User Reviews

Slice and dice! Ninja know no fear! NES Satoshi Kunsai (2093)
Amazing and hard as hell... NES Ivan Obretenov (33)
Damn cool, but the gameplay isn't very good NES Bregalad (963)

Our Users Say

Platform Votes Score
Arcade Awaiting 5 votes...
NES 81 3.9
Nintendo 3DS Awaiting 5 votes...
TurboGrafx-16 Awaiting 5 votes...
Wii Awaiting 5 votes...
Wii U Awaiting 5 votes...
Combined User Score 81 3.9

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
NESThe DOS Spirit (Dec 06, 2012)
Om du føler for å utfordra dine emnar med eit svært så vanskeleg spel så er det berre å kasta seg over «Ninja Gaiden». Om du ikkje har store ambisjonar om å fullføre spelet (sjølv har eg enno ikkje klart å overvinna den siste bossen) så er det høgst anbefalt å ta ein runde i ny og ne, kun for å få nullstilt standarden over kva som er eit vanskeleg spel. Alle spel denne siden av årtusenet verkar plutseleg mykje lettare etter ein god gammal runde på ekte «Nintendo Hard». Av den grunn meskar me denne tittelen med vår gjeve Golden DOS (NES) Spirit.
Presentation is outstanding, as innovative use of nicely drawn, anime-style cinema cutscenes between stages lays out a nice and complex story. An excellent and memorable soundtrack rounds out the rest of this unforgettable game.
NESRaze (Sep, 1991)
Indeed, under its original title of Ninja Gaiden, this game was voted Game of the Year in America, and Ninja Gaiden II is already on release over there.
WiiMag'64 (Sep 01, 2009)
Wenn man auch nur ansatzweise etwas für Actiontitel auf dem NES übrig hat und nicht vor Herausforderungen zurückschreckt, wird man Ninja Gaiden lieben. Hat man die Steuerung erst einmal verinnerlicht und ist im schnellen Spielfluss drin, offenbart sich ein Gameplay, das, so simpel es im Grund ist, fesselnder nicht sein könnte.
90 (Aug 10, 2011)
Considéré comme le meilleur jeu au style ninja sur NES, Shadow Warriors / Ninja Gaiden se permet d'allier une action de jeu intense à une mise en scène révolutionnaire grâce au TECMO Theater. Ici, tous les aspects du jeu vidéo se consolident les uns les autres et à vrai dire seuls quelques choix discutables viennent ternir ce tour de force. Voilà un véritable condensé d'énergie d'émotions et de défi qui ne demande qu'à exploser, si vous êtes à la hauteur.
NESLens of Truth (Mar 24, 2009)
With Ninja Gaiden for the NES, Tecmo decided to drop the arcade beat-em up style for a more graceful Shinobi feel, and it worked. The seven stages in Ninja Gaiden all are vastly different. Each brings with it great graphics and music. As said previously, the game’s innovative way of storytelling make it monumental. Even if it didn’t have it’s cut-scenes, Ninja Gaiden would still be remembered as one of the greatest games ever to be released on the NES. It’s definitely one of the toughest.
The game was good enough for Tecmo to release two sequels on the NES. Not only that, but Tecmo released all three games in a compilation cart for the SNES. The huge success of the series solidifies it as one of gaming's greatest. It's a must play for anyone who enjoys video games, even those who consider themselves "mainstream."
WiiIGN (May 14, 2007)
So be well warned ahead of time – this isn't the kind of game you can pick up and breeze through on your first try. Completing the adventure takes practice and patience, both of which you'll likely be willing to invest given the solid and satisfying fun factor of the core gameplay and, too, given that you'll want to see how the story ends. Getting to the next cutscene, seeing the next piece of the plot, was a motivation not used before Ninja Gaiden in 1989. That novel narrative nature, paired with the high degree of difficulty, made this first Gaiden game a hit. A hit that started Tecmo's most powerful franchise, and a hit that's certainly worth the asking price of 500 Wii Points to re-experience.
NESMean Machines (Jul, 1991)
The more I play this game, the more it reminds me of Nintendo Batman. The platform, leaping-between-walls gameplay is very similar, but then, seeing as Batman was one of the best NES games of 1990, that can't be a bad thing. Shadow Warrior's graphics aren't quite as stylish as Batman's but they still do a creditable job. The sprites are detailed and well-animated, and the Tecmo Theater interludes help supply a lot of atmosphere. Shadow Warrior is probably the best arcade-style Ninja game on the NES, so anyone after some Shinobi-type shuriken shenanigans can't go wrong buying this.
NESThunderbolt Games (Dec 17, 2004)
Jaquio means to take control of the earth. A demon of monstrous proportions will rise from a 700-year slumber and a young man named Ryu Hayabusa wears the burden of their inevitable confrontation on his slight back. His father was killed by someone, or something, under the Jaquio’s deft, devilish influence, and so the letter delineating his mission, his gaiden, becomes two-fold. It even becomes three-fold later on in the proceedings, but to reveal that final theme would be criminal. And so, Ryu’s undertaking must involve both avenging his father’s murder and saving the unsuspecting world from an unspeakable fate.
TurboGrafx-16Computer and Video Games (CVG) (Apr, 1992)
There's no doubt that this is playable. It's great fun and very, very difficult. The frustration builds, but it only makes you want another go. The range of weapons available is enormous and the use of magic potions and recipes adds to the fun. Buy it if you're after a Shinobi-style romp, but fans of the arcade games will be gravely disappointed.
NESNintendo Land (2003)
Overall, this game deserves notice due to its innovative use of cinema scenes and its ability to test even the most seasoned veterans' jumping and slashing skills. The game was immensely popular upon its release, and spawned two sequels and a re-release as part of the Ninja Gaiden Trilogy for SNES years later. I recommend this game for players of intermediate and expert skill levels, although everyone should at least give it a try to test their skills. It's a part of history, and besides... Ryu needs our help!
WiiVideo Game Generation (May 29, 2007)
While Ninja Gaiden rewards gamers that are aggressive, it also forces them to play wisely by punishing those that are too aggressive. Much like a ninja, you must move with care, move with precision, and move with a sense of urgency not found in most modern games. It’s old school gaming in its finest, and most frustratingly satisfying, form.
NES1UP! (Feb 01, 2008)
Il y a autant de bonnes raisons d'aimer Shadow Warriors que de le détester, et de ce fait il est impossible de lui donner une mauvaise note comme il impossible de lui en donner une excellente. Même ceux qui le haïssent doivent l'admirer, et il doit énerver même ceux qui l'adorent. Puisque l'on a disséqué en long et en large ce qui le rend traumatisant pour toute une génération de joueurs, qui finit par s'éloigner du jeu tels des blessés de guerre couverts de bandages, nous terminerons en évoquant sa plus grande qualité. Elle n'est pas facile à cerner en un mot. C'est sa rapidité, c'est son rythme, c'est sa jouabilité aussi. Ce pourrait être sa férocité.
TurboGrafx-16GameFan Magazine (Oct, 1992)
Ninja Gaiden comes to the PC! Same as the 8-bit but with more colors and detail. It feels and plays just like the old 8-bit NES version. I liked that one and I like this one even better...good stuff!
83 (Dec 04, 2012)
Yeah, Ninja Gaiden is pretty cool, though it’s nowhere near my favorite series for the NES. It has one standout blockbuster (Ninja Gaiden II), one solid, influential title (NG1), and one so-so ending (Ninja Gaiden III). But, much like with the original Legend of Zelda or Donkey Kong, one can’t deny Ninja Gaiden‘s impact on the gaming world at large; even if Ryu is Simon Belmont, ripped on speed, and wearing a ninja mask.
NESRetro Game Reviews (Sep 01, 2015)
Ninja Gaiden has an unprecedented level of presentation, fantastic gameplay and an amazing soundtrack to round out the package. The last two stages are too cheap for my liking and while it does dampen the experience slightly the majority of the game is well balanced and an absolute joy to play.
NESRetro Game Age (Jun 29, 2011)
Sure the game is hard but you will have the time of your life playing it. No matter how many times you’ll die, and trust me you will, you’ll come back for more. It can be unfair at times, but in every situation you can determine what you did wrong and fix it. At the end of the day that’s what matters most. This is not only one of the best NES games of all time but one of the top action games of all time. Everyone should play it, no questions asked.
80 (UK) (Sep 24, 2007)
There are some irritations - the respawning bad guys are a pain, while scaling higher sections using Ryu's wall-grab move is clumsier than I remembered - but for the vast majority of the time Ninja Gaiden is a fine example of the sort of solid, honest gameplay that retro gaming should celebrate.
NESRealm of Gaming (Jun 06, 2013)
Without 6-2, Ninja Gaiden would be at the top of my list of favorite 8-bit platformers. Instead, it has to accept a less satisfying position somewhere close to number nine. There's only so much a gamer can stand, even a gaming masochist like myself, and this game certainly pushes the envelop in terms of fiercely difficult gameplay.
WiiNintendo Life (May 15, 2007)
Although the visuals have aged poorly, Ninja Gaiden still has plenty of gameplay and challenge. The musical score should be noted as one of the finest to be found on the NES. In terms of NES platform action, it doesn't really get much better than this!
NESNES Times (Feb 06, 2007)
So despite its flaws and "pull-your-hair-out" frustraton, Ninja Gaiden still proves to be a worthy title. The non-stop action is just plain fun and never gets boring. Although the two sequels that followed it fixes most of the problems here, this is still a great cartridge that should definetly be checked out. You may swear at the game a few times, but if you can stand the difficulty, you'll still have a good time nonetheless.
Shadow Warrior är ett bra spel. När du väl lärt dig hantera Ryu (och det gäller att ha god kontroll över hans rörelser för att komma långt i det här spelet) är det lätt att fastna vid NES:en bara för att ta sig förbi den där sista problematiska passagen... Spelet är stort nog att ge valuta för pengarna i form av lång speltid. När du väl gjort slut på ditt sista liv kan du ändå trycka på Start för att börja om (med nollställda poäng) från början på den bandel där Ryu mötte sitt öde, så du har möjlighet att träna ordentligt på varje bana utan att behöva börja från början varenda gång. Och träning behövs innan man luskat ut alla specialmanövrer som krävs för att klara det här spelet!
WiiGameSpot (May 16, 2007)
However, the key difference between this masochistically tough game and other masochistically tough games from this time period is that Ninja Gaiden doesn't use its difficulty level as a crutch. The underlying gameplay in Ninja Gaiden is good enough to keep you playing, no matter how many times it punches you in the face with some cheap enemy placement or completely insane boss fight. For those who like their classic games angry and challenging, Ninja Gaiden is one of the better examples of that style of game, because it's hard and it's fun. And ninjas are awesome.
NESMicro News (Dec, 1991)
Amis de la nuit, voilà une très belle réalisation qui vous fera gaiement cavalcader sur le cheval blanc des insomnies.
NESVideo Games (Sep, 1991)
Shadow Warrior spielt sieh flott und ist nicht allzuschwer, was den Einstieg angenehm erleichtert. Begrüßenswert ist auch, daß die Endgegner nicht frustrierend sind, sondern durchaus Schwächen offenbaren. Wer auf schaffbare Actionpiele mit wenig Ecken und Kanten steht, der wird mit Shadow Warrior gut bedient.
NESThe Video Game Critic (Jul 27, 2004)
The background scenery is a mixed bag. The city streets look plain, but later stages like the castle ruins and mine cart tunnels look very cool. Cinematic cut-scenes between stages tell an intriguing (but cheesy) tale of revenge, borrowing elements from more movies than I care to name. Interestingly, this game won an award back in 1989 for "best ending in a video game". Ninja Gaiden also features a kick-ass soundtrack that's sure to get the testosterone flowing. Once you exhaust all of your lives, "Game Over" appears of the screen, but it doesn't tell you your score, and that stinks. From there, you can hit the start button to continue on the current stage. Ninja Gaiden spawned a number of sequels, including a recent 3D version for the Xbox.
TurboGrafx-16Video Game Den (Jan 10, 2011)
All in all, Ninja Ryūkenden is a hard and frustrating action platformer but, difficulty aside, its enduring popularity is due, no doubt, to moments of pure brilliance and creativity sadly sprinkled with irritating gameplay paradoxes.
Nintendo 3DSDigitally Downloaded (Nov 21, 2012)
It’s a pity, because this series is quite legitimately one of the most compelling ninja stories you’ll ever experience, and Ryu is a great character. It would have been great for more modern gamers to have enough of a reason to work through the genesis of the series.
TurboGrafx-16Video Games (Apr, 1992)
Die Spielbarkeit ist zwar solide, dafür erinnern Grafik und Sound an die frühen 80er Jahre. Mir ist schleierhaft, warum Hudson ausgerechnet den ersten Teil der Ninja-Gaiden-Saga adaptieren mußte - kaum Gags, kaum Ideen, keine Überraschungen. Alles in allem kein übles Modul, aber in vielen Belangen nicht mehr ganz zeitgemäß.
NESGame Zero (Jun, 1995)
While this game is nothing like it's arcade namesake, I would say it is a far better game, and one of the best versions of the title out... (although it is finally being redone on the SNES as was done in Super Mario All-Stars) Another must have for any NES owners library of titles.