The Ninja Gaiden the series has been both a popular franchise and an iconic one. Starting in 1988, the action game pioneered the over-the-top fighting style, where it wasn’t just about taking down enemies, but also how stylish players could do it. This gave room for them to play these games quite aggressively, because the main character, Ryu Hayabusa, had a very acrobatic way of fighting while avoiding enemies that would come his way. Even though Ninja Gaiden has changed over the decades, the core gameplay has remained the same and helped the hack-and-slash genre become popular.
The series is known for its difficulty level, so when players beat one Ninja Gaiden game it would be a big deal because it’s not a feat anyone can do randomly. The fight off Ninja Gaiden is one of the most influential playing styles in games and has inspired other games to use that way of fighting. But while many games have tried to emulate the iconic fighting style, some have failed, and others have done a great job of taking it and bringing in their own style. These games do just that, making a great game with hints of Ninja Gaiden’s battle, in turn, they are fun to play.
5/5 God of War
A series as iconic and important as Ninja Gaiden, but with a heavier feeling in the fight. The older one God of War game replicated Ninja Gaiden’s match, but made sure not to be a copy, which was a good decision. About like Ninja Gaiden, combos matter, and when players get into one, they can chain attacks better and fight better. This has done so in the past God of War games fun to play. With Kratos’ Blades Of Olympus, players can easily get creative with how they fight enemies, a quality taken out of Ninja Gaiden.
This alone has made Kratos quite a powerful God. Additionally, in the later games of the series, the combat becomes faster and more dynamic. On top of that, the combat is heavily stylized God of War that make combat a highlight of these games, this is one of them Ninja Gaiden games have done well, especially in the later games of the series.
The fighting style of Bayonetta borrows a lot from Ninja Gaiden and does it quite well. Players control a witch named Bayonetta whose hair can transform her into a weapon that can do quite a bit of damage. She doesn’t have a sword though, so that’s one of the differences between the two, but it still doesn’t change how the fight is. About like Ninja Gaiden which forces players to dodge, jump and deflect enemies, Bayonetta do this too. With the same speed and aggression, players can easily cut down enemies coming towards the player.
One of the reasons for that Bayonetta 3 considered an excellent game, is that it takes everything from Ninja Gaiden, and its own influence, and makes a full-fledged action game. When players fight and do combos, they feel powerful but also make them fight in a more dynamic way. This way Bayonetta is an immersive experience, even for players who don’t usually play this type of game.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance plays nothing like the rest of Metal Gear games, where it’s a somewhat slower experience that relies on players mostly using stealth. But, in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, the hack-and-slash fighting style of Ninja Gaiden is very clear. Like the other games on this list, the combat in this game is fast-paced, requiring players to constantly move to take down enemies. With Raiden, who has one of the most interesting arcs in it Metal Gear, the game has a complete feel.
A fighting style that suits how Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance acting, a protagonist strong enough to fight that way, and a story that is surprisingly deep, make Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance a fun game to play. On top of that, unlike Ninja Gaiden, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is easier to play and can act as an access point for players to jump into games like or Ninja Gaiden or like games like that.
The appearance of Defeated may make players feel that it is not Ninja Gaiden and it makes sense because it looks different. But from a combat perspective, Defeated plays a lot like Ninja Gaiden in the way of how mobile and flexible they can be. About like Bayonetta, players have ranged weapons instead of a sword, but it’s how they fight that matters. They will dodge, slide and dive all over the place, sort of Ninja Gaiden.
On top of that, Defeated is a difficult game to play, so the combat has to reflect that difficulty, and the game does that quite well. When there are so many enemies on the screen at once, players have to rethink how they fight. Because a robot suit alone will never be enough for players to defend themselves. They must fight more aggressively, avoid everything and stay two steps ahead of the enemy. Plus a lot like Ninja Gaiden, players must be quick and cannot sit still until each area is cleared.
1/5 devil may cry
The devil may cry game is probably the best game series in the genre to recreate the battles of Ninja Gaiden. But, devil may cry doesn’t really reinvent the wheel, it just makes it smoother. Gameplay wise, this is evident as players have to fight in many ways to take the demons and the fight can get difficult just like Ninja Gaiden. Dante in devil may cry wields a sword, allowing him to perform some superior feats such as holding enemies in the air for combos.
This style of play has done devil may cry franchise one of the most iconic games with great sword fighting mechanics. Although restarting the devil may cry changed Dante’s appearance and personality, the combat remained the same but felt more fluid due to the game being on more powerful hardware. Both Ninja Gaiden and devil may cry have done the stylized hack-and-slasher right, which is why both series are still very popular.
Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection is now available on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC.
More: Ninja Gaiden Master Collection: Every weapon in Sigma, ranked