Gaming

Best Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Games

Highlights

  • Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm games are praised for their fast-paced gameplay and have influenced other popular anime fighting games.
  • The latest game in the series lacks content and innovation, but the Special Story Mode featuring Boruto is fun to play.
  • The first Ultimate Ninja Storm game stands out with its casual and cinematic mechanics, making it a unique and addictive experience.


The Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm games are often cited as shining examples of the anime fighting genre. While each of the games features its own stories, most of which chronicle events within the show itself, what a lot of people adore so much about the series is the fast-paced gameplay which has gone on to influence a plethora of other popular anime to have their own fighting games in the hopes of appealing to fans as much as the Storm games have.

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With that being said though, the series has changed a lot over the years, and while CyberConnect 2 has stuck the landing with most of the games, there are some that didn’t quite pan out how they might have expected. Here’s a full breakdown of the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm series and how they rank in regard to their content, gameplay, and overall fun factor.


7 Naruto X Boruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections

Metascore: 68

Naruto and Sasuke

Naruto x Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections

Released
November 17, 2023

Genre(s)
Fighting

The latest entry in the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm series may look visually stunning and be packed full of characters, but it ultimately lacks the content and general innovation to make it any more interesting than previous games. The History mode, which attempts to cover all the major events in the story, is a far cry from the detailed and intense story modes of past entries, with animated cutscenes being entirely removed and replaced by fairly bland slideshows which are very brief and rather uninteresting.

Still, the game does at least include its own Special Story Mode, which actually features an entirely new story that focuses on Boruto and his friends trying to fend off a new batch of mysterious villains, which is a lot of fun to jump into. The amount of content is pretty lackluster, and the online is still very clunky, but the addition of things like a second Ninjutsu and a free parry still freshens up the gameplay just enough to make it enjoyable to play.

6 Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution

Metascore: 73

Naruto and the rest of the Jinchuriki

  • Released: September 12, 2014
  • Developer: CyberConnect2
  • Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360

Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution made the bold move of revamping a lot of the core fighting mechanics that had been slowly building and developing since the very first game, and it resulted in a mixed, but ultimately mostly positive reception from fans. There was a clear attempt here to make the game much more strategic, with the player now being able to pull off guard breaks and counterattacks, which really helped out with the pacing of matches, ensuring no one was playing too defensively for an entire game.

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The most glaring issue of Revolution is that it doesn’t really introduce much more in the form of characters. Sure, the Mecha Naruto which was designed by Masashi Kishimoto is a neat addition to the massive roster, but at a time when there were still plenty of ninja who were left absent from the games, such as the Sound Four, it felt a bit bizarre that there wasn’t more of an attempt to expand the roster.

5 Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations

Metascore: 74

Kakashi, Naruto and Sasuke fighting

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations

Released
February 23, 2012

Genre(s)
Fighting

When Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations was first announced back in 2011, it was a huge deal for fans since it was the first game in the series that allowed players to pick from both the Shippuden iterations of the characters, and their part 1 versions too. This meant that the game was bringing back tons of fan-favorite characters, along with introducing a few new exciting fighters such as Danzo and Young Kakashi.

The gameplay didn’t change too much from the entries that came before it, but one massive addition was the new mid-air Chakra Dash which allowed players to close a gap very easily while also avoiding their enemy’s Jutsus in the process. Supports are also noticeably much faster in this game, which made combos a little easier to pull off, and also helped to remedy the issue of some supports being more or less useless before. The story mode, which was essentially split into several smaller sub-stories focusing on multiple characters, wasn’t quite as long or engaging as some fans had come to expect, but it’s an otherwise small stain on an excellent game.

4 Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm

Metascore: 75

Naruto jumping into the Hidden Leaf Village

Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm
Platform(s)
Microsoft Windows , Nintendo Switch , PlayStation 3 , PlayStation 4 , Xbox One

Released
November 4, 2008

Genre(s)
Fighting , Action , Adventure

The game that kicked the whole series off, and the one that arguably feels the most different from every other game that came after it, Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm is packed with so much content, that it’s hard to know where to even begin when loading up the game for the first time. One of the most memorable parts of the game for many fans was the story mode, which followed the majority of the part 1 story, and allowed players to take control of a young Naruto who could explore the Hidden Leaf Village in all its glory.

As mentioned previously, the first Ultimate Ninja Storm game plays quite differently from its peers, and a major reason for this is that it was clearly trying to be more of a casual experience as opposed to a full-on competitive fighting game. Because of this, there are plenty of fun and goofy mechanics that actually end up making fights very cinematic, such as the Justu-clash QTE segments for example, and the ability to run on walls by using Chakra. These more casual aspects might not be for everyone, but there’s no denying that they add an extra dose of fun to the already addictive gameplay.

3 Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2

Metascore: 76

Sakura facing a horde of puppets

One primary reason why fans look back so fondly on Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 is because of where it was based in the story. The game starts off with Naruto’s return to the Hidden Leaf Village after his training with Jiraiya, and goes all the way up to Pain’s invasion, with a few key events in between including Sasuke’s battle with Itachi, Shikamura avenging Asuma’s death, and the rescue of Gaara. This resulted in an absolutely stellar story mode which featured some truly impressive cutscenes, plenty of very emotional moments, and without a doubt the best boss battles in the series.

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The addition of different support types also helped to make side characters feel much more useful in battle, which was a massive improvement from the first game. There are admittedly a few characters who were clearly more overpowered than others, with Kirin Sasuke and Itachi being the most infamous examples, but Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 is still a great time online, especially offline.

2 Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3

Metascore: 77

The Third homage facing down Kurama

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3

Released
February 20, 2013

Genre(s)
Fighting , Adventure , Action

Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 ended up being a smash hit that introduced a lot of players to the series, so rather than messing around with the formula too much, CyberConnect 2 decided to simply take what made that game so good and improve on it in the sequel. Not only were there plenty of small slice-of-life improvements, such as animations being more fluid and much better voice acting, but the game also introduced some more tactical gameplay elements such as Instant Awakening. This essentially allowed a character to enter their Awakening form right off the bat, at the cost of their max Chakra being depleted over time.

The story mode, which revolves around the events of the Fourth Great Ninja War, is also often compared to Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 by fans because of its amazing boss battles and cutscenes, but the extra length means that players have just a little more to sink their teeth into this time around. Pair this with a stellar soundtrack and plenty of extra DLC, and it results in a fantastic fighting experience all around.

1 Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4

Metascore: 79

Sasuke and Naruto clashing with their Rasnegan and Chidori

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4
Platform(s)
PS4 , Nintendo Switch , Xbox One , Microsoft Windows

Released
December 17, 2015

Genre(s)
Fighting , Action-Adventure

Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 feels like the true culmination of everything CyberConnect 2 had been building towards ever since the first game. Despite this not even being the latest game released in the series, the reason it’s still so popular online to this day is that it essentially removed everything that players hated from past entries without trying to inject any major new gimmicks into the gameplay, meaning that fights always felt fair, frantic, and most of all, fun. There were still a few new features thrown into the mix, such as being able to switch characters mid-fight, but this was ultimately seen as a welcome addition that never felt too unbalanced in practice.

Alongside the amazing gameplay came an extremely compelling story that finished off Naruto’s journey, ending the Fourth Great Ninja War and leading to the final fight between Naruto and Sasuke in the Valley of the End. CyberConnect 2 also realized the immense popularity of the Ultimate Ninja Storm online scene and decided to go all-out with features, with there being plenty of modes to choose from and a plethora of customization options that players could buy with in-game currency. It truly feels like Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 was the peak of this beloved series, and for many people, it stands as the best anime fighting game ever made.

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Antonio Josse

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