The 10 Best Stealth Games I’ve Ever Played

Our look at The Stealth-Based Elite.

There are a couple different things you picture when you hear “Stealth Games.” We think of sneaking behind an enemy or around them. You imagine making little to no noise, trying to leave no trace that you passed through or, in certain situations, making sure to kill everyone, leaving no one alive and all without sounding an alarm or being seen by human eyes or cameras. The mark of a good stealth game is the coming together of all these images into an engaging story and elegant design, in a way that is challenging as well as entertaining. With that in mind, I’ve brought together the ten best stealth games, and series of games, that I have had the joy of playing. If you’ve played one of the games below, you can probably count on the others to give you a great story and a great challenge.

1. Splinter Cell

The Splinter Cell series of games has been a shining beacon of what a good stealth game should be. From the very first Splinter Cell to Splinter Cell: Conviction, all have provided an outstanding experience for stealth and espionage gaming. Its latest incarnation, Conviction, also gives us black and white vs. color depending on whether you’re hidden or exposed, respectfully. That, mixed with what could only be described as being able to call your shots (mark a certain number of targets and then quickly dispatch them) makes Conviction a bit easier on the novice players and gives the veterans something new to master. 

2. Assassin’s Creed

Ad – content continues below

Assassin’s Creed is relatively new compared to some of the other titles here, but this series has proven itself to be a phenomenon that will not be denied. The ability to not only take out an enemy stealthily, but to also lose your followers in crowds, by blending into others, makes this one of the most realistic and fun of the bunch, though I think it would be easier to blend into the crowd if you were also able to raise or lower your hood, as your followers are obviously supposed to be looking for a hooded man. Don’t mind me, though. It’s a single complaint in an entire series of games that are literally awe-inspiring.

3. Dishonored

Brand new and debuting near the head of the pack, Dishonored has become one of my new favorites. While it doesn’t quite have the open world of Assassin’s Creed or some of the others on this list, the graphics, gameplay and storyline along with the open way it allows you to complete almost every mission makes this game as stealthy or gory as the person playing it. And if you’re looking for an extra challenge, try going for the Ghost check-mark in your mission summary, which means you were not detected by any guard, any weeper or even any of their bloodhounds. Mixing stealth with magic such as teleportation and making your enemies crumble to dust upon their demise makes this title original and creative.

4. The Saboteur

This is a truly beautiful game. The story is full and emotional, the graphics lovely and the ability to blow up Nazi soldiers is nothing short of cathartic, no matter who you are. During the course of the game, most of the gameplay involves sneaking around, planting bombs and trying to free Paris from Nazi control. This game also employs a Black and White vs. Color visual representation, though here the use of color shows the areas of Paris that have been freed. If that isn’t amazing enough, the old music on the radio adds to the ambiance perfectly.

5. Alpha Protocol

Ad – content continues below

I was pleasantly surprised by this game. I found it in a bargain bin last year and was not expecting much. Instead, I got a stealth based RPG with an extremely customizable skills set, multiple endings and plot lines based on conversation decisions, and a base storyline that I wouldn’t mind watching in a feature film someday. My only disappointment is the lack of customization when it came to what the character looked like, but that you can customize him at all is still impressive considering that this is the only game on this list with that capability.

6. Second Sight

One of my favorite games for Xbox, this one isn’t just a stealthy game. It has suspense, a strong story, psychic powers, military cover ups, ghosts, and a mental asylum. The twists and turns in the story are great, even if you’ve played it before,and while it doesn’t have multiple endings, the replay value is very good. What else could you ask for? 

7. Metal Gear 

This series has been around for so many years and with each new game it has evolved into a gaming superstar. Probably the best known of the series is Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty, as well as the newer games, where you play not only as Snake but as Solidus Snake and Raiden as well. The only downside I have seen to this series are the viewing angles for the cameras. Unlike most of the other games on this list, many of the camera angles in Metal Gear are set and the view scrolls, making sneaking harder and shooting your enemies more challenging, which can be both good and bad.

Ad – content continues below

8. Batman: Arkham Asylum

I’m sorry to say my experience with this game is mostly with the demo version I was able to get a hold of, but the entire premise is based on stealth. As the Caped Crusader, you’re trapped inside Arkham Asylum by a newly escaped Joker, who has generously invited you to play with him and his newly released friends. Staying close to the shadows, you are at your best when being the thing that goes bump/Sock!/Pow!/Bam! in the night.

9. Stolen

An interesting game. You are a high tech acrobatic thief, initially sent to break into a museum, when you’re suddenly accused of a murder you didn’t commit, all in a futuristic metropolis. The controls were a bit odd, but once you get used to them they can be very intuitive. The stealth aspect is not easy and being placed into a high-security museum at the very start is sort of throwing you into the deep end of the pool, but it’s definitely worth the cash if you’re looking to sneak around, have high-tech gadgets and try to uncover a conspiracy. 

10. Hitman

Ad – content continues below

This series has you controlling Agent 47, a hit man for hire and one of the best. The game allows for executing the contracts in different ways. While this title is last on the list, this is not for lack of awesomeness, but the lack of me being able to play the whole series yet. I know what you’re thinking. “How dare you not play through them all yet?!” Well, don’t worry. They’re on my list.

While the order I put these games in is specific to my own tastes and experiences, I invite you to try them all. I think you’ll all agree that the fact that they deserve to be on the list is more important than the order in which we place them. They are the Stealth-Based Elite, at least in my eyes. But hey, if you disagree, or there’s a game you think should be here.  Get into those COMMENTS!