With the most recent Hitman trilogy, the series has been reintroduced to the gaming mainstream in triumphant fashion, and a whole new generation of gamers has gotten into the franchise.
The previous games should not be forgotten, though, as there are some real gems to behold. But what is the best Hitman game? We’ve had a go at listing the top 5. Let us know what your choices would be in the comment section below!
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What is the best Hitman game?
5. Hitman Absolution
Although Absolution was generally poorly received by critics, it is still an absolute blast to play. Granted, it didn’t feel like too much like the other games in the series in terms of its linearity, but Absolution does a fantastic job at bringing life to Agent 47, and humanizing him in a way that no previous game had.
Some might say that a cold-blooded clone assassin doesn’t need to have a personality or a backstory with emotions, but the story was expertly written and gave the character much needed depth that has allowed players to grow closer to him throughout the series.
That being said, despite being an enjoyable experience, it still falls behind most of the other games in the Hitman series. It just seems like most of the criticism was over the top, in my opinion.
4. Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin is a vast improvement on the original game, and is the reason why many people fell in love with the series in the first place. It’s not without its flaws, though, and there’s no denying that the game has not aged well.
Yet, the reality is that its flaws were also its assets. The glitches and, at times, poor AI are what added charm to Silent Assassin. The missions were difficult and brutal, and you really get a sense of how cold Agent 47 can be in this game.
The guards are, admittedly, overly suspicious in Silent Assassin, but the variety in the missions and ways of completion make this a great game and still a title that one can derive great pleasure from.
3. Hitman: Contracts
The general consensus with Hitman: Contracts is that the first half of the game is exceptional, but it loses its way in the second half. This is a pretty fair and accurate assessment, with some great early missions (e.g. Asylum Aftermath, Beldingford Manor) and considerably weaker later ones (e.g. Slaying a Dragon, Wang Fou Incident).
The atmosphere and level of coolness in Contracts is second-to-none, and Agent 47 has a certain suave and sophisticated manner that makes you feel like Bond at times.
Some of the most iconic moments in the series come from Contracts, and the game is genuinely quite frightening at times. Just thinking about the Meat King’s Party is enough to send shudders down one’s spine.
Contracts also has one of the best soundtracks of all the Hitman games, and Jesper Kyd’s electric score is moody, dark, and appropriately atmospheric. This alone makes it a strong contender as one of the best Hitman games.
2. Hitman 1, 2, and 3
Let’s be honest, the new Hitman trilogy is fantastic, and far exceeded what many fans of the series could even have hoped for. It has, arguably, the best gameplay in the entire series, the scope of the levels are huge, and the attention to detail is exceptional.
The reason why it doesn’t take the top place as the best Hitman game, though, is that it lacks in its story development, at least in comparison to the game at the top of the list. That’s not to say that the story isn’t good, but the dialogue feels a bit forced and cliché, and it takes a lot to feel engaged in what is going on. It’s a struggle to not skip through the cutscenes, in all honesty.
Yet, some people argue that the story is completely irrelevant to the Hitman series, anyway, and part of me sees where they are coming from. If you are from that camp, then the new trilogy will certainly not disappoint. The sheer variation in assassin methods and scale of the maps make the gameplay in the new trilogy a real joy to behold. Plus, the visuals are incredible.
1. Hitman: Blood Money
For me, Blood Money is the best Hitman game in the series by a country mile. It gets everything right. From the number of ways you can complete a mission and the enormous replay value, to the quirky characters and expertly designed levels, Blood Money is the game that is most likely to be recommended to newcomers to the series.
Some of the franchise’s best missions can be found in Blood Money, with Flatline and Dance with the Devil particularly standing out as greats, but the thing that sticks with me the most is the ending. It really is the most iconic ending, and perhaps even the most iconic moment in the entire Hitman series. Without giving too much away, whenever I hear Ave Maria now, I think of this game. What a scene, and what a game.
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For another take on the best Hitman game, check out the great YouTube video below by Cravotato.