Ranking the best and top Assassin's Creed games is harder than finding a hundred feathers in Renaissance Italy, but we've somehow managed both. In recent times picking a favorite stabby adventure has only gotten tougher, with Origins and Odyssey - and now Assassin’s Creed Valhalla - continuously expanding and improving on the original historical RPG formula.
The best Assassin's Creed games today look very different from how the series began, giving your choices serious consequences and allowing you to make your assassin hero your own.
We've summoned our eagles and the odd raven to scour the world for the very best 5 Assassin's Creeds games. Let's dive in, ideally from the top of the tallest landmark on the map, and into a nice, conveniently placed cart of hay.
5. Assassin's Creed
The game that started it all isn't looking as hot as it was eight years ago, but it isn't quite falling apart at the seams yet either. Effectively a tech demo for what the franchise could become, the original Assassin's Creed gives you one thing to do (assassinate, if you hadn't guessed) and tells you to do it ten times over, with only the most repetitive of sidequests to break things up.
Much of what earned it acclaim at the time of its release has also faded, as graphics have gotten better and Ubisoft honed the controls for AC games so you don't run up walls quite as much.
But what the original Assassin's Creed has going for it is a place close to the series' heart: you learn everything you can about your target, you plot the assassination, and you execute. The high-profile missions offer some variety in that regard, since each target behaves in a unique way that favors a different kind of approach. It's bare-bones, and it's been done better since, but the game isn't irrelevant yet.
4. Assassin's Creed Revelations
Pick a popular game, and chances are good that the protagonist is somewhere between 15 and 35 years old. They might as well be dead after that, because you're more likely to run across a unicorn in-game than a silver-haired main character.
Ezio Auditore is not only an exception to that rule, but the best, thanks to the brilliant story at the forefront of Assassin's Creed Revelations. Featuring easily one of the most thoughtful and mature tales the series has yet woven, Revelations set the standard for every Assassin's Creed story since.
Admittedly, that brilliance isn't felt in every part of the game. Constantinople is fairly drab and forgettable, and the tower-defense mini-game added to territory-claiming is basically the worst. But that only speaks to the strength of Revelations' narrative, which focuses on sacrifice and loss in a painfully honest way that satisfies your heart as much as it breaks it. Both Ezio and Altair get the loving send-offs they deserve, because Revelations knows that there's strength in telling a different kind of story.
3. Assassin's Creed Syndicate
In a world where steampunk is basically its own genre, Victorian London has been done to dapperly-dressed death. Yet when Assassin's Creed Syndicate showed up to the party fashionably late in 2015, it took to exploring the city with such unbridled amusement and sincerity that it was hard not to love, and had us asking for more like pitiful movie orphans.
Charming twin protagonists, Evie and Jacob Frye both of whom you can play at your leisure, add to that enjoyment with snarky banter that never feels snide or off-putting. These feel like real people you'd want to have pint with. Just maybe don't make any jokes about Templars.
Letting you play happily with everything and even hurtle through the city in carriages, causing absolute chaos, Syndicate brings together the best parts of the entire Assassin's Creed series under one fancy umbrella, showing what the series is capable of when it tries.
2. Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag
While AC2 soared to success on an updraft of enthusiasm for a burgeoning series, Assassin's Creed Black Flag arrived on the heels of the disappointing AC3, when confidence in the series was at an all-time low. It faced a hostile climate with little faith that a game about pirate Assassins could possibly succeed.
And in proper buccaneer fashion, it blew the doors right off the place, taking every piece of the Assassin's Creed franchise and turning it to gold. Pirate of the Caribbean Assassin, Edward Kenway, is an irresistible rogue and absolutely cancels out his poe faced grandson Conor.
There's almost nothing about the Assassin's Creed series that Black Flag didn't either invent or radically improve; against all expectations, it offered up the biggest and richest game world the franchise had yet seen, an incredible variety of addictive missions, ship combat that was suddenly fun, and an effortlessly beautiful soundtrack that you've probably listened to at least once while nowhere near the game.
1. Assassin's Creed Odyssey
Assassin's Creed Odyssey takes players back to way back before the Order was even a thing, and tells a story through the medium of two new protagonists - Kassandra and Alexios. You actually get to choose who you play as right at the start, and then the rest of the game plays out according to your choices. And boy, will you have a lot of choices to make. This game is huge.
But not huge in a way that you end up feeling like there's too much, or too little, to get involved with. This is a world that is filled with side quests and distractions galore, with each one being deal with the same quality and finesse. Not a boring fetch quest in sight, my friends. Just hours of glorious cutscenes, incredibly memorable characters and a whole lot of romance.