The Third Strike Tier List is a categorization of Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike characters, based on their overall stats, attacks, and gameplay. The game played a defining role in making Street Fighter the franchise that it is today, and this Tier List serves as a guide for players looking to choose their ideal character.
Fighting games have been around for decades and have built up a dedicated community of gamers. The Third Strike Tier List is a testament to the subjective nature of fighting games, where each player’s perception and ideas can differ. The Tier List features five tiers, ranging from S Tier to D Tier, with each character being categorized based on their effectiveness in the game. It is important to note that Tier Lists are subjective and can vary from person to person.
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike is an iconic classic that continues to be cherished by many players today. The game’s wide range of characters, each with a different background and fighting style, adds to its appeal. The Tier List serves as a useful tool for players looking to improve their gameplay and master the game’s mechanics.
- There are a total of 30 entries in this article.
- The ranking is based on the skills and abilities of the characters.
- Among the best-ranked characters are Dudley, Akuma, and Chun-Li.
- Among the worst-ranked characters are Remy, Elena, and Sean Matsuda.
|S Tier||A Tier||B tier||C Tier||D Tier|
From one viewpoint fighting games may feel very simple, following a single concept of close-quarter or hand-to-hand combat; however, in contrast, there is much more to it which made this genre of gaming so popular that became a global phenomenon.
First of all, there is a massive collection of characters, where each character follows a certain fighting style and have its own distinctive move set.
Secondly, a lot of different mechanics are thrown into the mix such as grapple attacks, throws, combo attacks, and also defensive acumens like evades and blocks, which makes each player unique and his playstyle eccentric.
We begin our Third Strike Tier List with S Tier, a tier exclusive only to best performing or high-rated characters offered in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike.
From a selection of a total of nineteen characters, a few outstanding nominees were capable of making the cut. Each and every character present in the S Tier of this Tier List is among Third Strike’s finest, with phenomenal potential and no limitations to achieve greatness.
- Special Combo: Super Art: Rocket Uppercut
- Controls: (Down, Right) + (Down, Right) X
Our first character in S Tier of this Tier is Dudley, first featured by Capcom in Street Fighter 3: New Generation. He is a British Boxer belonging to the black ethnicity rocking a green suit with blue boxing gloves.
According to game developers, the sport of boxing has a big reputation in England and was considered to be a gentlemen’s game having said that almost every fighting game portrayed these athletes in a bad manner, as most characters with a background in boxing combat style were shown as villains or bad guys, this ultimately led to the creation of Dudley.
Most of Dudley’s attacks have been greatly influenced by conventional boxing techniques and prove to be an absolute beast in close-quarter combat, making use of strong one-hit attacks, evades, and blocks to toy with his opponents.
Dudley can also perform a number of long combo attacks to inflict maximum damage on his opponent. Establishing himself as a complete character that excels in aspects of this game.
- Special Combo: Super Art: Messetsu Gou Senpu
- Controls: (Down, Right) + (Down, Right) Y – When in the air
Next, making his way straight from the gates of hell to the S Tier of this tier list is Akuma. A fighting game character whose legacy is not only confined to Street Fighter but also Tekken when he was made a part of the character roster in Tekken 7.
Akuma was first featured in Street Fighters upon the release of Street Fighter: Alpha 2, he is a demon who wears dark-colored attire, with red hair and glowing eyes.
Akuma mainly fights with mixed martial arts fighting backgrounds, but thanks to game developers, he had some tricks up his sleeves that completely separated him from the entire lot.
He could cancel a normal attack and transform it into a special one; this fundamental alone was enough to throw many opponents off their game, because of increasing pressure players were bound to make mistakes on which Akuma capitalized.
Akuma also had a jump, normally when playing a fighting game players don’t jump around as it is a big gamble which opens them to counterattacks. But when playing with Akuma it is quite normal for any player to jump around, which kept opponents on their toes and in constant disarray.
- Special Combo: Super Art: Tensei Renka
- Controls: (Down, Right) + (Down, Right) Y
Chun-Li was the first female character in the Street Fighter video game franchise; she made her debut in Street Fighter 2 and played the role of the main protagonist in Third Strike’s story mode. In terms of appearance, Chun-Li wears traditional sky-blue Chinese attire.
Chun-Li is a trained mixed martial arts fighter who mainly relies on quick and fast combo attacks rather than slow damaging one-hit attacks. She encompasses one of the best movement mechanics of Street Fighter, her smooth transition between attacks and quick speed made her an instant fan favorite.
Any player who wants to be a Chun-Li main should learn her signature move, Hyakuretsu Kyuku, an attack where she throws an overwhelming barrage of kicks on her foe at a rapid rate dealing massive amounts of damage.
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Next, let us see what A Tier of this tier list has to offer. Fighting games have a lot of subjectivity they in true means give gamers the freedom to truly express themselves, which makes their playstyle so unique rather special, which is evident from different playstyles that regions put forth in global e-sports on numerous occasions.
With a massive character roster, different regions have their favorites and try to master these characters better than anyone worldwide. When taking Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike into consideration there are a total of 19 characters with completely different capabilities, attacks, and mechanics.
A Tier is a tier lower than S Tier, indicating that every character present in this specific tier may fall inferior to S Tier character in some specific manner, while this might be a true assumption it certainly does not mean that all these characters are only added to Third Strike for showboating, instead all these characters are exceptionally powerful and have a great utility.
The only reason why these characters might be a part of A Tier is related to their overall stats which may be slightly lower than those in Superb Tier and how these characters assist players who are fairly new to FGC, otherwise a great roundup of impressive fighting characters.
- Special Combo: Tanden Renki
- Controls: (Down, Right) + (Down, Right) A
Makoto is a Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike original. During the developing stages, Capcom wanted to diversify character options along with attributes, skills, and fighting styles they brought to their character roster. Mikoto was hence designed to represent an authentic style of Japanese Karate and was also given a very traditional look, of white karate gi along with a black belt that moved around her waist.
Makoto is a character that is more suitable for passive-style players, as all of Makoto’s attacks require to pinpoint precision rather than random button mashing, even though her attacks are super powerful and deal high damage.
A player opting to play Third Strike as a Makoto main must wield a high degree of skill and practice.
- Special Combo: Super Art: Raishun Maha Kin
- Controls: (Left, Down, Right) + (Left, Down, Right) X
Many consider Third Strike as a turning point for Capcom, in a time of such fierce competition, where all your competitors are producing high-quality games, to produce a game that stood out, not to mention going hands in hands with a series definer like Tekken 3 marks a true symbol of greatness.
Most of its success, I believe, was the characters and their background stories which provided people with a gateway to form an emotional connection and have a sense of belonging.
Third Strike has a great selection of characters from various backgrounds and different combat styles, among these characters was a character who was destined for greatness, named Yang Lee. Yang’s induction into the Street Fighter franchise is a complete journey on its own, not to spoil anything, ill only say that Yang is Yun Lee’s twin brother.
Game developers played their complete part in bringing him up as a main front liner in this series. Despite having several different appearances throughout Street Fighter, in Third Strike, Yang appears to be in a bright red traditional Chinese gi, with spikey long dark hair.
His move set completely baselines Chinese Kung Fu and is one of the strongest single attack characters in this game, slightly one-dimensional, which keeps him down in A Tier of our Third Strike Tier List.
- Special Combo: Hyper Bomb
- Controls: (Right, Down, Left, Up, Right) X
Next is Alex who was first introduced by the Street Fighter video gaming franchise back in Street Fighter 3: New Generation and has played his role as the main protagonist in the game’s sub-series. Alex is a tall muscular fighter with golden hair, who specializes in the combat art of wrestling.
Apart from Japan America also had a strong sense for fighting games, a produced a number of outstanding players who took the world by storm in international competitions and tournaments. In the early days of Street Fighter 3: New Generation main motivation behind Alex was to create a character that would appeal to the American audience.
Due to his main combat style of Wrestling, Alex is one of the main grapplers of Third Strike, his fighting style perfectly embodies Alex’s brut strength. Apart from powerful one-hit attacks Alex also has the ability to perform combo attacks.
- Special Combo: Super Art: Shoryurepa
- Controls: (Up, Down, Right) + (Up, Down, Right) Y
Ken Masters was first released to the audience of the game way back in 1987 when the original Street Fighter game was released and has since then been an important pillar of Street Fighter’s storyline.
In Street Fighter Universe, Ken is seen pursuing his goal of attaining ultimate power. Ken holds an iconic status as a fighting character in FGC, building a strong reputation for himself over a period of 35 years.
Though his appearance has changed drastically over several years, in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, he appears in bright red attire along with long golden hair and sparring gloves.
Ken’s fighting style is heavily inspired by judo, whereby he has notable grapple throw combos along with some strong one-strike attacks. One of his attacks Blazing Houdoken is a strong punch where the character’s willpower is focused on his opponent, and upon contact, shock waves ripple through the opponent’s body. It is also commonly referred to as a fireball due to its projectile appearance. To perform Houdoken, a player must go (Right, Down, Left) B.
- Special Combo: Super Art: Sourai Rengaki
- Controls: (Down, Right) + (Down, Right) B
Moving on, next making its way from the character roster of Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike to our Third Strike Tier List, is Yun who is a Street Fighter Three prodigy, making his first-ever appearance in Street Fighter 3: New Generation. He rocks a bright white attire with a long ponytail and hones an ancient Chinese fighting style of Kung-Fu.
By contrast, to other genres of gaming, fighting games have always been a product of mechanics that favors powerful, flashy attacks and fast-paced gameplay rather than defensive acumens and passive plays, to rile up the crowd.
Keeping these requisites in mind Capcom came up with the idea of Yun, a character not only capable of attacking its foe head-on with a barrage of attacks but also an ability to perform counters.
Therefore, in one way or the other Yun is a character to watch out for. His attack Lung Thrust is a front step punch attack that upon contact can deal a total damage of up to 25 hit points.
- Special Combo: Ultimate Super Art: Ex Tingu Stone
- Controls: (Down, Right) + (Down, Right) X – Double Tap
Japan encompasses one of the most ancient civilizations that follow a rich culture; above all, it is the birthplace of numerous fighting arts, which have been passed on from generations and are also being practiced trough out the world as we speak.
Capcom has greatly captured this sentiment through Oro, a character who is portrayed to be an old monk waiting to cross paths with his next apprentice, worthy of inheriting his combat style.
Oro is also a Street Fighter 3 prodigy and was first added to the Street Fighter series with the launch of Street Fighter 3: New Generation. From an aesthetic point of view, Oro is easily among the most refined characters present in the game’s character roster. He wears a torn cowl, with back hair and a face that screams wisdom.
Despite only its aesthetic qualities, Oro’s character is also backed by some notable powerful attacks, having said that he is also a fairly technical and tiresome character to master, as it takes a considerable amount of time for players to understand his move set and get familiar with a general sense of play, important because there, not many combo attacks present to assist players in combat, instead its forte lies in speed mechanic, countering and positioning.
- Special Combo: Super Art: Dinjen Hadoukun
- Controls: (Down, Right) + (Down, Right) A (Hold)
Next, making his way into A Tier of this Tier List is the main protagonist of Street Fighter itself, Ryu, a character who has been marked as a symbol of hard work and sheer will and is perhaps one of the most noteworthy characters in FGC community, from an off-white karate gi with torn sleeves and an iconic red headband tied around his forehead. Ryu has been a major success for Street Fighter since its launch back in 1987.
Having said that, over several years due to the uncertain planning of game developers this character has been put through a lot of changes, from movement mechanics to his general move set. In Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Ryu fought with the incorporation of traditional martial arts along with some grapple and throw attacks providing him with a diversified move set to offset any situation.
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Next, we move on to B Tier, a tier in this Third Strike Tier List that screams controversy because all these characters present in B Tier are mediocre at best, they stand on the borderline, of good and bad. All characters of B Tier have expressly mediocre stats and abilities, which is reflected in their performance in combat.
These characters barely keep up, for most players, these characters are not even worthy of being their first choice, and even if by chance one of these characters is chosen to play with, it totally comes down to the expertise level of the player in charge. Truly a frustrating and controversial lot.
- Special Combo: Super Art: Gigas Breaker
- Controls: (Down, Right) + (Down, Right) B (Tap)
Hugo Andore is a character that most community gamers in FGC would remember from Final Fight before he was added to Street Fighter’s character roster as a playable character the reason why his looks so drastically contradict concept notes of Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike.
Get ready for flashy combo attacks because Hugo is a professional wrestler with full knowledge of entertaining his audience. Hugo has also high damage stats, which is evident from his huge and powerful physique, however, due to slow movement mechanics to retract an attack or over-make a dodge fairly slow makes him less effective, contrary to what many players would have wanted.
His Super Art: Gigas Breaker has high damage out of 35 hit points, overall a very decent character option.
- Special Combo: Super Art: Tyrant Slayer
- Controls: (Down, Right) + (Down, Right) X
Urien debuted in Street Fighter: 2nd Impact and has been a mainstream character. He has a big muscular physique, white hair, and an ornament embedded straight into his forehead. He is the younger brother of Gill; in the game’s story plot, both brothers have had a relationship of hatred amongst each other and have clashed on numerous occasions.
Urien’s fighting style more or less is influenced by the traditional Greek technique of Pankration. Apart from Pankration, Urien has also undergone personal training at Secrete Society to improve his physical attributes.
Urien mostly depends on high-damage hit attacks in his move set due to the simple fact that his large body prevents him from moving quickly and attacking his foe with quick strikes; having said that, this low also puts him at a significant disadvantage, leaving him at risk of aerial attacks.
- Special Combo: Super Art: Kasumi Suzaki
- Controls: (Down, Right) + (Down, Right) A – When in Air
Next in B Tier is Ibuki, a lethal shinobi worrier specializing in stealth and infiltration to gain intel in enemy territory, and surprise ambush attacks kill its foe in an instant. Just like Akuma, game mechanics that have been designed for Ibuki, are quite unorthodox, with jumping being a big part of the character’s gameplay.
Ibuki is portrayed to be skilled in user Taijutsu and Ninjutsu, excelling at both close-range and long-range combat.
- Special Combo: Super Art: Lightening Snake
- Controls: (Down, Right) + (Down, Right) X (Tap)
Belonging to a Russian origin, Necro is a result of a failed mad experiment that occurred in the story plot of Street Fighter: 2nd Impact; it is a terrifying result of mad experiments performed by the Secret Society that Necro became strong and was able to participate in Street Fighter Tournament if clinging on to the silver lining of horrific reality. This a reasonably good take by game developers on how to introduce and develop a fighting game character.
Due to different mutation experiments performed on him, Necro’s genetics and DNA are disrupted, equipping him with an unorthodox movement spread. He can extend his limbs, hitting his enemies from long ranges, performing a surprise attack to create an opening, and electrocuting them with massive lightning shocks.
In his special combo, Lightening Snake Necro performs a long-range thrust attack, in which he sends electric shockwaves through the ground, damaging all its targeted enemies.
Next, moving on to C Tier, specially reserved for poor-performing characters. In Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, while there are characters whose abilities, combos, and general gameplay are good and their utility is off the charts, there are also some characters, which mistakenly or deliberately have been made so weak that there is nothing fun and special about them.
Third Strike, in contrast to fast-paced traditional fighting games, is designed in such a way that players with a passive play style also have a chance to implement their strategies and capitalize on their opponent’s mistakes. If such a character is prone to easily getting hit, then it might be almost impossible to play Third Strike in the first place.
Hard to connect combo chain attacks, low movement, and vulnerable defenses; these characters are of no match and are destined to fail on every step.
- Special Combo: Super Art: Complete Destruction
- Controls: (Up, Down, Left) + (Up, Down, Left) A
If Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike was a game that was based on the aesthetic quality of the characters it features, then Q is a character to be mentioned in the top books of this Tier List, casting off a mysterious vibe with his long-sized overcoat, a hat a mask that shadows his entire face. An amazing character design, however, looks can be deceiving.
Despite all its aesthetic qualities, Q fails to offer much utility to players in the midst of battle. From Q’s move set it is clear that he is a freestyler, meaning that instead of mastering a certain fighting style Q’s only strategy to win a duel is his brute strength, which he has a lot.
To clarify, despite having massive, powerful one-strike attacks, his inability to connect combos puts him at a disadvantage in crunch scenarios during a battle.
- Special Combo: Super Art: X. N. D. L
- Controls: (Up, Right, Down) Y – When in Air
For a game that developed in the 90s, the creative team at Capcom seriously did wonders, Third Strike paved out a great collection of characters, from having an old geezer whose whole aura was based on wisdom he gathered throughout his life to a freaking scientifically developed mass killing humanoid.
According to Street Fighter’s story plot, Twelve is an evolving humanoid with a lethal attacking acumen developed by the Secret Society for mass killing.
Reading all this, you might be wondering why such a character is crippled down in the D Tier of this Third Strike Tier List, well a simple reason behind this is that Twelve, rather than fighting by using a traditional fighting style, fights with pure instinct which can form problems for players as there is no continuity to his attacks.
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Our final destination in this Third Strike Tier List is D Tier, which is the lowest possible rating any character could get in this Tier List, it is a completely new incident in FGC history that game developers added such characters that were either broken or completely worthless leaving an entire community of gamers in rage and frustration.
The same thing has to each nomination of this D Tier. From poor execution to even poor attack mechanics and defensive stance, these characters have proved to be a complete bust, and are in dire need of any kind of buff, to even make them playable otherwise, they are as good as dead, and so is their legacy in Street Fighter Universe.
- Special Combo: Super Art: Supreme Rising Rage Flash
- Controls: (Left, Up, Right, Down, Left) A
We begin our journey of D Tier, with Remy, an iconic character of the Street Fighters Series, through his bright red pants and turquoise-colored hair he rocks. However, in contrast to his flashy appearance, Remy does not have much of a game presence, neither in the game’s storyline nor the PVP mode.
Remy has been a flop since no player to play him, making it almost irrelevant. He is shown to fight with a French style of Martial Arts called Savati, but due to low damage stats and few attack variations, regretfully this character is bound to fail.
- Special Combo: Super Art: Spinning Beat
- Controls: (Down, Right) + (Down, Right) B (Tap)
Making our way through the last or worst performing tier of our tier list, we have the African goddess, Elena, who regretfully, despite being portrayed as a fearless and strong warrior in her land fails to keep up with other characters’ Third Strike features.
Elena rocks a bright white attire that looks completely mesmerizing. Elena’s main forte is her strong physique and movement patterns. She mainly uses high-damage kick attacks while fighting her enemies.
However, all efforts go in vain when it comes to her speed which is extremely slow, making most of her attacks avoidable, and leaving her vulnerable to a counter-attack.
- Special Combo: Super Art: Hadou Burst
- Controls: (Right, Down, Left, Up, Right) X
Next in our Tier List, we have Sean Matsuda, a character whose main purpose of existence in the Street Fighter universe was based on a mere precaution, to clarify during the development of Street Fighter 3: New Generation, there were many, many speculations and concerns revolving around Hugo Andore to unveil him for Capcom’s highly anticipated Street Fighter Universe.
To combat any unnecessary risks, the developing team started to work on Sean to meet its required number of characters at the game launch. For starters, Sean was a lone user of MMA; however, seeing the growing popularity of Ken Masters and Ryu, this strategic advantage was taken from him, further weakening an already frail character.
From an aesthetics point of view, looks are also not that great either; Sean appears to be in a yellow karate gi, which in my opinion, is a bare minimum of effort when you consider Street Fighter’s mighty reputation and high standards.
With weak attacks and low durability, Sean is at the bottom of the barrel for Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, literally a waste of resources and great potential.
In a Nutshell
The Street Fighter franchise revolutionized the fighting game genre, blending chaotic street fights with a minimal futuristic touch. While many publishers tried to keep up with new trends and satisfy customers, Capcom’s Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike stood out by selling over a million copies and offering a compelling plot, a large selection of characters, mind-boggling attacks, and lengthy combo chains.
Its character roster was divided into five tiers, which were ranked in descending order from bad to worst. However, Tier Lists are subjective and reflect the unique thoughts and ideas of individuals. Despite this, the fighting game community has grown into an empire over the decades, with Street Fighter playing a big part in developing competitiveness and resilience. The golden period for fighting games was in the 90s, when arcade gaming was booming, and games like Tekken 3 and Virtua Fighter 2 were also popular. Nonetheless, Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike achieved something unexpected and became a timeless gem of the 90s.
With this, we conclude our Third Strike Tier List. We would be very happy to see your input in the comments section below on how you see our tier list.
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