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5 Best Splinter Cell Games of All Time, Ranked

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Ever since the guys over at Ubisoft first tapped into their inner voices and pitched the concept for a Bond-like video game series, we sort of half expected for it to be an overwhelming success. Lo and behold, Splinter Cell was eventually carved, and to our absolute pleasure, it was everything we came to expect and more. And since then, the series has only continued to broaden its ambition, combining its knowledge of stealth with a series of groundbreaking story arcs to create next-level chapters.

Of course, it has been several years since we've caught a glimpse of Sam Fisher and the shadowy cesspit of the criminal underworld, but that hasn't exactly stopped us from talking about it. And rightfully so, seeing as it has made quite the impression on the stealth front these past twenty or so years. But let's talk about the best of the best in the series; the very entries that defined Fisher's journey across sky, sea and sand. Here are, in our opinion, five of the best Splinter Cell games of all time, ranked.

5. Splinter Cell

Splinter Cell Trailer

Splinter Cell had the lofty task of building on something that had been done a dozen times before — only with a couple of additional tools to help sever its connection with the overplayed genre. Of course, stealth, being the primary focus of the game, was an enormous part of its construction, effectively putting it right up there with Metal Gear Solid as its unofficial next of kin. But once it found its feet in following chapters, the bond was eventually unknotted, leaving Fisher and Ubisoft to soar freely without the pressures of living up to another name.

But let's talk about the gameplay from the first Splinter Cell. Arguably, it was a whole lot better and more advanced than entries that stormed out in much later years. It was also a solid way to introduce the protagonist into the fold, as well as line up a volley of events to have us wrap our heads around for later stories. The action was, of course, heavily focused on stealth, and the rest just sort of followed suit. All in all, the first game was a clean example of how to make a compelling first impression. Without it, we never would've had all the fantastic sequels to follow in its footsteps. Obviously.


4. Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow

Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow trailer

After basking beneath a shower of critical success, Ubisoft finally made the ultimate decision to cash-in on Splinter Cell by developing a sequel. And let me tell you — they certainly smashed the nail on the head with it. Not only was it able to further advance the fluidity of the controls, but also introduce a lot of new ideas to the story, with more outdoor and daytime maps to scrub through.

Story-wise, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow basically changed the script entirely, putting focus on a new tale while maintaining the tight gameplay mechanics that fans praised from the first instalment. All in all, it was a well-oiled machine with very few spanners to sabotage its collection of cogs. And for a game that launched in 2004, I suppose that's all we could've asked for.


3. Splinter Cell: Double Agent

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent (E3 2006 Trailer | HQ)

Many would quite easily say that Double Agent was the turning point for the Ubisoft franchise, and an important move for the Sam Fisher legacy. And while it was broken down into two separate versions, with one being for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, and the other being for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, it was actually the former that ended up being a critical success. The next-gen version, of course, wasn't a bad game. But it did, however, break the comfort zone entirely, with more mini-games and gearless missions than any other game.

Both versions of Double Agent are great, sure. But as far as superiority goes, the second version, being the downgraded PlayStation 2 version, was on another level entirely. It played exactly the same as classic Splinter Cell games, bringing comfort and familiarity to an adoring audience that longed for a follow-up to the iconic Chaos Theory. And the fact it was developed by Ubisoft Montreal, the same team who built the original game, just sort of spoke volumes for it.


2. Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Splinter Cell Blacklist | World Premiere Trailer [NORTH AMERICA]

Now, there's definitely a fine line between Blacklist and it's previous chapters, in the fact that it opts for a more action-heavy experience than a common stealth tale. And while it was a fantastic way to switch up the genres ever so slightly and locate new waters to dip toes into — many OG fans did have to think twice about the story they were witnessing unfold, almost as if it was an entirely new franchise coming to life.

Don't get me wrong, Splinter Cell: Blacklist is an incredible game, and one of Ubisoft's finest creations in the last ten years — but the lack of stealth definitely rocked the ship ever so slightly with the majority of players. But other than that, the story was on par with previous entries in the timeline and, thankfully, it also delivered some stellar multiplayer worlds, including the well-known Spies vs Mercs mode, which has been a fan favourite ever since Pandora Tomorrow launched.


1. Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell : Chaos Theory - I Believe Trailer

Yes, it's Chaos Theory — everybody's all-time favourite Splinter Cell game. Even with another bunch of entries ahead of its release, the third game in the timeline still manages to retain the foothold in the wall of greats, with many people even standing by the statement of it being the staple of the Splinter Cell domain overall.

Combined with a fine-tuned gameplay structure and a thread of diverse levels, as well as a compelling plotline, Chaos Theory stands out as Ubisoft's magnum opus of 2005. From the tweaked stealth elements to the tight voice cast — everything about it effortlessly radiates perfection, and its PlayStation, Xbox and PC ports are ideal carriers for its iconic package of contents. Heck, even the N-Gage version found critical success. Now that's saying something.

So, how would you rank the Splinter Cell games? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.


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Jord is acting Team Leader at If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.