There really aren’t that many submarine simulators, Silent Hunter being among the best (and only of the few that exist). The series wowed the patient wargame and simulation gamers with its excellent graphics and long-winded fights. The series had ups and downs, like any series, but will always be among one of the best simulation games series of all time.
Release Date: 2/29/1996
At the time, Silent Hunter was one of the most realistic simulators ever made. The sound and graphics were “near perfection” and there was just so much put into here for the niche submarine lovers out there. It was just knocked a lot for having to be extremely patient to play. There isn’t much action here at all, Call of Duty fans won’t be playing Silent Hunter any time soon.
Silent Hunter II
Release Date: 11/5/2002
Silent Hunter II was probably the best naval combat sim at the time, but it was in development for so long that the developers forgot the long-term goal. The graphics were seriously outdated, the campaign was lackluster at best, and there were severe oversights in the realism department. The game was plenty playable, but the hardcore fans (the few out there) nitpicked this one to death.
Silent Hunter III
Release Date: 3/15/2005
Silent Hunter III is considered the best game in the series. Three long years after SH2, SH3 was a highly polished machine, probably the single best naval combat simulator ever made. They stepped up the graphics department a lot. This was one of the most realistic-looking games on PC at the time and required a new graphics card to run it. There were only minor issues with the save system, it didn’t support very high resolutions, and that’s about it. If you want a naval combat simulator (or to just check one out) this is it.
Silent Hunter: Wolves of the Pacific
Release Date: 3/20/2007
After the excitement of SH3 players had to wait 2 long years for another game. This game was also highly praised but was just more of the same. It had some nasty bugs and the AI took a dive this time around. Still a great game if you enjoyed SH3.
Silent Hunter: Wolves of the Pacific — U-Boat Missions
Release Date: 3/24/2008
This expansion for Wolves of the Pacific was just fine, it was just light on content. Only 2 boats and one small German campaign, that’s it. It was only $10 at the time so it was kind of like DLC instead of an expansion. Still worth a look if you love the series.
Silent Hunter 5: Battle of the Atlantic
Release Date: 3/2/2010
Not only is this the best-selling SH game, but also the worst. I think the developers just didn’t care anymore. The game had so many bugs and glitches it was nearly unplayable, the new captain UI was hideous, and it just hogged the resources dry of even the beefiest system back in the day. The tutorials were useless and so was the manual. What happened!? This goes to show that even the best in a series can go downhill. This would be the last game in the series for the PC before jumping to iPhone.
Silent Hunter Mobile
Release Date: 4/5/2010
Going from PC to mobile is really weird. The game looked good for the time but was plagued with extreme difficulty — extreme as in extremely easy. You can beat the whole game and can’t even die if you tried to get killed. It literally ruined the game, and it had a very slow and sluggish pace. This would be the last game in the series, who knows if Ubisoft will bring it back from the dead.