6 Games Like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles [Recommendations]

Since 1984, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been one of America’s top cultural phenomena. While its popularity stems from its iconic 1987 slapstick cartoon, its original comic is comparatively much grittier and serves as a parody of other famous comics such as Daredevil, Ronin, and New Mutants. Thanks to its tremendous success, a unique toy line, numerous movies, and numerous animated adaptations followed. Video games would be a natural inevitability to further expand the brand. One notable Ninja Turtles game that long-time dedicated fans remember playing at the top of their head is the first arcade game.

While multiplayer is the norm in today’s gaming, in order to play games that were more than two-players, you had to go to the arcade! In the arcade game, you and three other people could play as the entire cast as you fight through the alleys and sewers of New York to find the Technodrome and stop the Shredder once and for all. Along the way, you had to fight not only robot foot clan ninjas, but also some of the Shredder’s top dogs such as Rocksteady, Bebop, and Krang. The final battle against the Shredder still stands out because not only would you be fighting one Shredder, but seven! And to get rid of him permanently, you had to knock off all their helmets!

It is strange in retrospect, it was considered unique because you rarely ever saw Shredder without his helmet in the original cartoon. Even so, that didn’t stop fans from enjoying their ability to express themselves with their favorite turtles and celebrate by getting a slice if they beat the game. So what other games measure up to the distinction of the original Ninja Turtles arcade beat ‘em up? Read today’s list to find out!

Similar Game to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

1. The Simpsons

  • System: Arcade, Commodore 64, MS-DOS
  • Publisher: Konami
  • Developer: Konami
  • Release Dates: 1991

Kicking off this list is another cartoon beat ‘em up released by Konami, the hit long-running animated comedy, The Simpsons. While the notion of making a 4-player arcade beat ‘em up of The Simpsons may seem ludicrous to many of you readers, the presentation of the game does a very great job of staying in tune with the series. In this game, Maggie gets her hands, or mouth on a valuable diamond that allegedly belongs to Homer’s boss, Mr. Burns. Smithers, the assistant to Mr. Burns then kidnaps Maggie to retrieve the diamond and it’s up to the rest of the Simpsons family to get her back, even if it means rampaging through Springfield.

Just like how the Turtles have their respective weapons, so do each member of the Simpsons family. Homer just punches and kicks, Marge uses a vacuum, Lisa whips you with her jump rope, and Bart whacks you with his skateboard. While the graphics and sound effects stay faithful to the cartoon, it does take some creative liberties such as fighting a kabuki performer, a man in a bear costume, a giant bowling ball in a dream sequence stage, and Mr. Burns himself in a multi-layered mech. So if you want to enjoy your own Simpsons comedy as your favorite character, this game is your chance. While most arcades have gone the way of the dodo, you can get this game through Microsoft and Sony’s respective networking services.

2. Cadillacs and Dinosaurs

  • System: Arcade
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Release Dates: April 1993

While a certain number of 90’s kids reading this list may recall the Fox Kids cartoon (or its original comic), it had its own arcade beat ‘em up. In the original story past the year 2513, the sustainability of the Earth has collapsed and has forced humanity to move underground where dinosaurs still exist. And because technology is very scarce, those with technical skills are valued to keep whatever machines are left to maintain their functions. As the title suggests, the characters get around with the help of a classic Cadillac to go from one stage to the next, and there are stages where you get to use it as a weapon to plow through enemies.

In this game, you play as mechanic Jack Tenrec and Hanna Dundee, a scientist and love interest of Jack. Joining along the ride are Mustapha and Mess as they take on the Black Marketeers, a group of dinosaur poachers whose actions have made the dinosaurs hostile towards humans.

Beyond its foundational gameplay, it includes many funny novelties that both compare and distinguished itself with Ninja Turtles such as unique dialog bubbles, and instances of where three players are together and one character stalls, two other characters will force one to move by throwing them. The stages and enemies perfectly capture the post-apocalyptic feel of the original series as you face a mix of vicious human hunters and mutated dinosaur/human hybrids.

Due to the extreme nature of the game, you can occasionally use low capacity firearms such as machine guns and/or bazookas. Other than that, both Ninja Turtles and Cadillacs and Dinosaurs largely take place in New York and share themes about protecting the environment. So if you want a fun game you likely have never played with some great throwbacks to 1950’s pulp comics, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs is the game for you.

3. Bucky O’Hare

  • System: Arcade
  • Publisher: Konami
  • Developer: Konami
  • Release Dates: 1992

Also based on another comic and cartoon from the same time as the first Ninja Turtles animated series is the anamorphic space opera, Bucky O’Hare. Like Ninja Turtles, the nature of this game is a 4-player beat ‘em up that largely stays faithful to its original source material. In this game, you travel across the galaxy to stop the evil Toad Empire.

In addition to Bucky, you can also play as his other crewmembers such as Jenny, Dead-Eye Duck, and Blinky. While Ninja Turtles and a majority of the games listed here are generic punch and kick with the occasional foreign object as a weapon, Bucky O’Hare has more leeway with using firearms. So if you want to take out multiple enemies at a distance, this game allows you to do so.

While some games are just running around and beating enemies up, Bucky O’Hare offers some variety to its stages and gameplay such as some racing and flying with jetpacks. The graphics are appropriately in tune with the cult series and even brings back the voice cast of the cartoon for its animated cutscenes.

Any Game Like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

4. Spider-Man: The Video Game

  • System: Arcade
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Developer: Sega
  • Release Dates: 1991

While Spider-Man has traditionally been a solo hero, in this game, you get to play with three other Marvel heroes to go out and stop the Kingpin and Dr. Doom. The other superheroes assisting Spidey on his quest to stop this villainous plot from taking place are Black Cat, Hawkeye, and Namor. Whoever you select, their abilities from the comics are perfectly featured in this game. As Spider-Man, you can use his amazing agility and webbing to take out enemies. If you play as the Black Cat, she uses her claws and grappling hook to combat all threats. With Hawkeye, you can just simply use his bow and arrow. As Namor, many of his attacks are based on water projectiles.

What makes this game stand out compared to not only Ninja Turtles but to many other cartoon and comic based beat ‘em ups as a whole is that at times, the camera will zoom out and temporarily turn into a platform game in vein of Mario in order to emphasize other features of the respective stage and villains in terms of scale such as fighting a gigantic Venom. In addition to the previous three villains mentioned, you face Spidey’s others foes such as The Lizard, The Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Electro, and Scorpion. Many of the generic thugs you face in this game would, later on, have their designs be recycled into another iconic Spider-Man beat ‘em up title, Maximum Carnage.

5. Captain America and the Avengers

  • System: Arcade, Genesis, Super Nintendo
  • Publisher: Data East
  • Developer: Data East
  • Release Dates: 1991

While Marvel’s recent wave of movies has made The Avengers an international household name, it already had a handful number of games released prior to the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One memorable game that also lives up to the standard set by Konami’s Ninja Turtles arcade gaming series would certainly have to be Data East’s release of Captain America and the Avengers. In this 4-player arcade hit, you play as Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, and Vision (with Wasp, Quicksilver, Wonder Man, and Namor as the occasional support) as you travel across the Earth and to the moon to stop the plot of the Red Skull. Not only will you have to defeat him, but you will also face other notable villains such as Ultron, Crossbones, Wizard, and the Mandarin along with other traditional non-Avenger villains such as the sentinels and Juggernaut.

Many of the projectile attacks of each character can be spammed without consequence so you can always stay at a safe distance and throw Captain America’s mighty shield at rapid speed, or just shoot an unlimited supply of arrows from Hawkeye. Or you can use Iron Man’s hand blasts or Vision’s head beams. In addition to being your standard beat ‘em up with some superpowers, you can also participate in a stage where you swim underwater and fly through the skies. While Vision and Iron Man don’t require any additional equipment in these stages, Hawkeye and Cap sit on flying machines through the flying stages and use scuba gear when swimming underwater.

The game has a great soundtrack and some cheesy sound effects such as the laughs of the villains. So if you want a superhero beat ‘em up that lives up to its source material that you can enjoy with three people, this is also a great recommendation.

6. X-Men

  • System: Arcade
  • Publisher: Konami
  • Developer: Konami
  • Release Dates: 1992

About 20 years before Ninja Turtles popularized the word “mutant,” the OG mutant superheroes happen to be another hit Marvel property, the X-Men. While their popularity boomed through their 1990’s animated series and Fox’s line of live action movies, it actually had another animated pilot from Toei sometime towards the end of the 1980’s, Pryde of the X-Men. While that pilot never made it to syndication, Konami released their own arcade beat ‘em up using that respective pilot as their base.

There are some versions that are 4-players, and there are others that allow up to 6! In this game, the selectable members of the X-Men are the same characters featured in the pilot; Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Dazzler, Colossus, and Nightcrawler. In this game, you travel throughout New York and to Asteroid M to stop Magneto and his band of terrorists so you can save Kitty Pryde, Prof. X, and the world.

The game is your standard beat ‘em up where you fight numerous human-sized sentinels, freaks of the reavers, and many other creatures through the X-Men and Marvel universe. Bosses include Pyro, the Blob, Wendigo, the Juggernaut, Mystique, and Magneto. You can use each character’s respective power, but only within the limits of that character’s power life bar. Like the respective TMNT game, due to the overwhelming number of on-screen enemies and the difficulty of the bosses, you’re going to need all the help you can get but that’s where the fun lies. Last, you’re going to get a kick out of Magento’s lines in the game, “welcome to die!” So if you love X-Men and old school beat ‘em ups like TMNT, this game is strongly recommended.

Final Thoughts

Last, we would like to make some honorable mentions to the Wild West Cowboys of Moo Mesa, Battletoads and Double Dragon, and The Punisher. While the Ninja Turtles franchise is still active to this day, many older fans feel its present incarnations don’t compare to its popularity between the late-80s and early-90s. Even so, fans still fondly remember yelling cowabunga to express their excitement, or it may have further fueled their love for pizza. Heck, some kids got into martial arts because of their passion to act like their favorite character.

Ninja Turtles in all of its incarnations is remembered for many, many, many moments and tropes from its iconic theme song to even Vanilla Ice’s Ninja Rap in the second live-action movie. The franchise has had both its good moments and its lower points (such as the infamous Coming Out of Their Shells Tour), but it will never leave our pop culture. As for their game releases as a whole, that can be its own list but in addition to the first arcade game, it helped pave way for other cartoon franchises to have multi-player arcade beat ‘em ups that represent the nature of their source materials.

Teenage-Mutant-Ninja-Turtle-game-photo-300x225 6 Games Like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles [Recommendations]


Author: Justin "ParaParaJMo" Moriarty

Hello, I am originally from the states and have lived in Japan since 2009. Though I watched Robotech and Voltron as a child, I officially became an anime fan in 1994 through Dragon Ball Z during a trip to the Philippines. In addition to anime, I also love tokusatsu, video games, music, and martial arts. よろしくお願いします

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