For all the gun-blazing, whip-cracking, all-out action and mayhem there is to enjoy in video games, sometimes a change of pace is needed. All that one-note violence can get boring, no? Why not eliminate that patrolling guard or spittle-covered demon in a more sophisticated manner; something more understated than a rocket launcher to the face?
Fortunately, there's a wealth of stealth games on Switch for the gentil assassin; players who prefer their ultraviolence a tad more calculated and classy — just the thing for when all those Glory kills have lost their glory.
Below you'll find our picks of the best stealth games on Nintendo Switch. There are a variety of different styles, from 3D action games to turn-based tactical titles, but each one lets you live out your desires to be a stealthy agent infiltrating installations and dispatching enemies in the shadows with a subtle silencer, some cheese wire or a swift judo chop. Ow!
Of course, there's a certain purveyor of tactical espionage action missing from Switch at the moment. Snake's appearance as a fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate aside, Konami's Metal Gear Solid series hasn't yet shown up on Switch in any form (that is unless it's just doing a really top-class job of going unnoticed... have you checked all the boxes?). There are, however, plenty of other games on Nintendo's current console that see you a-creepin' and a-sneakin' while we wait for Snake, solid or otherwise, so slip onto Switch.
So, let's take a look — in no particular order — at the best stealth games on Switch.
Hitman 3 is a fantastic conclusion to one of gaming's truly great trilogies and, with this Cloud Version, Switch players get to join in the fun in an experience that delivers the goods – so long as you've got the bandwidth to handle it. The expected, unavoidable technical shortcomings of streaming a game over the internet – input lag, visual dips and framerate issues – are all present to some degree but, on the whole, if your broadband setup is up to the task, you'll find that a perfectly playable version of a slick and addictive stealth title is loitering in the shadows for you on Switch.
It takes a while to get going and it has its fair share of annoying quirks, but as it progresses Aragami becomes a solid stealth game with a compelling story. The addition of extra DLC chapters gives it a welcome boost in longevity, and though the game's temperamental mechanics prevent it becoming an inarguable gem, its stylish look and the range of abilities you acquire by the end mean fans of stealth games (and fans of stealth only) will still have a fun time if they can stick with it.
Assassin's Creed: The Rebel Collection presents two excellent swashbuckling epics ported to Nintendo's console in fine fashion. Stealth is oftentimes merely optional rather than necessary, but this deadly duo offers some quality surreptitious action if that's what you're after. Black Flag is a revelation in portable mode and looks and performs almost flawlessly as you blast your way around the Caribbean on Edward Kenway's captivating pirate adventures. Rogue, although it struggles to keep up slightly here and there, is always eminently playable and together with the excellent Freedom Cry, they deliver handheld Assassin's Creed at a standard we weren't sure we'd see on Switch.
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Never Stop Sneakin' is a lovingly crafted parody of early Metal Gear Solid games that pairs some genuinely funny dialogue and ridiculous characters and cutscenes with its own brand of impressively slick stealth action. Its levels are pretty repetitive and there's quite a bit of unnecessary grinding and replaying of missions in an effort to artificially extend the running time but, overall, this is a fun little title that's perfect for dipping in and out of for a hit of light-hearted tactical espionage action.
Invisible, Inc. is a brilliant little tactics game, right up there with Into the Breach and XCOM – if not even better. The bite-sized structure belies a deceptively complex and meaningful game, where all your decisions ultimately mean something significant for that final desperate attack. If you enjoy stealth or tactics games – or you're simply looking for a way into either genre – then Invisible, Inc. deserves your attention.
Serial Cleaner is undeniably cool, but can be at odds with itself. On the one hand, the bite-sized levels and whimsical humour should allow for a fun, pick-up-and-play-jaunt, but it is obstructed by a handful of small but significant frustrations. It's a game that both embraces the tropes of the stealth genre and adds a neat little twist, but it won't be long before even the most persistent of players wished it was just a bit more lenient regarding certain elements.
With a neat, if limited, core concept combined with some superb retro presentation, Serial Cleaner is held back by design choices that are at best curious and challenging, and at worst infuriatingly obtuse; a good game rather than a great one, but worth investigating if you're a fan of vision cones and blood-drenched '70s décor.
Monaco: Complete Edition offers a solid solo experience which benefits from some excellent storytelling and multiple perspectives, as well as brilliantly-constructed heist-based gameplay focused on putting each criminal's skills to the best use. However, it truly shines in multiplayer, whether couch co-op or online. As the servers are pretty quiet, grabbing a group of friends and forming your own motley crew is your best route into this explosive heist thriller.
Yes, you can HONK! 'til you're blue in the bill, but if you want to pilfer prizes from its English country gardens, Untitled Goose Game forces you to perfect your stealth skills, too. House House's game boasts more inventiveness, creativity and charm than the vast majority of titles on the Switch eShop, and offers a believable game world that's a real pleasure to explore, investigate and – of course – cause merry havoc in. Superb physics, excellent controls, surprisingly robust AI and unique presentation all combine to make this a real highlight in the Switch's library – it's only the brevity of the experience that lets it down, but this really is a case of quality over quantity.