Developer: Tecmo/Team Ninja
Release date: 1988 (original)
Platform: a version has dropped on nearly every platform.
The entire Ninja Gaiden series is considered one of the hardest series ever released. It all started with the original Ninja Gaiden and its ramped-up difficulty. There are two great truths to Ninja Gaiden: ninjas are awesome and victory is bittersweet. Even if you make it past the multitudes of sword wielding enemies, bouncing your way through shuriken storms to try to save your father, you will most likely die immediately after. The final satanic boss battle is insane and multilayered. If you do manage to get to the end (spoiler ahead) Irene is ordered to kill you and we’re left with a cliffhanger!
In our humble opinion Ninja Gaiden has the best story game of any ninja themed game/movie ever made. In addition to killer artwork, great music and a jumping mechanic that made us thing we could pre-parkour up the side of the house. It was hard, but it was so worth it to see the next cut-scene.