Best Assassin's Creed Games Ranked
With 12 mainline games in the series so far, ranking each of the best Assassin's Creed games and ranking them is no easy feat. With the first Assassin's Creed releasing way back in 2007, Ubisoft's stealth action titan has easily become a franchise pillar in the world of video games. While they started out as a stealth experiment, they've now evolved into colossal RPGs that globe-trot their way through history. If you're looking for somewhere to start, or perhaps somewhere to jump back in, here's our ranking of the 12 best Assassin's Creed games.
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Assassin's Creed Syndicate [#12]
In one of the more modern periods for Assassin's Creed to be set, it's sad to say that Syndicate is easily one of the worst games in this series. Releasing in 2015, Assassin's Creed Syndicate personifies everything that players were tired of seeing over and over again. Victorian London was gorgeously recreated, but one look at its map is enough to make any completionist quiver. Collectables galore and cookie cutter side quests completely bloated Syndicate, marring what could have otherwise been an interesting story.
Mind you, Ubisoft equally fumbled the narrative of Syndicate, too. While this game introduced the concept of dual protagonists, Jacob and Evie Frye, the female lead was incredibly underutilized. Combine that with a fatiguing formula, and you can see exactly why Assassin's Creed needed a year off after this one.
Assassin's Creed [#11]
Apologies out there to the veteran fans, but Assassin's Creed just doesn't hold up that great when revisiting it these days. The gameplay loop is incredibly formulaic, tasking the player with going to similar-looking hub areas to hunt for similar-looking targets. It's a great showcase for the debut mechanics in Assassin's Creed, but after 15 years of seeing the original's iteration, it's a hard task to back to the beginning.
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Assassin's Creed III [#10]
Assassin's Creed III has perhaps one of the more interesting settings for Assassin's Creed. Playing as a Native American during the American Civil War period, the game offers a fairly unique perspective that previous Assassin's Creed games hadn't managed to capture. An incredibly surprising opening sequence where you actually play as the villain catches players off guard, too.
Assassin's Creed III does a lot right. It has some excellent landscapes to explore, introduces naval combat, and refines the freerunning technology that the series is known for. Sadly, it's let down massively by a largely dry and boring protagonist who had so much potential to be better.
Assassin's Creed Rogue [#9]
Creeping up further into our list, Assassin's Creed Rogue is doing alright for itself given how it came to be. Released at the cusp of a new generation of consoles, Assassin's Creed Rogue was released in 2014 alongside Assassin's Creed Unity. Viewed as the 'last generation' title for that year, it largely dodged attention, but it's one that's definitely worth revisiting if you're an Assassin's Creed fan.
To describe it, Rogue is as if you took the best parts of Assassin's Creed IV and III and mashed them together. As a result, you've got some fantastic gameplay and environments with the addition of the main character who doesn't bore your socks off. It also ties nicely into several of the other Assasin's Creed games, having overlap with both III, Black Flag, and Unity.
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Assassin's Creed Revelations [#8]
Assassin's Creed Revelations is the third and final act in the Ezio trilogy, and it's sadly the weakest of the three. That's not to say it's horrifically bad, though. Revelations continues the early 2010's trend of refining the Assasin's Creed formula that players were continuing to love. Following Ezio in his twilight years, his journey takes him to the heart of Constantinople, a truly gorgeous city. There, he unravels another Templar plot while tracing his roots back to Altair in the very first Assassin's Creed game.
Revelations gets a lot of stick for not living up to II or Brotherhood, but it did a lot to move the series forward. This is where we got to craft our own bombs, which were an excellent addition to the wavering stealth mechanics. The hook blade also proved instrumental in spicing up the freerunning mechanics, allowing Ezio to reach even further heights.
Assassin's Creed Unity [#7]
Assassin's Creed Unity gets a lot of stick for the way that it was released, but upon return is actually one of the more impressive titles in the series. An incredibly bug-filled launch and awful performance left a bad taste in lots of players' mouths with this one. However, almost a decade on and most of those issues are now fixed.
Set in Paris, this is still one of the most gorgeous Assassin's Creed games to date. The city is created with the utmost detail, and some impressive lighting effects really bring it all together. Arno is one of the most charismatic protagonists the series has seen, too. It's let down by similar side quest bloating issues as Syndicate, but Unity more than makes up for that with its story and world design.
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Assassin's Creed Origins [#6]
Welcome, for we have now reached the RPG era of Assassin's Creed. Though the genre pivot can be a bit marmite for a lot of players, there's no denying that it's a change the series was in desperate need of. Assassin's Creed Odyssey is the series' first attempt at a true open-world RPG, and for a first stab, it's a fine attempt.
The only thing marring this title is the aggressive use of level gating that forces players to participate in some rather dull side content. If you're looking to blast through the main story in a few hours, that's not an option here. However, with clear inspiration from The Witcher 3 in both its gameplay and world design, Odyssey is certainly one of the better Assassin's Creed games.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey [#5]
Continuing with the trend of RPG Assassin's Creed games, Odyssey takes what was successful about Origins and turns it up to 11. This open-world rendition of ancient Greece is brimming with areas to explore, targets to hunt and interesting characters to meet.
Perhaps one of the best features of Assassin's Creed Odyssey is the Cult of Kosmos. This tasks the player with dismantling an Illuminati-like group that's secretly controlling the politics of Greece. It requires some proper sleuth work, and all of it is completely optional. For such an interesting concept to be a side activity is a testament to how great this game is.
However, much like Origins and Syndicate, this game's biggest flaw is its ambition. A gargantuan amount of content means a single playthrough can be well over 100 hours. Great for getting your money's worth, but not so great for your backlog.
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Assassin's Creed Brotherhood [#4]
We're in the realm of nostalgia, now. The middle of the three Ezio games, Brotherhood takes the established character of Ezio Auditore and follows as he leads the order of Assassins to greatness. This game almost has an air of Mass Effect 2 about it as you build the order of Assassins to stand up to the pesky Templars.
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood boasts one of the better modern-day sections, too. Spinning the story of Desmond Miles even further, it's Brotherhood where the mythos of the Assassin's Creed universe finally feels like it's coming together.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla [#3]
The most modern of the Assassin's Creed games, Valhalla is the third entry since the RPG reboot of the series. Set in the Viking era of England, it's also quite easily the best RPG rendition that Ubisoft has released yet.
While Valhalla is just as vast as some of the games before it, Valhalla uses the level-gating structure in a unique way. Areas of England are cordoned off, but each county hosts a vastly different story thread of the main campaign. The result is almost like an anthology TV series where you can dip in and out of numerous intriguing tales.
On top of this, the Norse lens that the mythology of Assassin's Creed is viewed through heightens the universe in a massive way. Those who have reached the final ending of Valhalla will surely attest that the future is looking very bright for Assassin's Creed games that follow this one.
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Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag [#2]
It's ironic that perhaps the best Assassin's Creed game is the one that's the least stealthy, but you don't hear me complaining. Black Flag takes the action mechanics of other Assassin's Creed games and turns them up to 11, having fun with the nature of its setting.
You play as Edward Kenway, a pirate of the seven seas that's hell-bent on finding his fortune. Seeing how his character develops over the course of the game is rewarding to witness as you see him ascend from a scoundrel to a man of purpose.
Of course, there's also the renowned naval combat that gives this game the variety that so many other Assassin's Creed games lack. It might not be true to the series formula, but it's certainly one of the most fun.
Assassin's Creed II [#1]
Finally, we've reached what is widely considered to be the best Assassin's Creed game, Assassin's Creed II. If the first Assassin's Creed was a proof of concept, the sequel elevates it into something of a masterpiece. This is the start of Ezio Auditore's story, and it's one that few fans have tired of discovering since.
Airlifting the freerunning and assassination mechanics from the Crusade years into the Italian Renaissance gives this game a ridiculous amount of character. If it weren't for Assassin's Creed II being such a success, then you can be sure that we wouldn't have seen a further ten games come from the franchise.
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