Shinobi’s difficulty sets it apart from other ninja games. Not only are you expected to fight hordes of tough enemies, but you must slake the thirst of your blade. Your sword is possessed and threatens to kill you if you don’t constantly provide it with the souls of your enemies. The first Shinobi game debuted in the arcades in 1987 and has since featured in a dozen other official Shinobi titles. Along with Alex Kidd and Sonic the Hedgehog, Joe Musashi has long been one of Sega’s flagship characters, acting as a mascot for a short time in the late 1980s when the ninja boom was in full force. The series’ games are a showcase of Sega’s technical accomplishment, noted for their high quality of graphics, gameplay and music, as well as their high level of difficulty. Any game with a soul-eating sword deserves to make the list.