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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 85
    Like a silent assassin, you won't see Mark of the Ninja coming, and by the time it hits you, you'll already be hooked.
  6. Oct 24, 2012
    85
    The most impressive thing about this 2D stealth game is that majority of problems can be solved in various ways depending on your playing style – you don't have to kill anyone. Klei Entertainment (known for two installments of Shank) managed to design a game that rewards not only patience and quick reactions, but also creativity. [12/2012, p.77]
  7. 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.
  8. Oct 8, 2012
    80
    Mark of the Ninja is a small, downloadable victory for Klei Entertainment. Stealth games have struggled to keep up with the industry's intense emphasis on action, and thankfully Klei averted their gaze from the choice of pandering to an alternative audience. Instead, Mark of the Ninja causes the player to feel resourceful, intelligent, and capable of making independent decisions. It empowers rather than limits, a sentiment that I think will and should echo throughout this aging, oft-stagnant genre.
  9. 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.
  10. Sep 7, 2012
    80
    Klei's Saturday morning cartoon style visuals intersect smoothly with your ninja's slinky animation and flowing moves, and the range of visual effects (position-betraying lightning strikes, a blurred fog of war-style filter on activity beyond your sight line) folds neatly back into the game's light-and-shadow based stealth systems. The result is a slick and striking game, one with presentation worthy of the potent and flexible set of powers at its core.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Sep 13, 2012
    95
    Its stealth-as-power mechanics perfectly articulate the mystique of the ninja without compromising on challenge.
  21. Sep 19, 2012
    85
    Mark of the Ninja effortlessly combines a lot of good and existing gameplay elements and turns them into one great whole. The game challenges you to use all of your techniques the way you like to, which makes you feel all the more like an actual ninja.
  22. 80
    Mark of the Ninja stands out as something special, not just compared to other Xbox Live Arcade titles, but to the stealth genre as a whole. A highly entertaining and clever stealth game that no genre fan should miss.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Sep 7, 2012
    85
    With its tense pacing, its shadowy ambiance, and the endlessly satisfying act of slipping past an entire squad of guards, Mark of the Ninja is an excellent adventure that will leave its mark on you for months to come.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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!
User Score
7.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 188 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 »