The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been one of the biggest, and most successful, franchises of the 20th and 21st Centuries!
Since their original commercial launch on TV in 1987 (following the original comic book release), the TMNT has been on a rollercoaster ride of success. The franchise has firmly established itself in current pop culture for each generation of kids to get their Ninja kicks from.
The Turtles have gone through a number of re-draws and re-designs in the past couple of decades. There were various live action movies and TV shows, the 4Kids era, the Nickelodeon era and, most recently, the “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” that followed hot on the heels of Michael Bay’s Turtles movies.
But, the era that seems to be most omni-present, and firmly established in people’s minds, is the original 1987 cartoon concept that we still see plastered on T-shirts and merch across the world.
TMNT games have existed on every system since it’s launch. As a gamer in the late 80s and early 90’s, we went through a rollercoaster of emotions when it came to the TMNT video games. Many of them famous, some of them infamous, and some have been relegated to video game history. .
Let’s explore 5 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Games that NEED a re-release for modern consoles.
5. The Manhattan Project – (Originally on the NES)
“The Manhatten Project”, billed as TMNT III, is a side scrolling beat em up that came out on the NES as a sequel to Ninja Turtles II, which was the NES port of the Arcade game (with extra exclusive levels no less!).
It’s an unusual one because we didn’t get a release of it in the PAL regions. In fact, it’s one of those rare NES carts to find since coming out so late in the console’s life. It’s likely that many European Turtles fans will not have played this, unless they’ve found it through emulation.
As such, TMNT The Manhatten Project is ripe for a full on re-make, although I don’t think too many fans would be unhappy if we were just able to play it again!
4. The Hyper stone Heist and Turtles in Time
The Hyperstone heist and Turtles in Time are very similar games, hence bundling them in together in the list. Both side scrolling beat em ups with huge, gorgeous looking, 16-bit sprites.
The Sega Megadrive got Hyperstone Heist, and the Super Nintendo got Turtles in Time which itself was a port of the arcade sequel to the original TMNT arcade game.
Both games have a very similar look and feel, with each having some similar and differing levels so there’s no need to choose which to play – both are a treat for TMNT fans!
Considering their similarly to the original arcade game, if a re-release was commissioned, I wouldn’t be surprised if these two appeared as a Dual-Cart/download.
Lorded as significant games for both the Mega Drive and Super Nintendo, a re-make of both would be golden on any of our modern consoles – especially with a 4 person multiplayer!!
3. Mutants in Manhatten
Wait for the comments section to go on fire, but Platinum miscued this potentially awesome game back in 2016 when it launched on PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Xbox One and PS4.
Coming off of a fantastic, fully authentic, G1 based Transformers game, Platinum released a deeply flawed, but quite enjoyable, TMNT game. It was eventually pulled from stores after just 8 months for an un-confirmed reason – although it’s thought that licensing is to blame.
Based on the Dev’s own imagining of the TMNT universe, it wasn’t received well. Being called bland and repetitive, which isn’t entirely inaccurate – there were some really good ideas in the game. It just needed a lot more time, thought and effort, to give us a game with a bit more depth and longevity.
As a system where older games are finding a new lease of life, the Switch would be an ideal target for a more fleshed out and developed Mutants in Manhatten.
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – NES
Now – hear me out!!!
TMNT on the NES was a rollercoaster of emotions! More than likely a re-skin from another concept, TMNT on the NES was the first Ninja Turtles game that console players were treated to.
We KNEW it wasn’t as good as the amazing arcade game – but it was all we had! Although it had lots of elements that made no sense to anyone, it had all four Turtles as playable characters, and they looked pretty good, and we ended up loving it for it.
The game has forever been immortalised by Cinemmasacre’s AVGN – it’s a hard game but it’s easily still one of the most playable games on the NES.
It was FAR from perfect – but if any game deserves a re-make (not a re-release!) for modern consoles – it’s this one! Even if it’s just replacing the “out there” characters like the “fire guy”, the weird flying bats and the “chain saw guy” with actual characters from the TMNT universe. Even if it was just to get it right – I’m sure there’d be a buying audience for it!
1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – The arcade game
Easily the BEST TMNT game that has ever been released and it’s just as playable and exciting as it always was. This game would always be crowded in the arcades in the 90’s, and it was one of the first to popularise the 4-player simultaneous play that we take for granted today.
The graphics looked so close to the original cartoon, the sound track was there, the enemies and key characters were all there – and it was just freakin’ awesome.
The game had a console release back during the Xbox 360 era, appearing on the Xbox Live Arcade, and it was included as an unlockable feature in Gamecube / Xbox / PS2 and GBA’s TMNT2:Battle Nexus. (It’s sequel – Mutant Nightmare – included a port of Turtles in Time too.)
If any game was a licence to print money for Konami – this would be it!! And hey, why not chuck in the extra levels that appeared in TMNT II – The Arcade game – on the NES???!!!
Which of the Ninja Turtle games would you like to see remade for modern consoles?
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