The sequel to Street Fighter III: New Generation, 2nd Impact updates the original game's roster (adding three new playable characters), revamps the stages (along with a remixed soundtrack), and adds a new gameplay mechanic: enhanced special moves (known as "EX Special Moves").
The game's story is an update to the one in New Generation, focusing on the World Warrior Tournament. Along with the original game's roster, two new combatants enter the tournament: Hugo (a German professional wrestler, Alex's rival, and a throwback to the 1989 arcade game Final Fight) and Urien (the bitter younger brother of main antagonist Gill).
Along with a sequel (Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike - Fight for the Future), the game was later ported to the Dreamcast alongside New Generation 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.
- Hugo - Originally from the 1989 game Final Fight (as Andore). A professional wrestler from Germany who seeks a strong tag-team partner for an upcoming wrestling tournament. He is accompanied by his manager Poison (also from Final Fight).
- Urien - Gill's younger brother, seeking to usurp his brother's leadership of their organization. Similar to Gill, he can manipulate two elements: electricity and metal.
- Akuma (Gouki in the Japanese version) - Returns from Super Street Fighter II Turbo. A mysterious and powerful martial artist. He is the game's hidden boss (similar to his original appearance) who takes the place of the final battle when certain conditions are met. If he is defeated under certain conditions, he re-challenges the player in his true "Shin" form. His normal form is playable with cheat codes, while his "Shin" form is only playable in the Dreamcast version with cheat codes.