Strike from afar with the best sniper games
There's something about playing as a sniper that's eerily satisfying. Whether it's striking from the shadows or landing that perfect headshot, planning, tracking, and pulling the trigger makes sniper games incredibly gratifying. Especially for first-person shooter fans who have perfected the art over the years in games like Halo and Team Fortress 2.
Dozens of sniper games have launched across PC, consoles, and mobile over the years, providing players with all sorts of sniping experiences. From the most realistic to the simplest imaginable. From killing Nazis to executing covert hits on world-renowned targets. Here are some of our favorite sniper games of all time.
|Coolest Sniper Game||Sniper Elite 4|
|Best High-Stakes Sniper Game||PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds|
|Best Strategic Sniper Game||Valkyria Chronicles|
|Best Stealth Sniper Game||Hitman: Sniper Assassin|
|Best Multiplayer Sniper Game||Counter-Strike: Global Offensive|
|Most Realistic Sniper Game||Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2|
Coolest Sniper Game: Sniper Elite 4
|Platforms||PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One|
|Release Date||Feb. 13, 2017|
|Where to Buy||Steam, PlayStation Store, or Microsoft Store|
|Reason to Try||Sniper Elite 4 knows sniping is cool, and it flaunts it. Customize your sniper rifle, watch your bullets impact human flesh in slow motion, and use environmental destruction to wipe out your opponents in this incredibly engaging hit.|
While some games merely gloss over sniper rifles as a necessary addition, other first-person shooters know how to make the most of the genre by turning sniping into an intense experience. Case in point, the World War II-themed Sniper Elite series lets players kill Nazis by the hundreds, letting players watch their bullets pass through fascists' heads, hearts, jaws, brains, and groins. Such is the case with Sniper Elite 4, the franchise's latest rendition.
In Sniper Elite 4, players are thrown into fascist Italy and work together with the Italian Resistance to fight back against. Featuring a sprawling campaign and customizable sniper rifles, players can take out opponents with skilled headshots and bodyshots from afar. There are also mines, explosives, and environmental objects at your disposal.
Sniper Elite 4 truly stands out thanks to the series' iconic slow-motion bullets. After firing a successful shot, the player can watch their bullet crawl through the air, into the body, down to individual bones breaking and muscles being torn. Sniper Elite 4 even lets players change up its sniping mechanics' difficulty level, choosing between an easy-to-learn arcade system, an incredibly realistic sniping style that accounts for wind direction and bullet precision, or something in between. Both gory and realistic, there's nothing like spending an evening shooting Nazis to death in Sniper Elite 4's agonizing detail.
Best High-Stakes Sniper Game: PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds
|Platforms||PC, Xbox One, Android, iOS|
|Release Date||Dec. 20, 2017|
|Price||$29.99 on PC and Xbox One, free for mobile|
|Where to Buy||Steam, Microsoft Store, iOS App Store, Google Play Store|
|Reason to Try||Stalk your enemies from afar and land that perfect headshot in one of the most intense sniping multiplayer experiences around. Just remember to pick your shots wisely, as your sniper fire can draw attention to other players in the nearby vicinity.|
As far as battle royale titles go, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds stands in a league of its own. Although the game's direct competitor Fortnite: Battle Royale has its fair share of sniper rifles, PUBG has avoided Epic's base-building mechanics and focused instead on realistic weaponry. Be prepared to account for more than just bullet drop when sniping in this multiplayer title, which pits marksman against marksman in a fight to become the last one standing.
With 100 players vying for a victory, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is one of the most intense multiplayer sniping games to date. Players can park on top of a watchtower or hide in a forest and take pot shots down below. Alternatively, a full squad can stock up on sniper rifles and create a sniper nest, sharing ammunition among each other while picking off unsuspecting players from afar. Most importantly of all, other players can hear your sniper rifle firing off, and a sloppy shot can lead to an enemy player running away or confronting you head-on. Players have to choose their targets wisely in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, making it one of the best multiplayer experiences around for battle royale fans.
Best Strategic Sniper Game: Valkyria Chronicles
|Platforms||PlayStation 3 and 4, PC, and Nintendo Switch (upcoming)|
|Release Date||Nov. 4, 2008|
|Where to Buy||Steam, PlayStation Store|
|Reason to Try||Recruit a squad, command your troops across the battlefield, and hone their abilities in one of the best tactical strategy games to date. Snipers start out as inaccurate units that can barely land a shot, but give them the experience and positioning they need to thrive, and they'll quickly take out some of the most powerful enemies in the game.|
There's a lot more to sniping than just pointing a scope at an enemy and firing away. Good snipers need to position themselves carefully around the battlefield, preventing themselves from being exposed to enemy fire while taking their shots. Few games can compete with Sega's turn-based tactical strategy game Valkyria Chronicles.
Valkyria Chronicles focuses on soldiers from the peaceful nation Gallia and their involvement in the Second Europan War. The game itself is inspired by the Western Front during World War II, but more anime. Valkyria Chronicles lets players command their troops on the battlefield through tactical turn-based strategy. Pick your squad, deploy your troops, and spend action points to move them around the battlefield.
While snipers have long been a controversial class in Valkyria Chronicles, the game rewards players who know how to make the most of them. Players that invest time and energy into snipers by deploying them regularly are more likely to reap the rewards later in the game, and commanders that position their snipers on high ground, in cover, and with a clear line of sight to strong enemy units are more likely to deal devastating blows while facing minimal damage. Snipers fire with direct guidance from the player, too, so commanders can aim their scope precisely before pulling the trigger.
Best Stealth Sniper Game: Hitman: Sniper Assassin
|Platforms||PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One|
|Release Date||June 2018|
|Price||$59.99 (available by pre-ordering Hitman 2)|
|Where to Download||Pre-order Hitman 2 on Steam, PlayStation Store, or Microsoft Store|
|Reason to Try||Take aim at your targets and hunt them down by using embankments, distractions, and dangerous objects in this stealth-based sniping game inspired by the Hitman series.|
As the world eagerly awaits IO Interactive's upcoming Hitman 2, there's a new (albeit short) Hitman sniper game to tide the time. Welcome to Hitman: Sniper Assassin, a standalone sniping title based on the series' realistic bullet mechanics.
In Hitman: Sniper Assassin, players are tasked with killing three different primary targets during a luxurious wedding. No need to worry about strangling guards, throwing on disguises, or stashing dead bodies in locker rooms. Shoot enemies to throw them off cliffs, kill your target by shooting a bullet through another person, fire at a chandelier's chain to drop a deadly blow on your enemy, or break a window as a distraction and then shoot your enemy when they're alarmed. The possibilities are endless in Hitman: Sniper Assassin, as long as players are willing to wait for the perfect opportunity to take their shot, that is.
Hitman: Sniper Assassin is available as a bonus for any fans that pre-order Hitman 2. The mini-game can be played across consoles and platforms.
Best Multiplayer Sniper Game: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
|Platforms||PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360|
|Release Date||Aug. 21, 2012|
|Where to Download||Steam, PlayStation Store, Xbox Marketplace|
|Reason to Try||Work together with your teammates to hunt down terrorists or counter-terrorists in one of the best action-packed multiplayer shooters to date. We recommend giving the AWP a spin if you want that classic one-shot, one-kill experience.|
Counter-Strike is legendary. It's challenging, tactical, and easy to die in. When it comes to the series' iconic AWP and Scout, few compare to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's glorious sniping.
In CS:GO, players choose between terrorists or counter-terrorists, stock up on weapons, and face off against each other on objective-based maps, such as the iconic de_dust2. There's an enormous arsenal of weapons for players to purchase before the round begins, but most players end up with one of two sniper rifles: The bolt-action SSG 08, previously known as the Schmidt Scout, or the AWP. Both sniper rifles let players take shots at enemies near and afar, and more often than not, the last players standing end up in incredibly intense sniper stand-offs where opponents take turns peeking, taking a shot, and quickly ducking back into cover.
While Counter-Strike: Global Offensive doesn't feature the most realistic sniping gameplay around, it certainly offers some of the most intense multiplayer action possible thanks to permadeath rounds and powerful weapons.
Most Realistic Sniper Game: Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2
|Platforms||PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360|
|Release Date||March 12, 2013|
|Where to Download||Steam, GameStop, Xbox Marketplace|
|Reason to Try||Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 provides one of the most immersive sniping experiences to date. Manage your shots by accounting for your heart rate, breathing, the environment's wind level, and your shot's bullet drop in this realistic take on sniper action.|
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 isn't just one of the best sniping games on the market, it's also one of the most realistic. Like its predecessor Sniper: Ghost Warrior, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 merges first-person shooting with complex sniping mechanics built to challenge players' marksmanship. The game isn't as simple as pointing your crosshair at an enemy and firing. Instead, players have to keep a steady hand and calculate for various factors, including the player's heartbeat, the target's distance, the level's wind strength, and a shot's bullet drop over time. This makes Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 feel particularly immersive for sniper fans that want to act like a real lone wolf on the battlefield.
That said, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 has more than just realistic firing mechanics. Bullets can pass through certain kinds of cover, letting players take aim and kill even if they don't have a perfect line of sight. Not unlike Sniper Elite 4, Ghost Warrior 2 also features a slow motion bullet cam system, letting players watch where and how their bullets reach their targets when they land that perfect shot. Realistic, immersive, and just plain fun, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 is one sniping game that the genre's fans shouldn't miss, even if it's a tad bit short compared to some of our other titles on this list.