Long ago int he coin op period of arcade games, Street Fighter and Tekken were two of the more popular arcade units. The main motivation is that two players could earn double the coins to earn more money.
Long ago I used to play Street Fighter II which can be played along or as two player. The old console used 2 rows of 3 buttons and a x-y controller. The design allowed the game to animate a wide range of different attack moves. Sprites are easily manipulated making this type of game possible.
The Namco Galaxian arcade system board, for the 1979 arcade game Galaxian, featured animated, multi-colored sprites. It used a custom a sprite system that animated pre-loaded sprites over a scrolling background. This was done using a 8-bit Z80 processor.
Originally, the term sprite referred to fixed-sized objects composited together, by hardware, with a background. Use of the term has since become more general. In modern game programming sprites are now just a software object. The CPUs in modern computers, video game consoles, and mobile devices are fast enough that bitmaps can be drawn into a frame buffer without special hardware assistance.
As machines became more powerful the animation changed from sprite graphics to 3D side scroll action.
Today both of the classis arcade console favorites are available in Steam in the PvP bin. The multiplayer aspect is easily handled with persistent internet that is available today. Capcom and BANDAI NAMCO compete in the player v player action market.
The old consoles are now but a fading memory but the spirit of player v player lives on.
The graphic above shows how a modern 3D image can be enhanced easily with sprite elements to make a more complete scene,.