Unlike typical action games, the genre of spy and stealth games is much more nuanced, often designed for a leisurely, thoughtful gameplay and practicing all the actions so that even a mosquito does not undermine your nose.
However, for the game to make you feel like a spy, it is necessary not only to have tolerable secrecy. It requires a fascinating plot, interesting solutions and, of course, exciting mechanics. From cleverly planned accidents to … poisoning. I wonder if real spies use video games for practice purposes? If not already, then maybe they should do it.
In the meantime, here is a list of the 10 best spy games according to Metacritic.
# 10 Alpha Protocol (72/100)
Although the game has the lowest rating of the entire list, and several competitors with higher ratings can be found, Alpha Protocol deserves a mention if only due to the fact that it is one of the most authentic spy titles. Developed by the Obsidian team and released in 2010, the game draws inspiration from the classic spy series Mission: Impossible and the James Bond films.
Considering that Obsidian is now part of Microsoft, there is a good chance for a sequel. Moreover, the developers themselves had a lot of interesting ideas on Alpha Protocol 2. With funding, new technologies and a lot of experience, the new franchise game may well become a hit. However, you should not count on poisoned socks.
# 9 Invisible, Inc. (82/100)
Released in 2015 by Invisible, Inc. is a turn-based espionage and stealth title where players must complete missions in a limited time. Much of the game includes familiar XCOM mechanics, but the levels are procedurally generated so the game has a high level of replayability.
The game does not reach the level of a spy simulator, but it is able to increase the skill of tactical thinking and analysis of situations to complete tasks. There’s also a pistol that shoots toxin darts.
# 8 Shadow Tactics: Blades Of The Shogun (85/100)
This game is similar in spirit to the classic Commandos, but it represents the setting of feudal Japan, where the player is required to manage a team of assassins in order to engage in espionage and elimination of targets.
Each mission is like a puzzle, but they all combine into a captivating story with interesting characters. Such a game is more suitable for novice leaders of secret operations when it is necessary to see the whole picture and assess risks.
# 7 Hitman 2: Silent Assassin (87/100)
This is the most highly regarded Hitman title in the series’ history to date. A highly polished and thoughtful game that laid the foundation for the various mechanics that have become the standard for the franchise, from disguise to open level design.
The current Hitman and the next game, coming out in the near future, have developed systems, increased the detail and quality of graphics. And if we talk about stealthy murders, then this is one of the best series for the “practice” of accidents. Including the use of toxic substances.
# 6 Dishonored (89/100)
Released in 2012 and sequel to 2016, the series presented an interesting mix of both stealth and action. Depends on the choice of the player himself. Open levels, interesting abilities, brilliant elaboration of levels and the formation of a world with a backstory, in which you want to dive headlong.
If real spies had Corvo’s abilities, hardly anyone stopped them from completing their task. Including the elimination of the target.
# 5 Deus Ex: Human Revolution (91/100)
Released in 2011, even today, Deus Ex: Human Revolution presents an intriguing and thoughtful world of dystopian cyberpunk. The game cannot be called a classic spy title, but by choosing a secret passage, you can feel like a hero of a thriller.
Excellent missions and stunning level design provide ample situations for espionage, intelligence gathering, sabotage and stealth infiltration. Given the open nature of the game, you can play it repeatedly. And recently, ray tracing support was screwed to it.
# 4 Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory (94/100)
A more believable answer to the world of Metal Gear Solid, the Splinter Cell series hasn’t received an update for a very long time. However, there are rumors that Ubisoft has been working on a new game for a long time. So far, the most highly regarded and loved by fans is Chaos Theory. The graphics are outdated, like many mechanics, but if desired, it would have turned out to be a phenomenal remake. Especially if created with PS5 / Xbox Series as a foundation. Improved AI, refined levels, modern sound … and the tactile triggers on DualSense could be used as a counter during covert operations.
Let’s hope that when it comes time to revive Splinter Cell, the developers will not let you down. For example, take the remakes of Resident Evil 2, Demon’s Souls and Mafia.
# 3 Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (96/100)
Released in the early 2000s, the game far surpassed its time, delivering a gripping sci-fi spy thriller on PS2 that was only polished by Hideo Kojima in subsequent episodes. It’s hard to believe that we’ll never get MGS VI again in the form that a Japanese game designer and movie buff could have done.
Metal Gear Solid 2 was one of the earliest stealth games where we had a non-lethal way to incapacitate enemies, in addition to an arsenal of killing tools. The game has become the benchmark for many future spy stealth games.
# 2 Goldeneye 007 (96/100)
Released exclusively on the Nintendo 64, Goldeneye 007 was and remains the best version of James Bond in play, allowing the player to choose their own approach. This is made possible by thoughtful level design and tension at high difficulty levels. In those distant days, Goldeneye 007 allowed many young gamers to feel like the most famous spy on the planet … however, now it clearly has competitors.
And at the end of November, the developers of the Hitman series announced a new game about 007. So, this decade will definitely not leave us without big-budget spy games.
# 1 Perfect Dark (97/100)
Another great example of a mix of stealth, espionage and action. The spiritual successor to Goldeneye, she included many familiar features. Even without a Bond license, Rare was able to make huge headway with a new sci-fi storyline.
Similar to IOI’s Project 007, Perfect Dark is also about to be reborn. The first cinematic was even shown during TGA 2020.
While not as many spy games are released as a fan of the genre would like, we will get at least three animated series in the coming years. And while these games make you feel like a spy, it’s important to understand that you shouldn’t use them as a guide or trainer. Otherwise, you will have to wash your panties.