We're republishing this today, 31st August 2023, to celebrate the release of the brand new DLC for Shredder's Revenge, Dimension Shellshock. You can download it on Switch right now if you're looking for some more shell-kicking action. Cowabunga!
Back in 2022, Dotemu and Tribute Games' excellent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge fired up our passion for the heroes in a half-shell in a way we haven't felt for a long time. With the imminent release of Konami's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection, we're getting ready to drown in another wave of excitement and nostalgia very soon.
With so many TMNT games having come to Nintendo consoles over the years, it's tough to know exactly where to begin, let alone which Ninja Turtle (or Hero Turtle in the UK) to choose once you do settle on a game. So, to help sort through them all, we asked you lovely Nintendo Life readers to rate the Turtles games you have played and help us rank every TMNT game on Nintendo systems — and the result is below.
Remember: the order below is updated in real-time according to each game's corresponding User Rating in the Nintendo Life game database. Even as you read this, it's entirely possible to influence the ranking below. If you haven't rated your favourites yet, simply click the 'star' of the game you wish to rate below and assign a score right now.
And what of Konami's aforementioned Cowabunga Collection? We'll add that in once you've had some time to try it out, but as a compilation comprised of many of the best games in the list below, we're hoping this will help you decide what to play first once the game launches.
So, ready to eat some delicious pizza in the sewer? Grab your coloured eye mask of choice and let's give the Foot Clan a sound kickin'...
25. TMNT (DS)
This Ubisoft-made game based on the 2007 movie took its cues from Prince of Persia with its acrobatic rooftop platforming, plus the usual "play as any of the Turtles" choice. Released on almost all platforms at the time, the PSP and the DS version were, obviously, significantly downgraded to meet the requirements of the handheld consoles.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (also known as just "Ninja Turtles", to avoid confusion with the 2013 3DS game) is an isometric action game based on the Michael Bay-produced 2014 film of the same name. You can play as any one of the four turts, with each one having his own special ability — tank, healer, mage, rogue.
Fun fact: Danny Woodburn, who voiced Splinter in the 2014 reboot, reprised his role in this game.
True to classic TMNT-style gameplay and atmosphere, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an energetic beat 'em up with character upgrades, secondary items and multiple gameplay modes. It tells a Turt-tastic story through cut scenes in the style of the animated TV reboot, and handles the source material with care. However, with gameplay is often shallow and quickly repetitive, it failed to meet the heights of the retro TMNT games.
This 2005 Konami take on the TMNT series is based on the 2003 TMNT TV show, which was a little edgier and adult-oriented than the original TV series from the '80s. The "Mutant Nightmare" of the title refers to the last of the game's four chapters, which has the Turtles fighting bosses in their dreams, after defeating all their usual enemies like Shredder and the Foot Clan.
One of many TMNT games inspired by the 2003 TV reboot, Mutant Melee is a Turtley take on the Smash Bros. formula, with 22 playable characters to unlock and pit against each other in "Last Man Standing". There are other modes available to mix it up a little, like "Knock Out", a timed challenge; "King of the Hill", where players can earn points for staying in certain zones for the longest time; and "Keep Away", which works like an Overwatch-style escort mission for an important chest.
Developed by Shantae studio WayForward, with a soundtrack composed by Jake Kaufman (who would later be the composer for Shovel Knight), this game was designed to cover the gap between seasons two and three of the 2012 TV show, with story elements from both, as well as references to the NES game. It was also one of three 2014 TMNT games!
A companion game to the Nintendo 3DS Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this was the second TMNT game to be published by Activision, and the first game to be based on the 2012 Nickelodeon show. As Turtles games go, this is very much lower-tier fare.
18. TMNT (Wii)
This single-player action-adventure game was based on the 2007 CGI movie, and developed by Ubisoft after they gained the rights from Konami. Like the DS and GameCube releases, this game focuses on a darker edgier tone for the Turtle bros, a little more in keeping with the original comics.
Battle Nexus is a stealth-focused action-platformer which features storylines from season two of the 2003 animated TV series, and includes both solo and four-player local co-op. On Game Boy Advance, it's a very different game to its console equivalents, and features the voice talents of Sam Riegel (Phoenix Wright in the Ace Attorney games, and Donatello in many TMNT incarnations) and Michael Sinterniklaas (Leonardo, and Taki Tachibana in Your Name).