Naruto began life as a weekly manga in Japan back in 1999 and has since grown into a worldwide franchise spanning television, merchandise, and, of course, video games. From side-scrolling platformers to cinematic fighters, theres been a Naruto game for almost every system out there and each one has received mixed criticism. Not all have been gems, but theyve allowed fans to experience the series in various interactive ways. Who doesnt want that?
And if youre someone who knows nothing about Naruto or even how to pronounce his name (thats NAH-ru-TO, by the way), but still want to dabble in all the hype, dont worry. Weve saved you the trouble of looking and have ranked the top 10 best Naruto games that have ever come out. These games are not only fun, but they do a great job of bringing you closer to Narutos world of ninjas, demons, and action.
10. Naruto: Uzumaki Chronicles
Released in 2006 on PlayStation 2, Uzumaki Chronicles gave players a sampling of what a fledgling ninjas life is really like. The game follows Naruto and friends through various missions that range from protecting villagers from bandits to fetching ingredients for shopkeepers. Theres enough diversity in these missions that prevent the game from going stale, and you can mix things up by using different characters with unique abilities and battle styles too.
Before starting a mission, youll engage in random encounters, which are really the highlight of the game and give it some RPG elements. Experience points from battles let you increase your characters abilities and customize what presets and buffs theyll have before entering a fight. Being a rookie may be tough, but who says you cant find some action?
9. Naruto: Powerful Shippuden
Powerful Shippuden takes all the comedy and humor found in the series and multiplies it by 10. Filled with cute chibi-styled characters that crack jokes or find ways to embarrass themselves, this lighthearted game doesnt take itself very seriously but still manages to give us a fun, albeit simple, experience.
Perfect for pick-up-and-play sessions on the 3DS, its missions only take minutes to complete and require you to defeat hordes of enemies that come at you from all sides. You can play as Naruto or his friend Rock Lee and use abilities and attacks unique to each character. Not everyone will appreciate its absurd humor or easy difficulty, but its a painless way to get your daily dose of Naruto.
8. Naruto Shippuden: Naruto vs. Sasuke
Naruto vs. Sasuke is a button-mashing side-scroller that takes place right after Naruto learns his best friend really doesnt like him anymore. Despite the mature themes of friendship, betrayal, and vengeance, the game provides an accessible blend of missions that let you explore the reasons behind Sasukes newfound feelings.
The game looks great on the DS, featuring bright colors and handy touchscreen controls that make it easy to pull off powerful abilities and commands. Stages are multi-leveled and showcase the familiar environments in Narutos world. Plus, a Boss Rush mode and wireless battles help extend playtime way beyond the single-player mode. This game came out back in 2008, and guess what? These two friends are still at it.
7. Naruto: Clash of Ninja
Released on the GameCube back in 2006, Naruto: Clash of Ninja was the first Naruto game to ever grace US shores. The game features various characters from the first part of the anime, letting fans play as their favorite ninjas in a 3D fighting game. It features a very basic combat system, allowing you to pummel your enemies with fast attacks and pull off powerful abilities called jutsu just as long as you have enough energy, or chakra, to do so.
Despite lacking more advanced controls and a bigger roster of fighters, the game manages to provide fun battles with enough action and flair to keep any Naruto or fighting game fan busy for a few hours. Not only did Clash of Ninja introduce US gamers to the loudmouth spikey-haired ninja, but it also provided a good framework for future Naruto fighting games to follow. You can only move up from here.
6. Jump Ultimate Stars
Its sometimes hard to forget Naruto started out on the pages of Japanese manga, but a game like Jump Ultimate Stars will take you back to his roots. Released exclusively in Japan in 2006, this DS game is like a 2D version of Super Smash Bros. starring popular Shonen manga characters that fight on stages that resemble comic book panels.
With over 300 characters to choose from, Jump lets you sample characters from other series and build a team of fighters that provide support during matches or boost your stats. You can even unlock stronger character variations such as a Nine-Tailed Demon version of Naruto or a Chidori-wielding Sasuke. With so many similarities to Dragon Ball Z, its about time we got to see whether Naruto is truly stronger than Goku.
5. Naruto: Rise of a Ninja
The visually impressive world of Naruto had never before been fully realized until the release of Rise of a Ninja in 2007. As with most Naruto titles, missions make up a large chunk of the game, but what sets this one apart is that youre free to roam all over the Hidden Leaf Village, running and jumping your way through Narutos hometown and reliving the first few episodes of the series that started it all.
Not only does the game introduce you to the loudmouth immature ninja who dreams of becoming the best in the world, but it also features various platform-based missions and offline and online multiplayer modes with a battle system that is simple to learn but substantial enough for hours of fun matches. Youll also love hearing the games soundtrack and watching cutscenes taken straight from the show. This is as close as youre going to get to walking a mile in Narutos sandals.
4. Naruto Shippuden: Clash of Ninja Revolution 3
Released in 2009 for Wii, Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 was an evolution of the past titles in the Clash of Ninja series, providing a traditional fighting game experience with a balanced roster of characters and an improved fighting system. Its story mode followed the events in the first few arcs in Naruto Shippuden. Its not the best single-player experience, but playing it will get you some money to unlock all the playable characters in the game.
Revolution 3 also introduced a new tag feature that lets you swap out characters on the fly to conserve health. This, coupled with a roster of over 40 characters, makes for some diverse team strategies. And if youve ever wanted to feel like a real ninja, you can use your Wii Remote and perform hand seals to recover your chakra. How cool is that?
3. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations
With 72 playable characters from Part I and Part II of Naruto, Generations features one of the biggest rosters in any fighting game. Add to that an improved fighting system from previous Ultimate Ninja titles and youve got a great fighter that will keep you busy mastering its simple yet layered fighting system.
The increased pace of battles allow you to quickly pull off abilities and powerful Awakening transformations unique to each character. Combos are fluid and simple to implement and can be further augmented by assists in Team matches. However, if youre looking for a fleshed-out story mode, you wont find it here, as this game only focuses on fighting. And thats not such a bad thing.
2. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2
One of the thrills in playing Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 was the boss battles that took the series to new heights. The game features a rich Adventure mode that let you relive the first few arcs in Naruto Shippuden, complete with boss battles against some of the more devastating foes Naruto has ever had to face. Gorgeous cel-shaded cutscenes also help narrate the game and quick time events let you play a role in how battles develop.
It also improved on the first Ultimate Ninja Storm title by introducing more playable characters, an online mode, and the ability to explore the Hidden Leaf Village and take its various tasks. Any fighting game fan is sure to appreciate the varied selection of fighters, and someone wanting to know more about how Naruto has matured following his adventures in Part I will surely have a ball with this game.
1. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3
Perhaps the quintessential Naruto game for anyone looking to learn more about the series or relive favorite moments from the show, Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 takes everything its predecessors have done and does them better. It features over 80 playable characters spanning the entire series and an improved combat system worth mastering. Matches becoming spectacles as attacks flow into each other, and flashy jutsu and transformations liven up stages with dazzling effects.
But aside from its fighting mechanics, Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 also provides an engaging Adventure mode experience allowing you to relive pivotal moments in the series even before Naruto was born. You dont have to know anything about the series to enjoy its cinematic cutscenes or intriguing narrative, but if you happen to be a fan already, this game is sure to make you proud.
Do you believe it?
There you have it. Let us know what your favorite Naruto games or where you want the Naruto series to head to next. Wed like to see a Naruto racing game, but we dont think vehicles were that popular in the Hidden Leaf. Plus, they make too much noise. No ninja wants that. Do you?
And if you're looking for more Naruto goodness, check out GamesRadar's Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 review and the Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 character unlocks guide.