Best Assassin’s Creed games ranked, from AC1 to Valhalla

The Assassin’s Creed franchise shows no signs of slowing down and will likely continue to create fan favorites in the series. However, it goes without saying that some Assassin’s Creed games are better than others. So, here are all the great Assassin’s Creed games ranked from worst to best.

With all the excitement surrounding Assassin’s Creed Infinity, this year’s back-to-basics Assassin’s Creed Mirage game – not to mention the mysterious Japanese adventure codenamed Red, we thought it was time to take a look back at the series and top entries from best to worst. While Assassin’s Creed is a hugely successful and popular franchise, it hasn’t exactly been consistent when it comes to quality.

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Some Assassin’s Creed games are considered groundbreaking classics, while others deserve to be forgotten by history. So, what’s the best AC game? And which ones must be buried forever like a lost apple from paradise?

10. Assassin’s Creed

Assassin's CreedUbisoft

The original Assassin’s Creed was a disappointment.

While it may be the first game in a classic series and was released to huge hype early in the PS3 lifecycle, the original Assassin’s Creed was a painfully dull experience. The story was inspired by author Vladimir Bartol’s novel Alamut, which itself was based on the historical Hashashins active during the Third Crusade, but the gameplay just didn’t fit the great setting.

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Exploring the Holy Land during this time was interesting enough, as was the parkour and social stealth aspects of AC. Unfortunately, the game’s repetitive missions, combat, and boring assassination missions (which were janky, glorified boss fights) let it down. Fortunately, the sequel fixed these issues and turned the game into the mega franchise it is today.

9. Assassin’s Creed Unit

Assassin's Creed UnityUbisoft

Assassin’s Creed Unity really was a missed opportunity.

AC Unity squandered its incredible setting, making the French Revolution an afterthought in another madcap quest for magical apples with messages from a long-dead civilization. We were honestly never clear on which side the Assassins or Templars were on when it came to The Terror and other major historical events like the storming of the Bastille.

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Assassin’s Creed Unity is mostly remembered for its many glitches, often groundbreaking or hilarious. This is a shame, because when it worked properly, AC Unity looked absolutely luscious on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. While the previous game, AC4 Black Flag, was also released for that generation, it was largely a port of an older game. Unity was made for the hardware and it should have become a classic.

8. Assassin’s Creed 3

Assassin's Creed 3Ubisoft

Assassin’s Creed 3 introduced some fun new gameplay elements.

Having spent three games with the likeable villain that was Ezio, Connor Kenway was a bore by comparison. Assassin’s Creed 3 had some great ideas and the combat was better than ever, but AC3 couldn’t live up to its predecessor.

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The game told a compelling story, set during the American Revolution when the Assassins and Templars took sides, and the family melodrama between Connor and his father, Haythem, was especially well told. In many ways, Haythem was more likeable than Connor, so it was nice for the series to give us a likeable adversary for the first time.

The real problem with AC3 was the modern story/gameplay sections. These interrupted the action and became increasingly nonsensical, with the ending destroying the momentum of the series. This meant that Ubisoft had to think long and hard about the future of the series and what the next entry would be. Luckily they nailed it.

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7. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

Assassin's Creed SyndicateUbisoft

Assassin’s Creed wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t special.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, it just doesn’t sparkle and is a rather forgettable entry in the long-running series. While it had some bugs at launch, Ubisoft largely fixed many of the issues plaguing Unity, and exploring Victorian London with gadgets that let us zip up buildings quickly could be exciting.

It was also a novel idea to play as two different protagonists, a brother and sister duo who take over London’s seedy underworld, while killing notable Templars. Unfortunately, the formula had become outdated and the stealth elements from previous games had largely disappeared, leaving a mediocre action experience.

6. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Assassin's Creed ValhallaUbisoft

On paper, playing as a Viking sounds fun, but Valhalla felt a bit mediocre at times.

Everyone loves Vikings, right? After God of War, that great History Channel show, and a newfound cultural appreciation for all things Scandinavian, an Assassin’s Creed game set during this time was bound to be a hit. And Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is great, it’s just not as good as many of the other entries.

Sailing around the fjords in search of enemy settlements to loot is fantastic fun, but like Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, we felt a tinge of fatigue playing Valhalla. We liked the setting, but the game was way too similar to AC Odyssey, which did many of the same things, only better.

Valhalla may not be the best Assassin’s Creed game, but it was the first to release on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, making it a great entry point for those looking to jump into the series.

5. Assassin’s Creed Rogue

Assassin's Creed RogueUbisoft

Playing as a Templar slaying Assassins was a fresh take on AC.

Assassin’s Creed Rogue was released around the same time as Unity, but for the PS3 and Xbox 360. It was intended to give AC fans who hadn’t yet upgraded to the next generation something to play. It has since been ported to modern platforms, but the game is actually remembered much more fondly than Unity.

Rogue lets players control a former Assassin who was recruited by the Templars and now kills his former colleagues, giving players the chance to experience the conflict from the other side. In terms of gameplay, Rogue plays a lot like AC: Black Flag, but has players sailing around the North Atlantic instead of the Caribbean.

It also serves as a sequel to Black Flag, a prequel to AC3, and sets the tone for AC Unity, providing a connecting fabric for all three of those games. Not bad for a title that has been accused of glorified DLC.

4. The origins of Assassin’s Creed

Assassin's Creed OriginsUbisoft

Set in Egypt, Origins was just what the AC series needed.

Assassin’s Creed Origins was just what the series needed after AC Syndicate – that, and a break. Ubisoft decided to discontinue the annual (sometimes double) release of Assassin’s Creed, putting the games through a longer development cycle. The results were very welcome, as AC Origins was a breath of fresh air in the desert.

The game has overhauled almost every aspect of the series, improving combat, environments, parkour, and narrative structure. Origins also added some nice RPG elements and felt more like a Witcher title than an AC game at times.

The setting was ancient Egypt during the Ptolemaic Wars and unlike previous entries, it took full advantage of this backdrop in terms of gameplay and story. The game also emphasized the now tiresome modern segments and even managed to make the Templar vs. Assassin story interesting again.

3. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Assassin's Creed OdysseyUbisoft

AC Odyssey has improved Origins in every way.

Odyssey took the template created by AC Origins and expanded it, this time incorporating the famous sea elements from AC: Black Flag, but without the cannon fire, as the game is set in ancient Greece. It also used the final conflict between Athens and Sparta, which in history would see the former rise as the dominant power.

However, most of the game is focused on hunting down the sinister forerunners of the Templars, and while players may enjoy the refined combat system, AC Odyssey has made playing as a stealthy assassin a valuable playstyle again.

2. Assassin’s Creed 2

Assassin's Creed 2Ubisoft

Ezio is still the coolest Assassin in the entire series.

Assassin’s Creed 2 and its two standalone sequels, Brotherhood and Revelations, are collectively known as the Ezio Collection. They are also seen as a pinnacle of the series and the games that helped make Assassin’s Creed the legendary brand it is today.

Set during the Renaissance in Italy, specifically Venice, Florence and Rome, AC2 stars the young nobleman Ezio Auditore da Firenze as he becomes embroiled in the war between the Assassins and the Templars. Ezio is a joy to control as a character and AC has struggled to match his popularity ever since.

Although, what makes AC2 really great is that it delivered on all the promises that AC1 failed to keep. It was almost the best Assassin’s Creed game ever, but another managed to beat it for the top spot.

1. Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag

Assassin's Creed 4 black flagUbisoft

Black Flag is still the most fun we’ve ever had in an AC game.

What makes Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag the best Assassin’s Creed game isn’t the fantastic sea gameplay or the fact that you can explore the Caribbean by sea, nor because it was the first AC game to be released on PS4 and Xbox. One appeared. No, what makes AC4 the best Assassin’s Creed game is the freedom it entrusts to the player.

The ludicrous Assassin’s versus Templar story eventually catches up with pirate Edward Kenway, who, like the player, spends most of the game sailing away from it – content to just enjoy life and be a pirate. And that’s what AC4 lets players do.

AC4 unites the best parts of Assassin’s Creed, plus much more, then simply lets players have fun in the world they’ve created. By the time it comes time to get serious and kill some Templars, you won’t mind, because you’ve already plundered the entire Caribbean and become the most feared buccaneer to ever sail the Seven Seas!

So there you have it, the best Assassin’s Creed games ranked. For more game guides and lists, check out more game content below:

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