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Splinter Cell: Ranking the games in the series

Splinter Cell is one of the most iconic stealth-action franchises in gaming history (Image Credits: Nerdbite)
Splinter Cell is one of the most iconic stealth-action franchises in gaming history (Image Credits: Nerdbite)
Rahul Bhushan
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It has been quite a while since gamers have played as Sam Fisher in the Splinter Cell series. While the iconic agent has made appearances in Ubisoft's other games such as Ghost Recon and Rainbox Six, a new entry in the Splinter Cell franchise is long overdue.

With the next Ubisoft Forward event looming closer, fans are hoping that Ubisoft reveals plans for a Splinter Cell game next. The stealth-action franchise has been extremely influential in the industry and birthed 6 very impressive titles.

The Splinter Cell franchise has evolved considerably with each title and has been able to stay enjoyable throughout.

Splinter Cell: Ranking every game in the series

5) Splinter Cell: Double Agent

Splinter Cell: Double Agent (Image Credits: Wallpaperacess)
Splinter Cell: Double Agent (Image Credits: Wallpaperacess)

By no means a mediocre game, Double Agent is quite the package when considered in isolation. However, in context to the rest of the series, Double Agent does come off lacking in terms of memorable levels or moments.

The gameplay remains quite strong but in a puzzling move, Ubisoft decided to take away major elements from the HUD, making for a needlessly cumbersome experience.

The game had a lot of potential which is set up right from the start, but ultimately, it failed to live up to its lofty expectations. Double Agent can be faulted for a few things but not ambition as it chose to tell a drastically different kind of story.

5) Splinter Cell

Splinter Cell (Image Credits: MobyGames)
Splinter Cell (Image Credits: MobyGames)

This is the original game in the franchise that introduced Sam Fisher, voiced by the iconic Michael Ironside. Splinter Cell was an instant hit with fans, and players fell in love with the stealth mechanics as well as the game's insistence on the player taking the least lethal approach possible.

While the gameplay was always front and centre, the real winner came in the form of the character of Sam Fisher himself. Rather than a moody and dark protagonist, Sam was a somewhat darkly humorous and sarcastic individual that remained cool under immense pressure while also being extremely dangerous.

The game laid a solid foundation for the rest of the series and is still remembered quite fondly for its implementation of deeper stealth mechanics than the usual stealth game.

4) Splinter Cell: Conviction

Splinter Cell: Conviction (Image Credits: Wallpaperup)
Splinter Cell: Conviction (Image Credits: Wallpaperup)

Despite this title being a personal favourite, Conviction was as divisive an entry in the series as there ever has been. Conviction picks up the story shortly after the events of Double Agent and sees a now-retired Sam Fisher on the hunt for the truth regarding his daughter.

The gameplay was revamped significantly, and some would argue it fit better for an action game rather than the stealth gameplay the series was known for. However, the game is a fantastic outing for Fisher as his character is explored deeper this time around.

The game's "Mark and Execute" feature was equally divisive, but it has now become a staple of games in the genre. If for nothing else, play Conviction for the "Infinite Mark and Execute" sequence that is set to DJ Shadow's @Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt".

3) Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow

Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow (Image Credits: Realsamfisher, YouTube)
Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow (Image Credits: Realsamfisher, YouTube)

Pandora Tomorrow is an underrated game in the franchise that is loved by a devoted section of the fanbase, with some even calling it the best game in the series. The sequel to the original, Pandora Tomorrow, develops on the foundation laid by the original Splinter Cell to quite the degree.

The game does a lot of things right but one particular element stands out as the clear winner. The "Spies v Mercs" game mode in Multiplayer has been touted as the best part of Pandora Tomorrow.

The campaign was also very well made but the brilliant multiplayer mode simply overshadowed everything else that the game did right.

2) Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Splinter Cell: Blacklist (Image Credits: Wallpapercave)
Splinter Cell: Blacklist (Image Credits: Wallpapercave)

The last entry in the Splinter Cell franchise, 2013's Blacklist looked to take the series back to its roots after a somewhat divisive detour with Conviction. The game sees Sam return to his espionage career but this time, as the chief of Fourth Echelon.

However, the biggest change in the game was the absence of Michael Ironside as the iconic protagonist's voice. It was later revealed that the role was given to Eric Johnson as Ironside had been battling health issues of his own.

Splinter Cell Blacklist is possibly the most balanced and refined stealth-action gameplay in the series. The fantastic campaign is made better with the game's brilliant stealth gameplay.

Players can even choose to go all-out action in their approach and tailor their loadout as such.

1) Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory (Image Credits: Wallpaperabyss)
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory (Image Credits: Wallpaperabyss)

Regarded as the consensus best game in the series and deservedly so, Chaos Theory could be considered the best game in the series on the back of the bank heist mission alone.

Chaos Theory refined the stealth gameplay of the series to deliver one of the best stealth games in the history of the genre. Sam now has more tools at his disposal than ever before, and players could really experiment with their approach.

However, stealth is still front and centre in what is quite possibly the most iconic entry in the franchise.


Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh
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