Chun Li is also a excellent demonstration of fighting games as art. She twirled, leaped, spun, and flipped, all of her motions perfectly fused to all others. Street FIghter 2 had a solid gameplay mechanic, but that didn't make it interesting. Every combo was a new dance, an art of motion.
Also it was really, really easy to flip leap over a foe and slam them with one tiny acrobat arm. This is especially funny when applied to the doofy biznatch wrestler Zangief.