We decided to fast-forward a decade here because, well, there weren’t too many significant landmarks in the fighting game scene in the early-to-mid 2000s. Again, the genre had hit a kind of lull, highlighted by a few excellent new titles--BlazBlue, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, Third Strike--but marked by overall decreased enthusiasm and a deathly case of sequel-itis. Thankfully, though, there would soon be signs of life again in fighting games, with a familiar brand leading the charge.
That brand, of course, was Street Fighter. Its fourth core installment, released in 2009, began something of a renaissance for the genre as a whole. Its new online modes, revised controls, spectacular production values, and general commitment to bringing the SF franchise into modernity endeared it with critics and fans alike. There was, and continues to be, a distinct nostalgic streak in many gamers these days--so when Street Fighter came back with its mix of classic gameplay and sexy looks, most players welcomed it with open arms. It was just the right mix of old and new, released at just the right time in a market saturated with big-budget shooters.