Tom Clancy might be responsible for more people joining the military than any other single author. His books, movies, and video games have inspired many a young man to take the pledge. As a kid, I read the books, watched the movies, and of course, played the games. Tom Clancy games were always a bit more realistic than most, and added a degree of tactics to your play. If you tried to run and gun, you’d be seeing Game Over a frustratingly high amount of times. With that in mind, I gathered my five favorite Tom Clancy games.
5) The Division
What happens when you mix Tom Clancy Games with World of Warcraft? Well, you get the Division. The Divison and The Division 2 are two online-only roleplaying games where characters assume the role of a sleeper agent in the Strategic Homeland Division. The plot involves a pandemic that leads to chaos in the streets and a real SHTF situation.
This third-person shooter mixes the traditional elements of shoot and cover with leveling up, stat-based weapons and gear, as well as playable classes from an RPG. The world is open and quite large, and the guns, boy oh boy, there are tons of them. It’s mostly a cooperative PvE game, but a PvP section allows you to face off with other players for a more challenging gunfight.
4) Rainbow Six
Rainbow Six was one of the O.G. tactical first-person shooters. Prior to Rainbow Six, the genre largely consisted of rapid-fire arcade-like games like Doom and Quake. Rainbow Six slowed things down, introduced real-world guns, and formed a realistic world. You stepped into the shoes of an elite counter-terrorism operative and battled it out with terrorists.
A shot or two could quickly end your life, and you needed to use stealth, cover, and brains to succeed. You could plan your mission ahead of time, deploy teams along routes and have them use flashbangs, door-breaching charges, and more. It made you feel like a commander and became one of the best-selling Tom Clancy games of all time.
3) Ghost Recon – Advanced Warfighter
Ghost Recon – Advanced Warfighter put you into the shoes of a specialized commando force armed with the latest and greatest technology. Advanced Warfighter was a fast-paced, tactical first-person shooter that took place in the near future.
The game happily portrayed concepts the Army was and is currently working on to make soldiers more lethal. This includes the ability to transmit and receive data instantly, cross-com with drones, helicopters, and other soldiers.
Not only could you be in the fight, but you needed to relay commands to your teammates. You needed to use cover, conserve ammo, and play smart to win. As far as Tom Clancy games go, it was one of the faster-paced ones but still required a tactical mindset.
2) Rainbow Six – Vegas
Rainbow Six – Vegas and Vegas 2 filled an unhealthy portion of my teenage life. These games featured a massive terrorist attack in Las Vegas. The multinational Rainbow Six team deployed to stop the threat. This was the mack daddy of tactical shooters. Suppressing fire plays a role, and your weapon selection is massive. Cover was an absolute requirement, as was the use of numerous gadgets.
A small camera allowed you to look under doors, and from there, you might need to use a breach charge, or maybe you preferred to save the charge and breach via shotgun. How many noncombatants are present when you storm the room? Sometimes you could go hog with a SAW, but most of the time, precision rifle fire wins the day.
1) Splinter Cell – Chaos Theory
Splinter Cell reduces the action and greatly increases the need for stealth. Going guns-blazing in this game will quickly lead to your virtual death. You play as elite Third Echelon infiltrator Sam Fisher, who can sneak into anywhere and do anything once he’s in. Chaos Theory wasn’t just one of the most fun Tom Clancy games, but it also had a great plot.
Sam Fisher was voiced by Michael Ironside, and his pro-acting chops led to some serious love of the character; him being an intelligent badass helps too.
In Chaos Theory, the thrills aren’t when the gunfire kicks in but when you avoid it. When you take down an enemy in complete silence, it feels good. When you time a move just right, it feels good, and after getting through a mission without being seen, you’ll finally take that deep breath you’ve been holding in.
The Top Five Tom Clancy Games
As a Marine, I’ve always been a bit jealous that Clancy never focused on a book that became a movie and then a video game with a Marine hero. Luckily, the massive amount of Tom Clancy games, movies, and now TV shows keep me entertained. Sadly, it seems like both the movies and games are going downhill, but I have hope they can make a solid comeback in the near future.
What is your favorite Tom Clancy game? Let me know in the comments below.