Street Fighter II
Image: Nintendo Life

Street Fighter is having its time in the light once again. Street Fighter 6 is pummeling down the competition on PS5, Xbox, and PC, and it feels like another jewel in the crown of Capcom's resurgence over the past five years.

But while we Switch owners can't join the likes of Luke and other Street Fighter newcomers and veterans, we can bask in the franchise's rich history. And now is a good time for that too, as Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting on the Super NES is now 30 years old. 30 years? How!?

Of course, Turbo: Hyper Fighting isn't the only release of Street Fighter II, but it's one many have fond memories of. Released back in 1993 following the original arcade release the previous December, this version of the game is also available on the Super NES Classic. Turbo came on a larger cartridge size and allowed you to adjust the game's playing speed. It's a more accurate version of the arcade release, too, with improved voice lines, animations, and visuals.

There are tons of ways to play Street Fighter II nowadays, and in celebration of Turbo: Hyper Fighting's anniversary, we thought it would be fun to see what you lovely readers think is the best version of Street Fighter II.

Note: We've decided to keep this list to games new players can currently track down and play on a Nintendo console — so we've left out the TurboGrafx-16 version of Street Fighter II': Champion Edition and the Mega Drive version of Super Street Fighter II, which were both previously available as Virtual Console releases. If you're into your Street Fighter, you can snap up the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection on Switch, which gives you six different ways to play Street Fighter II.

If you're not happy with the rankings, don't forget that this list is entirely based on your ratings, so the rankings may change over time. So if you think something deserves to be higher, click on the star below next to the game you want to rate and give it a score between 1 and 10.

With that out of the way, it's time to take to the streets and see which version of Street Fighter II you love best...

7. Street Fighter II (GB)

Sun L's port of Street Fighter II on the Game Boy is more of a novelty nowadays — it impressively manages to make the fighter work on two buttons instead of six and is a fairly faithful version of The New Challengers. But given the handheld's limitations, a lot has been cut out of this portable version, including E. Honda, Dhalsim, and Vega. It's a fantastic showcase for what the Game Boy can do, but as a Street Fighter II game, there are plenty of better options out there. The Survival Mode, however, might be worth a peek.

6. Street Fighter II': Special Champion Edition (MD)

Available on Switch to NSO Expansion Pack subscribers, Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition was a pretty impressive achievement considering the hardware it was produced for, but it’s really an interesting footnote in the Street Fighter lineage. Although the game bears the ‘Champion Edition’ moniker it does in fact include improvements seen in the arcade ‘Hyper Fighting’ edition of the game (which was ported to the SNES as Street Fighter II: Turbo).

The group battle option is neat and the fact that it includes both the Champion Edition and Hyper Fighting variants of the game is a bonus for completists, but you really need the six-button Genesis pad to make this playable. Toggling between punch and kick by pressing 'Start' is still as unworkable as it sounds.

5. Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers (Switch)

If the only question you have prior to playing Ultra Street Fighter II is "I want to know if this is the ultimate version of Street Fighter II", then chances are you're going to come away impressed. The gameplay is as tight and enjoyable as ever, and there's a simplicity to the game engine which makes it incredibly appealing. Sadly, Capcom's attempts to add value to this likeable yet aging template fall totally flat. Buddy Mode is so brief it borders on being pointless, while Way of the Hado – complete with its laughable motion controls – is something you'll only fire up once. Unfortunately, Ultra Street Fighter II represents Capcom at its most lazy and exploitative; this really should have been a low-cost digital download. It's still a fantastic one-on-one fighter, but if you need another version of this game in your life, you should perhaps explore cheaper options.

4. Super Street Fighter II: Turbo Revival (GBA)

The characters, moves and music that made Street Fighter II great are all here and you can certainly have fun with this particular version. Of course much of what appeals with this game is available in the other versions of Street Fighter II and as well as multiplayer they have less awkward controls. The new artwork and stages (even if there wasn't anything wrong with the old ones) generally work well, but unless you have a strong desire to experience Super Combos and Akuma on GBA, it's hard to recommend this over other versions, even if it's a pleasant little port.

3. Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (SNES)

Capcom essentially created a genre with this game; while one-on-one fighters existed prior to its release (the original Street Fighter being one example), the game pioneered many concepts which are now commonplace. The first Street Fighter II on the SNES remains a solid game, but pure nostalgia might not be enough for some players. When you consider the two direct SNES sequels added so much, it can be hard to go back. If you're one of the few people who preferred the pure nature of the game before Capcom started tweaking and adding new fighters, this still packs a punch, though.

2. Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers (SNES)

Super Street Fighter II followed on from Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting and added four new fighters and some excellent gameplay modes, yet arguably doesn't manage to overshadow its predecessor. Turbo was, for many, the game where Street Fighter II reached its peak; by the time Super came around the SNES was about to give way to 32-bit systems and the popularity of one-on-one fighters was starting to diminish, but this is still an exceptionally enjoyable brawler with plenty of depth, appealing visuals and excellent two-player potential.

1. Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting (SNES)

Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting was undoubtedly a big deal when it launched on the SNES back in 1993. The Street Fighter craze was in full force and it was genuinely exciting to see the original game refined and improved in such a manner; you could finally play as the four boss fighters and the additional speed injection made things much faster and enjoyable. Turbo is an improvement over its SNES-based prequel, and offers more depth and entertainment as a result.

Don't forget, if you haven't rated a game on this list, or you think it should be higher, you can rate any game on this list whenever you want. This could change the order at any time — so what are you waiting for?

Do you agree with the collective ranking? What's your favourite Street Fighter II? And what was your first version of the game? Drop a comment below and share your love for this franchise.