Gaming’s Greatest Samurai

best video game samurai ghost of tsushima jin sakai ghost

Ghost of Tsushima is finally here, and we can’t get enough of it. There are epic samurai duels to fight, an awesome customisable photo mode for capturing the most atmospheric moments, adorable foxes to stroke (FOXES!), and a whole gorgeous island to explore on horseback. And that’s all in between trying to single-handedly prevent the invading Mongol armies from conquering the whole of Tsushima and moving on to mainland Japan.

And as main character Jin Sakai is a pretty awesome samurai in his own right, that got us thinking about all the other video game samurai we’ve come across over the years.

1. Jin Sakai

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Jin’s a samurai born and bred, but with his island under attack by the invading Mongol armies, he’s turned away from traditional samurai teachings in favour of the Way of the Ghost, a super sneaky fighting style that lets him get away with the sort of stealth and trickery that the samurai code considers to be dishonourable. Just as well he’s more relaxed about it, because that stuff’s super fun.

Shop Ghost of Tsushima here

2. William Adams

best video game samurai nioh william

As if learning to fight like a samurai wasn’t cool enough, this Irish sailor-turned-samurai also has the ability to fight off yōkai. Incidentally, William is based on a real-life Englishman of the same name, who went on to become a samurai known by the name Miura Anjin. He didn’t have yōkai-fighting powers, though.

Shop the Nioh games here

3. Genichiro Ashina

best video game samurai sekiro shadows die twice genichiro ashina

Main character Sekiro is a ninja, but he faces off against quite a few samurai over the course of the game. There are also plenty of supernatural enemies, like a giant dragon and the biggest snake you ever saw, but one of our favourites to battle is a regular human: Genichiro Ashina, who attacks Sekiro near the start of the game and leaves him for dead. Fight him once or twice and you’ll see why the samurai had such a fearsome reputation.

Shop Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice here

4. Haohmaru

best video game samurai shodown haohmaru

This talented swordsman appears in every Samurai Shodown game to date, and it’s fair to say he’s one of the most iconic samurai in gaming. His character was inspired by the real-life samurai Musashi Miyamoto, who supposedly never once lost a duel.

Shop Samurai Shodown here

5. The Samurai Dandy

best video game samurai okami samurai dandy

Definitely the most stylish samurai on our list. We’ve very impressed with his bold choice of a vast ruff to go with his more conventional samurai attire.

Shop Okami HD here

BONUS: Johnny Silverhand

best video game samurai cyberpunk 2077 keanu reeves

Just kidding. He’s the lead singer of the band Samurai, a major figure in the tabletop game, and he’s played by the breathtaking Keanu Reeves.

Shop Cyberpunk 2077 here