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Top Street Fighter Clone Games

Femi Famutimi
7 min

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Top Street Fighter Clone Games
These are the games that tried to be like one of the most popular Street Fighter games ever made

When Street Fighter II came out in 1991, it set off a cultural revolution and the franchise lives on till this day. It also made Capcom a boatload of money which was of great interest to  many other companies at the time. 

Due to Capcom’s success, the fighting game market soon became flooded with tons of titles, some incredible, some mediocre, and others just plain bad. The other  trend that started to come to the fore was the existence of the clone game. This is a game that is similar to another in setting, style and characters. Street Fighter had quite a number of these. 

Body Blows

This Street Fighter rip-off was released in 1993 for the Amiga, a 1985 computer from the Commodore series. The game seemed to take some of the ideas of Street Fighter mostly in terms of characters, and put it in the game. 

There were several of the game’s cast that had a curious resemblance to the individuals you’d come across in SF including two protagonists who had classic shoto moves, a big character like Honda, and the boxer…like Balrog. The game did feature some really decent music and got enough traction to spawn a sequel, Body Blows: Galactic. 


This SNK classic (there are a few SNK games here) came out in 1996 and when considering Street Fighter clones, this was a pretty good game all things considered. Its 8-person cast did feature quite a few similarities to SF including a female character called Rila that looks like Blanka without the green skin. 

There’s a native American fighter called Condor that is just a T.Hawk with a shaven head and a character called Alsion III that bears certain similarities to Dhalsim. The game also did well enough to get a sequel, and while it copied SF in many respects, it also did its own thing. The gameplay is smooth for something from that time, and it is worth a try. 

Time Killers

The concept of Time Killers is fascinating: a bunch of characters from different eras coming together to fight to the death with the winner being granted immortality. 

The tournament concept was something of a mix between Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, leaning more into the latter in terms of some of its features. For instance, characters could have their arms lopped off and be unable to use it in combat, and could suffer fatalities even before round end. Like the first two, it had a sequel, although more like a spiritual successor in Blood Storm. 

Power Instinct 

Sounds like Killer Instinct right? Well, yes, it does. Released in 1993 for the Super Nintendo, Arcade, and Sega Genesis, it does a lot of the things you would expect from a Street Fighter game. The controls are similar and some of the characters share similarities. 

Power Instinct does have a few unique points like the story which is of a family that gets together every 10 years to fight for who should be head. Also, some of the characters are not like any we’ve seen before like Otane, an elderly woman who can turn young (Zeku, anyone?) and sends her dentures as a projectile. She also has a jumping attack that looks like she’s kissing the opponent, which is weird. 

World Heroes

The name has more than a passing resemblance to the ‘World Warriors’ term used for Street Fighter II characters and the similarities do not stop there. The roster has a lot of ‘Street Fighter’ in it including a Ryu and Ken knockoff, a character that looks almost exactly like Fei Long, and a German military character called ‘Brocken’ who looks exactly like Bison. 

The story is unique, as it surrounds a scientist who makes a time machine with which the player must go and take down historical figures…There’s someone that must be Joan of Arc, and a Genghis Khan? Fun times!

Power Moves

That’s ….err… that’s a bad name. It was originally called ‘Power Athletes’ in Japan and was made to be called ‘Deadly Moves’ for the Sega, and considering Nintendo’s family-friendly nature, such a name could not work, and so the world got, Power Moves. 

Not a great game by any means, it did try a few things like letting players play on the foreground and background like Tekken did a lot more successfully. However, in execution, it wasn’t great as it meant characters could easily be off and take damage or be unable to deal damage because of the movement restrictions. 

Tuff E Nuff

Tuff E Nuff has a weird name that might have been considered somewhat cool in the 90s when it was released. It was called ‘Dead Dance’ in Japan which isn’t much better and while the cover of the game raises some eyebrows, this is one of those cases where one must not judge a book by its cover— sometimes the inside is worse!

So it was with Tuff E Nuff as it was a game that wasn’t bad, but incredibly forgettable. It tried to do a story about a post-apocalyptic world, but with clunky mechanics, only 4 playable characters (you could use codes to unlock 7 others) and little variety in combat, this is game that doesn’t go down well for the retro fan. 


Art of Fighting

Also made by SNK, Art of Fighting would go on to become a cult classic also spawning another game in the shared universe, Fatal Fury. Considering how good Fatal Fury is and the games that have come from it including Mark of the Wolves and the upcoming Fatal Fury: City of The Wolves , this is as good a game as a clone gets. 

The game’s protagonist, Ryo, is a clear ripoff of Ryu in Street Fighter, and the gameplay does try to ape Street Fighter a bit. However, Art of Fighting still had significant drawbacks including its lack of replay value, and limited options for characters. 

Fighter’s History

There was no other game that could come last except this one. This was a game that paid  such an homage to Street Fighter that it landed the makers, Data East, in court. Capcom lost the case, but its hard not so see the similarities between the characters of Capcom’s seminal fighting game, and this one. Like the female character that looks like Chun li, or the character Matlock who’s projectile looks a lot like a Sonic Boom.

The announcer voice is similar to SF, and the controls are also quite  close. That said, the gameplay is decent, and it introduced a feature called a weak point whereby an opponent could hit a specific point on a fighter till it started to flash and then hit it once more to stun them. A generic ripoff, sure, but a memorable one. 

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