While Karate Champ came before Street Fighter, it was Capcom's arcade hit, Street Fighter 2 that really put fighting games on the map. When the genre hit a slump, it was Street Fighter 4 that rejuvenated the casual and competitive fighting game fans and brought the genre back to the forefront. Five years after the initial release of Street Fighter 4, Capcom will release the next installment in the long-running franchise.

So far, three characters have been confirmed for Street Fighter 5: Ryu, Chun-Li and Charlie. Many have speculated on other potential characters, but those are the only ones 100 percent confirmed at the moment. Excluding those characters, let's take a look at the best fighters to help fill out the roster. This isn't the end-all, be-all list of characters for the game. Rather, it's simply a list of the characters who would help spice things up the most.

Akuma

You really can't have a Street Fighter game without the demon himself. Akuma is a staple of the Street Fighter series just as much as Ryu. In fact, for many people Akuma is more of a staple. It's hard to imagine any new Street Fighter game without this man, as he adds a sense of evil that even M. Bison can't replicate. He also helps to give Ryu more purpose, and while he's a Shoto character, his aerial fireballs and Demon Flip attacks help separate him from the other Shoto characters.

Birdie

Birdie is one of the few characters from Street Fighter Alpha that was left out of the Street Fighter 4 roster. It was probably for good reason as Birdie wasn't the most popular character, but if Street Fighter 5 is going to advance the series, the inclusion of Birdie would be a nice change of pace. The simplest way to describe Birdie is that he's a combination of Balrog and Zangief. He has several powerful grappling alongside attacks that charge across the screen similar to Balrog's various charging punches. That's not to say he should replace either character, but he's a good mixture that you won't find in many other characters.

C. Viper

As one of the new characters introduced in Street Fighter 4, C. Viper has a unique move set that reminds many players of a King of Fighters character. She mixed things up in Street Fighter 4, and she would offer the same unique play style in Street Fighter 5. With the new mechanics being introduced in the game, she could offer even more unique attacks and abilities, just like she did in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

Guile

Capcom has already announced the inclusion of Charlie in Street Fighter 5, and to most casual players, he's just a clone of Guile. However, to the more knowledgeable Street Fighter player, Charlie and Guile are very different. While we know little about how Charlie plays in Street Fighter 5, it would be nice to see Charlie and Guile offer offensive and defensive play styles respectively. A good way to do this would be to give Charlie the offensive prowess he had in the Marvel vs. Capcom series where Sonic Booms did not require a charge. If that were the case, he'd need to be balanced in other ways, but it would help to differentiate Charlie and Guile, allowing Guile to retain his move set from Ultra Street Fighter 4.

M. Bison

M. Bison has been featured in almost every Street Fighter game. He was one of the few charge characters in Street Fighter 4, and his evil genius deserves a place in Street Fighter 5. However, we'd like to see the bulkier Alpha version of M. Bison instead of the slim and trim version of SF4. We'd also like to see his projectiles return from the Alpha series. In fact, just make a playable, balanced version of the Street Fighter Alpha 3 boss battle M. Bison.

Q

First introduced in Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike, Q is arguably the most unique character in the Street Fighter series. He is a very defensive character and generally considered low tier in 3rd Strike, but his tier placement can be fixed with a few minor adjustments to his attacks. There will be defensive characters in Street Fighter 5, and with a mid- to high-tier version of Q in the mix, it could really help to spice things up in the new game.

R. Mika

You really can't have a Street Fighter game without the demon himself. Akuma is a staple of the Street Fighter series just as much as Ryu. In fact, for many people Akuma is more of a staple. It's hard to imagine any new Street Fighter game without this man, as he adds a sense of evil that even M. Bison can't replicate. He also helps to give Ryu more purpose, and while he's a Shoto character, his aerial fireballs and Demon Flip attacks help separate him from the other Shoto characters.

Birdie

Birdie is one of the few characters from Street Fighter Alpha that was left out of the Street Fighter 4 roster. It was probably for good reason as Birdie wasn't the most popular character, but if Street Fighter 5 is going to advance the series, the inclusion of Birdie would be a nice change of pace. The simplest way to describe Birdie is that he's a combination of Balrog and Zangief. He has several powerful grappling alongside attacks that charge across the screen similar to Balrog's various charging punches. That's not to say he should replace either character, but he's a good mixture that you won't find in many other characters.

C. Viper

As one of the new characters introduced in Street Fighter 4, C. Viper has a unique move set that reminds many players of a King of Fighters character. She mixed things up in Street Fighter 4, and she would offer the same unique play style in Street Fighter 5. With the new mechanics being introduced in the game, she could offer even more unique attacks and abilities, just like she did in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

Guile

Capcom has already announced the inclusion of Charlie in Street Fighter 5, and to most casual players, he's just a clone of Guile. However, to the more knowledgeable Street Fighter player, Charlie and Guile are very different. While we know little about how Charlie plays in Street Fighter 5, it would be nice to see Charlie and Guile offer offensive and defensive play styles respectively. A good way to do this would be to give Charlie the offensive prowess he had in the Marvel vs. Capcom series where Sonic Booms did not require a charge. If that were the case, he'd need to be balanced in other ways, but it would help to differentiate Charlie and Guile, allowing Guile to retain his move set from Ultra Street Fighter 4.

M. Bison

M. Bison has been featured in almost every Street Fighter game. He was one of the few charge characters in Street Fighter 4, and his evil genius deserves a place in Street Fighter 5. However, we'd like to see the bulkier Alpha version of M. Bison instead of the slim and trim version of SF4. We'd also like to see his projectiles return from the Alpha series. In fact, just make a playable, balanced version of the Street Fighter Alpha 3 boss battle M. Bison.

Q

First introduced in Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike, Q is arguably the most unique character in the Street Fighter series. He is a very defensive character and generally considered low tier in 3rd Strike, but his tier placement can be fixed with a few minor adjustments to his attacks. There will be defensive characters in Street Fighter 5, and with a mid- to high-tier version of Q in the mix, it could really help to spice things up in the new game.

R. Mika

The simplest way to describe Rainbow Mika is to say she's basically a female version of Abel from Street Fighter 4. While their attacks are different, both are grapplers with more speed than you'd normally expect. We don't know if Abel will be a featured character in Street Fighter 5, but R. Mika could easily replace him and add more feminine talent to the game. We haven't seen much of her since Street Fighter Alpha 3, so it's time to bring her back into the mix.

Rufus

The simplest way to describe Rainbow Mika is to say she's basically a female version of Abel from Street Fighter 4. While their attacks are different, both are grapplers with more speed than you'd normally expect. We don't know if Abel will be a featured character in Street Fighter 5, but R. Mika could easily replace him and add more feminine talent to the game. We haven't seen much of her since Street Fighter Alpha 3, so it's time to bring her back into the mix.

Rufus

Another character introduced in Street Fighter 4, Rufus is overweight, but fast and agile. His unique play style, coupled with his dive kick abilities made him a popular choice even though he was considered a lower tier character in many of the SF4 variants. He was one of the more unique characters in SF4 and would offer the same unique flare in Street Fighter 5. Plus, who doesn't want to see that fat jiggle with the power of next-generation physics?

Sodom

Another character from the Street Fighter Alpha series, Sodom originally hailed from Final Fight. He's an agile grappler with a rekka. At the most basic level you can think of Sodom as a mix between Fei Long and Zangief. Of course he's much more than that once you delve into his move list, but he brings another unique style to the Street Fighter series that you don't often see. Many of the Alpha characters were very unique, so it would be nice to see some of them return in Street Fighter 5.

Stay tuned to Prima Games as we offer continuing coverage of Street Fighter 5, leading up to its rumored early 2016 release.