Stealth games occupy a curious niche in pc gaming. Occasionally, the best stealth games are their own thing, when a developer channels all the mechanics of a game into the suspense and satisfaction of killing, stealing, and infiltrating unnoticed. Most of the time, though, stealth is just one of several means by which you can navigate a game, as you consciously opt for the path of the shadowy rogue or incisive assassin over more forceful approaches.
Read more: for those moments when you get spotted and your impotent rage boils over, try the PC's greatest shooters.
Any game that features stealth is eligible in our best stealth games list, but it needs to do it damn well (sorry Skyrim, you had your chance. Sorry Ass Creed, you had about 20 chances).