Quite possibly the best game in the entire "stealth" genre, ThiefTheDarkProject presents the story of Garrett, an anti-heroic thief trained by an order of mysterious monks.

There are a lot of very unique things about Thief. First of all, it has a very strange world, which is sort of a juxtaposition of industrial-age technology, medieval culture, and heavy doses gothic surreality. Second, it purposely makes you suck at combat like no other game, stealth games included. One guard can overwhelm you. Two and you'd better be running. And your long-range attack? More likely to cause alarm than actually work. It's fortunate that Garrett is so damn sneaky, since otherwise it wouldn't be fair. Lastly, this is one of very few games to genuinely scare the shit out of me. The dark, moody nature of the game keeps you high-strung the entire time, and some of the creepier levels are just plain disturbing. I think "Return to the Cathedral" is probably the scariest level in any game, period, with only "Blood" from ThiefII? coming anywhere close. Anyway, you must play this game. And then play ThiefII? (not quite as scary, but with more stealth challenges). -- AlexBobbs

I'll put in a word for the awesome mapping system in Thief: on most missions you get a map of the area you're burgling, on which your current position (and in ThiefII?, the places you've already been) is marked. The catch? The map is assembled using whatever information Garrett has been able to dig up about his latest target, and so may be inaccurate or incomplete. On some levels, you have a detailed floor plan of your environment, down to random comments about guards and prime loot locations; on others, all you have to work with is an outline of the building and some vague guesses about what the inside might look like (*cough*"The Sword"*cough*). The maps may also change as the level progresses--I'll never forget the unease I felt the first time I checked my map, utterly lost, and saw the words "Where Am I?" scribbled into the map's whitespace and highlighted. --WillShipley

Having just played the third game in the series (Thief: Deadly Shadows, released in 2004 by Ion Storm), I must say that I am very impressed with the trilogy's story arc. Most of the developers of Thief III are ex-members of Looking Glass, Stephen Russell is back as the voice of Garrett, and Terri Brosius (who gave heavy contributions to the first games' stories) closes up the trilogy fantastically. Although Thief III is built using the Deus Ex: Invisible War engine--which makes a lot of tiny aspects slightly "off" from what diehard Thief fans are used to--the magic is still there. The Thief series is not to be missed--if you've never given it a try, hunt me up and borrow the games from me. The first two games need some tweaking to work on Windows 2000/XP, but it's very worth the effort. --WillShipley

I must say that "Cradle" from Thief III was infinitely scarier than any movie or game level I've seen before, prior Thief levels included. It's a beautiful combination of visual effects, sounds, architecture, and story. (In response to WillShipley, I'd say that Deus Ex: Invisible War was made using the Thief III engine - if only because the focus on lighting, sound, and physics were obviously built with Thief III in mind; both are great games but I think the Ion Storm staff's preferences are discernable.) -AlexUtter

Fans of Thief should also download [Shadows of the Metal Age], the unofficial sequel/expansion of Thief II.

This is (arguably) one of the GamesWhereYouKickTheDevilsAss?. There really needs to be a certain quote here, but I don't want to spoil anything. -- Will

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