[Top 10] SFV Most Played Characters Loved By Millions Worldwide

SFV Most Played Characters
Let’s take a look at the most used and abused characters in Street Fighter V.

Who are the most popular characters in Street Fighter?

Ever since Street Fighter II hit the arcades back in the early 90s, fans of all ages and demographics have taken into what are now some of the most iconic and recognizable characters not only in the gaming industry but in the mainstream media as well.

Here we will revisit what are the most played characters in Street Fighter V, why they are so loved, and what makes them great to play.


10. E. Honda

SFV FINAL update Honda balance changes (More SLAPS)

This bulky sumo wrestler has been tackling and slamming foes around his bathhouse since 1991 and it looks like he will continue to be with us for some years to come.

Edmond Honda can switch from turtling strategies straight to bullying and brawling. His normals generally have huge hitboxes, his Hundred Hands Slap is safe on block, he has tons of anti-air options, and has some of the biggest health and stun bars in the whole game.

Honda can easily close out some distance with his Sumo Headbutt, which can be used as a merciless counter move, and he is even equipped with a command grab that can devastate even the strongest of enemies if they get too close. 

His design is that of a face-painted sumo wrestler and it fits his playstyle and moveset like a glove. Honda is as recognizable as he is frustrating to fight against.

What Makes E. Honda Great:

  • Bulky resilience
  • Clear and consistent gameplan
  • Easy counters and punishes


9. Juri

SFV FINAL update Juri balance changes (Good buffs.)

Juri stands out in this list for being the only character here who isn’t part of the roster of Street Fighter II, the most famous entry in the franchise. She debuted in Super Street Fighter IV and quickly rose to be a fan favorite.

It’s hard to go for 10 online matches without running into a single Juri, no matter your level as a player, and that says a lot about this character, especially since she’s fairly complex. Juri has a unique system in which she can store moves that can be used later on and she even has an extra meter monitoring her stored moves at that, one of them being her fireball.

Juri plays an extremely aggressive rushdown style with complex combos and can implement her Feng Shui Engine Alpha with her V-Trigger 1, further enhancing her combo potential by allowing normal moves to be chained between one another. She can also play somewhat of a zoning game thanks to her non-traditional low projectiles.

The cherry on top is of course her obnoxious personality. Juri carries a mean streak and she doesn’t care for terms such as morals or ethics. She’s as unpredictable as they come and owns a striking look that’s frighteningly beautiful.

What Makes Juri Great:

  • Unique game mechanics
  • Complex combos that can be explored freely
  • Notorious speed and agility


8. M. Bison

SFV FINAL update M.Bison balance changes (Psycho POWAHHH)

M. Bison is the final boss from the culture-defining Street Fighter II, and as the head of Shadaloo, he continues to be one of the main antagonists throughout the Street Fighter series, barring an infamous absence in Street Fighter III. 

Bison’s gameplay is all about pressure as he can keep pushing his opponents to their limits with the constant use of his relatively safe special moves like the Double Knee Press and control the air with his Head Press and Devil Reverse.

Supporting the look of an evil dictator, Bison is incredibly charismatic and his Psycho Powered moves are extremely satisfying to land. In SFV, his signature Psycho Crusher can only be used either during his Critical Art or during his V-Trigger II, but it is significantly boosted to compensate for the lower usage rate. M. Bison is the perfect choice for those who, like himself, like to play the oppressor’s game, choking their opponent out of options and leaving no  room to breathe.

What Makes M. Bison Great:

  • Relentless pressure
  • Safe Special Moves
  • Overwhelming space control


7. Chun-Li

SFV FINAL update Chun-Li balance changes (Sigh...)

As the tritagonist of the series, the Strongest Woman in the World has been a mainstay throughout its multiple installments ever since Street Fighter II. Not only that, she’s also often Top Tier in whichever game she’s in.

There are many reasons for Chun-Li’s stellar popularity but aside from her iconic design, it’s her gameplay that hooks so many players to this character. Street Fighter is a ground-based Fighting Game and therefore, footsies play a major role in who will take the victory. Buttons with tremendous speed and long reach combined with great mobility, dynamic movement, and the overwhelming power of her Lightning Legs (or Hyakuretsukyaku) make Chun-Li the perfect character for a hit-and-run, poking style.

Chun-Li has cemented herself as one of the most recognizable video game characters and has had a tremendous impact on the mainstream world. To put it simply, everyone recognizes (AND LOVES) Chun-Li, even if they haven’t ever played Street Fighter in their lives.

What Makes Chun-Li Great:

  • Fast walk speed and overall movement
  • Poking game virtually second to none
  • Can easily dictate the pace of a match


6. Zangief

SFV FINAL update Zangief balance changes (is it enough ?)

Next on our list is the original grappler of them all. Debuting back in 1991, Zangief shaped the path not only for all subsequent Street Fighter grapplers but for the grappler archetype in Fighting Games in general.

Zangief’s goal is easy. To get close and grab you. This is grappling 101, and if you’re fighting the Russian wrestler you’ll need to keep him at a distance, which is not as easy as it seems despite Zangief’s slow speed.

His command grabs take out so much damage it never fails to amaze us, and in SFV, Zangief has a terrific air-to-air command grab to add to his arsenal that definitely makes up for him being missing his classic Banishing Flat. On top of this, his V-Skills allow him to gain armor while approaching the opposing fighter, making Zangief’s approach scarier than ever.

Zangief is as popular as his Spinning Piledriver and he has made appearances in even mainstream movies and animations. With so much damage output and such fun-looking maneuvers, no wonder he keeps being utilized by thousands all over the world. Beware of the Red Cyclone!

What Makes Zangief Great:

  • Straightforward and rewarding gameplay
  • Multiple options to safely approach the opponent
  • Grabs with extremely high damage output


5. Cammy

SFV FINAL update Cammy balance changes (Nerfs )

Cammy White was the second-ever woman being added to the Street Fighter roster and her status as a star with massive drawing power was determined early on back in the 90s. Countless cosplays, multiple guest appearances in other games and media, and comfortable standings among the top tier in each of her appearances are just part of this character’s reality.

She is regarded as the quintessential rushdown character, with multiple offensive angles, incredible speed for both her movement and attacks, and easy-to-perform combos. She can easily overwhelm any opponent once her offense starts.

Cammy has great normals that combined with her movement make her outstanding during footsies, and most of her normals can be canceled into her Spiral Arrow, Spiral Spike, or CA, which cements her as the biggest of threats when it comes to hit-confirms. Get your opponent in the corner and mix him up by alternating between combos, jumps, and throws for complete devastation.

What Makes Cammy Great:

  • Fantastic mix-ups
  • Normals that link between each other
  • Amazing corner pressure


4. Guile

SFV FINAL update Guile balance changes (Would Daigo switch ? )

Sonic Boom! Guile is undoubtedly one of the main characters in the Street Fighter universe. This American Air Force major first appeared in Street Fighter II, seeking revenge for the death of his friend, Charlie Nash.

Despite being a charge character (meaning that you need to hold down a certain direction for 1.5 seconds before using a Special Move), Guile stands out for having one of the most straightforward gameplans in the game. He only possesses 2 Special Moves: the iconic Sonic Boom and the Flash Kick, which serve the purposes of zoning and anti-airing, respectively. 

Because both these moves require the player to essentially be defending for 1.5 before usage, Guile is perfect for those who prefer playing a more defensive style, keeping the opponents away with Sonic Booms and stopping their jump-in attempts with the Flash Kick to stay in control of the match. 

In SFV, Guile has a lot of offensive combo options that dramatically boost his strength, further enhancing his popularity and viability.

What Makes Guile Great:

  • Only 2 Special Moves, easy to pick up
  • Simple and straightforward gameplay
  • Great defense

3. Akuma

SFV FINAL update Akuma balance changes

Akuma only wants one thing: to keep honing his skills at the cost of other beings’ happiness, life, well-being, and of his own humanity. Appearing for the first time as a hidden secret boss in Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Akuma has grown to become a mainstay not only in every Street Fighter game, but he has actually commonly seen on many other fighting games, from even rival developers.

He’s equipped with many different tools, not only in offensive terms but also when talking about mobility. Akuma’s dangerous from all angles and all distances and his standing medium kick is a scary weapon to face in neutral, as it has tremendous range and speed and can be canceled into pretty much anything. 

His Demon Flip allows for exclusive mix-ups and his V-System pushes his gameplay limits even further, with the inclusion of parries, the ability to cancel Special Moves into Special Moves, combo extenders, and even greater damage output. As if all this wasn’t enough, his classic unblockable super Shun Goku Satsu (or Raging Demon) is ever-present with his V-Trigger 1, remaining as one of the most damaging moves in the game, if you can land it. 

Akuma is the perfect aggressive character for aggressive players and he looks so damn cool that of course, he will continue to be one of the most played characters in every game he is in. Messatsu!

What Makes Akuma Great:

  • High damage output
  • Fantastic mix-up game 
  • Incredibly vast arsenal 


2. Ken

SFV FINAL update Ken balance changes (Fun BUFFS)

Ken Masters is Ryu’s eternal rival and he’s always ready to turn up the heat. Even though he started off as an exact replica of Ryu but with a different design in the original Street Fighter game as well as in the vanilla edition of Street Fighter II, he became more and more distinct from his Japanese counterpart as time went on.

Ken shares similar Special Moves with Ryu, but the main difference between them in Street Fighter V is that Ken is designed to take a more offensive approach, and his moves are best applied when in close range.

What makes him stand out among other shotos is that Ken has virtually no setbacks or hindrances incorporated in his design. His normals are great and can all be converted into dynamic combos, his fireball has great frame data, and he almost always has oki after his Shoryuken and its variants.

Also equipped with great mobility, Ken is the perfect character to use if you want to play an aggressive and in-your-face style. 

What Makes Ken Great:

  • Outstanding offense
  • Combo versatility
  • Consistent self-rewarding gameplay


1. Ryu

SFV FINAL update Ryu balance changes (Super buffed Karate Man xD)

Topping off our list is this wandering vagabond in constant search of better control over his power. Having been the poster boy for the Street Fighter series ever since its first installment in 1987, Ryu’s probably the most recognizable face in all of the franchise.

Ryu is the ultimate embodiment of everything Street Fighter is all about, and if you learn how to play him then you pretty much have laid the groundwork to learn any other character in the game, as every Street Fighter character’s gameplay is based around Ryu’s.

With a simple design, an iconic moveset, and the relatable goal of constant self-improvement, Ryu is the most popular character in SFV and in any other Street Fighter game. Especially after the final update patch in March 2022, Ryu has so many easy-to-perform new combos that even a new player can easily start dishing out big damage and punishes without much practice, contributing to both his appeal as a character and his viability in the competitive metagame.

What Makes Ryu Great:

  • No particular strengths, but no particular weaknesses either
  • Easy and powerful combos
  • Dynamic gameplay adaptable to opponents with different playstyles


There are many more characters in the world of Street Fighter that are also extremely popular such as Dhalsim, Blanka, Sagat, or Balrog, but taking into account all levels of players, from casuals to pros, we tried our best to compile here what are the most popular characters in Street Fighter V.

Hopefully, you were able to identify with some of the entries in this Top 10 and were able to collect helpful and exciting information about your favorite characters.


You May Also Be Interested In:

More on this topic:

Andre walks the path of a fighting warrior to pursue self-improvement and to break his limits. His amazing power of creative writing and his unwavering love for games are the source of his willpower.
Gamer Since: 2003
Favorite Genre: PVP
Currently Playing: Street Fighter V: Champion Edition
Top 3 Favorite Games:Street Fighter X Tekken, Grand Theft Auto V, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

More Top Stories