Street Fighter II, released on Capcom's CPS-1 arcade board in 1991, was one of the most popular games of the early 1990s, shaping the direction of arcade games for nearly a decade to follow. It is widely acknowledged as the premier fighting game of its era, due to its game balance with regard to the timing of attacks and blocks, which was unparalleled at the time; and due to "special moves" in which experienced players could execute complex fighting moves by moving the joystick and tapping the buttons in certain combinations. Of course, this was not anything new and exclusive. These complicated fighting moves were given names, such as the Dragon Punch and the Hurricane Kick, which provided a framework for players to have conversations about their games. It also introduced the convention of "cancelling" or "interrupting" moves into other moves, which enabled a player to create sequences of continuous hits. Rumor has it that this ability to "cancel" moves into other moves was the result of a programming bug. Regardless, it gave the game much greater depth than it would have had otherwise. Also, this was the game which introduced to the gaming world the concept of the combo, a sequence of attacks which, when executed with proper timing, did not allow the opponent to interrupt the combination. Mastery of these techniques led almost directly to the high-level competition which has been a cornerstone of this type of game ever since. The game features eight fighters that players can choose from: Ryu, Ken, Blanka, Zangief, Dhalsim, Guile, E. Honda, and Chun-Li), plus four bosses (Balrog, Vega, Sagat, and M. Bison). The character known as M. Bison in the original Japanese game was considered a legal liability by Capcom USA, since his backstory was very similar to that of Mike Tyson as, of course, was his name. In order to pre-empt any lawsuits on the part of Tyson, the names of all the bosses except Sagat (who had been around since the original Street Fighter), were re-arranged, something which has since caused no shortage of confusion when attempting description. For the sake of reference, the Japanese bosses Balrog, Vega, and M. Bison became Vega, M. Bison, and Balrog, respectively.
Street Fighter II was followed by a slew of other games of similar design, some by Capcom, some by other companies. One of the most well-known competitors to Street Fighter II is Mortal Kombat, followed shortly afterwards by Virtua Fighter. SNK, however, developed a reputation for fighting games very soon after Capcom; Art of Fighting, The King of Fighters, and Fatal Fury are the three most notable examples, the first Fatal Fury game being released within months of SFII. Fandom between the two companies' games is often extremely divisive. SNK, having continued development of its fighting games such as The King of Fighters which continues to this day, may be said to hold the upper hand in many countries in terms of popularity, one notable exception being the USA. The reasons for this are many and varied, but SNK's insistence on releasing its games on the then expensive Neo-Geo home system (an SNK MVS arcade machine in all but name) and the distribution and promotion of these games outside of Japan everywhere except in the US could be part of it. Capcom gained a reputation for fairly rapid and reasonably faithful home conversions of its popular fighting games early on. Nonetheless, the Neo Geo arcade system was pretty accesible, and The King of Fighters having been always a very popular and well made game is still so popular (it is the most widely played fighting game until this date) that it continues to obtain new releases, all of them with immense success. The last completely new Street Fighter game to be released was Street Fighter III in 1997. The characters from the Street Fighter universe have appeared in numerous other Capcom fighting games.
Today, Street Fighter II is routinely listed as one of the greatest video games of all time. It is widely considered to be the game that created the fighting game genre, although Karate Champ and the first Street Fighter preceded it.
Street Fighter II for the Super NES was the most popular port of this game and put the system ahead of the Sega Genesis in the early part of the 16-bit era in the US, until ports of Street Fighter II: Champion Edition and Mortal Kombat put the Genesis back in the lead later on.
There were several home computer versions of Street Fighter II. Unfortunately, none of them were done by Capcom and it is quite obvious that the gameplay in these versions was remade from the developers' playing of the game rather than porting the actual combat engine from the original source code of the arcade game. Thus, none of them play anything like Street Fighter II regardless how they look and sound. (Wikipedia)