Naruto: Ultimate Ninja review

When Smash Bros. goes to ninja school, we all win

GamesRadar+ Verdict


  • +

    Amazing mega moves

  • +

    Tons of fan content

  • +

    Fast-paced battles


  • -

    Demanding missions

  • -

    May get too hectic for some

  • -

    Naruto yelling 'Believe it!'

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Ask any retail clerk, grade school fanboy or anime fanatic what's hot right now, and they'll all likely say "Naruto" in varying degrees of adoration and/or disdain. But like it or hate it, the shinobi school madness of the series translates very easily into fighting games, and with Ultimate Ninja, you're getting a worthy Super Smash Bros. copycat bursting with dizzying, cinematic attacks that look better than anything you're watching on Saturday morning.

It's not just a one-on-one fight - you've got two planes in which to battle (a background and foreground), environmental hazards to avoid and boxes upon boxes of helpful items scattered across the level. Diving in and out of the background, items at the ready, is just as important as jamming on the attack button for seven hit combos. And even though the aforementioned attack button is the only way to throw a punch, there are many more methods you can use to smack your rivals around.

Like Smash Bros., it's all about holding a different direction on the d-pad as you fight. Up and attack will launch your enemies into the air, where you leap in hot pursuit, and smash them back down into the ground. Unless, of course, they teleport out of the way. At practically any point, you can hit theR2 button to avoid an attack and get the drop on your foe. But we're talking about ninjas here, so they can in turn parry back, leading to teleport-parry matches that stretch on like a duel in Dragon Ball Z, but ina good way and without all the grunting.

More info

DescriptionA scruffier take on ninja school, this anime fighter emphasizes flashy, lengthy moves and over-the-top fan service.
Franchise nameNaruto
UK franchise nameNaruto
US censor rating"Teen"
UK censor rating""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
Brett Elston

A fomer Executive Editor at GamesRadar, Brett also contributed content to many other Future gaming publications including Nintendo Power, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. Brett has worked at Capcom in several senior roles, is an experienced podcaster, and now works as a Senior Manager of Content Communications at PlayStation SIE.