Naruto Games, Ranked From Worst To Best

Naruto Games, Ranked From Worst To Best

There are so many games (maybe too many?) based on mangaka Masashi Kishimoto’s wildly popular shonen series Naruto. Some date back to the Game Boy Advance and OG PlayStation, while others, such as the *new* game Naruto x Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections that was revealed during Sony’s February State of Play, are recent additions to the hotheated ninja’s interactive adventures. While we haven’t played every single Naruto game in existence, we’re here to rank the ones we have, like Shinobi Striker and the Ultimate Ninja Storm franchise, from best to worst. Before we get cracking with the nacking, though, note that this list will rank the different Naruto game series against each other, rather than individual titles. Oh, and no crossovers. So, sorry to the Fortnite, Jump Force, and J-Stars Victory players around the world.

With that now out of the way, let’s get it.

Naruto: Uzumaki Chronicles

Before Naruto arena fighting games had a chokehold on the gaming community, there was Naruto: Uzumaki Chronicles, an action-adventure game for the PlayStation 2. Uzumaki Chronicles’ story takes place after the death of the Third Hokage in the Konoha Crush arc. With the Leaf Village worse for wear, Naruto and the rest of the village shinobi take on a hodgepodge of “filler missions” to help their community recover. Somewhere down the line, players are charged with stopping Orochimaru from using a dangerous green mist that unalives, revives, and transforms people into zombies. You know, villain shit. That doesn’t mean it was good. In fact, this one was mechanically clunky, had rudimentary missions (beat up a certain number of goons, collect a certain amount of items, those kinds of objectives), and enough loading screens to put you to sleep.

Naruto: Rise of a Ninja

Naruto: Rise of a Ninja, the predecessor of The Broken Bond, was the first Naruto game developed by a non-Japanese studio, Ubisoft Montreal. Released in 2007, Rise of a Ninja gave players the option to play the anime’s story mode or try their hand at both an online and offline multiplayer versus mode named after the chunin exam’s deadly Forest of Death. While the game garnered positive reviews, Rise of a Ninja also had a pretty tiny character roster. In fact, the game launched with a total of just 11 playable characters, while fan favourites like Jiraya and Shikamaru were relegated to DLC. Not exactly the eclectic character selection that the series is known for, putting this one toward the bottom of the pack.

Naruto: Path of the Ninja

Why Naruto: Path of the Ninja remains one of the few tactical RPGs based on Naruto confounds the both of us, but we’re glad we got something with this gem of a series. A collection of turn-based games not unlike the OG Final Fantasy titles, Path of the Ninja follows the main storyline with a more exploration-focused bent, as Naruto and friends walk around the Leaf Village, encounter random battles with rival shinobi and enemy monsters, and go on missions to protect and maintain order. It wasn’t the best offering for fans of the series, but the Path of the Ninja series was novel in its approach to adapting the frenetic action of Naruto into a slower, more methodical turn-based formula. Kudos there.

Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker

What’s better than playing as your favourite Naruto characters in online co-op battles? Adding your Naruto original character (do not steal) into the mix, of course. Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker, which released on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2017, is a 4v4 online team battler where players compete against each other in a series of co-op missions. Like Blizzard’s Overwatch or Gearbox Software’s less-successful (and now dead) hero battler, Battleborn, Shinobi Striker’s shinobi were broken down into class archetypes: attack, ranged, defence, and healer. But the major selling point to Shinobi Striker, aside from giving Naruto fans a break from back-to-back Ultimate Ninja Storm games, was mixing your own OC into the mix for some light, non-story driven, vidya game funsies.

Naruto: The Broken Bond

If another game from the Naruto series were ever to get a remaster, Naruto: The Broken Bond would be the best candidate. What sets Ubisoft Montreal’s 2007 Xbox 360 game apart from the rest of the pack is its innovative gameplay mechanic where players imitate shinobi hand signs to unleash powerful ninjutsu using their controller’s thumb sticks. Naruto: The Broken Bond also includes the best implementation of “Naruto running” in any Naruto game to date. When moving to a new location, players navigate Naruto through forests, away from traps, and over the surface of rivers like a ninja messiah. Seriously, this shit slaps.

Naruto: Clash of the Ninja

Naruto: Clash of the Ninja, developed by Eighting for the GameCube back in 2003, is a 3D fighting series in the same vein as Tekken and Virtua Fighter. Each entry saw its small roster grow as the series stayed relatively true to the source material. It also featured a simpler movelist when compared to the Ultimate Ninja Storm series, making the Clash of the Ninja games easier to pick up and play for folks wanting to pummel some ninjas.

Naruto: Ninja Council

The Naruto: Ninja Council games for the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS were straight fire. This side-scrolling beat-em-up series not only had a sizable roster of playable and support characters, but it also had beautifully rendered sprites depicting each ninja’s signature jutsu and ultimate techniques. These games were great time-wasters in grade school and, more particularly, were everything a young Naruto fan could hope for when playing through the pivotal Land of Waves and Chunin Exame arcs.

The Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Series

The entirety of the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm series isn’t only the best collection of Naruto games, but it’s also a phenomenal anime substitute for new fans wanting to check out the series in its entirety without all of its creeping flashbacks and hours of filler episodes. With at least 15 different entries across the franchise, the Ultimate Ninja Storm series also has the largest character roster of any Naruto game with 124 shinobi to choose from. Granted, a sizable chunk of those characters happen to be different versions of Naruto and Sasuke. But hey, that’s still worth something.

With Naruto still running in the form of its sequel, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, we’ve now doubt that more games will get spawned. Hell, with Naruto x Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections coming this year, it appears evident that the fandom isn’t tired of these games just yet. And with Naruto and friends joining the likes of Fortnite, who knows where the famous ninjas will find themselves in the years to come? For now, though, you can’t go wrong with most of the entries on this list, especially if you want to experience the entire anime without the drudgery of those filler episodes we mentioned.

The Cheapest NBN 1000 Plans

Looking to bump up your internet connection and save a few bucks? Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *