See How the Classics Fare in HD as We Play Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection

We play three different generations of Street Fighter while taking a tour of the anniversary collection's museum mode.

Analysis by Kat Bailey, .

Street Fighter compilations have been around almost as long as the series itself, extending all the way back to the days of the PlayStation and the Sega Saturn. But Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection may well be the ultimate expression of the franchise's legacy... on arcade.

Yes, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection sadly leaves out all the cool single-player extras from Street Fighter Alpha 3, which more than made up for the PlayStation version's imperfect arcade translation. But in collecting the arcade versions, Digital Eclipse brings the same eye for detail to this collection that they brought to the similarly excellent Mega Man Legacy Collection, which is crucial in a genre where literally every frame matters.

Capcom recently gave me a chance to see the collection and capture some video. I thought they all looked great, but I was especially happy to see Super Turbo and 3rd Strike after the problematic (and now thoroughly outdated) remakes of the past. You can see them both in the video below.

The final version of Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection will include 12 games from across multiple generations of Street Fighter, from Street Fighter 2 all the way to Street Fighter 3: Third Strike. The collection even includes the original Street Fighter for posterity (and dear god it really does not hold up). In the spirit of paying tribute to the arcades, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection's borders are based around the original arcade cabinets, which really help you get in the mood.

Incidentally, I did see the Switch version, and I didn't see any appreciable differences in handheld mode (admittedly, there are probably some granular compromises that will wind up driving fighting game fans batty). As an interesting bonus, the Switch version includes Super Street Fighter 2: The Tournament Battle—an eight player tournament mode formerly exclusive to Japan. Four Switches take the place of the original networked arcade cabinets, with players rotating between different units after the completion of each round. It's a neat bit of history, if a rather convoluted way to run a tournament.

I'll cop to being something of a lapsed fan myself. Street Fighter's hardcore community has overshadowed the series to such an extent that it's tough to be fully invested in it anymore. But I did really enjoy the in-depth museum materials, which includes character profiles, music, and even the pitch document for the original Street Fighter. It brought me back to a time in my life when I loved Street Fighter unconditionally.

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection includes some immensely cool artifacts from the development of its various games.

But this is unquestionably for the hardcore fans—the people who are content to sit in training mode and count frames while perfecting their cross-ups. Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is filled with virtually every flavor you could ask of the classic series. They're the ones who will be able to appreciate the subtle differences between, say, Street Fighter III: Second Impact and Street Fighter III: Third Strike, and will thus be best equipped to get the most mileage out of it when it launches in a couple months. They're the ones who are also most likely to take advantage of the online modes featured in Turbo, Super Turbo, Alpha 3, and Third Strike.

As a historical curiosity, though, it's pretty neat, and lapsed fan though I am, I may be tempted to break out Street Fighter Alpha 3 on a long flight from time to time. It will sure beat playing the underwhelming Ultra Street Fighter II.

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection will be out on PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Switch in May.

This article may contain links to online retail stores. If you click on one and buy the product we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Comments 17

  • Avatar for SIGGYZtar #1 SIGGYZtar 6 months ago
    Cool that it's coming out in one collection, as opposed to SNK handing the reins to Hamster.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #2 cldmstrsn 6 months ago
    Still weird that I cant pre order this at amazon.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for LK4O4 #3 LK4O4 6 months ago
    Man, it's crazy how much work Digital Eclipse is biting off to make this happen. If it had just been Super Turbo, Alpha 2, and Third Strike, it already would've knocked it out of the park. I'm excited.

    Even better that it's on Switch, since it kind of doubles as an apology for the awful USF2.Edited March 2018 by LK4O4
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for tigergt33 #4 tigergt33 6 months ago
    From a preservation standpoint, this package is amazing! The historical contribution of the Street Fighter series to the fighting game genre is unquestionable and archiving the arcade releases that shaped the competitive scene (for good or bad) is important. Also this compilation is an excellent way to justify to newer generations how broken these games were back in the day and how balanced current fighting games are nowadays.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for nilcam #5 nilcam 6 months ago
    As someone who's put more than 100 hours into Ultra SFII, I really don't understand the disdain. The game itself is very good - a worthy follow up to Super Turbo. If the online play were better, I don't know that I'd ever go back to older SFII titles.

    I'm hoping the online is great with this collection; rollback is generally better than delay-based code and U.S. companies (Digital Eclipse and Backbone which both have links to Digital Eclipse) have a better understanding of domestic internet infrastructure and a better history with online play than Capcom Japan.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Flipsider99 #6 Flipsider99 6 months ago
    Just nice to see another release of Street Fighter 3 Third Strike, still I think the best game in the franchise! SFV seems okay but somehow it just doesn't feel quite as good.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for WiIIyTheAntelope #7 WiIIyTheAntelope 6 months ago
    It's not that the original Street Fighter didn't hold up to the test of time, it's that it was a bad game to begin with. It's kind of amazing that it wound up getting a sequel. Its legacy is that weird arcade cabinet with the giant buttons that you were supposed to literally beat on, which of course led to kids breaking their fingers.

    Every other game holds up pretty well though in my opinion. Though SF2 and SF2 CE do admittedly feel very slow and plodding when compared to most all of the later releases.Edited March 2018 by WiIIyTheAntelope
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for NateDizzy #8 NateDizzy 6 months ago
    They had me at "arcade perfect 3rd Strike".
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for mobichan #9 mobichan 6 months ago
    Please let the online play be decent. I just have flashbacks of Third Strike matches on the xbox360 where I clearly won and seconds later (after the win sequence) I would see the rollback kick in and show I lost. This happened dozens of time in the few hundred matches I played.

    People who say “arcade perfect” shouldn’t forget that crap like that can’t happen in an arcade.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for btsierra #10 btsierra 6 months ago
    It still blows my mind that they can legitimately feature a dozen games between the first iteration of II and the last iteration of III.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for kidgorilla #11 kidgorilla 6 months ago
    I think it's time we start talking about a USGamer 3rd Strike Fight Club
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for nilcam #12 nilcam 6 months ago
    @kidgorilla I wish I could love Third Strike. I've tried. It just feels like that's where SF started to go wrong for me - it was slower than previous games and the two button throws kill the tick throw game. It's also more defensive then earlier SF games. I like my fighting games to be fast and hard-hitting.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for kidgorilla #13 kidgorilla 6 months ago
    @nilcam I respect your opinion, and the reduced damage from ST makes for a slightly slower game, but these are all things I disagree with
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for nilcam #14 nilcam 6 months ago
    @kidgorilla It's always interesting to discuss these things! I love to watch 3S but prefer to play Super Turbo or Alpha 2.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Wellman2nd #15 Wellman2nd 6 months ago
    Kind of sucks, I was interested in the console modes especially for Alpha 3. But I will take online versus to get my are kicked like when I was a kid waiting to put quarters onto arcades .
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for kidgorilla #16 kidgorilla 6 months ago
    @nilcam It took me a long time to get over the button input for throws, but a game with parries really needs that, I think. I can see how you might like the other way in a game like Alpha 2, though, since blocking and air blocking can make for a defensive game. Personally, I think the Alpha game are too slow because of the air blocks, even though CCs kind of make up for it
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for nilcam #17 nilcam 6 months ago
    @kidgorilla I've always felt air blocking blocking pushed the Alpha series to be more offensive thanks to safer jumping options. I don't like games that place to much emphasis on defense. Ultra SFII does an amazing job of balancing offense and defense. Throw breaks work really well in that game.
    Sign in to Reply