• Publisher: Tecmo
  • Release Date: Jun 3, 2008

Generally favorable reviews - based on 74 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 60 out of 74
  2. Negative: 0 out of 74
Buy On
  1. 95
    NG2 is the perfect fighting-action game, it is the ultimate gaming challenge for 2008, and it's one of the best looking 'gore games' ever created. If you want to know why Master Ninja level NG players give no respect to anyone who hasn't achieved this level of action-gaming perfection, you must become one yourself.
  2. Pelit (Finland)
    A very good action adventure, which excels in hand-to-hand combat. The fights are tough, but fair. Too bad there's lenghty loading after every death. And there's a lot of dying. [June 2008]
  3. The environments are absolutely gorgeous, and definitely varied. From jungles to cities, you'll put Ryu thru the motions in a number of locales, all of which are full of vibrant, beautiful color schemes.
  4. This is action gaming at its very best.
  5. If you're a hardcore player, you owe it to yourself to pick it up and dominate it. If you're a rookie, this is a fine place to start earning your stripes.
  6. 90
    While Ninja Gaiden II is a difficult game, it's also far more forgiving than the original (particularly on the acolyte setting) and it gives you ample opportunities to beef up your skills and become a master ninja.
  7. 90
    If you're a fan of action games, then Ninja Gaiden II is an absolute must-have. The gameplay mechanics are phenomenally satisfying, and mastering Ryu's diverse weapon sets can easily entertain you through multiple play-throughs, giving this strictly single-player experience an extended life.
  8. Don’t let the blood and internal organs fool you: Ninja Gaiden II takes even greater skill to play efficiently than its predecessors.
  9. Ninja Gaiden 2 is a lot more accessible than its predecessors, although is still going to be a little too hard and vague in places for newcomers.
  10. 90
    Ninja Gaiden II is not perfect but it's one of the best action games since the original and an absolute joy to play.
  11. It provides a highly enjoyable single-player campaign, and improves upon a standard set by the first 3D Ninja Gaiden game four years ago.
  12. 90
    One of the biggest gripes of Ninja Gaiden on the Xbox – which was solved in a later remake on the PS3 – was the camera: it didn’t have analog stick control. Although in Ninja Gaiden 2 you can, it’s a constant struggle against the camera as it tries to retain the default angle.
  13. Ninja Gaiden 2 may not be for everyone, but regardless of that it is still one of the deepest and most rewarding pure action games to be found on this current generation of consoles.
  14. Whether you've been slaying fiends for years or are just learning the power of Ninpo, it doesn't matter; Ninja Gaiden 2 is a game all action fans should spin in their 360s
  15. Ninja Gaiden II is easily one of the best action games released on the next-gen consoles.
  16. If there ever was a game developed for the attention deficient, this is it. Ninja Gaiden's action is so fast bullets would have trouble keeping up. But since it's is action game and not a round of golf, this intensity is pretty flippin' awesome.
  17. Hardcore battles, relentless boss fights, and a breathtaking combo and weapon system that rivals "Devil May Cry 4," Ninja Gaiden II is every bit the brutal and action-packed sequel players were expecting.
  18. Ninja Gaiden II just feels right, never minding the fact that it can be so frustratingly hard at times. It’s simply what we’ve come to expect of the franchise – perfectly well-rounded action-gameplay, but besides a lot of skill, it often requires nothing more than sheer dumb luck.
  19. Upgraded graphics and improved gameplay solidify it as a legitimate marquee next generation title. For those who are not particularly partial to the hack and slash action genre I would recommend you hold out. Ninja Gaiden fans should purchase Itagaki-san’s last chapter immediately and those who do fancy the genre should do the same.
  20. 88
    Ninja Gaiden II is the type of game that will mollify its fanbase and not much else. There is nothing here to lure in new fans to the series, but what is here is exactly what you would expect from a sequel to the original game.
  21. 87
    Ninja Gaiden II is easily one of the best action games on Xbox 360.
  22. Whether combat is fast and gruesomely beautiful or at a halt leaving nothing but the scenery to admire, Ninja Gaiden II is presented beautifully.
  23. 85
    Ninja Gaiden II doesn't provide the same kind of leap forward for the action genre that its predecessor did, but it's still one of the best action games on the Xbox 360.
  24. It’s definitely a “more of the same” type of sequel and it has a few rough edges the original didn’t, but Ninja Gaiden II is still one of the best, most exhilarating action experiences on Xbox 360.
  25. So no, Ninja Gaiden II hasn’t remedied some of the oddities that plagued the Xbox original. It has, however, completely refined, waxed, polished, and shined its peerless combat engine. Along with its trademark difficulty and balls-to-the-wall ninja action, it’s an essential buy for fans of the original and anyone else willing to put their hands up for a stiff challenge.
  26. Ninja Gaiden 2 is a button-mashing fest, but one that gets increasingly fun if you stay with it, regardless of how difficult it gets sometimes. Simultaneously, it is a great challenge, most of all for newcomers.
  27. 85
    It's Ninja Gaiden II, literally in every sense of the word. It doesn't break any real new ground, but on the other hand, does it really need to?
  28. Ninja Gaiden II is one of the best examples of its kind, even knowing that it could have been so much better.
  29. The majority of this review may carry a negative, disappointed tone, but allow me to stress that Ninja Gaiden II is not a bad game, nor is it a broken one. It's actually one of the best that the Xbox 360 has to offer, and easily worth your money.
  30. Ninja Gaiden 2 adheres to the Team Ninja aesthetic, which will please fans but won't endear the series to a new audience.
  31. A very good action title that has a repetitive yet satisfying combat mechanic. It doesn't look or feel quite like the masterpiece Itagaki stated it was, but it will provide you with several hours of a bloody good time.
  32. Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
    As true a game as you're ever likely to see - it's a merciless, but fair, must. [Aug 2008, p.72]
  33. The point here is despite all its flaws, Ninja Gaiden 2 was still able to deliver some excitement and thrills and every now and then it exhibits some of the pure kung-fu insanity that placed its predecessor on the mantle of genre-defining action titles.
  34. Maxi Consolas (Portugal)
    Visceral action supported by one of the best combat systems that you can find. But it fails to offer anything new which, alongside the lack of polish and a better balance of the difficulty, makes this sequel pretty much more of the same. [July 2008]
  35. The unreliable camera and the enemies brutality mean that few will be able to appreciate the game fully. Even so, the lower difficulty, coupled with the life recovery mechanics will allow people that aren't very skilled to get to the end of Ryu's plight. On the other hand, fans of the genre will have their hands full, and should seriously consider the purchase.
  36. Whether or not NG II reflects a purchase for you really depends on two things. Are you a fan of the previous games in the series and are you sadistic enough to put yourself through one of the most challenging games of this console generation?
  37. The sequel packs the same punch as the original but it's just not different enough.
  38. Fans of high-speed action titles can't go wrong; in fact, they'd be foolish to look anywhere else for anything better this generation. It's just disappointing that Ninja Gaiden II -- which is said to be the last in the series -- isn't quite the flawless masterpiece I’d hoped for
  39. With faults and flaws, Ryu Hayabusa's return is still one of the most enjoyable high-speed action titles available.
  40. Still, there's no denying that Ninja Gaiden II has tons going for it, and when the combat works, which it does for most of the game, it can be a beautiful ballet of blood and steel with you at the centre, devising and scrapping split-second plans as you rip your way from alamo to alamo. If you've got the stomach for it, Ninja Gaiden will reward you. They just could have been a little less mean.
  41. This action-packed sequel isn't quite up to the standards of its precursors, but it's still a brutal blast.
  42. 80
    If you’re a Ninja Gaiden fan, or even just someone who loves action games, don’t let the camera woes scare you off. This is still one of the most expertly designed combat systems around, and gamers looking for a true challenge in this era of games designed to be beaten by anyone with enough time on their hands will appreciate Ninja Gaiden II for what it is – One of the last games around that values skill over perseverance.
  43. 360 Gamer Magazine UK
    No matter what your skill level, you’ll receive constant gratification from the mainstay slice ‘n’ dice gameplay on offer here, but then you’d have to be a fool to not notice how ‘unfun’ its boss encounters really are. Add a camera system that doesn’t even make geometry translucent when it’s in the foreground and you’ve got a beautiful arcade experience that’s marred by some obvious but not insurmountable flaws.
  44. 80
    Ninja Gaiden II is not quite the sequel we were hoping for. It’s very good, and it’s still built for those with an iron constitution (aka those prepared to replay sections over and over again until they get them right), but it’s also lazily designed and far cheaper than the original game.
  45. Ninja Gaiden II has been adapted to the casual gamer market making Ninja Gaiden II more enjoyable across the board. For the hardcore Ninja fans, Ninja Gaiden II still offers up a strong challenge when the difficulty is increased.
  46. But because the game is so fast, you move faster than the camera. This results in you overlooking some enemies.
  47. Ninja Gaiden II is a fun, brutal and violent game.
  48. Linear, hack n’ slash, repetitive but so much fun and challenging.
  49. Ninja Gaiden II is essentially a much prettier version of Ninja Gaiden with a few tweaks and a slightly less punishing challenge level (at least on the normal difficulty levels – there are two unlockable difficulties that give me nightmares). For fans of the original, there’s nothing here to prevent you from loving this one as well.
  50. Edge Magazine
    Ninja Gaiden II is a fascinating and hugely replayable game that shows Team Ninja has a gift beyond the vast majority of developers in that genre. [Aug 2008, p.92]
  51. Ninja Gaiden II does have its faults, but the combat is good enough to keep the game entertaining and engaging, providing one of the best action titles on the 360.
  52. Fans of the original will probably love it, newcomers will probably divided, but either way it's a faithful sequel to one of the Xbox's favourite sons.
  53. If action games are your thing then Ninja Gaiden II certainly won’t disappoint, there are a few issues which should have and need to be ironed out, but overall this is a great game and one that is still very challenging even with the difficulty toned down.
  54. It was a frustrating ride with difficulty levels, luck and that damned camera not helping matters, but I would encourage everyone to experience the game, if only for a while. It does have its “just one more stage” periods and that is always the sign of something great.
  55. For the die-hards who take their games like they take their women – angry, violent, unforgiving, underdeveloped and occasionally gratifying – Ninja Gaiden 2 is a fine follow-up, especially with its punishing achievements and four difficulty settings (Very Hard, Insane, Chuck Norris, Double Chuck Norris). For everyone else Ninja Gaiden 2 is an exercise in futility that’s just not as polished, balanced or enjoyable as its predecessor.
  56. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Despite the addition of execution moves and a recharging life guage, the series' renowned(and reviled) difficulty is left mostly unchanged. [Aug 2008, p.80]
  57. The real problem with the camera lies in how it behaves during obliteration techniques. When you're finishing off a foe, you have absolutely no control over the camera as it zooms in and out of the scene. More often than not, the camera positions itself awkwardly behind some object, obscuring view and putting you at risk of damage upon finishing the kill. This isn't just annoying, it's utterly unacceptable.
  58. 75
    Ninja Gaiden II is a slick and thrill packed action game but it's nowhere near the masterpiece that fans have been clamoring for. It's worth playing through and you'll have plenty of fun but finicky camera and uneven difficulty definitely cuts into the fun.
  59. It says something about the original Ninja Gaiden that Ninja Gaiden II being a merely good action game is such a letdown. Ninja Gaiden II's graphics are fantastic and the action flawless, but this perfection is marred by a jerky, awkward and terrible camera and a difficulty level that's the product of the camera and enemy positioning, rather than an actual challenge.
  60. No bones about it, this game is incredibly hard, and it will frustrate you to no end. The thing is, the game’s at its best when it’s pushing you to play it on expert. Ninja Gaiden 2 on easy is a bland experience by comparison, and sucks the life out of the title: It’s a chili dog without the chili; a martini without vermouth.
  61. At the standard MSRP, Ninja Gaiden II feels like too little for the average gamer's money. While replay value is certainly there with regards to four levels of difficulty and the promise of future downloadable content, there haven't been many strides made toward evolving the series.
  62. Should you buy Ninja Gaiden II? If you loved the first one, yes…but make sure you do so for the right reasons, namely the weapons and new additions to the system.
  63. So those of us who aren't down with the difficulty level are going to want to play a game that utilizes the Xbox 360's potential with a balanced difficulty level that compliments the solid gameplay - and thereby restore self esteem - leaving Itagaki's insatiable bloodlust to the hardcore crowd that loves it so.
  64. There's a difference between kicking your arse until you learn from it, and kicking your arse until you get lucky, and Ninja Gaiden 2 fails that crucial test all too often.
  65. Ninja Gaiden is back, bloodier and more brutal than ever before. With flawless controls and a superb fighting system this is truly a fantastic action game, just like its predecessors. Unfortunately some awkward camera angles punishes the player far too often and the overall design fails to impress. The lack of innovation and some annoying flaws makes this title a lesser game than its predecessors.
  66. games(TM)
    Things haven't progressed enough and, it has to be said, "DMC4" is the better game. [July 2008, p.114]
  67. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Beyond being easier and ‘more accessible’ Ninja Gaiden hasn’t really evolved these last few years. Not the game we had hoped for. [Issue#34]
  68. Games Master UK
    An exhilarating but fatally flawed action game that falls short of the brilliant original. [Aug 2008, p.67]
  69. All these years later, I always figured if Ryu Hayabusa died, it would be at the hands of a truly evil foe or rival ninja. I never thought he'd meet his end at the hands of a broken camera and an inefficient, amateurish and lazy programming team. For shame.
  70. 67
    This is a game for Ninja Gaiden fans, who will play it on the toughest difficulties and upload their best playthrough videos online. For those purposes, it excels; for less devoted action-adventure fans, it's more of a violent curiosity than something to get invested in.
  71. The combat is too beautiful not to appreciate, but players will find the camera a far tougher opponent than Ryu's enemies. The rush is diminished.
  72. Ultimately Ninja Gaiden II retains everything from the original, for better or for worse, and makes a few small but very noticeable improvements.
  73. 60
    Ultimately, the gameplay is a vast improvement over its predecessor, but the game is in most other respects dwarfed by more recent innovations in the genre.
  74. An acceptable update in terms of presentation, but regretfully somewhat lacking in the new gameplay features the move to a new generation should demand. Regretfully, it is far from the spectacular game many hoped it would be when it was first announced. It grasps on too tightly to what came before, refusing to give gamers the freedom other games in this generation have offered.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 317 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 34 out of 317
  1. Jun 20, 2011
    60+ houers and still playing!
    Blood,Fast Action,Many Wepons,Massive Combos,Story is **** but its not story
    60+ houers and still playing!
    Blood,Fast Action,Many Wepons,Massive Combos,Story is **** but its not story you want from that kind of games.
    PURE FUN:)
    Full Review »
  2. wiggles
    Jun 15, 2008
    Pluses: good graphics cool weapons and finishers. negatives: horrible camera frustrating bosses and enemy groups later on. the beginning is Pluses: good graphics cool weapons and finishers. negatives: horrible camera frustrating bosses and enemy groups later on. the beginning is good but the rest is just frustrating mess that will make you want to put your fist trough your TV. any game thats this ridiculously frustrating is not fun. I played 6 hours worth and I'm so sick and tired of this piece of crap that I don't think I'll ever play it again. I doubt I've ever had so much fun at the beginning and hated the game so soon after. only real hardcore fans of the series should get this. Full Review »
  3. Cav
    Jul 20, 2008
    This game is terrible. Rubbish camera angles, repetitive and boring storyline. And it's frustratingly difficult. Sold it after second chapter.