- Terry Bogard - The main character of the Fatal Fury series. Son of Jeff Bogard and brother of Andy Bogard. Tries to revenge his fathers death and improve his fighting skills. Known as the 'Hungry Wolf'.
- Andy Bogard - The other son of Jeff Bogard. Practices Shiranui-ryuu Ninjutsu and is even more driven by revenge than his brother.
- Joe Higashi - A good friend of Andy Bogard. Helps the Bogard brothers to defeat Geese Howard in the King of Fighters Tournament. Is a master of Muay Thai.
- Billy Kane - Hencheman of Geese Howard.
- Duck King - A DJ who fights using dance moves. Also the king of ducks.
- Geese Howard - A former police commissioner and the current crime lord of South Town. Main antagonist of the Fatal Fury series.
- Kim Kaphwan - A highly disciplined Korean practitioner of Tae Kwon Do with a strong sense of justice.
- Li Xiangfei - A Chinese South Town Kung-Fu prodigy and waitress who has a big appetite.
- Mai Shiranui - A female ninja with flame based attacks and a barely-there wardrobe.
- Mr. Karate - Ryo Sakazaki, the main protagonist of SNK's Art of Fighting series. He appears in Fatal Fury Special as a secret boss.
- Raiden - A wrestler who worked for Geese Howard during this game.
- Ryuji Yamazaki - An insane brawler who uses many unfair and dishonest moves.
- Total number of Characters: 11 + 1 unplayable
- Characters reappearing from previous game (Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers): 12
(Andy, Billy,Duck King, Geese, Kim, Joe, Mai, Terry, Xiangfei, Yamazaki)
- Characters reappearing from older games in the series: 2
(Mr. Karate (Ryo Sakazaki), Raiden)