#1: Chun-Li

Series: Street Fighter
Debut: Street Fighter II
Premise: Street Fighter V

Complex Says: Chun-Li is arguably the most popular female video character ever created. Her debut in Street Fighter II was so influential that she, alongside Samus Aran, is the reason why female characters are included in video games playing the hero role instead of the damsel in distress. Since her inclusion in the Street Fighter series, fighting games have included at least one female character on their roster (Mortal Kombat, Fatal Fury 2, etc.) Chun-Li sits atop many fan polls ranking her as “the best," “the hottest,” and “the most influential”.

Chun-Li started off as young girl looking to avenge her father’s death by the hands of Bison. Her character has since developed into an Interpol operative who worked to take down Shadaloo alongside Charlie and later with Guile in SFA3 (home consoles, official story.) Fast-forward to SF2 where she took down Shadaloo before its reemergence in SSFIV. In the SF3 series, she retires from street fighting to mentor students, but she comes out of retirement to save children from Urien’s clutches.

We see Chun-Li starring in the next SF chapter of the series with a young mentor at her side. It looked as if Capcom wanted to phase out Ryu and Ken in the SF3 series by making Alex the star and Yun & Yang the victors of the tournament in 3rd Strike. If they wanted to take the series forward, they can use the new faces with Chun-Li being the only returning and starring face of the game.