The second main installment of the Street Fighter spin-off series Street Fighter EX, Street Fighter EX2 revamps the character roster while adding a new gameplay mechanic: Excel (short for "extra cancel", which temporarily allows players to cancel any attack into other attacks).
Like the previous installment, this game received an updated version for the arcades in the form of Street Fighter EX2 Plus. EX2 Plus adds new characters, updated Excels, and a new mechanic (the powerful Meteor Combo). This update was later released for the Sony PlayStation.
Out of the 23 characters from the last version of Street Fighter EX (the PS1 Plus α port), only 12 return. In addition, two characters from Street Fighter II have been added as well as four new characters (two of which must be unlocked through cheat codes).
Characters that need to be unlocked to play can only be unlocked by either inputting a cheat code as an arcade operator or by filling up the high score table in specific ways (all rankings at over 500k score each and all rankings adding up to over 28 million score).
- Nanase (unlocked through cheat codes)
- Shadowgeist (unlocked through cheat codes)
- Vega (known as Balrog in the Japanese version, has a special code that allows him to fight unmasked)