No. 78: Streets of Rage 2 – 100 Greatest Games Ever
Streets of Rage 2 plays much like the first installment — you walk around beating people up — but it’s got some refinements that really improved the gameplay. The three characters (two of which are new) all have different styles and moves for the first time, offering a ton of replay value. All the enemies have names and health meters now, and while they’re all fairly standard bad-guy stuff (Blade! Fog!) it helped show who to direct your attacks towards. There are even new weapons to pick up, like a vicious katana.
Perhaps biggest of all were the character-specific special attacks, incredibly damaging moves that also took off a piece of your health as well, so you had to use them sparingly. Streets of Rage 3 looked better and had more depth, but it lost something in its fighting system, which emphasized speed over solid hits.