When looking at the best Arkane games, what you're really talking about is excellent across genre. This studio is known for building some of the best stealth games through the Dishonored series, and some of the best sci-fi games too in Deathloop and Prey. And ever since Bethesda's aquisition into the Xbox Game Studios fold, some of the best games on Game Pass too.
There's a lot to choose from, and below we have done our best to look at the entire history of Arkane Studios and rank its video games. It's easy to forget, but there's far more to this studio than Dishonored and Prey, and you're going to see all that represented below. So keep reading to find our pick of the 10 best Arkane Studios games.
10. Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot
Platform(s): PC, PS4
Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot never quite clicked into place. There was a brief window of time where Bethesda Softworks was pushing for further collaboration between its studios (see entry nine on this list also) and the results were a mixed bag. Cyberpilot was developed by Arkane Lyon and MachineGames, a virtual reality experience which offered just four levels to smash and crash through. While it was visually interesting, its short length and clunky controls ultimately led to Cyberpilot feeling like a wholly unnecessary spin-off of an otherwise exemplary Wolfenstein revival.
9. Wolfenstein: Youngblood
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
Wolfenstein: Youngblood was a fantastic concept. MachineGames taking its propensity for creating propulsive first-person action, merging it with Arkane Lyon's talent for building incredibly immersive worlds. Sadly, the execution didn't quite reach the high-standards we've come to expect from either studio. It's a fun but unfocused adventure when played in co-op, but alone it was a bit of a slog – the missions lacked momentum, the story was weightless, and its more contained structure quickly lost its lustre. At the time, in our Wolfenstein Youngblood review "aggressively inoffensive" and that hasn't changed in the years since.
Year released: 2023
Platforms: Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PC
Redfall should have been a fantastic foray for Arkane into an open-world shooter format, with support for up to four people to take on a vampire horde. But, unfortunately, it sits at the bottom of the best Arkane games list because it just really lacks bite. As we mentioned in our Redfall review, it makes some odd decisions that make it sit awkwardly between multiplayer and singleplayer. It's world is well-built in classic Arkane style and the gunplay is fun, but ultimately its repetitive mission structure and oddly framed narrative make it the weakest of Arkane's titles to date.
7. Dark Messiah of Might and Magic
Platform(s): PC, Xbox 360
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic is one of the weirder games in the Arkane library. While it failed to reach the heights of Arx Fatalis, it did see Arkane grapple with an exceptionally interesting combat system wherein your proficiencies in melee, magic, and miscellaneous abilities improve gradually over time the further you invest in specialization – sounds obvious enough today, but not so in 2006. Reactive playspaces further emphasized the fun to be found in combat, helping to mask the somewhat lackluster RPG systems and storytelling elements. It's worth jumping back to it, if only to see how Arkane has grown in the years since.
6. Arx Fatalis
Platform(s): PC, Xbox
Arkane Studios' debut game is remembered best for its ambition. Released in 2002, this first-person action-RPG was in many ways a love letter to the legendary Looking Glass immersive sims that had come before it – the likes of Ultima Underworld, System Shock, and Thief. With its open-ended structure and atmospheric visual identity, Arx Fatalis was a cult-classic deserving of a bigger audience. Sadly, the game failed to make a splash commercially and a sequel was never brought to fruition, although Arkane was able to channel its expertise into a spiritual successor of sorts – Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, in collaboration with Ubisoft.
5. Dishonored 2: Death of the Outsider
Year released: 2017
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, and PC
Death of the Outsider is an expansion for Dishonored 2 but gets a mention here in our best Arkahas it's a standalone game in its own right. While it pared back a lot of the systems that made Dishonored so special, it gave fans a new perspective on the strange world of the series and the mysterious character of The Outsider, and provided some narrative closure by tying up some of the story's loose ends. Players take on the role of Dreadful Wale ship captain Billie Lurk and hunt down The Outsider with the intent of killing him, but things quickly get complicated with the involvement of a criminal gang called The Eyeless and a cult called the Envisioned.
Year released: 2012
Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC
Dishonored introduced us to the royal bodyguard turned assassin Corvo Attano and the city of Dunwall, a steampunk setting full of machinery and rat plagues. Arkane Studios gifted players not only with Attano's supernatural abilities and gadgets but designed the gameplay to specifically encourage players to experiment and exploit the different systems. That just made Corvo's powers, like possessing enemies or seeing through walls, feel even more badass, and the game made sure to give you some narrative choice too, with a chaos ranking system that changes how NPCs react to you and influence the final ending of the game. It is possible to complete the game without killing anyone, but if you manage it, you're a better person than I am.
Year released: 2017
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, and PC
Not to be confused with 2006's Prey developed by Human Head Studios, Prey shares the name and an alien presence with that title, but everything else feels utterly original. It's set aboard the space station Talos, a once-elegant outpost now infested with a race of aliens called the Typhon, whose powers include disguising themselves as seemingly harmless inanimate objects. Never has a roll of toilet paper been so terrifying. Alongside hero Morgan Yu, the star of the show is the GLOO gun that shoots a foam spray that hardens on contact with the air. As well as freezing enemies in place, it's a tool that can build bridges and stepping stones, seal hull breaches, put out fires, and stop malfunctioning equipment from electrocuting you. Alongside your more traditional weapons and neuromods that upgrade your abilities, the GLOO gun makes Talos your playground as you race around hunting aliens and figuring out what the hell happened.
Year released: 2021
Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PC
When Deathloop was first revealed it could have been mistaken for another stylish shooter in a genre full of them. It soon transpired, like the threads of a murder mystery novel, that this was something very different. There is plenty of shooting, but there are also time loops, secrets, and characters that feel as real as the family you're ignoring to squeeze in just one more game. You start out as Colt, once the head of security for the island of Blackreef, a place where the same day is repeated over and over, granting its inhabitants a consequence-free version of immortality. You're tasked with resetting it by killing its most notable inhabitants, the Visionaries, and when you do you can claim their powers (fueled by sci-fi-looking 'slabs') and their weapons. The catch is that Colt's nemesis Julianna will try and hunt him down, and she's more than just a smart AI NPC. In a neat twist, you can also play as Julianna, which allows you to go into other player's games to hunt their versions of Colt, ranking up and unlocking new perks as you rack up the kills.
1. Dishonored 2
Year released: November 2016
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Dishonored 2 managed to outdo its predecessor by hanging on to the mechanics and the intricately woven world of the original, and then giving us not one but two main characters to choose between. You could play as Corvo Attano or Emily Kaldwin, the same Emily we restored to the throne in Dishonored. Offering different supernatural abilities, the two characters gave players a way to craft their own experience in a game that already gave them a huge amount of choice - stealth the whole thing without a single murder, kill everyone on sight, or somewhere in between - but allowed all types of assassins to marvel at intricate setups like Jindosh's Clockwork Mansion - an automated deathtrap - or Aramis Stilton's Manor - a grand home infected with the occult practices that took place there. Dishonored was a true Arkane masterpiece, and even as we're joyously playing Deathloop we're hoping for news of a Dishonored 3.