The Lord of the Rings is a very prolific series and has brought to the fore one of its most conflicted characters in The Lord of the Rings: Gollum. In this original story, you’ll play as the transformed hobbit Smeagol as he lives and survives as the creature known as Gollum.
For the sake of the One Ring and self-preservation, Gollum will have to stealthily fight his way through several notable locations in Middle-earth. This presents a solid challenge as Gollum has no reliable form of defense and therefore must rely on stealth. You’re definitely not alone in this though, and there are other games out there that also have you relying on shadows for success.
8 Styx series
Although Gollum may be known as a ghoulish little creeper, he’s not the only character to have that title. There are a couple of fantasy games that center around the character Styx, a goblin who has lived an exceptionally long life. He has used this time to master the use of his body and his shadows to his advantage in order to become a skilled assassin.
Since he’s a goblin, he needs to use every advantage he can to sneak around and take down large armored humanoids. Stealth and stealth are his bread and butter, but he also has tools and magic to give you even more options.
7 Spiderman: Miles Morales
Spider-Man games always work well, and for good reason. While rookie hero Miles Morales and protégé Peter Parker have both buffed speed and strength, their basic abilities have manifested a bit differently. Spider-Man has never been the tankiest when it comes to ranking heroes, so he frequently relies on stealth, and Miles’ powers complement him well.
His poison attacks can stun enemies from a distance, and he literally has the power to turn himself invisible. Miles is tough, but he’s a kid too, so you’ll need to use mobility and powers to sneak around and take out as many enemies as possible.
6 ghost of a tale
A largely unnoticed indie title, Ghost Of A Tale doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. In a grim fantasy universe, you play as a mouse trapped in an isolated prison supervised by rats. Your objective is to escape from the prison while exploring it and its surroundings to find news of your missing wife.
Naturally, this requires you to use your height and mouse agility to avoid detection while knocking out the rats only as a last resort. It’s a scenario where you rarely feel safe and you never want rats to fall on you.
After the success of Limbo, the developers at Playdead realized that there is one thing they do exceptionally well: the stealth mechanic, which they brought to Inside. Once again, you play as a small child in a bleak, dystopian world. Very little is revealed at first other than the simple need to escape and survive.
There’s a fair amount of platforming, physics, and puzzle-solving, but also a strong stealth element. There are multiple hostile entities that only have their sights on you, so move fast, hide and always have an escape route.
4 the mark of the ninja
The media has misrepresented and converted ninjas in almost every way possible, so authentic depictions of them are something of a novelty. While Mark Of The Ninja takes some liberties, he also strives to be accurate in a number of ways. The game follows a nameless ninja from an ancient clan who receives a tattoo said to grant increased strength and mystical powers.
Following this, his clan is attacked by technologically-enhanced PMC forces. Armed with a sword and a few tools, you’re well built, but an unprotected ninja body won’t do much in the way of bullets. It tests you to make sudden movements, hide quickly, and leave no trace that you were ever there.
3 The plague tale series
Nothing stimulates the survival instinct more than being forced to flee or having someone to protect. The Plague Tale games have both in play with the character Amicia. As the daughter of a knight, her home is invaded and destroyed by a fanatical force dedicated to kidnapping and studying her younger brother Hugo.
On the run, Amicia must rely on her wits, stealth, and skills with a slingshot to guide herself and Hugo safely. You eventually gain access to a nice arsenal of weapons and abilities, but they won’t replace the good old man hiding in the bushes and making distracting noises.
2 unseen, inc.
After trying their luck with ninjas, the folks at Mark Of The Ninja came back to try their luck with spies. These aren’t just any spies, they’re corporate spies working for Invisible, Inc. As the leader of your own spy business, your job is to infiltrate other businesses, steal their secrets, and perform secure extraction.
Combining stealth gameplay with turn-based strategy is interesting, as well as giving you access to a full team of characters for more variety. Some are better at hacking, others at dealing with security, and certain people are great at staying hidden, all coming together for a fun combination of snooping and spying.
1 The shadow of the series
Gollum is all about stealth and trying to blend in, but he’s not the first character in LOTR to rely on it. Years before, Shadow Of Mordor introduced us to Talion, a ranger killed while standing guard on Mordor’s borders. Celebrimbor, the wraith-shaped elf who created the ring, quickly revives him. Together, the two make a powerful duo both in and out of combat.
It’s perfectly fine to jump into the middle of an orc’s feast and start dueling everyone there, but stealth is much more satisfying. You can crouch, climb, dive, sneak, set off explosives, poison consumables, use arrows, detonate various wild animals, or just sneak up and stealth kill. Gollum is a crafty crafty guy, but our ranger Talion-Celebrimbor has a lot more range.
NEXT: The Best Stealth Games Of The Decade, Ranked