• Publisher: Tecmo
  • Release Date: Sep 20, 2005

Universal acclaim - based on 32 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
Buy Now
Buy on
  1. The hard-as-nails Ninja Gaiden is back, with improved camera system, a new mission mode and bonus game. At a budget price, you'd be crazy not let own this gem.
  2. 100
    If it were simply the original Ninja Gaiden with just some mission modes tacked on, it would still be worth full price. But chiming in at around $30 with new missions, new difficulty settings, new cinemas and new costumes to unlock -- on top of the already-awesome, original game -- it's practically a steal. Uncompromising and unabridged, Ninja Gaiden Black shows you how reissues could and should be done.
  3. 100
    For the price you simply will not find a better deal this year. Even if you beat the first game to death including both Hurricane Packs, NGB is still worth owning.
  4. The new content alone more than makes it a worthy purchase even for those who have played the original release. A year on, Ninja Gaiden is still an extraordinary game. Game of the Year? Insulting. Game of the Generation.
  5. 100
    While most of Ninja Gaiden: Black is the same as before, the little additions that have been added make a world of difference, especially for those hardcore gamers looking for more punishment. And if all that content isn't enough, you even get the old school arcade Ninja Gaiden, too.
  6. 100
    It's amazing that Team Ninja was actually able to take one of the best games ever to hit the Xbox (or any console) and make it better in nearly every way.
  7. Everything the original was but better. In fact, Ninja Gaiden Black proves to be one of the best action titles of this generation.
  8. It will go down in gaming history as a classic that defined its generation.
  9. It's not very often I can recommend a game with virtually no reservation, but Ninja Gaiden Black is one of those few titles that everyone with an Xbox should at least play and probably own.
  10. This is probably the best thirty bucks you'll spend on a game this year in terms of bang for your gaming buck.
  11. 97
    Ninja Gaiden Black may very well be the pinnacle of video gaming this generation.
  12. The quick reaction time that Ryu has when you press a button is simply amazing and truly feels like you are playing with a ninja.
  13. Fifty segment Mission Mode, four difficulties, and a complete arcade ROM equal marathon game sessions in Ninja Gaiden BLACK.
  14. One of the greatest action games in recent memory. Upon further examination, it may be one of the best of all time.
  15. Game Informer
    Even if you already have a copy of the original game in your library, Black is an absolute necessity. [Oct 2005, p.140]
  16. Play Magazine
    It is arguably without peer, the ultimate game for the audience open to its madness. [Oct 2005, p.56]
  17. This has to be one of the slickest, brutal, most breath taking games I have ever played! Frustration factor can be high when you start the game, but once you stop button mashing and start using the combo system as it was meant to be the game becomes very rewarding.
  18. On the enemies, you can see individual scales shining perfectly in each light source, see through their translucent wings, and be dazzled by their massive energy attacks.
  19. 94
    I don't think I can possibly convey how much of an adrenaline pumping experience the new Mission Mode is with mere words. It has to be experienced. The missions are unadulterated action and if that's all there were to the game, I'd still recommend it.
  20. But this new installment seems bent on achieving nothing less than perfection by using last year's game as a starting point and fine-tuning its few issues, while also adding lots of new options and content, such as a lengthy series of stand-alone missions that emphasize the game's unbelievably intense, brutal, lighting-fast combat.
  21. Prepare to be challenged like you've never been challenged before to complete an action-adventure game. If you make it through Ninja Gaiden Black, be proud, because it definitely is one of the hardest games to complete that you'll ever play.
  22. Official Xbox Magazine
    Black does what the original did best, and hits the elevator button and ascends to an even higher level. [Nov 2005, p.134]
  23. No one ever said that being a ninja was easy, but I can tell you for certain that being a ninja has never been this much fun. Don't wait, get your mitts on this game immediately.
  24. If we were stuck on a desert island with a TV, an Xbox and a generator, Ninja Gaiden Black is the only game we'd need. It really is that good! [Official UK XBox Magazine]
  25. Just beware that you have to run through the game to unlock the new mission modes, but if you're a big fan, you will probably welcome the idea.
  26. An incredible game, but there are other, cheaper options that are available to cash-strapped gamers.
  27. 90
    The action is superb, with silky smooth combos, lots of movement options, and intuitive control. The graphics are still tops on the market. The quest is fulfilling and varied.
  28. It's also a lot more difficult than its predecessor, so if you didn't feel challenged enough by the prequel, this version promises to bludgeon the hell out of you.
  29. 85
    Making Ninja Gaiden harder is like ordering waffles fixed with broken glass, with a helping of broken glass on the side. It's downright tasty at times, but you better have a taste for it before scarfing it down.
  30. Kudos to Tecmo and Team Ninja for adding some great enhancements to an already great game. We just wish they would have released it like this in the first place.
  31. The most notable addition over the first outing is the aforementioned Mission Mode, though since it does not become available until completing the game once, many players are likely to throw in the towl long before even seeing this new content. Some might call it a feature, but it seems more like punishment.
  32. 70
    On the technical side of things, Ninja Gaiden Black has a problem that wasn't present in the original release. The game is prone to bouts of slowdown at impromptu moments and these aren't particularly hectic instances either.

Awards & Rankings

#6 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2005
#4 Most Shared Xbox Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 202 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 202
  1. Jun 12, 2011
    Good gameplay, graphics, a kick-ass character, challenging. A gamer's game, and the best title for the xbox.
  2. Jun 10, 2012
    Damn good **** game. Fun, badass, epic, challenging. This is one of the best games of the past generation for sure, I just recently re-playedDamn good **** game. Fun, badass, epic, challenging. This is one of the best games of the past generation for sure, I just recently re-played and I got my ass handled to me good, but God damn once I got the hang of it again.

    There's not much that can be said, the game is not for the casuals, its awesomeness can only be truly seen by hardcore gamers.

    Solid 9 out of 10.
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 26, 2022
    Here I am nearly 17 years later, and I think a this game still holds up pretty well, mostly due to the combat. Even after I have a ton ofHere I am nearly 17 years later, and I think a this game still holds up pretty well, mostly due to the combat. Even after I have a ton of gaming experience since 2005, it's still soul crushingly difficult, more so than even Dark Souls. It's probably the most fun combat I've ever played in any game. All the combos, flips, wall running, etc. are all incredible. The OST, level designs, and weapons are all fantastic too.

    From a modern retrospective (as I just played recently), it does show its age quite badly in some spots. I wish that a lock-on system was present in these older games, it would have helped tremendously, since the camera is not good (and the Sigma remaster also suffers from it too). Lots of enemies have cheesy grab moves with hardly any tell or time to react. Lots of the bosses just flat out suck by today's standards, but they're fine for a 2005 game. The controls for the bow are horrendously bad too, it was especially infuriating to use it on mandatory bow spots like the helicopter boss.

    One of the greatest, if not the greatest, original Xbox titles. Even better than Halo or KOTOR in some regards.
    Full Review »