If you loved Mutant Mayhem, try these 7 TMNT games

Paramount Pictures’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem hit theaters this week, and it’s a radical time at the movie theater. After watching the excellent animated movie, I had the itch to revisit some TMNT games and live out my turtle power dreams. There were a wealth of options available to me, from ones that I grew up with to titles that I’ve enjoyed more recently. I’m sure I won’t be alone in that feeling, so allow me to pass along some of the great games starring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that you can dive into after seeing the movie.

This isn’t just a list of the retro classics. I mixed in games from all eras, from the early arcade game that set the precedent for future TMNT titles to more recent crossovers and ambitious titles. Regardless of which you choose (or have access to at all), you’re sure to have a great time playing any of these TMNT titles.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge

April and Leo high-five in TMNT: Shredder's Revenge
Dotemu

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge from 2022 might be the best TMNT game ever made. It’s a beat ’em up by Dotemu, the publisher of Streets of Rage 4, and Tribute Games, whose founders also worked on the shockingly solid 2007 TMNT game for Game Boy Advance. As a huge fan of the genre, I love how Shredder’s Revenge hits all of the right notes required of a fantastic brawler. It has fluid combat with lots of combo potential, excellent pixel art, and really enjoyable co-op. Shredder’s Revenge is also packed with references for TMNT fans from all eras.

If you were still somehow doubting its quality, it’s also one of the few games to ever get a five-star review from Digital Trends. If you play one game on this list, make it this. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is available now on PC, PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and iOS and Android via Netflix. It’s part of the Xbox Game Pass catalog too, so there’s no reason to not check this game out. 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The 1989 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game emulated within Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection.
Konami

While Shredder’s Revenge perfected the idea of a TMNT beat ’em up, it isn’t the game that kicked off that trend. Credit for that goes to Konami’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which hit arcades in 1989. Although it’s possible to beat the game in under an hour, and its gameplay feels a little dated compared to some of the other titles on this list, it still provides some enjoyable, button-mashing arcade fun. Its historical importance to TMNT games can’t be understated, and that’s what makes me appreciate it the most.

Almost every TMNT game that has come afterward, especially the 2D ones, owes something to this game that set the standard for how enthralling TMNT beat ’em up games could be. If you want to play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles nowadays, you’ll need to buy its $700 Arcade1Up cabinet or play it as part of Digital Eclipse’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection, which is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan

Raphael stabs an enemy in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan.
Activision

The most controversial pick for this list from me is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan. This game didn’t get great reviews at launch, but it’s hard to ignore a TMNT game made by the developers of Bayonetta and Nier Automata. Is this licensed game published by Activision one of PlatinumGames’ lesser titles? Sure, but I’ve found that even a mediocre PlatinumGames release is still a pretty solid and fun action game. Its cel-shaded art style inspired by the classic shows and comics has aged surprisingly well, making this the game that looks the most like Mutant Mayhem.

Mutants in Manhattan’s mission design is quite repetitive and full of hit-sponge enemies, but it still retains some of PlatinumGames’ satisfying signature action flair. It’s the closest thing to a modern 3D AAA Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game that currently exists; hopefully, that isn’t the case for much longer. In 2016, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan launched on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. Sadly, it’s somewhat difficult to get ahold of nowadays because Activision delisted the game in January 2017, less than a year after its release. You’ll need to track down a physical copy of this game to play it, but you might actually find that Mutants in Manhattan is a bit better than you remember if you do so. 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time emulated through Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection.
Konami

Before Shredder’s Revenge, this was the crown jewel of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games. Regardless of whether you play the arcade or SNES version, Konami’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time is an extremely good time and one of the best beat ’em up games ever made. I love it for many of the same reasons as Shredder’s Revenge: enthralling combat, solid pixel art, and lots of clear adoration for the IP it’s based on. It was extremely influential, not just on the beat ’em up genre, but on all future TMNT games; the developers of almost every other game on this list worked hard to try and match the bar of quality Turtles in Time set.

If you’re looking to play one classic TMNT game after seeing Mutant Mayhem, I highly recommend picking this one. Currently, both the arcade and SNES versions of Turtles in Time are part of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection, which is available across PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch. Just don’t play Ubisoft’s terrible 2009 remake of the game. 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus

Gameplay from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus
LongplayArchive / Konami

I’ve never played Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus before, but it comes highly recommended by Digital Trends Gaming Section Lead Giovanni Colantonio. He has fond memories of playing Battle Nexus on the GameCube, enjoying its 3D take on the beat ’em up formula that most TMNT games followed, and he thinks the game provides an ideal co-op experience. As an outsider to the game, I can see that its cel-shaded art style also still holds up fairly well today. As an added bonus, the aforementioned Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game is playable within Battle Nexus.

Unfortunately, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus is not one of the games included in The Cowabunga Collection. If you want to play this game, you’ll need to track down a GameCube, PS2, Windows, or Xbox copy of the game from 2004. Hopefully, Konami and Digital Eclipse will get around to remastering and rereleasing Konami’s 2000s-era TMNT games sometime soon.

Injustice 2

Key art for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in Injustice 2
WB Games

OK, Injustice 2 isn’t a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game. It’s a fighting game based on a DC Comics world where Superman is evil. But the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came to this game as DLC fighters, and it’s my personal favorite cameo appearance by them in another game. All four turtles are playable; they share many attacks, but each has some special moves and character powers. Who you fight as changes depending on which weapon is equipped in the character customization menu, making the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles one of the most complex yet satisfying characters to learn in the entire game.

While there are some TMNT fighting games, none are as polished as this one from NeatherRealm Studios and WB Games, which is available across PC, PS4, and Xbox One. If you’re looking for another modern fighting game featuring TMNT characters, I recommend checking out Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl or its upcoming sequel for some Super Smash Bros.-like fighting game fun. 

TMNT Splintered Fate

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles battle rats in TMNT: Splintered Fate.
Super Evil Megacorp

The most recent TMNT game is an Apple Arcade exclusive for iOS, and it’s a surprisingly good time. TMNT Splintered Fate is an isometric,story-driven roguelite clearly inspired by the likes of Hades, and it features a story co-written by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic writer Tom Waltz. It’s a much deeper action game than you’d expect for a mobile title, and the roguelite structure makes Splintered Fate immensely replayable. It’s also one of the more narrative-driven TMNT games, which complements Mutant Mayhem’s compelling and surprisingly emotional story quite well. 

The only other game available on mobile on this list is Shredder’s Revenge, and you need a Netflix subscription to try that, so Splintered Fate is a great TMNT game choice for iPhone users who want something to play as soon as they leave the theater. TMNT Splintered Fate is available to play now on iOS devices through Apple Arcade. Hopefully, it’ll make the jump to other platforms eventually like some other Apple Arcade titles.

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