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Coolest Ninja In Video Games

Ninja are a longstanding, beloved archetype in video games. In fact, they are so beloved that they will often show up in environments that you may not expect to see them in. Medieval fantasy titles? Tons of medieval games have ninja in them. A distant future science fiction setting? Be careful around those shadows, you never know when a cyber ninja may get you.

Related: The Best Games Where You Play As A Ninja

Hell, there are games set in a fictionalized version of the wild west that feature ninja in them. And why? Because in the world of video games, cool is often the rule. And you just can’t get much cooler than a ninja. This is why we want to celebrate some of our favorite ninja in games.


10 Oboro-maru, Live A Live

Oboro-Maru is among the most mysterious ninja in games. Despite being the protagonist of his own narrative path, we never truly get to know him. All we can do is infer. One very novel element of his story is that he keeps track of every kill. So, at the very least, we can see that he does not treat the act of murder flippantly.

The story even incorporates how bloodthirstily you acted, which is a trick that Metal Gear Solid 3 would implement similarly a decade later. Thankfully for those who aren’t familiar with Orobo-maru, Square decided to finally bring Live A Live to the west. Though it did take them the better part of thirty years.

9 Ryu Hayabusa, Ninja Gaiden

This is the “respect your elders” choice of the bunch. Ninja Gaiden is a legendary series and alongside that legendary series is our heroic ninja: Ryu Hayabusa. Ryu likes to use ninja-style weapons, like shuriken, and he can cling to walls, but he is one of those ninja who decided to scrap the whole stealth part of the equation.

Instead of using stealth, Ryu chooses to run through his enemies. Look, some ninja were just born impatient. While Ryu may not be into the whole “stealth” thing, he is big into the stabbing enemies with his sword thing. And he does that very well. What a legend!

8 Boomerang, Wild Arms

Because nothing screams the Wild West like a demonic ninja, right? A reoccurring villain in the game, Wild Arms’ Boomerang is one of those noble antagonists who is all about chasing a worthy opponent. He has a killer theme, and he is frequently a highlight in a game filled with noteworthy bosses.

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It is important to note that Boomerang in Alter Code F (the remake no one asked for) moves away from the ninja design. So, this really only applies to the original (which is the good one, anyway).

7 Kohga, Breath Of The Wild

As universally beloved as Breath Of The Wild is, there is one area where it falls painfully flat: boss battles. Nearly every boss in this legendary title is an absolute disappointment. That is, with one exception, the Yiga Clan’s leader. Kohga is just brimming with energy and charisma.

While ninja are typically super cool and stylish, Kohga is the exact opposite. He is an utter buffoon. He feels like he takes after Disney’s Goofy half of the time. But that is also why he is so much fun! He also comes rocking a killer theme. When it comes to bosses in Breath Of The Wild, there are none better than Kohga.

Grey Fox is a design so iconic that to this day we are seeing it being aped. When it comes to cyborg ninja, you can’t do any better than him (sorry Raiden, you’re cool too). One of the best parts about Grey Fox (outside of that legendary design) is how he has a number of the traditional ninja attributes, but they are all modernized.

The traditional style of ninja stealth is one thing, but Grey Fox is able to take it to the next level by actually cloaking himself and becoming functionally invisible. Grey Fox only made it into one mainline Metal Gear Solid game, but he may still be the series’ most iconic antagonist. He is that memorable!

5 Guy, Final Fight

Guy is a ninja only because the creators of Final Fight were under the impression that you always needed a ninja if you wanted to get your game greenlit at Capcom in the late 80s. Which is to say, Capcom used to have the best policies and we don’t know why they abandoned them. Anyway, in the world of street smart ninja—that almost never do anything even vaguely ninja-esque—Guy is clearly the best of the best.

He is sleek, cool, and his agile style of fighting makes him a joy to play in every game he appears in. By the way, it is notable that Guy is the first Final Fight character to transition into Street Fighter. He is the one that started it all. So you Cody and Hugo fans better show some respect!

4 Kasumi, Suikoden

The Suikoden series has a long history of including ninja in its cast of characters. There are over a dozen playable ninja in the series. However, one of the most central is Kasumi. She is a semi-important character in the first two Suikoden titles. She is also hinted to be the love interest of Suikoden 1’s McDohl.

This is pretty neat, as ninja aren’t typically given romantic arcs—they are usually too busy being stoic and badass. Oh, and one more thing, Kasumi uses a spinning piledriver as a special attack. We didn’t know where to fit that in exactly, but it was too rad to not mention.

3 Slade, Shining Force 2

Humanoid rat-men who are also ninja is maybe a category that you thought would be dominated by TMNT’s own Splinter, but you couldn’t be further from the truth. Slade is a rat-man who joins your party in Shining Force 2 as a thief but gets the classic class upgrade to ninja.

Related: Shining Force Games Ranked Worst To Best

Often it feels like video game ninja may lean a tad too heavily on familiar motifs. Which is fair; ninja are super cool, so we get that impulse. Still, seeing a character like Slade is a breath of fresh air. He is just delightfully unique.

2 Ayame, Tenchu

When you are talking about the absolute definitive kunoichi, Ayame has to be at the top of the pack. In the Tenchu games she not only has better mobility in general, but her quicker attack speed, and better evasive actions, are a heaven send when you are dealing with a game that can be a touch clunky (combat was never really the core focus of the Tenchu games).

As a side note, Ayame also has some of the most brutal stealth kills in the game. This may seem like a pretty random aside, but you do a lot of stealth killing in the Tenchu games, so that should count for something.

1 Shadow, Final Fantasy 6

Final Fantasy 6’s Shadow is the most ninja your ninja could ninja. He has the classic black getup and throws shurikens (as well as whatever else is on hand). We feel like he is a ninja’s ninja, if you catch our drift.

As a fun aside, Shadow is accompanied by his canine companion: Interceptor. Which, surprisingly, isn’t actually that atypical in games, as a number of ninja in the medium are accompanied by wolves or dogs.

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