I have finally finished my playthrough of every mainline titles of Hitman. Here are some of my thoughts as well as ranking all the games:

Note that I played all these games on PC (Steam to be specific) so my experience might differ to those on other platforms.

  1. Hitman WoA: Technically Hitman WoA is three games but now has been bundled into one so I’m ranking them as one. What is there to say about it that hasn’t already been said, the game is simply fantastic. It’s a perfect rendition and modernization of previously established concepts by a well beloved and long running series. The game has less levels than previous games, but each one is gianormous sandbox with so many things to do, so many routes to take and a challenge system which gives players so much replayability and room for creative approaches. Every iconic feature like disguises, creative kills, solving roadbloxes… is done to pretty much perfection. Contract mode returns, allowing players to create custom made hits, be creative and utilizing parts of maps that main missions might not. Escalations can be hit or miss but they generally spice up gameplay and are nice changes. Freelancer mode is a huge yet free update that lets the players play Hitman like never before, and serve as a alternative to the classic formula. The game isn’t flawless of course, with many issues such as requiring always online, limited time content, bugs and glitches, a story that feels quite barebone… but they do not take away much from how great the game is. Overall Hitman WoA is the best game in the entire franchise, and in my opinion one of the best game ever made.

  2. Hitman Contracts: I was very surprised when I find myself enjoying Hitman Contracts over Blood Money, but Contracts just resonates with me in a way that Blood Money doesn’t. The level design is fantastic, such a massive step up from Hitman 2 Silent Assassin. The atmosphere is phenomenal, being very dark, very gritty and not being shy of showing depraved imagery. Meat King’s Party is a perfect example. A fetish party taking place in a meat factory that also houses the Sturrock brothers. The cold blue tone mixed with the sprayed on the floor and walls make for a fantastically unsettling feel. And then that whole scene with Malcolm Sturrock and the girl is just absolutely grotesque. The transitioning cutscenes between levels mixing reality and 47’s imagination is great, although about half way through I guess they ran out of idea so the cutscenes are just gone. The music is great and fits the game well, very deserving of the BAFTA that it got. The remake levels are smart additions, as they add many quality of life changes and remove unneeded things (i.e. the two Rotterdam levels being combined into one). Traditions of the Trade is my personal favorite level, while Deadly Cargo is easily the worst (ironic how the best and worst levels of Codename 47 are the best and worst levels of Contracts too). The story is pretty much non-existent and is just a set up for Blood Money. The rating system stays the same as Hitman 2 Silent Assassin, but the gameplay has seen some massive improvement. Running while disguised is no longer an immediate death sentence (being shot at for no reason isn’t gone completely, but is now much much less frequent), the chloroform has been replaced with a faster sedactive syringe for easier knockouts, fiber wire no longer needs to be prepared to use and crouch walking is now much faster. The inventory has been changed to the now iconic circular wheel one, and the camera now stays in one position only instead of zooming in and out at random like before.

  3. Hitman Blood Money: The Magnum Opus, the Golden Child, the Hopes and Dreams, a masterpiece beyond its time. This is the closest that the older games ever got to the massive sandbox of WoA. No longer are there the missions that follow up to each other. Now every level is a box of playthings for the player to figure out and create their own unique approach to the same problems. Contracts didn’t make that many innovation in terms of gameplay, but Blood Money instead brought a ton new features like human shield, tossing items, elevator shaft strangle, hiding bodies in crates… to allow the players to express their creativity and play the game however they feel like. The new accident system as well as the removal of close encounters and limiting fired shots allows for much more creative freedom and means that players can now salvage their mistakes and keep going instead of an instant restart/reload. The newspaper mechanic adds immersion and further encourages players to aim for that sweet sweet Silent Assassin ranking. On the other hand notoriety and weapon upgrade don’t really add anything (although the notoriety system did replace the old suspicion system which means with notierity at zero players never have to worry about being seen through their disguise randomly). The story is pretty much there just to serve gameplay, but it works in that regard. With all that said, I found Blood Money to not click with me as much as I would have liked. There are certain aspects of level and gameplay design that I don’t really enjoy and the atmosphere just isn’t there for some of them. Still, it is a great game that still holds up well to this day, and when it came out brought in a lot of new fans and attention to the franchise.

  4. Hitman 2 Silent Assassin: As a sequel to Codename 47, this game seems like a massive improvement. As a standalone however, it can be pretty bad. The levels are pretty linear and are hit or miss. The St Petersburg missions are definitely the best of the bunch, while the Afghanistan levels are just insufferable. Two of the worst levels in the entire game are Hidden Valley and At The Gates. The convoluted level design, the confusing way the player is meant to go about things, the invincible dead on accurate snipers, the fact that if guards see you they will demand an ID check (if you’re gonna have a system like this then at least let me be able to find an ID to fool the guards and blend in)… There is still usually one way to really go about killing your targets. Some levels do allow for alternative methods as well as improvisation, but mostly you’ll get shot for trying to pull something not intended. The inventory now pauses the game instead of being in real time, hints will now pop up on the screen suggesting players on what to do, and a non lethal way of taking people out which is chloroform has been added, though I find it to be quite unreliable and clunky as it takes forever to use and people wake up after a while. The camera behaves very strangely, zooming in and out seemingly at random and becomes very annoying very fast, even if a single input can change it back. The iconic rating system has been added, although I do not like how limitting it can be. The fact that you’re not allowed to fire too many shots as well as close encounters being a thing really limits gameplay. If I get behind a guy and take him out before he can turn around from hearing me, that shouldn’t count against me, especially if I immediately kill him. The AI is incredibly bad and seems completely arbitrary when it comes to their behaviour. If the player is seen running just for a mili second, there is a high chance every guard in the vicinity will open fire (thankfully sliding trick exist). The fact that they can hear the player running from incredibly far away and hear the player taking out weapons if not in crouch mode is extremely annoying. The music for this game is amazing. Hitman 2 Silent Assassin has some of Jesper Kyd’s finest work. The scores are incredibly good and really fit the tone of each mission, with my favorite of them being the one for Kirov Park Meeting. When it comes to story this game has the strongest opening of all the Hitman games, but it then got pretty much dropped until the ending.

  5. Hitman Absolution: The Black Sheep of the Hitman series. Hitman Absolution has taken a very different game design to the games of old. The levels are now much linear, with most of them being just a straight line where 47 goes from point A to B. Only a few of the missions actually contain targets to kill. First, let’s start with the good additions. You can now subdue people although this takes forever, movement and shooting has been improved, so now controlling 47 feels much better, you can take the silencer of your guns on and off for certain situations, fiber wire now instantly drags targets, hiding bodies is a single input… Overall these changes allow for smoother and more fast pace gameplay. The bad aspects however, far overshadow the goods. My issue with the level design isn’t the linearity, but everything else about it. Having to identify the targets in the wild first is a very unnecessary addition. The removal of saves replaced with glowing checkpoints which don’t even work how they are expected to work, in that they completely reset everything. The point system is very badly designed in that it restricts gameplay since doing things like pacifying people docks points. The levels having weird areas that counts as trespassing even though it doesn’t make any sense. The disguise system has been completely botched in that everyone who shares the same disguise as the player can see through it. The new instinct system is supposed to be the way to counter this issue, although it’s more of a bandaid for lackluster game design. These mechanics combined effectively made disguises into nothing more but tools to prolong the process of being spotted. What is the point of putting on a disguise when the player still has to dart around all the awkwardly placed view points and cover? Instinct being a bandaid for game design means that the ability to blend in is something the player can run out of, and if they don’t have enough instinct for a critical moment then they’re just screwed. The levels are very unmemorable, lacking any alternative routes or optional things to do. The story is just plain bad. It tries to take itself so seriously yet the writting is so comically bad and all the characters act in such goofy ways. 47 himself is a trainwreck of a character, with questionable decision making skills and emotions that just don’t fit. The twist of Diana not being in the original script is very plainly seen, as it conflicts with so many aspects of the story. Overall it feels like this was written by a twelve year old edgy teen cause of how bad it is combined with all the swearings and the mountain of sexual imagery. The best thing that ever came from Absolution is that it was the foundation for many of WoA’s mechanics and features. If I had to describe Absolution with one word, that word would be “misguided”. I doubt people would consider it any better if it didn’t have the “Hitman” tag.

  6. Hitman Codename 47: There is nothing good to say about this game. It is more of just a tech demo to showcase ideas and concepts of what could potentially be made. All of the levels are confusing to navigate through mazes. Each of the mission has about one way to really tackle them and trying to play outside the box will get the player shot no question. The lack of a save system means that one mistake and the player has to do everything again. The game just expects players to know things they couldn’t possibly know (the specific disguise needed to infiltrate the drug lab, having to grab the body of one of the 48 clones and scan their barcode…) and the lack of any sorts of hints or guides more than just the briefing and objective list means players could be stuck for hours on a mission if they don’t look up the solution. The forced combat sections which are leftovers from the game’s original vision of being a shooter can be quite infuriating. The AI is extremely random and doesn’t seem to follow any rule. Sometimes if the player gets behind someone with a weapon drawn, they will just magically know and turn around and start shooting. The voice acting is really bad and I fully believe David Bateson’s claim of recording all of Codename 47’s material in 3-4 hours. The only good level in the game is Traditions of the Trade. Instead of having forced combat encounters like every other level, this one actually discourages using firearms with all the metal detectors. It’s a mission that can be completely ghost, suit only, no loadout. On the other hand, Plutonium Runs Loose is the perfect demonstration of every flaw this game has. The terrible spawn, the fact that the player has to walk with someone in order to be let through the gates, the dogs that just instantly attack on sight, all the guards walking through the gates disappearing when the car bomb is picked up so if the player wants to pass a gate they just have to go loud, the sheer length of the level, the maze like design of the ship, the forced combat section in the ship’s engine room, Boris is the worst target I’ve ever seen…This is easily the worst level in the entire game and the franchise. In conclusion, Codename 47 definitely is more of a demonstration of ideas and a showcase of what could be possible rather than a full fleshed game, and these ideas would later become integral parts of the Hitman series going forward, and I can appreciate Codename 47 for that.

And that is my ranking and opinion on every Hitman title. I hope you guys have enjoyed going through this and let me know about your own thoughts and feelings about each of the game as well. Thanks for checking out my post and reading.


Nice review of those games, kinda agreeing on lots of points with you :+1:


Codename 47 is perfect, seems more like a skill issue to me. Git gud.


Thanks MrOchoa, clearly not a biased opinion at all. By the way is there any chance your first name might be Pablo?


(A bit late I know), Codename 47 is better than Absolution. I know things weren’t fully fleshed out in the game, but even as it seems like it’s a tectum amount it’s far more interesting than absolution.