Whether it's scooting around a frosted mountain in search of gift-wrapped Christmas gifts, or straight up holding a cashier at gunpoint for pocket change—carrying out a video game heist can be fun in its own twisted sort of way. And while we don't exactly condone armed robbery in any way, shape or form, we do have to put our hands up and say, you know what—robbing virtual banks is actually pretty satisfying.
From developing the blueprints to help assess the ideal entry point, to infiltrating the vault to stock up on diamonds and a ludicrous amount of pre-loaded money clips—everything that transpires between is all fun and games, especially when taking all the risks alongside a partner in crime. But as far as the best of the best heist video games go, there are really only five that spring straight to mind. So, take it from us. Here are, in our opinion, the greatest heist chapters of all time, ranked.
5. The Godfather II
Being able to run the criminal underworld and knock pawns from the monopoly at will was The Godfather's USP. Having the ability to recruit a selection of highly-skilled mobsters to rob banks and claim names was, without a doubt, a whole other door that made the base game twice as inviting.
Although The Godfather 2 wasn't based entirely around heists, it did have its fair share of optional scores in its open world, which could be approached in any way, shape or form. After recruiting a criminal A-Team to fight alongside you, you could tear down the city's crime rings, bagging mounds of perks and loot along the way. And honestly, even after a decade since its Xbox 360 debut, its world still holds its place in our hearts.
4. Conker's Bad Fur Day (Online)
Not to be mistaken for the Live & Reloaded remake on Xbox, Conker's Bad Fur Day, specifically its online multiplayer mode, contained one of the greatest heist games of all time. Even though it only had the one map, and was pretty straightforward in terms of design, it was hands down one of the most unpredictable, and a real highlight in its catalog of bonus activities.
The idea was simple enough: four bank-robbing weasels, one bag of cash, and four color-coded escape rooms. The first to claim three bags of cash from the center and return them to the appropriate exit won the match. But buried between the nexus of chambers was a whole bunch of weapons that would help turn the tide. Think rocket launchers, baseball bats, and crossbows. When bunched together, it made up for some pretty intense gameplay—and we friggin' loved it.
Although not in possession of your traditional bank robbery scenarios, Thief does have its fair share of roguelike adventures, all of which revolve around thievery and forward planning. But when all's said and done, after rifling through the above two, Thief does make a sight for sore eyes, especially with its steampunk-inspired setting.
The vaults may be out, but Thief does open its doors to allow for you to rob, well—anyone. Using a combination of stealth and strategy, you're given the keys to unlock the wallets of any wandering citizen, all while uncovering a tyrant's darkest secrets. So, if you're keen to play the bad guy, as well as serve as the city's unorthodox knight in shining armor, then be sure to take a trip through Thief's dark and dismal world.
2. Kane & Lynch: Dead Men (Online)
As much as it pains us to admit that Kane & Lynch: Dead Men wasn't all that great narrative-wise, its online multiplayer mode was definitely able to serve redemption on a silver platter. And for what it's worth, even in 2022, it's still a fantastic game that deserves a lot more credit than what it once possessed.
The idea behind it was relatively simple. As a crew, you would infiltrate a bank, shovel through several waves of militia, and carve your way to the vault. After that, you had the choice of working as a team to divvy up the score and make way for the escape vehicle, or go rogue and betray your teammates. Once labeled a traitor, you would have to collect the leftover cash from dead teammates, and fight to reach the exit while the remaining robbers hunted you down. And from what we remember, that was a lot of fun back in the day.
1. Payday 2
Of course, anyone who's so much as glossed over the multiplayer market will know about Payday. Specifically, Payday 2, which was, in all fairness, the much better, all-encompassing version of the first take. Despite the game pushing nearly a decade old, it is still managing to harness quite a lofty player base, as well as quite the number of local and global competitions.
It's a real breath of fresh air, to see a developer go all-out on a premise that has been given the cold shoulder time and time again. With a full-blown campaign that utilizes prep work as well as all the best ingredients for a slew of memorable robberies, it becomes an all-in-one, end-all heist series. And hey, it's ridiculously entertaining, no matter which side of the fence you sit on.
So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? What heist has stood out to you the most over the years? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.