games / Columns

411 Games Top 5: Top 5 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Games

May 21, 2016 | Posted by Sean Garmer

Hello everyone, I hope it has been a good week for all the readers out there. This is the 411 Games Zone Top 5, where 411 writers get to make lists on a different topic each week. This week, in honor of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan coming out next week, we are doing the Top 5 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games.

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John Cash (Regular Contributor on Four Player Co-op & Games Top 5)

5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters: Most of my list is based on nostalgia, as I haven’t touched a TMNT game outside of Re-Shelled since before 2000 I’m pretty sure. When this game came out I was still young enough that I didn’t really understand any nuances that separated fighting franchises, so the ultimate reason to get a fighting game for me was if it had the coolest looking characters, and considering how nuclear over the turtles were in the early to mid ’90s, I pretty much had to get this when it came out.

4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled: The number one is probably going to be pretty obvious amongst whoever manages to get a list in this week. I don’t know if using this HD remix as a separate game goes against the spirit of the topic, but hey, it did manage to get me playing a TMNT game again after over a decade of not having played one. This one, despite looking a million times better, made the mistake of messing with one of the best arcade soundtracks of all time, so that’s why it’s not #1 instead of it’s original form.

3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project: I had to think really hard for this list, because as big into TMNT as I was (I had all but like five of the action figures for the first animated series, dressed up as them for Halloween, even had a turtle birthday cake one year that my mom *hand drew* the characters for [thanks Mom!]), I didn’t really play every single game that came out I don’t think. I don’t remember ever playing TMNT II, but I do remember III after watching some gameplay of it and hearing the music again. Pretty much every side-scroller beat ’em up they’ve done for this series has been solid.

2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: I know a lot of people despise this game for having some really tough sections, but it was one of my favorite games as a kid. I loved that you could switch between the turtles, and the driving sections. The only part I can agree on with most people is the water stage; I think it’s frustrating for everyone, no matter what age you are when you first play it.

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time: The sewer bonus stage music. The boss fight music. Starbase. The Slash fight.

Marc Morrison (Games Zone Reviewer, Co-Host of the Video Games 2 the MAX Podcast, Writer of the Games Zone 8-Ball)

5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled: Trust me, I get it, Re-Shelled was not a perfect game by any metric. But it hit just enough nostalgic notes from the original game to make it worth playing. I like that this game finally spelled out the differences between the various Turtles, like Raph having crappy range but very quick, while Donny being slow, but having the best range of them all. I actually thought the look of the game was extremely solid, though having an option to switch back between new and old would have been nice. I think the license with this game ran out years ago, so you can’t even play it anymore, unless you bought it previously.

4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Back From the Sewers: The first two TMNT on Gameboy are pretty much the same. Still, I enjoyed this one more for the slightly better music and level design. It’s honestly just a solid little beat’em up/brawler on the Gameboy featuring the Turtles, but that’s the formula that almost all of these games go for, so why fix what isn’t broken?

3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time: I don’t quite have the reverence that most people seem to have about Turtles in Time. Don’t get me wrong, it looks way better than the Arcade game, has better music/voice work, and the settings are varied. I just never quite got the hang of the whole “Throw the Foot Soldier into the screen” move, which looked great, but was required to be mastered at the end when you’re facing the Shredder and he’s in a tank shooting at you from the screen. I think the Re-Shelled version fixed this particular hang up, but was met with apathy when it came out.

2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pinball: I firmly believe there should be more pinball coverage for the site, hence why the Turtles pinball game is making my list. This is one of the few Data East pinball machines (along with Jurassic Park and BTTF) that isn’t total crap. The ramp placement is generally good, the colors are good, but the best part is the audio. There’s two bits of great audio, the first is Splinter constantly yelling “NINJA NINJA” whenever you make a good shot. The second is that when you achieve multiball, the cartoon theme song kicks on for 6 seconds, and those are the best 6 seconds of any game, really.

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game: Big surprise, right? I’m sure this game tops the list of anyone who played it as a kid, like I (any many) did as they were growing up, usually at an arcade, pizza place, bowling alley, or movie theater. While it seems incredibly primitive by today’s standards, the Arcade Game (along with Simpsons and X-Men) went a long way in showing kids how good games could look, capturing the visuals and sounds from the cartoons they represented, though not in X-Men’s case. The game was a glorified quarter cruncher, but if you had three friends, you could take the game down in under an hour, if you knew what you were really doing. Almost every Turtles game since then has tried to replicate the magic in this game, and only a few have really succeeded. Let’s hope the Platinum game works out, as I wouldn’t mind an actual new, good, Turtles game on the market.


List your Top Five for this week’s topic in the comment section using the following format:

5. CHOICE: Explanation
4. CHOICE: Explanation
3. CHOICE: Explanation
2. CHOICE: Explanation
1. CHOICE: Explanation

This is where I’d like to remind readers that the 411 Games Zone has an official podcast called “Video Games 2 the MAX” and it comes out weekly. The podcast is hosted by Marc Morrison and myself, Sean Garmer, as we talk the big news in gaming each week, what we are playing, any games we may be reviewing, and more. this week, we discuss more Uncharted 4, the possibility of Streaming Consoles, Nintendo making anime movies, Capcom’s statement, and lots more.