Naruto has been a powerhouse of a franchise both abroad and in the US. Between the manga, the anime, video games, and merchandise most people have at least heard of it at some point in time. The number of video games produced for fans of the series is staggering and there are dozens of games that have never made it to the US from Japan.
That being said there are some great games that did see releases in North America and did very well on various consoles. For those just diving into the waters of Naruto’s video game library, this article will save some time by recognizing the best games produced about the young ninja and his peers.
10 Naruto: Clash of Ninja
Naruto: Clash of Ninja is one of the first games ever produced for the Naruto fan base in 2003 for Japan and 2006 for North America. Even though this game is more than a decade old it was very well made and still has appeal today as a solid fighting game.
The reason it doesn’t rank higher is that the game was simple, almost as if the developers were testing the waters to see if a Naruto fighting game would even be popular. There were only ten characters, the fighting was simplistic, and there wasn’t much to do after players beat the story, but even then it was a well-made game that stands the test of time.
9 Naruto Clash of Ninja 2
After the success of the first game, the developers quickly released the sequel that same year and added features that fans were craving. Sure it still had the same storyline, but they more than doubled the roster of fighters with 22 characters and added four-player multiplayer.
They also added in a number of unlockable content to give the game more replayability and an endgame for fans who’d beaten the main storyline. Despite the rush of production, it didn’t suffer from many bugs and fans were stunned by how much of their feedback was incorporated into the game.
8 Naruto: Broken Bond
Produced by Ubisoft, Naruto: Broken Bond was created for Xbox 360 in 2008 and is a sequel to Naruto: Rise of Ninja. The story was very faithful to the anime and the game even incorporated the voice actors and soundtrack from the anime series.
Game wise it played very well with a roster of 30 characters and introduced a fun tag-team style of play. They also decided to upgrade from the 2D cutscenes in the first game to use 3D. It was a great game that made a lot of improvements over its predecessor and showed that North American companies could make loyal video game versions of Japanese anime.
7 Naruto: Path Of The Ninja
You’ll probably notice that many of the games on this list are fighting games, but there have been some notable exceptions as game developers experimented with the Naruto franchise. Naruto: Path Of The Ninja was a turn-based JRPG that did well both in North America and Japan.
What’s notable about the game is that they decided to take a risk and introduce an entirely new story that wasn’t present in any of the anime or manga story arcs. The risk paid off as fans liked the new original story over the numerous rehashes of the original storyline they’d experienced in other games. While the standard gameplay ranks this game low, it deserves this spot for an original story that resonated well with fans.
6 Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm is the first Naruto game to dip its toes in the waters of the PlayStation 3. The game made a bold move in taking the fights out of the standard two-dimensional settings and incorporate the environment in three-dimensional battles.
This sense of openness and maneuverability was amazing compared to previous titles and introduced a franchise that fans absolutely love to this day. The exploration of the Konoha village between fights felt well made and open to the point that fans felt like they were exploring the anime itself.
5 Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2
Once again developers took what made a game successful and expanded upon it with the sequel. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 expanded the roster to 42 characters and made the Konoha village even more vibrant and detailed than before.
The developers realized their mistake from the first game and decided to release this game to a broader audience, including Xbox 360 owners. The game was well polished and more engaging, the only criticism to be made is that it felt more like a well-made remake rather than a separate game, though this by no means dilutes how good the game was.
4 Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Impact
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Impact earns its rightful place in the top four for doing what most of the other Naruto games hadn’t considered, pitting Naruto and the other characters against armies of opponents instead of one on one battles.
Made for the PSP this game felt epic as players could face off against 100 opponents and the boss fights felt incredible. What’s baffling is that the game developers never went further with the concept and decided to go back to one on one fights. Admittedly some of those one-on-one games are better, but it’s a shame to think of what Naruto games could’ve looked like if they’d stuck with the grander feel Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Impact introduced.
3 Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution
This game was a blast and introduced a whopping 100 characters to the roster, a few of them were actually new creations put into the game by the creator of Naruto’s manga series Masashi Kishimoto. The game also introduced a fun battle royal style tournament where four characters can fight at the same time.
The only thing that dilutes this otherwise fantastic game and why it doesn’t rank higher is that the game was bogged down by the need to include lots and lots of fan service. Seeing the scantily clad characters duke it out in combat removed some of the immersion and felt like a cheap gimmick to boost sales, which the game sincerely didn’t need.
2 Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst is a doozy of a title, but an excellent game. Taking everything fans loved about the previous titles in the Ultimate Ninja Storm series, developers were careful not to remove anything fans loved and instead gave them more of it.
The Awakened Mode, in particular, was a welcome feature that gave players a chance to fight stronger as they neared the bitter end. It was a great game and a sign that things would only get better with each new title.
1 Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4
The cream of the crop for Naruto games, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is the most recent game featuring Naruto to reach both North American and Japan audiences. Admittedly it was released with a number of bugs and optimization flaws, but once those were patched it quickly proved to be the best Naruto game ever made.
It kept the great three dimensional fights and introducing stunning cinematography and a more compelling story. A welcome feature is the ability to switch characters during battle and introducing elemental damage that affects weapons and clothing. It’s big, it’s epic and there’s nothing better than watching an Ultimate Jutsus devastate your opponent and a large chunk of the planet.