[naruto ninja impact]Naruto： 8 Best Games Every Ninja Fan Should Try (& 8 Worst)
The anime Naruto has spawned many games based on the series. Here are some great ninja games and some worth avoiding.
By Rhenn Taguiam
Updated Mar 08, 2021
Ask any anime fan what they’d imagine when they hear “ninja” and it’s likely going to be?Naruto. In fact, the orange-clad protagonist of the?Naruto?franchise created quite the indelible mark in both anime and mainstream media. Aside from the meme-worthy “Naruto run” and the series’ impressive storyline, fans also remember?Naruto?for its slate of action-packed games.
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Moreover,?Naruto?games eventually grew alongside the franchise. For instance, some hit?Naruto?titles followed notable arcs when the series was ongoing. As such,?Naruto?has more than 50?titles across different game series! However, just which?Naruto?games dominate the rest? Most importantly, which titles should?Naruto?fans definitely try?
Updated March 4th, 2021 by Rhenn Taguiam:?With recent happenings in the?Boruto?manga changing the status quo of the?Naruto?universe, it may help to look into more of the best and worst franchise games that players should pay attention to.?Naruto?has a long history in the gaming industry, one that covers multiple genres and long-running series. While certain titles rank among the best anime games of all time, others leave a lot to be desired.
Franchise fans who want to bring the excitement of?Naruto?to their mobile phones can play?Naruto x Boruto: Ninja Voltage?for iOS and Android. This action-strategy RPG combines MOBA-style action with minor base-building components.?Players can organize their “dream team” composed of four characters from both?Naruto?and?Boruto?to take on various missions and challenges.
Unlike usual turn-based or tap-action mobile games,?Ninja Voltage?has a more active approach to gameplay. Players control their leader character while the rest of their team follows and supports. Moreover, players can dish out powerful combos and attacks that feature signature moves such as the Rasengan and the Chidori. Fans who want a compact experience close to the?Ultimate Ninja Storm?series could find almost the exact gameplay style in?Ninja Voltage.
Those who want a more strategic take on the?Naruto?universe would probably want to check out?Naruto: Shinobi no Sato no Jintori Kassen, loosely translated as?Naruto: Ninja Village Jintori Battle.?Essentially, the game mixes elements of strategy with light combat. The main goal is to occupy the home base of the enemy.?Much of the game takes place during the first few?episodes of Naruto, particularly when Team 7 had to face the likes of Haku and Zabuza.
Aside from its limited scope,?Ninja Village Jintori Battle?doesn’t boast much in terms of mechanics. The board game aspect doesn’t immediately fit the?Naruto?setting, at least not one so restricted. If it were to involve the other nations and Hidden Villages during the Fourth Shinobi World War, then perhaps such a concept would show promise.
Albeit not necessarily an exclusive?Naruto?game,?Jump Force?does answer a lot of fan questions regarding an important aspect of powerful fighters. If Naruto and Sasuke could defeat most of the ninjas in their world, how would they fare against the likes of Ichigo, Goku, or even Yami Yugi?
In this game, players take on the roles of some of the most prominent characters in?Shonen Jump. Of course, given the vast scope of Jump’s manga selections,?the game offers up?quite a lot of interesting match-ups. For instance, who could have thought that Light Yagami and his Death Note could face the likes of Naruto and Sasuke? Thanks to this game, players can finally see for themselves how the two shinobi’s abilities would fare against some of the most popular manga characters around.
Fans of the series with their PlayStation Portables intact would likely get intrigued by?Naruto Shippuden Legends: Akatsuki Rising. After all, not only does the game boast full 3D combat, but it also serves as a great introduction to Part II of the series. Sadly, this is as far as the game goes in terms of its flair, as it’s not fun to play in terms of combat.
At its core, Akatsuki Rising?has Naruto explore different zones and eliminate enemies,?similar to a Musou game. Battles take place in semi-large environments, but combos are easy to spam and pull off. Moreover, given that the story only takes place from the beginning of Part II until the Kazekage Rescue Mission, there are only 17 playable characters. All-in-all,?Akatsuki Rising?offers a somewhat suboptimal experience.
It could be?argued that?Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm?gave a preview of the series’s true potential in terms of fast-paced ninja action. In terms of story, the first?Ultimate Ninja Storm?game covers the events of Part I until Episode 135. As such, players can get a more dynamic take on events that thrust Naruto into his journey towards being the Hokage. However, for now, he has to become a Chuunin and help save Sasuke from the impending threat of Orochimaru.?
While?retaining the same combo-focused mechanics of the?Ultimate Ninja?series, Ultimate Ninja Storm?enables players to move in fully-3D environments. As a result,?the game offers more dynamic use of Ninja Move dodges, wall-fighting, and different ninja tools,?while players can even request help from support ninjas. These mechanics will slowly see improvements and changes throughout the course of the landmark?Ultimate Ninja Storm?series.
People who want to try?Naruto?as a full-blown turn-based RPG might be tempted to try out?Naruto: Path of the Ninja. This Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS title takes place from the beginning of Part I until the end of the Chuunin Exams, where Naruto faces off against Shukaku. Unlike other?Naruto?titles, this RPG takes a turn-based approach to combat. As such, teams of three (Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura for the most part) need to carefully coordinate attacks and jutsu in order to take down a number of foes.
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Naruto: Path of the Ninja has a small roster of playable characters – including Shikamaru Nara, Neji Hyuga, Rock Lee, and Jiraiya – with a whole host of NPCs and opponents. Sadly, the RPG component does get rid of the fast-paced action component the franchise is known for.?Path of the Ninja?isn’t?a recommended way to re-experience Part I’s events, considering how other games?accomplish the same with more engaging combat.
Fans of classic Naruto?would love?2007’s?Naruto: Rise of a Ninja – a?title that serves as a hallmark title for pre-Shippudden?days. After all, the Xbox 360 title explores the first 80 episodes of the series in a fully-open Konoha.
Moreover, the main storyline comes with cutscenes interspersed with actual footage from the anime. Additionally, the game slowly teaches players everything Naruto learns in the original story?- from using chakra to walk on walls and water (that also opens up the environment) to learning powerful Jutsu they can use in fights.
Fans with the Xbox 360 should try this title, as it’s one of the first?Naruto?games to fully realize an open-world environment.
With?Naruto Shippudden: Ultimate Ninja Impact,?Naruto?fans get a taste of?Shippudden?if it were a Musou title. As such, fans would immediately notice the similarities between?Ultimate Ninja Impact?and titles such as?Dynasty Warriors.?After all, it’s not all the time that a?Naruto?game would feature Naruto and his friends face hundreds upon hundreds of enemies. However, these immense battles remain impressive for a PlayStation Portable title.
This 2011 title also tackles?Shippudden’s Kazekage Retrieval Mission until the Five Kage Summit, which tackles more than half of the anime’s storyline.?Unfortunately, the musou format made?Ultimate Ninja Impact’s gameplay extremely repetitive and uninspired. As such, it lacks the fast-paced and tactical “flair”?Naruto?fans enjoy in other games.
Fans of PSP’s?Ultimate Ninja?Heroes?series would feel right at home with the PS2’s Naruto Shippudden:?Ultimate Ninja 5.?Due to its ties with the?Shippudden?anime, the game’s story follows eight chapters related to the Kazekage Retrieval Arc and the reunion with Orochimaru and Sasuke. Interestingly, the game also features most characters with their?Naruto?and?Shippudden?costumes as well as alternate modes that grant new abilities. Moreover, the game introduces Assist Characters which players can call for aid for extra damage or powerful linked attacks.
This title easily becomes a must-play for fans who want a portable?Naruto?game that packs a lot of content and features. Moreover, it’s one of the last?2.5D?Naruto?fighting games prior to its transition to full-blown 3D fights.
Fans would consider?the PSP’s?Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 2?as a dividing title. After all, the game is just essentially?Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Heroes?with three new characters and a new story mode. However, in this title, players now have access to the Mugen Castle Arc. This arc takes them within the Mugen Castle, a haunted castle with randomly-generated floors?with its own story.
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Unlike technical fighting games,?Heroes 2?relies on fast-paced combat. Moreover, most of its 23 characters have special modes that make battles more diverse and unpredictable. Unfortunately, game collectors might wonder why even get?Ninja Heroes 2?if all they get are three new characters and an entirely-skippable Mugen Castle Arc. In turn, they may as well get the first?Ultimate Ninja Heroes?game for a more compact experience.
Fans looking for the ultimate?Ultimate Ninja Storm?experience would appreciate?Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations?for the PS3 and Xbox 360. This 2012 title retains the new 3D-based fights of the original?Ninja Storm?title. However, this game cranks everything up to 11 thanks to its fast-paced battles and stories fully covering the?Naruto?and?Naruto Shippudden?anime.
Moreover, fans would love?Generations?for its high-octane action. For instance, the game now features attack-cancels, vertical mid-air dodges, and other cancellations to further diversify the game’s approach to combat. Additionally,?Generations?uses Naruto’s original story to branch out into other side stories. In turn,?Generations?gleams insights into other characters such as Itachi Uchiha and Minato Namikaze’s lives.
Interestingly,?Naruto?actually has a game entry for the Wii. Unlike other titles,?Naruto Shippudden: Dragon Blade Chronicles?tries to add RPG elements to the?Naruto?concept. As a result, the 2010 title features a new story with elements from the franchise. In essence, the game takes place in a loose version of the Itachi Pursuit Mission. Unique to the game is the antagonist Kuroma Tatsushiro, who plans on using the power of the Genryu (five eternal dragons) for his evil schemes.
As a result,?Dragon Blade Chronicles?feels more of an action-adventure game with?Naruto?elements. Instead of hand-to-hand combat, Naruto (now adorned in traditional Feudal Japanese armor) uses swords to fight various monsters. Aside from aesthetics, there’s not much that makes this game a “genuine”?Naruto?experience.
Fans looking for a more modern experience would appreciate?Naruto Shippudden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3. This 2013 entry fully realizes the potential of modern systems, thanks to its availability for the PC, PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One, and even the Switch. Interestingly, the game now features a story featuring the Five Kage Summit that leads into the climactic Fourth Shinobi World War. Moreover, fans would appreciate the ability to “deviate” from the course of events with certain decisions throughout the game’s story.
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However, what makes this game a must-try is its “evolved” combat system. For instance, the game boasts a more controller-friendly and responsive approach to combos, dodges, and flips. Moreover, the game adds a ring-out system in addition to improvements with its Team Attack System and various support character options.
Fans of the?Naruto?series might be surprised to try out?Naruto Shippudden 3D: The New Era?for the Nintendo 3DS. In essence, the game tries to return to the era of 2D side-scrolling adventures. Unfortunately, despite its decent story, the title’s overall approach to gameplay seems lackluster and rather so-so for a 2011 title.
For instance, the game takes place in various?Naruto?landmarks with various platforming elements. Moreover, Naruto can perform various attacks, and even Jutsu that transitions into a 3D cutscene. Unfortunately, fans who played other immersive?Naruto?fighting games won’t find this title endearing at all.
As of writing, Naruto Shippudden:?Ultimate Ninja Storm 4?serves as the pinnacle of?Naruto?games. This fully-3D title fully realizes the climactic Fourth Shinobi World War in game form. Moreover, the game has over 100 playable characters. In turn, players can go bananas constructing the best three-man team for their battles. In terms of story, the game tackles both Naruto and Sasuke’s perspectives that lead up to their eventual team-up near the manga’s conclusion.
Additionally, the title boasts new and improved features to make its battles more dynamic. For instance, battles can take place on walls, and characters can tap into Ultimate Jutsu and Awakening modes to dish out powerful attacks. Moreover, players can switch characters to further diversify battles. Lastly, the game one-ups other games’ aesthetics with destructible battlefields and even damaged clothing.
Fans of?Naruto?will finally get their personalized Konoha experience with?Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker. In this 2018 title, fans can explore the first few arcs of the?Boruto?anime – this time with a fully-customized avatar. Moreover, the game now features the cast of?Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, which includes Boruto Uzumaki (Naruto’s son) and his friends.
Interestingly, the game boasts a fairly open environment where players can embark on various quests. Moreover, multiplayer matches come in various modes. Additionally, player avatars can possess unique abilities – some of which are signature moves from the original cast. Unfortunately,?a lot of gamers don’t appreciate?Shinobi Striker?for its repetitive gameplay and lackluster combat mechanics.
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About The Author
(577 Articles Published)
Rhenn is a Manila-based content writer with a love for all things geek and pop culture, and science and technology. He has a BA Journalism degree, and has since then pursued making content about geek culture. Rhenn used to write for a couple of geek and gaming publications, and also served as editor-in-chief for Philippines-based What’s A Geek!. He constantly plays video games but also takes the time to try out older titles. If he’s not playing video games, he’s probably playing TTRPGs.
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