Stealth in video games is something that never losses its appeal. One of the most wonderful feelings you can have gaming is flawlessly outsmarting the AI and getting a perfect run-through without a mark on you. It's a sensational feeling that can't be matched. That feeling defines the games on this list, as we rank the five best stealth games of all time. Each game has earned its spot because it brought an original and nerve-racking experience to its stealth gameplay.
The stealth in these games isn't easily accomplished and rather has a challenging learning curve that most likely will result in a lot of trial and error. They also need a tremendous degree of concentration and mastermind-like thinking. Expect to struggle through these games, since they are designed to provide the most immersive stealth in gaming. We hope you expected nothing less, as we rank the five best stealth games of all time.
5. Dishonored (Series)
Mentally mapping out a level and its targets add's great amounts of strategy to stealth games. This is something that was in full effect in both of the Dishonored games. The first Dishonored evidently proved just how much thought can go behind a level, and the Dishonored 2 furthered it. Both games do a great job of rewarding players who take the time to masterfully map out their levels which was a challenge to completely stealth through.
It's a game where trial and error is essential to planning the perfect stealth route. Regardless, it was a challenging learning curve, that made spending time and effort planning your attack worth it. Also being able to see how many civvies you have killed, alarms you've raised, and bodies you've left in plain sight made your execution during levels a rewarding experience. Both Dishonored games delivered on all of these aspects with flying colors. Resulting in some of the most noteworthy stealth in video game history.
4. Mark of the Ninja
One of the best games to come to the stealth genre came in the form of a 2D side-scroller. Mark of the Ninja was released back in 2012, and it still stands today as one of the best to do stealth gameplay. You not only had to be aware of enemies seeing you, but you had to be cautious of lighting, sound, and sticking close to the shadows. It was much more in-depth than your typical stealth game, which only finds you getting caught if you're in direct eyesight of the person.
Additionally, there are a plethora of options available to you when carrying out your stealth strategy. You can hide in vents, doors, and even hang upside down in the shadows. The game also rewarded you with skill points based on how well you go about the levels going undetected. Doing so gave you more options for skills which further opened up the variety of your stealth moves. It also encourages you to accomplish the level while remaining entirely hidden and without harming anyone.
3. Metal Gear Solid (Series)
One thing all other games didn't think of, was hiding under a box. It's such a simple and silly idea that adds to the amusement of stealth throughout the Metal Gear Solid series. It may be a little childish, but if you've played any of the Metal Gear games, you know they are the epitome of stealth gameplay. All games in the Metal Gear series have delivered on their stealth gameplay, but the par was taken up a level when the game had its first 3D title, Metal Gear Solid.
At this point in the series, we really begin to see Solid Snake's stealth prowess on full display. Aside from being out of sight, you must also avoid setting off any alarms and be mindful of your surroundings. You can distract and even trigger enemy detection, and no level felt right until it was done subtly. This really set the tone for how these games should be played and later titles like Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain expanded the concept to a comprehensive and enjoyable stealth-focused game. Kudos to all of the Metal Gear games for being one of the early pioneers of stealth.
2. The Last of Us (Series)
When it comes to crucial moments in stealth gameplay, the Last of Us is surely a top contender. One small slip-up in this game you will be taking on a lot more than you bargained for. That's because the game is focused on stealth gameplay, and while you can run and gun, it makes for a much harder challenge. Most likely, you're dealing with a swarm of infected and enemy Fireflies at the same time, so stealth is your best bet.
Even though stealth is the better option, it still poses a good challenge. You have to be aware of your sound around clickers and stay out of sight of all enemies. There are always multiple threats at play, but multiple ways to deal with them. You can throw bottles or bricks to distract them or trigger the Infected onto fireflies, giving you a quick getaway.
The stealth in The Last of Us and Part II is executed with a thriller vibe to it, bringing maximum immersion to stealth gameplay. Every level feels eerie and like there is a threat around every corner or sometimes creeping up on your back. The game does have a lot of shooter components, but it rewards players who take the time to master its beautifully crafted stealth gameplay.
1. Hitman (Series)
There aren't many stealth games that let you dress up in various disguises to sneak by guards. With that, stealth games which let you kill your victim by utilizing your surroundings, making it appear as an accident or in other wonderfully humorous ways. These are just a couple of the features that make the Hitman series such a notable and enjoyable stealth franchise. The game required players to properly equip themselves and carefully plan their routes, which is vital for becoming one of the best stealth games of all time. We're not looking for mindless stealth gaming, and Hitman doesn't deliver that across any of its titles.
The peak of the Hitman series has to be the latest installment, Hitman 3. While the usual content remained excellent, the addition of Escalation Contracts transformed stealth into a bizarrely entertaining experience. Additionally, players could design their own masterfully crafted levels and open them up to the public. Making for a fresh experience aside from the in-game levels. There are so many subtle details that contribute to the Hitman series being the best stealth experience, proving it to be the greatest.
So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Are there other stealth games that we should know about? Let us know in the comments below or over on our socials here!