Winner: Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2
Tomy | GameCube
It's no secret that the GameCube's last moments are reserved for quick cash-ins based on licensed material. Most of the time said material is the anime flavor of the month, and the game is, well... terrible (Zatch Bell comes to mind). But even with all these strikes against it, four-way fighter Clash of Ninja 2 managed to impress even the most pessimistic animephobes with its bouncy action and true-to-the-show fisticuffs.
Rather than just pit two loud-mouthed kids at each other and call it day, Ninja 2 will have you teleporting, dodging and counterattacking like crazy. It sports a simple fighting system that still allows experts a chance to pull off maneuvers worthy of their spiky-haired combatants. The omnipresent Naruto franchise remains a huge draw, and with excellent, authentic games like this coming out, expect to see more of Ninja Hogwarts in 2007.
This thing somehow managed to shoehorn in 130 characters, over a dozen distinct storylines, some (literally) earth-shattering fireballs and more spiky hair than all 10 years of the '80s, and it was addictive as hell to boot. That at least deserves an honorable mention in our book.