Since the first Assassin’s Creed video game was released in 2007, the series has become a major part of the industry as a whole. The franchise’s stealth action mechanics enthralled gamers from the get go, and over the years Assassin’s Creed has been able to provide some major highs, as well as a few miserable lows to boot.
This year’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, however, is certainly one of the stronger games in the franchise. Its Classical Greek setting definitely resonates, and the game’s open world is full of fun things to do beyond following the game’s more personal central story.
Related: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Review: A Greek Myth Worth Repeating
However, its place in the larger rankings of the Assassin’s Creed series is still up for debate. To help with this, here’s a rundown of all of the games in the franchise, ranked from worst to best. Just where will Assassin’s Creed Odyssey sit?
12. Assassin’s Creed Unity
It’s perhaps not surprising to see Assassin’s Creed Unity in the bottom spot, and with good reason. The game promised much, with an intriguing setting in Revolutionary France and an emphasis on cooperative play that could have been a truly exciting and fresh take on a gameplay formula that was beginning to feel a little stale.
Unfortunately, Unity‘s launch in 2014 was an absolute disaster. Connectivity issues plagued the title upon release, and its major bugs across all gameplay elements meant that it was barely fit to be played for an extremely long time. By the time the title was in a suitable state, many had already turned away, and its lukewarm finished form didn’t do much to bring people back around.
11. Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation
A handheld spinoff for the PlayStation Vita, Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation was a tie-in game for the larger Assassin’s Creed III, exclusive on Sony’s ambitious handheld console. Certain elements of the title worked well, with protagonist Aveline resonating with players, and it brought something interesting to the PS Vita’s library too.
However, the limits of its platform were still quite apparent, and that core gameplay that Assassin’s Creed is known for didn’t quite work as well on the handheld. The title would eventually see a re-release as Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation HD, but bringing the game to home consoles and PC just made its limitations all the more apparent.
10. Assassin’s Creed
The original Assassin’s Creed may have been the game that kicked it off, but going back to play it now its weakness are all too apparent. At times the gameplay can feel very stilted, as does its awkward controls, and the large amounts of downtime between moments of real excitement have perhaps grown more obvious over time.
Nonetheless, there’s still something captivating about Assassin’s Creed. Its setting is still unique, and the way that it tries to build its mix of a modern day techno-drama with historical elements remains a bold choice from a storytelling perspective – albeit one that is still the subject of much discussion among both fans and those skeptical of the larger Assassin’s Creed plot.
9. Assassin’s Creed Revelations
The final part of the Ezio trilogy, Assassin’s Creed Revelations went over well with fans but still felt a little bit like a wasted opportunity. After the quality of Assassin’s Creed 2 and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, Revelations needed to end with a bang to act as a fitting final chapter for this mini-trilogy.
Overall, the game still just about pulled it off. Although by no means as strong as its two predecessors, and perhaps held back by no standout new mechanics, the gameplay was as solid as ever, and being able to witness both Altair and Ezio proved to be a neat moment for fans of the series overall.
8. Assassin’s Creed Rogue
Assassin’s Creed Rogue acted as a strange middle-man to numerous other games in the series, attempting to tie together the likes of Assassin’s Creed III, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, and Assassin’s Creed Unity. That said, its core conceit – of playing as a Templar rather than an Assassin – was the most interesting part of the game, and players enjoyed the chance to see the other side in this 2014 release.
Overall, this change of perspective worked well with fans, as did its continuation of the gameplay seen in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. However, the lack of major improvements didn’t quite work well with everyone, feeling almost like it could have been a large expansion to the game rather than an entirely new experience.
7. Assassin’s Creed III
Assassin’s Creed III was a major attempt from Ubisoft to push Assassin’s Creed in a new direction. The title not only moved to yet another new continent and era, but also expanded the amount of gameplay available in its open world, giving players lots to do beyond its pure stealth action.
Overall, the game was an impressive feat to behold, although not all of its parts were quite equal. Its open world was expansive, but players didn’t find that all of the new elements gelled quite as well with the core gameplay they had turned up for. Nonetheless, it paved the way for further expansions of what gamers came to expect from Assassin’s Creed – even if not all of them quite worked at standard when introduced here.
Page 2 of 2: Assassin’s Creed Games Ranked, #6 to #1
6. Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
The second part of the Ezio trilogy, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, released in 2010 and the tweaks to gameplay made from its predecessor were clear for all to see. The title may have broken the early series tradition of jumping to a new playable character with each game, but its changes to gameplay not only made a nice change of pace from Assassin’s Creed II, but also made an early point towards what the franchise would become.
Its story, however, was a little bit more controversial. Doubling down on the stranger elements of the larger Assassin’s Creed lore, the plot proved divisive but at least set a marker in the ground for what the series was trying to do. Either way, the game would remain long in the memory of those who picked it up.
5. Assassin’s Creed Origins
Assassin’s Creed Origins made some serious changes to the core gameplay of the series, and with good reason: by 2017, those loops that had made up the feel of Assassin’s Creed were starting to get a little stale. Instead, Ubisoft went for something different with Origins, looking to kick off the franchise from a plot perspective and shake things up gameplay-wise as well.
All in all, it worked. Origins takes its time to allow long-term fans to get to grips with the changes, and with a little perseverance shows that change isn’t always a bad thing. It may feel a little like a proof of concept now that Odyssey has released, but nonetheless it earned those positive reviews at launch.
4. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
Despite the required changes seen in Assassin’s Creed Origins, the older fashion of gameplay had a very solid send-off with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. The title moved the series as close to modern day as Assassin’s Creed has come through a shift to Victorian London, while its gang-based plot and faction battles were an enthralling way to frame the stealthy action fare.
By far the best aspect of Syndicate was the way that players could shift between twins Jacob and Evie Frye, with both characters feeling fleshed out. Although it was clear that the traditional Assassin’s Creed gameplay may have been pushed as far as it could go, there was more than enough atmosphere and plenty of fun to be found in this 2015 release.
3. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Time will tell as to whether Assassin’s Creed Odyssey goes down as a classic in series, but as it stands it’s a hugely enjoyable game. The title is a veritable smorgasbord of different gameplay options, with a strong main quest to follow alongside plenty of side content including the Conquest Battles that play part of a larger war between Athens and Sparta.
The title feels very different to the earlier Assassin’s Creed games, but its painstaking attempts to build a full open world are successful on the whole, with varied regions and some stunning historical locations. Even better, a return to a more personal story with some highly memorable characters puts it high on the list of Assassin’s Creed games from a narrative perspective.
2. Assassin’s Creed II
It may be creaking a little these days, but it’s hard to look past the sheer quality of Assassin’s Creed II. The title took the promise of the original Assassin’s Creed and improved upon it in every way, with stylish stealth gameplay honed to a fine point. Add in an iconic setting and the main character of Ezio Auditore and it’s easy to see why the legacy of Assassin’s Creed II remains to the day – and on top of it all, it’s still a joy to play.
The game has less bells and whistles than its sequels, but its main assassination gameplay is still hard to beat when it comes to sheer fun. Even when that is taken away, the game contains perhaps the most cohesive plot in the entirety of the Assassin’s Creed series, with both the modern day and Animus sections compelling.
1. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag opened up the franchise in a whole new way, doubling down on the open world style of play with aplomb. Its pirate-themed gameplay was – and still is – phenomenal, and it’s all too easy to lose track of time out on the high seas. There’s a reason why fans of the series were so pleased to see the return of naval combat in Odyssey, and the way that Black Flag seamlessly introduced it is a core part of that.
Above that, however, there were even more successes. The game was absolutely beautiful, and is striking even to this day, while its cast of characters was one of the most likeable in Assassin’s Creed history. It’s going to take some beating Black Flag going forward – it may not be the perfect game, but it best moments are staggering.
That brings us to the end of this Assassin’s Creed rundown. There have clearly been some incredible games in the series so far, with some still standing as exceptional examples of open world gameplay. Hopefully the best is still to come, and if Odyssey is anything to go by then there’s life in the franchise yet.
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2018-10-04 06:10:20 – Rob Gordon