One would think, that horseback riding as a feature in video games would appear most of the time in wild west-themed titles, with lots of riding and gunning. But browsing through Japanese games, it quickly becomes clear that it's not the case.

A wide variety of genres have horse companions. Most of the time they only appear as additional gameplay elements, but in some cases they have a major role.

Sunset Riders

Konami's awesome run-and-gun title had fast paced segments (and bonus stages on the Genesis), where we had to ride on horses.


Knights of the Round

Jumping on a horseback in Capcom's medieval-themed beat 'em up grants us some extra powers for a limited time.


Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master

One mesmerizing, insanely good looking stage in Shinobi III - one of the best Shinobi games - is entirely on horseback.


Shadow of the Colossus

After eight years, the physics of our main companion, Argo, are still kick-ass.

Dynasty Wars


Dynasty Wars plays like a regular beat 'em up, with the exception that we are riding a horse the whole time. The game came out in 1989 and got a sequel, Warriors of Fate, in 1992 that still had horses.

Final Fantasy XIII


Horses are not that common in the Final Fantasy series, but strangely in XIII, Lightning's Eidolon, Odin transforms to a horse in Gestalt mode.

Fire Emblem series


Certain classes can mount horses and pegasi in all Fire Emblem games, with huge movement ranges and an indispensable role in combat.

Lone Ranger


Similar to Sunset Riders, in Konami's NES title Lone Ranger, certain parts of the game were in side-scrolling view where we had to jump across rocks and take down enemies.



Capcom's wild west-themed vertically-scrolling shooter had horses as an extra defensive pick-up, which could take three hits before dying.

The Heroic Legend of Arslan


The video game adaptation of the fantasy anime series with the same name came out in 1993 for the Sega CD in Japan. The gameplay is a bit similar (and dumbed down) to the Fire Emblem series, with some characters riding on horses.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time


Epona, Link's companion, is probably the most well-known mount in this list. She appeared first in Ocarina of Time and returned several times in future sequels.

If you have played other great Japanese titles with horses and riding in it, make sure to show us in the comments below with visual support.

sources: Schlauchi's LP, Chococat, JLMBfreafin, TRBgaming, stanburdman, malmeda2, MSCF1008, Arcade Museum, Zelda Dungeon