Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. A fresh and inspired fighting game.
  2. The game is juts totally multidimensional; easily the freshest fighting game to come along since "Powerstone". [july 2006, p.71]
  3. Quite simply, if you are a Naruto fan, you're going to get a lot of entertainment value out of Ultimate Ninja.
  4. One of those rare, fabled games that appeal far beyond the fanbase of its license. The controls are easy to learn, but thanks to the fast-paced action, the gameplay is difficult to master.
  5. Battles are fast paced and can get extremely intense; simplistic controls that are easy to learn but tricky to master; Captures the look and feel of Naruto perfectly.
  6. The cel-shaded graphics and signature special techniques feel just like the anime, and anyone who hasn't seen the series will still find a fun fighting game that is easy to learn, but hard to master. [Aug 2006, p.78]
  7. 80
    And even if you're bored with beating your friends, there's a vast array of unlockables to collect, which will surely delight your inner obsessive compulsive.
  8. Naruto is an unapologetic button masher, but its single-minded combat is a perfect compliment to the game’s always comical, sometimes hilarious wit.
  9. Ultimate Ninja transcends the Naruto fandom; those who had fun playing Smash Bros. or even the little known Power Stone could easily find themselves having a blast here.
  10. Really, if Naruto's your thing, then this game is right up your alley--but even the most hardcore fighting-game fanatics will get a kick out of it as well. [July 2006, p.75]
  11. 80
    If you're a fan of Naruto and his bizarre allies and enemies, Naruto: Ultimate Ninja will make you happy -- very happy. Besides finally making a debut on the PS2, this installment in the Naruto series offers up an enjoyable time whether you're playing by yourself or with someone else (the game supports two-players).
  12. A very simple and enjoyable fighting game, that would be every bit as cool with or without the television show license tie-in. We need more games like this.
  13. An addictive, slash-heavy (but not button-mash-heavy) fighting game that builds depth from an unfamiliar place: simplicity.
  14. It has its flaws, but it makes up for them with surprising gusto. Highly enjoyable. [Feb 2007, p.77]
  15. Pure, brilliant fan service - and if you've never sampled the delights of Naruto, this game might even get you into it. A must for fans. [Mar 2007, p.78]
  16. Naruto: Ultimate Ninja is a surprisingly refreshing approach to the world of fighting games with lightning quick action, lots of power-ups, good anime cut scenes, a respectable fighting system and a gameplay that will appeal to die hard fighting fans as well as to the general gamer.
  17. 75
    Ultimate Ninja packs more than enough style and quirky fight mechanics to keep things interesting. Having said that, it lacks some of the depth that serious fans of the genre may want in a fighter.
  18. Ultimate Ninja capably captures the spirit of Naruto, delivering a stylish fighting experience that's both easy to pick up and easy on the eyes.
  19. Well well well, a licensed game that's actually worth the plastic it's burned onto. Hell, it's actually a decent fighting game. Shallow, perhaps, but still a great party game and solid enough that you want to explore the different modes.
  20. The fighting game is fairly solid with several elements that, while not completely unique to the fighting genre, mix together for a unique experience. It takes the source material and does it justice.
  21. 75
    A must for Naruto fans everywhere. Worth checking out if you’re into fighting games as well.
  22. The gameplay and style will feel familiar to anyone who's picked up a Dragonball Z Budokai game, but to everyone else it most likely won't cut muster.
  23. The game’s saving grace is the entertaining Mission mode, which adds some much needed longevity to proceedings, with plenty of tasks to complete for more ryo.
  24. The meagre character list is among the few real drawbacks in what is a surprisingly accomplished fighting game, sporting just fourteen selectable fighters (two of which are stronger, slightly broken versions of existing ones).
  25. Wrap a sensible license around a sparkly fighter and you've got a winner.
  26. Pushes the right buttons but the uninitiated can bash away and still win, so it doesn't match the flair or control of a Virtua. [Feb 2007, p.65]
  27. Like Smash Bros. before it, the single-player experience becomes dull pretty quickly, but the multiplayer salvages the game.
  28. Although, Naruto has a lot of unnecessary elements, it still is one of the most enjoyable fighting games I have played in a long time.
  29. It's a wonderful tribute to the show that fans will love, but may leave fighting game fanatics cold.
  30. Even so, for gamers who don't know jutsu from chakra, don't expeect the game to give you any real incentive to play independent of its source material. [July 2006, p.106]
  31. Naruto Ultimate Ninja is a very amusing game - the only problem is that the amusement doesn't last for a very long time at all.
  32. Outrageous special moves - Barrage of Lions, anyone? - will have anime fans squealing with glee. [Apr 2007, p.118]
  33. 60
    Fans of a license like this deserve better, though. Whether or not you like the Naruto cartoons, you have to admit that they're pretty great fighting-game fodder -- bright, violent, over-the-top action. We'll have to wait and see if Bandai gets it right the next time.
  34. 60
    If you're just a casual fan of the fighting genre, there are certainly better choices out there that would provide a better overall experience.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 27 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 7
  2. Negative: 3 out of 7
  1. Mar 7, 2011
    I am a huge Naruto fan, and a huge fan of fighting games, but this didn't hold my attention, the crappy story mode, the limited amount of characters, and boring versus and mission modes, hold this game back from being fun. Full Review »