GENRE: 2D Fighting
AVAILABLE FOR: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One
PRICE: £39.99

The Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is a carefully curated collection of titles from one of gaming's most iconic franchises, that was a clear labour of love for all involved. The result is a comprehensive and arcade perfect collection of Street Fighter's pixelated past that collects a dozen titles together from the 1987 original through to 1999's Third Strike.

Most of the titles in the collection have aged really well, that is, apart from the original Street Fighter - which let's be honest, was never very good, to begin with.

Replete with cheap AI, limited mechanics, and latency issues, it's there purely for completionist purposes. But even if it is a dud, it's a great museum piece if nothing else.    

The main bulk of the collection comprises of the five versions of the iconic Street Fighter II. Even 27 years after the original hit arcades it is still one of the finest fighters out there. That being said, there is a clear evolution from Street Fighter II to Super Street Fighter II Turbo Edition. Outside of the odd nostalgic pang, or you are a die-hard fan, there's not much point in playing any of them other than Super Street Fighter II Turbo.

The highlight of the package though is the inclusion of arcade-perfect ports of the superb Alpha series. It's also the first time they have been available together since the PS2 and they are by far the best way to play the series on console, by a country mile. 

Finally, there's Street Fighter III, easily one of the greatest fighting games ever made. It's ambitious overhaul of fundamentals mechanics as well as the introduction of parries, leap attacks and Super Arts have cemented its place in the competitive fight scene for good reason.  If you never played either the Alpha series or Street Fighter III, this collection is the perfect opportunity to remedy that sorry state of affairs. 

It's worth bearing in mind though that this is a collection of the Arcade versions of each game, so if you were expecting to find the abysmal movie tie-in, Street Fighter II HD remix or Alpha 3 Max (which added 10 extra characters) you are going to be sorely disappointed. 

The other consequence of this is that there also isn't any way to toggle the difficulty settings in single player mode, which depending on how skilled you are, or how much of a challenge you are up for could be quite offputting, as arcade games, as a rule, are tougher than their console counterparts. 

To mitigate this through each game features the ability to load and save on the fly, so if you are so inclined you can save the game between about to make sure you get through to the end with a perfect run, or just pick up where you left off. 

As you would expect, every game in the collection features local multiplayer but only Street Fighter II: Turbo Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike allow for online play; including multiplayer, ranked matchmaking and lobbies.

However, you will be happy to hear that the netcode on each is also flawless, with no latency and it taking no time at all to find an opponent and start a match. 

Also included in the package is the museum; a marvelous repository that chronicles everything from the series history, to music, comprehensive bios for each fighter and even frame by frame breakdowns of characters move sets. If you want to know literally anything about the series 30-year history, it's in there. For example, did you know there was going to be an NES version of the original Street Fighter? Neither did I, and from the accompanying screenshot, I can understand why it never made it to market.

Bringing together some of the best fighting games ever made, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is a love letter to the venerable franchise which both fans of the series and newcomers alike will not want to miss.

SCORE: 8/10