After 21 years trapped in a $300 GBA cart, one of the greatest cult classic platformers ever made is getting a modern re-release

Ninja Five-O
(Image credit: Konami/Limited Run Games)

21 years after its GBA launch, the beloved cult classic Ninja Five-O is finally getting a modern re-release.

Ninja Five-O will hit Switch, PS4, PS5, and Steam sometime in 2024 courtesy of the Limited Run Games Carbon Engine - a dev tool intended to bring highly accurate emulated versions of classic games to modern hardware. Whether the Carbon Engine is actually better than any other good emulator is going to be a matter of extremely technical debate, but previous releases using this tech have been pretty well received.

Either way, Ninja Five-O getting a modern re-release is a big deal for anyone who wants a legal way to play one of the most beloved GBA games ever made. Originally published by Konami in 2003, Ninja Five-O (known as Ninja Cop in Europe) is an outstanding action platformer with tremendous mobility options, including one of the finest implementations of a grappling hook gaming had seen up to that point.

Ninja Five-O reviewed very well, but it did not have the sales to match its quality. While the game made numerous 'best of' lists by the end of the GBA's life, its relatively small print run meant that copies were hard to track down. These days, now that the retro game market has exploded, copies of Ninja Five-O regularly sell on eBay for north of $300. And that's just for the cartridge alone.

While Limited Run Games does often offer cartridge reissues for classic consoles, including GBA, there's no word of a similar retro reissue here. The publisher is teasing a physical version of the Carbon Engine release, however, so collectors still have something a little more affordable to pick up. The game will be released digitally, too, so if you've been looking for a legal way to play Ninja Five-O in 2024 your time is nigh.

No time like the present to dig into the best GBA games ever made.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.