Top 15 Black Street Fighter Characters Ranked

black street fighter characters

Capcom's fighting game franchise Street Fighter has introduced many iconic characters since it's debut in 1987, from the likes of Ryu and Chun-Li to Guile and Cammy. However let's turn our attention to some of the more underrated people in the series.

Street Fighter's black representation  has been far from perfect, nevertheless these characters still ooze charisma and stand out in their own ways. This list also features several non playable characters, so without further ado, here are 15 of the best Black Street Fighter characters to appear in the games, ranked from worst to best.

15. Max 

Remember the Black dude who got dropped with a right hook in the controversial Street Fighter 2 intro, yeah that dude. For years, him and his white counterpart were often mistaken for being Mike and Joe from Street Fighter 1. However in 2016, Capcom finally put that rumour to rest and identified both fighters as Max and Scott respectively.

Max is a technical heavyweight boxer who fights in mixed martial arts events and loves to gamble. His supposedly bad behaviour sees him constantly getting punished, as evident in his debut. He also appears in the High Roller Casino stage in Street Fighter 5 as a background character.

14. Mike

Balrog is often credited as the first Black Street Fighter character, having debuted in 1991's Street Fighter II, yet Mike predated the heavyweight boxer by five years in fact, having appeared in the first Street Fighter game, which released in 1987.

Over the years many people have mistaken Mike for Balrog, which is fair given the fact that they're both formidable boxers with similar gameplay. And Balrog is even called Mike Bison in Japan. However Capcom has made it perfectly clear that they're separate characters. 

Although Mike did time for robbery (where he first learnt how to box), him and Balrog couldn't be more different. Unlike Balrog whose greed and selfishness knows no bounds, Mike actually cares about his community and offers aid by helping the less fortunate and teaching kids how to box.

13. Jafari 

african characters
Elena's kin first appeared as a family portrait in her Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike ending, and it's at this moment we are introduced to her father and head of the table, Jafari. A man descended from a family of warriors. Unlike his racially ambiguous wife and offspring, Jafari is the only person from his immediate family who looks like a Kenyan citizen.

He is said to be a very wise man and great leader who at some point studied oversees to obtain a doctor's degree in pharmacy and veterinarian medicine. Apart from appearing in Elena's Third Strike ending, he has also appeared in Elena's cinematic cutscenes in Ultra Street Fighter IV.

12. Byron Taylor
street fighter new character

If there was ever a man who took his job more seriously than Guile in the Street Fighter universe, it would probably be his superior Bryon Taylor in Street Fighter 5. A tough and uncompromising USAF captain general who is a man of mystery, yet at the same time a pretty important guy in the grander scheme of things.

Naturally as a high ranking member of the United States Air Force,  Bryon is an enemy of Shadaloo and vice versa. On a lighter note, the general owns a private plane and is the owner of five bulldogs, although due to his high dedication to work, he hasn't found time to go home and be a family man.

11. Santamu 
santamu street fighter
Santamu is an Ethiopian character, who in earlier iterations is said to be from Vietnam, although she  ethnically looks Black in various Capcom artwork. Her alongside the other Dolls are captured and brainwashed by Shadaloo to serve and ultimately protect M.Bison from danger.

Outside of being a Shadaloo Doll, little is known about Santamu's origins, although one thing we do know is that she loves animals and has a pet monkey named Kiki. What's also unique about Santamu is her use of a spear, which is a first time in the Street Fighter verse.

10. Fair Libra 
street fighter 3 characters
Many hip-hop heads consider the entire Street Fighter 3 series to be one love letter to hip hop, jazz and house music, which is why a character like Fair Libra is so fitting. Hailing from Brooklyn New York, Libra is a member of the Judgement girls, female judges who decide the winner in the event of a draw.

Her dad is a professional saxophonist, so naturally Libra grew up in a house full of music, and she's huge fan of old school hip hop. As a character who only appeared during the draw game screen, her role is actually minimal, but she would make for an exciting new playable character in future Street Fighter games.

9. Birdie 

This dim-witted, violent and short tempered brute is the type of cockney you wouldn't wanna meet in a dark alley. First appearing in Street Fighter 1, Birdie was formally a professional wrestler who fell into crime to make meets end when his wrestling career ended.  

Birdie was initially a pale and tall 70s English punk rocker in the original Street Fighter game. However in the sequel he is a hulking Black British punker. Capcom's reason for his paleness in the original Street Fighter game was due to him being sick. While Birdie has an intimating aura in the Street Fighter Alpha series, he is literally turned into a fat joke in Street Fighter V.

8. Thrasher Damnd

As a character who first appeared in Final Fight as the game's first boss , Damnd is a high ranking Mad Gear Gang member from the deep trenches of Metro City.

While Damnd has made minor cameo appearances in the series, it wouldn't be until Street Fighter 6's World Tour mode that he would catch his big break, making many appearances as both an ally of circumstance and an antagonist.

Damnd views the Avatar as his ideal subordinate for bringing the Mad Gear gang back to its former glory, and he appears to have a grudging but sincere admiration for them. Whether they want to or not, he will stop at nothing to win them over to his way.

7. Deejay 
black street fighter characters

As the first Jamaican character to appear in a video game, Deejay is all about the rhythm. He is a famous kickboxer, as well as a breakdancer and snappy beat maker who at some point rose to stardom in the music industry. On the surface Deejay is a happy go lucky man with a nonsensical grin and laidback attitude, however he is also a hard worker with strong credentials.

At the time of his conception, Deejay was the only street fighter to be designed by Capcom's American division and the inspiration behind his character was Billy Blanks. Though overall if there's ever a character that's in need of a redesign, it's this guy.

Update: Street Fighter 6 is the best that your boy DeeJay has ever looked and that's due to his much needed makeover, which toned down his cartoonish features and opted for more realistic expressions.

Now sporting twist out locs and stylish treads that pay homage to the Jamaican flag, Deejay upgraded wardrobe makes him one of the drippiest characters to appear in a fighting game.

6. Dudley

Is there a Street fighter character with as much class and dignity as Dudley? Probably not. Making his debut in 1997's Street Fighter 3 New generation as the second Black British character and third boxer in the series, this upper class heavyweight boxer maybe a gentle soul but his boxing technique and speed are utterly disrespectful.

Although Dudley has gained the reputation for being a well mannered and polite gentleman, his personality was quite different in the first two Street Fighter 3 games, in which he was a far more snobbish and proud pugilist. Though this attitude was toned down by Third Strike. He may also be  inspired by British former professional boxer Chris Eubank.

5. Elena

princess elena
Elena’s story begins in Kenya, where she is the princess of a tribe who has a cultural tradition of fighting. Despite this she is a joyful, nature loving capoeira fighter whose passion is to travel the world and meet new friends along the way.

She studied as an exchange student in Japan where she met her best friend and later continued those studies in France. Elena has similar traits to Storm from X-Men, as both have white hair, blue eyes, are Kenyan descent and come from African royalty. To add, Elena was created a year after X-Men vs Street Fighter, a game which Storm herself appeared in.

4. Sean Matsuda 

street fighter 6 characters

Sean is a young and fearless amateur martial artist and basketball player from Brazil (formally North America) who is always eager to prove himself. He's also a Ken Masters fanboy who imitates ken's moves, but never actually received any serious training from him.

He was created to be the new Ryu/Ken clone in Street Fighter 3, however he has constantly got the  short end of the stick when it came to development, to the point that he has been compared to the biggest joke character in the series Dan Hibiki, a character he references in one of his win quotes.

3. King Cobra 

street fighter 6
You ever see a character concept art so cool and wonder how a game company can botch it up so badly. That's exactly what happened to King Cobra, the original concept of Street Fighter IV's Rufus, yes you read right, the obese American Kung Fu fighter was originally gonna be far less of a joke.

Designed by Daigo Ikeno, in the early stages of development, Rufus was originally a bald, athletic Black American man who fought with "Break Kung Fu" a fighting style which combined martial arts, gymnastics and dance. However his design was scrapped in favour of a comical overweight stereotype, former Capcom producer Yoshinori Ono regarded as the "American Dan".

2. Kimberly Jackson

The first Playable African American female character made her debut in Street Fighter 6 as a young ninja who practices the fictional Ninjutsu style of Bushinryu with a urban twist. She is also the fledgling student of Final Fight's Guy. 

In love with all things 80s and street culture, this Metro City native arguably the best newcomer in years.  Her authenticity is also due the fact that Capcom consulted with black Consultants during her creation. 

Character designer Kaname Fujioka claims that Kimberly is positioned to take on the role of Chun-Li for the new generation of Street Fighter fans.

1. Balrog 

mike tyson meme

It's no secret that this bad boy is Street Fighter's version of Mike Tyson. A hard hitting, egoistical and hot tempered American boxer with an unappeasable urge for cash. He first appeared in Street Fighter 2 as an non-playable boss before becoming playable in it's update.

Born into poverty, at some point Balrog rose through the ranks of boxing and became heavyweight champion. Though later in his career, the prize fighter would earn a lifetime ban for using dirty tactics and accidently killing an opponent. All this would eventfully lead him to join Shadaloo and sooner or later gain a promotion as M.Bison's chief enforcer. 

Many people are aware that Balrog is loosely based on Mike Tyson, but to what extent? Well in Japan, Balrog's name is"Mike Bison." which rhymes with Mike Tyson. While his win quote in Street Fighter Alpha 3 "If you fight like that again, I'll bite your ear off!" is a reference to Mike Tyson's infamous fight with Evan Holyfield. 

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