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Computer hacking is a broad and complex art that can be traced back to the earliest forms of telecommunications tampering in the 1950s, but its place in mainstream culture conjures a very specific image of tech prodigies wearing trench coats and sunglasses indoors and rapidly prodding at keys as lines of code fill a screen.
These sneaky geeks are most often seen trying to break into computer systems to get information, open locked doors, siphon bank accounts or thwart corporate conspiracies, and so their skills translate incredibly well to the world of immersive video games. Hacking has a huge place in a multitude of the games we play, typically of the action or RPG variety, where players can hone a skillset that allows them to circumvent tricky situations in new ways.
With that in mind, we’ve taken a look at some of the best examples of hacking in video games – the ones that go a long way to make players truly feel like they could be that person in a dimly-lit room, coat and sunnies on, surrounded by empty energy drink cans while they steal the passwords of everyone who’s ever logged into Neopets.
Check out our top picks below:
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
It’s always going to be hard to talk about games featuring hacking and high-tech espionage without mentioning the Deus Ex series, and 2011’s Human Revolution is a great example of what makes the series’ gameplay loop so addictive. Nearly every situation in Human Revolution can be solved in a multitude of ways, so something as simple as a locked door can be approached by players differently – maybe you’ll look for a passcode scrawled on a sticky note somewhere, maybe you’ll brute…