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Hacking Video Games With Cyber Espionage And Code Manipulation

These video games feature simulations of hacking and coding scripts, while players get to role-play as hackers in different circumstances.

by Editorial July 3, 2024

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Most video games today are typically RPGs, or role-playing games, where players immerse themselves in shooting or story-driven adventures. However, there’s a fascinating niche of games that center around hacking and cybersecurity. In this article, we’ll explore games that delve into the world of hacking, offering a unique twist on the traditional RPG experience.

These video games simulate hacking and coding, allowing players to step into the shoes of a hacker. Players will engage in a variety of hacking activities, from infiltrating secure networks to writing complex scripts, all while navigating different scenarios and motives.

Whether it’s for personal gain, justice, or survival, these games provide a captivating glimpse into the hacker’s world. If you’re intrigued by the intersection of gaming and cybersecurity, read on to discover some of the top titles in this genre.

Top Video Games with Hacking & Cybersecurity Elements

7. Hackmud

The theme of the video game: Hackmud is set in a fictional digital universe where players assume the role of hackers known as “scripts.” The game is a text-based interface that is navigated by players to manipulate systems, uncover secrets, and engage in virtual espionage. The game’s narrative revolves around uncovering the truth behind various in-game factions and mysteries. 

The cybersecurity and hacking themes: Hackmud focuses on social engineering, cryptography, and system exploitation. It challenges players to think creatively in order to bypass security measures and infiltrate networks. The game mirrors real-world cybersecurity processes through the complexity of digital systems and their vulnerabilities.

6. NiteTeam 4

The theme of the video game: NiteTeam 4 is a game where players get to be elite cybersecurity operatives tasked with defending against global cyber threats. The game’s narrative unfolds through missions involving espionage, data theft, and digital warfare in a politically charged environment.

The cybersecurity and hacking themes: It provides a realistic simulation of cybersecurity operations, focusing on offensive and defensive tactics. Players learn to use tools like penetration testing, network analysis, and cryptography to investigate and mitigate cyber threats.

The complexities of modern cyber warfare and the ethical dilemmas faced by cybersecurity professionals are portrayed in the game.

5. Cyberpunk 2077

The theme of the video game: Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t necessarily a hacking game like every other one on this list, but it does have a hacking minigame in the midst of it. The game is set in a dystopian future where V, a mercenary navigates through a society dominated by corporations and social inequality, unchecked advanced technology, and cybernetic enhancements.

The cybersecurity and hacking themes: The game explores the implications of corporate control over data, surveillance, and privacy. Hacking occurs when players of the game have to work to manipulate systems, steal information, and influence events.

Cyberpunk 2077 reflects real-world concerns about digital security, surveillance capitalism, and the ethical boundaries of hacking as a tool for both the resistance and the exploiters.

4. Greyhack

The theme of the game: Greyhack is a multiplayer hacking simulator where players engage in competitive and cooperative hacking activities. The game’s world features simulated networks, servers, and security systems that players can manipulate and exploit for personal gain or strategic advantage. 

The cybersecurity and hacking themes: Greyhack portrays realistic hacking scenarios, including network penetration, data exfiltration, and cyber warfare tactics. Skills surrounding information gathering, social engineering, and vulnerability exploitation are developed as the game serves as a virtual training ground for understanding cybersecurity threats and defenses in a controlled environment.

3. Hacknet

The theme of the video game: In Hacknet, players step into the shoes of a recently deceased hacker whose digital ghost continues to operate in the underground world of cybercrime. The narrative unfolds through missions that involve hacking into systems, uncovering conspiracies, and dealing with the consequences of digital infiltration. 

The cybersecurity and hacking themes: The game educates players on real-world hacking techniques such as network scanning, password cracking, and system manipulation. It explores ethical dilemmas surrounding hacking activities and the legal repercussions of cybercrime.

Hacknet aims to explore the importance of cybersecurity awareness and the impacts of digital vulnerabilities.

2. Midnight Protocol

The theme of the game: Midnight Protocol is set in a cyberpunk future where players control an AI agent tasked with infiltrating networks to gather intelligence and manipulate information. The narrative explores themes of artificial intelligence, digital espionage, and the consequences of technological dependency. 

The cybersecurity and hacking themes: The game poses players with complex hacking puzzles and strategic decision-making. Midnight Protocol emphasizes social engineering, data manipulation, and network infiltration techniques. The game illustrates the evolving landscape of cybersecurity threats and AI, along with how it protects and exploits digital assets.

1. UpLink

The theme of the game: In UpLink players are freelance hackers hired by a secretive corporation to perform cyber espionage and sabotage missions. The game’s narrative unfolds through missions that involve hacking into secure networks, stealing data, and covering tracks to avoid detection. 

The cybersecurity and hacking themes: This game has multiple hacking activities like network penetration, virus deployment, and digital espionage. UpLink challenges players to balance risk, reward, and the ethical implications of hacking and being a cybercriminal in a hyper-connected world. 

We hope at least one of these aligns with an area you would like to explore, and with an area of hacking you would like to practice. These games explore the different ethics surrounding hacking and how it can be helpful or harmful.


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