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
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.
2. William Adams
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.
3. 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.
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.
5. The 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.