What are the best Hitman games?
The Hitman series kicked off in 2000, introducing the world to the bald cloned assassin, Agent 47.
Well-known for its stealth mechanics and open-ended gameplay, the Hitman franchise has since become one of the most popular in the world.
However, not all Hitman games have put their best foot forward, and today we’re counting down only the greatest games this franchise has spawned.
The 10 Best Hitman Games
There are currently 14 Hitman games, not including the trilogy packs, and we’ve gone through them all to create this list.
In order to find the best in the series, we considered gameplay mechanics, fan popularity, and sales data.
This has allowed us to pinpoint which games in the franchise have stood out from all the rest!
If you’re ready to test your stealth skills, here’s our list of the 10 best Hitman games:
10. Hitman: Codename 47
Kicking off our list, we have Hitman: Codename 47, the first game in the series that was released in 2000 for Windows.
In this game, players control Agent 47, a genetically enhanced clone trained specifically to be an assassin.
As Agent 47, players get to travel across the world to South America, Asia, and Europe on missions to eliminate specific targets.
While these targets appear to have no connection to each other at first, a larger conspiracy quickly unravels with each hit.
The gameplay revolves around finding ways to kill each target using a variety of tools, disguises, and weapons.
However, there are some levels that take stealth off the table and require players to approach things like a first-person shooter.
Although this game received mixed reviews when it debuted, it paved the way for many sequels and spin-offs.
Hitman: Codename 47 may not be the strongest game in the franchise, but it certainly stands out as an incredible game worth playing!
9. Hitman: Absolution
Hitman: Absolution was released in 2012 and has since become one of the best PS3 games ever created, thanks to its engaging gameplay mechanics.
The fifth installment in the Hitman series, this game gives players control of Agent 47 once more in a unique single-player campaign.
Following 47, as he tries to protect a genetically enhanced girl from organizations who would use her for their own ends, the story is extremely well written.
Along with going up against criminal syndicates and a private military institution, 47 even has to contend with his former employers.
This game was also the first to feature online contracts, which allow players to make their own contracts with custom objectives.
While the environments, controls, and varied gameplay options were praised, some criticism was leveled at the linear progression and disguise system.
Although it failed to reach its sales targets, Hitman: Absolution still sold around 3.6 million copies worldwide.
An enhanced version of this game was released in 2019 as part of the Hitman HD Enhanced Collection, boasting 4k graphics and 60 FPS.
We definitely recommend giving this game a playthrough if you haven’t already, especially the remastered version!
8. Hitman: Contracts
Released in 2004, Hitman: Contracts is the third mainline installment in the series, and it serves as a remake of Codename 47 and a sequel to Silent Assassin.
This game incorporates a lot of gameplay elements from the later missions of the first game, with new missions and flashbacks.
Like the first game, players get to travel all around the world to assassinate specific targets.
To do this, they can use a variety of weapons ranging from assault rifles to kitchen knives and even high-powered machine guns.
Along with the straightforward methods for killing targets, there are other creative options that players can learn by exploring.
Several missions allow players to arrange specific deaths to look like accidents, such as poisoning or heat-induced heart attacks.
After each mission, players are ranked based on their performance, which includes the number of shots fired, NPCs killed, and how many times guards were alerted.
Upon release, this game was praised for its gameplay improvements, graphics, and darker tone, though its similarity to previous games was slightly criticized.
In 2013, Hitman: Contracts, along with Silent Assassin and Blood Money, were released in high-definition in the Hitman HD Trilogy.
While the original was only available on the PS2 and original Xbox, you can still play it today using one of the best PS2 emulators if you’ve yet to experience it!
7. Hitman Go
Hitman Go is an odd one, but despite being a turn-based puzzle mobile game, it is a surprisingly entertaining game!
Released in 2014 for Android and iOS devices, in this game, players have to guide Agent 47 through a series of grid-based levels.
Each level is composed of a series of nodes and lines, and enemies can be provoked by moving onto a node that they occupy.
As players progress, new enemies and mechanics are introduced to keep things fresh and entertaining.
While this game was met with a ton of skepticism when it was announced, upon release, all of this changed.
Hitman Go was praised for its simple but engaging mechanics, art style, and ability to transition the Hitman series into a mobile format.
While it was definitely a surprise hit when it debuted, it remains an incredibly entertaining game that you can play absolutely anywhere.
In 2016, it was even ported to the PS4 and PS Vita, given its incredible success as a mobile game!
6. Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin was released in 2002 as the sequel to Codename 47, and it follows the trained killer after having retired.
Unfortunately for 47, his work is never done, especially not when his only friend is kidnapped by an unknown group of attackers.
This prompts the trained assassin to resume his work for the ICA in the hope of being able to track down his friend and get a bit of payback.
Similar to the first game, Silent Assassin centers around assassinating specific targets while trying to remain undetected.
However, unlike Codename 47, the more FPS-geared levels have been removed in favor of pure stealth.
Silent Assassin also introduces the ability to play in first-person and incapacitate enemies instead of killing them.
It was also the first game to feature missions with many different approaches, giving players the ability to be creative.
Considered to be an improvement from its predecessor, Silent Assassin quickly became the best-selling game from the original series.
Selling over 3.7 million copies since 2009, this game was ported to the PS3 and Xbox 360 as part of the Hitman HD Trilogy.
Easily one of the best original Xbox games, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin is a must-play for anyone who loves the series.
5. Hitman: Blood Money
Released in 2006 as a sequel to Contracts, Hitman: Blood Money is easily one of the most beloved games in the franchise.
The story in this game follows Agent 47 as he tries to bring down an organization called The Franchise, a rival to his employers, the ICA.
Like other games in the series, Blood Money gives players various targets that need to be eliminated in order to progress.
These missions allow players a lot of ways to accomplish their objectives, and every level has at least one method to make the murder look like an accident.
Blood Money also introduced the ability for 47 to climb over obstacles while improving unarmed combat.
Additionally, players can now use NPCs as human shields, dispose of bodies, and upgrade weapons and equipment!
Along with these new features, there is a notoriety system that increases based on players’ success.
The higher your notoriety is, the easier it is for NPCs to identify you, which makes missions a lot more complicated!
Upon release, Hitman: Blood Money quickly became a critical and commercial success, selling 2.1 million copies worldwide.
Thanks to this success, it received a high-definition port in 2013 as part of the Hitman HD Trilogy and a 4k port in 2019 in the Hitman HD Enhanced Collection.
4. Hitman (2016)
The 2016 release of Hitman debuted episodically from March until October 2016, and it is comprised of six interconnected episodes.
A bit of a soft reboot, Hitman takes players around the world to a large number of open-ended sandboxes.
Here, players can freely explore as Agent 47 and gather information that can help complete mission objectives and eliminations.
This game really shines when it comes to the number of ways it allows players to eliminate targets, with numerous unconventional ways present in every mission.
Every level can also hold around 300 NPCs, each of which will react to what Agent 47 does, with actions such as crouching, raising their suspicions.
A live component was likewise added, which provided new content, including timed missions where players had to kill a target before time expired.
While this game was praised as one of the best sandbox games, its excessive handholding was criticized.
That said, this game is vast and incredibly enjoyable, making it something all Hitman fans should play at least once!
3. Hitman 3
Hitman 3 was released in 2021 as the eighth game in the mainline series, and it follows Agent 47 as he hunts down the leaders of The Providence.
Built around six levels, five of which are huge sandboxes, this game has a large focus on interactive environmental elements.
The locations in this game feature many shortcuts, along with unlockable doors that, once open, will never re-lock in future playthroughs.
Hitman 3 also has VR compatibility for both the PS4 and PS5, as well as a Contracts Mode that allows players to create custom missions.
It was even named the VR Game of the Year at the Steam Awards in 2022, thanks to its impressive integration.
However, there is more to this game that we will cover below, as it has undergone some changes as of 2023!
2. Hitman 2
The predecessor of the above, Hitman 2, was released in 2018, continuing the story that started in 2016’s Hitman.
In this game, players control Agent 47 as he searches for a mysterious client who wants to destroy The Providence.
While gameplay revolves around six large sandbox locations, the story itself delves more into 47’s past than other games in the series.
Two online multiplayer modes were also added, Ghost Mode and Sniper Assassin Mode, though the servers for these have since been shut down.
During missions, a number of enhancements were made, including the ability for NPCs to notice 47’s reflection in mirrors.
Although this game doesn’t deviate much from its predecessor, its level design and quality-of-life improvements were highly praised.
Despite the similarities to the previous game, Hitman 2 remains one of the best PS4 games and one that highlights Agent 47 at his best!
1. Hitman: World Of Assassination
Taking our number one spot is the collective culmination of the World of Assassination trilogy.
Hitman: World of Assassination is an odd one because, in 2023, developer IO Interactive decided to merge Hitman and Hitman 2 together with Hitman 3.
By doing this, Hitman 3 was renamed Hitman: World of Assassination, giving players the ability to import all content from 1 and 2 into the game.
If you hadn’t been paying attention to the series, this probably seems a bit confusing, but it really is a win-win for fans!
In World of Assassination, the best of all three games are merged together into one massive game packed with over 20 sandbox locations.
Players are given free rein to be as creative as they want, giving every mission a high degree of replayability.
World of Assassination also introduces Freelancer, a single-player rouge-like mode with many campaigns.
In each campaign, players have to work through six missions in any order, though the gear is not persistent.
Anything you bring along that isn’t brought back to the safehouse will be lost forever unless you find it again.
IO Interactive really went above and beyond when they combined all of these games into one, and it certainly has become the best Hitman game to play right now!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the 10 best Hitman games and found the one that you’d like to play yourself!
The Hitman series is remarkably addictive, and these games are what have helped it remain popular for decades.
If you’re new to the series, we would definitely recommend checking out World of Assassination, as it really shows Agent 47 at the top of his game!
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best Hitman games:
- Hitman: World Of Assassination
- Hitman 2
- Hitman 3
- Hitman (2016)
- Hitman: Blood Money
- Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
- Hitman Go
- Hitman: Contracts
- Hitman: Absolution
- Hitman: Codename 47
Are you a fan of the Hitman series? Leave a comment below.
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