Street Fighter III (ストリートファイターⅢ?) is a sub-series in Capcom's Street Fighter series of head-to-head fighting games, originally released as coin-operated arcade games. The series was started in 1997 with Street Fighter III - New Generation, followed by an updated version released less than a year later titled Street Fighter III 2nd Impact - Giant Attack (ストリートファイターⅢ セカンドインパクト?)—which introduced new features and characters—and a third installment, titled Street Fighter III 3rd Strike - Fight for the Future (ストリートファイターⅢ サードストライク?), released for the arcades in 1999. The Street Fighter III games were produced for the CD-ROM-based CPS III hardware, which allowed for more elaborate 2D graphics than the CPS II-based Street Fighter Alpha games (the previous incarnation of the Street Fighter series), while revamping many of the recurring gameplay features. The game, which was designed as a direct sequel to the Street Fighter II series, initially discarded every previous character except for Ryu and Ken (hence the "New Generation" subtitle), introducing an all new character roster led by Alex. Likewise, a new antagonist named Gill took over M. Bison's role from the previous games as the new boss character.
Street Fighter III
Released in February 1997, the original Street Fighter III features ten unique selectable characters (not counting Yun and Yang separately) and a non-selectable computer-controlled character as the game's final opponent. In the single-player mode, the player will face seven computer-controlled opponents, including Gill.
The gameplay of the original Street Fighter III is based on Super Street Fighter II Turbo, but with several new abilities and features introduced. Players can now dash or retreat like in the Darkstalkers series, as well as perform high jumps and do a quick standing after falling from an attack. The game also introduced "leap attacks", which are small jumping attacks used against crouching opponents. As well, the player cannot block in the air like in the Street Fighter Alpha series.
The main new feature introduced in Street Fighter III is the inclusion of Super Arts. A Super Art in Street Fighter III is a powerful special move similar to a Super Combo in Super Turbo and the Alpha games. After selecting a character, the player will be prompted to select from one of three character-specific Super Arts to use in battle. Like the Super Combo gauge in the previous game, the player has a Super Art gauge which will fill up as the player performs regular and special moves against an opponent. The player can only perform a Super Art once the gauge is filled. Depending on the Super Art chosen by the player, the length of the Super Art gauge will vary, as well as the amount of filled Super Art gauges the player can stock up.
The other new feature is the ability to "parry" an opponent's attack. Parrying (or "blocking" which is the term used in the Japanese version) is the ability to deflect an incoming attack without receiving damage. At the exact moment an opponent's attack is about to hit his or her character, the player can move the controller toward or down to Parry the attack without receiving damage, leaving the opponent vulnerable for a counterattack. Additionally, this also allows the player to defend against Special Moves and even Super Arts without sustaining the normal minor damage. However, parrying an attack requires precise timing.
Also, as this and the next two Street Fighter III games run on the CPS III engine, more elaborate 2D sprites were created. Among the elaborated sprites include multiple hit stun sprites, including a new "turned-around state," in which a character is turned around (his or her back faces the opponent) after being hit. Only certain attacks can put characters in a turned-around state, and grabs and throws can now be comboed, as it typically takes longer for an attacked character to recover from this new type of hit stun.  Street Fighter III 2nd Impact Ryu vs. Ken in 2nd Impact.
Released on October 1997, the second installment of Street Fighter III brought back all the characters from the first game and introduced two new ones: Hugo and Urien. Yun and Yang from the first game also became separate characters, with Yang receiving his unique set of Special Moves and Super Arts to distinguish him from Yun. Series' recurring hidden character Akuma also returned as a secret computer-controlled challenger and selectable character. Thus the playable character roster increased to 14. In addition to the regular Akuma, a non-playable computer-controlled version named "Shin Akuma" also appears in the single-player mode.
In addition to Super Arts, the player can also perform slightly more powerful versions of their Special Moves called EX Specials. By using a certain portion of Super Art gauge (particularly after it begins to flash), the player can perform an EX Special version of a regular Special Move by inputting the command and pressing two attack buttons instead one. Other new abilities added to the game are "grapple defense", the ability to escape from a throwing attack, and "personal action", a character-specific taunt. Each character's personal action is also accompanied by an additional benefit if completed successfully; for example, Ryu's lowers his stun gauge. If a second-player interrupts the gameplay to challenge the other player, then the first player will be allowed to change the Super Art of his or her selected character.
The single player mode was changed slightly from the first game. The player faces against series of eight opponents, including a character-specific final opponent, who will exchange dialogue with the player's character before the match. If certain requirements are met, then the player will also face a rival character during the course of the single player mode and exchange dialogue before a match. If certain other requirements are met, the player will also face against the CPU-controlled Akuma instead of the character's usual final opponent in the single-player mode and depending on the player's performance in his or her fight against Akuma, then a match against a more powerful version of Akuma known as Shin Akuma will also take place. 2nd Impact brings back the concept bonus rounds, which was last seen in Super Street Fighter II. At the end of the third CPU match, then the player will participate in a minigame dubbed "Parry the Ball", in which the player can practice his or her parrying skills against a series of basketballs thrown towards the player by Sean.  Street Fighter III 3rd Strike
Released on May 1999, the third and final installment of Street Fighter III brought back the classic Street Fighter II character Chun-Li, along with three new characters, extending the selectable roster to 19 characters (with Akuma now a regular character). All of the returning characters from the previous Street Fighter III games were given new stages, endings and even voice actors, continuing the overall storyline from where the first two games left off.
The commands for Air Parries, Throws/Holds and Leap Attacks were changed from 2nd Impact. Additionally, the player can perform a "Guard Parry" or a Parry during a Guard Stun if the timing is right. A "Guard Parry" is also known as a "Red Parry" due to the fact that the character turns red when performing it. The game also introduces a grade-based "Judgement System", in which the winning player in a single or two-player match is graded after the match based on Offense, Defense, Techniques and Extra Points. Special Points are also awarded after fulfilling special requirements.
The single player mode consists of ten regular opponents, which includes a character-specific rival as the penultimate opponent and Gill as the final boss for all the characters except for Gill himself, whose final boss is Alex. Despite his status as a regularly selectable character, the CPU version of Q can only be fought in the single-player mode as a secret challenger. The "Parry the Ball" minigame from 2nd Impact returns as well as a new version of the "Crush the Car" minigame from Street Fighter II.