15 Characters That Should Be in Street Fighter 6

Alex celebrates a victory in Street Fighter V's "A Shadow Falls" story mode.
Alex things strongly of his chances of returning in Street Fighter 6.

Street Fighter 6 launched with a fair number of characters. The 18-character starting roster was strong enough, slightly better than Street Fighter V’s 16. But it was a far cry from the launch roster in Street Fighter IV’s home console version, which started with 25. You know what this means: Several characters received the cold shoulder in the roster’s formation. There was no way Capcom would satisfy every audience member who wanted their favorite character represented given the sheer number of faces the Street Fighter franchise has, which inevitably led to “waste of a slot” cries. Others, however, are curious in their absence.

Let’s talk about 15 characters that should come to Street Fighter 6 sooner rather than later.


15. Alex

Alex gives Ryu a piece of his mind in Street Fighter V.

Alex debuted in Street Fighter III as a valiant fighter who sought revenge for the brutal defeat of his Jean Reno-looking friend Tom. He also made Street Fighter headlines by tangoing with Hugo, the two characters sharing a Hulk Hogan/Andre the Giant-style rivalry. Street Fighter V revealed how he also takes care of his younger sister, showing yet another sensitive side of the character.

Alex’s importance is shown through how he was intended to be the new protagonist after the Street Fighter II titles, a holdover from when Street Fighter III: New Generation was planned to be a soft reboot with a brand-new cast of characters. Alex splits the difference between a melee brawler and a grappler, with none of his techniques being too difficult to execute. But it was respectably risky on Capcom’s part to make him the main character, considering how different he was from prior protagonist Ryu in terms of his move set. That’s “different,” though, and not “hard.” He’s a lot of fun once you get the hang of him.

It sure would be nice to get the hang of him again in Street Fighter 6, which he’d fit right in. Imagine the combos he could pull off with Drive Impact juggles in the corner, and the speed bonus he’d receive through Drive Rushes. This, combined with how powerful and how much priority throws have in the 3D Street Fighter games, would make him uniquely formidable provided Capcom’s feeling generous with his damage output. His playable appearance alone will make up for how underwhelming he was in the later SFV seasons. SF6 is sorely and, dare I say, criminally lacking in characters like him, so he could fill both this niche and make up for the lack of overall SFIII representation.


14. Sakura Kasugano

Sakura celebrates a hard-earned victory in Street Fighter V.

Sakura debuted in the Street Fighter Alpha games as a schoolgirl who idolized Ryu, more than willing to fight and learn his move set. She also put her own spin on them, with her own special dashing-style Shouoken and her rainbow arch Shunpukyaku attack. This distinguished her enough from the other Shoto characters to make her feel unique for the franchise.

It’s nice that Sakura has been a common character since her debut. The issue is that she’s received startlingly little character development in recent years. This reached its zenith in Street Fighter IV, where she was mind-bogglingly and – let’s be real here – inanely still wearing a schoolgirl uniform despite being years out of high school. This was explained away by it being her fighting outfit, which is ridiculous. Capcom finally updated her main outfit in SFV, reflecting how she works at a pachinko parlor, but she’s still received little evolution over time.

It’s time for Capcom to further advance her. The Street Fighter 6 team has done a bang-up job showing the franchise’s characters in the present day and advancing the timeline, and no Street Fighter character could benefit from this more than Sakura. SF6 allows for players to pull off vicious corner combos in terms of gameplay, where Sakura excelled in previous installments. Combos using the Drive meter would make her a terrifying force, perhaps and hilariously stronger than Ryu at his current point. It would be nice if she arrived as part of a Street Fighter Alpha DLC pack.


13. Karin Kanzuki

You can hear this picture if you've heard Karin's noble laugh enough.

Let’s establish a rule here: If Sakura comes to Street Fighter 6, Karin Kanzuki should come with her. The two characters have established a friendly rivalry similar to Ryu and Ken. (This rivalry is less bitter than the Asuka Kazama and Lili Rochefort one from the Tekken series by this point.) Karin is the rich girl here, something visually apparent with her “anime” curls and expensive-looking outfits. She was the main Rekka three-hit-combo user in the Street Fighter Alpha games (until Fei Long came later), part of which gave her a unique move set that was and remains unique for the franchise.

Street Fighter V extended Karin’s character development beyond merely being Sakura’s rich rival. The two are good friends who enjoy sparring now, yes, but SFV’s story mode also showed how Karin uses her money for philanthropic purposes, and maintained her status as an excellent fighter. She wins every battle she gets into during the game’s story, notably. Maybe Sakura would be jealous of her rival receiving more and better development than she has.

The developers have the option to address her prior gameplay shortcomings in Street Fighter 6, should she return. It hurt when she lost her Rekka-style attacks as a normal special technique in the SFV titles, with them being attached to a V-Trigger activation. She was still strong depending on when Capcom wanted to buff or nerf her, but Rekkas and the mind games that come with them would have made her perpetually strong. Every character feels feature-complete in SF6, and it would fit right in with them. But again: Sakura should come with her as part of a package deal.


12. Elena

This is how you feel when you have a broken healing ability.

Elena was another among the unique faces the Street Fighter III series introduced, an African exchange student studying in Japan. She’s a tall girl born in Kenya who uses capoeira-style techniques while fighting, a style that remains distinct in the Street Fighter universe. She was never a top-tier character in any game she was included in, but the combination of her long normal kick attacks, an array of close-range, mid-range, and long-range moves, and her healing abilities made her fun to use.

This also applied to her Street Fighter IV appearance in Ultra Street Fighter IV, though her healing ability was strengthened to the point that it nearly made her broken and intensely disliked -- but only in terms of gameplay. She’s far too positive and unique to be hated for her overall personality in the Street Fighter universe. There wasn’t a character like her when she was introduced, and there hasn’t been one like her since. Time to fix that, fellas.

Most Street Fighter fans have gotten over how much they disliked her in the final SFIV version, and she missed Street Fighter V. Street Fighter 6 marks the perfect time to bring her back, outside mentions in the story. Like the characters above, no one currently in the game plays like her, nor are there any African characters. Her appearance would be beneficial for the game as it develops in the future. Just expect that healing factor technique to be toned down if she reappears, if she still has it at all. If they remove it, she should be compensated with her other kicking techniques being more formidable, alongside some new attacks.


11. Fei Long

Fei Long is still at it come Street Fighter 6's time, according to the story.

Fei Long is the requisite Bruce Lee clone once (and somewhat still is) considered a necessity for all fighting games. But he sticks out more than several of the others thanks to predating the likes of Marshall Law (from Tekken) and Jann Lee (from Dead or Alive). It helps that Fei Long has a unique move set and combos, and great normal attacks. Well, as unique as a Bruce Lee clone could be.

Fei Long was missing in action from Street Fighter V, his whereabouts being unknown. It’s nice that this wasn’t because the Bruce Lee Estate came down on the character and other clones, an argument that never made sense when Law was still hanging around Tekken. Fei Long can be dangerous in the right hands when Capcom is feeling generous with his damage output, and would be particularly strong in Street Fighter 6.

He's already mentioned in the game by Dee Jay, after Fei asked him to cameo in a movie. He looks as good as he ever did, and SF6 could offer a full chance to see how he’s evolved. The combination of his Rekka attacks and three-hit Rekka Kyaku aerial kick attack would give him dangerous combos when combined with Drive attacks from any part of the fighting stage. This would also be a chance to give him useful Super attacks again, thanks to SF6’s great implementation of Super Arts. That’s reason enough for his return, honestly.


10. Carlos Miyamoto

When a character already has a character model, there's only one next step.

Carlos made his debut in Final Fight 2, the Super Nintendo-only installment in the side-scrolling brawler series where the team left Metro City to travel around the world to defeat the Mad Gear Gang’s remnants. But the character went MIA afterward, despite it being established years after the game’s release that Final Fight and Street Fighter share universes. The bus in this franchise, however, always comes back.

Carlos is the only Final Fight hero to appear in person during the World Tour mode in Street Fighter 6. He gets the chance to display his ninja skills in battle, as he tests the avatar to determine how far they’ve come, and the distance they’ve yet to go. He’s extremely formidable in battle, with incredibly powerful target combos and a ridiculously broken sword spinning attack. Carlos is easier to beat after the player figures out his tricks, but that doesn’t stop him from being tough.

Considering he’s already in the game, Capcom might as well give him some upgrades and make him playable. Carlos received minimal focus over the years, but he’s finally getting his due, in a slick new suit and suave sunglasses to boot. His moves will need adjustment, but it shouldn’t take as much work on the development team’s part to make him fully playable.


9. Poison

Poison brings the heat in Street Fighter V.

Poison has been one of the key characters linking Street Fighter to Final Fight. She first appeared as an enemy in the original Final Fight title, but made her first real appearance in a Street Fighter game in Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact as Hugo’s manager. That’s “real appearance” because this isn’t counting her appearance in Guy’s cameo-stuffed background in Street Fighter Alpha 2.

Poison made her first playable appearance in Street Fighter x Tekken, a character model and move set reused for Ultra Street Fighter IV after the former game failed. She came with a unique set of techniques, including a three-punch Rekka-style combo (these tend to be popular, yes) and a crescent-style kick. She’s another character who reappeared in Street Fighter V, though in a slightly altered form through new combos, forcing players to relearn her.

Street Fighter 6 has been great at fusing what worked best about previous Street Fighter games into one tight package, and Poison could represent that in character form. She could come with her best moves and combos from her USFIV and SFV iterations, alongside new ones that take advantage of this game’s Drive Rush and Drive Impact corner combos. She’s been in two games in a row, and doesn’t appear in the World Tour’s Metro City at all. Her potential – perhaps likely – SF6 reveal could be special.


8. Ibuki

Ibuki brought some unique powers with her to Street Fighter V.

Ibuki originated as a young ninja character in Street Fighter III, a time before young ninjas in Japanese media were put on the map primarily thanks to Naruto. She immediately established herself as the “Jack-of-All-Trades” type in the game, one with answers to everything. Her close-range, mid-range, and long-range options are great, and she can rack up massive combos. But her damage was lower, which meant players still had to put effort into fighting with her. This didn’t stop her from being a top-tier fighter in 2nd Impact.

Ibuki is another in the line of characters who made their way into both Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter V. Unlike a bunch of others, many of her combos were maintained between both. Any combos or moves that were altered between the two were replaced with new combo possibilities, which led to her bomb V-Trigger usage in SFV. She’s a character with plenty of options, and she would fit in a Street Fighter game that presents the player with an overwhelming number of ways to fight and defend.

Ibuki would absolutely kill in Street Fighter 6. Her high combo potential might make her nearly broken when combined with Drive Rush techniques, Drive Cancels, and Drive Impacts for massive corner combos. If they bring her aboard, the development team will have to balance her damage output to ensure that she isn’t too dominant. She should also come with a new default outfit, since she should be well into young adulthood by this point.


7. Menat

Menat can perhaps see herself in Street Fighter 6 through her ball.

Menat was among the small-ish number of characters introduced in Street Fighter V through downloadable content. She’s an Egyptian fortune teller who’s an apprentice of Rose, and thus inherits some of her moves, like the Soul Throw. She also comes with unique moves of her own that utilize her fortune-telling orb. Her design is also great, one of the best and most memorable among SFV’s newcomers.

Menat differs from plenty of other characters on this list through being a high-execution character. Her intense juggle combos that made use of her orb and other majestic abilities were tough to pull off, especially in an online environment with SFV’s underwhelming netplay. But she was a rewarding character to use whenCapcom felt generous enough to not nerf her in any balance patches. She was best played offline, which robbed her of her full potential.

It's for this reason alone that Menat deserves another chance in Street Fighter 6. But let’s not undermine how she deserves another shot because she’s a cool-looking character with a similarly slick move set. It would be nice if the development team made her move set beefier in the process, too. SFV included too many characters who felt like they were missing a technique or two that fully made them tick, where SF6 is, thankfully, the opposite. Menat could benefit here.


6. Maki Genryusai

They should at least bring her back so a character model can be used here.

Maki originates from Final Fight 2, included as a replacement for Guy in the game. Like him, she’s a practitioner of Bushinryu who learned under Master Zeku. Her FF2 appearance made her popular enough to appear in Capcom vs. SNK 2, which further diversified her move set and personality to resemble a typical Japanese tough girl. The sprites used in this game made their way into Street Fighter Alpha 3.

Maki is indeed part of the Street Fighter world, but it’s sometimes tough to remember that considering how sporadic her appearances have been. She was long a requested character for Street Fighter V, but never quite made it in, with Zeku fulfilling the spot of the Bushinryu practitioner. This means her chances of making it to Street Fighter 6 are lower than they should be, with Guy’s apprentice Kimberly fulfilling the spot.

It’s still time for her to receive another appearance, though. Maki’s move set is very different from Guy’s, Zeku’s, and Kimberly’s (who fights more like Guy, to no surprise), with a lower focus on big combos and higher focus on damaging pokes and special attacks. There’s no risk of her being compared to Kimberly or any prior Bushinryu practitioners, and she’s received little character development in the games she’s appeared in. Heck, there isn’t even a 3D model picture that could be used in this entry, because she’s never had one. It’s beyond time for her to return.


5. Rolento

Rolento brought his trademark trickiness with him in Ultra Street Fighter IV.

Unlike other Final Fight characters, Rolento is more than established in the Street Fighter universe. Following his appearance as a boss in the first Final Fight title, he appeared as a playable character in Street Fighter Alpha 2 and Alpha 3. He’s also among the few to return in Street Fighter IV in the Ultra Street Fighter IV version, after his appearance in Street Fighter x Tekken.

Rolento’s move set would fit well within Street Fighter 6. The game lacks high-flying characters right now, with Rashid (returning from Street Fighter V) being the only one. He combines that with a unique move set that uses deadly strings and his trusty staff, both of which can confuse the opponent with cross-ups and explosions to make for massive combos. Though SF6 is lacking in villains, Rolento joins several other Mad Gear Gang members in no longer being one and remaining a neutral force.

Rolento’s gameplay features show how formidable he would be with SF6’s Drive systems, racking up big combos inside and outside the corner. Sure, his feature set would make him annoying as hell for some people to fight too, because of his intense cross-up potential and ability to perform massive corner combos. But that’s all part of the charm. They’ll adjust, as they did for Rashid. If they don’t, we’ll get some fun rage videos out of it.


4. (Mayor) Cody Travers

Started at the top, fell to the bottom, and then got back up here.

Cody has been through a lot. He started out fighting to tackle crime in Final Fight, but took a dark turn when he couldn’t stop fighting. His destructive behavior landed him in jail come Street Fighter Alpha 3’s time, which also resulted in him losing the love of his life, Jessica. His situation improved through, as he put his life back together and worked to become mayor of Metro City come Street Fighter V’s time, succeeding former mayor Mike Haggar. Cody is still mayor come Street Fighter 6’s time.

It's prominently mentioned that Cody watches over the city during SF6’s World Tour mode, but it feels bizarre that he doesn’t make an appearance himself. He’d fit in SF6 like a glove in terms of a future character appearance. If being an elected official didn’t prevent him from being busy enough being The Cool Mayor to join SFV’s tournament, there’s no way he’s too busy to do so now.

Cody would bring back a unique move set for SF6. But it could stand to be a combination of his Street Fighter IV and SFV move sets. Let that Zonk Knuckle have great priority again. Give him back all those cool knife attacks. SFV toned down a bunch of characters under the guise of making it easier to get into, but they went overboard. This is why Cody slaved away in the lower tiers for years. But SF6 will allow for them to turn the beat back, for Cody to return to his nearly high-tier self, alongside being older and wiser.


3. Crimson Viper

Another character who should have a more recent character model.

C. Viper remains a distinct face in the Street Fighter universe. There aren’t many characters who were mothers before joining the fighting universe. Viper is another character who proves that moms are tough, through balancing motherhood with being a spy within Shadaloo and S.I.N. for the CIA. She also has a unique move set in battle, which utilizes the power of a battle suit made by S.I.N. which was initially only in the testing stages.

There was a time when it appeared that C. Viper would be the main Street Fighter IV new face to remain with the franchise in perpetuity. Stats at the time (this was, goodness, 14 years ago) showed how she was the most popular character of the main five who joined the original SFIV. This led to her joining Marvel vs. Capcom 3. But Juri stole all her thunder, who’s made appearances in all subsequent Street Fighter games. This makes it funny when Juri is the character Viper ends up connecting with the most in the SFIV games, with the former respecting her brutal tactics. In fact, Juri still remembers her come SF6’s time.

C. Viper was essentially Capcom’s attempt to bring Captain Commando’s move set into a Street Fighter game, which they haven’t done since SFIV. This game could benefit from having another character with a set of highly technical moves, a tough-but-rewarding character with solid juggles and damage despite the high execution barrier. We’re long past due for Viper to reappear given all the mentions she receives in the story modes, so let’s fully bring her back in SF6.


2. Makoto

ANOTHER character who could use a more recent model. There's a reason why these characters are in the top 5 here.

Makoto originated from Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike as a Japanese karate practitioner looking to bring back her father’s dojo to prominence. She uses quick and powerful strikes, and doesn’t rely heavily on big combos to stand out. Her strengths depend on her spacing and the opponent’s positioning in the fighting arena more than any other character in the series, which made it tough to get her pattern down. But her move set was rewarding… in 3rd Strike, anyway.

Here is an easy argument for why it’s time for Makoto to return: There were no Japanese karate practitioners in the series before her, manga/anime-inspired or otherwise. (More emphasis on the former -- Street Fighter is VERY anime.) There haven’t been any since. She’s another character who could fulfill a unique position in Street Fighter 6’s roster, along with her potentially having an older non-schoolgirl appearance. This would also be a good way to make up for her underwhelming implementation in the Street Fighter IV titles, even after she was buffed in the later versions.

There are several reasons showing how and why she’ll excel in SF6’s fighting style. She could rack up damaging combos with Drive Impacts and Drive Rushes. Makoto excelled in the corner in the SFIII titles, and could dominate here considering how delectable, nasty, and dishonest corner fighting is in SF6. Perhaps -- maybe -- she could be even more frightening than she was in 3rd Strike for her corner combos. We’ll see, hopefully.


1. Mike Haggar

The hero of Metro City in SF6's World Tour mode hasn't even DEBUTED in Street Fighter yet.

Mike Haggar has a prominent place in the Street Fighter/Final Fight universe. He originated from the Final Fight series as one of the original three brawlers in the first game, and was the only character to appear as a playable character in all three installments. He keeps himself busy as the apparently longtime mayor of Metro City, and is primarily responsible for massively reducing its crime rate.

Haggar is treated as an icon in Metro City during Street Fighter 6’s World Tour, with the man having his own statue and a stadium named after him. This kind of makes him seem vain and dictatorial, but let’s just chalk this up to his high popularity and charisma. It’s startling, then, that he hasn’t made a single playable appearance in a Street Fighter game despite this. Outside Final Fight, his only bouts in the fighting arena are through Saturday Night Slam Masters and the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 titles. It’s time, Capcom.

The biggest argument preventing Haggar from joining the Street Fighter universe is his move set overlap with Zangief. But that doesn’t HAVE to be the case. Haggar can keep the lariat and Pile Driver, but receive other returning and new techniques that will distinguish him from everyone’s favorite Russian Bear Wrestler. Some can include returning moves from Final Fight and MvC3, while others can be brand new for his potential implementation here. He’ll be a formidable force in the universe, even in his old age. The oldest characters tend to be the wisest, after all.


Now that all these characters have made this list, they all simply must arrive in Street Fighter 6 eventually. It would be illegal otherwise, to the point of generating a lawsuit. If, or perhaps when, they do arrive, Capcom should let the development team implement them through careful balancing and robust move sets. This, in other words, should be the opposite of how they approached Street Fighter V.


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Geoffrey is the lowest-level Druid imaginable who read too many gaming magazines as a child. This made him decide that he wanted to do this video game journalism thing professionally.
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