Guy is the fastest, but the weakest. He can perform the off-the-wall jump, but this movement is not very useful during normal fights, as there are only a few places (like big barrels, a phone booth or walls) where it can be used. During fighting with bosses right edge of screen is always treats like wall, even if it is not seen. Guy very often releases grabbed opponents too early, so the player can't even finish triple elbow kick. When fighting bosses or strong opponents, this glitch almost always provides dangerous situations. It can be treated like a unfixed bug, because Cody doesn't have that glitch. Due to this weakness, he can't stop Andore from running towards him with just a punch like Cody can. Bill Bull and his clones and Hollywood and El Gado can easily stop Guy's air elbow attack when attacking.
Cody is balanced, making this player an excellent choice for beginners. He can hold onto the knife he's carrying (only when the knife is flashing red while near an enemy).
Haggar is the strongest, but the slowest of the player characters. He can perform the piledriver by catching an enemy then jumping and attacking. He can perform backdrop too in the same way, but instead of jumping, press or .
Bred, Dug, Jake and Simons
They serve as the game's standard thug characters. They are dressed in matching pants and tanktops (with vests for Jake and Simons), with Bred dressed in gray, Dug in red-orange, Jake in blue, and Simons in gold. They have no distinguishing characteristic or attack other than their ability to push oil drums in an attempt to knock the player down. Jake and Simons also have the ability to jump kick. Bred appears in the first bonus round after the player trashes his car (in the GBA version, a palette swap of Dug in a grey outfit appears instead of Bred).
J and Two. P
A pair of punks dressed in baggy pants and jackets. J is dressed in yellow and blue and has an atomic biohazard symbol on his back, while Two. P wears orange and green and has a dragon symbol on his back. They move quickly tend to strike when the player has their back turned on one of them.
Axl and Slash
A pair of bikers who share their names with Axl and Slash respectively of Guns N' Roses. They are the only enemy characters that can block the player's attacks; in addition, they can kick and deliver a strong overhead "hammerblow" strike. Only grab/throw attacks are guaranteed to connect. They loosely resemble their real life counterparts, with Axl having blond shoulder-length hair and red bandanna, while Slash has black curly hair. Axl wears a gray leather outfit, while Slash wears brown.
Holly Wood and El Gado
A pair of knife-wielding fighters dressed in camouflage garb and ski caps. Their fighting style is described in one of the Japanese manuals as being based on dancing. Their most powerful attack is the jumping knife strike, and they can also stab, throw their knives, and do a sliding kick. Holly Wood wears orange, and El Gado wears yellow. There are versions of Holly Wood dressed in red that often shows up to throw Molotov cocktails at the player; these can be hit out of the air to render them harmless.
Bill Bull, G. Oriber and Wong Who
A trio of obese men. Their attacks consist of a charging headbutt and a kick. Bill Bull wears grey pants, G. Oriber wears blue pants and Wong Who wears green pants. According to the manual for the Japanese Super Famicom version, G. Oriber's first name is Graham.
Poison and Roxy
Two scantily clad male transvestites (or newhalfs) with gymnast-style attacks. Poison has pink hair and wears pink cheeky shorts, a white tanktop cut just below her breasts, and a matching black hat and high heels. Roxy is a palette swap who has orange hair and wears red cheeky shorts. When the arcade version of Final Fight was under development by Capcom, the game was planned to include female enemies, but were revised into male transvestites after a suggestion that "hitting women was considered rude" in America. When an American playtester working for Capcom reviewed the content of the SNES version, he was informed by one of the designers that the "female characters" the player fought were really transvestites. Thus, Poison and Roxy were replaced by two mundane male punks named Billy and Sid in the SNES port (as well as in the later GBA port).
A pro-wrestling thug modeled after André the Giant. He wears shocking pink pants and a matching leopard-print tank top. His attacks consist of pro wrestling techniques: running punch, charge, choke, piledriver, and a high jump to land on the player. He has numerous palette-swapped counterparts in the game, with Andore Jr. (dressed in red) appearing alongside him in nearly every instance. Grandfather (blue) and Father (yellow) appear as sub-bosses in the second level of Round 3, along with Uncle (dark grey) who appears only when there is a second player. These three are listed as "G. Andore," "F. Andore," and "U. Andore," respectively.
One of Mad Gear's top members waits at the end of each stage to fight the player.
- Damnd (Stage 1) - A big thug with yellow dreadlocks. He relies on flying kicks and the occasional punch. Twice during the fight, he calls out reinforcements to keep the player occupied and then launches an ambush attack. He carries Jessica away at the start of the game.
- Sodom (Stage 2) - A fighter dressed in Japanese-style armor and armed with two katanas. His primary attacks are a sword slash and a running headbutt.
- Edi. E (Stage 3) - A corrupt police officer now on the Mad Gear payroll. He attacks with a nightstick during the first part of the fight, either swinging it out or picking the player up to smash him in the face. Later, he starts moving faster and firing a pistol. The gum he spits out can be picked up for a small health boost.
- Rolento (Stage 4) - A soldier/mercenary who uses a staff and grenades. He appears during the elevator ride, climbing up the building framework and tossing a few grenades, then jumps onto the elevator once it has reached the top. He is very fast, using a combination of grenades, staff strikes, and flying kicks, and never drops the staff when knocked down.
- Abigail (Stage 5) - A wrestler dressed in a white outfit similar to the Andore characters. He uses many of their attacks and can also deliver a strong running punch (his face will turn red first).
- Belger (Stage 6) - The leader of the gang, riding in a motorized wheelchair at first (although he can move and jump normally after being knocked out of it). He fights with a spear gun; when defeated, he crashes through a window and falls to his death.
Many obstacles (barrels, telephone booths, oil drums, etc.) can be broken to reveal three different types of items:
- Bonus - Awards bonus points (jewelry, money, radio, etc.).
- Food - Restores some health. Larger items give more of a boost; for example, a pizza has more effect than a hamburger, which in turn has more effect than an apple. Picking up a food item with a full health meter awards bonus points.
- Weapon - A knife, pipe, or sword. All three characters can swing the pipe or sword, but only Cody can stab with the knife when close to an enemy (it will flash red in his hand). The other two will always throw it.