15 best Assassin's Creed games, ranked from worst to best

15 best Assassin's Creed games, ranked from worst to best
Images via Ubisoft

Written by 

Joshua Boyles

Last updated 

14th Dec 2023 17:14

Contents

In 2023, Ubisoft celebrated the 15th anniversary of the Assassin's Creed series, something that it likely didn't envision when it released the first game all the way back in 2008. Now, we've got 15 games in the series, including several spin-offs for fans to enjoy.

This is a series of games that has been on quite the journey. There was a time when Assassin's Creed games were released annually, but this resulted in a noticeable drop in quality. Eventually, with the release of Assassin's Creed Origins, the series was reinvented as more of an action role-playing game (RPG). 

There was still an emphasis on stealth but the worlds were huge, and customisation played a much larger role. For some, this was a divisive change, as fans missed the essence and charm of the original games. There's even a VR adventure to explore too.

Following the release of Assassin's Creed Mirage, we've seen the series dip its toes back into the stealthy waters, which we thought was an excellent return to form in our review.

With that in mind, here are all games from Assassin's Creed games ranked from best to worst so far. Not played AC before? We have a list of all of the Assassin's Creed games in chronological order if you don't know where to start!

Best Assassin's Creed games

15 - Assassin's Creed Syndicate

Concept art for Assassin's Creed Syndicate
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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.

14 - Assassin's Creed Chronicles

The three protagonists of Assassin's Creed Chronicles standing in a line
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We're going to get this one out of the way quickly, but Assassin's Creed Chronicles is also up there with one of the worst entries in the series. Set across three different eras, Chronicles is a 2.5D side-scrolling take on the classic Assassin's Creed formula.

However, while the new perspective might be a breath of fresh air for some, it fails to encapture what Assassin's Creed is really about. The story is lacklustre in all three of these settings. Gameplay is rather dull too, borrowing from other titles that ultimately do it better.

There's much more of a focus on stealth, but a fundamental misunderstanding of what makes Assassin's Creed tick ranks Chronicles way down on the list for us.

13 - Assassin's Creed

Altair jumping from a vantage point in Assassin's Creed
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Apologies to the veteran fans out there, 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.

12 - Assassin's Creed Nexus VR

AC Nexus Protgaonists
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Ubisoft made a big foray into VR with Assassin's Creed Nexus, putting players in the shoes of their favourite assassins a bit too literally. It's also the first game that lets players take control of multiple different assassins, with Ezio, Connor, and Kassandra serving as the game's main protagonists.

While there's plenty of fun to be had in Nexus - unleashing hidden blades with the Meta Quest's motion controls never ceases to be satisfying - it's ultimately rather inconsequential in the grand scheme of Assassin's Creed games.

We also can't stomach too much of it at once. No matter how many comfort settings you enable, there are few ways to effectively quell the motion sickness caused by parkouring through Venice on a screen that's inches from your eyeballs.

11 - Assassin's Creed 3

Connor Kenway running through a field in Assassin's Creed 3
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Assassin's Creed 3 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 3 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.

10 - Assassin's Creed Rogue

Shay standing at a leap of faith point in Assassin's Creed Rogue
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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 2I 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 Assassin's Creed games, having overlap with both Black Flag and Unity.

9 - Assassin's Creed Revelations

Ezio looking at Masyaf Castle from afar in Assassins Creed Revelations
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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 2 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.

8 - Assassin's Creed Unity

Concept art for Assassin's Creed Unity
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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, 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.

7 - Assassin's Creed Origins

Bayek riding a camel in Assassin's Creed Origins
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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 Origins 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.

6 - Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Concept art for Assassin's Creed Odyssey
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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.

5 - Assassin's Creed Mirage

Basim climbing a ladder in AC Mirage
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Assassin's Creed Mirage is a return to what players loved about the very first Assassin's Creed game. It has a Middle Eastern setting, taking place in the heart of Baghdad around the year 800 AD. Basim is the central character of this one, serving as a prequel to his storyline in Assassin's Creed Valhalla.

Don't be fooled by the more modern approach of Assassin's Creed games - Mirage goes all in on stealth. Using a mixture of social blending and tools at your disposal, you'll be doing plenty of detective work to sniff out your enemies and take them down quietly.

This is a shorter Assassin's Creed experience, but that's a good thing. It doesn't outstay its welcome, and delivers a stunning, if bite-sized AC story that fans of the original will eat right up.

4 - Assassin's Creed Brotherhood

Ezio riding a horse in Rome in Assassin's Creed Brotherhood
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We're in the realm of nostalgia, now. In 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.

3 - Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Eivor looking across a field in Assassin's Creed Valhalla
Click to enlarge

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.

2 - Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

Edward Kenway striding through the shallows in Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag
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It's ironic that perhaps the best Assassin's Creed game is the one that's the least stealthy, but you don't hear us 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.

What is the best Assassin's Creed game?

1 - Assassin's Creed 2

Ezio hiding behind a wall in Assassin's Creed 2
Click to enlarge

Finally, we've reached what is widely considered to be the best Assassin's Creed game, Assassin's Creed 2. 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 2 being such a success, then you can be sure that we wouldn't have seen a further ten games come from the franchise.

Do you agree with our list of best Assassin's Creed games? If so, why not check out our list of best Final Fantasy games? We've also listed the Assassin's Creed series in chronological order for your perusal.

Joshua is the Guides Editor at GGRecon. After graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Broadcast Journalism, he previously wrote for publications such as FragHero and GameByte. You can often find him diving deep into fantasy RPGs such as Skyrim and The Witcher, or tearing it up in Call of Duty and Battlefield. He's also often spotted hiking in the wilderness, usually blasting Arctic Monkeys.

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