The video game medium has been a much more welcoming venue for the art of ninjitsu than most other forms of fiction, which is why we're doing a list of the 10 Best Video Game Ninjas. The incorporation of ninjas into gaming has led to a breakthrough of mechanics that probably would not have been invented otherwise, such as wall-jumping, water-running, and dagger-throwing. Ninjas have left their mark throughout the gaming universe. So save up some shurikens, stay silent and slither through the shadows as we salute the 10 Best Video Game Ninjas!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - TMNT Games
How can we leave the TMNT off this list? We can't. Cowabunga, dudes!
Taki - Soul Edge / Soul Calibur Series
Taki's acrobatics allowed her to take on the freakish likes of Nightmare and Astaroth with her relative ease.
Strider Hiryu - Strider / Marvel vs. Capcom Series
It's been more than 10 years since we have seen Strider in a standalone title. Nevertheless, fans rallied and petitioned to get him into Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
Ayame - Tenchu Series
Rikamaru might have been the frontman for the Tenchu franchise, but Ayame's teenage-look and the variety in her stealth kills made her a fan favorite.
Ayane - Dead or Alive Series / Ninja Gaiden Series
Whether she's playing volleyball, fighting her sister or helping Ryu Hayabusa save the world, this purple-haired ninja won the third Dead or Alive world tournament, certifying her spot as one of the best.
Mai Shiranui - Fatal Fury Series / The King of Fighters Series
We still don't understand why Andy Bogard is always turning her down, but Mai's ninjutsu keeps Andy, his brother, and the rest of the Fatal Fury roster in check. Plus, we think she likes Chun-Li.
TIED: Scorpion & Sub-Zero - Mortal Kombat Series
We couldn't exclusively put one MK ninja on our list without upsetting a lot of readers, so we consider Scorpion and Sub-Zero on equal footing. For most people, when you hear "ninjas," and "fighting game," in the same sentence, you instantly think of these two rivals.
Ryu Hayabusa - Ninja Gaiden Series
Cutting his way into history with the greatest 8-bit intro sequence ever, Ryu has been wall-jumping and shuriken-throwing in insanely difficult games for over 20 years.
Joe Musashi - Shinobi Series
Since the '87 arcade game, Joe's crusade against the Neo Zeed crime syndicate has left a lasting impression. Both the Shinobi and Ninja Gaiden series should go hand-in-hand for being the two most consistently difficult ninja game series ever.
Goemon - Mystical Ninja Series
Each of these characters should have their own entry on the list. Ebisumaru is perverted and hilarious, Sasuke is a robotic ninja, and the green-haired Yae is the serious kunoichi of the group. But Goemon is our choice for this list because his main weapon is a pipe and he also can control a giant robot that he uses to fight other giant robots! Here's to hoping for a new title for the Goemon Series.
Were there any video game ninjas missing from the list that you think should emerge from the shadows? Let us know in the comments below!