10 Best Spy/Espionage Video Games, According To Metacritic

10 Best Spy/Espionage Video Games, According To Metacritic

Since the early 20th century, spy fiction has been a popular genre, with plenty of examples such as James Bond and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. continuing to have a significant presence in pop culture to this day. With the exhilarating action, suspense, mystery, and drama the genre provides, it’s no surprise that hundreds of new spy books, shows, movies, and even video games are released every year.

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Because there are so many incredible espionage games to try, it may be hard to know which ones are worth a player’s time. Luckily, Metacritic can help separate the “must-plays” from the rest.


Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise – 81

The main enemy spy, Ruby La Rouge, holding a cat in the game Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise

Originally released for mobile devices in 2015 and later ported to PCs and modern consoles in 2019, Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise is a James Bond-inspired puzzle adventure game where players take on the role of the titular Agent A. At the start of the game, the chief tells Agent A to find and capture an evil spy named Ruby La Rouge who is targeting other spies.

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After witnessing the chief seemingly die on a cruise ship because of a bomb planted by La Rogue, Agent A infiltrates La Rogue’s secret base in order to avenge him. Over the course of five chapters, the player will have to solve many unique point-and-click puzzles to reach La Rogue and uncover the truth behind the chief’s death.

Invisible, Inc. – 82

A screenshot from the game Invisible, Inc.

Developed by Klei Entertainment, who also created the beloved survival game Don’t Starve, Invisible, Inc. is a 2015 turn-based tactics stealth roguelike that takes place in a dystopian future where corporations have completely taken over the world. When the private intelligence agency known as Invisible Inc is attacked by corporate soldiers, the only people to survive the fallout are the leader, a couple agents, and an advanced AI named Incognita.

Because Incognita can only survive for three days outside of a powerful computer, the remaining members must spend that time gaining the resources necessary to infiltrate the enemy’s headquarters and insert Incognita into their computer. Although inspired by the iconic XCOM series, this game focuses more on stealth and obtaining information, resources, and manpower rather than fighting enemy units.

I Expect You To Die 2: The Spy And The Liar – 83

A screenshot from the game I Expect You To Die 2: The Spy And The Liar

Joining the ever-growing list of excellent immersive VR games, I Expect You To Die 2: The Spy and the Liar is a 2021 first-person puzzle game and a perfect sequel to the original 2017 title I Expect You To Die. The series follows a silent spy that has the power of telekinesis who, with the help of their hilarious handler, must complete a series of assignments in order to try to stop an evil organization known as Zoraxis.

After seemingly dying in the first game, the agent is once again able to work against Zoraxis without much scrutiny. During the six new missions, the player will solve puzzles, uncover mysteries, and meet the celebrity John Juniper, who is voiced by famous American actor Wil Wheaton.

Syphon Filter – 90

A screenshot from the beginning of the first level in the game Syphon Filter

Besides the Metal Gear Solid and Splinter Cell franchises, one of the most significant early stealth-action games is the Syphon Filter series. Although there have been six games in this series, none of them have reached the same heights as the original 1999 PS1 third-person shooter Syphon Filter. The player character, Gabriel “Gabe” Logan, and his partner, Lian Xing, are special agents who are investigating biological outbreaks that only target specific individuals.

Since these outbreaks are caused by Erich Rhoemer, who is the leader of an international terrorist organization, Gabe and Lian must travel across the world to uncover the secrets behind the biological weapon known as Syphon Filter. As Gabe continues his missions, he discovers that the very people he trusts may be involved in the attacks.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director’s Cut – 91

One of the main promotional photos for the Director's Cut version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut is a 2013 enhanced version of the 2011 stealth-action shooter RPG Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which is the third installment of the larger Deus Ex franchise. As a prequel to the first game in the series, the game follows Adam Jensen as he investigates the mysterious group who attacked Sarif Industries, which is a company that specializes in artificial organs known as “augmentations.”

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After barely surviving the group’s initial attack, Jensen now has augmentations that allow him to do things that normal humans are unable to do. Using these abilities, the player will have to make many choices that won’t have clear moral answers, and there’re four possible endings.

The Operative: No One Lives Forever – 91

A screenshot of Cate Archer and Bruno Lawrie at the start of The Operative: No One Lives Forever

Developed by Monolith Productions, who are best known for the Blood and F.E.A.R. franchises, The Operative: No One Lives Forever is an award-winning stealth first-person shooter released in 2000 that was inspired by Austin Powers and television shows from the 1960s. Taking place within that era, the game follows a former cat-burglar named Cate Archer who is the first female operative for the secret organization known as UNITY.

After an assassin named Volkov manages to kill half of UNITY’s agents within a week, Cate Archer is tasked with stopping this killer and his organization: H.A.R.M. Although both this game and its sequel, No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.’s Way, are often considered some of the best games ever made, it’s almost impossible to play them now because nobody knows who owns the rights to the franchise.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory – 94

A screenshot from the game Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

Released as the third game in the Splinter Cell series, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is a 2005 stealth game that’s often considered one of the greatest games of all time. Like previous installments, the game follows Sam Fisher, who is a special agent that works for a hidden branch within the NSA called “Third Echelon.”

After Japan establishes an Information Self-Defense Force, Fisher must help stop the tensions between Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea, and the US from starting another World War. Because of the game’s in-depth stealth mechanics, some fans consider this game to be the last pure stealth game in the series.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty – 96

Raiden and Solid Snake working together in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

Created by famous video game designer Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty is a 2001 stealth game that also had some of the most misleading trailers. Despite the trailers implying that Solid Snake would return as the playable protagonist, this game actually has players control a rookie agent named Raiden who tries to save President James Johnson from a group of terrorists called the Sons of Liberty.

As Raiden uncovers truths behind a powerful organization known as “the Patriots,” he teams up with Snake to stop Dead Cell’s leader, Solidus Snake, from using a mobile fortress called Arsenal Gear. With advanced enemy AI, detailed environmental elements, and various stealth possibilities, this game has continued to be considered one of the best.

GoldenEye 007 (1997) – 96

James Bond about to jump off the dam at the end of the first level in the N64 game GoldenEye 007

Developed by Rare, who has created plenty of iconic franchises like Battletoads, Donkey Kong, and Banjo-Kazooie, GoldenEye 007 is 1997 first-person shooter for the Nintendo 64 and another title that’s often considered one of the greatest games ever made. Based off the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye, the game follows James Bond as he tries to stop a satellite weapon known as GoldenEye.

Besides the single player mode, there was also a split-screen four-player deathmatch multiplayer mode. Since the game became a major turning point in the first-person shooter genre and has excellent gameplay that’s still engaging to this day, it’s no surprise that many consider it a necessary title for fans.

Perfect Dark – 97

Joanna Dark on the cover of the original Perfect Dark for N64

Since Nintendo lost the rights to James Bond after GoldenEye 007, Rare used the resources they were planning to use on the sequel Tomorrow Never Dies to instead create a spiritual successor titled Perfect Dark. Released in 2000 for the N64, players control agent Joanna Dark, who is part of a secret espionage organization within the research centre called The Carrington Institute. Because of her perfect training scores, she is nicknamed “Perfect Dark.”

During the game, Joanna gets caught up in an interstellar war between two alien races: the Maians and the Skedar. Though the game did receive a prequel titled Perfect Dark Zero, the series has since been left incomplete due to Microsoft not having any interest in it.

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About The Author

Anastasia Wilds
(147 Articles Published)

Anastasia Wilds is a freelance writer for Screen Rant. Because of her passion for video games, her main focus is writing video game listicles for the website. Along with writing, she also streams various video games on Twitch and uploads some of her highlighted streams onto YouTube. Before working at Screen Rant, she worked as the Senior Arts Editor for “The Spectrum” newspaper at the University at Buffalo.

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