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Ryu is Only the Second Best Street Fighter Character

Posted by: Akuma on Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

I know. Some of you are going to write this post off as blasphemy, because there’s no way that Ryu plays second fiddle to anyone. After all, he is the main character of the Street Fighter series and he’s easily the most recognizable character from the franchise. He’s always been a man of very few words, punishing M. Bison only to walk off into the sunset in search of the next challenge.

You see, there are reasons why Ryu is one of the best, ranking above third best Guile. Guile needs to charge before performing any of his canonical special moves, whereas Ryu can unleash fireballs, uppercuts, and hurricane kicks with some swift quarter-circles. He’s one of the most versatile players you can choose to use in the world warrior tournament and it goes without question that he’s one of the most popular Street Fighter characters in the arcades today or any day. I need not remind you how great he is.

But Ryu is not without his shortcomings. First, Ryu isn’t exactly accessible by newbies and relative beginners, because the quarter-circle-forward mechanic can take some practice for someone not accustomed to the move. Super fireballs can be even more challenging to perform. What’s more, when Street Fighter II was first translated to the Super Nintendo, we were forced to crouch, crouch-forward, forward, punch. The quarter circle movement, yet again, made for an unnecessary hurdle on a directional pad. My thumb gets blisters just thinking about it.

The karate master from Japan is not easily forgotten and he is one of the few players who has managed to appear in every Street Fighter game ever made, even making an appearance in off-shoots like Street Fighter vs. X-Men and Puzzle Fighter II (was there ever a Puzzle Fighter One?). As great as he is, Ryu is not the best Street Fighter character. That person will be revealed at a future date. I’ll give you a clue: it’s not Akuma either.

20 Responses to “Ryu is Only the Second Best Street Fighter Character”

Shawn Knight Says:
November 29th, 2007 at 4:46 pm

Street Fighter 2 is one of my all-time favorite games, only second to the original Zelda for NES.

I was a master with Ryu and could beat most anyone with simple strong kicks… man now I wanna play!!

Patrick Swayze Says:
August 11th, 2008 at 7:02 pm

It’s got to be Ken.

The only person who could ever beat Ryu is Ken, however, Ken has a weak mind, and his flaws are simply human.
Ken, who was born in America, doesn’t have one aspect to his life, like Ryu.
Cars, parties, boats, women…Ken has them all, as well as fighting skills.
Ryu simply lives to better himself as a combatant, and a warrior.

Ken’s moves may be similar to Ryu, but they have a few crucial differences.
The Shoryuken, or the Dragon Punch, is in Ken’s favour, as his is more angled, quick and deadly.
Ken recovers from blows faster, making it easier for him to retaliate.
The Tatsumaki-Senpuukyaku, or the Hurricane Kick is pretty much parralel between the two characters, so there is nothin’ to say there.

In the end, Ryu is often outshowed by his super-star friend Ken, but only when it doesn’t count, in practice.

No matter what the author of this original paragraph may say, Ken is the best character in Street Fighter, and since the duo of Ryu and Ken are indeed, best friends, the difference is minor in thier eyes.

Analogic Says:
August 18th, 2008 at 7:19 pm

Yo this may sound strange but I have a feeling that Dhalsim is the best SF character….

I was one of those kids that first learned the what I called side ways up and down guys. (like blanka, chun li, e honda, guile) before the circle guys.. But I w2as determined to learned dahlsim and I have a feeling dhalsim is the top guy… I say this cause FEW people took the time to learn him… he is my absolute favorite fighter

September 26th, 2008 at 1:34 pm

I’m sure that CHUN LI will be the number one! 😀

Janna Dejesus Says:
November 12th, 2008 at 5:41 pm


KaCee Says:
February 18th, 2009 at 1:28 am

I tell you right now, me (I was always Ryu)and my brother (was usually ken, or evil ryu)used to have drawn out battles with ryu and ken, if the time was turned off we world play against each other for 5 to 10 minutes around flipping around throwing fireballs, uppercuts, and hurricane kicks….so, I can tell you that Evil Ryu is the best out of the 3, and the best street fighter, he faster then both ryu and ken and in every sense of the way and even akuma is no match for him.

Patrick Swayze Says:
February 20th, 2009 at 12:16 am

I never considered that…
However, there is another we are sorely over-looking.
Violent Ken.

raytin Says:
February 23rd, 2009 at 5:06 am

Evil ryu is ryu except in evil mode.. Violent ken is also ken jus that hes more violent… that’s all i can say… at most, it would be bison, or ken… those are the only 2 i can think of

KaCee Says:
February 24th, 2009 at 6:12 pm

M.Bison is a great advisary when then computer is weilding him, but if you are unskilled and are bad at timing your opponents moves he is not a great fighter to use, I put him on the same pedestal as E.Honda or Zangief…Just a bit more flashy, and little more controllable but Ken is up in my top 5 players.

Patrick Swayze Says:
February 26th, 2009 at 1:59 am


KaCee, are you not familiar with Violent Ken?

KaCee Says:
February 28th, 2009 at 10:09 pm

Violent Ken (yes I know violent ken, controlled by M.Bison, more furious and explosive than regular Ken)is only rivaled to Evil Ryu, I have only played with him a few times because as I expressed earlier I prefer Ryu to Ken (but everybody has a favorite player, and if you prefer Ken, then that is a better choice than a Guile choice), but I do like Ken moves tend to come out further, a bit faster, more flasher sometimes making him a bit tougher to fight but also more vulnerable, and easier to hit if attacked is missed but I enjoy so much the battle. Ryu is more poised, and moves tend not to extend so far showing patience, and reservation, both are great fighter, and argueable you can say Ken is better like I could say Ryu or even the man above me, think M. Bison is far more superior, but every person has a certain fighting style, and a character who fits best for that particular fighting style and their fighting strategy.

Patrick Swayze Says:
March 1st, 2009 at 10:12 am

I can see the points you’ve made, and I have to sorely agree with them.
I, being a flashy person, like Ken, do enjoy his moves; however, that is a prime example of what you were tryin’ to explain.
No arguement there.

Have you played Street Fighter 4 yet?
(Do I even need to ask?)

KaCee Says:
March 1st, 2009 at 10:15 pm

Yes, I am a street fighter fan…I love the game…what particularly would you like to discuss about it?

gouki Says:
September 1st, 2009 at 7:39 pm

blanka / charlie ftw

Gouki_007 Says:
January 7th, 2010 at 12:50 pm

First none of them is better than Akuma let alone Shin Akuma when he is using his full power. Ryu is very good so is ken but even at evil ryu n violent ken they still fall short(very short) when Akuma is at full strength..hell the Misogi alone will beat Ryu n ken and thats just 1 move. Then you have the KKZ, SGS, why u think capcom doesnt make Akuma Shin Akuma in the games? cause it wouldn’t be fair. Simply Akuma at full power will owned them all…

akshaykapoor Says:
January 25th, 2010 at 10:51 am

I think akuma is the strongest character in street fighter series.ryu is a weakling in front of akuma,its simple logic same moves + teleport + more combos + more speed.if it was ken then it would have been a close call as ken is faster than akuma.ryu is just famous. acc 2 me
1 akuma
2 ken
3 sagat
4 ryu
5 m bison
6 chun li
7 rolento
8 vega
9 guy
10 sakura

kacee Says:
February 15th, 2013 at 4:51 pm

akuma is good, but I always smash him so easily, he is good at being powerful, but he is no match for a close encounter with ryu…with ryu I can get close enough to do damage or far enough to make you want to bring the fight to me than you are in my world…Street fighter legend Ryu

kacee Says:
February 15th, 2013 at 4:55 pm

btw charlie and blanka…be serious…you better be a master at the game and know your opponents, and the characters weakness to pull off many victories with them…I would pick dalzam before blanka…because it no way blanka is getting anywhere near me with any type of roll, shock, flip, throw…just not going to happen

Mark Honnibal Says:
June 23rd, 2015 at 6:08 pm

That forced crouch you talk about made a massive difference combo wise in the game.

Talking about frame animations as a crouching heavy punch into a hadouken was usually how you identified a noob.

Where a pro would heavy punch standing and immediately hadouken.

Like wise for shoryuken.

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