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Definitive Ranking of Each Title in the Assassin's Creed Series

Gaming Blogs | Author: Mazen "Mithrie" Turkmani Posted: May 15, 2024 Next Previous

Are you looking to dive into the rich tapestry of ‘The Assassin’s Creed’ series? The Assassin's Creed franchise has left an indelible mark on the gaming industry, boasting an extensive history that spans numerous titles and has significantly influenced the evolution of action-adventure games. This iconic saga is a blend of deep historical narratives, engaging gameplay, and evolving mechanics across numerous titles. Each game in the series invites you to experience the everlasting battle between the Assassins and the Templars through the eyes of its iconic characters. In this article, we’ll sift through the annals of ‘The Assassin’s Creed’ history, ranking each title to guide both veterans and newcomers through the best and most underrated games of the franchise. Prepare to embark on a journey through time, where intrigue, action, and the stealthy pursuit of freedom await.

Key Takeaways



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Exploring the Assassin's Creed Universe

Cover art for Assassin's Creed Brotherhood showing Ezio Auditore in his iconic outfit

The Assassin’s Creed universe intricately weaves together history and fiction to create a captivating world that has engaged gamers for more than a decade. 'Assassin's Creed Brotherhood', set in the heart of Renaissance Italy, further enriches this narrative by introducing the Brotherhood of Assassins, highlighting its core, the series is built upon the perpetual struggle between the Assassin Brotherhood and the Templar Order, two factions locked in an eternal battle for the world’s destiny.


Every Assassin’s Creed title provides a look into this ongoing conflict, immersing players in historical settings as vital as the characters.

The Brotherhood and the Templar Order

The ideological conflict between the liberty-seeking Assassin Brotherhood and the order-driven Templar Order forms the core of the Assassin’s Creed franchise. This dichotomy is masterfully introduced in the original Assassin’s Creed and echoed throughout the entire Assassin’s Creed series, from the dusty dunes of Assassin’s Creed Origins to the Norse saga of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.


Characters like Ezio Auditore, a master assassin, and Shay Cormac, an assassin turned templar, embody the complex nature of this centuries-old feud. 'Assassin's Creed Rogue' uniquely explores this conflict by detailing Shay Cormac's journey from an Assassin to a Templar, offering a distinct perspective on the series' central conflict.

Historical Settings and Their Significance

Assassin’s Creed’s history, including the popular assassin’s creed iii remastered, is entrenched in meticulously reconstructed eras, spanning from ancient Egypt to the Italian Renaissance. 'Assassin's Creed III' notably transports players to the American Revolution, further enriching the series with its detailed setting and narrative. These backdrops are not just picturesque landscapes but pivotal players in each narrative, influencing game mechanics and player experience.


The inclusion of historical figures, such as the polymath Leonardo da Vinci in assassin’s creed ii, adds authenticity and depth, transforming each title into a gateway to the past. The series also ventures into the French Revolution with 'Assassin's Creed Unity', introducing players to cooperative gameplay and a deeply immersive 18th-century Paris.

Present-Day Storylines: Connecting Past and Future

Although the historical adventures form the body of the franchise, present-day storylines serve as its backbone, linking separate tales into an overarching narrative that transcends time. The Animus device serves as a bridge between the modern-day and ancestral memories, with characters like Layla Hassan in recent entries like Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Assassin's Creed Valhalla, uncovering the secrets of the past to shape the future.

The Evolution of Gameplay Mechanics in Assassin's Creed

Scenic view of open-world exploration in Assassin's Creed Valhalla

The Assassin’s Creed series has seen gameplay mechanics evolve from the quiet stealth to expansive open-world exploration, highlighting a path of innovation and enhancement. What began with the first assassin’s creed game has matured into a multifaceted experience, blending action-adventure with role-playing elements, and continually pushing the boundaries of what it means to live through the eyes of a master assassin. With such a rich history, it’s no wonder fans often debate which title holds the crown for the best assassin’s creed game.

From Stealth to Open World Exploration

Stealth gameplay in Assassin's Creed Mirage showing a hidden assassin

The transition from the stealth gameplay of earlier entries like Assassin’s Creed 2, to the expansive open worlds in games such as Assassin’s Creed Origins and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, showcases the series’ commitment to offering unmatched freedom and exploration.


This progression has seen the integration of naval battles, introduced in Assassin’s Creed III, and further expanded in the pirate adventures of Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, highlighting its pivotal role in the series' evolution towards open-world exploration and naval warfare.

Combat Innovations and RPG Elements

Leonardo da Vinci's flying machine in Assassin's Creed

Assassin’s Creed’s combat has transformed from basic counterattacks to a sophisticated system of strikes, parries, and dodges, exemplified in the polished mechanics of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. 'Assassin's Creed Origins' marked a pivotal point in this evolution, introducing a new hitbox-based combat system and further enriching the series with RPG elements.


The introduction of RPG elements in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, including dialogue choices and skill trees, has given players unprecedented control over their gameplay experience and narrative direction.

Parkour and Environmental Interaction

Parkour, a fundamental mechanic in Assassin’s Creed, enables players to move through the environment with ease and elegance. Over time, this system has evolved to include more natural movements, such as the dynamic nature-based parkour introduced in assassin’s creed iii and further refined in assassin’s creed iv black flag.


This interplay between the character and their surroundings is a hallmark of the series’ immersive gameplay. Additionally, Assassin's Creed III Remastered enhances this experience with improved parkour mechanics and environmental interaction, offering a more fluid and engaging traversal through its historical settings.

The Best Assassin's Creed Games Critically Appraised

The standout Assassin’s Creed titles have not just shaped the franchise, but they’ve also established standards for the historical action-adventure genre. Critically appraised for their deep narratives, stunning open worlds, and innovative gameplay mechanics, these titles stand at the pinnacle of the series, earning their place in the hearts of gamers and the annals of gaming history. Debates on the best Assassin's Creed game are common among fans, with titles like Assassin's Creed 2 and Assassin's Creed: Odyssey often mentioned for their contributions to the series and the genre.

Top Picks: The Pinnacle of the Series

Among the standout titles, Assassin’s Creed II is notable for its enthralling narrative and the charming Ezio Auditore, a protagonist who continues to be a fan favorite in the world of Assassin’s Creed II.


Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood further cemented the series’ success by building on its predecessor’s strengths. Similarly, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, set in 19th Century London, introduced new gameplay mechanics like the RPG leveling system, dual protagonists, wagon riding, and grappling hooks, marking it as a pivotal entry in the series' development history. It is a must-play title for enthusiasts and newcomers alike, just like Assassin’s Creed Unity.

Underrated Gems: Overlooked Entries Worth Playing

Titles like Assassin’s Creed: Rogue, while not as widely recognized as others, offer distinct perspectives and gameplay experiences that enhance the Assassin’s Creed franchise’s richness. Such underrated gems, including Assassin’s Creed Rogue, provide a fresh take on the series’ formula, making them worthy of recognition and playtime.

Iconic Protagonists: The Faces of the Franchise

The Assassin’s Creed series equally emphasizes the locations and time periods it explores and the iconic protagonists guiding us through the narratives. These master assassins and notable characters have left an indelible mark on the assassin’s creed series, shaping its direction and leaving lasting impressions on the gaming community.

Ezio Auditore: The Heart of the Renaissance

Ezio Auditore da Firenze is more than just a crucial figure of the Renaissance; he embodies the essence of the Assassin’s Creed series. His journey, spanning several games, has allowed players to grow alongside him, experiencing his challenges, triumphs, and legacy—a story arc that is unparalleled within the franchise.

Other Notable Assassins

While Ezio may be the most celebrated, other assassins like Edward Kenway from Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Bayek of Siwa have also captured the imaginations of players with their unique stories and contributions to the overarching narrative of the Assassin's Creed games. From pirate adventures in Assassin's Creed IV to ancient Egypt, these characters have expanded the series’ lore and diversified its gameplay.

Future Horizons: What's Next for Assassin's Creed?

As the Assassin’s Creed series progresses, the future brims with thrilling opportunities and fresh adventures. Upcoming titles, including Assassin’s Creed III and Assassin's Creed Mirage, promise to take players on even more epic journeys through time, with the latter specifically aiming to return to the series' stealth origins, expanding the series’ legacy and continuing to innovate in the realm of historical gaming.

Upcoming Titles and Innovations

Upcoming titles such as Assassin’s Creed Mirage, promising a return to the series’ stealth origins, and Assassin’s Creed Codename Red, offering an immersive shinobi experience in feudal Japan, forecast a diverse and exhilarating future for the assassin’s creed franchise. Notably, Assassin's Creed Valhalla has set a precedent with its expansive narrative and modern-day story arcs, influencing the series' direction with its adaptations and expansions. These new games will undoubtedly leave their mark on the series, much like the best assassin’s creed games have done in the past.

The Infinity Hub: A New Era for Assassin's Creed

Assassin’s Creed Infinity represents a new era for the series, reimagining how players will engage with the franchise’s historical settings. This live-service platform will serve as a gateway to a multitude of Assassin’s Creed experiences, offering a continually evolving world for players to explore.

Assassin's Creed Beyond Gaming

The cultural impact of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, including titles like 'Assassin's Creed Odyssey', transcends gaming, with its narrative and characters reaching into other media formats like film, books, and comics. This expansion has allowed the series to reach a broader audience and solidify its place in the entertainment industry.

Screen Adaptations: Films and Series

Despite the 2016 live-action film not meeting critical expectations, the Assassin’s Creed universe persists in its on-screen expansion with intriguing projects such as the announced Netflix anime series. These adaptations aim to capture the essence of the games and bring the stories to life in new ways.

Extended Lore: Books and Comics

The narrative of the assassin’s creed series is further enriched by an extensive array of books and comics that delve into various eras and characters. From the Vietnam War-set Bloodstone to the modern-day tale of Charlotte de la Cruz, these stories offer fans additional layers of lore to explore.

The Cultural Impact of Assassin's Creed

The influence of Assassin’s Creed on gaming and popular culture is immense. As one of the top-selling video game franchises, it has not only influenced the industry but also left an indelible mark on media and entertainment.

Influence on Gaming and Media

The series has pioneered trends in open-world design and narrative integration, with its content making appearances across different genres and media platforms.


From LittleBigPlanet to Metal Gear Solid 4, Assassin’s Creed’s reach extends far and wide.

Educational Value: History Through Gaming

Beyond entertainment, Assassin’s Creed offers a compelling educational tool, bringing historical periods to life in a way that is engaging and accessible. Through its rich historical contexts, the series sparks curiosity and a desire to learn more about the past.

The Legacy of the Original Assassin's Creed Game

The enduring legacy of the original Assassin’s Creed game underscores the series’ timeless appeal and its significant influence on the genre. With its innovative open-world design and engaging narrative, the first game laid the groundwork for what has become a defining series in the gaming landscape.

Groundbreaking Beginnings

The inaugural Assassin’s Creed game brought a revolution to the open-world genre with its innovative parkour system and unrestricted combat, paving the way for the series’ subsequent development and success. Its groundbreaking elements continue to influence the design of open-world games today.

Its Role in Shaping the Series

The original game’s innovations, from combat to parkour to social stealth, have been refined and expanded in subsequent entries. Its systemic approach to missions and detailed replication of ancient cities set a high bar for authenticity and depth in historical gaming.

Assassin's Creed Shadows: A Dive into Feudal Japan

Unveiled on May 15, 2024, Assassin's Creed Shadows promises an immersive journey into the heart of feudal Japan during the tumultuous 1500s. The game is set to explore the era's rich history and intrigue, featuring characters inspired by real historical figures.


IGN released an in-depth analysis of the game's historical context, focusing on the characters and distinguishing between the actual historical figures and the fictional elements introduced by the game. A significant character highlighted in their breakdown is Yasuke, known as the "Black Samurai." Yasuke was an African man who arrived in Japan and rose to become a samurai under Oda Nobunaga, a prominent daimyo (feudal lord) during the Sengoku period.


The article delves into Yasuke's journey, his role in Japanese history, and how Assassin's Creed Shadows weaves his story into the broader narrative of the game. IGN's examination provides insights into how the game developers have taken creative liberties to integrate Yasuke's character into the Assassin's Creed universe while maintaining respect for historical authenticity.


Assassin's Creed Shadows is expected to offer a rich tapestry of samurai warfare, political intrigue, and the silent but deadly maneuvers of the shinobi, all while providing a nuanced look at a lesser-known chapter of history through the lens of the Assassin's Creed franchise.

Summary

As we conclude our journey through the shadowed alleys and sunlit vistas of the Assassin’s Creed universe, it’s clear that the series has left an indelible mark on gaming history. With its blend of rich storytelling, evolving gameplay mechanics, and iconic characters, Assassin’s Creed continues to captivate players around the world. From its groundbreaking beginnings to the promise of future horizons, the series stands as a monument to the power of interactive storytelling and the endless possibilities of immersive gaming.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Assassin's Creed II so special in the series?

Assassin's Creed II stands out in the series due to its immersive narrative, polished gameplay, and the memorable introduction of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, a beloved video game character.

How does the combat system evolve throughout the Assassin's Creed series?

The combat system in the Assassin's Creed series has evolved from simple counterattacks to a more complex system of strikes, parries, and dodges, along with customizable RPG elements, seen in recent entries like Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Odyssey.

Are there any Assassin's Creed games that focus on naval exploration and combat?

Absolutely, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is renowned for its focus on naval exploration and combat, setting a benchmark for the series with its pirate-themed adventure featuring Edward Kenway. This title, often referred to as Assassin's Creed IV Black, not only introduced these mechanics in Assassin’s Creed III but also perfected them, leading to its critical and commercial success. The game has since become a pivotal aspect of the franchise, influencing subsequent titles with its engaging gameplay and expansive open world.

Has Assassin's Creed made an impact outside of gaming?

Yes, Assassin's Creed has made an impact outside of gaming, expanding into films, novels, comics, and an upcoming anime series on Netflix, showing its influence on popular culture and entertainment.

Will there be more Assassin's Creed games in the future?

Yes, the future of Assassin's Creed looks promising with plans for new titles like Assassin's Creed Mirage and the live-service platform Assassin's Creed Infinity. These new games will offer various historical settings and new gaming experiences.

What makes Assassin's Creed II so special in the series?

Assassin's Creed II stands out due to its immersive narrative, polished gameplay, and the memorable introduction of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, one of the most beloved characters in video game history.

How does the combat system evolve throughout the Assassin's Creed series?

The combat system in the Assassin's Creed series has evolved from simple counterattacks to a more complex system of strikes, parries, and dodges. Recent entries like Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Odyssey also incorporate customizable RPG elements.

Are there any Assassin's Creed games that focus on naval exploration and combat?

Yes, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is renowned for its focus on naval exploration and combat, setting a benchmark for the series with its pirate-themed adventure featuring Edward Kenway.

Has Assassin's Creed made an impact outside of gaming?

Yes, Assassin's Creed has expanded into films, novels, comics, and an upcoming anime series on Netflix, showcasing its influence on popular culture and entertainment.

Will there be more Assassin's Creed games in the future?

Yes, the future of Assassin's Creed looks promising with plans for new titles like Assassin's Creed Mirage and the live-service platform Assassin's Creed Infinity, offering various historical settings and new gaming experiences.

What is the central conflict in the Assassin’s Creed series?

The central conflict in the Assassin’s Creed series is between the liberty-seeking Assassin Brotherhood and the order-driven Templar Order, both vying for control over the world's destiny.

Which Assassin’s Creed game introduced the Brotherhood of Assassins?

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, set in Renaissance Italy, introduced the Brotherhood of Assassins and further enriched the series’ narrative.

How does Assassin’s Creed incorporate historical settings into its gameplay?

Each Assassin’s Creed game meticulously reconstructs historical eras, incorporating real historical figures and events to create immersive and authentic gameplay experiences.

Who is Ezio Auditore and why is he significant?

Ezio Auditore da Firenze is a key character in the Assassin's Creed series, embodying the essence of the franchise through his journey in multiple games, making him a fan favorite.

What innovations did Assassin’s Creed Origins bring to the series?

Assassin’s Creed Origins introduced a new hitbox-based combat system and RPG elements, marking a significant evolution in the series’ gameplay mechanics.

Which game in the series focuses on the American Revolution?

Assassin’s Creed III transports players to the American Revolution, providing a detailed setting and narrative that enriches the series.

How does the series use the Animus device in its storyline?

The Animus device serves as a bridge between modern-day characters and their ancestral memories, linking separate tales into an overarching narrative that transcends time.

What is Assassin’s Creed Infinity?

Assassin’s Creed Infinity is a live-service platform that will serve as a gateway to multiple Assassin’s Creed experiences, offering a continually evolving world for players to explore.

Who is Yasuke in Assassin's Creed Shadows?

Yasuke, known as the "Black Samurai," was an African man who rose to become a samurai under Oda Nobunaga. Assassin's Creed Shadows weaves his story into its narrative, exploring feudal Japan's rich history.

What educational value does the Assassin’s Creed series offer?

The Assassin’s Creed series serves as an educational tool by bringing historical periods to life in an engaging and accessible way, sparking curiosity and a desire to learn more about the past.

Which game is known for introducing cooperative gameplay?

Assassin’s Creed Unity introduced cooperative gameplay, allowing players to experience the French Revolution together in an immersive 18th-century Paris.

What sets Assassin’s Creed Syndicate apart in the series?

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is set in 19th Century London and introduced new gameplay mechanics like dual protagonists, an RPG leveling system, wagon riding, and grappling hooks.

How has parkour evolved in the Assassin's Creed series?

Parkour in Assassin’s Creed has evolved to include more natural movements and dynamic environmental interactions, from the dynamic parkour in Assassin’s Creed III to the refined system in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.

Which Assassin’s Creed game explores Shay Cormac’s journey from an Assassin to a Templar?

Assassin's Creed Rogue details Shay Cormac’s transformation from an Assassin to a Templar, offering a unique perspective on the series’ central conflict.

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Author Details

Photo of Mazen 'Mithrie' Turkmani

Mazen "Mithrie" Turkmani

I have been creating gaming content since August 2013, and went full-time in 2018. Since then, I have published hundreds of gaming news videos and articles. I have had a passion for gaming for more than 30 years!

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