Assassin’s Creed Games Ranked: 12 Top Games of Assassin’s Creed Franchise Ranked From Worst to Best

From the original AC to Valhalla, ranking the entirety of the mainline Assassin's Creed franchise and see where each game ends up.

Assassin's Creed

By 2022, there have been a total of 12 mainline Assassin’s Creed games – which means we’ve travelled to historic locations and iconic periods of human history a total of 12 times. Out of those 12, there have been some that have raised the bar from what we expect from our AAA action-adventure titles and are heralded as some of the most memorable games of the last 2 decades.

Others, on the other hand, have been relegated to the sidelines and have failed to have any significant impact on the games industry and culture at large. While there hasn’t been a single out-and-out “bad” entry in the series, some have fallen prey to complacency, perhaps as a result of the games temporarily having an annual release structure.

Regardless of how divisive any single entry and their placement on this list can be, we can probably collectively agree that Assassin’s Creed is a franchise that has helped shaped the modern-day AAA action-adventure landscape as we know it. With plenty of new Assassin’s Creed games now announced, it is time we take a look at the 12 mainline entries that have come before and see how they rank.

Note: Only mainline entries in the series will be considered for this list. Meaning, that expansions, DLC, and mobile exclusives like Liberation, Freedom Cry, and Bloodlines will not be on this list. 

Also Read: Harry Potter Games Ranked: 8 Top Games of Harry Potter Ranked From Worst to Best

Ranking Every Single Mainline Entry in the Assassin’s Creed franchise

12) Assassin’s Creed Revelations

AC Revelations came out during the period when Ubisoft elected for an annual release structure; meaning, that there would be an AC game every year. Maybe this sort of release structure works well (just maybe) for a franchise like Call of Duty, the kind of polish and charm of an AC game is sort of lost when it is churned out at the rate of an Uwe Boll film.

Revelations is, by no means, “bad”, but it commits a rare cardinal sin of gaming by being rather forgettable.

The game makes very few adjustments to the gameplay to accommodate our favourite ageing Italian Assassin and delivers an experience that is hard to distinguish from the games that came before it. On the gameplay side of things, it is pretty one-note and has very few levels that will stick with the player after the credits have rolled.

Even when it comes to the story, it feels like an opportunity lost as the game doesn’t quite hit the high emotional points that Brotherhood and AC II hit. Save for a rather touching and memorable sequence at Altair’s final resting place, Revelations has very little in the story department to boast of.

11) Assassin’s Creed

If this were not the first game to kick the franchise off and set the foundations for its superior subsequent sequels, this would be lower on the list. The original AC title began development as a spin-off of the Prince of Persia franchise where players would assume the role of a member of the Assassins, the prince’s royal guard.

While the game received generally favourable reviews and garnered enough commercial success to warrant a sequel – it hasn’t aged particularly well. Playing this 2009 game in 2022 feels enormously dated, more so than other games of its kind of the time. The gameplay loop revolves around the player, Altair, picking up to 3 Assassination targets at a time and executing them across different regions of Syria.

This is then rinsed and repeated time and time again until it is time for the main boss fight at the end, which doesn’t exactly constitute the most exciting or innovative gameplay loop ever seen. While the game was a polished affair that was rather fun to play, especially with the social stealth mechanics introduced, it is fundamentally one of the most tedious games in the series.

10) Assassin’s Creed Unity

Unity had perhaps the most unenviable task to follow up on perhaps one of the best games in the series and expectations were enormously high for Ubisoft to deliver. The Day One launch of the game brings to memory sights we recently saw with Cyberpunk 2077 with the game being a bug-filled affair that soured the experience right out of the game.

A massive patch later, the game eventually got up to a state where it could be enjoyed by the masses. However, playing through Unity you cannot help but feel like the absolutely magnificent parkour mechanics of the game were better suited to a much better game than they are in.

The game is a complete overhaul of the gameplay systems from Black Flag, featuring all-new combat, stealth mechanics, and the aforementioned parkour. Where it doesn’t make a ton of effort, however, is the story. It is massively ambitious for Ubisoft to try and tell a love story during the French Revolution but the studio’s complete rejection to dabble in complex politics of the time is a real let-down.

9) Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

Despite my great love for the game, completely on the back of my personal biases, there was no way I could possibly place this higher up on the list. Another victim of the annual release cycle, Syndicate also suffers from a severe case of an identity crisis throughout its playtime and repeatedly goes back-and-forth between two extremes.

The previous title, the story-heavy Unity skewed way too much on the side of cutscenes and overly long and dramatic scripted sequences to get its point across. The lesson Ubisoft took from was to tone down the overly-long cutscenes and keep them to a minimum in Syndicate and attempt a more gameplay-heavy experience.

The result, however, is a game that hasn’t quite figured out how to balance the two. The cutscenes here are thankfully brief, but it is then at the cost of a compelling narrative. The story, here, feels like it sacrificed a lot of the emotional quotient of the series for a much lighter-hearted affair but it should have taken cues from Black Flag on how to do that.

The combat in Syndicate is some of the best ever in the series and the addition of the grappling hook was one of the most ingenious decisions made during development. The Assassination contracts here have also been upgraded significantly and feel very Hitman-like but they are ultimately weighed down by perhaps the most forgettable story in the entire franchise.

8) Assassin’s Creed III

The first and only game in the series to take place in America, AC III puts players in the shoes of Connor, a Native-American Assassin tasked with taking down members of the Templar Order during the American Revolutionary War. This is perhaps the most explosive setting for any game in the series and makes full use of it through massive set-pieces and missions that place the character front and centre in some of the most hyper-stylized battles.

Coming right off of the Ezio trilogy, Ubisoft went back to the drawing board and completely revamped the gameplay and combat to accommodate the hulking battle-tank that is Connor. Unlike Ezio, Connor is a much more physical brawler and his move set certainly reflects that. The combat is hard and heavy, with Connor moving swiftly and brutally through his enemies using a variety of weapons like the Tomahawk and swords.

AC III’s most tedious qualities begin to rear their head towards the latter half of the game when it stops introducing any new or interesting elements to the mix. The game slows down to a crawl past a memorable boss fight with Haytham and refuses to pick up the pace towards its somewhat anti-climatic end.

7) Assassin’s Creed Origins

Origins were the first title in the series in a very long time to break the annual release cycle and come out a whole 2 years after Syndicate. It is clear from playing a couple hours of Origins to see the kind of massive impact a game like The Witcher 3 had on the industry as AC now became an action-RPG franchise, ditching the old action-adventure formula of before.

The result was a massive open-world map filled with all sorts of side activities and quests that will keep the players engaged for far longer than any other AC game of the past. Also new was a level progression system and levelled inventory where the players would hunt down better loot in order to take on much more difficult enemies.

AC Origins is a deeply misunderstood game and one that has, since launch, won over fans with its impressively deep combat, stealth, and progression. Origins is a gargantuan effort from Ubisoft and one that deserves hardcore AC fans of old to give it a try and discover its wonders for themselves.

6) Assassin’s Creed Valhala

The latest entry in the series, AC Valhalla is perhaps the farthest cry from a typical AC setting, but at its core, it is closer to home than you might think at first. If you thought playing as a Spartan was going too far, then playing as a Norse Viking invading England is not what you had in mind when you thought “Assassin’s Creed”.

AC Valhalla places you in the shoes of Eivor, a young and skilled Viking setting sail towards England along with his brother, Sigurd. As Eivor, you must form alliances with several powerful rulers in England to ensure the survival of your clan, the Ravel Clan. This forms the gameplay loop of the game where you must pledge allegiance to several kingdoms of England and complete their own story arcs to form an alliance.

Tedious? A bit. Fun? Yeah, loads. The game starts off rather quietly, careful not to reveal its gigantic schemes right out of the gate. There is a choice-based system in place but it doesn’t really amount to much in the grander scheme of things.

It doesn’t take a gaming veteran to figure out that at least 40% of the game’s overall content is simply padding, a way to elongate the game’s length in order to tell a much grander story.

The effect is moderately tedious affairs that will turn away gamers and it is no surprise that most of my friends who I talked to about the game have not seen the final conclusion of AC Valhalla.

 5) Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Following in the footsteps of Origins, AC Odyssey stays the course and builds on the foundations of its predecessor and delivers an even bigger RPG experience to the players. The map, alone, should serve was a notice to players that this game is going to take upwards of 60 hours to see through to its end.

For the first time in the AC series, players get to pick between a Male and Female Assassin – playing as either Alexios or Kassandra. While this choice might seem benign at first, it has major ramifications on the overall storyline of the game and it affects a lot of how the rest of the game will play out.

This sets the benchmark for all choices in the game as there are several different endings in Odyssey, albeit they are all simply variations on the one ending. Odyssey, despite its gargantuan length, is able to maintain a level of quality and kinetic energy to the proceedings that few others in the series have been able to. The game ditches all appearances of realism, instead letting players play as essentially a demigod capable of feats humans can only dream of.

4) Assassin’s Creed Rogue

Perhaps the single-most divisive entry on the list. Many might feel that AC Rogue is simply an expansion to Black Flag that doesn’t do much to stand on its own two feet as a mainline entry. This is a much shorter affair than compared to its predecessors and it will most likely take players up to 8-10 hours to finish the game in its entirety.

Shay Patrick Cormac, a former Assassin turned Templar, is perhaps the most interesting character in all of AC and the decision to have players step into the shoes of someone hunting down Assassins was an ingenious choice. For the first time since AC III’s introduction through Haytham, players can see the complex ambitions of the Templar and how they might not be too different from the Assassins.

The game hits several high emotional points throughout its playtime and relays a sense of heartbreak unlike many other games in the franchise. This is certainly helped by one of the most beautiful soundtracks in an AC game, scored by Elitsa Alexandrova. Rogue is a fantastic title and perhaps one of the most inspired entries in the series.

3) Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood

While I wasn’t a huge fan of the game when it came out, subsequent playthroughs over the years have turned me into a massive apologist for Brotherhood. The game takes place only moments after the conclusion of AC II with Ezio and Mario escaping the Vault after having absolutely punched the living daylights out of the pope, Rodrigo Borgia.

Taking place in Rome and other neighbouring cities, Brotherhood is perhaps the most finely-tuned and polished AC experience in the Ezio trilogy and tells one of the most compelling revenge sagas of the franchise. The game makes really clever changes to the combat by allowing players to execute kill streaks that make the combat flow freely.

Apart from these small tweaks, the gameplay remains largely unchanged from AC II, but that somehow feels much better than it completely reshaping how players have come to recognize Ezio in gameplay form.

2) Assassin’s Creed II

There are maybe only a couple of things gaming fans can collectively agree on and one of them is that AC II is the most quintessential AC experience to date. The game introduced players to one of gaming’s most beloved icons, Ezio Auditore da Firenze and follow his journey from a noble, wayward youth to a hardened and charming Assassin.

AC II sets in motion a revenge tale and set the stage for a saga that spans multiple years as Ezio hunts down members of the Templar, the people that wronged him and his family. Vengeance is a key motivator for Ezio, as would become apparent in the sequel, and this game goes a great length in fleshing out the character’s personality and tendencies.

Coming off of the original AC title, Ubisoft knew they had a winning formula at hand and with this sequel, they pretty much nailed every single element of the AC combat, traversal, and exploration they introduced in the original. This is the Assassin’s Creed experience fans were promised in the original and it took a massive effort from Ubisoft to perfect the vision they had back in 2007.

1) Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

There are a few things that AC fans hold dearly and consider to be the hallmark of an AC game, pirates and gleeful swashbuckling probably aren’t them. At this point in the series, fans had grown to become weary of the same old Assassin versus Templar saga that was repeated in every single game till this point. So quite ingeniously, Black Flag decided to simply be agnostic of the Assassin-Templar struggle.

Instead, players are now in the shoes of Edward Kenway, a greedy and selfish pirate with the dreams of returning back home with bucketloads of gold. Somewhere along the way, Edward transforms into one of the most loveable and intriguing characters ever in the series, and along that same way, Black Flag reveals itself to be one of the best AC games of all time.

The combat makes some well-adjusted tweaks to the system introduced in AC III and overhauls the naval combat to its finest degree. The true heart of the game, underneath the amazing naval combat and exploration, is the story. While the game might appear a light-hearted swashbuckling affair at first, it delves into some truly heart-wrenching places to become one of the most emotionally potent games in the series.

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I possess the dexterity of a toddler when it comes to fighting games, but the confidence of a hundred Jay-Zs. Absolutely love narrative-driven games - with a particular obsession with indie side scrollers and retro wave scores. Currently playing: Deliver Us the Moon.