The Assassin’s Creed series has been around the world since it first came out in 2007. Players have gone from Renaissance Italy to Ancient Greece to the American Revolution in the games. Along the way, the series has changed a lot. There have been sequels that kept up with the promise of the previous ones, as well as completely new ideas about how characters grow.
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From Ubisoft’s many games, which are the best? IGN’s most devoted Assassin’s Creed fans came together to agree, disagree, and then pick our favorite games. It’s important to note that this list comes from the mainline Assassin’s Creed series of console games, not mobile or handheld games, because they have very different scope and design.
The following are our favorite Assassin’s Creed games without any further ado.
1. Assassin’s Creed Unity
After the swaying of Black Flag’s pirate Edward Kenway, Assassin’s Creed Unity was a return to the original Assassin’s Creed’s tone and style. Assassin’s Creed Unity was the first AC game to be released exclusively for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 (along with PC, of course). It was a great game for its time and had huge crowds of NPCs, but its launch was a little bumpy.
Bugs, glitches, and a huge map made some people leave the game. But those who stuck with it found a great setting in Revolutionary France, new movement options that made scaling down the side of a building much easier, and fun, and many different assassination missions. And frankly, seeing Notre Dame in all its glory makes AC Unity well worth the price of admission
2. Assassin’s Creed Rogue
Shay Cormac became a templar in this “prequel” to Assassin’s Creed 3 and Unity on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Rogue also came out that year. For example, Rogue trades Havana for New York and the Caribbean for ice flows and riverland in the Hudson Valley. It keeps and even improves on Black Flag’s naval combat and Arkham-like swordplay.
Black Flag is a must-play if you love the game but don’t want to play it again. The story doesn’t take any big risks to change the formula of Assassins: good, and Templars: bad, but it’s still an interesting look at how things work on the other side of the hidden blade.
3. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations wrapped up Altair Ibn-La-Ahad and Ezio Auditore’s stories, and, despite some unremarkable additions like the Den Defense mode, it was a memorable and thrilling send off. Revelations had a lot of interesting things to do, from flying down ziplines in Constantinople to meeting Leonardo Da Vinci.
Ezio and Altair’s last chapter was both a sign of what was to come and a celebration of what had come before, so it was both. Because we’d seen these two grow and learn from their adventures, we also had one last fling with them. We also said goodbye to the first era of the game.
4. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
A new game in the Assassin’s Creed series called Brotherhood continues the story of Ezio Auditore da Firenze. This makes him a favorite character for fans of the series. It trades the diverse locations of Assassin’s Creed 2 for an expanded version of Rome and its surrounding countryside and builds on the new mechanics introduced in Assassins Creed 2 –swimming, property management, firearms, and recruitable allies. If you play the game, you can be the aggressive assassin we all wanted to be because it has changed how the game plays.
It was also the first game in the series to let people play as Templars and see who their friends were the best assassins or hunters. It may not have made as many changes to the formula as its predecessor, but many people still think it’s one of the best.
5. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Valhalla didn’t change the world like Origins did, but it did make a lot of big changes. Traditional side quests have been replaced by world events that make exploration and discovery more natural; the huge amount of loot you’d need to organize and sift through has been cut down a lot, making rewards feel much more valuable on the whole.
Because Eivor’s story is so interesting, even though we don’t like him or her as much as some of the other Assassin’s Creed characters, we still enjoy it.
6. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
This is what people say about the locations in Assassin’s Creed games. Syndicate’s 19th Century Victorian London in the middle of industrialization might be the best-known one out of them all. When you sneak into factories, race horses down the street, and even fight Jack the Ripper, Syndicate makes you feel like you’re in the real world.
String-heavy music from Journey composer Austin Wintory adds to this sense of place. Jacob and Evie Fry even have their own soundtracks, which don’t sound like anything else in the series before or after: In Syndicate, there are a lot of small things that make the world look like one big thing. This is one of them. Also, it’s hard to think of a game like Bloodborne that lets you fight this well with a cane.
7. Assassin’s Creed II
Assassin’s Creed II is to blame for proving that the formula works, but also for giving us the best example of a video game sequel meeting the promise of its less-than-exciting predecessor. This is why we should thank the game. ACII made assassination missions more dynamic, giving you more options for how to get to your goal, more options for hiding or causing distractions, better combat, and the ability to swim. Even though later games would add even more depth, ACII made assassination missions more dynamic. There were new catacomb missions for players to try out their parkour skills on, and the upgradeable homebase villa gave players a reason to keep collecting collectibles. New weapons and gear from everyone’s favorite video game character, Leonardo da Vinci, kept the game new and interesting.
Ezio Auditore da Firenze, an all-time favorite character, was one of the first characters to be introduced in the Italian Renaissance, and he was also a big part of the current-day story. That’s what I mean. You fight the pope, then an outsider talks to Desmond through Ezio in the present day. It was a great ending to a game that showed how good Assassin’s Creed could be. Ooh, and there’s one of the strangest video game references of all time. If we have the footage, play the “It’s me, Mario” scene. Otherwise, you can just cut this whole last line out.
8. Assassin’s Creed Freedom Cry
Freedom Cry started out as a DLC for Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, but it had bigger plans and became its own game. While its combat and sidequest structure make it almost impossible to separate from Black Flag, its story is worth putting at the top of this list. This picture shows Adewale, a former slave who is now a free man. He fights against the slavemasters of Haiti in the name of freedom, which shows that the Assassins’ mission can take many different important forms.
There is a lot of violence shown in Freedom Cry. It puts you in the middle of a slave trade, and it doesn’t hold back. Seeing the human auctions or runaway slaves who will be killed without your help is impossible to ignore because you’re a part of the process, not just an outsider who sees it. Freedom Cry also shows that the slaves and the freemen of the country are actively involved in their own liberation. They work with Adewale rather than just waiting for him to do something. In that way, Freedom Cry does something that is both important and almost unique, and that deserves a shout out.
9. Assassin’s Creed Altair’s Chronicles
before anyone thought about Ezio’s trilogy, there was Altair’s Chronicles, which the AC team thought about. Assassin’s Creed: The Chalice is a mobile prequel to the original game. Altair is looking for a mythical artifact called the Chalice in a 3D world that is very small. It’s a bad game from start to finish. Assassin’s Creed’s combat has been simplified so much that it’s no longer interesting, the locations and missions are the same, the story is cheesy, and the dialogue is bad all the time.
The only thing that Altair’s Chronicles has going for it is its visuals, which include lovely (though overused) designs for the environment. This at least makes the game look nice. But that’s not enough to make up for its many and many flaws, and with new mobile AC games that look better than this one, it’s best to avoid this one.