In the last fifteen years or so Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed franchise has become a staple of the open world gaming scene and, for the most part, deserves its status as one of the most consistently entertaining gaming series in the modern era. With twelve main titles and several off-shoots in its repertoire, I figured that it was just about time that we at Game Voyagers got on the bandwagon of ranking this mostly incredible series from worst to best.
Even though I have played every iteration of Assassin’s Creed, even the three entries in the side-scrolling Chronicles series (and each of them in the year they were released), I have decided that only the twelve main entries should be considered for this particular ranking as they all had the same concepts and goals in mind from their developer. Bearing that in mind allow me to give you my thoughts on the ranking of the series as a whole and see how it compares to what you think about them. Let’s get started.
12. Assassin’s Creed III
For many players and fans I am probably starting off on the wrong foot by placing Assassin’s Creed III at the very bottom of my list but again, bear in mind that I played most of the games in this series on day one. At launch this game was a terrible mess in the controls department as Ubisoft had just “revolutionized” the parkour system of the series with the now defunct “hold RT for upward movement and LT for downward movement” scheme.
The story also felt lackluster aside from the first hour or so in which you played a far more intriguing and compelling character than any other in the game. If Ubisoft had held off the big twist of that first portion for most of the game I feel that it could have been a major success for them. Instead I was left feeling a lot of disappointment after such big hype for an awesome setting like the American Revolution.
One specific trailing mission in particular sticks out in my mind as perhaps being the worst that I have ever played, from glitches and bugs that made certain parts of it feel nearly impossible to just being a boring drag (at over twenty minutes long) even when it worked correctly.
Assassin’s Creed III isn’t necessarily a bad game, I just wouldn’t call it a good one either, even after playing the remastered version a while back.
Assassin’s Creed III: 6.4 out of 10
11. Assassin’s Creed Unity
The vision that Ubisoft had for Unity for incredible. Gaming news magazines and sites were going absolutely crazy leading up to this game’s release to get any bit of detail that they could for it as it looked to be the first major step into a new generation of games. Boy were they wrong.
This game was an even bigger mess than Assassin’s Creed III in its gameplay mechanics but especially in its cutscenes. Ubisoft has never been known for realistic facial animation but this game was seemingly made to look like a high school art project. Game breaking and altering glitches were also in abundance at launch and even a few decent patches weren’t enough to get the bad taste out of most gamer’s mouths.
This game’s only saving grace from being the worst in my mind was its decent attempt at co-operative play and a story that hits emotional beats that most of the other games on this list fail to hit.
Assassin’s Creed Unity: 6.7 out of 10
10. Assassin’s Creed Rogue
This game was made to satisfy owners of the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 during the console transition year and it wreaks of underdevelopment. The idea of playing as a conflicted and storied Templar seems amazing on paper (and I hope they try to revisit this idea in a more detailed way in the future) but here it just fell flat for me.
The tie ins with Assassin’s Creed Unity were interesting to say the most, but almost every other part of the story was a copy/ paste job of everything that we had seen before.
Assassin’s Creed Rogue was an excellent opportunity to solidify the series legacy in the seventh generation of gaming but ended up feeling like a serious afterthought from Ubisoft as a whole. Assassin’s Creed Rogue is an average game if I ever played one.
Assassin’s Creed Rogue: 7.1 out of 10
9. Assassin’s Creed
The one that started it all. Any gamer who has loaded up this 2007 classic in the last few years has probably said the same thing that I did when preparing to write this article: “Wow this has not aged well…”. The stealth mechanics and world building that were lauded in those days for their innovation (and launched an IP for Ubisoft that has sold thousands of copies to this day) is laughably simple by today’s standards and probably completely unenjoyable to anyone not diving in for nostalgia’s sake.
I had just turned 15 when I saw the first cinematic trailer for this game and when I finally got my hands on it I was completely enthralled by it. Splinter Cell (Ubisoft’s other well-known stealth based franchise), was a bit too difficult for me to fully enjoy yet, but Assassin’s Creed offered just enough of a challenge for my young teenage mind that it felt exciting to assassinate a target and then jump into a haystack to hide.
Assassin’s Creed was a simple game that worked and that is all that it needed to be to succeed when it did.
Assassin’s Creed: 7.5 out of 10
8. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
Maybe I shouldn’t have enjoyed Assassin’s Creed Syndicate as much as I did. It is one of only two Assassin’s Creed titles (the other being Assassin’s Creed Revelations) that I didn’t play in its inaugural month or so because I believed reviews that cited the formula becoming stale and uninteresting. I actually waited until after playing Origins to return to this title and I was actually pleasantly surprised.
Perhaps it was coming off from the far more RPG- focused title in Origins or perhaps it was because my expectations were already so incredibly low, but I found quite a few things to enjoy about Ubisoft’s grimy tale in foggy London town.
The mechanics remained largely the same as Black Flag and Unity with a few tweaks here and there, but the big addition was a grapple hook cable that made scaling buildings a breeze. The grappling hook saved this game for me in my mind as climbing up the face of a building or cliff may have been fun ten years ago, but today all we really want is to just get up there. Once you have seen all the climbing animations you don’t really need to be looking at them for half your total playthrough’s time and this handy mechanic solved all of that while also giving the game a more steampunk theme in the process.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate probably isn’t even as good as I give it credit for here, but it filled a void nicely when i was longing to play something a bit more like where the series started.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate: 7.6 out of 10
7. Assassin’s Creed Revelations
Assassin’s Creed can be described as a mild success as a tide-over game leading up to the release of the far more anticipated setting in the Revolutionary War of Assassin’s Creed III. It can also be described as a bit of a let down when compared to the previous two entries in the series, which are usually seen by most fans as two of the very best.
This is more or less the reason why it takes one of the quintessential “middle” spots on my list. Lots to like, lots to dislike, but ultimately just more of the same. The story is pretty forgettable up until about the last two hours or so. Fans who are able to get to that point will be treated to some of the best tie-in sections of the series and a set up that is still paying off in the over-arching story today.
Assassin’s Creed Revelations was a good time to be sure, I just wouldn’t call it a great game.
Assassin’s Creed Revelations: 8.0 out of 10
6. Assassin’s Creed Origins
Assassin’s Creed Origins marked the longest wait between games in the entirety of the series at only a little over two years. Ubisoft clearly felt that their formula was getting very old and stale and decided to literally go back to the drawing board for a significant portion of what their next game would be. This resulted in a ton of significant changes across the board, from scaling and climbing mechanics to even the genre of game that it really belongs in.
Assassin’s Creed Origins is by no means a full-blown RPG, but it marked the beginning of significant steps toward bringing the series to that place. RPG elements are abundant in this game, from armor with special stats and set bonuses to more meaningful ways to gain experience points and even wider branching skill trees that had yet to be seen up to that point.
Many fans of the series cried foul at this point because Ubisoft was taking things in a new direction, but what worked in 2007 just simply isn’t the standard of what games can be anymore and even developers get tired of making the same old game over and over again even if the customers are still in love with it all.
I personally loved many of the new additions in Origins and was very excited for what Ubisoft’s vision for the future of Assassin’s Creed clearly was: a more immersive and player-choice driven experience that almost always leads to better replay-ability and fun.
The story of Assassin’s Creed Origins is really the only thing that holds this title back in any way for me. Although the implications of the beginning of the creed were entertaining, the characters and general plot of the story are extremely forgettable and seem to have been given hardly any thought at all. It is never good when the best story told in your game comes later in DLC.
The beloved classics will always be there for fans to revisit, but I believe this was a good move for Ubisoft to steer away from their copy and paste days of old.
Assassin’s Creed Origins: 8.8 out of 10
5. Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag
Maybe the most needed and timely release in the series, Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag made good on most of the promises of its predecessor while also having an extremely memorable and different narrative that somewhat haunts me to this day.
The new climbing and traversal system finally worked well and the ship warfare that was introduced in AC III was amped up to eleven as some of the most memorable sequences actually happened off your feet for once. Black Flag was an absolute blast to pay on almost every front and even the more menial tasks like collectible hunting was done in such a way that you felt compelled to continue not longing to move on.
Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag was an awesome idea that was executed even better.
Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag: 9.0 out of 10
4. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
After careful consideration the most recent game in the series, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla falls here at number four for me. There are many things that it did do better than its predecessor in my book, but much of it comes off as “the same, but more of it” mentality. This isn’t a bad thing necessarily, but it wasn’t really enough for me to say that it was better than what it had been copied from.
Valhalla has one of the best opening sequences of any of the titles in the series, but quickly devolves from there to be a somewhat average narrative aside from a few interesting “dream” sequences. To be blunt, I guessed what the end of the story would be about halfway through and i was essentially correct in nearly every way.
The ideas behind choosing what path you would take from a story prospective to reach that end goal was a good one, but not being able to control the story directly was more infuriating than enjoyable.
Combat remained largely the same with a few different variations on the “right/ left hand” system of the previous titles. The addition of two-hand shield combat was as fun as the trailers advertised, but really only for a short while.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla comes just shy of being among the very best.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: 9.2 out of 10
3. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
I honestly was not expecting Odyssey to be anywhere near as good as it was when I first saw the E3 reveal trailer in 2018. The two year gap between Syndicate (2015) and Origins (2017) did the overall direction of the series a lot of good (depending on who you ask…) and I thought a similar development time for its sequel was probably in order.
But here came Ubisoft dropping a trailer for a game that they then went on to promise was nearly twice as big in scope and scale as Origins! I thought it would be rushed and unpolished but I have never been so glad to be wrong as Odyssey quickly became one of my favorites in the series and a hard game to put down overall.
It is clear to me now that Ubisoft made Origins as a way to test the waters of its RPG elements without getting too bogged down but with a sequel like Origins in mind if it happened to succeed. Whether you love or hate the changes made to the series in the last three titles, you have to admit that Odyssey is a great game through the lens of what it was actually trying to be: a true RPG.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey finally let player choice lead the game and opened a lot of gamer’s eyes to the possibilities within almost every major IP that they love to play.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: 9.4 out of 10
2. Assassin’s Creed II
For many fans Assassin’s Creed II is probably the one you would immediately point to as your favorite and with really good reason. It took nearly every element of the classic, original game and perfected it. From the gut punching and exhilarating storyline of Ezio to the nearly perfectly balanced world and gameplay, Assassin’s Creed II was not just a major leap forward for the open world gaming craze, but of what a game could be as a whole.
Assassin’s Creed II is quite simply a game that must be played to understand. It is one of the best of its time and one of the best of all time.
Assassin’s Creed II: 9.6 out of 10
1. Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
Fans seem to be split between whether Assassin’s Creed II or AC Brotherhood should take the crown when it comes to best in the series but for me the choice is quite clear: Brotherhood.
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood is one of my personal favorite games ever, further exploring the backstory of Ezio in a more meaningful and interesting way while also introducing several new in-game systems and mechanics. The way you cleared the overall map of enemy encampments and territories was brand new to this game and although the practice has now far worn out its welcome (particularly from Ubisoft), it shone bright here and promoted an attitude of “just one more…” that led to many very late nights for me personally.
Just like its predecessor, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood is one of the very best games that you can even get your hands on, and is nearly as good today as it was over ten years ago. This gem of a game simply cannot be missed!
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood: 9.7 out of 10