Video games have become a major part of our culture. A couple of decades ago it would have been unheard of, but now the biggest games are routinely making more money than some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters. Since video games are so popular, it’s no wonder that the list of genres in the medium has grown over the years. With so many genres and subgenres, there is something for everyone.
One of the genres that gets often overlooked but that regularly produces amazing games is the stealth genre. While some might consider it a subgenre of action and adventure games, the quality and quantity of the games out there should merit their category. Here are the best stealth game franchises that you can pick up or download and play right now.
1 Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell
The Splinter Cell series consists of 7 games, but there hasn’t been a new one since 2013. In this politico-thriller game, you take control of secret agent Sam Fisher, who works for the NSA. Over the course of the games, you need to eliminate enemies and complete objectives in enemy territory. You work mostly alone, sneaking through haciendas and complexes to get to the terrorists who want to kill and destroy to achieve their goals. You can stand up and battle it out if you want, but your best bet is often to wait in the shadows to strike.
There are 5 Hitman games in the original series, plus several spin-offs and mobile games. As the name would suggest, the Hitman games are about completing assassinations without getting caught. There are countless ways you can kill your targets and those who get in your way, including the classic sniper shot to drawing your quarry in a toilet. If you get spotted, the game will punish you, so you need to stick to the shadows and find creative ways to get around and behind enemies.
3 Sniper Elite
The Sniper Elite Franchise may not be as well-known as some of the other ones on this list, but it packs just as much of a punch. There are currently ten games in the series, including four where you battle murderous zombies. The Sniper Elite games take the gore and realism up to another level. With the X-ray cam, you can watch your bullets enter your targets and impact their vital organs. The bullet can allow you to follow along with your ammo until it hits the bullseye on an enemy. While there is some ability to get into gun fights, most of the game is spent creeping around enemy bases and working to take out your primary objective. When you get spotted, then most often your best choice is to run away. Otherwise, you will almost certainly get taken out by the large number of enemies that are no doubt coming at you.
4 Batman: Arkham
These games are a little different than the ones above in that they don’t involve shooting or war. Batman doesn’t use guns as a matter of principle, so you don’t get to, either. While there is a lot of action in the Arkham games, some of the most exciting and engrossing parts are when you need to be stealthy to avoid getting caught. Batman is at his best when he is using darkness and deception to his benefit, and you need to do the same. You can silently take out henchmen as they guard their boss’s chambers, or sneak past while grappling through the air. Batman can certainly fight it out with the best of them, but sometimes it’s best to be silent and precise to take down the Rogues Gallery.
5 The Last Of Us
The Last of Us franchise consists of two games, plus a recent remake of the first one. It is a post-apocalyptic thriller that finds Joel and young Ellie trying to survive while traveling across the country. Along the way they have to battle mutant creatures and humans alike. There is a lot of direct fighting in the game, but the stealth aspects are when it gets the most intense. While you are hiding behind ruined cars or rubble, you truly feel like you could get spotted at any time. Your character could be kicking mutant butt one minute, and then be overmatched and trying to sneak away the next.
6 Metal Gear
Metal Gear is often credited as the game that started it all for the stealth genre. The first Metal Gear game came out in 1986, and there have been 26 games and spinoffs in the years since. In the original game, you are introduced to Solid Snake, who is tasked with infiltrating the enemy to find and destroy Metal Gear, which is a superweapon that can launch nuclear missiles. As the games got more modern, the stories got more complex, producing some of the top-selling games of all time. The franchise has sold almost 60 million copies to date. Fans love the challenge and strategy of having to use your wits more than your guns to achieve your goals.
Stealth games are incredibly popular, and with good reason. It’s one thing to play a fighting game where you can often repeat the same moves and techniques and have success. However, with video game technology and artificial intelligence evolving all the time, stealth games provide incredible challenges for players to overcome. Any one of these franchises will give you hundreds of hours of strategizing and brain-building adventure.