The direct successor to the Street Fighter II series of games, Street Fighter III features a new graphical style (with more elaborate sprites and animations), a new playable character roster (most of whom are original fighters), and a revamped gameplay system. Along with using gameplay mechanics from other Capcom games, it introduces three key features: parrying, universal overhead attacks ("leap attacks"), and the "Super Art" system (super combos that must be selected when choosing a fighter).
Similar to Street Fighter and the Street Fighter II series, the game's story focuses on a single tournament: the World Warrior Tournament. A new band of fighters enter for different reasons, some of which involve the tournament's sponsor (Gill, the leader of a mysterious organization). The only characters to make their return from previous Street Fighter games are the two series protagonists Ryu and Ken.
The game later received two direct sequels: Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact - Giant Attack and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike - Fight for the Future. It was later ported to the Dreamcast alongside 2nd Impact as Street Fighter III: Double Impact (Street Fighter III: W Impact in the Japanese version) in Japan on December 16, 1999, in North America on June 19, 2000, and in Europe on September 15, 2000. It will also be included in the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection compilation on May 29, 2018.
One of the most notable feature is, "The Parry" which allows the player to evade attacks from the player's opponent. The way the parry is done, is by a tap forward (High attacks) or a tap down (Low attacks) on the joy-stick or the D-pad right on the same time when the attack makes contact to the player's character.
Another feature that was added to the game's formula is the ability to dash forward and back. Also the ability to perform high jumps. The two feature originally debut in DarkStalkers.
Street Fighter 3 also introduced the "Universal Overhead" move. This move can be done with all characters by pressing medium punch and medium kick. Your character does a short hop, creating throw invincibility, and does an air move. This move hits high, and forces your opponent to not block low.
Another inclusion is the "Super Art"--formerly know as the "Super Combo" from Super Street Fighter II: Turbo & Street Fighter Alpha.The rule for the "Super Art" is after the Player picks his or her character, the player also has to pick one "Super Art". Each of the "Super Art" varies in two ways; the amount of stocks the "Super Art" can hold up--one,two, or all three--and the length of the meters.
- Alex - A professional wrestler from the United States who seeks to avenge the defeat of his mentor Tom.
- Yun / Yang - Twin brothers (and the nephews of Lee from the original Street Fighter) and Kung Fu experts from Hong Kong. They enter the tournament to show their skills. Yang can only be accessed with a special command and has the same movelist as Yun (being a "palette swap" similar to Ryu and Ken).
- Necro - A mutant cyborg from Russia who seeks revenge against Gill's organization for experimenting on him. He is able to stretch his limbs like rubber (similar to Dhalsim) and can create electrical currents throughout his body (similar to Blanka).
- Oro - An ancient, mysterious hermit who mastered the secrets to immortality. He enters the tournament to seek potential candidates to teach his unique fighting style.
- Ryu - Returns from previous Street Fighter games. A wandering martial artist from Japan who seeks worthy opponents to improve his skills.
- Ken - Returns from previous Street Fighter games. An experienced martial artist from the United States who seeks to test his strength against his friend and rival Ryu.
- Gill - Final boss and only playable in the Dreamcast version. Leader of a secret organization that seeks to turn the world into his own utopia. Has the power to manipulate both fire and ice.
- "Jazzy NYC (Underground Edit)"--New York stage 1
- "Leave Alone"--London stage
- "Crowded Street"--Hong Kong stage
- "Sharp Eyes"--Japan stage 1
- "Good Fighter"--Japan stage 2
- "Tomboy"--Africa stage
- "Get on a Train"--Siberian Railway stage
- "Cave Man"--Brazil stage
- "The Judgement Day"--Greece stage
- "Jazzy NYC (Street Edit)"--New York stage 2