I have recently been playing the absolutely excellent Ninja Gaiden remasters and whilst I am not quite ready to review these as a package (I still need to finish off 2 and begin 3) I thought I would take a moment to just fawn over everything ninja related.
So with this in mind, I wanted to take a moment to look at all of my favourite ninjas from video games. I won’t be including anything from Naruto or the Ninja Turtles in here because I simply want to actually include things that don’t come from the Hidden Leaf village or is a turtle, I have also opted to include Shinobi in the title simply because some of the ninjas I have chosen fall more accurately into that categorization and I couldn’t be fucked with all the butthurt fanboys coming out of the woodwork going:
And my final rule is I won’t be including any Samurai because I have already done that list!
So with that in mind…
Here we go.
So Rikimaru is absolutely incredible and deserves a lot more time on our screens and a lot more sequels in our lives (I get that Sekiro is probably as close as we will ever get to be fair) and whilst I haven’t really played the Tenchu series since I was about 11, I have such fond memories of my first time ever being a stealthy ninja boy. Tenchu helped shape the gamer I have become today so I would be remiss if I didn’t add this absolute legend to my list.
He’s Yoshimitsu. You know? From Tekken? Do I need to say more?
Strider is the one Ninja on this list I haven’t spent much time with over the years. I played the updated version of Strider a few years back and absolutely adored it but frankly I don’t think I have given this series the time it really deserves.
That being said, I have seen countless videos and articles explaining why Strider is the coolest ninja ever so he sit’s nice and firmly on my list.
7 The Messenger
The Messenger has been a surprise hit for me over the past couple of years, I didn’t expect much going into it but I saw a few people on Twitter exclaiming, loudly, how great this game was so I thought I would give it a go.
The Messenger is not only a hilarious game that fills my power ninja fantasy, The Messenger himself is a wall bouncing, grapple hook bearing little badass that fills me with joy every time I see his little face.
Say 3 Video game quotes in your head right now and I BET one of them is “GET OVER HERE”. Scorpion has become synonymous with the Mortal Kombat series and arguably is a huge reason the series remains as popular as it is today.
I know most people I know who are “into Mortal Kombat” won’t put Scorpion on the top of their tier list but we all know we came for Scorpion or Sub Zero and I was informed that the latter wasn’t a ninja so here we go.
The equipment stealing ninja from Final Fantasy 7 is one 2 reasons I wanted to write this list, alongside Ninja Gaiden I am also playing through FF7 Intergrade at the moment and absolutely adoring my time playing as Yuffie.
She epitomizes one of my favourite things about JRPGs which is really badass characters wrapped up in a cutesy little shell, Yuffie is as skillful as she is funny and deserves a place exactly halfway through this list.
4 Hanzo Hattori (Specifically Nioh)
You don’t get a great deal of time hanging out with Hanzo in Nioh but everyone who knows a little bit about ninja’s has probably heard of him. Arguably the most famous ninja of all time Hanzo Hattori is everything you want from a ninja and more… from real life anyway.
3 Gray Fox
HE IS A CYBER NINJA. Read that again A CYBER. NINJA. He comes at Snake armed only a sword (and some redonc armour) and kicked every ten year olds ass when playing the original game.
Sekiro is, without a doubt, one of my favourite games of all time. Sekiro is also the reason I included Shinobi on this list because it wouldn’t be a list feature from Luke if one of the Soulsbornes didn’t somehow sneak their way in.
Wolf is incredible and I wont bore you guys with all the semantics.
1 Ryu Hayabusa
The other reason I wrote this list is because of Ryu Hayabusa. Famed for his appearance in the Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive series – Ryu is the perfect Ninja.
He perfectly mixes a blend of martial arts, magic and weaponry to mow down LEGIONS of his enemies. Ryu Hayabusa is the ninja every ninja wishes they could ninja.