The most accomplished instalment in Eidos' evergreen series.
Hit man Agent 47 may have been little more than a relentless killing machine in his previous console escapades, but this time fans of the cue ball assassin have a chance to learn more about his violent past.
Playing like a classic film noir, the adventure opens with the surly antihero hiding out in a Paris hotel room, doped out of his head on painkillers while recovering from gunshot wounds. The story then unfolds in a series of nightmarish hallucinations and flashbacks, each acting as a separate mission with plenty of scumbags to execute.
Unlike previous Hitman titles that undermined the edgy action by staging gun battles in cheerfully coloured game worlds, Contracts darkens the tone by taking players to a range of shocking locations that include a blood-soaked slaughterhouse that doubles as an S&M club.
And with intelligent enemies that react to the slightest flickering shadow or subtle sound, Contracts is the most accomplished instalment in Eidos evergreen series.