10 Best Stealth Action Games If You Like Metal Gear Solid
Fans of Metal Gear Solid should check out these other stealth action games for more of the same gameplay and thrills.
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The Metal Gear Solid franchise has always prioritized stealth-based gameplay over high-octane, go-for-broke shootouts. While the series does have its standout moments, players were drawn to the games for their slow and methodical approach to completing missions. If you were seen, your chances of survival dropped considerably.
While the franchise is renowned for making stealth action games what they are, it isn’t the only kid on the block. There are plenty of excellent games out there that prioritize striking from the shadows, and they come in many different flavors, from third-person shooters to 2D platformers, and even real-time strategy games.
10 Tenchu: Wrath Of Heaven
When the first Metal Gear Solid was released decades ago on the original PlayStation, its only real competitor at the time was Tenchu: Stealth Assassins. Both are victims of the limited technologies of the time, but Tenchu has clearly fared worse as the years go by. Luckily, the franchise didn’t stop there.
Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven was a sequel that debuted on the PlayStation 2, and it was an immediate step up from its predecessors. The game’s focus is one hundred percent on stealth, and there’s plenty of fun to be had in that department. As before, the player can utilize a number of deadly ninja weapons, distraction techniques, and silent takedowns to prove their might as a ninja – all without being plagued by a primordial camera system.
Dishonored 2 has been making the rounds for one of the best stealth games ever made, but the first game in the series should get most of the praise. It took the concept of stealth and elevated it into the FPS genre, cranking out one gorgeous game world, and a fascinating story in the process.
The game can be played in any number of ways, but there’s no denying the satisfaction of using supernatural powers to dash around the environment to get the drop on enemies. The ability to decide who lives or dies is also an important game mechanic that helps players choose just how lethal they want to be.
8 Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun
Shadow Tactics may not be a third-person action title, but that doesn’t mean Metal Gear Solid fans won’t appreciate it. In fact, the migration to a strategy formula is a welcome one, and sneakers will appreciate just how much thought went into the excellent gameplay mechanics.
First, the game is gorgeous, with lushly drawn environments and inspiring visuals. That’s married to a fast-paced (for a strategy title) duck and cover system that requires the player to maintain vigilance over their surroundings in order to strike from the shadows. It’s both kitschy, and cool.
7 Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Zero Dawn has been a PlayStation favorite for a few years now, but the recent PC port of the game has opened it up to an entirely new crop of players. That’s a blessing because it’s one of the most incredible open-world stealth games ever made, and then some.
Not only is Horizon bred of high production values, excellent writing, and compelling characters, but it’s chock full of the kind of options players like in an action title. Go in with weapons drawn and ready to fight, or duck and cover in the tall grass to get the drop on enemy combatants. This is the kind of game Metal Gear Solid helped inspire, taken to a higher level.
6 Hitman III
The reboot of the Hitman games has been extraordinary, and the third in the series just dropped in January of 2021. It hasn’t lost any of its killer edge, charm, or gameplay merits. In fact, it’s probably the best in the series up to this point. As Agent 47, players once again take control of a lethal assassin who can take out a target literally in dozens of different ways.
The ability to plant traps, impersonate key personnel, and set up the perfect kill box for a particular target is just awesome. Toss in the use of unconventional weapons strewn through the environment, not to mention some fairly solid enemy AI, and Hitman III easily stands apart as the only game of its kind.
5 Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
The Splinter Cell series began picking up steam not long after the release of the first Metal Gear Solid game, alongside other titles like Syphon Filter. Though the game formula has changed several times throughout the franchise’s history, the heart and soul still remain.
Still, Chaos Theory is easily the best of the bunch. It’s essentially the last of the original games to retain the same basic formula, and it has the right gameplay mechanics and storyline (a really great storyline, in fact) to back it up. Though it came out some time ago, it’s clearly one of the best of the spiritual successors of Metal Gear Solid.
4 Ghost of Tsushima
Like many games that offer players a choice of how to engage enemies, Ghost of Tsushima openly encourages violent bloodshed just as much as it does calculated stealth mechanics. Many gamers agree that the latter is clearly the most rewarding, as there’s nothing quite like staying hidden whilst offing multiple foes from the shadows.
Ghost of Tsushima takes spiritual cues from games like Tenchu and integrates parts of other games to craft its excellent stealth system. Plus, the graphics are beyond gorgeous, and the level of immersion into Japanese historical culture is top-notch. This game drips with high production values.
3 Cyberpunk 2077
Though it’s taken its fair share of knocks for a disastrous launch and barrows full of bugs, Cyberpunk 2077 nevertheless delivers a solid experience for stealth-obsessed players. In fact, it could be argued that it has one of the most robust systems around, thanks to the implementation of cyberware.
Players can sneak up behind enemies and either snap their necks, or choke them out, but that’s just scratching the surface. They can also remote-hack everything from TVs to floodlights to create distractions, hack into their cyber-brains and shut them down, or wipe their short-term memories so they stop searching. The AI still needs major polishing, but Cyberpunk’s stealth system is, in fact, a lot of fun.
2 Mark Of The Ninja
This is the only stealth title to be set inside a traditional 2D platforming style, but it works nonetheless. Mark of the Ninja is one of the slickest and coolest stealth-based games on the market, and it does it all with just two axes to play off of. In addition to the gorgeous parallax backgrounds and environments, the game manages to weave simple and straightforward ninja stealth tactics into the gameplay.
Players can distract enemies by shattering lights with shurikens or stay dowsed in shadow until the opportune moment to strike presents itself. Fans of Metal Gear Solid and 2D platformers like Castlevania will love the marriage of both genre styles.
1 Sniper Elite 4
While the Sniper Elite series does focus a hefty amount of time on sharpshooting, the fourth game in the series goes far beyond when it comes to stealth. In comparison to its predecessors, Sniper Elite 4 is light years ahead. Players can hide out in tall grass, or shoot out lights to drown an area in darkness, vastly reducing the enemy’s line of sight.
When not picking off targets from vast distances, players can sneak up behind enemies and cut their throats, or set up trip mines before whistling to attract their attention. They can even rig dead bodies with mines to attract other enemies, killing two birds with one stone. In fact, there are so many stealthy ways to accomplish each mission that it’s almost sinful to classify this game strictly as a shooter. The stealth mechanics make for one very addictive title with a lot of replay value.