The 10 Best Street Fighter 5 Characters (For Winning Ranked)

best street fighter 5 characters
Getting into Street Fighter V can be intimidating, but this list could give you a head start

Climbing up the ranks in Street Fighter 5 Is Easier With These Characters

The world of fighting games has gotten vast and diverse over the years but to this day there is one franchise that has persisted:Street Fighter. Street Fighter V took the fighting game community by storm in February 2016 and it shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. The real question is, then, what if you’re looking to get into the game now? Well you would want to play a character that is good online, right? Well, that’s why we decided to make a list of the Top Street Fighter V Characters (for winning ranked).

10. Ed

A new addition to the storied Street Fighter roster, Ed has found himself to be quite formidable online while also boasting an easy-to-use control scheme. Ed was kidnapped as a child to be a substitute body for M. Bison and has been imbued with Psycho Powers. He was taken in by Balrog as a child who then proceeded to raise him and teach him boxing. At this point Ed has teamed up with the character Falke to form a secret organization for their own personal interests.

Ed is a unique character in Street Fighter V in that he uses no motions for his special moves, which makes him a very beginner-friendly character as a result. His V-Skill is a very strong tool that can sway the battle in his favor if you know how to use it. If you’re interested in seeing Ed at a high level, the player Dieminion does a great job with him.

Ed utilizes Psycho Power along with boxing to make up a unique fighting style

His special moves are all simple to input while also being very strong

9. Balrog

Harkening back from Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, Balrog has proven to be a force to be reckoned with in the modern era of Street Fighter. Originally hired by M. Bison to be his bodyguard, Balrog is a very greedy and stingy boxer that’s only in for himself and would sell his closest friends out for a buck. Balrog is loosely based on Mike Tyson and was originally named M. Bison in Japan but they changed his name for America to avoid possible legal issues.

When it comes to rushing your opponent down, there are few better at it than Balrog. Despite being a charge character, the fact that all of Balrog’s special moves give him forward movement to approach your opponent makes him a very offensive character that wants to be up close and personal. While it lost a bit of its oomph, his Turn-Around Punch still proves to be a very strong tool in his arsenal. The American player Smug has taken Balrog to a very high level of success and proves to still be the strongest representative for the character.

Balrog’s classic rush punch is a staple of his rushdown offense

Turn-Around Punch can dish out insane damage if you can charge it for long enough

8. Birdie

A bona fide glutton, Birdie was originally introduce back in Street Fighter Alpha and has found his way to the top of the food chain in Street Fighter V. A former professional wrestler, Birdie turned to a life of crime and fought in the original World Warriors Tournament where he promptly lost to Ryu. Birdie shows little motivation to do anything besides eat nowadays, but has been forced into the employ of Karin Kanzuki. Prior to him being playable in Street Fighter Alpha, Birdie was actually one of the random NPCs you fought in the original Street Fighter.

Originally seen as strong but unimpressive, Birdie has proven himself to be one of the best grapplers in the game and at this point has surpassed the series mainstay Zangief. What Birdie lacks in speed he makes up for in versatility and pure damage as you can find yourself dead against him in no time flat. His Killing Head command grab dishes out great damage and puts you in the mythical “grappler vortex” that Street Fighter V is infamous for. If you’re looking for Birdie inspiration there is no one better to point to than the reigning Capcom Cup champ MenaRD from the Dominican Republic.

Birdie’s normal attacks provide big damage and great range

His 1st V-Trigger gives him a boost to the one thing he lacks: his speed

7. Guile

The original zoner, Guile is here to Sonic Boom you from across the screen and annoy you to death. Guile is a member of the US Air Force, and that is the main driving force behind all of his actions in the series. The military often charges Guile to enter tournaments in order to investigate criminal organizations, which seems to be a recurring problem in the Street Fighter universe for some reason or another. Street Fighter V also sees an end to Guile’s quest to find his best friend Charlie Nash, who also appears as a playable character in the game. In Street Fighter II, many of Guile’s win quotes would refer to his opponents as male even if they were a female character.

If you’re picking Guile, it’s because you love to do one thing: throw Sonic Booms. Guile’s game plan has changed very little over the years which is to throw as many Sonic Booms as possible to chip away at the opponent and opening up their defense to take the game. Guile has no lack of representation among top players with the two big ones being the legendary Japanese player Daigo Umehara, as well as Capcom Cup 2016 champion NuckleDu.

The original annoying projectile, Sonic Boom is back and as strong as ever

Flash Kick continues to be a strong tool to take advantage of impatient opponents jumping towards you

6. Dhalsim

While many fighters are restricted by their short, scrawny limbs, Dhalsim is above all that as he can punch and kick you from across the screen to assure his victory. Dhalsim is a Yoga Master, which apparently means he can stretch his limbs and breathe fire for some reason. Despite fighting in martial arts tournaments, Dhalsim is ostensibly a man of peace and aims to spread the good word of Yoga to everyone he meets. Dhalsim’s appearance is inspired by a group of Hindu ascetics known as Kapalikas.

The main appeal to Dhalsim is the incredible range he provides. A good Dhalsim player can often win a game without ever getting close to their opponent as they pick away with his long ranged attacks and Yoga Fire. His Teleport also provides him a way to apply pressure by getting in close when your opponent least expects it, and then quickly backing off when things get too dangerous. Due to his impressive performance at Capcom Cup 2017, DidimoKof from Brazil has proven himself to be the best Dhalsim player out there right now.

Dhalsim’s long limbs are a staple of the character and key to his game plan

His iconic Yoga Fire and Yoga Flame are both good zoning and pressure tools respectively

5. Blanka

There’s always one character in any fighting game that is just considered annoying by the entire player base, and Blanka has found himself to be comfortably in the top tier of this category. Blanka was born in Brazil and raised himself in the jungle and has often found himself in take place in the events of the series purely by coincidence. Interestingly enough, Blanka’s green skin and electricity powers have never actually been explained in the games, leaving his origins relatively mysterious.

Blanka has the very unique game plan of just annoying the crap out of his opponents. What this means, though, is that he generally ducks in and out while picking away at his opponent's life and exploiting openings in their defense just from the sheer amounts of pressure being put on them. His Rolling Attack (affectionately known as “Blanka Ball”) gives him a fast way to punish his opponent’s mistakes and is definitely a signature of Blanka’s moveset. In Street Fighter V they have deemed him one of the worthy few to have a command grab which gives him even more options to apply pressure to his opponents. Being the newest character, not many players have invested time into Blanka, but the Korean player Poongko has been putting in work with him online.

Blanka’s signature electricity returns for your little brother to spam and annoy you

Blanka’s new command grab has given him a necessary tool to make his pressure game complete


As a newcomer to the franchise, FANG has cemented himself as the new “weirdo” in the cast with his weird movement and personality, while also showing that he can be truly strong in the right hands. FANG is the newest recruit to Shadaloo, replacing an absent Sagat, and has found himself essentially worshipping M. Bison and desperately wanting to be his right-hand man. Formerly the leader of a large cartel, FANG utilizes different poisons and poisoning techniques to take down his opponents. FANG’s name originates from the venomous fangs of snakes and spiders.

Topping the list of zoners on the list, FANG is unique in as a result of his ability to poison opponents and causing them to take damage over time. His strategy often revolves around poking at his opponent over time and draining their life using his poison skills in order to make the life difference insurmountable. He can also be a very slippery character that can slide around and duck under other projectiles causing him to really beat up on people who aren’t prepared. While not a popular tournament character, American player Mastermike as been able to find relative success with the character.

Most of his moves both poison his opponents as well as knock them away from him

His V-Skill allows him to put out a ball of poison that the opponent has to go out of their way to avoid

3. Vega

Some fighters like to fight up close and personal, some like to zone you at a distance, Vega just wants to jump around like a maniac. Another Street Fighter II veteran, Vega is one of the leaders of Shadaloo where he oversees assassination operations for M. Bison. The only thing Vega respects in this world is beauty and wears his iconic mask as a way to protect his own self-proclaimed beauty. Vega is part of the trio whose names were changed from the Japanese version, with his name originally being Balrog.

What Vega brings to the table as a character is just the an insane amount of mobility that allows him to go from any location to another easily. In addition to his iconic jumping around, he also has maintained his Barcelona Roll as his primary combo ender and primary way to deal damage. New to this game, Vega now has the ability to switch between using his claw and not using his claw with each stance having its own strengths and weaknesses. The top ranked Vega player would be a Japanese player named Tourniquet who has really found what the character is capable of.

Vega’s 1st V-Trigger gives him a way to punish things that older versions of Vega would not be able to

Vega’s infamous slide is the key tool in any low-level Vega’s arsenal


Urien makes his second appearance in the Street Fighter franchise and is a formidable force online that is only here to crush, kill, and destroy. A former member of the secret organization known as the Illuminati, Urien wield the power of electricity and metal as well as a variety of hard hitting physical attacks. Urien lost the bid of the presidency of the Illuminati to his older brother Gill, whom he despises. They were both raised to be members of the Illuminati and it is all they really know.

Urien’s gameplay is a mix of zoning when necessary, but usually applying insane amounts of pressure with his strong and dangerous attacks. His Metallic Sphere is a great zoning tool and is one of the few projectiles in the game that can be fired into the air. His signature move would be his 1st V-Trigger: Aegis Reflector, which is what makes Urien so terrifying and allows him to both put insane amounts of pressure on his opponent and then converting off of any small hit. The Japanese player Nemo is the best example of what Urien is capable of and he takes the character to his limits.

Aegis Reflector is iconic with Urien and has helped define the character over the years

His Shoulder Tackle is great combo ender, but also a great tool to use to get in on your opponent

1. M. Bison

The malevolent leader of Shadaloo and iconic series villain M. Bison cements himself at the top of the ladder when it comes to online play in Street Fighter V. As the leader of the criminal organization Shadaloo M. Bison has become the primary antagonist of the franchise that has proven himself to be an ever present threat to the world. Despite seemingly dying several times, Bison has managed to survive using backup bodies that he can transfer his consciousness into using Psycho Power. M. Bison completes the trifecta of characters whose names were changed from the Japanese, with his original name being Vega.

What Bison brings to the table above all else is unrelenting pressure that most people online just don’t know how to handle. Many of his moves are safe on block and some even leave him at an advantage so he can bait you into attacking so he can counter. His leaping special attack, Head Press, gives him many options to mix up your opponent and is insanely difficult to deal with online. If you’re looking for high level Bison play to inspire your climb up the ranks, England’s Problem X has had some fantastic performances with the character that are worth looking into.

M. Bison’s attacks leave him in very favorable situations whether he hits or is blocked

His new move, Psycho Ball, has proven itself to be a great new tool to his already great arsenal

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Since playing Sonic 2 as a kid Jacob has dedicated himself to one thing: going fast. Also I guess video games, those too.
Gamer Since: 1995
Favorite Genre: RPG
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