There are so many retro compilations these days, one trip to EB and you could snap a weak Ikea table with stacks of them. Most are filled with totally useless games you never wanted to play in the first place, let alone revisit these days. That makes Street Fighter Alpha Anthology stand out even more. With four full-fledged games that sold for around $40 or $50 each around 10 years ago - that are all still really good, even in 2006 - you can't go wrong here.
Anthology contains four games that were originally released between 1995 and 1998. Looking back, it was a golden period for Capcom's 2D fighting series, and even if you're not hardcore enough to care about the whys and wherefores, this compilation bears fruit you can still easily enjoy.
The original Street Fighter Alpha is a pared-down, basic game - you probably won't spend much time with this one. Street Fighter Alpha 2, on the other hand, is a real refinement of the punchy/kicky formula. A bunch of interesting new characters were thrown into the mix, and gameplay tweaks like the Custom Combos (which allow you to string together random punches and kicks for massive damage) allow you to mix your strategies up to a pleasant degree. It's no surprise, then, that this compilation also contains the director's cut, Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold, an arcade re-release that has a few nips and tucks to the game - further proof that it was a high creative watermark for the series.