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When the Vigoor Empire attacks Ryu Hayabusa's village and steals the Dark Dragon Blade, the ninja vows to seek revenge with his Dragon Sword. Gifted with an impressive sets of moves, combining both melee and projectile weapons, you will need to defeat hordes of ninjas and monsters. During your journey, you acquire new moves and abilities such as the Art of the Inferno (fire), Ice Storm and Inazuma (thunder-like). Other moves include running over water, wall-based combos and ultimate techniques. You have to search or shop for special items, armlets, weapons and scrolls that enhance your abilities.

This fast-paced game is known for its hard difficulty (true to the series) and smart enemy AI that hardly relies on patterns. The Live! features allow for participating in the Master Ninja Tournament, a nationwide competition with prizes.


There are no Xbox user screenshots for this game.

There are 8 other screenshots from other versions of this game or official promotional screenshots.

Promo Images

Ninja Gaiden Screenshot
Ninja Gaiden Screenshot
Ninja Gaiden Other
Ninja Gaiden Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "忍者龙剑传" -- Simplified Chinese spelling
  • "忍者外傳" -- Traditional Chinese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

One of the Xbox's best Sam Vicchrilli (17) 4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars
A Fun If Somewhat Overrated Game MasterMegid (902) 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars
Great game, but has its flaws Jason Wilkinson (7) 2.71 Stars2.71 Stars2.71 Stars2.71 Stars2.71 Stars

Critic Reviews

Extreme Gamer May 31, 2004 10 out of 10 100
Game Shark Mar 22, 2004 A 100
Darkstation Mar 05, 2004 9.9 out of 10 99
XboxAddict Mar 06, 2004 96 out of 100 96
TeamXbox Feb 27, 2004 9.6 out of 10 96
MS Xbox World Mar 09, 2004 9.5 out of 10 95
IGN Feb 27, 2004 9.4 out of 10 94
Boomtown Jun 02, 2004 9 out of 10 90
Gamereactor (Sweden) May 02, 2004 9 out of 10 90
Jolt (UK) May 27, 2004 8.6 out of 10 86


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1001 Video Games

Ninja Gaiden appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Cancelled PS2 version

There were early plans for a Ninja Gaiden on the PS2, but they were ultimately cancelled.


Three Master Ninja Tournaments were held for this game. Participating gamers played through the game and posted their karma score to the leader board. The second and third tournament used a remixed single-player campaign available through two freely downloadable Hurricane Packs.

A custom-made wooden sword signed by the head creator of Ninja Gaiden, Tomonobu Itagaki, "Master Ninja" T-shirts, "Ninja Dog" T-shirts, boxers, games and wrist bands were up for grabs.

The champions of the first two rounds competed live on September 25, 2004 at the Tokyo Game Show. They played the new content first and came from Scotland, Canada, Japan and the United States.

Version differences

The violence in the European version has been toned down to maintain a PEGI 16+ rating. The graphic decapitations after certain fatal blows have been removed, but the blood remains and the shuriken (ninja throwing star) is also still included, despite the fact that it is usually removed from censored versions of similar games.


  • GameSpy
    • 2004 – #7 Game of the Year
    • 2004 – #2 Xbox Game of the Year
Information also contributed by NightKid32.

Related Web Sites

  • Tecmo website (Tecmo page for Ninja Gaiden. It includes a pdf manual, some tips and tricks and screenshots)
Sciere (780240) added Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) on Feb 18, 2005
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