The Worst Game Ever: Ninja Gaiden (NES)

There's hard, and then there's stupid.

I recognize this is heresy. Blasphemy for some, even. Indeed, I can even recognize the pivotal role Ninja Gaiden played in bringing a more cinematic flair to video games, but it only seems like a good game when viewed through the warm and fuzzy light of nostalgia. Moreover, if we are going to applaud a media product for its role in history, we’d see Birth of a Nation and Triumph of the Will atop a lot more film geeks’ favorite lists.

Recommended Videos

Ninja Gaiden was a game that mocked the player with its challenge.

There’s hard, and then there’s stupid.

I’m no fan of the modern trend toward games so easy a drunk cat rolling on a gamepad can accidentally get 100% achievements, but that doesn’t mean I’m a fan of the virtual equivalent of genital torture just because the technology didn’t exist and the creators weren’t innovative enough to craft an experience with play longevity due to something more interesting than being arbitrarily killed by  the space between two pixels.

Sure, there are “worse” games. Last year’s Duke Nukem was an abomination, but everyone saw that coming. Same with Daikatana. E.T. for the Atari? Don’t worry, your developers are still assured a spot in Satan’s fourth mouth. Ninja Gaiden on the NES is a hundred shades of awful in no small part BECAUSE of the adulation it receives from people whose memories of it exist alongside even weaker competition. 

1
The Worst Game Ever: Ninja Gaiden (NES)
There's hard, and then there's stupid.

GameSkinny is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article Spirt City: Lofi Sessions Review — An Interactive Wellness Journey That Inspires
Rating: 8
Character at desk on laptop with ramen bowl and critter beside them
Read Article South Park: Snow Day Review — D&D-Inspired Gameplay Done Right
Rating: 9
Players standing in a line with their backs to the screen, facing Mr. Hankey on a pedestal
Read Article Midnight Ghost Hunt 1.0 Review: Prop Hunt Meets Campy Horror Classics
Rating: 8
Ghost attacking the Hunters' generator
Read Article Dragon’s Dogma 2 Review: Everything the Dragon Coveted and More
Rating: 8.5
the main red dragon in dragons dogma 2
Read Article Alone in the Dark Review: Dive into the Secrets of Decerto
Rating: 7
Edward Carnby looking at an abandoned mansion room
Related Content
Read Article Spirt City: Lofi Sessions Review — An Interactive Wellness Journey That Inspires
Rating: 8
Character at desk on laptop with ramen bowl and critter beside them
Read Article South Park: Snow Day Review — D&D-Inspired Gameplay Done Right
Rating: 9
Players standing in a line with their backs to the screen, facing Mr. Hankey on a pedestal
Read Article Midnight Ghost Hunt 1.0 Review: Prop Hunt Meets Campy Horror Classics
Rating: 8
Ghost attacking the Hunters' generator
Read Article Dragon’s Dogma 2 Review: Everything the Dragon Coveted and More
Rating: 8.5
the main red dragon in dragons dogma 2
Read Article Alone in the Dark Review: Dive into the Secrets of Decerto
Rating: 7
Edward Carnby looking at an abandoned mansion room
Author