Contrary to popular opinion, the first Fatal Fury is not a good game. It was a rushed project, tossed into the market place in pace with Street Fighter II. However, not only does Fatal Fury not come close to Street Fighter, but it doesn't even come close to Mortal Kombat!
Fatal Fury is what my friends who do not enjoy fighting games make fun of ... it lacks substance. It's not even an attractive game, and none of the characters are appealing. The control is extremely weak, and where Street Fighter has deep techniques to learn, Fatal Fury is button pounding.
There is also very little in the way of variety. You only get a chance to play with three of the characters, and all of them play fairly similar. Plus while the characters become slightly cooler in the sequels, here almost all of the bosses seem like wimps.
As a first attempt SNK could have done better. And please, don't be fooled, this is not a game.