The 25 Best Stealth Games On PC

Below you will find the 25 best stealth games ever released on PC. There are sneaking missions, grand thefts, assassinations, escapes and infiltrations. Stay low, keep quiet and we’ll make it to the end.

Stealth games fall into various categories but I tend to think of them as either ‘pure’ or ‘diluted’. A pure stealth game is one in which the player has no alternative to sneaking and hiding, and in which combat is at best a frantic and painful last resort, and at worst is cause for immediate failure. Diluted stealth games are those in which creeping around in the shadows and avoiding contact with enemies, or incapacitating them without being spotted, is one of several options. In those games, there are usually several approaches to any given scenario and being spotted often simply causes the game to shift gears rather than stalling or spinning out of control.

Most of the games listed are pure, or tend toward purity. That’s partly because stealth is an option in so many games now that worlds are becoming more open that an argument could be made for almost any action game you care to mention. Even if you can choose to attack every enemy base with nothing but a knife and a (silent) prayer if you decide to leave your rocket launcher at home, that doesn’t mean the game is due for consideration on this list. That’s not a snub toward any particular game or series, it’s simply a way to exercise control and give the 25 games below some contextual meaning.

With that said, here we go.

You can navigate the list by clicking the links below or by following the next page button at the bottom of each page.

25-16

15-11

10-6

5-2

Number One

Complete List & Postscript

121 Comments

  1. Halk says:

    Good. You made the correct game the winner. You may carry on.

    (Although one could debate whether TG oder T2 is better, but since you really just grouped them together into a single entry (and they really are the same game anyway) that’s okay.)

    • Holysheep says:

      Made myself the same comment.

      TBH, when you replay them one after the other, there’s no question, Thief 2 is better. It has better level design, less stupid zombie moments and more of the stuff everyone liked in the first game, less easy AI and proper looking infiltration (sometimes in thief 1 you really felt like they could see you anytime but didn’t), much more challenge in the infiltration itself along with enemies that resist being knocked and such and levels that you can’t simply go through by knocking everyone out.

      Mind that I only had thief 1 as a kid, and wanted to play it all again (though with some HD mods, and T2 looks better after being modded, too) … and even despite nostalgia, prefered thief 2.

      Besides, thief 2’s name got some nice street cred.

      • Jenuall says:

        The more I replay them the more I lean towards Dark Project as the better of the LGS Thief titles.

        Don’t get me wrong Metal Age is a fantastic game and easily deserves to be alongside TDP, but I just don’t find it as interesting it enjoyable as the first these days. There’s less variety across the levels, the magical and otherworldly aspects are toned down too far, and personally I much preferred taking on the beasts and undead of the first from the slightly ridiculous robots introduced here.

        On my last replay of the two I flew through Dark Project but stalled somewhere toward the second half of Metal Age (although arguably I may just have been Thiefed out!)

        • Halk says:

          Fully agreed, I also have a slight preference for TG for exactly those reasons. Also, Karras is just so ridiculous.

          • Jay Load says:

            Droopy Dawg as religious monomaniac. Yeah, it never quite worked…or was another piece of stone-cold Looking Glass genius. I can never tell.

    • ziffel says:

      You left out Shadow of Mordor, a tremendous game which requires copious amounts of stealth.

      • Red Pool says:

        Meh, I wouldn’t put it on this list. Maybe top 50. But not 25.

  2. MadPen says:

    I also am glad to see that the correct game won.

  3. Prolar Bear says:

    Chaos Theory should be higher up, it’s a ridiculously tight game. Good list anyway, and I can’t help but recommend the first two Metal Gear Solid games, they’re essential.

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      Risingson says:

      I thought the same. Of course the kings here are the two thief games, but Chaos Theory (and the first Splinter Cell – and even the oldgen version of Double Agent) went to some places I have not experienced again in stealth games.

      BTW, remembering Amon Tobin for Bricolage is a bit too old school and very unfair with his career. Actually I think that his masterpiece is Chaos Theory: what he achieved here, the musicians he was able to recruit, the composition techniques, how well it translates to a videogame and how good it sounds as a standalone… yes, to me is his best so far.

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        Risingson says:

        I have loads of problems with the first two MGS games, anyway. As narrative they are laughable and I think that the examples are too well known, and as games they take themselves too seriously for the ridiculousness of it all. And I say I have problems with these two because they are the two I have played. They just were not fun at all to me.

        • Prolar Bear says:

          I’ve just finished MGS2 and I loved it. Sure, Kojima is far from the best writer around, but I think it’s a fairly unique game. There’s a lot of thought behind it, in terms of both gameplay and (meta)narration, if you can look past the hammy dialogues.

      • Vicho says:

        IMO his Cujo “Adventures in Foam” is my standout. Listen to it again, it kicks Bricolages ass fo sho

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        Adam Smith says:

        Not intended to be a slight on Tobin’s later career at all. I’m a fan of all his work but Bricolage is still my fave!

    • LacSlyer says:

      It’s funny. When Thief came out I wished so much for a modern day version and then Splinter Cell followed shortly after. The first and Chaos Theory are so damn good they definitely should be higher on this list. I feel like the only reason they aren’t is due to the series having some misses in the later sequels, though the most recent one definitely came back toward the original design.

      There’s very few stealth games that offer multiple ways of being stealthy but Thief and Splinter Cell pull them off so well. However, I’m disappointed that Dishonored is so high on this list. It’s a great game, but I think it’s a terrible stealth game simply because of the abilities it provides practically negating the actual difficulty in being stealthy. It deserves recognition for it’s multiple ways of playing the game, but I don’t think it should be this high on a stealth gaming list because the stealth in it overall is very mediocre.

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    Aerothorn says:

    Thief: The Dark Project is not one of the 25 best stealth games ever made? Pish posh.

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      Adam Smith says:

      No doubling up on a series unless there’s a dramatic change from one entry to the next. Otherwise we’d end up with lists full of repetition. It’s covered in The Metal Age write-up though!

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        gritz says:

        I would argue that Deus Ex: HR is a significant enough departure from the original to merit inclusion. It’s a completely different take on stealth mechanics.

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        Aerothorn says:

        Okay, that makes more sense! Wasn’t clear on the rules (are they written somewhere?).

  5. ansionnach says:

    Not sure if they’d make a list like this seeing as I’ve played very few of these games, but both Castle Wolfenstein and Beyond Castle Wolfenstein are worth a look as two of the earliest PC games that are still great fun to play today. They were ported from the Apple II to the C64, Atari 400/800 and PC, but the PC versions are probably the best to play right now.

    In the first one you’ve got to escape Castle Wolfenstein. The game start out in a room with you and one soldier so you’ve got to act fast. In it, “stealth” is a combination of putting on a Nazi uniform as a disguise and avoiding detection, especially from the SS, who see through any disguise. You can get on quite well shooting it out, but bullets are limited and if you die it’s all the way back to the start. SS guards can only be killed by grenades and you can only carry three of those. If you sneak up on a guard and point a gun right in his face he sticks his hands up and you can search hi, take all his stuff… and do what you like then. Tense stuff… and the PC Speaker voices are great!

    Haven’t played the second game but it adds using passes to get past guards as well as bribery. In it, you need to sneak into a place where Hitler is going to have some sort of meeting and plant a bomb.

    One of the great things about these games (which were the inspirations for Wolfenstein 3D, although it’s a much inferior game), is that there isn’t any sci-fi, zombies or any other nonsense. If you’re shot by anyone you die and you’ve got to start again. You cannot save ever so you must complete the entire mission (Castle Wolfenstein isn’t tiny) in one go. So, while you can get on okay in this game by shooting it out, you’re much more likely to fail.

    • El Mariachi says:

      > you need to sneak into a place where Hitler is going to have some sort of meeting

      Worth nothing that said meeting consists entirely of Hitler pacing back and forth next to a conference table, occasionally shouting “Heil!” to which the staff, in unison, responds in kind. That’s it.

      No wonder they lost.

  6. heretic says:

    Excellent list! I would have put Commandos over Desperados though ;P

  7. PancakeWizard says:

    I’m not a massive fan of the franchise personally, but it’s a bit odd that no Assassin’s Creed games are on there. Not even 2 (which is the only one I cared for enough to buy)?

    • Zenicetus says:

      I don’t think the AC games belong, for a couple of reasons. First, because most assassinations (at least in the games I’ve played) are only stealthy up to the kill but not afterwards. You can stealthily take out guards before reaching the main target, but then it’s usually pure melee mayhem once you strike. You can’t stealth both in and out of the main target, which to me is the definition of a good stealth game.

      Second, AC deserves not to be on the list for the horrible scripted, insta-fail stealth missions that take away player agency and options. That’s not how you design a good stealth game.

      • PancakeWizard says:

        If Arkham Asylum is ok, Ass Creed is ok. That’s my metric.

        • LacSlyer says:

          I concur. How the Arkham series could get in but not AC which has far more stealth is beyond me.

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        basilisk says:

        The series is constantly wobbling back and forth on this. Unity in particular has the makings of a fun stealth game, but it’s not quite there. It did away with the over-reliance on scripting, though.

        I would point out, however, that Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China is a pretty decent Mark of the Ninja knockoff, if you’re itching for more of that kind of thing. Not sure what happened to the other two parts of the trilogy which were announced for this year but then simply dropped off the radar.

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          basilisk says:

          Also, in lieu of an edit: there indeed are assassination missions in Unity where you can stealth in and out and kill no one except your target. Not all of them, but a fair number of them. I still hesitate to call it a stealth game, though.

  8. J. Cosmo Cohen says:

    I think my personal top two would be Mark of the Ninja and Dishonored.

  9. Itkovian says:

    Saw article about my favourite genre, instantly clicked article followed by link to no. 1 game to confirm the correct game was chosen.

    You have passed. Carry on.

  10. Heliocentric says:

    Not the Robots didn’t figure in? No Assassins Creed Brotherhood multiplayer, No Crysis? No Ronin? Eh… *shrugs*

    Lists! Amirite?

    • Yukiomo says:

      Bummer that Crysis does not qualify. As a stealth game, it’s definitely one of the better I’ve encountered.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        Yeah, there are so many ways to infiltrate a base, from jumping over the fence or going cloaked or simply moving when the guards are away. You can do this from any angle, which gives you a multitude of options compared to other games.

    • DucksUnlimited says:

      While Crysis does have some AMAZING stealth (I especially liked III), with that bad-*** bow, I cannot deny that the game most certainly can be played the run-and-gun way. It is far from impossible to go in gun’s blazing all the time, and some upgrades encourage that. Now granted, in higher difficulties (Supersoldier = RIP Ducks), it’s almost impossible to not go stealth, but all in all the game can’t quite be called a stealth game when some things encourage guns blazing, and the same could be said for RONIN. Hell, I’m willing to bet RPS just looked at RONIN’s hint of “This is not a stealth game, kill everyone” and said, “Well, they said it wasn’t a stealth game. That means it’s not a stealth game.”

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    gritz says:

    So do you have an unwritten rule that multiple entries from the same series can’t make the list?

    That’s the only thing I can think of that would explain leaving off Thiefs 1 and 3, and DX:HR.

  12. Geebs says:

    I would give an honourable mention to Threef, because blah blah cradle blah blah turn stealth gameplay inside out.

    I have really failed to get on with Alien Isolation so far. The levels are amazing but the human characters are uncanny valley horrors (yes, I know, one of them is an android in disguise), the AI is kind of twitchy, and the Alien gets shown off in full on the first appearance, before going on to kill a bunch of human NPCs by swiping the air in their general vicinity and finally clipping through the floor. A) you never show the alien in full and B) Gearbox’s aliens were no more derpy-looking and look at how much stick they got.

    • Cropduster says:

      Yeah Alien rubbed me up the wrong way too. The words “occasionally frustrating” in this article don’t quite do it justice.

      Save system was the killer for me, after dying to the alien’s infuriatingly random AI, having to repeat the same 5 minutes of corridors and CRT hacking minigames, I was happy to spend the rest of my life in the locker.

      Great horror, great atmosphere, great environments, but bad stealth imo.

    • Javier says:

      I perfectly understand what you mean because I had the same experience. I’ll never understand how for such an utterly incredible game they managed to fuck up the first few hours of it so much. It does sound like you never made it too far into it. I’d suggest you give it a try. You stop seeing many humans very early into the game. The first few scripted appearances of the Alien are also indeed absolutely terrible, and when you first get to see it killing a bunch of people in that big room it does look pretty bad, but that’s also something you don’t get to see happening much again after that. Save point placement also seemed to get a lot better, becoming a lot more frequent save for the odd exception.

      • Geebs says:

        You’re right, I haven’t got far in it yet. Glad to hear that the part I’ve seen is the bad bit, I will persevere!

      • wwarnick says:

        I agree that you should play it some more (at least the first half of the game). It certainly has its brilliant moments, like when you reach a group of people that you can’t get around and you realize that you can hit the wall to attract the alien, hide in a vent, and listen as the alien tears them apart. Or the moment when you haven’t been checking the motion detector and the alien drops out of the ceiling right in front of you. I don’t think a game has ever scared me so bad.

        However, you get your fill of the alien mechanics about halfway through the game and you start wondering if it’s almost over. They lead you to believe it is, but something keeps going wrong. This happens again and again and again. You have no more sense of progress other than the fact that there was a door somewhere that required an ion torch and you don’t have one yet or you found some bolt gun ammo but don’t have a bolt gun yet, so there must be a couple more hours left (it turns out to be much more than a couple). Basically, it turns into go here flip this switch, go there flip that switch, hide, flip another switch, you’re almost done, oh no! something went wrong, you’re not almost done anymore! flip more switches, hide, flip some more switches, die, flip more switches, repeat for hours on end. This game was in desperate need of downsizing. I was tempted many many times to just quit.

        In other words play it until it gets repetitive. If it was half as long, it would probably go down as one of my favorite games. But alas.

  13. caff says:

    Good to see a mention for Neon Struct. A criminally overlooked indie title, and yes the soundtrack is something wonderful.

  14. Horg says:

    I’d have put Deus Ex lower down the list. While it is an excellent game overall, and deserves to be in the stealth game category, it was mechanically limited by the comically stupid AI the the NPCs. That was the greatest disappointment coming from Thief 2 where guards were so much more aware of their surroundings, and even changed their alertness level depending on weather or not you had made them suspicious. In Deus Ex you could literally pop into full view of a guard 20 feet away (”A GUY IN A COAT!”), shuffle awkwardly behind some crates, and within seconds the coated personage was dismissed as figments of an under active imagination.

  15. manio22 says:

    The Dark Mode? Anyone? No? Just me? Well okey….*stealths away*

    • airtekh says:

      The Dark Mod is awesome, but is probably not included on this list because it is essentially Thief in all but name.

      At least, that is what I assume.

  16. zancek0 says:

    What a coincidence. Just in a middle of my very first Thief II playthrough. I loved the original one, but I gotta say atm I’m enjoying thief 2 more…probably because I never liked zombies too much. So fking great but I can’t play it right now because I’m writting an essay.fml

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    phuzz says:

    Personally I’m not such a fan of the pure stealth game, I tend to go for games where I can try and stealth through, but when it inevitably goes wrong I can action-movie my way out.
    So things like Dishonoured, Deus Ex, Far Cry 2/3/4. There’s nothing better than a good plan that goes tits up forcing you to improvise your way back out again.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      Oh yes, I much enjoy the “diluted” stealth games, as Alec describes them. I want games that gives me several options, where I can either kill everything in sight or sneak past or a mix. Deus Ex is one of the best examples of that, with unlimited replayability thanks to all the possible ways you can go from A to B. Dishonored is also a game I’m looking forward to play just because of its “dilutedness”.

    • hungrycookpot says:

      This is for me, what MGSV gets very right. It’s got super solid stealth, but when things go sideways, it’s just as fun to go one armed rambo and shoot your way out.

    • Cederic says:

      Completely with you. Dishonored is probably my favourite of the games listed because it had so many ways you could try and stealth through a level, and the get-out clause of ‘Well, fuck it. I _am_ an assassin you know.’

  18. thekelvingreen says:

    Crikey, Project IGI! I played an awful lot of that at university and was terrible at it because I didn’t realise it was a stealth game and kept trying to play it like Doom.

  19. SuddenSight says:

    At first I thought Monaco should be higher on this list. But then again, stealth may not be the best word to describe what happens in Monaco. Yet again, I feel like Monaco is one of the few games in the stealth genre that is still “fun” while the alarm is up.

    Regardless, Monaco should be higher up on SOME list. I have been slowly trying to encourage my friends to play local multiplayer stuff. Monaco is one of the few games that everyone seems to like, especially people who won’t play local games because they don’t want a “competitive” game. There is something unique to it’s charm that seems to get my less-video-game-obsessed friends to relax and enjoy themselves with it.

  20. kincajou says:

    Just a heads up that invisible inc. can be bought off gog as well!

    link to gog.com

  21. WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

    A very interesting list, with far fewer complaints than I had for the RPG one that’s for sure! Like with the RPG list however, there are a lot of games in it that I’m not sure about in terms of their inclusion. Hidden and Dangerous 1&2 are two of my very favourite games, but are they really stealth games per se? Similarly, Deus Ex IS my favourite game, and by a huge margin, but I don’t think it’s a better stealth game than Thief 2 (or for that matter Thief 1). I suppose if you keep to pure stealth it’s very hard to keep it to twenty five, but I think it might have been better to be stricter about keeping it “pure” and just have a smaller list, personally, otherwise we get into “if X counts, then why doesn’t Y?” I also don’t think Dishonored should be above Deus Ex (a pale shadow of an imsim really shouldn’t be above the daddy, even if it does have stealth that feels good). Apart from anything else it’s way too easy. Like I said, though, there are probably too few PC stealth games to make creating a list like this easy, and the order is bound to be subjective. Good to see Thief 2 and Blood Money on the list at any rate.

    Talking of what counts as a stealth game and what doesn’t, it’s amazing the level of crossover there is. One of my favourite stealth experiences was in Morrowind, which I don’t think anyone would describe as a stealth game. Casing out and then planning the heist on the Hlaalu vault in Vivec, which incidentally was not to my knowledge tied to any quest, was tremendous fun. In fact, Morrowind is a hugely underrated robbery simulator, with its increased depth making it vastly more fun to play than the rather dumbed down newer Elder Scrolls and Fallout titles, if you ask me. The lack of levelled loot helps, too, since it always keeps the player searching for that extra valuable item or gold cache that can instantly elevate you from poverty to unspeakable wealth.

    • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

      By the way, reading it back, I do realise that Deus Ex is not above Thief 2 in this list. I’m just highlighting the difficulty in producing an ordered list, when one rates a particular game higher than another in everything but the raison d’etre of that list.

  22. Kefren says:

    Yes, Thief and Thief 2! I slightly prefer the first game. The Indiana Jones levels were a nice change of pace; the zombie levels too, which I found terrifying the first time, almost like the feeling when you first encounter The Many in System Shock 2.

    “Assault on Dark Athena is an expanded remake of the earlier Escape From Butcher Bay.”

    I don’t understand this – a remake would be what happened with Spelunky, or Binding of Isaac. This is just another game with the same character and mechanics, but different story. It’s like saying Thief 2 is a remake of Thief, or HoMM3 is a remake of HoMM2.

    • Sarfrin says:

      Assault on Dark Athena comes with Escape from Butcher Bay included. Or it did when I bought it recently.

      • Heliocentric says:

        They take away quick saves with the expansion including version, but eh.

      • Kefren says:

        Yes, it is two games in one pack. Like The Bard’s Tale, comes weith Bard’s Tale 1, 2 and 3. It doesn’t make the modern Bard’s Tale a remake, though, it is still a separate game.

  23. icarussc says:

    I’m of a mind that the later games in the series often do play better. My top three would be Arkham Knight, Splinter Cell Blacklist, and DXHR as the best. I mean, I loved the ones in the series that you cited, but it’s hard for me to say that DXHR, for example, isn’t an improvement over the original in every way except concept. And the much-maligned Arkham Knight, in its predator missions, offers better maps, more tools, and more varied challenges than the original. Yes, Asylum was a far more striking game for being first, but Knight is a much more refined experience.

    • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

      What did you find better about Human Revolution than the original? Vastly inferior if you ask me, almost no simulation at all.

      • icarussc says:

        Well, speaking as someone who loved both games (and even enjoyed Invisible War enough to play it twice!), I think DXHR does pretty much everything better — characterization (Sarif!), level design, gunplay, character options and upgrades, and even overall story (though this is the closest). And good gravy, the art direction. Holy guacamole. That is a gorgeous, gorgeous game, with music to match. In fact, I think I’m going to go turn the soundtrack on right now …

  24. Viral Frog says:

    As much as I thoroughly enjoyed the old Thief games, I my personal “top stealth games” list would have Invisible Inc. swapped with your #1. Invisible Inc. being my top pick because a well executed turn based strategy > any other genre (personal preference). Awesome list nonetheless, and I now have a few more titles on my Steam wishlist.

  25. derbefrier says:

    I really need to get Invisible inc.

    good list btw.

    • Lamb Chop says:

      It absolutely deserves its spot. I would strongly suggest learning and playing the game without the expansion though. The original is tightly tuned so the end of the game difficulty and progress peak at exactly the same moment, delivering tension at a level that I’ve never seen another game deliver. Adding in the expansion draws out the campaign and gives you a larger toolbox to the point where the difficulty can’t keep up and the endgame is not as tightly tuned. Pick it up when you want more than the base game, but absolutely play the base game first.

      [Spoilers] Invisible, Inc. delivered my finest solo gaming moment: In the final mission, I’d split my team to cover more ground and tripped an alarm while they were separated by a locked door. Guards converged from all sides, trapping Monster against the door. Internationale sprinted through crossfire to open the access door and allow Monster to escape through the door, hurling herself in front of gunfire to close it behind him and save his life. She falls to the crossfire, and Monster is again in a guard’s overwatch. Decker pulls himself from cover to draw their fire, expending the guard’s bullet in his chest and allowing Monster to dip into cover. As the team falls, Monster delivers the security key and Gladstone gains access. I screamed in delight and exhaustion when the final credits rolled and felt a very real heaviness in my heart for the sacrificed team members.

  26. kahki says:

    There’s so much more to the Thief modding scene than just T2X – there’s a staggering amount of fan missions that are just as good and even better. Off the top of my head: The Seven Sisters, A Night in Rocksbourg 1-3, Calendra’s Cistern, the CoSaS missions, Rose Cottage, Eclipsed, Ominous Bequest and its sequel Broken Triad… the list just goes on and on. Seriously, if you consider yourself a Thief enthusiast, SEEK OUT AND PLAY FAN MISSIONS. You won’t regret it.

  27. FurryLippedSquid says:

    The photoshop skills around here are astonishing.

    Well done!

  28. Simbosan says:

    Stealth game? Surely you mean Reloading Game? The best stealth game is the one with the simplest quickest cycle of
    10 DIE
    20 RELOAD
    30 GOTO 10

    • fish99 says:

      You have the option of not using quick load/save if you want. It could be abused just as much in Doom 2 as in Thief. Also most good stealth games you can run away once you get spotted.

      I’m not saying you’re wrong btw.

  29. unitled says:

    Lots of great games here, but one I’m glad to see get a call-out is Desperados. I played the Commandos games extensively, but I have to say I really did have a soft spot for the Wild West sneak-em-ups. I think it was maybe something to do with the levels being set in real, living environments?

    The maps, incidentally, are lovely. I stitched a load of screenshots together to make some high resolution map images over here (including the slightly-hard-to-find-and-even-harder-ti-get-working demo level): link to imgur.com

  30. Banks says:

    Thief II, Blood Money, Chaos Theory, Deus Ex and Invisible Inc will be classics forever.

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    Mungrul says:

    I am yet to be convinced by Invisible Inc.
    Of the two Klei stealth games, I much preferred Mark of the Ninja; Invisible Inc. just seems stingy and over-bearingly punitive to me.

    One of my favourites that didn’t make the list and is a fairly recent game is The Marvellous Miss Take. Delightful graphics and animation, utterly fabulous music, short, sharp levels with nice repeat challenges and absolutely no violence whatsoever.
    And that wonderful running-around-waving-her-hands-in-the-air animation when Miss Take gets spotted makes me smile every time.

    Interestingly, with the benefit of hindsight, while I enjoyed The Phantom Pain more overall, I have to say that I think Ground Zeroes is the better “pure” stealth game.
    It never lets you get over-powered. It’s much more about improvising with the things you find lying around, and not one item can be considered over-powered.
    There’s no Fulton to extract slumbering enemies quickly, so it’s either a long slog back to the helicopter, or hiding the body and gaining that increased sense of urgency from knowing that any minute it might be discovered, or that the guard might simply just wake up and inform his buddies someone clobbered him.
    You can’t upgrade weapons, so there’s never a gun with an infinite suppressor.
    And you can’t call in supply drops halfway through the mission. It really does push the player more towards a “Ghost” style of play then The Phantom Pain, making open encounters much more costly.
    The Phantom Pain comes closest to that pure stealth gameplay in the Subsistence levels, and I wish that there was an option to play all missions in this mode. I’m sure the original intention was to have this be possible, along with having Extreme and Total Stealth modes for all missions, but I suspect this idea got canned when Kojima fell out with Konami and they pushed the game out of the door early.

  32. Ketsa says:

    Really wished to have seen Prisoner of War, so many good memories playing that hard game with my kid mind.

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    Phasma Felis says:

    I haven’t read the article yet, but YOU LEFT OUT THE BEST STEALTH GAME OF ALL TIME, YOU KNOW THE ONE I MEAN, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.

    Also, #7 feels more like a 9, and #15 should be at least four places down. In conclusion, you are miserably incompetent and deserve to be fired, then eaten by hobos.

  34. Tim James says:

    Two alternatives to the usual stealth formula: DayZ and theHunter

  35. Stardog says:

    Terrible list.

    Commandos should be higher, especially considering the ripoff Desperados is #14. Desperados improved on it in maybe one area – being able to record your move in advance, so should only be one place higher. Neon Struct being higher than either of these is a joke.

    By your logic, Death To Spies 2 (not even on this list) should be higher than Hitman putting as the #3 stealth game of all time.

    Invisible Inc (another repetitive randomly generated TBS) and Alien Isolation shouldn’t be near the top 10.

    • Sizzkesticks says:

      Grow up, dude. This is not a terrible list just because the writer has different opinions to you.

    • unitled says:

      I actually much preferred Desperados to Commandos. I think my problem with the latter is that the missions can feel very ‘samey’, as they are all recognisable WWII locations? I dunno, I find it hard to pin down. I always preferred the more colourful, more flavourful, and more lively Desperados.

      Also, don’t what you’re talking about with regards to Alien Isolation, that game is suberb, and an amazing stealth/survival experience.

  36. KenTWOu says:

    Terrible list. Another proof RPS sucks at stealth games. And that Chaos Theory review by Eurogamer is terrible. And the bathhouse level is the worst level in the game because of its heavily scripted almost impossible to stealth ending.

    • Sizzkesticks says:

      So what games would have been on your list?

    • AlexW says:

      Sure, I’ll bite on a comment that Chaos Theory is terrible. I’d like to take on that specific note that Bathhouse is “almost impossible to stealth”. I agree completely! It is almost impossible to ghost through Bathhouse; in fact, ‘ghosting’ in the same sense as other levels (leaving absolutely no trace you were there) is only possible in the sense that there’s other people throwing smoke grenades; but you can absolutely get the 100% stealth ending, I painstakingly did it. Yes, it is very difficult to get the super-stealth route in the penultimate level, who’da thunk it? Bathhouse will be your final 97%, you will have to make use of every precog advantage you have, and that 100% completion will feel SO GOOD when you get it.

      Chaos Theory absolutely deserves its spot (or better).

  37. Carnage says:

    Death to Spies is a unique mix between Hidden & Dangerous and Hitman, and that should be enough to put it instead of, for example, Payday 2.

    Dishonored #5 is a goddamn shame. This game is not bad on its own, but it’s a terrible stealth game, which nowhere near close to Deus Ex or Chaos Theory.

    It introduces the unique setting, but doesn’t give you an interesting story.
    It gives you a lot of tools to play with, but most of them aren’t made for stealth, and playing this game in a lethal way will lead you to a bad ending.
    It’s also awfully easy even on maximum difficulty.

  38. HigoChumbo says:

    Dishonored was a great game, but an awful stealth game. Stealth was extremelly gimmicky.

    • fish99 says:

      It annoys a little me when people say Dishonored (a game I do love) is the modern Thief, when it’s stealth is so simple. It’s just crouched or not, in shadow or not, and that’s about it. Plus it was too easy to just blink away and the AI would give up too easily.

      Thief was much more complex with sound playing a major part. You had to judge what surface you were on, what speed you were going, how well lit it was, your profile, the current AI state, whether there were doors blocking part of your sound, the evidence you were leaving behind etc.

      I’d like to see stealth expanded in Dishonored 2. I get the impression a lot of people played it non-lethal.

      • Cederic says:

        I want a fun game, not some twisted combination of puzzle game, patience tester and platform-esque control system skill challenge.

        Dishonored gave me that. You find it trivial, I call that fun.

        • fish99 says:

          Have you ever played the original Thief games? Look, I love Dishonered, I love it to bits, and there’s room for Dishonored and Thief to co-exist, but I don’t want to hear people who know no better saying it’s the new Thief because it isn’t. It’s a weak stealth game, but a great game.

          You seem to only want simple game mechanics.

  39. Premium User Badge

    burn_heal says:

    Great list. Love the picture.

    Next list: best exploration?

  40. Jams O'Donnell says:

    This is a lovely list — the only disappointing thing is that I think I already knew about all of these, while other RPS Bestest Bests have shown me new things to enjoy.

    I can’t think of anything that could be a #26 but I do think that the forced stealth levels in Rainbow Sixes Raven Shield and Rogue Spear are superb, though there’s only one such level in each.

  41. manny says:

    Pretty outrageous Stalker wasn’t included, which for me contained the best stealth moments I’ve ever played. Granted I played with the more difficult, Oblivion Lost mod.

    I also loved how Stalker was so difficult, that when you were discovered the best option was just to runaway with the enemy chasing after you, living to fight another day.

    • Shazbut says:

      Oh yeah, Stalker. If anything, it’s a victim of it’s own quality I would imagine as the game doesn’t make it seem like “you must be stealthy, this is a stealth game!” as much as it’s just you being cautious and reacting naturally to what the game throws at you.

      Basically it has the best first person shooty bits I’ve ever played.

  42. Cataclysm says:

    A true good stealth game will be unknown and unseen.

  43. WhiteWizard says:

    Good list, but seriously no mention of Death to Spies,Project I.G.I,JB 007: Nightfire, The Plan ?

    • phlebas says:

      The first two of those are mentioned – read the small print :)

  44. KoenigNord says:

    I really like these Top 25 lists as a referral point for me or friends looking for another game with a similar vibe. I am curious to see if you have a Top 25 Coop games in the making yet.

  45. gpown says:

    Can someone enlighten me as to why Splinter Cell Blacklist isn’t considered Chaos Theory’s equal? I’ve played both and can’t find any faults in the new one. But that’s perhaps because I always play stealth games in a very ‘budget’ way, not using any gadgets unless I really need to.

    • Mechorpheus says:

      No Michael Ironside. ’nuff said.

      • gpown says:

        Nail me to a cross but I liked the new actor. He gave a solid performance, and Ironside always sounded like he was actually grumpy about voicing a video game.

    • airtekh says:

      I get the feeling that not a lot of people have actually played Blacklist. Those who didn’t like Conviction turned their back on the series and haven’t looked back. It did extremely poorly sales wise, so much so that another SC game won’t be seen for a while I think.

      It’s a shame really, because personally I consider Blacklist to be my joint favourite SC game, alongside Chaos Theory.

    • Carnage says:

      There were so many ways to deal with Ironside’s departure. They could have made a prequel / reboot. They could have introduced a new character, while making Sam Fisher a handler for this new character, like Lambert was in the previous SC games.
      Instead, they chose the dumbest possible way, they let 35 years old actor voice 55 old Sam Fisher.

      Other than that, I heard it uses checkpoints like Conviction, instead of normal saves like classic stealth games usually did. I want to enjoy a game, and completing same sections over and over and over and over again is not my definition of fun.

      Also, Uplay.

  46. Mechorpheus says:

    I have to contest as to The Evil Within’s inclusion here. It’s stealth mechanics are truly awful, and entirely one-note.

    Sneak up behind enemy, hope to god he doesn’t turn around so I can kill him without having to use precious ammo…. oh wait he turned around, and look now EVERY enemy in the area is alerted…. and I’ve got 2 bullets, oh well better let him kill me so I can try again *repeat until PC throw out window*

  47. jelmerkla says:

    Great list but…

    What about the Silent Hunter series? Silent Hunter III is a great stealth game. Just because you are not a person sneaking around doesn’t mean it is not a stealth game.

  48. Drumclem says:

    Thanks! Great list, more reasons to sneak around.

    Also, long live Klei.

    Incidentally, the first three Thief games are available on the humble store, at a discount bringing them to a grand total of €7.79 (~£5.46ish). Sold!

  49. Munin says:

    I’m actually a bit curious about the 34 game longlist.

    Anyway, overall a sound list. Again though it and some of the discussion again highlights how difficult it is to strictly classify games. I personally think it is rather good that games are hard to pigeonhole and in certain respects becoming harder to but it would be interesting to hear a debate between someone happy with that trend and a genre fanatic.

  50. ziffel says:

    You left out Shadow of Mordor, a tremendous game which requires copious amounts of stealth.