Ninja gaiden logo

For detailed information about this series, see: Ninja Gaiden Wiki

Ryu hayabusa art

Ryu Hayabusa, the protagonist of the series.

Ninja Gaiden, originally known as Ninja Ryukenden (lit. Ninja Dragon Sword Legend) in Japan, is a video game series by Tecmo. The franchise started out as a series of 2D sidescrolling platform games from 1988 to 1995, and it was later revived in 2004 as a series of third person hack-and-slash games by Team Ninja.

Video Games

Classic series

  • Ninja Gaiden (October 1988). Arcade. Later released on Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Atari Lynx, Amiga, Commodore 64, PC and ZX-Spectrum. Re-released in 2009 for Wii Virtual Console.
  • Ninja Gaiden (December 9, 1988). NES. Later released on PC-Engine. Re-released in 2007 for Wii Virtual Console, 2013 for 3DS Virtual Console and 2014 for Wii U Virtual Console. Also enclosed in the NES Classic Edition.
  • Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos (April 6, 1990). NES. Later released on Amiga and PC. Re-released in 2007 for Wii Virtual Console and 2013 for 3DS Virtual Console.
  • Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom (June 21, 1991). NES. Later released on Atari Lynx and adapted into a LCD game by Tiger Electronics. Re-released in 2008 for Wii Virtual Console and 2013 for 3DS Virtual Console.
  • Ninja Gaiden (November 1, 1991). Sega Game Gear.
  • Ninja Gaiden Shadow (December 13, 1991). Game Boy.
  • Ninja Gaiden (1992). Sega Master System.
  • Ninja Gaiden Trilogy (August 10, 1995). SNES. An upgraded compilation of the NES Ninja Gaiden trilogy.
  • Ninja Gaiden X (2003). Mobile phones.

Modern series

  • Ninja Gaiden (March 2, 2004). Xbox.
    • Ninja Gaiden Black (September 20, 2005). An updated version for Xbox.
    • Ninja Gaiden Sigma (June 14, 2007). Another updated version for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita.
  • Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword (March 20, 2008). Nintendo DS.
  • Ninja Gaiden II (June 03, 2008). Xbox 360.
    • Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (September 29, 2009). An updated version for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita.
  • Ninja Gaiden 3 (March 20, 2012). PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
    • Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge (November 10, 2012). An updated version for Wii U. Later released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
  • Ninja Gaiden Clans (September 20, 2012). Android and iOS.
  • Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z (March 27, 2014). PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.


  • Ninja Ryukenden (1991). An OVA anime, serving as a sequel to Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos.


  • Ninja Gaiden (1990). A novelization of the NES game published by Scholastic, part of the "Worlds of Power" label.
  • The Vampire War. A digital comic book released (and serving as prologue) to Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2.
  • Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z (2014). A comic book prequel to the game, published by Dark Horse Comics.

Links to other series

Direction Series Date Description Type

5Arrow R Tecmo Bowl198902 February 1989There is an ad for Ninja Gaiden in the scoreboard from the NES port of Tecmo Bowl.2

5Arrow R Shadow of the Ninja19911213 December 13, 1991Ninja Gaiden Shadow was originally developed as a game in the Shadow of the Ninja series.3


Arrow L & R

Dead or Alive199611 November 1996Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden is a recurring character in the Dead or Alive series, while Muramasa appears in Dead or Alive 4 and 5, Irene Lew appears in Dead or Alive Dimensions, and Momiji and Rachel appear in Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate. Ayane is a recurring character in the modern Ninja Gaiden series, Kasumi is selectable in Ninja Gaiden III: Razor's Edge and several characters from Dead or Alive appear as cards in Ninja Gaiden Clans.1

5Arrow R GameCenter CX20060222 February 22, 2006Arino plays the NES Ninja Gaiden in Episode 29 of GameCenter CX, and the NES Ninja Gaiden II in Episodes 96 and 97. The "Haggleman" fictional video games within Retro Game Challenge for the GBA are inspired in the classic Ninja Gaiden series.2

5Arrow R Halo20070915 September 15, 2007In Halo 3 there is an armor called the "Hayabusa Powered Assault Armor" named after Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden, together with an unlockable replica of Ryu's Dragon Sword.3

5Arrow R Super Swing Golf20071129 November 29, 2007Ryu Hayabusa's costume is an unlockable outfit in Super Swing Golf: Season 2.2

5Arrow R Warriors (Koei)20090226 February 26, 2009Ryu Hayabusa and Momiji from Ninja Gaiden are guest characters in Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce, and Ryu is playable in Dynasty Warriors Vs., while Ryu, Momiji and Rachel are playable in Warriors Orochi 3 and Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate, and Ryu and Ayane are playable in Warriors All-Stars. Ryu's costume is also available as DLC in Dynasty Warriors Online and Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 features four costumes from Warriors characters.1

5Arrow R 3D Dot Game Heroes20091105 November 05, 20093D Dot Game Heroes features loading screens based on Ninja Gaiden and Ninja Gaiden II.3

5Arrow R Angry Video Game Nerd20100204 February 04, 2010The eighty-seventh episode of The Angry Video Game Nerd is a review of Ninja Gaiden.2

5Arrow R Metroid20100831 August 31, 2010Metroid: Other M features an unused stage models in from Ninja Gaiden II.51

5Arrow R Super Meat Boy20101020 October 20, 2010The World 4 intro in Super Meat Boy is a parody of the intro from the NES Ninja Gaiden.3

4Arrow L Mighty No. 920140327 March 27, 2014A skin of Beck from Mighty No. 9 is selectable in Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z.2

4Arrow L Nuigulumar Z20140327 March 27, 2014A skin of Nuigulumar is selectable in Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z.2