Top Stealth Video Games Of All Time
Now, most people tend to play the standard shooters like the Call of Duty Series, Battlefield or alternatively like a quick game of Fifa before going out with friends; but everyone has to admit that they like to occasionally sit down over the weekend and smash out a story game from time to time. Some of the best story games out there are stealth games in my opinion, and I thought it would be interesting to look at some of the best stealth games of all time. With my top list, I wanted to move away from the standard top tens you see and differentiate the list with crossover genres; so you may see the introduction of games that you were not expecting to see in the list…
13. Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor
One of the most popular film franchises of all time has to be Lord of the Rings. Whether you tuned in for the epic battles, scary beasts or all the mums out there, for Aragorn, there is no denying that it is unbelievable; and lucky for us, we’ve got some pretty good games out of it too!
One of these games being Middle Earth – Shadow of Mordor. The game was released on the 30th of September 2014 and is an open world hack and slash following Talion, the captain of rangers at Gondor.
Now Shadow of Mordor isn’t entirely a stealth game, hence why it hasn’t made the top ten, but it does incorporate stealth within the game as you sneak into Orc strongholds and other dangerous areas; meaning that keeping a low-profile is paramount.
12. Payday 2 (2013)
It goes without saying that Payday 2 would make the list and serve instead of its predecessor Payday 1. The game itself built massively from the first installment of the game and the guys at Overkill Software did an incredible job of it. Whilst some gamers may say that payday isn’t as stealthy as other games amongst the list, it’s regarded as a stealth game as the whole idea of being a bank robber has to include some stealth at the end of the day; doesn’t it?
Payday 2 is a cooperative first-person shooter released not too long ago in 2013 and has made it on to both pre-gen and next-gen consoles.
The whole idea behind Payday surrounds bank heists, drug trafficking, and smuggling, basically everything you shouldn’t ever do! You have to keep a very stealthy profile in Payday 2 to avoid being caught by cameras, police, and staff to complete your objectives, and you do this through stealth killing, gunfights, and hiding.
The Crimewave edition of the game was announced for next-gen consoles and included more features and add-ons adapted from the PC version.
11. Dead By Daylight
If you haven’t played Dead by Daylight before, then you’re missing out. Put simply, you are split into two teams, one being a team of survivors, and the other a single person playing as the dangerous ‘killer’; having the choice between the likes of Freddy Krueger, Jason Vorhees, and others notorious horror serial killers, all with unique abilities and weapons. The survivor’s objective is to carefully sneak around the map and turn on the generators to open the exit to escape the area whilst the killer tries to hunt them down at the same time. When repairing generators and running around to avoid certain death, it’s very difficult to keep a low profile and escape, so you have to do your best job trying to survive.
If you decide to play with headphones, then expect to hear your heartbeat pound louder and louder as the killer approaches, and if he spots you, it’s very difficult to try and getaway. You have to use traps, broken doors and other interactions to escape! The killer has two strikes which will put you in a near-death state, and he then has to try and place you on a meathook for you to eventually die and be kicked out of the game; where your fellow survivors have the chance to try and revive you. Difficult right!
The reason why Dead By Daylight hasn’t made the top ten is because it lacks any real story and differentiation of gameplay, but is exciting and jumpy, so if you are a horror fan or lover of intense gameplay, I highly recommend picking up Dead by Daylight.
10. Batman Arkham Asylum
Out of all of the superheroes and supervillains, one which sticks very close to fan’s hearts has to be Batman. This is because he was not in fact born with superpowers and at the end of the day is just a normal guy who prevents crime in Gotham city whilst having a constant feud with the infamous Joker. August 2009 saw the introduction of the first game to the Arkham series, Batman Arkham Asylum. The story of the game is based around Arkham Asylum itself, wouldn’t you have guessed, where you will spend most of your time venturing around the endless wards, botanical gardens and mysterious catacombs in a bid to prevent the Joker from carrying out his master plan. Of Course, you are amongst the Joker’s fellow comrades being stuck within the asylum so stealth and combat make up most of the game.
The reason that its asylum who makes the list as opposed to the other Batman games like Arkham Knight and Arkham City is purely because of the story and eeriness to come out of the game, and that doesn’t mean that the other two are bad either!
9. The Last of Us
One of my favorite games ever, and a game to be scored 10/10 by IGN. It’s a game considered to be the best PS3 exclusive game and also one of the most successful as a remaster for the PS4, you simply have to feel sorry for those XBOX and PC players that can’t access it.
The Last of Us is an Action-Adventure Survival game that follows the characters of Joel, Tess, and Ellie as they battle to survive the harsh conditions left after a human monstrosity happens. An infection that has destroyed the United States and turned most humans into savages known as the infected who want to turn leftover humans. Now I don’t want to give much away so I’ll keep it simple, Joel and Tess find something out about Ellie which changes everything and the way you perceive the game.
You play it as a third-person shooter, which allows you to peek around corners and sneak around the infected as you progress throughout the storyline; it’s imperative that you keep a stealthy low-profile as otherwise you can be caught and eaten alive! The game was a free pickup for PS Plus customers in October 2019, and if you were unfortunate enough to miss out on that then you can pick up this game for cheap these days from a variety of places like Amazon, and various other stores like Argos.
8. Hitman 2
Hitman… the guy we all wish we could be on the quiet. Hitman 2 is a video game for PS4, XBOX One and PC which was released recently in 2018 and was developed by IO Interactive and published by Warner Bros. Hitman 2 is a direct sequel to Hitman (2016) which was a hit success amongst avid gamers.
The game itself is a stealth game as you have to complete a variety of different story missions and contracts as Agent 47 with stealth killing being a common occurrence, where he must travel across the world to executive high profile criminals. It may sound like its an easy game, but it really isn’t and each contract is almost like a puzzle. There are 6 different story missions which can all take around 1.5 hours to 2 hours to complete so to complete the main story it could take the player around 10 hours to fully finish the game. So if you like quick to complete, exciting stealthy games; Hitman 2 is a must buy.
7. Dishonored 2
If you like adaptable action-adventure games that incorporate the idea of stealth, then you’re going to love Dishonored 2. A game developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks in 2016, it is a sequel to the popular Dishonored 1 which was snapped up by fans in 2012. The real beauty about Dishonored is the fact that you have the choice between taking a stealthy approach to your missions or on the contrary bludgeon your way through the story with magical abilities and usage of weapons.
You can also decide at the start of the game whether you want to play as Emily or Corvo Attano which will, in fact, offer a variety of different endings to the main game all based upon your playstyle and choices throughout the story. Dishonored 2 is argued to be an outstanding sequel to the first installment of the game, and actually won it a couple of awards; being ‘Best Action/Adventure Game’ at The Game Awards and ‘Game of the Year’ for PC Gamer’s Best of 2016.
6. Thief 2 (2000)
The second installment of Thief ‘The Metal Age’ did well in building upon the foundations of Thief: The Dark Project in that it could be argued to have a better-built storyline and narrative as well as better flowing gameplay, which found many fans agreeing that it was the best Thief game amongst the franchise and one of the best stealth video games of all time. The game follows Garrett’s life as a Thief following the aftermath of the notorious god Trickster’s downfall. His task now is to battle the problems caused by a dark and sinister elected sheriff going by the name of Gorman Stuart, where he faces a series of issues on his path to success.
The second installment of the game sees exciting new levels, new equipment, and new characters and was actually the last game to be created by developers Looking Glass Studios before their sad demise. The whole point of Thief in itself is to keep incredibly stealthy amongst the shadows as you take out guards and other enemies to complete mission objectives, and by no means is it easy!
5. Assassin’s Creed Franchise
The Assassin’s Creed franchise is one of the most well-known action-adventure stealth games around and has been going around for many years, where some believe that it has had its peak. The Franchise consists of ten games up to now starting way back on November 13th, 2007 and the latest release being October 5th, 2018, but I’ll get into each individual game later. The overall idea of Assassin’s Creed follows some historical truth in that it correlates with real-historical events but is mainly fiction. The whole concept is that you play as an Assassin controlled through a way-back time machine called the animus, which allows the character Desmond Miles to live through his ancestors in a bid to alter history and kill their Templar enemies.
Below is a small description of each Assassin’s Creed game to see which one best suits you (and sorry it’s rather long). If you don’t consider yourself a hardcore gamer and don’t think you could play all of the games in order then don’t worry, as you could easily get away with playing the games separately as you can quickly get to grips with the prior storyline, and plus its open-world so why not explore!
Assassin’s Creed (2007)
Assassin’s Creed is the first game of the series and the one to create that much success that it created a desperate want for more games from fans. Like most games in the franchise it follows Desmond retracing the footsteps of his ancestors and living as them through the animus, but in particular, his ancestor Altair, who must track down the Piece of Eden from the infamous Templars. Altair is set to eliminate a series of targets, where he then finds that they are part of a bigger picture and a picture that could destroy lives in the wrong hands.
Assassin’s Creed 2 (2009)
Assassin’s Creed 2 is considered to be one of the best games of the whole series and I have to admit my favorite too. It features exciting and stealthy gameplay, whilst having a diverse storyline that explains more to the story of the whole franchise. Assassin’s Creed 2 see’s Desmond move away from Altair and to the most notorious character of the franchise, Ezio Auditore.
The game is set during the Italian Renaissance of the 15th and 16th centuries and sees Ezio claim vengeance upon those who betrayed him. The second installment of the game sees better gameplay and increased visuals and should be picked up as soon as possible if you haven’t already played it.
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood (2010)
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood sees you playing as Ezio Auditore again, but now as a notorious master assassin with the objective of rebuilding his assassin brotherhood and defeating the Borgia. The third installment of the game innovates on its predecessors with better HD graphics and advanced combat mechanics with the introduction of dual-wielded weapons and ranged weapons, all used to take down the troublesome templars.
Brotherhood saw increased engagement due to the installment of a multiplayer mode which brought about many competitive gamers, where you had to stealthily take down your target and defend yourself at the same time whilst trying your best to blend in with civilians and not give your position away.
Assassin’s Creed Revelations (2011)
Assassin’s Creed Revelations followed Brotherhood as a direct sequel with the intention of building upon the story and featuring even more weapons and a more diverse multiplayer mode. It did incredibly well in terms of sale where it was found that 61% of sales occurred within the first day of release. Many fans do however believe that although the story was interesting, it still did not live up to previous games.
Assassin’s Creed 3 (2012)
Looks may be deceiving with Assassin’s Creed 3 as it is, in fact, the fifth installment of the game and not the third. It was released upon a variety of different platforms and follows the character of Connor which differentiates from previous games. The game itself is set away from Italy and during the American revolution of the 18th century. Assassin’s Creed 3 brought about swift climbing and free-running mechanics with a diverse range of characters for an intriguing main story, as well as another successful multiplayer.
Assassin’s Creed Black Flag (2013)
The sixth installment of Assassin’s Creed was a major success within the series; with the introduction of exploration like none before with player access to ships and in-sea battles. The game is set in the 18th century during the golden age of piracy in the Carribean, where you access locations such as Havana and Kingston amongst many other islands.
Assassin’s Creed Rogue (2014)
Assassin’s Creed Rogue could be argued to be the black sheep of the family as it didn’t bring about as much popularity as the other games did, but that doesn’t make it a bad game. It was the last game to be released on PS3 and XBOX360 prior to the next-gen consoles and follows on from Black Flag and before Assassin’s Creed Unity. It differentiates from the other games in that, It follows the assassin, Shay Patrick Cormac, an assassin who turned templar, in a bid to wipe out brothers of the former brotherhood.
Assassin’s Creed Unity (2014)
Assassin’s Creed Unity was the first game to be released on the next-gen console and unfortunately, for the most part, ended up being quite a flop. It wasn’t due to the plot or story of the game, but mainly due to the amount of bugs players were having to put up with, making it very difficult to play upon its release. The story is set in Paris during the French Revolution and follows Arno Victor Dorian exposing and eliminating those who have caused the revolution.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (2015)
Syndicate is a pretty amazing game and was a game that listened to fans’ requests for bringing about Britain in the industrial revolution. The story follows Jacob and Evie Frye who are in fact twin assassins whose task it is to exterminate the templars in London who are putting the monarchy at risk of downfall. The gameplay is smooth, and a particular idea of stealth is presented through Evie who has to keep a low-profile in a busy city whilst taking out her templar enemies.
Assassin’s Creed Origins (2017)
Set in ancient Egypt, Assassin’s Creed Origins moved away from Europe, in a bid to create a game based upon Egypt in the first century. When the game was first announced, it created a little turbulence amongst the AC community due to a huge change in the combat system, which players argued took the stealth out of the game itself. It introduced leveling systems and a hitbox-based combat system which made the game almost feel as though it was an MMORPG.
Nonetheless, the story is brilliant and the combat system turned out to be pretty good, which followed onto the most recent installment of the game.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (2018)
The most recent installment of the game is Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and is an assassin creed to be set in Ancient Greece. Stealth, in some parts of the game, has been taken out where the player is amongst huge battles, but that does not mean for one second that it’s not stealthy. It is Assassin’s Creed at the end of the day!
4. Deus Ex – Human Revolution (2011)
There is a reason that Deus Ex has so many titles and has done well over the past 19 years and that’s because it’s a brilliant game, isn’t it obvious? The only thing that wasn’t obvious to me was deciding which title is best. I was stuck between the original Deus Ex published way back in 2000 and Deus Ex Human Revolution released in 2011, and went with the modern title. Human Revolution is an action role-playing game that mainly incorporates the idea of stealth and plays as a first-person shooter.
For a title published in 2011, the game incorporates stunning visual aesthetics, crisp gameplay and a story that many fans consider to be one of the best stories of gaming history.
The main plot of the game follows the main protagonist, Jensen, who was in the past an ex-cop and is now a private security chief for a company called Sarif Industries. After his girlfriend is kidnapped by a terrorist firm called Purity Fist and he hears of their evil plans, Jensen must make it his mission to travel the globe and put an end to this monstrosity. I don’t want to ruin the story so I won’t, but it’s estimated that the story can take around 25 hours to complete; so you will definitely get your money’s worth!
3. Alien Isolation
Now surely you must have heard of Alien… a 1979 horror masterpiece that took the world by surprise and started the movement for a franchise of popular movies and videogames; one of which being Alien Isolation. A stealthy survival horror game released not long ago in 2014 and available upon a variety of different consoles both pre-gen and next-gen.
The game itself is based on the movie in that the objective is to avoid the alien at all costs and make your way through the story using a variety of different tools. Alien Isolation differentiates itself from previous other games because of the huge emphasis based on being stealthy and keeping hidden at all times as on some difficulties you can only afford to be hit once before you die and are devoured by the Alien. The gameplay is eerie and scary so is not for the faint-hearted, but if you love stealth games and the Alien movies, there is no way that you won’t enjoy this game.
2. Metal Gear Solid
Hitting the number two spot has to be Metal Gear Solid. Metal Gear consists of 11 games starting way back in 1987 and most recently in 2018, giving it a lifespan of a whopping 31 years. Making it one of the pioneers of stealth games as a whole! Doesn’t that say it all?
To give you a quick overview, they are action-adventure stealth video games based upon special forces soldiers mostly being Solid Snake and Big Boss, who you may have also heard of in the hit fighting game Super Smash Bros; having to uncover and find the Metal Gear superweapon amongst other storylines which span over the wide series of games. Whilst its argued that the best Metal Gear Solid is, in fact, the first installment of the game, it’s incredibly difficult to choose between the rest of them so I’d have to rate the series as a whole as being one the best stealth series out there. The most recent installment of the game is Metal Gear Survive, and the highly commended 2015 installment, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.
1. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Chaos Theory/ Rainbow Six Siege
I have ruined it I know having two titles to take the number one spot, but it’s Tom Clancy at the end of the day and I’ll explain myself now. For starters, if you were wondering who Tom Clancy actually is, then you will be surprised to find that he is actually an author, and the games are loosely based upon the books that he has written.
The reason as to why I have chosen the two games is because Cell Theory Chaos excels in terms of story and Rainbow Six Siege has hit the headlines due to its multiplayer success in recent years and still after being released in 2015, is one of the most popular games in terms of players and streamers.
Splinter Cell Theory Chaos follows the story of Samuel Fisher, who is sent to rescue an American programmer, due to his knowledge of an incredibly dangerous superweapon that could turn the world on its head. After learning of the programmer’s death and leak of information, Sam must travel the world to speak to intelligent individuals to learn of the algorithms and put a stop to those who will abuse the knowledge.
The game incorporates a high level of stealth, with the introduction of an aural monitor that measures the amount of noise he makes, which you can use during the adventure to sneak past guards and get to his objective, whilst stealthily killing on the way of course.
On the other hand, you have the multiplayer success of Rainbow Six Siege, a game to be frequently streamed and developed even after it’s release four years ago.
The gameplay of Rainbow Six Siege sits similarly to that of Call of Duty’s search and destroy mode, which has been a hit success since COD’s multiplayer released, however, it could be said that Six Siege has certainly built upon that offering PVE modes and PVP modes. Some of the available modes offered are Hostage, Bomb, Secure Area, Terrorist Hunt amongst more.