Sometimes you just don’t realise exactly how long some franchises have stood the test of time until a major milestone arrives. For 30 years now, the Street Fighter series has become the measuring stick of Arcade Fighters, always being in the conversation in schoolyard arguments along with the Ying to its Yang, Mortal Kombat (and sometimes Tekken……….I was the Tekken kid). Well to those of you who have preferred Ryu to Sub-Zero and Hadoukens rather than fatalities all these years you’re in for a treat with the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, a veritable smorgasbord of 12 games on one disc it does exactly what it says on the packaging while providing seemingly endless nostalgia.

With 12 titles at your disposal which includes the original 1987 arcade Street Fighter, the SNES juggernaut Street Fighter II: The World Warrior along with its four other iterations, the Champion Edition, Turbo: Hyper Fighting, Super and what I personally feel is still the standard bearer Super Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha along with Alpha 2 and 3 and the three instalments of Street Fighter III – New Generation, 2nd Impact and 3rd Strike. Not only are you spoilt for choice here but you also treated to a pseudo-history lesson, from its humble beginnings as a standard 80’s arcade fighter to its ascent to one of the most popular video game franchises of all time.

Though the market may be filled to the brim with remasters and collections of our favourite series, with a franchise like Street Fighter you really get the feeling of ‘if it isn’t broken, then don’t fix it!’. Street Fighter has always looked and played awesomely, with an exception to the original which in my opinion doesn’t really hold up, but when it hit it’s prime, it hit it hard and this is the kind of visuals you’ll get to experience over the 12 years that this collection spans, with what looks like little to no tampering with the original look. The bright colours, the variety of intricate backdrops from all over the world with those wonderful sprites in the background hustling, bustling and chilling in a bathhouse along with those delicious and distinct character models that made every fighter in this series stand out from the familiar characters like Ryu, Ken and E.Honda to the obscure Q and Twelve.

Watching the surroundings and fighters change to a more bold and crisp outlook from the Alpha games onwards is just one bullet point to the testament of Street Fighter’s longevity, but the one downside sadly stares at you square in the face and sticks out like your first grey hair for the duration of your play time. The borders that surround the screen can diminish each games quality, however, some are less garish than others. Thankfully this is combatted by the filters in the options that give the effect of an arcade or CRT screen that gives playing through these classics some nice authenticity.

Each of these games also features gameplay that has aged really well with amazingly responsive controls and hard hitting punches, kicks and super moves, and with so many games at your leisure, you truly feel compelled to try as many of these characters as possible because of their own unique and exciting fighting styles. To anyone who may not know everything about Street Fighter or even may be new to the series completely, you’ll be amazed to discover just how huge the overall roster actually became through the years beyond just those familiar core characters that we all have come to know and love. You also have several options that include the classic arcade mode, training to help hone your skills so you can really bring a beatdown to your unsuspecting friends in the local vs mode and even online multiplayer! An experience that allows you to play through the arcade but with the added spontaneity of an actual player jumping in the fray to challenge you. Keep in mind though that this is only available on 4 of the 12 games (Hyper Fighting, Turbo, Alpha 3 and 3rd Strike). Street Fighter devotees will also be happy to discover the addition of the museum. A wide range of character information, a collection of the awesome 16-bit music (so you can truly see if Guile’s theme goes with everything), information on the making of some of the games and even a full-on historically timeline on the series from 1987 to 2018.