Assassin’s Creed II
This is the perfect sequel! Not only the second opus of the series fixed many of the cumbersome issues of the first game but it introduced a protagonist who is still the most beloved character in the franchise to this day.
On top of a great story the high renaissance setting and the lush cities of Florence and Venice are some of the finest playgrounds the franchise has ever seen.
Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag
Black Flag is not only one of the best Assassin’s Creed games if not arguably the best but it’s also one of the finest pirate games every made. It came right after the lackluster Assassin’s Creed III and swooped us away with its open-world of swashbuckling goodness.
Gameplay-wise it is the peak of the series and since then, its successors have tip-toed and had a hard time recreating the perfect storm that this title was.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
If Origins brought a much needed refresher to the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Odyssey builds not only on the best of its direct predecessor but also brings back the naval battles that made Black Flag so popular while adding some RPG mechanics which are more than welcomed.
At the time of writing, I’ve spent 48 hours and feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of what this Homeric title has to offer. The Peloponnesian war is an incredible setting filled with astounding vistas and a plethora of activities.
Assassin’s Creed Origins
It took a hiatus and a deep introspection for the series to come back from annual franchise monotony. In many ways, Origins went back to the roots of what made Assassin’s Creed such a compelling series and brought us back to a world from a distant past that we’ve always wanted to explore.
Unlike some of its predecessor, every system in Origins has a compelling function that enhance the gameplay experience. And it’s such a vast land to explore; it’s definitely breathed new life into a tired franchise.
Assassin’s Creed Rogue
This one will be controversial as some dismiss Rogue as just a short expansion of Black Flag but this game is much more than that. It was released only on previous generation consoles at the same time Unity was released on current gen systems; that’s why too many who didn’t play it when it came out, are now judging Rogue according to current Assassin’s Creed standards which isn’t fair.
On top of keeping everything that made Black Flag such an excellent game, Rogue has one of the best stories in the franchise and some of the most varied and unique side missions that are not present in any other game of the franchise.
The Assassin’s Creed Collections
There are two Assassin’s Creed collections that you can get: one features all the games taking place in or near the American continent while the other gathers all the games featuring the beloved Ezio Auditore da Firenze as a protagonist.
The Americas Collection
If you keep track the Americas collection has 2 of the best games of the series and yet I would not recommend its purchase. Why? Well, first of it’s only available on on last gen consoles and Liberation HD is not on a disc; it’s a download voucher that is notoriously known for having non-working codes.
The Ezio Collection
Unlike the Americas collection, I would 100% recommend the Ezio collection which not only includes the best game of the series but its two outstanding sequels; just because Brotherhood and Revelations aren’t in the top 5, doesn’t mean they are bad in anyways; quite the opposite they are great and improve on many aspects of the first game featuring Ezio but aren’t as important leap forwards for the series as some of the other titles.
Assassin’s Creed III Liberation
Yes! For many years in my top 5, I couldn’t avoid the PS Vita exclusive that received an HD remaster for PS3 and Xbox 360. This portable Assassin’s Creed game is not a watered down or featureless version of the game; it’s a full-fledged Assassin’s Creed and one with some unique gameplay mechanics, a super interesting story and is a spin-off that in many ways is vastly superior to its home console counterpart Assassin’s Creed III.
I really wish it got the same remastered treatment as Rogue did as Aveline is one of the most likeable protagonist of the series and that game has a lot of neat ideas that have never been used again since.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
There’s a lot to like here; it’s a pretty good game but compared to Odyssey it feels like a giant step back: the game requires a lot more grinding than its predecessor and the world feels a lot smaller and disjointed.
20 hours in and there’s no ship upgrades in sight, the skill tree forces you to upgrade skills you have no interest in and because there is a lot more trees than cities a lot of the locations feel the same and some of the activities become tedious due to the poor parkour AI when it comes to trees.
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
Brotherhood is a great sequel; it keeps everything we loved from Assassin’s Creed II and added new gameplay mechanics like the brotherhood one which is a ton of fun. It’s a great game that isn’t higher on the list because it’s very similar to its predecessor (that’s not a bad thing). Just like the franchise gameplay; I like rewarding risks.
The best and most unique part of Brotherhood is its multiplayer which reminds me of the Spy vs. Mercs mode of Splinter Cell games.
Assassin’s Creed Revelations
More of the same Ezio-era Assassin’s Creed greatness; but with its exploding popularity the franchise started to dilute itself and Ubisoft tried to shove too many things into this one. The weird tower-defense on the roof top mini game or the expansion of the brotherhood mechanics were just too distracting and took away some of the focus of the game.
It’s not a bad game at all but it seems like despite being the latest of the Ezio trilogy, it’s also the weakest.
Assassin’s Creed Unity
Let’s not beat around the bush, Unity was downright broken at launch and it took more than 6 months of patches to take the game from a buggy mess to a playable game. In the meantime, if it wasn’t for it being unplayable when it came out, I might have missed on Rogue too.
This is my favorite historical period and I enjoyed the story quite a bit and there was a few interesting gameplay enhancements. The multiplayer made a welcomed return even if the customization was very limited. Overall it’s a solid entry.
The Best Downloadable Content & Standalone Expansion
There has always been a lot of quality downloadable content released for the Assassin’s Creed games. I’m not going to list them all but these are my personal favorite ones.
The Tyranny of King Washington
One of the worst games in the franchise has one of my favorite DLC: THIS is the closest to Far Cry’s Blood Dragon that the Assassin’s Creed series has ever been to. The premise is ludicrous, it introduces weird shape shifting powers. It feels like a completely different game which in this case is a redemption.
More Black Flag is always nice! Playing as a supporting character of the main game is fantastic: Adéwalé is one of the most compelling and interesting character you meet while playing as Edward Kenway; so naturally playing as him and knowing more about his journey is a treat.
This DLC reminds me of Point Lookout for Fallout 3; it has a completely different feel from Unity and is very eerie and interesting; it also serves as a sequel and shows how Arno Dorian deals with what happened at the end of the main game. That made this very memorable to me.
The original Assassin’s Creed was a mixed bag: one one hand it was a lackluster story with a plot twist that happened way too early in the game to be compelling; on the other, it was a game full of interesting ideas and mechanics that even if not fully realized had a lot of promise and that were really enjoyable.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
I’m going to be completely honest but I’ve only played a couple of hours of Syndicate. I’ve completed every other game in the series but this one is, in many ways, paying for the lack of innovation of the series: it’s a perfectly competent game on par with its predecessor but when it came out, it seemed like Assassin’s Creed had run its course and that it was another open-world filed with the same tired, old, activities and the same tired, old, gameplay.
It’s not better in any way than the game that precedes it, Unity, which is an already average experience, but when compared to its successor Origins, it really highlights how the series badly needed to be overhauled.
Assassin’s Creed III
To resume Assassin’s Creed III in one sentences: it’s a 10 hour long tutorial followed by an empty open-world filled with scarce meaningless tasks and boring missions to complete set in a one of the most exciting time period possible.
There is nothing enjoyable in this game; there’s no reward, no progression, and every time something exciting is happening in the story; the player is only an idle witness not an active participant; what a shame.
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles
There are several reasons why this title is last. It was supposed to be a different take on the Assassin’s Creed formula and geared towards a more portable audience with shorter gameplay sessions, unfortunately no one really asked for it and no one really wanted it.
Chronicles wasn’t to Assassin’s Creed what Blood Dragon was to the Far Cry series and compared to Liberation it really was a big step backward as far as the overall Assassin’s Creed experience.