Heroes In A Half Shell: Sketch’s Six Great TMNT Video Games

Heroes In A Half Shell:


You all have heard Sketch on ToonCast Beyond Season 1 and will hear him in a few TCB Season 2 eps. He loves Turtles just like the rest of us, and we are letting him in on the blogging for TMNT Week.

6 Great TMNT Video Games

Turtles Tournament Fighters (SNES / Genesis / NES)

In the height of fighting game mania in the early 90s, Konami decided to make a handful of pretty solid Street Fighter clones for all three major consoles at the time. Some people are not even aware the NES version exists but even that version can be a lot of fun to play if you can track it down because there are not that many one on one fighting games for the NES. Most people have their preference for either the Genesis or SNES versions but since all three offer different rosters and gameplay I see no reason to only play one but seeing as I’m best at the SNES version it is usually my default. The Genesis game’s AI can be downright brutal.

TMNT 2007 (Gameboy Advance)

While most of the more recent Ninja Turtles games have been decent at best, Ubisoft managed to bring the franchise back to its’ glory days with a brawler that looks great and is lots of fun to play. The game also brings stat building to the table in a similar fashion to River City Ransom. As you progress through the game you can unlock new techniques as well as the ability to summon another turtle to aid you with team-up attacks. The only real downside is no co-op options but if you want a portable TMNT game it is easily the best of the bunch.

The Hyperstone Heist (Sega Genesis)

Sega Genesis owners only got one Konami TMNT beat ‘em up and luckily it is one of the best in the franchise. While the game’s levels are a bit of a mash-up of TMNT 3, TMNT 4 and the original arcade game it offers a nice variety in stage design and enough challenge to keep things interesting without becoming frustrating to play. It manages this with tight controls that assure the player that the game design will not be what hinders you while you fight through several stages of Shredder’s minions. It is also the only TMNT game to feature Tatsu, Shredder’s number one in the live action movies.

The Arcade Game (Arcade)

The 4 player co-op of the original TMNT arcade game by Konami will go down in history as one of the most enjoyable co-op experiences an arcade cabinet ever offered. Especially for a kid growing up in the early 90s it was as close to living the TMNT cartoon as you could get between the cartoony graphics and the score heavily based on the animated series beloved theme song. Pick your favorite turtle, grab three friends or even three complete strangers and take on stage after stage of Foot ninja and other bad guys before taking on Krang and Shredder in an epic showdown. You had quite a few techniques at your disposal despite the limited buttons which helped the constant beat downs from getting mundane but the game was designed to eat quarters and did not have much of an ending to speak of so if you’re not enjoying the journey then this game is not for you.

TMNT 3: The Manhattan Project

Konami followed up their scaled-down port of the arcade game on the NES with a game roughly twice the length of most of their TMNT brawlers. This game can be a bit daunting because the tricks you learned for TMNT 2 will not get you far in this game because many of the baddies punish you for attempting the endless jump kicks that would save your shell before. Thankfully the turtles get some new moves of their own as well as individual special attacks that do some serious damage in a pinch but also cost you a bit of health. While it is only slightly superior in graphics to TMNT 2: The Arcade Game it has an impressive variety of levels and antagonists as well as a great musical score. The additional challenge compared to TMNT 2, TMNT 4 and The Hyperstone Heist will put a seasoned TMNT player to the test and victory will be just that much more satisfying in the end.

TMNT 4: Turtles in Time (SNES / Arcade)

Konami perfected the TMNT co-op experience with the arcade version of Turtles in Time but SNES version remains my favorite TMNT video game to date. It makes up for a lack of 4 player co-op with improved audio quality that brings out the best in the games magnificent score as well as some other changes to level design and additional levels which add more killer tunes to the score and offer more variety in gameplay. While some would argue it is a bit on the easy side compared to other TMNT games, it is always fun to play through with a friend. If I haven’t convinced you this game is awesome yet then it should be noted this game grants you the visceral pleasure of throwing Foot ninja at the screen either face first or butt first and that has got to be one of the most satisfying experiences in video game history.

Sketch will be back with two more blogs!

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TFG1Mike is a geek with many interests. He has been podcasting for over a decade, and sees no stopping point in sight. From Transformers, He-Man, Batman, Comics, movies, video games, cartoons, and so much more, Mike has a zeal for the things he loves, and he will bring the hammer down on the things that he has a disdain for. He's generally a postive person, but negativity can creep in there. Mike is all about the innuendos and innuendon'ts too. You'll hear him on many of The GCRN podcasts!


  1. Its too bad the PS2 games were at best decent with 2 and 3 being 4 player but with 2 you shared a life bar and the platforming wasn’t done well. Then Ubisoft came out with the piss poor Reshelled and bland smash bro clone Smash Up with a bad roster that included the Rabids over fan favs.

    1. I kinda liked Smash Up, thought it was cool have a TMNT fighting game. But you are right Reshelled needs to go to hell.

    2. Sharing the life bar was a terrible idea and it made an otherwise decent game such a drag to play. Oh yeah and the platforming with 4 player was asking to get someone or everyone killed as well. Mutant Nightmare was pretty good but nothing special.

      I don’t think Reshelled was as awful as some people say but the controls were really floaty and replacing the score was a bad call.

      I enjoy Smash Up and the wi-fi features worked better than Brawl’s for me but the controls are nowhere near as tight as Brawl and the roster was a huge disappointment, the majority of the characters are great but such a small roster and 3 Rabbids was downright insulting.

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