I don’t fell like writing a massive missive at this point, but suffice it to say, Street Fighter 2 hit my country of Trinidad like a tidal wave, and it’s still played to this day.
I can go to any of about 5 arcades tomorrow (though most of the ones remaining in the capital city are way too ghetto) and get competition for hours on Hyper Fighting. In the arcades that are still around, HF is in every single one. And the players here are good. Sure. 90% of them play Ken and aren’t that hard to beat (I only play M.Bison), but the rest are pretty top notch.
Until about 2002, though, Trinidad players weren’t particularly good at anything else. They thought they were good, but they really weren’t. They relied mostly on “natural skills” and never went online to find out info about games, and there were (and still are) a number
of players who were still concerned about being “cheap”. That has changed, fortunately, since now there are players who are internet/SRK-savvy, and they are pretty decent at a variety of games (MvC, MvC2, GGXXAC, 3S, CvS2, etc.) as a result. We wouldn’t likely be upsetting anyone at Evo world, but at least the players won’t embarrass themselves like they would have 5 years ago.
Among the Marvel games, MvC1 seemed to be the biggest hit. MvC2, where I could find it, took years to catch on.
3D games don’t seem to be big here. Tekken 3/Tag/5 seems to have a following, but it’s never been big in the arcades like SF. Probably it’s more popular on home console.
Speaking of console, arcades are slowly dying here, though you can still find some good ones. But it’s mostly for games made in 2000 and before. If you want play anything made past that, it’s console or nothing.
SNk’s presence here has always been formidable, but never in SF’s class. Traditionally, the most popular series is Samurai Shodown (I even know a place that has SS0S!), though it depends on what’s available. KoF usually gets good play wherever its found, but good luck trying to find the latest version (and again, you won’t find anything past maybe 2001 in the arcade, maybe 2002).