IGNs Top 100 Games of All Time
Platform(s): ARC, PC, SNES
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Year Released: 1991
 - I have in my game collection
Why It Made Our Top 100 List
This could be the most influential arcade game that doesn't go by the name of Pac-Man or Space Invaders. For years, players stacked up their quarters in a line along the marquees and control bezels of Street Fighter II cabinets, looking to prove who was king of the hill. No game has ever so successfully exploited the testosterone-fueled "Type A" male ego, except maybe nowadays in the age of online Halo.

It was not, of course, the first game of its kind. (The "II" in the title is kind of a giveaway there.) The original Street Fighter is so incredibly primitive in comparison, though, that you may as well call this the beginning of the fighting genre.

With its six-button control scheme and seemingly limited playfield (two guys just standing there punching at each other?), Street Fighter II seemed pretty imposing to new players. It gradually revealed its levels of depth in ways no other fighter since then has, though, because everyone was a newbie then. Everyone got to slowly find out how much the game had to offer, which is a collective experience gamers rarely get the chance to enjoy.
Fun Facts
The concept of combinations, linked attacks that can't be blocked when they're timed correctly, came about more or less by accident. Street Fighter II's designers didn't quite mean for it to happen, but players of the original game eventually found out that certain moves naturally flowed into other ones. Their fellow players got to enjoy a rude awakening not long afterward -- a gamer's first encounter with Street Fighter combos usually went something like, "*%$#! Why the $!#& can't I block that &$@%?!"