This year it’s the 30th anniversary of one of gaming’s most iconic franchises, Street Fighter.  So to celebrate, Capcom has released a collection of Street Fighter’s 12 finest games from 1987 right up to 1999, pretty much all the best games in the series pre-Street Fighter IV (though SFIV was given away as a pre-order bonus by some retailers). When you consider that on the Nintendo Switch, the price of Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is the same as Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers, in terms of value, this collection puts that Nintendo Switch exclusive to shame, as good as that port is.

During my time playing all of these classic titles, I experienced no issues what-so-ever and aside from not having an arcade cabinet to truly replicate the experience, each of these games are just about as perfect as they can be on the home console and considering their age, they’re just as great to play today as they were all those years back.  However, if you do own an arcade stick for either of the PC, PS4, Xbox One or Nintendo Switch, your experience is only going to be enhanced and just considering all the games in this collection, this collection is a great reason alone, it’s a great time to pick up an arcade stick if you haven’t done already.

In total, the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection includes Street Fighter (1987), Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (1991), SFII: Champion Edition (1992), SFII: Turbo Hyper Fighting (1992), SFII: Super (1993), SFII: Super Turbo (1994), Street Fighter: Alpha (1995), SF: Alpha 2 (1996), SF: Alpha 3 (1995), Street Fighter III: New Generation (1997), SFIII: 2nd Impact (1997) and finally SFIII: 3rd Strike (1999).

I must say however, that no matter how much I love much of these games, damn I’ve forgotten how tough they can be as you reach the later stages of each of the respective arcade modes.  The original Street Fighter from 1987 is especially unforgiving at times, even on the lower difficulty setting and it’s nowhere near as a smooth experience to play then Street Fighter II, but it’s great experiencing the original once more none the less.  Yet somehow as an 80’s child, I managed to progress right through to the very end in the smoke filled holiday pub.  Thankfully, when things do become to get a little tough or you just need a break, you can save your progress during the arcade modes to return to at a later date.

If there was a downside to this collection, is that from all of the 12 games available, only 4 of which are currently playable online and they are SFII: Turbo Hyper Fighting, SFII: Super Turbo, SF: Alpha 3 and SFIII: 3rd Strike.  I suppose I can see logic to this, because it would probably take up a lot of server dedication and maintenance across all games available, so perhaps focusing on the titles that Capcom believe would be more popular, should result in a smoother online experience.  Judging from having a go at the games available to play online (while getting my ass predictably kicked), it was a very smooth indeed I never encountered any major issues, though that can change depending on another player’s online connection.

Also, the Nintendo Switch version features an exclusive multiplayer feature, by having the function to an 8-player tournament mode that can be played locally across four consoles.  However, seeing as I don’t own the Switch version yet or have access to four friends that also own this game, I am unable to test this feature out.  Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection also features a wealth of added bonuses, aside from the 12 available games.  Included within the game is a museum which provides a ton of interesting information on each of the games, such has early development, how the games were made and received, and how the series has evolved over the years, as well as art galleries, back stories for the characters, various animations, sprites, and much more.

In conclusion, you will struggle to find a collection of games that offers such great value and a high standard of fantastic games.  Each of the 12 games is replicated to near perfection and while not all the games are playable online, my experience so far has been an enjoyable one.  Finally, when you add the fact that you could pick this collection up anywhere between £20-£30 depending on where you shop, if you’re a fan of the fighting genre, the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is an absolute must and even to this day, the Street Fighter series continues to be just as iconic and sets the standard for the genre.