Street Fighter has a long and tumultuous history with cinema. Although most people remember the infamous Hollywood adaptation, there have been several films based on Street Fighter and, believe it or not, some of them are worth watching if you’re a fan of the series. Note that the list below all the major movies ranked from worst to best and all the unofficial adaptations, OVAs, web-series and shorts weren’t taken into consideration.
Street Fighter Alpha Generations suffers from a lot of problems. Not only does the movie not know what it wants to be, but the animation looks horrid, the voice acting is hard to listen to and the story is absolutely asinine. This is an atrocious adaptation that’s worth skipping, even if you feel like you have to watch everything about the Street Fighter franchise. There’s a reason why this 2005 anime was developed exclusively for the English language market, but I think we deserve better.
I could spend a long time talking about the problems of The Legend of Chun-Li, but I’ll keep it short. The plot is shallow, the performances are rough and the special effects are laughable even for a direct-to-DVD film. There are some well choreographed fights here and there and some of the filming locations are spot on, but for the most part, this is a forgettable adaptation that you can totally do without.
3. Street Fighter (1994)
A lot has been said about the Street Fighter adaptation and I won’t try to dissect all of its problems in this short description. The movie doesn’t work because it alters the events of the game and it alienated the audience it should have appealed to and the lighter tone and humorous interludes didn’t work at all. On top of that the dialogue is unintelligent, the martial arts sequences are poorly edited and some parts from the story don’t make a lot of sense.
2. Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation
This independent installment takes some ideas from The Animated Movie and Street Fighter II V (probably one of the worst and most confusing names for a movie) and makes something that might not be canon, but is still enjoyable to watch. The plot might be confusing and it’s strictly for fans of the games, but the colorful presentation proves that the people involved wanted to craft something fans could be proud of.
If you’re looking for the best movie based on Street Fighter, look no further. The Animated Movie proved what could be done when there’s effort and love for the source material and the result was an animated movie that holds up remarkably well even after decades of its release. I won’t try to pretend that this is the perfect adaptation, but it has everything you could expect from a movie based on Street Fighter II and is everything that all the other movies on this list aren’t.