but she's an old pro inside the ring. She uses professional wrestling moves and plenty of grappling and throws to conquer her opponents, as well as flings where she lands on her opponents with her butt — and it's super powerful. We need more flamboyant wrestlers like Rainbow Mika in the future, simply because she's such a breath of fresh air. And those super cool pigtails are hair goals.
Laura Matsuda is a Brazilian fighter with some seriously powerful moves. Thanks to an original martial art that was inspired by traditional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, she fights using "Matsuda Jiu-Jitsu," with a series of devastating throws and grappling techniques. She's also got an electric projectile called Thunder Clap, but if she can't nail you with that she'll get you good with a hefty grab, followed by a plunk down on the pavement to break your arm or leg. She loves to give advice to others and is "easy to befriend," but that's if you're not trying to best her in battle, of course.
Ibuki, the young ninja in training, is more interested in living a normal teenager's life, but that doesn't take away from her talents at all. She doesn't like traditional ninja garb or her daily training regimen, but she's a talented fighter skilled in the art of ninjutsu and martial arts. She's an agile and robust character with jumps and cross-ups she can use to confuse and bewilder opponents before going in with punch and kick combos. She may not be too excited about carrying on with the way of the ninja, but she sure is fantastic at it.
Juri Han is a South Korean Taekwondo martial arts expert who also happens to be something of a sadist. She's also so cool we can't even stand it. She's missing her left eye, which has been replaced with the Feng Shui Engine, and it makes her one heck of a fighter. She's all about offense and rushing other characters, with moves very clearly meant to toy with her opponents. She's willing to do whatever it takes to quench her thirst for revenge, and that means taking just about anyone out that she has to. She looks and plays a bit similar to Chun-Li, but make no mistake: They're like night and day.
Crimson Viper (her real name is Maya) is an undercover CIA agent who's also the first female Street Fighter combatant to have a daughter. She's one mama who's got it all, and she'll mess you up big time if you stand in her way. Rather than using a specialized fighting style, she uses a bunch of secret spy gadgets as well as her CIA training. She's a speedy and agile character made quicker and flightier by her Battle Suit, with metal knuckles that can charge up electricity. She's also got jet propulsion by way of her boots. C. Viper is a character where anything goes, but nothing she can do is sharper or more powerful than her default costume. Mama looks ready to slay.
Cammy, otherwise known by codename Killer Bee, is one of the most popular Street Fighter characters of all time. Her iconic looks and fighting styles make her one of the coolest women to come from the Street Fighter series, and whether she's wearing her blue leotard with red gloves or her signature green leotard with her red beret, she makes it all look fabulous with those dual flaxen pigtails. She's a close-range fighter who doesn't have any sort of projectiles or long-range attacks, using only her body to get closer to opponents and mess them up proper. If you're new to Street Fighter, she may be a great choice as a starter character.
Where do we even begin with Chun-Li? You know her. You love her. She's the female face of Street Fighter, and an international symbol for the game as well as its legion of woman fighters. Hell, Nicki Minaj even named a song after her. She was the first female fighter in the series, and an expert martial artist and Interpol officer. She's out for revenge against M. Bison, who killed her father, and she's one of the quickest and most agile fighters out there. You've probably seen her lightning quick kicks (her build feaures some very powerful thighs) and she's a reliable choice if you want to annihilate slow, lumbering fighters, but most of all? Chun-Li is the coolest female Street Fighter character, because not only was she the first, she's a world-renowned fighter with fans all around the globe. Everyone knows her name, and for that, she's always going to top any list like this. Come on, are you surprised?