Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 51 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 51
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 51
  3. Negative: 0 out of 51
  1. Dec 28, 2012
    92
    Mark of the Ninja has almost everything you can wish for in a game like this. The animations are wonderful and the soundtrack suits the game well. You can play the game in various ways and this extends its lifespan. With a minor flaw the game may not be perfect, but the game is very close to it.
  2. Dec 12, 2012
    91
    Mark of the Ninja is an excellent 2D-platformer, which cleverly combines stealth with explosive action. The striking visual style is also worth a mention. [Dec 2012]
  3. Dec 10, 2012
    90
    Whereas Shank and Shank 2 seemed to succeed on brute force, Mark of the Ninja feels like a more nuanced affair. All of the Klei hallmarks are here, and the polish has been turned up to 11. A few minor issues aside, there is much to like here.
  4. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    It's a testament to Mark of the Ninja from a design standpoint that even the most ardent skeptic of the stealth genre can find something to shout about here. It is slick, responsive and vastly rewarding - in other words, something worth shedding light on.
  5. Oct 8, 2012
    100
    An expertly-crafted love letter to stealth gaming, and so far one of the year's best titles. [Nov 2012, p.73]
  6. Oct 8, 2012
    95
    Think there are already too many ninja games on the market? Think again, because Mark of the Ninja is one of this year's best games. With a lengthy campaign, stylish graphics, responsive gameplay and a surprise ending, Klei's newest action game is a must-own. Even if you're normally not into stealth games, Mark of the Ninja is well worth your time!
  7. 90
    For an arcade downloadable title Mark of the Ninja brings substantial value for money. A single playthrough will keep you entertained for over a half dozen hours and that's just the tip of the sword.
  8. Oct 2, 2012
    90
    A precisely well-made stealth platformer game throwing you into an open-ended world that forces you to think. With its approach, the game proves it's possible to implement many new and well-functioning elements into this classic genre.
  9. Sep 27, 2012
    90
    This brilliant 2D stealth game is filled with clever puzzles, excellent controls, cool gadgets and ninjas. This is not to be missed by anyone.
  10. Sep 25, 2012
    90
    A brilliant side-scroller stealth game, with great visuals, level design, and high replay value. Avoid this only if you hate the genre.
  11. Sep 25, 2012
    90
    Mark of the Ninja is a must for Xbox 360 owners. A platformer-stealth winking to puzzle-games, with an enviable replay value, an accessible but yet honest gameplay and a commendable level design, which transforms the latest title form Klei Entertainment in a non-linear and unpredictable experience.
  12. Sep 21, 2012
    100
    Mark of the Ninja executes its formula to such a high degree of near-perfection that I could hardly think of a way it could be meaningfully improved the whole way through it.
  13. Sep 21, 2012
    90
    Mark of the Ninja is yet another gem of the Xbox Live Arcade. Deep, rich, smart and beautiful, this 2D stealth/action game never falls short compared to the major stealth titles out there. AI, ideas, level design, character progression, everything beautifully supports the lasting fun of this contemporary adventure.
  14. Sep 20, 2012
    92
    Mark Of The Ninja is absolutely fabulous. Thanks to a superb level design and an unparalleled variety of situations this game will delight every player.
  15. Sep 19, 2012
    90
    Puristic stealth, thinking instead of simply reacting, having a plan and seeing it unfold thanks to near-perfect controls – that's how Mark of the Ninja creates its own little sense of addiction.
  16. Sep 16, 2012
    90
    Sneaking, killing and disappearing. Rarely has the work of a ninja been incorporated into a game this well. The dark style, the tension of escaping the guards and loads of variation make Mark of the Ninja an awesome start to a fall filled with blockbusters.
  17. Sep 14, 2012
    88
    You shouldn't miss Mark of the Ninja if you like stealth games. It is a highly recommended choice on XBLA.
  18. Sep 13, 2012
    90
    Though Mark of the Ninja's informative design makes it easy to obtain that perfect stealth run, there's still a healthy amount of fear throughout.
  19. Sep 13, 2012
    95
    Its stealth-as-power mechanics perfectly articulate the mystique of the ninja without compromising on challenge.
  20. Sep 12, 2012
    90
    For a downloadable game this offers amazing depth and replay value – almost as much as a full-priced title. If you love stealth games and have a competitive streak, Mark of the Ninja is a must buy.
  21. Sep 12, 2012
    90
    Mark of the Ninja is a superb take on what a stealth game should be in 2D, offering some lessons to the veterans of the genre. Its visuals and animations reinforce the idea of being a ninja, creating an unmatched spectacle of lights and shadows, while its gameplay offers a growing sense of freedom that rewards imaginative and experimental players. A great triumph for Klei and their best game by far.
  22. Sep 12, 2012
    100
    Overall, Mark of the Ninja is a must have title for Xbox 360 owners, and something that any fan of the XBLA service should certainly be checking out. It's honestly a shame that this game wasn't a part of this year's Summer of Arcade promotion for Microsoft, because it's certainly better than just about every title promoted this time around.
  23. Sep 12, 2012
    90
    In times where Sam Fisher is a mere shadow of his former self, this two-dimensional ninja steps into the limelight, proving that old school-stealth is far from being dead.
  24. Sep 11, 2012
    95
    Mark of the Ninja is not "the game that they were meant to make" because Klei is a talented enough studio that can do even more with different styles of 2D gameplay. Yet, the studio has not only redeemed itself, it also managed to make one of the best stealth games of this generation and also one of the best ninja games ever made.
  25. Sep 10, 2012
    90
    Just like those that inspired it, this slick, demanding game inspires you to revel in the grim possibilities it offers. And when it comes to the precision of its execution, it might just have something to teach the big dogs.
  26. Sep 10, 2012
    100
    As close to perfect as a game can be... In an age where the lines between non-action genres increasingly blur to support a more fast-paced direction, this is stealth gaming done right. An achievement made even more remarkable for pulling it off using a 2D presentation. If you play only one Xbox Live Arcade game in 2012, there is no better option out there than Mark of the Ninja.
  27. Sep 10, 2012
    100
    I find Mark of the Ninja to be perfect. Let it stand as the benchmark by which all stealth games are now measured.
  28. Sep 10, 2012
    90
    I can't recommend this game enough. I have loved the direction Klei has taken with their games so far. Shank was a little too much for me, even though it was such a great game. Mark of the Ninja seems to evidence refinement and growth for the studio. It has been a long time since I enjoyed a stealth game this much. The balance between risk and reward is perfectly balanced, and if you enjoy the genre, this is a must own.
  29. 90
    One of the best stealth games in years and an accomplished 2D platformer in its own right, with a near perfect balance, of depth, accessibility, and bloodshed.
  30. Sep 7, 2012
    90
    With Mark of the Ninja, Klei has proven that they're not a one-trick pony, that they've got ideas to evolve and challenge players with. After more of the same in Shank 2, it's a welcome, fresh look at the developer that's made violence and blood a hallmark of their portfolio. Thankfully, they can still put and interesting spin on all that wetwork.
  31. Sep 7, 2012
    90
    With its demanding gameplay, Mark of the Ninja may not be a game for everyone. Those who prefer destroying everyone with kick-assery may prefer the more visceral Ninja Gaiden 3 instead. But for those seeking a challenge or a game that really makes you feel like you're in the ninja uniform, Klei's Mark of the Ninja immensely satisfies.
  32. Sep 7, 2012
    90
    Tense, strategic, and hard to put down, Mark of the Ninja is one of the welcome surprises of the year. If you miss the heyday of pure stealth-focused games, or you never played a great stealth game and wonder what all the fuss is about, Klei Entertainment just snuck out of nowhere to offer you a weekend's worth of fun.
  33. Sep 7, 2012
    90
    Fast yet measured, breezy yet deep, and above all highly replayable, it's a game that stands as a refreshing example of stealth action done right.
  34. Sep 7, 2012
    90
    Mark of the Ninja illustrates how Xbox Live Arcade continues to be a breeding ground for some of today's most creative content. This is stealth done right, with the presentation prowess to match. It's easily a contender for Xbox Live Arcade Game of the Year and it absolutely deserves a place in your digital game collection.
  35. Sep 7, 2012
    90
    In an age when pure stealth experiences have become increasingly rare, Mark of the Ninja proves there's still gas left in the tank, with ingeniously designed mechanics and a slate of gadgets and abilities that make stalking your prey from the shadows an absolute treat.
  36. 95
    Mark of the Ninja's brilliant approach to stealth hits all of the right notes throughout, whether you're silently slaying guards from the shadows and stashing them in crevices, evading laser tripwires with a well-placed smoke bomb, or using darts to lure enemies into their own traps.
  37. This ninja is marked for greatness.
  38. Sep 7, 2012
    90
    A game that never rests on its laurels and offers ample replay value, Mark of the Ninja is a much-needed shot in the arm for Live Arcade's lacklustre summer offering.
  39. Sep 7, 2012
    93
    Even if you've never liked a stealth game, you shouldn't miss Mark of the Ninja. It redefines the silent assassin.
User Score
7.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 186 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 39
  2. Negative: 1 out of 39
  1. Sep 8, 2012
    10
    One of the finest games out there on the Xbox marketplace, the cartoony art style mixed with the great story and stealth game play creates one of the coolest games i have played in quite a while. Mark of the ninja hits the ball out of the park with its graphical style, gameplay, voice acting and overall excellence. Mark of the ninja is totally worth getting at its 14.99 price tag. Full Review »
  2. Sep 10, 2012
    10
    Bar none, Mark of the Ninja is the golden standard of stealth gaming. It seamlessly integrates its concepts onto a 2D plane, creating an incredibly absorbing and tactical experience. Don't miss it. Full Review »
  3. Sep 8, 2012
    10
    After the disappointment of Deadlight (which admittedly is a good, if ludicrously short, game), and DUST: Elysian Tale (uuurgh those awful awful anime characters) this is what we have been waiting for. As good as, if not better in some respects, than Shadow Complex!

    A 2d Platformer with great graphics, very similar in style to Shank, atmospheric sound and above all excellent gameplay.

    It's like a 2d tenchu game mixed with the visual sight line enemies from the 'commandos' games. Stealth plays a huge part in the game, with you able to go through levels without killing anyone (very difficult though) and this is where the replayability comes in as each stage is rated and you will constantly come back to them to try and better your score, or just try the level in different ways. there are minor alternative routes but it is still fairly linear, though even finding a seperate corridor or tunnel that leads to a ladder that takes you onto a rooftop is a joy. The enemies are numerous and can be avoided using cover and shadows, or killed in a stealthy fashion (points are graded on kill style and additional things such as using equipment and hiding the bodies successfully.

    It's a great score attack game and, with no time limit pressuring you, you are free to take your time.

    You can also follow different paths, such as a silent assassin which is self-explanatory, or the horror path where you can freak out guards by stringing up bodies around. You can freeze action mid air and fire darts to destroy lights and fuse boxes, you can dump guards bodies into skips, into vents or off ledges etc. You can use spike mines, smoke bombs, and caltrops to aid you, and you can buy loads of abilities and upgrades for your moves list and equipment. there is a lot here for your money.

    It's a great game and it's absolutely worth the 1200 points, in fact it's a steal at that price.

    It has online leaderboards as usual so you can compare your score to your friends / the world.
    Full Review »