Universal acclaim - based on 51 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 51
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 51
  3. Negative: 0 out of 51
  1. Hyper Magazine
    Oct 8, 2012
    An expertly-crafted love letter to stealth gaming, and so far one of the year's best titles. [Nov 2012, p.73]
  2. Sep 21, 2012
    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.
  3. Sep 12, 2012
    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.
  4. Sep 10, 2012
    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.
  5. Sep 10, 2012
    I find Mark of the Ninja to be perfect. Let it stand as the benchmark by which all stealth games are now measured.
  6. Oct 8, 2012
    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. Sep 13, 2012
    Its stealth-as-power mechanics perfectly articulate the mystique of the ninja without compromising on challenge.
  8. Sep 11, 2012
    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.
  9. 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.
  10. Sep 7, 2012
    Even if you've never liked a stealth game, you shouldn't miss Mark of the Ninja. It redefines the silent assassin.
  11. Dec 28, 2012
    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.
  12. Sep 20, 2012
    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.
  13. Pelit (Finland)
    Dec 12, 2012
    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]
  14. Dec 10, 2012
    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.
  15. Oct 8, 2012
    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.
  16. 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.
  17. Oct 2, 2012
    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.
  18. Sep 27, 2012
    This brilliant 2D stealth game is filled with clever puzzles, excellent controls, cool gadgets and ninjas. This is not to be missed by anyone.
  19. Sep 25, 2012
    A brilliant side-scroller stealth game, with great visuals, level design, and high replay value. Avoid this only if you hate the genre.
  20. Sep 25, 2012
    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.
  21. Sep 21, 2012
    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.
  22. Sep 19, 2012
    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.
  23. Sep 16, 2012
    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.
  24. Sep 13, 2012
    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.
  25. Sep 12, 2012
    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.
  26. Sep 12, 2012
    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.
  27. Sep 12, 2012
    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.
  28. Sep 10, 2012
    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 10, 2012
    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.
  30. 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.
  31. Sep 7, 2012
    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.
  32. Sep 7, 2012
    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.
  33. Sep 7, 2012
    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.
  34. Sep 7, 2012
    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.
  35. Sep 7, 2012
    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.
  36. Sep 7, 2012
    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.
  37. This ninja is marked for greatness.
  38. Sep 7, 2012
    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 14, 2012
    You shouldn't miss Mark of the Ninja if you like stealth games. It is a highly recommended choice on XBLA.
  40. CD-Action
    Oct 24, 2012
    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]
  41. Sep 19, 2012
    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.
  42. Sep 9, 2012
    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.
  43. Sep 9, 2012
    Mark of the Ninja is a very recommended choice on Xbox Live Arcade –it's one of those games that wouldn't exist without digital distribution. Level and artistic design are definitely worth mentioning. If you're ok with its price (1.200 MSP), we're sure you'll enjoy being a ninja.
  44. Sep 7, 2012
    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.
  45. Sep 7, 2012
    Mark of the Ninja feels like Klei's coming of age game, a more mature adventure that salvages the gore, guts, and grime that defined its previous work, and scraps the rest in a surgical maneuver - the work of game design ninjas.
  46. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Dec 1, 2012
    Gameplay has a wicked flow to it. [Issue#91, p.90]
  47. Oct 8, 2012
    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.
  48. 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.
  49. Sep 17, 2012
    Finally, a game which portrays ninjas the way ninjas should portrayed; as silent stealthy assassins, killing from the shadows. Mark of the Ninja rewards strategic players who plan ahead.
  50. Sep 14, 2012
    Mark of the Ninja is easily one of the best Xbox Live Arcade games of the year. In a time when no one thought they wanted another stealth game, Klei Entertainment surprised everyone with a truly wonderful one.
  51. Sep 7, 2012
    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.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 215 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 37 out of 215
  1. Sep 8, 2012
    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 oneOne 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
    Bar none, Mark of the Ninja is the golden standard of stealth gaming. It seamlessly integrates its concepts onto a 2D plane, creating anBar 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
    After the disappointment of Deadlight (which admittedly is a good, if ludicrously short, game), and DUST: Elysian Tale (uuurgh those awfulAfter 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 »