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Sometimes You Have to
Hack the System
 

Hacking is often seen as an activity that is not entertaining or desirable. Hackers are usually depicted as criminals causing damage. However, there are some amazing games that use hacking as a way to subvert the powers in charge whether that's by breaking into a room by hacking a door lock, or something where hacking is how you interact with the world, These games are a chance for players to be creative about how they progress.
 
This list includes 28 games from the last 17 years, with 427 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to hack the system. We break them down into the following areas:

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Glean Hacked Information

Watch Dogs Legion

Watch Dogs Legion is an adventure game, the third instalment in the Watch Dogs series. It's set in a fictionalised future dystopian London. You play hackers in the group DedSec seeking to clear their name for bombings in the city.

Citizen Sleeper

Citizen Sleeper is a role-play game set in the ruins of interplanetary capitalism. You are an escaped worker exploring a lawless space station, making friends, and (ultimately) trying to escape your past. Each cycle you roll dice and decide how to spend...

Operation: Tango

Operation: Tango is an espionage-themed cooperative adventure where two people play as agent or hacker. The agent explores the world while the hacker provides information and checks out the systems you encounter. You must communicate clearly to work...

Vessels

Vessels is a narrative adventure where you wake to find yourself quarantined inside an airlock with no memory of how you got there. You speak to the crew to work out who you are and try to convince them not to jettison you into space. If you fail you...

The Red Strings Club

The Red Strings Club is a futuristic narrative game where you prescribe implants and drinks to people who visit your bar. You talk to patrons, prepare them drinks and coax information out of them to advance the espionage story. It's a unique game that...

The Last Worker

The Last Worker is a narrative adventure set at the end of capitalism. In an increasingly automated world, you play Kurt, who works in a distribution high-rise and discovers a secret floor of battery-farmed animals and meaningless products. The game...

Midnight Protocol

Midnight Protocol is a strategy game about hacking that is controlled entirely with the keyboard. You type commands and interactions to hack into different systems and drain them of resources while trying to keep yourself hidden and safe. It's this...

Hack Doors and Machines

Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn is a post-apocalyptic action adventure where you explore an overgrown landscape with now-crumbling remnants of modern life. Play involves exploring the world, learning your new abilities as the story unfolds and using them to defeat...

Detroit: Become Human

Detroit: Become Human is a branching narrative game from Quantic Dream, the studio behind Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls. This is the third game in the series and offers a more refined version of the filmic branching experience.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a running, jumping and shooting game that lets the heroic duo jump between parallel worlds. Play is similar to other Ratchet & Clank games, retaining the dodging, gunplay, bold collection and upgrading weapons. Here...

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 is a sprawling open-world action-adventure that takes you to the seething underbelly of Night City, where low-life and high-tech meet in an obsession with body modification. You play V, a mercenary dealing with a botched heist, and...

Skylanders (Series)

Skylanders uses toy figures to unlock characters and save progress. It is no longer manufactured but can be found second-hand quite cheaply and is a lot of fun for young players, particularly when played in cooperative two-player mode.

Bioshock

Bioshock is a first-person shooting game set in a fantastical underwater city. A dark story unfolds about the misuse of surgery and gene therapy, and what happens when a society develops with a power mad genius in control. It's an unusual combination of...

Quadrilateral Cowboy

Quadrilateral Cowboy is an adventure in a 1990 retro-cyberpunk world where you take on covert mission to infiltrate buildings and security systems. You carefully explore each level hacking security by typing commands into your grey-market equipment.

Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach: Ruin

Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach: Ruin is a free expansion to Security Breach that acts as a standalone game where you play Cassie as she solves puzzles and attempts to find her missing...

Reprogram Things

Horizon Forbidden West

Horizon Forbidden West is a post-apocalyptic action-adventure where you explore an overgrown landscape with now-crumbling remnants of modern life. The story of Aloy continues as she sets out to investigate a plague terminating from an arcane frontier...

Spyder

Spyder is a puzzle adventure where you play as Agent 8, a small 6-legged spider-robot that was designed by a British spy agency for attempting to stop an evil organization. You explore the world and can use your sticky legs to walk over any surface or...

Dicey Dungeons

Dicey Dungeons is a video game adventure where you build a deck of cards to represent characters, attacks and weapons. Here the novelty is that these cards combine with dice rolls to determine who wins battles.

868-Hack

868-HACK is a puzzle game where you hack a computer program to collect as much data as you can. It's a unique puzzle as collecting data triggers more enemies to appear so you walk a delicate balance between collecting as much as possible, but not so...

Hacknet

Hacknet is a simulation where you play a hacker completing missions and hacking into systems just by typing. Designed to be as close to real hacking as possible, you use actual commands and hacking tools to explore servers, chat rooms, and gain access...

Beglitched

Beglitched is a puzzle game that combines Candy Crush's matching with Minesweeper's mapping challenges in missions where you foil computer hackers. Play is first traversing the computer network grid and then taking on hackers in match-three puzzles when...

Citizen Sleeper 2

Citizen Sleeper 2: Starward Vector continues the role-play adventure with a new story about an escaped corporate-owned android with a price on its head. Each cycle you roll dice and decide how to spend them, on repairing your ship, on trading or on...

Ctrl Alt Ego

Ctrl Alt Ego is a puzzle game where you a disembodied character taking control of robots and electronics to move around, interact and solve the puzzles. Using a combination of stealth and problem solving to progress the story and get to the bottom of...

Hack 'n' Slash

Hack 'n' Slash is a puzzle adventure game where you tinker with the properties of game objects to explore dungeons and fight enemies. Using your USB sword on enemies hacks them so you can change their game-code and behaviour. It combines a standard...

Hacktag

Hacktag is a fast two-player game: one player is the stealth ‘Agent’ while the other is the virtually infiltrating ‘Hacker’. You work with the other player to carry out espionage in different settings and complete each challenge.

Deadeye Deepfake Simulacrum

Deadeye Deepfake Simulacrum is a puzzle adventure where you are a cybernetic corporate agent working off a debt to get your life back. You play by breaking into corporations in different ways; go in guns blazing, manipulate time or use supernatural...

Ingress Prime

Ingress Prime is an adventure game that uses your smartphone's GPS to locate you in a game world that correlates with reality. You interact with virtual "portals" located near statues, monuments, and civic and historic buildings in your real world.

Pony Island 2: Panda Circus

Pony Island 2: Panda Circus is a surreal puzzle game where you play a character hacking a computer. A sequel to Pony Island, it contains the same hacking, experimentation, and self-reflection, but adds novel mechanics such as...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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