The 10 Most Fearsome Villains in Street Fighter History and The Story Behind Them

JP and M. Bison stand in the center of the image, while Ed and Falke look on.
The old generation and the new generation of Street Fighter villains.

There are plenty of heroic figures within the Street Fighter universe, those who fight for justice or for the mere sake of fighting for worthy challenges. But those many figures are contrasted by some of the foulest villains around. Street Fighter has it all, including bad dudes who use fighting tournaments as a means for world takeover, others with intense god complexes, and those who liked the thrill of fighting and potentially killing a little too much. The franchise has enough to list ten of the most fearsome individuals in its history.


10. Necalli

Necall's getting ready for his most fearsome attack in Street Fighter V.

Necalli was introduced as the big new villain in Street Fighter V, a key character among the four initial new faces in the roster. He’s the reborn iteration of a mysterious Aztec warrior searching for powerful fighters to devour, something clearly reflected through how he says “Devour” at the start of all his matches. Yes, of course that became a meme.

Necalli’s appearance comes in the form of a traditional Aztec warrior, as reflected through other pop culture media, more “fun” than the authentic historical look. He was also a concept design for Akuma in this game. In an ironic twist despite his status as a chaotically evil character, his move set is very straightforward and “honest,” and doesn’t rely on too many gimmicks to trip up the opponent. This similarly applies to his V-Trigger, Torrent of Power, though it does give him a sinister and menacing look.

Necalli had plenty of promise, but this never panned out throughout Street Fighter V’s lifeline. His character progression was permanently, and hilariously, derailed during the very first season of the game. Despite being pushed as a formidable force, he gets clobbered every time he shows up in the game’s story mode, making him one of the biggest jobbers in the Street Fighter series. Yet, he still earns a spot here because, well, they tried. There was a solid concept behind him and a cool design, both with heavy inspiration from the Pillar Men in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.

Necalli in action:


9. Juri Han

Even though Juri isn't the most villains character around, she remains fearsome enough to qualify.

Juri meant a lot when she was introduced in Super Street Fighter IV. She made for the first Korean representation in the Street Fighter brand, and worked as a good rival for Chun-Li. Both characters lost their fathers to M. Bison. But instead of seeking to bring him down through valiant methods as Chun-Li has, Juri let revenge consume her.

Juri is established as a fearsome villain not only through just how hellbent she is on revenge, but her playful attitude during the entire process. She joins up with Seth’s S.I.N. to get her revenge on Bison, though has no issues with killing as many people as she needs along the way, along with a few who didn’t deserve it. She combines her Taekwondo style with energy attacks suffused with Psycho Power thanks to the Feng Shui Engine she has on her eye, making her move set unique.

Juri’s more of an anti-villain in Street Fighter V and Street Fighter 6, as she’s focused more on working for herself instead of for the new big opposition. But place emphasis on “villain.” This doesn’t mean all the killing she did as she made it to this point should be forgotten, and how much she enjoyed herself while doing it. She still very much has a sadistic side these days, and indicates that she’s willing to do some of the dirtiest jobs for the right favor. Let’s be real here, though: Her fans wouldn’t have it any other way. Turns out, there is such a thing as endearing sadism. She may have some elements from Jolyne Kujo of JoJo’s Bizaare Adventure: Stone Ocean fame, but she’s become her own character.

Juri in action:


8. A.K.I.

Get your fill of the "this girl is poison" jokes with A.K.I. here.

A.K.I. is the newest character on the Street Fighter scene, debuting alongside several other faces in the new character-heavy Street Fighter 6. She’s the key disciple of Street Fighter V villain F.A.N.G. Like him, she’s mastered the art of using position to inflict her foes with, to assassinate them in the most brutal way possible. This also applies to her fighting style in gameplay matches, during which the poison saps HP from an opponent until they land a hit on her.

A cooler aspect about A.K.I. is how she also looks the part of an assassin, complete with the black cheongsam outfit and especially the Japanese-style straw hat. She enjoys making first impressions with a calm and relaxed demeanor for stealth purposes, only to reveal her more sadistic side after inflicting her targets with poison. Like any good villain, she takes a lot of pleasure in her work of killing people.

A.K.I. hasn’t had much time for character development just yet, as the newest face in the Street Fighter roster. The impression she provides was easily enough for her to earn a place on this list, as a character who takes even more pleasure from killing people than Juri. Maybe those two will be good rivals in time. That is, after she’s dispatched of those she’s already made, including the likes of Chun-Li and key F.A.N.G. rival Rashid, the latter of which assuredly goes deeper than hatred for social media influencers. She’s also similar to Juri through ow she’s made plenty of fans who’d complain if she lost even a slither of her sadistic side.

A.K.I. in action:


7. Seth

Seth merely tried to assimilate everyone in Street Fighter IV, and SFV to a lesser extent.

Seth came onto the scene as the new big boss in Street Fighter IV, the genderless CEO of Shadoloo’s weapon division, S.I.N. (This franchise very much loves its acronyms.) As the form implies, Seth was made as a vessel for Street Fighter series main villain M. Bison to inhabit one day. But Seth takes on a personality of their own, and wants more of a purpose than to be a mere dummy.

Seth longs to take over Shadaloo from Bison one day in SFIV’s story, and certainly has the tools for the part. They can use techniques from a bunch of Street Fighter characters, including Guile and Nash’s Sonic Boom, Ryu and Ken’s Shoryuken, Dhalsim’s long limb attacks, and a variation of Chun-Li’s Lightning Legs. They seek to suck in as many fighters as possible in their aim for world conquest, Kirby style.

Seth once seemed like a prototype for Gill and Urien from Street Fighter III, thanks to his height and some normal attacks resembling theirs. But the character establishes a distinct move set and personality of their own after being given the gift of intelligence as part of Shadaloo. Given SFIV’s status as a prequel, it was clear they were never going to succeed, something Juri knew as she joined up with them solely for the thrill of potentially taking down Bison. But they made quite an impact along the way, by weakening Shadoloo enough that it eventually collapsed upon itself. It’s a lesson to Bison not trust every subordinate.

Seth in action:


6. Balrog/Boxer

Balrog is more "iron" than "Iron Mike" at this point.

Here’s a way to quickly sum up Balrog: He’s Mike Tyson if he went really bad. Fully bad. Balrog is a boxer who rose to the top of his profession, though he didn’t make it there entirely by skill. His desire to be viewed as the best of them all influenced his desire to cheat whenever it benefitted him. He’s sometimes even killed some of his opponents, albeit through suspected accidents.

Someone like Balrog was destined to join Shadaloo, who did so for fame, wealth, and glory. He remains a loyal follower of leader M. Bison throughout the organization’s tenure, even tried to take it over once Bison went missing. Balrog’s no moron, despite lacking leadership skills necessary to helm an evil organization as large as Shadaloo. The character is proof that greed can corrupt.

Even though Balrog is more greedy than evil, he hasn’t hesitated to participate in several heinous acts as part of Shadaloo and has never stopped to question them. The only person he’s shown to genuinely care about is Ed, who later comes to dislike him for his patronizing treatment. M. Bison has kept him around because he’s good at what he does: Street Fighting. And street fighting dirty, at that. There’s a reason why he’s always a formidable character whenever he’s introduced in a Street Fighter game. Capcom sometimes realizes they should merge the story and gameplay lore instead of keeping them segregated.

Balrog in action:


5. Gill

Even if Gill isn't the most villains guy around in Street Fighter, he sure nails the Classic Anime Villain vibe.

Gill was the new big boss brought onto the scene in the Street Fighter III games. But he’s a unique sort of villain for the series, a perfect fit with Street Fighter III’s other then-new faces. Upon reading his biography, it’s easy to think he may not be THAT bad. He even seems nice.

Gill has valiant ostensible reasons for what he does, in his dedication for creating a new utopia for mankind as president of the Secret Society. The problem comes through how he’s willing to achieve this goal through any means necessary, even if that involves kidnapping, brainwashing, and killing whoever gets in his way. He’s kind towards those he meets for the first time, but inwardly as sinister as he looks.

The coolest and hottest aspects of Gill are reflected through how complex of a villain he is for a fighting game, even though he’s mainly a typical cult leader. He has enough power at his disposal to eventually achieve his goals, as both his Street Fighter III and Street Fighter V move sets demonstrate. Capcom has also figured out ways to tell the fanbase that they’ll never be rid of him, thanks to his power to resurrect himself. Let this be a lesson: dudes with God complexes are sometimes worse than the outwardly evil ones, to the point that he says “I am your God” in one of his win quotes. But only “sometimes.” There are still worse individuals in the franchise, which is why he only lands at #5 here.

Gill in action:


4. F.A.N.G.

Meanwhile, this GUY is poison.

F.A.N.G. was one of the biggest faces among the new characters in Street Fighter V, thanks to his immediate importance. The character took Sagat’s place among the big four bosses in Shadaloo, and eventually became second in command to M. Bison. He’s far more focused on the well-being of the villainous organization hellbent on world domination and accomplishing their goals than the people working for it, as shown through how he treats Bison’s dolls.

Even before he rose to prominence in Shadaloo, F.A.N.G. was a cold and ruthless professional assassin. He’s the kind of person who only thinks of life and death, and is paranoid enough to kill anyone who tries to garner friendship with him. He’s a man who thrives on being feared by anyone around him, a perfect fit for an organization stuffed with foul faces.

If F.A.N.G. could help establish someone like A.K.I., his protégé, he must be extremely ruthless and conniving himself. The man thrives off killing people and watching them die slowly, as they suffer while poison seeps through their entire body. It’s a shame that potential didn’t carry over to his gameplay style, and remained a lower-tier character throughout Street Fighter V’s entire lifeline. But that’s potentially fine. F.A.N.G. is in the process of trying to reestablish Shadaloo as a force, so there’s strong potential that he’ll return.

F.A.N.G. in action:


3. Urien

Would YOU trust this man enough to fistbump him?

Urien is the brother of Street Fighter III’s big boss Gill, first introduced in the second installment, Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact. The two brothers have many similarities, with both being part of the Secret Society and believing in their goals of having the entire world believe in their cult of benevolence. He’s also a clear palette swap in the Street Fighter III games, which Capcom needed to do for the development and production costs involved with crafting those beautiful sprites. But Urien resents the fact that Gill was chosen to lead the organization instead of him.

The differences between Gill and Urien are more than skin deep. (You’ll hopefully understand this joke upon looking at the two of them.) Whereas Gill has a compassionate façade despite being secretly fanatical, Urien is outwardly so, not even bothering trying to hide how vicious and tyrannical he is. He also comes to resent the Soul Society itself, which he claims stole his brother from him. There’s nothing like another evil vs. evil fight for this franchise.

Here's a way to easily demonstrate just how despicable Urien is: He attacked a bunch of children, KIDS. He succeeded in kidnapping one of them for experiments the Soul Society, which he still works for despite secretly resenting them, was working on. That kid he kidnapped happened to be Li-Fen, Chun-Li’s adopted daughter, which brought her back to fighting after semi-retiring. Regardless, a character has to be a special kind of evil to go after defenseless kids for a doctor who wants to try a few things. But fear not: This franchise has worse. Notice that Urien is only #3 here.

Urien in action:


2. JP

JP tries to stay hidden, but he still has that sinister look about him.

JP is the new head honcho boss in Street Fighter 6, and it didn’t take long for him to make a serious impact. His true identity was, at one point (as in, before the game released), shrouded in secrecy; he appeared to be just an old man, albeit with a sinister look and cane, who uses energy in battle that sure looked mysteriously like Psycho Power. So, it is perhaps -- MAYBE -- surprising that he isn’t the mere sharply-dressed philanthropist he claims to be as he’s establishing bases in several countries around the world.

It turns out that JP was Bison’s financial advisor, the helm of Shadaloo’s money-related matters. This tracks considering that accountants can be some of the most secretly vile people within companies around the world. Prior Street Fighter villains were more outwardly evil, including Gill, who clearly looks the part despite trying to appear benevolent. JP is the most subtle in his approach, and the dastardliest.

It speaks to just how vile JP is when he’s on this list at #2 despite just debuting in a game only recently released. JP’s vile actions come through how he’s the one starting the wars that countries need a philanthropist for to quell, being somewhat-indirectly responsible for racking up massive kill counts. In this process, he’s draining the countries of their finances and reducing them to ruin, the reason for Nayshall’s dire state during the Street Fighter 6 World Tour. He claims to be Bison’s chosen successor to Shadaloo, and it’s tough not to argue that he’s already living up to the part.

JP in action:


1. M. Bison/Dictator

Bison is not only the worst villain in the Street Fighter series, but one of the biggest and most well known in video game history.

For as bad as everyone else’s crimes are, none of them nearly compare to the head man himself: M. Bison. Whenever the thought of a “Street Fighter villain” comes up, Bison is synonymous with it. He’s long been the head of villainous organization Shadaloo, and has sanctioned everything horrendous they’ve done. There is absolutely nothing good about him whatsoever.

In fact, whenever you think of an evil act, Bison has done it. Kidnapping? Definitely. Military coups? Absolutely. Killing in cold blood? Oh yeah. Brainwashing? By the literal dozen. He’s a textbook card-carrying villain, one heavily inspired by the likes of the also-villainous Yasunori Kato of the popular Teito Monogatari sci-fi/mystery novel series by his design, and takes the most credit for Shadaloo’s most heinous actions. It helps that the leader of the organization is no slouch when it comes to being a powerhouse himself.

Bison has made enemies of most of the Street Fighter cast, especially the heroes, but also including other villains. It doesn’t seem like the best idea to create so much opposition around the world, the kind of strategy that can come back to bite even the most powerful force. But Bison’s gotten away with it because he’s an expert chess master in addition to being a hell of a fighter himself with the use of Psycho Power. It’s still tough to imagine a Street Fighter game without him, though Capcom’s giving it an honest shot now that he’s dead.

…but no one believes he’s actually dead for good, right? Let’s be serious here. We’re talking about a villain who was such a good planner that he had plenty of substitute bodies on tap in case the worst happened to him, including the above-mentioned Seth, and Ed and Falke in Street Fighter V (with the former set to return in Street Fighter 6). It won’t be the least bit surprising if, or when, he comes back. The real question is what form he’ll return in.

M. Bison in action:


Leave it to a legendary fighting game to be stuffed with the worst kinds of people around. There are several who barely counted thanks to their actions not being quite as bad as the worst of the worst, including the likes of Vega and Gill’s assistant Kolin, but this was enough to document the vilest of them all. Street Fighter 6 is sorely lacking in villain representation so far, meaning there could be more to come if Capcom really wants to fill the gaps. Well, unless those gaps are filled with Bison again. It’s worked before.


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Geoffrey is the lowest-level Druid imaginable who read too many gaming magazines as a child. This made him decide that he wanted to do this video game journalism thing professionally.
Gamer Since: 1985
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Assassin's Creed Unity
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