Fighting games are rarely known for their stories. In fact, most fighting games have bizarre plots to give reason for these battles taking place. Mortal Kombat has a tournament to decide the fate of the realm, Dead or Alive is basically a big martial arts tournament that happens to conflict with a powerful corporation, which is also the story behind Tekken. Soul Calibur, on the other hand, revolves around an evil blade that corrupts the combatants and provides unimaginable power.

Street Fighter is not immune to these creative storylines. However, the series has had an interesting chronological order. While it's not uncommon to see fighting games go back in time to cover elements of the stories that took place long ago, these games usually go in order. Mortal Kombat was a steady progression until the reboot in 2011 reset the story. Street Fighter, on the other hand, ignores chronological order.

The first Street Fighter (also known as Fighting Street) is where the story begins. Then we move to the Street Fighter Alpha series. Generally speaking, a game titled "Alpha" should take place before the other games, but in this case the Alpha games all take place after the first Street Fighter. These games are then followed by Street Fighter 2, but then things get wonky again. The next game in chronological order is Street Fighter 4. You heard correctly, the story of Street Fighter 4 takes place immediately after the events of Street Fighter 2, and before the events of Street Fighter 3.



Street Fighter 3 is currently the last game in chronological order. It takes place after Chun-Li has brought down Bison's organization and features a considerable amount of new characters. With all of this in mind, you have to wonder when Street Fighter 5 takes place. Is it before or after Street Fighter 3? Will the order of games be something along the lines of Street Fighter > Street Fighter Alpha > Street Fighter 2 > Street Fighter 4  > Street Fighter 5 > Street Fighter 3? That would be pretty amazing, and it actually looks like that may be the case.

While the order of the games is a bit strange, Capcom made sure to show that the characters matured in both age and fighting style. If you look at Street Fighter 3, characters have multiple Super Arts and new attacks in addition to most of the attacks they had in previous games. You can see the evolution of these characters when you play Street Fighter 3. With that in mind, take a look at the Street Fighter 5 trailer to see that Ryu uses his Denjin Hadouken.

You can tell it's the Denjin Hadouken instead of the Shinku Hadouken due to the trademark electricity surrounding the attack. Ryu has only had access to the Denjin in one game, Street Fighter 3. You can also see that a few of Chun-Li's new attacks are variations of her attacks from Street Fighter 3. Based on this limited information it seems clear that the characters in Street Fighter 5 have a few attacks from their Street Fighter 3 iterations.

This information tells us that the game should take place after Street Fighter 4. We still don't know if it takes place before or after Street Fighter 3, but with the reveal of Charlie, it seems more likely that it takes place before Street Fighter 3 instead of after. Charlie was more or less Guile's replacement in the Street Fighter Alpha series. If you move beyond Alpha in the timeline, Charlie is replaced by Guile in every game up to Street Fighter 3 in which both characters are replaced by Remy. The new character has similar attacks to Charlie and Guile, but at the moment there's no direct connection beyond that.

With Charlie in Street Fighter 5 it gives more leverage to the fact that the game takes place before Street Fighter 3. It seems unlikely that Charlie would be included after that time (chronologically), but it's still early and things could become clearer as additional characters are revealed. For the time being, there's strong evidence to indicate that Street Fighter 5 takes place after Street Fighter 4 and before Street Fighter 3. That said, we'll keep you informed on all things Street Fighter 5 as more information becomes available.