Nearly 2 decades ago, IO Interactive introduced Agent 47 to the world, and the rest is history.
With over 8 installments now, Hitman continues to be one of the most enthralling and gripping video game franchises of all time.
From compelling gameplay to vivid graphics, only a few game series can walk shoulder to shoulder with Hitman.
With each new installment, we’re transported to a whole country and culture. From the U.S., Italy, and Morocco to Thailand and Japan, the gruesome franchise provides an unmatched immersive experience that leaves the best of us in absolute awe.
In this post, we’ll look at some of the best Hitman games you can play and why you’d fall in love with them because of their immersive gameplay and advanced graphics.
The Man, The Myth, The Legend – Agent 47
Agent 47, aka the Hitman, is the legendary protagonist of the Hitman series, marked by an emotionalness, cold, and professional personality. He gives a “no-nonsense” vibe through his closed-off persona, making him the best guy to pop off people with no remorse. No wonder the genetically enhanced clone is considered the best assassin in the world.
In the game series, you get to play Agent 47 and travel the world, assassinating the people his handler, Diana Burnwood, tells him to. He doesn’t let all the kills take a toll on his fancy suits, does he?
Interestingly, Agent 47 used to work with the International Contract Agency (ICA) until he exposed confidential information to the public and went rogue, along with Diana.
In the games, after leaving ICA, the two operate a murder-for-hire service (freelancing, basically) and kill on behalf of their clients. Each game takes you to new missions as Agent 47 maintains his kill streak and keeps his guns in good shape.
Locations With an Impact on the Game
Given that we’re talking about the Hitman games today, it only makes sense if we also discuss and explore the impact of different locations on the gameplay mechanics and overall experience.
#1. Paris, France 🇫🇷
First stop, the ever-glamorous fashion capital! We all know for a fact the city of Paris oozes style and sophistication, and it’s the same in the Hitman games as well. The lively atmosphere and intricate layout make Paris an engaging and challenging playground for assassination, but is it challenging enough for Agent 47? I highly doubt it is.
#2. Sapienza, Italy 🇮🇹
Next up, you get an opportunity to explore the picturesque coastal town of Sapienza. This charming Italian location is every Hitman fan’s dream, with its sun-soaked streets, colorful architecture, and gorgeous scenery of the Mediterranean.
Not to mention, the diverse environments and breathtaking landscapes make Sapienza a favorite among fans of the franchise.
#3. Mumbai, India 🇮🇳
This is among my favorites because of the fact that I got to play in my own city. The location of Mumbai immerses you in the vibrant chaos and bustling environment. It teems with life, featuring crowded streets, marketplaces, and towering skyscrapers holding plenty of targets for your next assassination.
Mumbai’s energetic atmosphere is an apt reflection of India, offering you a unique and challenging experience.
#4. Miami, USA 🇺🇸
Who doesn’t love Miami? This city’s dynamic nature adds an element of unpredictability, with events such as a live race and car explosions adding the perfect blend of spices among spine-chilling murders.
Miami’s fast-paced environment and diverse culture sets the ultimate platform for thrilling assassination missions.
#5. Hokkaido, Japan 🇯🇵
If you love the intense and dark genre, you’ll cherish your visit to Hokkaido, a secluded luxury resort set in the snowy mountains of Japan. As much as the beauty of the location, the contrasting tranquility and tension of Hokkaido create an immersive and captivating experience that’s a little expected yet equally enjoyable.
Overall, each and every location in the Hitman games brings its own flavor to the gameplay, ranging from challenging neighborhoods to vibrant urban environments.
The kind of attention to detail you get to see in those locations and levels and the distinct cultural influences can quickly pull you into an immersive world of drama that knows no boundaries of possibilities.
From the hustle and bustle of Mumbai to the high-society gatherings of Paris, the various locations in Hitman games play a significant role in enhancing the gameplay mechanics, providing opportunities for creative assassinations, and contributing to an unforgettable overall experience.
With that said, let’s dive into Agent 47’s greatest hits you cannot afford to miss out on.
Hitman 2 is not much different from its previous release in terms of challenge structure. However, what’s different and exciting, are the new locations. With 6 unique environments, you’re tasked to assassinate people while overcoming difficult situations.
From having to take out a billionaire tech CEO and his daughter in the middle of a race to assisting a budding assassin in achieving their prized high-priority kills, each locale comes with an enthralling challenge that will keep you at the edge of your seat the whole time.
For me, the game’s highlight is an escapade in the bustling city of Mumbai, India, where the iconic arrangement of buildings and the dense population engulfs Agent 47 while he stealthily escapes the guards to take out the target.
Interestingly, the game offers an exceptional crowd-blending experience, allowing you to disappear into the crowd while on a mission, much like how Assassin’s Creed does it.
From figuring out the routes to finding different tools and the best ways to use them, you’ll find plenty of challenges as the story unfolds. Yes, you’d have to kill, but before the climax, you’d have to hide, eavesdrop, observe, and tail in different cities.
Even in a place as sparsely populated as Whittleton Creek, you’d have to figure out the interconnected routes and dig deeper to complete your mission.
Among all the new features Hitman 2 brings, what really hooks the players is the new and exotic locations that’ll leave you in absolute awe while carefully picking and ripping your targets.
Developer: IO Interactive
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: November 13, 2018
Hitman: Codename 47
Released back in 2000, Hitman: Codename 47 takes you to the exotic locations of Hong Kong, Columbia, Budapest, and Rotterdam, with each place flaunting a unique playstyle.
Being the first game of the series, it made its name by providing players with the freedom of choice. Rather than relying on linear gameplay, the game encouraged exploration and experimentation. This means you, as a player, could choose different weapons, tactics, and disguises as per your preferences, allowing for a high level of strategic thinking.
Moreover, the character of Agent 47 quickly became an iconic figure in gaming and gained massive attention. Dressed in his signature black suit and red tie, with a shaved head and barcode tattoo, he possessed an unmatched aura of cold professionalism.
As you dive deeper into the game’s narrative, you uncover the enigmatic past and the motives behind his actions, helping you fully grasp the intrigue and depth of the game’s storyline.
While the game is terrific in most aspects, it’s not perfect. For instance, the detection range of enemies is slightly unpredictable and “random” at some points. A guard could bump into you in a cozy corner and fail to spot you, while an influx of enemies can be detected the next moment on the map.
Stealth games are fun when you’re facing the consequences of your actions, but random enemy detection can be pretty annoying, especially when it happens frequently.
Nevertheless, Hitman: Codename 47 laid out the platform for a highly successful franchise that continues to thrive to this day. It set the benchmark for future stealth-based games, helping countless titles shine by providing the required inspiration.
This game’s combination of strategic gameplay, open-ended missions, and an intriguing storyline gets you hooked right from the first minute.
Developer: IO Interactive
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Release Date: November 19, 2000
Hitman: Blood Money
You’ll come for the gameplay, but you will stay for the intriguing story and the cinematic sequence of the missions. Hitman: Blood Money is a whole package of a good plot, amazing graphics, and exciting gameplay, three elements that have made the stealth action franchise a huge success.
This game mostly keeps you in the United States, from New Orleans and Las Vegas to Northern California and Los Angeles.
The creators do complete justice to the culture of some of these spots, as you’ll see parties going on in full swing while also being jam-packed with civilians and guards. Navigating through the crowd and taking out the targets without being detected is the real allure of the game, one which this installment 100% delivers.
If you slip up, you can run and gun out of the situation in style. But stealth is the key.
You’ll also have a range of weapons to choose from, including guns, explosives, knives, poisons, and more. If you’re strategic, you can even make the victims’ deaths accidental, such as planning for a heavy object to drop on them. However, being a long-term player of the Hitman games, clean kills are most pleasing.
The GPS-style real-time map will help you plan your strike, which pulls up the display of all the characters in the vicinity, including your targets.
To sum up, you’ll enjoy the locations and the missions that include plenty of action as long as you keep your notoriety in check and leave fewer trails of bodies after the missions.
All in all, you won’t experience a major change in the gameplay from the previous installment but will love the cinematic vibe this one brings.
Developer: IO Interactive
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Release Date: May 26, 2006
Hitman: Contracts, though amazing in its own right, could remind you of Hitman 2: Silent Assassin while also dishing out some missions from Hitman 1.
The franchise’s first installment faced some issues with the controls and the gameplay, which didn’t go well with the players. The second installment made up for the shortcomings. In Contracts, you can experience some exciting missions of the 1st installment, but with improved controls and a better overall design, so there won’t be much complaining.
You’ll get to play new levels and some remixes of the 2000 game, but you’ll have a great time, nevertheless.
The fresh missions provide plenty of opportunities to creatively and strategically take out your enemies without blowing your cover, making it a fun game to play. If the cover blows, you can shoot just about anyone to finish the mission.
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The game is set in the asylum where the genetically enhanced 47 was created. One of the missions is to escape the place without being detected by the innumerable SWAT teams surrounding the facility. You could obviously try and shoot your way out, but not if you want to be smart about it.
The setting of this installment is entirely rainy or snowy, giving a classic noir theme. You’d make the most of the experience of this game by being stealthy, so there’s that. Overall, you could consider this installment a supplement to the previous game but an excellent one with its own unique plot and flow that you’d love.
Developer: IO Interactive
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Release Date: April 20, 2004
Remember the good old stealth games of the Hitman franchise, where we had to take our target out by being super sneaky and without being detected? Yeah, Hitman Absolution deviates from that a bit. I believe this game was an attempt to follow the trend of action-packed modern shooting games.
However, even though it deviates from the modus operandi a little, it’s still an excellent experience for someone who loves the Hitman series.
The slow pace is exactly something that would cater to your taste buds, but if you’re a sucker for the type of gameplay of Medal of Duty: Modern Warfighter Ops, then this might not be the best game for you to play.
The plus here is you would enjoy some incredible abilities of Agent 47. You can sneak up on the targets, grab them, and take them out with your bare hands. Moreover, it comes with a cover system, enabling you to have an open-fire exchange with the enemies if things go south. You can also do a fake-surrender stunt to lure the enemy close to you to disarm them.
Once you start playing this game, you’d notice some differences in the shooting system, such as point shooting. While it may be a bit different from what we experienced in Blood Money, it has done justice to the franchise’s credibility, thanks to how open-ended it is.
You can tackle the mission from different angles and let your strategic play shine through.
Developer: IO Interactive, Feral Interactive & Nixxes Software
Publisher: Square Enix Europe
Release Date: November 20, 2012
Hitman GO: Definitive Edition
Hitman GO may not give you a run-of-the-mill Hitman experience, but it can certainly exercise your brain. It’s a puzzle game with several handcrafted levels in which you play as the famed Agent 47.
The game features a board, where 47 is a piece you move across the grid, stealthily evading the guards and on the way to the exit square. You’d be awe-struck by the diorama model of the boards, designed to create subset puzzles around the main puzzle element.
The challenge comes when you have to navigate the grid’s layout and the guards patrolling it. You’d have to be mindful of the guards wearing jackets of different colors.
Remember, the color coding of the jackets is not just for aesthetics. Each color guard behaves differently. For example, blue jacket guards stay in one spot. They only attack if you come directly in front of them.
On the other hand, yellow ones patrol back and forth the grid and can be a piece of work in every level they feature, so yeah, they are the challenging ones. Similarly, there are other color-coded guards.
To win the game, you’d have to position yourself well while identifying the weak spot in the defense at each level.
If you want to put your mind to work and unravel a tricky puzzle featuring Agent 47, this game is perfect for you. It’s no Blood Money, but it can give Hitman lovers a decent gaming experience while they await the next installment of the series.
Developer: Square Enix Montreal
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: February 23, 2016
Check it out on Steam.
The Hitman series has captivated its audience for over 20 years and continues the stint with each successive game. From storyline to strategizing and execution in the gameplay, the franchise offers a complete package to the fans of action games.
Each installment brings something new to the table, which may or may not be well received by fans, but that’s the allure of Hitman. It always keeps you guessing what’s next.
While the creators have said not to expect another installment anytime soon, we can always hope for the best because it’s hard to get enough of these games being passionate fans of Agent 47.
Next, check out the best PS4 RPGs to explore new realms and characters.
Adnan is a BMS graduate and a senior games writer at Sparkian. He’s a gaming enthusiast with plenty of knowledge of the gaming world, including the latest games, strategies, and epic adventures. Besides gaming, he loves to write about tech… read more