Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is finally out and has old-school gamers excitedly firing up their consoles. The significance of this game is underpinned by the rich video game history our pizza-loving heroes have had over the decades.
If you’re still wondering what all the hubbub is about, here are six TMNT games you need to check out.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade
Arguably one of the greatest side-scrolling beat-’em-ups of all time, TMNT Arcade is considered a hallmark title of its kind. The most striking feature was 4-player co-op, which allowed up to four players to deliver Turtle Justice on Shredder and his cronies at the same time.
Apart from that, the game was just masterfully crafted. All the characters looked true to their cartoon selves. The soundtrack was completely off the chain. Attacks and animations felt satisfying, while also capturing the spirit of the Heroes in a Halfshell.
While it’s not likely you’ll ever run into a cabinet with this gem, it has seen repeated ports and remakes that do the title the justice it deserves.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Radical Rescue
The Game Boy had a slew of solid Ninja Turtles games in its library. However, Radical Rescue stands out from the crowd as it included features that now define what we know as the Metroidvania genre.
Despite its humble little GB cartridge, Radical Rescue is a pretty big game that allows for backtracking and a modicum of exploration. It also featured unlockable abilities that enabled you to open up previously inaccessible paths. To top it off, the graphics were superb and the audio direction was well-executed for a Game Boy game.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist
Regarded as a sister title to the critically acclaimed Turtles in Time, The Hyperstone Heist was a gem that Konami released on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive. What made it stand out from its SNES counterpart was its speed. Turtles could run via a button, allowing the player to blow through levels faster and tackle enemies from across the screen more responsively.
Hyperstone Heist also gave the Foot clan a more aggressive disposition, making the title fairly challenging. It didn’t have a soundtrack as iconic as Turtles in Time and the audio and general left a bit to be desired. However, it stands the test of time as one of the greatest Turtles games ever made.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game
Although this is a port of the original arcade game, it’s worth mentioning as a sheer testament to technical prowess on the developers’ part. TMNT II: The Arcade Game is the title of the NES version of the cabinet version. Though you’d often expect console ports at the time to be significant downgrades, this one was different.
Not only did the gameplay and presentation feel almost identical to its arcade counterpart, but also it featured two extra levels. These levels also had new enemies and bosses. Some of the original stages were also extended. Overall, this port made an already excellent TMNT game even better.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters
Fighting games and Turtles sounds like a match made in heaven and that marriage did indeed happen on the SNES and Genesis/Mega Drive. But little do some people know that it could have screwed it all up majorly. You see, Tournament Fighters was more of a throwaway development intended to cash in further on the popularity of the TMNT brand.
However, it turned out to be a solid fighting game featuring our favorite characters from the show (as well as some brand new ones for some reason). To this day, it’s still played in fighting game tournaments as a side event, despite having a few broken moves.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time
Turtles in Time ranks up as one of the most influential beat-’em-ups of all time. Its snappy controls, addictive gameplay, and satisfying combat are right up there with the likes of Streets of Rage and Final Fight, and in some ways even surpass them.
From start to finish, it feels like an extended Turtles episode where Leo, Raph, Mikey, and Donnie zip through time, trying to stop Shredder and his goons and save the day. Even its vehicle levels feel well designed and a seamless part of the experience. To top it off, the Turtles in Time soundtrack is home to some of the most iconic tracks in video game history. Overall, if you could only play one TMNT game, it should be this one.