Of all the games on this list, it’s hard to list one as hard as Ninja Gaiden. That’s mainly because the other games tend to have something to make them easier or have more RPG elements. Not so much with this one, and it’s all the more brutal with this game series. Hell, the first boss in the first Ninja Gaiden is apparently one of the hardest bosses in history. I heard horror stories about how brutal this game was, but I tried to play the second game in the series...and eventually got my ass handed to me hard.
What this game does have is fast platforming, multiple weapons (ranging from scythes, to gauntlets, to so much more), and punishing difficulty that is nearly guaranteed to make you cry. I consider these games significantly harder than Devil May Cry! There is, however, the inclusion of long-range combat against certain bosses, which I honestly didn’t enjoy and quickly threw me off. It’s also a game not focused much on style, but speed and action. Finish the foe hard and fast, or they’ll do that to you. And some of the boss designs for these demons are pretty damn amazing!
While the first two games are heavily praised, the third one unfortunately failed to gain the same kind of attention due to a dramatic decrease in difficulty and taking away the use of multiple weapons as well. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge tries to improve on the original, and adds in much more, but it may be a safer bet to stick to the first two games. And if you already have played them, try playing the original Ninja Gaiden games on SNES. But even I am not that brave, for I like to not break my controllers.