With all the action-packed games on the market these days, it can be refreshing to take on baddies with a different approach. Cue the stealth genre, where a player’s patience, caution, timing, and knowledge of the their surroundings are what matters — not raw strength in combat.
Many stealth games have come to the Xbox platform over the years, and to list all good ones would be a list the size of the moon. In the end, though, there are ten titles that stand above the rest.
Though Deus Ex: Human Revolution left much to be desired from its stealth system, Mankind Divided rectified this issue and made improvements, such as more consistent artificial intelligence and more possible ways to complete objectives. The result is a satisfying experience in which you blend your technological abilities with traditional sneaking in order to progress.
Originally a PC-only title, Shadow Tactics was brought to Xbox earlier this year. Featuring challenging and unique style of top-down stealth gameplay in which you coordinate five characters to work together to defeat enemies, Shadow Tactics is a innovative, well-designed title that remains unlike anything else currently in the industry.
Unlike most stealth-oriented games which demand that you assassinate key targets, Dishonored gives you the option to never kill. Through careful planning, patience, and skill, you can complete the game without spilling a single drop of blood. Of course, if you do decide to kill, Dishonored provides you with ample opportunity to use its stealthy tools and weapons.
The first game in Ubisoft’s hit franchise, Assassin’s Creed was an ambitious project that took the stealth genre to the violent age of the Third Crusade. Expertly intertwining parkour mechanics with classic stealth elements such as eavesdropping and assassination, Assassin’s Creed remains one of the most well-crafted experiences of the last generation.
Most open world games don’t make stealth an element of their core gameplay. While games like Skyrim have sneaking, it’s very rudimentary. Such is not the case for Metal Gear Solid V; learning how to stay undetected whenever possible is an important part of this game. Though you can successfully go in guns blazing, The Phantom Pain is at its best when you’re moving throughout outposts, killing or knocking out guards quickly and quietly.
5. Dishonored 2
The first Dishonored was a major success, but it was Dishonored 2 that perfected the franchise’s formula and brought it to even greater heights. On top of the improvements like new tools, Dishonored 2 also allowed you to choose your playable character. Both Corvo and Emily from the first game are playable, and each of them offers different skillsets and abilities that add massive replay value.
Assassin’s Creed II matched the original in terms of the quality of the stealth mechanics, but took positive strides forward by making enemies tougher and smarter. In addition to this, Assassin’s Creed II also allowed you to more frequently make use of your environment to escape pursuit or prepare for an assassination. Want to cross a street undetected? Paying a group of prostitutes to follow you and block the visions of the watching guards will help with that!
Thief, like Dishonored, encourages you to avoid killing. However, Thief does a better job of making it more punishing. If you screw up and get seen or are forced to kill, the guards become much more alert and aware, making your life harder. Luckily, Thief is chock full of creative ways to stay hidden. And when you need to manipulate the guards into changing position, nothing does the job better then your collection of trick arrows.
Mark of the Ninja is the definition of stealth. Though a 2D side-scrolling style is an unconventional approach to the genre, this game pulls it off fantastically. Whether you want to remain non-lethal, kill enemies from the shadows, or terrorize guards to make them easier targets, there’s a way to do it in Mark of the Ninja. Combine that with the excellent movement and creative platform design, and you have yourself a phenomenal experience.
1. Metro 2033
Though not inherently a stealth title, Metro 2033’s stealth gameplay is hands down the most intense among the games on this list. Often, you’ll only have a few spare bullets for your firearms, meaning that your knife will be your best friend. As you travel through the metro tunnels of post-apocalyptic Moscow, every step you take could mean the difference between life and death. Fail to keep your presence hidden, and you’ll likely meet your maker before you even know what hit you.