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The Only Two Characters To Appear In Every Street Fighter Game

Though the "Street Fighter" series had somewhat humble beginnings with a first game that is rather underplayed, its sequel, "Street Fighter 2," was an arcade sensation. That game and the many iterations that followed gobbled up the quarters of many hapless '90s kids as they pummeled each other senselessly in its digital playground.


Since then, the series has expanded pretty liberally with each and every sequel, its rosters always growing through tons of spin-offs, crossover appearances in other fighting games, and the mainline series. Throughout the growth of the "Street Fighter" franchise, fans have gotten to know many iconic recurring characters, including Chun-Li, Akuma, Blanka, E. Honda, and Cammy. 

While there is no shortage of highly recognizable fighters across the many entries of the franchise, even longtime fans might be surprised to learn that there are only two characters who have appeared in every "Street Fighter" game since the very beginning.

Ken and Ryu are the only two mainstays

If you guessed Ken and Ryu, then give yourself a pat on the back. These two rivals have been at the heart of the "Street Fighter" series since its inception and they remain pivotal figures in the franchise to this day. For his part, Ryu is inarguably the poster boy of the series and appears on almost all cover art in the franchise, including crossover titles like "Marvel vs. Capcom." 


As the only two playable characters in the original "Street Fighter" game from 1987, Ken and Ryu are the only fighters to make an appearance in every single entry in the series. Though other well-known characters like Sagat and Birdie appeared as bosses in the original game, they have missed out on joining the roster of at least one game each since.

Even the most fervent of "Street Fighter" fans could be forgiven for thinking mainstays like Chun-Li, Zangief, and Dhalsim have been around since the start, being that we've been playing as these characters for over thirty years. As surprising as it might be, though, even those beloved combatants weren't a part of the game until "Street Fighter 2" arrived four years later in 1991.